Last week our peers with Capital Crossroads in Des Moines came to the Quad Cities to share their experience with many area leaders who are working to advance the region through Q2030. During the presentation they stressed the importance of investing in quality of life amenities such as festivals, parks, trails, waterfronts and so on as essential pieces to economic development. These are the assets that address the most often heard need of employers: talent.

Jay Byers, CEO of the Greater Des Moines Partnership, told the story of how the corporate community in central Iowa early on thought the Capital Crossroads plan (the equivalent of our Q2030) would revolve primarily around strict economic development initiatives. While the greater Des Moines area has certainly pushed innovative new programs aimed at growing target industries, corporate leaders have also invested heavily in events such as the 80/35 musical festival, the sculpture park, the Principal Riverwalk and other projects that are all about establishing the kind of active, modern, beautiful, fun environment that sets them apart from other communities in their ability to attract millennials in droves as residents.

Byers and his colleagues were quick to point out that the Quad Cities can be a magnet for talent by continuing to invest in its festival and music scene, Mississippi riverfront, its trail systems, and so on. He challenged people to think of these things not as disconnected from, but central to efforts to attract jobs and investment to the region. As he stated, “Place making drives talent attraction. And talent attraction is the key to whether or not your economy will grow in the next decade.”

With that in mind the Chamber frequently has opportunities to sponsor key festivals and events in the region. If your business is interested in sponsoring an upcoming event, connect with Gwen to learn about available opportunities.     

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