The director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority is urging Iowans to “tell our story.”
During a recent stop in Le Mars, Debi Durham told members of the Chamber of Commerce how our state has great potential and many opportunities, but we need to share that information with the rest of the world. “We were ranked #1 state for opportunity in the country, most resilient state going into COVID, coming out,” Durham says. “Our trajectory within all of our core industries is really strong growth. The good thing is, we need more people and we also need to increase our skill sets but we need more people and we need housing and broadband is part of that equation.”
Durham says Governor Kim Reynolds approved a new ad blitz demonstrating all Iowa has to offer. “It’s why the governor launched the ‘This is Iowa’ campaign nationally,” she says, “which is all about showcasing Iowa to the world, about raising our profile and brand in the national marketplace and really showing the beauty of Iowa and just how vibrant it is and that we are really a land of opportunity here.”
Durham says Iowa is often overlooked since many corporate officials regard it as simply as a “fly-over” state between both coasts. She says it’s good Iowa doesn’t have a negative image, but she says the problem is, we don’t have any type of image at all.
“People are starting to pay attention and so the ‘This is Iowa’ campaign is really that reinforcement that’s coming alongside really showing the beauty of this great state and our people. Don’t discount that. Iowa is one of the friendliest states in the country and everyone who comes here says that,” Durham says. “We just need our citizens’ help in trying to bring our kids back.” While Iowa is known for its rich agriculture base, she says we need to expand beyond the nation’s old-fashioned perceptions of farming.
(By Dennis Morrice, KLEM, Le Mars)