Corridor staff has been working on website updates. If you have questions about where to find information, please contact Alyssa Petersen by email or phone,
712-264-3474.
This Week in the Corridor
A patchwork of memories
Winter morning for me means a walk with the dog. We head west from the house to the park and then loop south through the neighborhood to our own back door.

There are many waypoints along this journey, signposts both literal and figurative. El Mago, our mini sheepadoodle (imagine a curly, stuffed toy panda) sniffs his way past transformer boxes, fence posts, a guy wire and a large oak to the yard where a noisy spaniel lives. Then it’s on to Sawmill Bridge, where Mago tracks the rail to the far side before a hard switchback to the right and down to the water’s edge.

There is an urgency to Mago’s travel. I sense it in the tension on the leash. Each spot must be checked, sniffed, assessed. His buddy, Rocky, lives here. And here is where the school superintendent’s two hunting dogs cross the street. That oak tree—Mago jumped a squirrel at its base one morning and bolted to the leash end, startled by this small but entirely new adversary.

Naturalists call places like this a “local patch,” a term I learned only recently. Local patches are those small pieces of landscape that we have traveled through and over so many times that we come to know them through the accrual of a thousand tiny moments. They are mapped by remembrance.
I’ve thought a lot about local patches in the last few weeks because I will soon move away from Northwest Iowa. I have accepted a position with Trees Forever, a nonprofit conservation and community development organization, and in February will move across the state.

When I first arrived in the Iowa Lakes Corridor six and a half years ago, I was frequently and emphatically lost. On the day of my interview, I climbed into the passenger seat of a pickup truck and wound up in Storm Lake. I remember nothing from that journey. Soon after I was hired, two of my coworkers drove me from Spencer to Superior by way of Terrill. Had they dumped me out the door at any point, I may never have returned.

Steadily, magically, I began to find my own waypoints. I discovered a tall row of wispy trees that signals the right turn to Estherville. I learned there are three turns off Highway 71 to Storm Lake and my favorite is the second. And then, I’m not sure when, I began detouring away from the highway to Linn Grove to check the height of the river and breathe deep among bird song.

As my final days ripple away, though, I am coming to realize that people, not places, have transformed the Corridor into my local patch. Estherville is a certain former mayor who says “life is great at the top of the state” and actually means it. Storm Lake is the lady at the restaurant counter who takes my order for tacos in English, warm and efficient, and then barks Spanish commands to the cooks in a voice that could make a sloth snap to attention.

My kids attended school in Dickinson County and their pals have become my pals. The hours I’d most like to live again in Okoboji were not on the water but spent throwing batting practice at Wildcat Field in Arnolds Park.

And, as for Clay County, it will always stand for Alyssa and Joanne and Jonna and Libby and Kathy and Brian and Tim—a team that sheltered me like family.

Really, I have a thousand friends and more in this, my new local patch. I would like to name and thank you all, but I don’t feel a need to say goodbye. You all will go with me, alive in the geography of my memories.

Featured Real Estate
18th St. & Central Ave.

Location: 18th & Central Ave.
Estherville, IA 51334

Sale Price: $75,000

Acres: 0.4

For more information visit the Corridor website!

1710 Central Ave.

Location: 1710 Central Ave.
Estherville, IA 51334

Sale Price: $65,000

Acres: 0.4

For more information visit the Corridor website!

News
Internship program funding available

The Iowa Student Internship Program is open, and funding is available for Summer 2021 Internships. This program through the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) provides grants to small- and medium-sized companies in targeted industries to support internship programs. The overall goal is to transition interns to full-time employment in Iowa upon graduation.

Read about the grant and how to apply.
Northwest Bank receives SBA 'Impact Award'

The Small Business Administration (SBA) recognized Northwest Bank for economic contributions and assistance with the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Northwest Bank was the second largest producer of PPP loans in Iowa.

Read more about the award.
Dyno's to be purchased by Brew Oil

Dyno Oil Co. Inc. will be purchased by Brew Oil LLC effective January 18th. Dyno's was started in Spencer in 1958. Brew Oil LLC is a local company with 11 stores in Northwest Iowa and will now be adding the 13 Dyno's stores to the company's roster.

Learn more about the acquisition.
Storm Lake United awards business members for 2020

Each year Storm Lake United awards business members for business growth and tourism in the Storm Lake area. Nine businesses and professionals were recognized for their leadership and accomplishments in 2020.

Spencer Chamber working on introducing program for new residents

The Spencer Chamber of Commerce is working on a program called "Discover Spencer" to help new residents with their transition and move to the area.

Learn about the program.
USMCA - Practical Requirements and Updates

The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) is hosting a webinar on the United States - Mexico - Canada Agreement (USMCA) on February 10th from 9-11 a.m. The webinar is designed to help navigate the new trade agreement that went into effect on July 1.
Click Here to learn more or register.
Investor Spotlight
Each week we want to feature and thank the businesses and individuals that have committed to economic development and growth in our communities. To learn more about these investors and others, visit our Business Directory!
A&M Services, Inc.
Sector: Business Services/Other
Investor Level: Silver
Location: Spencer
Description: A&M Services, Inc. has been exceeding the needs of its customers for over 85 years. They are a full-service professional launderer and offer a complete selection of textile rental items.
Advanced Network Professionals
Sector: Business Services/Other
Investor Level: Copper
Location: Spencer
Description: Advanced Network Professionals is a Full-Service Technology Partner, who offers a tailored approach to Technology Consulting, seamless Managed IT Services and scalable Cloud Based Solutions needed to thrive in the new era of innovation. ANP will work with you to develop and maintain your technology infrastructure and provide you with strategic and innovative solutions to achieve your goals and objectives.
See a listing that needs updated? Please contact Alyssa Petersen to discuss changes to your business listing.
Jobs in the Iowa Lakes Corridor
Post your jobs where quality candidates are already looking: lakescorridor.com

See current job openings here.
vacancy_sign_desk.jpg
Job Title
Care Coordinator
(Bilingual Preferred)
Domestic Violence Care
Coordinator
Suicide Prevention Care
Coordinator
Assembler & Packager
Material Handler
Molding Technician
Nightshift Production Supervisor
Production
Supplier Quality Engineer
Talent Acquisition Specialist
Grain Elevator Superintendent
Employer
Seasons Center

Seasons Center

Seasons Center

Pure Fishing
Aventure Staffing
Pure Fishing
Rosenboom
Aventure Staffing
Rosenboom
Rosenboom
MaxYield
Date
12/23/2020

12/23/2020

12/23/2020

12/30/2020
12/29/2020
12/30/2020
12/29/2020
12/29/2020
12/29/2020
12/29/2020
1/5/2021
Questions? Want to be featured in next week's newsletter?
Contact the Iowa Lakes Corridor at info@lakescorridor.com,
or call us at 712.264.3474.