Last week, while I toted my daughter off to college-and tried hard to laugh through my tears-the Corridor and our partners enjoyed a run of good news.
On Monday, a start-up manufacturing company announced that it would occupy a vacant facility in Spencer. Godbersen Metal Works will employ approximately 25 people fabricating and painting metal components. The Corridor was one piece of a recruiting them that also included the City of Spencer, Spencer Municipal Utilities, Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative, Spencer Area Jobs Trust, Iowa Area Development Group, and representatives of the local business community. Our thanks go out to the founders of Godbersen Metal Works for investing in the region. Those interested in applying for a job with the company can send resumes to
Four days later, on the morning my daughter moved into her dorm room (How does a freshman get a single with a great view?), social media lit up with the announcement that Buena Vista University's Lamberti Center and the Corridor had jointly captured one of only five Google.org Impact Challenge Iowa grants worth $175,000. The money will support a broad and innovative business succession effort dubbed "Match-Learn-Launch." The goal is to transition the businesses we all love-the ones that employ our friends and neighbors and that make living in our small towns so great-to a new generation of owners.
The roll-out of Match-Learn-Launch promises powerful learning opportunities for BVU students. And who knows, maybe someday a few of those students will wind up purchasing a business they encounter through the initiative.
Or maybe, just maybe, my daughter will.
You see, Carson didn't go one county or even one state over for college. She's halfway across the country in Ithaca, N.Y.
She's the kind of person we want back in our region. She's bright, hard-working, a leader. But if she's to return, she's going to need an income. Presumably that means finding a job, but it could mean becoming her own boss.
This is where it gets cool. No doubt you've heard of the Corridor's 5x5 initiative, a challenge to grow the population 5 percent in five years. Well, Match-Learn Launch integrates perfectly with 5x5.
At the Corridor, we recognize that the continued prosperity of our region will require every type of person. We need laborers and CEOs, founders and builders. So at
, the online hub of the 5x5 initiative, we present three options on the landing page: apply for a job, start a business, and find a business to buy.
After you've voted for the Google.org People's Choice Award, I encourage you to hop over to GetALakesLife.com and check it out. Sign up to be a Community Champion then spend a few minutes exploring the site. As you do, think of the loved ones you wish would return to the region. Would they rather get a secure job or run the entire show? Either way, here in the Iowa Lakes Corridor, they can be matched with a great career, learn new skills and launch into the future.
As for you, my sweet Carson Joy, when you're done changing the world, you can come back home and live by Mom and Dad. You're a perfect match for us.