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daycareDid You Know…

The average cost of full-time center-based infant/toddler child care in Iowa is $9,967 a year for one child—higher than the cost of in-state public college tuition. This expense is an insurmountable barrier for many families, especially for single-parent households.

  • A family earning the median household income in Iowa would spend 11.9% of their income on infant/toddler child care. For a single-parent family median income in Iowa, infant/toddler child care costs 40.7% of their earnings.  Currently there are not enough child care spaces to meet the needs of working families in some areas of Iowa.
  • Almost one-fourth of Iowans live in areas that have an under supply of licensed or registered child care options.  That number is even higher when looking at the under-supply of infant and toddler child care options in many communities across Iowa.

kidsInvest in 2000 Days

There are approximately 2000 days between birth and the first day of kindergarten. The first 2000 Days of a child's life can have a profound and lifelong impact on physical and emotional well-being, readiness to learn and succeed, and ability to become a productive citizen.

High-quality care advances children’s early development, helping them build a range of critical skills necessary for their success in school and beyond. High-quality childcare provides a safe, supportive environment that promotes young children’s cognitive, social-emotional, and language development, leading to positive outcomes like increased school-readiness.

Young children experience their world primarily as “an environment of relationships”; stable nurturing relationships are the active ingredient of children’s healthy    development and thus of high-quality care.

(from Workforce of Today, Workforce of Tomorrow: The Business Case for High Quality Childcare, a publication of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation)

Iowa leads the nation in the number of families with parents working outside the home. In many Iowa communities, childcare is often unaffordable, inaccessible, or non-existent. As a result, working parents miss work, drop shifts, are less engaged on the job, switch employers, or leave the workforce altogether.

The impact of the lack of affordable, accessible, high quality child care on employers is written on the bottom line: adjusted for inflation, U.S. businesses lose approximately $4.4 billion annually due to employee absenteeism as the result of childcare breakdowns.

(from Why Childcare Matters to Iowa Businesses)

OEDC welcomes the Ottumwa, IA School District’s plan for shared childcare and preschool services with Sieda at the new Early Childhood Learning Center located at the former Pickwick Elementary site. Great Job!

robotWhat jobs could look like in 2040

We've all heard that many jobs are being eliminated by the rise of automation. But let's look at those that will be created, says the Institute for the Future (IFTF). The IFTF said 85% of the jobs in 2030 will, in fact, be new. And in 2040, “the workforce may be totally unrecognizable,” notes Yahoo Finance. Some of those jobs could include virtual store manager, robot mediator and drone traffic controller.


Ladies Night Out on April  20

Did you know that there were over 1500 people at Ladies Night Out on April  20th? Each year, this event become more popular, and the downtown merchants get even more creative with their displays, themes, and prizes. Sponsors for this year’s event included Bridge City TV & Appliance and South Ottumwa Savings Bank, with evening activities at the Market on Main and Hotel Ottumwa.  Thanks to everyone who came out to enjoy this very special time on Main Street!

halloweenJanuary 2018

While it may seem like a strange time to be thinking about Halloween, the fun fact that may surprise you is that Halloween spending is second only to Christmas retail figures. Halloween retail spending was projected to be $9.1 billion in 2017; up from $8.4 billion in 2016. That's a new record. So is the number of people celebrating at 179 million. They will spend $86.13 each, another record.

One reason is that Halloween is a very affordable holiday. It doesn't cost as much as Christmas or Thanksgiving and is still lots of fun. Part of this is a permanent shift to thrift that occurred during the Great Recession. Shoppers are willing to spend money on something if it provides a lot of value. Halloween does that.

Another reason is that consumer confidence is at its highest level in 10 years. People aren't letting the uncertain state of the global economy scare them away.

Source: National Retail Federation

dr. pepper snappleNovember 2017

Once again, OEDC was pleased to arrange an industry tour for Congressman Loebsack. On October 17th, Dr. Pepper Snapple Group’s new plant manager Brett Denney, Operations Manager David Fernandez, and HR Manager Stephanie Dixon welcomed Loebsack back to see a facility he hadn’t toured in over six years. Much has changed. The decommissioning of an old canning line is making room for “what’s next” in the Dr. Pepper business model. Denny says this is a good move for them, and one that helps them maintain a ranking of 9 out of 23 production centers across the United States.

In addition to their iconic brands Dr. Pepper and Snapple, they also produce brands such as DejaBlue and FIJI water, 7up, A&W Root Beer, Sunkist, Hawaiian Punch, Venom Energy, YooHoo, and Rose’s Lime Juice, to name a few. For more information, visit: www.drpeppersnapplegroup.com

    jbs logo"Fry, Moore, Bacon"

    During the week of January 30th, Iowa Rep. Rob Bacon of Slater was able to get House colleagues Tom Moore and Joel Fry to collaborate on a resolution to honor Iowa's pork producers. House Resolution 3 was introduced by "Fry, Moore, Bacon" and passed on a voice vote.

    JBS, Ottumwa, IA's largest employer, produces more than 6 million 8-ounce servings of pork per day, and more than 1 billion pounds per year. Here are some interesting facts:

    Plant Capabilities:

    • Harvests and processes about 4.65 million market hogs per year
    • Employs 2,482 people in both salaried and hourly jobs
    • Produces 2 million pounds of bacon per week!


    During the year 2016, City of Ottumwa, IA spent $3.8 million in road improvements, including patching 7,187 potholes.



    “It’s Photography of Iowa, the People of Iowa"

    Ottumwan Michael W. Lemberger, a lifelong photographer and historian, died in 2016 at the age of 74. He left a collection of 1.5 million images, including his own work and historic photos from the 1880s through the early 21st century. Included are images from around the world and the nation, including ten US presidents, as well as a broad range of illustrations of Iowans and Iowa. Learn More

    iam agtech


    IAM AGTECH will soon offer a Dept. of Labor-recognized Registered Apprenticeship (RA)program. This program will utilize Related Training Instruction (RTI) from Indian Hills Community College’s Laser and Electro-Optics Technology program. Most importantly, it offers future employees/apprentices’ on-the-job training and paid wages while they learn. IAM AGTECH is committed to bringing precision optics-based  technology measurements to the agribusiness industry along with other future applications. They are confident that the RA program can provide skilled, qualified candidates for this high-tech organization.

    IAM AGTECH founder Dr. Dominic Murphy is an international award-winning technologist from Ireland with a passion for innovation. IAM AGTECH ‘s proprietary field instruments provide measurements for early detection and intervention across soil, feed, and dairy applications.


      OEDC is a Public-Private Partnership

      It might come as a surprise to many who don’t know that OEDC is a public-private partnership, with financial support coming from business, industry, government, and individuals.

      In fact, over the past four years, the average tax support was only 37%.  And with a staff of 2 full-time equivalents (including CEO, Executive Director, receptionist, accounting), the OEDC budget for FY 2018 is around $187,000.

      OEDC provides return on investment in the form of business recruitment, industry retention, land development, and marketing services. It also provides a bi-annual Laborshed Report, is part of two regional and one statewide economic development organizations, and supports both Educator in the Workforce and C3 workforce readiness teams.

      job corps

      Job Corps

      Ottumwa’s center is rated 7th out of 124 in the nation!

      Ottumwa Economic Development Corporation 217 East Main Street Ottumwa, Iowa  52501
      Phone 641-682-3465 Fax 641-682-3466 info@ottumwaiowa.com