The former director of the Iowa Department of Economic Development responded today to a report from the department that shows the 53-hundred jobs created by the “Iowa Values Fund” don’t match up with the governor’s claims of 25-thousand jobs “created or retained”. Mike Blouin says the report is very positive.
Blouin says he’s heartened that so many projects are on schedule and moving toward their goals. Blouin says, “No one ever said those 25-thousand jobs were there today. They said they were in commitments in contract. These incentives are rewards for having done something, they’re incentives to affect behavior.”
Blouin says the money hopefully gets the companies to act on job creation. He says they want the company’s behavior to be that they will expand and do what the companies say they’ll do in three to five years. Blouin says the Iowa Values Fund is too new to be judged now.
Blouin says, “It is far from a finished product. It has been from the very beginning been a seven to eight year effort that is in context with a 20-year process of converting Iowa’s economy.”
The Values Fund has been at the center of the debate among the candidates for governor. Republican nominee Jim Nussle promises to get rid of it. Democratic nominee Chet Culver has expressed concerns about the program and vows to make changes if he’s elected. Blouin finished second to Culver in the Democratic primary for governor.