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LCEDG Kicks Off Capital Campaign

Jason Parrott
One of the highlights of the past five years for LCEDG was landing the Iowa Fertilizer Company plant near Wever. The organization kicked off its next five-year campaign, "Lee County 2023" this week.

The Lee County Economic Development Group kicked off its "Lee County 2023" capital campaign this week. The goal is to raise roughly $1.5 million over the next five years to fund local economic development efforts.

The organization said the campaign will focus on several goals.

  • 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 to new types of industries/technologies
  • Focus resources on communicating with key stakeholders in southeast Iowa.

Communications Manager Dana Millard said there are also some more specific goals for the capital campaign, including:

  • Create 600 new jobs
  • Secure $175 million in new capital investment
  • Conduct at least 720 site visits with existing businesses

“We know that 80% of our growth will come from our existing industry,” said Millard. “That’s why we have such a high contact goal with our existing industry.”
Millard said during the previous five-year capital campaign, LCEDG helped retain nearly 700 jobs and helped bring in more than $150 million in capital investment.

Ann Menke, one of the co-chairs for the capital campaign, said, " We have a great team of leaders who are passionate about moving things forward. Lee County 2023 represents a positive, productive roadmap for future growth and prosperity in Lee County. However, we can only be successful if businesses and other stakeholders step forward and provide financial support as well.”

LCEDG said the campaign is already more than halfway to its goal, having raised about $875,000 from 24 investors. It said the investors included businesses located in and around Lee County.

The money raised will be spent alongside public funding provided by local governments, with the bulk coming from Lee County.

Jason Parrott is a former reporter at Tri States Public Radio.