USDA Rural Business Grant
Monday, August 05, 2019
On June ____, OEDC was notified that it had been awarded a USDA Rural Business Development Grant from USDA. In April this year, a request for $69,4000 was presented to support two inter-connected programs- Talent Attraction and Business Attraction.
Talent attraction will... encompass a regionally-based marketing effort to get specific target audiences (both age and skills based) to consider a move to Southeast Iowa in pursuit of not only the quality jobs available in the area, but to enjoy a quality of place that includes amenities like short commute times, lower costs of living, and abundant outdoor recreation, to name a few. Ottumwa will participate with other economic developers in the 10 county region, as well as representatives from Indian Hills Community College. McClure has been selected as the project consultant. Other project contributors include OEDC, IHCC and Alliant Energy.
Business attraction will employ the use of specialized software to identify and qualify prospective industrial and commercial leads. "The Gazelle AI technology sorts prospects by pre-determined qualifications such as target industry, financial stability, expansion capacity, square footage requirements, and potential supply chain attributes. It's a subscription service, so the data is always updated and current; one of the most important features in the prospecting marketplace" says Sharon Stroh, OEDC Director. In fact, Gazelle.ai has become the fastest-growing AI-powered business intelligence platform for business and economic development according to industry reports.
"I'd like to give a quick shout out to John Ferrell at USDA in Albia, and Chris Bowers at Area 15 Regional Planning Commission, who were incredibly helpful in getting our submission through the process. We owe them a debt of gratitude for this award" adds Stroh.