Strategizing for Ottumwa’s Growth
Friday, June 21, 2019
The Ottumwa Economic Development Corporation (OEDC) is committed to promoting the overall economic health of Ottumwa and Wapello County, IA. We undertake a range of economic development activities that contribute to building a strong economy and sustainable community.
Our staff and board of directors recently outlined a new set of Strategic Priorities to help guide economic development in our region:
Site Development and Preparation
In order to be competitive in attracting industry, OEDC prioritizes site development and preparation. We continually work to prepare industrial sites to meet the needs of prospective tenants and growing businesses through development and certification.
A prime example is the Helgerson Flats Industrial Center. The site was certified in March 2019 and includes more than 80 developable acres zoned for industrial use. Helgerson Flats is conveniently contiguous to Ottumwa’s existing industrial park and is suitable for businesses that complement machinery manufacturing, automotive supply chain, food & beverage processing, and warehouse & distribution. Find out more.
Target Industry Recruitment
Ottumwa and Wapello County have a strong manufacturing base. A 2018 study conducted by OEDC identified several target industries that can complement existing businesses and thrive in the area due to advantages like a central location, strong utility capacity and available, competitively-priced land.
OEDC is focused on assisting with the recruitment and expansion efforts these key target industries:
- Food & Beverage Processing
- Automotive Supply Chain
- Machinery Manufacturing
- Warehouse & Distribution
For communities across the country, workforce is one of the biggest challenges to growth. That’s why we’re working proactively to attract talent and increase the available pool of workers across high-demand sectors.
OEDC is part of a regional partnership that aims to recruit workers to southeast Iowa’s 10-county area as well as develop and educate our existing workforce. The collaboration includes economic developers, Indian Hills Community College administration, the Iowa Economic Development Authority, and others who identify this as a recruiting priority.
Business Expansion and Retention
Economic development isn’t just about business and talent attraction. It’s critical to ensure our region’s existing businesses and major employers achieve success and have growth opportunities. OEDC aims to strengthen Ottumwa area businesses. We work with business owners to problem solve and reduce potential barriers. We also assist business owners with exploring potential expansion or relocation opportunities.
Navigation Assistance for Financing Business Growth
OEDC staff are knowledgeable about business funding opportunities including a variety of local and state incentives available for qualified projects. We assist new entrepreneurs as well as existing businesses with identifying the right financial support for their current and ongoing project needs.