WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Lee County Campaign Already Deemed a Success

Aug 14, 2014

The Lee County Economic Development Group has already reached its goal for a capital campaign that it made public Thursday morning.

The organization has been preparing for the campaign for several years, meeting with consultants and potential donors.  It got into full swing, last year, with the silent phase.

The LCEDG's Dana Klesner said the silent phase was so successful that it exceeded the overall goal of $1,100,000 by nearly $100,000 with just 25 donors.

She said the organization wants that momentum to continue so the fundraising will continue.

"The more funds we are able to raise, the bigger the impact we are able to make," Klesner said.

The money raised will be used to fund a five-year strategic plan known as Lee County 2018.

Klesner says the plan focuses primarily on helping existing businesses.

  • Supporting existing industry expansion and retention
  • Developing effective efforts to attract skilled workers and expand training for existing workforce
  • Significantly expand outreach marketing of Lee County
  • Significantly expand outreach to new types of industries/technologies

The plan identifies four goals over the next five years.

  • Add 600 new jobs at an average wage of $19/hour
  • Realize $500-million in capital investment
  • Develop an effective industry expansion and retention program with contacts weekly
  • Work with our regional partners and educational institutions to facilitate an advanced technical training program accessible to every student and resident of Lee County

The list of donors to the capital campaign includes Iowa Fertilizer Company, Roquette America, Siemens Wind Energy and the cities of Keokuk and Fort Madison.