This Week in the Corridor
Don't Drop the Ball on Recruiting People to Iowa
Trigger warning: Breaking with normal practice, this column will for the next two weeks touch on politics.

Some years ago, when reports revealed that nearly half of students at the University of Iowa were from out of state, lawmakers began voicing criticism. The Board of Regents responded with a new funding formula that rewarded our state’s three universities for enrolling native Iowans.

It was an unfortunate response to a misguided concern. For decades, Iowa observers had lamented the loss of our best high school and college graduates to other states, the so-called brain drain. By attracting students from elsewhere, the regents universities were actually alleviating the problem. One kid leaves, another one arrives, and Iowa survives.

This unforced error came to mind a few weeks ago with another news story about out of state students. The Iowa High School Athletic Association ruled a pair of football players, Arland Bruce IV of Kansas and Jake Rubley of Colorado, ineligible to play in Iowa this season. Both enrolled in schools here after COVID-19 forced the cancellation of football in their home districts.

While the determinations twisted on technicalities, the core of the argument seems to be that Bruce and Rubley had dual residencies. Their families had split up, with some members staying in Kansas and Colorado, while the players and a parent relocated to Iowa. Other athletes, who apparently did not violate this component of the eligibility rules, have been allowed to play.

It’s not my place to question the fidelity of the IHSAA decision; that’s for bureaucrats and lawyers. Nor am I that worried about the players’ well-being: they are Division I talents with bright futures. But I would contend that the association’s leadership forgot an unwritten obligation for any Iowa organization. That is, to make our state as attractive as possible. Iowa cannot be a “no” first state; we must be a “get to yes” state.

Listen, Iowa is legitimately cool. We feed the world; we’re powered by wind, sun and corn; we have those “Iowa Native” and “Iowa Captive” bumper stickers. But ask a Spaniard, or Californian, or heck, Wisconsin Badger to name the first ten states that come to mind, and we likely won’t make the list. We battle anonymity.

Therefore we must be accommodating. Iowa should be easy—easy for work, easy for living. Perhaps even easy for playing football.

Let’s go further and suggest that Iowa towns should consider policies that are not possible for the metros. Backyard chickens and ATVs on the side streets don’t work in Chicago, but fresh food, fun and freedom are surely enticing to disenchanted Chicagoans.

Of course, it is possible to get noticed for the wrong reasons. The athletic association’s decision actually drew a tweet from Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, last year’s NFL MVP: “Let my man @abruceiv play! Kid wants to play his senior year of football why stop him?!? @IHSAA"

In a social media world, Iowa fumbled.
Corridor staff is currently working on website updates, and things will be moving around in the next few weeks. If you have questions about where to find information, please contact Alyssa Petersen by email or phone, 712-264-3474.
Featured Real Estate
Buena Vista County Office Space

Location: 202 W. 7th St.
Alta, IA 51002

Sale Price: $167,000

Square Feet: 8,832

For more information visit the Corridor website!
Around the Corridor
Grand Avenue Community Outreach celebrating 100th birthday of Tangney Hotel

2020 marks the 100th birthday of the iconic Tangney Hotel building in downtown Spencer. Now home to a myriad of outreach programs, Tangney has quite a history in Spencer.

Learn more about the Tangney Hotel and what is being done to celebrate!
St. Mary's Catholic School wins the 2020 School Mascot Challenge

This year, the Healthiest State Initiative held a School Mascot Challenge leading up to the Healthiest State Annual Walk. St. Mary's Catholic School in Storm Lake won the contest and will receive $1,000 towards health and wellness.

Read more about the competition.
Spencer Chamber of Commerce unveils new logo

In lieu of their annual meeting this week, the Spencer Chamber of Commerce held a press conference to deliver updates and news about successes over the past year as well as plans for the future. One announcement was the unveiling of the new Spencer Chamber logo.

Learn more about the new logo.
Virtual Career/Internship/Grad School Fair
The registration link is LIVE for the University of South Dakota’s Virtual Career/Internship/Grad School Fair on Wednesday, October 21st from 1-4pm.

Registration is FREE and the spots are unlimited!

What: USD’s Virtual Career/Internship/Grad School Fair
When: Wednesday, October 21st – 1-4 p.m.
Where: Virtually – Coyote Careers

The University of South Dakota’s Academic and Career Planning Center will be hosting a Virtual Career/Internship/Grad School Fair on Wednesday, October 21st from 1-4 p.m. CT to inform current students and alumni about full time employment opportunities, internships and more information about graduate schools.
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!
Premier Communications
Sector: Communications & Utilities
Location: Sioux Center
Description: Premier Communications offers the latest digital voice technology, crystal clear video programming, and delivers the fastest data services.
Quality Refrigerated Services
Sector: Manufacturing
Location: Spencer
Description: Quality Refrigerated Services began serving customers in 1989 with the mission of providing top quality refrigeration services in Nebraska and Iowa. Since then, their vision has expanded creating Quality Processing Services, Inc. In 2013, to provide quality meat processing and food packaging services. Their customers and employees are the number one priority.
Jobs in the Iowa Lakes Corridor
Post your jobs where quality candidates are already looking:

See current job openings here.
Job Title
Forklift Operator
Material Handler
ILCC (Estherville)

Aventure Staffing
Aventure Staffing
Aventure Staffing

Questions? Want to be featured in next week's newsletter?
Contact the Iowa Lakes Corridor at,
or call us at 712.264.3474.