Branstad, Durham focus on Iowa economic development efforts - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Branstad, Durham focus on Iowa economic development efforts

SIOUX CITY (KTIV) - Both Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, and Iowa Economic Development Authority director Debi Durham, were in Sioux City for an announcement by Site Selection magazine, honoring Siouxland as the number one community in the nation for economic development.

The selection was announced at the Siouxland Industrial Roundtable luncheon on Monday, gathering nearly 250 local business executives and officials to discuss economic development in the state of Iowa, and in Siouxland.

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad says he has ambitious goals set for Iowa's economy, but ones he believes are attainable.
"I'm proud to say, we're well on our way. In the past three years, we've restored fiscal responsibility," Gov. Branstad said.
Part of Governor Branstad's five-year plan, starting in 2011, was to create 200,000 new Iowa jobs.

Right now, there are 130,000 new jobs in Iowa, but Governor Branstad says we have resources to hit the 200,000 mark, thanks to a legislature that's working together."Unlike Congress, which seems to always be in turmoil and fighting with each other and the President, I'm proud to say in Iowa that we've worked together, and we've worked hard. And the result is that Iowa is moving in a positive direction," Gov. Branstad said.

Director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority Debi Durham says she's pleased with the economic progress in Siouxland, specifically dealing with start-up technology businesses, but that there's still progress to be made."I'm so pleased to see that this area is really starting to focus on this innovation platform. There's no greater opportunity for wealth. Now, I will tell you that this is a long-term view; this is not something that's going to happen overnight. So you need to be committed to that going forward," Debi Durham said.

Durham also says that for Siouxland to recruit the younger generation to the workforce, infrastructure and recruitment strategies need to be changed. "The question is, are we building communities that want to attract this workforce, that knowledge worker, that creative class?" Durham said.

Governor Branstad agrees that there's more work ahead. "Indeed, our glass is more than half full, but we know there's more work to be done," Gov. Branstad said.

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