It is hard to believe 2018 has come to an end. What a year it was.
Looking back at 2018, we can honestly say things are moving in a positive direction for Hancock County.
In January, HCEDC was invited to represent Iowa Area Development Group and Hancock County at the International Production & Processing Trade show in Atlanta, Georgia. There were over 1,200 exhibitors and 30,000 visitors. It was exciting to speak with people from all over the world about the benefits of living and working in Hancock County and Iowa.
Hancock County Economic Development was also honored to have the director of Economic Development Authority, Debi Durham, visit six county employers and then speak at the HCEDC annual dinner in April. The 2018 HCEDC Annual Dinner set a new record with over 200 people in attendance.
April as was also the month of the 2018 Hancock County Career Fair. This event brought in four school districts, 450 students and 52 businesses. It was a great opportunity to educate our youth about local business careers. Over 90 percent of our businesses rated the event above average and valued the time to get to know the students.
Hancock County Economic Development hosted two Executive Breakfasts in 2018. We invited James Hoelscher, CEcd – Institute for Decision Making to the first event to discuss Rural Competitiveness and the importance of Proactive Local Economic Development. In August, Erin Benko with Dale Carnegy came and spoke about the importance of being leaders at work and in our communities. HCEDC hosted four Lunch and Learns and two forums as well in 2018.
May was the start of our Hancock County Internship program which ran through August. We had 26 Interns sign up for the program. We offered seven events for our interns to network and learn more about our county.
Hancock County Economic Development did a website re-build. We are very pleased with the way it turned out. Check it out at www.hancockcountyiowa.com. HCEDC hosted two “first ever” events with the First Annual HCEDC Golf Outing and the Candy Canes and Cocktails- Make Contact Event. This was a great networking opportunity for our businesses leaders.
In 2018, Hancock County Economic Development worked closely with our communities by marketing commercial and industrial parks. HCEDC also participated in getting the approval of a Community Workforce Housing Loan that will bring in much needed housing to the area and a Lift Grant for a Rail Spur. This aided in a current business expansion and makes future business expansion more feasible. HCEDC allocated an additional $13,000 into our revolving loan fund and provided another business loan for a local startup business in Britt. This makes five outstanding loans that were given to help new businesses start up in Hancock County. We also provided three scholarships for entrepreneurs in Hancock County to attend Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center start up classes.
We envision Hancock County as a county that makes things happen, where existing businesses grow, where corporations, entrepreneurs and small businesses flourish and where new significant companies find a new home.
In addition, we envision Hancock County’s competitive position as greatly enhanced, where we have become a “community of choice” for current and prospective residents, companies, and investors and where our workforce is gainfully employed.