This Week in the Corridor
From the Corridor to the World - remotely
Economic development is frequently a game of follow the leader. What are the bigger towns doing? We should do that, too.

One recent fad is recruiting telecommuters/remote workers/gig workers (pick your title). Often this involves cash money. Vermont has offered grants of $10,000 to lure remote workers. So have Topeka, Kansas and Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Tulsa Remote, perhaps the best known of these initiatives, conveys a bit of a mixed message on its landing page: “You’re going to love it here,” comes right after, “We’ll pay you to work from Tulsa.”

The COVID-19 pandemic will absolutely accelerate the transition to the digital workplace. Recognizing this, the Corridor has been in an ongoing conversation with several partners about how best to attract online workers. (Shout-out to Heath Richter of Black Hills Energy for the initial push.) With our strong telecommunications infrastructure and idyllic setting, we’ve got plenty to sell. Why wouldn’t folks want to have their home office here?

But we’re also viewing the opportunity from another seemingly unique perspective. While others focus on bringing remote workers in, we are exploring the possibilities for residents who are already here. Were we to develop a list of credible work-from-home opportunities, might that help us retain graduates from our high schools and colleges? And how about trailing spouses, husbands and wives that sacrifice their own jobs to follow their loved ones to our region? Remote work seems like a powerful solution for them.

The benefits would extend to area businesses, as well. A strong work-from-home culture could bring into the labor pool local men and women who for personal reasons—perhaps family, perhaps health—refuse to commit to the expected 40-hour work week. More importantly, a willingness and capacity to support remote workers allows a company to hire the best candidate regardless of location. Distance is no longer an obstacle.

The Corridor team met last week with an early-stage freight company based in Chicago. The ownership group has decided to hire sales and customer-service talent almost exclusively in rural America. We wondered how a local economic development group could help.

Some of the answers were not surprising—posting jobs, hosting meetings, etc. But there were also new ideas, such as sourcing multilingual talent in Storm Lake, a town where some 20 languages and dialects are spoken.

More such conversations will follow; we are still early in this process. The objective, though, seems inarguable: In a global and digital economy, let’s put the Corridor at the center.
ANNOUNCEMENTS

Corridor staff has decided to postpone the 11th Annual Business Recognition Luncheon to spring or early summer.

In place of the luncheon, we will host a quarterly meeting, so stay tuned for more information on that event coming soon!

***

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
BVU offers convenient, online 17-hour Substitute Authorization Course

Buena Vista University (BVU) is currently offering an online 17-hour Substitute Authorization Course to help certify substitute teachers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The self-paced course begins this month. Enrollment for $200 can be done online, and participants have two weeks to complete the course.

Read more about the sub course.
Reynolds tours Catalyst Grant Projects in Estherville

Governor Kim Reynolds was able to visit Estherville last week and stopped in to see two recent Catalyst Grant winners. Governor Reynolds shared that she was impressed by the use of the grant funds. These funds are to help spur additional economic activity.

Learn more about her visit.
PPP Payment Extensions

The Small Business Association (SBA) announced a deferral for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Payment Extensions for an additional 10 months.

Learn more about PPP.
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!
Northwest Iowa Bone, Joint & Sports Surgeons
Sector: Healthcare
Location: Spencer
Description: Their skilled team of physicians has been providing excellence in orthopedic care to Northwest Iowa and Southwest Minnesota for more than 25 years. Utilizing physical therapy, open extremity MRI, and bone mineral density, they are able to offer specialized care in orthopedic surgery, total joint replacement, sports medicine, arthroscopic surgery, hand surgery, foot surgery, and fracture treatment.
Polaris Industries
Sector: Manufacturing
Location: Spirit Lake
Description: At Polaris, making great products is not just a job - it is a way of life. That is why their creed is etched in steel at the entrance at each location. Their employees are not only building and designing our machines, they are also enthusiastic riders. This gives the competitive edge as they work together to make the riding experience better.
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
Outpatient Therapist
Psychiatric Medical Assistant
Intensive Psychiatric
Rehab Practitioner
Transitional Housing
Coordinator
Clinic Manager
PT Front Desk
Street Division (Maint. II)
Truck Driver
Behavioral/Mental Health
Youth Counselor
EHS Specialist
Maintenance Manager
Material Handler
Business Marketing
Specialist
Employer
Seasons Center
Seasons Center
Seasons Center

Seasons Center

Avera Holy Family Hospital
Village West Resort
City of Spencer
MaxYield Cooperative
Forest Ridge Youth Services

Safco Products
Green Plains, Inc.
Green Plains, Inc.
IowaWORKS
Date
10/1/2020
10/1/2020
10/1/2020

10/1/2020

10/2/2020
10/2/2020
10/5/2020
10/5/2020
10/7/2020

10/7/2020
10/8/2020
10/8/2020
10/8/2020

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.