Vision & Goals

The Strategic Vision

The Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber Board of Directors, along with the feedback of various community entities, have developed a Strategic Vision and multi-year plan for the Cedar Valley to ensure the economic success of the Cedar Valley through an effective, unified voice on issues of shared interest.

Our vision is that through specific and intentional strategies we will deliver a growing, multifaceted economic area, built within our thriving future-facing cities. In the Cedar Valley, talented people are committed to building a place where careers blossom, and businesses of all sizes and aspirations are encouraged to succeed. Where diversity is celebrated by all generations; and residents enjoy world-class, lifelong education and healthcare, numerous recreation venues and an overall high quality of life.

That's the vision. You can help fulfill it.

The Alliance & Chamber’s strategies for growth are focused in these key areas:
• Workforce and Talent
• Regional Economic Development
• Regional Advocacy and Promotion

Workforce & Talent

Businesses and industries need a skilled, available workforce in order to succeed, grow or consider a location in the Cedar Valley. Therefore, it is vital that the Alliance & Chamber impacts the quantity and quality of the workforce that is available now and in the future in order to attract and retain high-quality employers!

Vision Goal: Wealth creating businesses and institutions grow and locate in the Cedar Valley because of our focus on:

  • A world-class K-12 educational experience and higher education to match, which produce a talented workforce supply for a diverse employer base.
  • Creating a living environment that motivates our graduates and others to want to remain in and move to the Cedar Valley for the quality of life available and the lifelong learning and business entrepreneurial support system that is here.

Strategy: Retain and Attract a Qualified Workforce

Key Activities:

  • Promote and expand the use of the Work the Valley job board.
  • Communicate quality of life attributes and professional opportunities in the Cedar Valley to targeted workforce sectors through the Live the Valley social media campaign.
  • Partner with Cedar Valley young professional organizations to increase their knowledge of Cedar Valley careers and quality of life.
  • Collaborate with higher education institutions to inform students of job, career and business opportunities in the Cedar Valley.
  • Become a certified Home Base Iowa region to increase exposure to US military veterans to the Cedar valley as a place to work and live.
  • Support Skilled Iowa to increase the qualified workforce through skills certifications and internships.
  • Inform businesses of the business benefits of diversity in hiring and inclusive practices through events, publications and recognition.
  • Conduct a Workforce Assessment Analysis and subsequent plan of action based on those results.

Strategy: Develop Future Talent

Key Activities:

  • Prepare emerging business leaders through the Cedar Valley Leadership Institute.
  • Collaborate with Leader Valley, a business and education partnership initiative, implementing Leader in Me in K-12 schools and teacher prep programs.*
  • Collaborate with school districts to promote Career & Technical Education for professional, manufacturing and skilled trade career opportunities.
  • Support STEM and STEAM initiatives in Cedar Valley schools.

*Leader in Me financing is separate from the Alliance & Chamber.

 

Regional Economic Development

The core of our work is supporting the growth and sustainability of our existing businesses as well as recruiting new businesses – resulting in a growing economy where more people have good jobs, and are buying and selling more goods and services. 

Vision Goal: The Cedar Valley is a balanced economy that grows rapidly through research and development in products process and skills, from private, non-profit and government sectors, supported by vital retail and service sectors.

Strategy:  Existing Business Expansion and Retention

Key Activities:

  • Frequent existing business meetings to provide direct assistance or refer services and solutions.
  • Conduct existing business surveys to gauge business climate and identify opportunities for growth.
  • Support the Cedar Valley Manufacturer’s Network to strengthen the position of manufacturing in the Cedar Valley Region.
  • Support our retail and service sectors with a marketing campaign to promote “buy local”.
  • Increase awareness of our investor’s job opportunities through an online job board and social media promotion.


Strategy: Recruit New Businesses

Key Activities:

  • Focus on project opportunities with the potential for at least $5M investment and wages greater than $19 per hour.
  • Actively pursue prospects from tightly targeted sectors worldwide within advanced manufacturing, IT, bioproducts and renewables, and logistics.
  • Coordinate the regional economic development efforts through the Cedar Valley Regional Partnership.
  • Assist city officials to attain “shovel ready” site certification to increase attention of site selectors.
  • Execute a regional targeted marketing campaign highlighting the Cedar Valley’s gigabit broadband capacity.

Strategy: Promote Entrepreneurs & Startups:

Key Activities:

  • Sponsor and support start-up and entrepreneurial events such as Cedar Valley 1 Million Cups, Cedar Valley Startup Weekend, TechBrew, Startup Drinks, and BarCamp Cedar Valley.
  • Support opening and coordinating co-working spaces throughout the Cedar Valley.
  • Support the “entrepreneurial ecosystem” by making key connections between early stage businesses, business buyers, and needed resources.

Strategy: Promote innovation in advanced manufacturing, bioproduct development and applied research through the redevelopment of TechWorks Campus.*

Key Activities:

  • Market the state-of-the-art wet laboratories and other remaining space in Tech 1, the outlots and marina site.
  • Become the designated site for the Iowa Advanced Manufacturing Network Hub.
  • Finalize the sale of Tech 2 to a private developer to create a business class hotel, restaurant and John Deer training center.
  • Seek collaborative opportunities for maker spaces.

*TechWorks operations & financing is separate from the Alliance & Chamber.

 

Regional Advocacy & Promotion

The Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber provides a unified voice for Cedar Valley businesses and institutions to advocate for policies that strengthen the Cedar Valley business climate at the local, state and federal levels of government. 

Another key role of the Alliance & Chamber is promotion of the Cedar Valley of Iowa. “The Cedar Valley of Iowa” has become a well-known and effective identity for our economic area.

Vision Goal: The Cedar Valley is unified; a multi-county, economic area centered on the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Metro, acting together to build its economy and the factors which fuel the growth of our cities, its business climate and quality of life.

Strategy: Improve the Business Climate

Key Activities:

  • Strengthen our pro-business influence in government relations through increased policy input from our investors and partners.
  • Provide a variety of venues for businesses to interact with elected and appointed officials including:
    • Friday Forums and Legislative Receptions to give our investors input on current issues and topics impacting their business.
    • Take the business message to Washington DC with the Cedar Valley Coalition and through the Iowa Association of Business & Industry.

Strategy: Promote the Cedar Valley

Key Activities:

  • Increase public awareness of the Cedar Valley region as a “maker” place, promoting tech-led businesses, advanced manufacturing, healthcare, and higher education in the Cedar Valley.
  • Distinguish the Cedar Valley with such messages as:
    • Gigabit Valley – broadband access and speeds for all types, sizes and locations of businesses;
    • Cedar Valley Made – a place where advanced manufacturing is a driver of economic growth;
    • Leader Valley – a global leader in preparing students for 21st-century careers emerging in the Cedar Valley;
    • Blue Zones Communities – where people are health and well at work, school and home;
    • Value in the Valley – emphasizing that buying local strengthens the entire Cedar Valley;
    • Live the Valley – the Cedar Valley offers unique quality of life attributes and professional opportunities in a variety of fields;
    • Strengthen pride by promoting the positive attributes and stories of the Cedar Valley, locally.
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