Public Invited to Participate in Tri-County Economic Development Civic Forum

Written by Theresa Rose on September 17, 2015

Washington, Jefferson and Henry County residents’ are invited to take part in an upcoming regional economic development initiative. The Tri-County area was awarded an USDA Strengthening Economies Together (SET) Grant to explore closer economic ties between the region’s economies. The SET process will kick off with a public forum in the Union Block Building downtown Mt. Pleasant October 6th 1PM-5PM. Entrepreneurs, business owners, students, retirees, new residents and long-time residents alike are encouraged to take part in the process. Hearing from residents across the three counties at this initial meeting is essential to identifying critical issues and exploring practical solutions.

The initial civic forum will start things off by providing attendees with social-economic information on the three counties. Afterwards participants will discuss challenges and opportunities within the region. Topics will include; income, poverty, education, unemployment and the region’s aging population. This initial meeting will be followed by monthly focused discussions on specific topics such as industry clusters, agriculture, environment and other participant identified issues. RSVPs can be made at https://set-iowa.eventbrite.com or by emailing adam.plagge@growfairfield.com. Refreshments will be provided.

Follow-up meetings are scheduled on a community rotating basis at noon on the second Friday of each month through March. The SET Initiative is a 6 month collaborative project that provides hard economic data on the participating communities and a structured process to discuss regional challenges. Ultimately, the grant will culminate in a Tri-County project that will help strengthen economic cooperation between the communities.

Organizers include Mt. Pleasant Chamber Alliance, Fairfield Economic Development Association, Washington Economic Development Group, Iowa Wesleyan University, Pathfinders RC&D, USDA, Iowa State University Extension, Alliant Energy and Access Energy. For more information visit www.set-iowa.com.