Congratulations to Kossuth-Palo Alto County Economic Development Corp. on their overall Business Retention and Expansion Program Gold Level Award presented at the International Economic Development Council in Indianapolis on October 15, 2019. This award honors economic development initiatives that focus on retaining and growing existing businesses within communities and regions. Applicants should demonstrate extensive cross-community collaboration and the ability to adapt and respond quickly to unforeseen events. This award recognizes effective, innovative BRE programs and initiatives.

Kossuth/Palo Alto Economic Development Corporation (K/PACEDC), under the direction of Maureen Elbert, Executive Director, has a comprehensive BRE program that conducted 167 BRE visits last year. The program includes an annual business survey, business call visits, economic impact snapshot, intern program, human resources networking committee, and Kossuth/Palo Alto County Leadership that are all critical programs and committees that address workforce issues to keep the region viable and assist with growing the workforce and future leadership pool.

K/PACEDC has developed workforce tools to assist the local economy and continues moving forward into their next stage of development by coordinating to retain and expand local businesses, educate leaders on available programs that could assist their workforce, and enhance the quality of their businesses.  A number of businesses in Kossuth and Palo Alto Counties have expanded or are planning to expand and hire additional employees. There is a need for available workforce and how to reach prospective employees and connect them to our employers.

Maureen Elbert stated, “K/PACEDC continues to work for the betterment of local business and industry, and build a strong network of professional services to support their economic activities and growth.  New businesses and expansions grow our area by having current data available, such as the business survey, economic impact snapshot, and available job openings. Current marketing pieces enable us to add to the current business population, create and retain jobs, and increase the tax base for our area.  Economic development is key to the survival of both Kossuth and Palo Alto counties.”

Elbert added, “We truly believe that Kossuth and Palo Alto counties are a smart and convenient fit for many new and existing businesses that may be starting up, looking to relocate or expand operations.  K/PACEDC is focused on creating an economic environment that promotes and supports Kossuth County and Palo Alto County businesses and communities in our area.”

Maureen Elbert, Executive Director of Kossuth/Palo Alto County Economic Development Corporation received the 2019 Jeffrey A. Finkle Organizational Leadership Award on October 14, 2019 at the International Economic Development Council in Indianapolis. This award recognizes an individual who has continuously lead the same public or non-profit organization with integrity, tenacity, and philanthropic spirit for at least 15 years. Maureen was recognized for her exemplary leadership and her desire to develop the leaders around her along with being an active participant with IEDC. Elbert’s ambition for business retention and expansion in Kossuth and Palo Alto Counties has proved invaluable for economic development in the area. Under her leadership, more opportunities for residents, students and families have opened and helped improved the quality of life in both counties. Maureen has been the Executive Director for 22 years.

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