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February 1st, 2011

Branstad unveils the new Iowa Partnership for Economic Progress

Governor Terry E. Branstad today unveiled the legislation to replace the current Iowa Department of Economic Development (IDED) with the Iowa Partnership for Economic Progress (IPEP). This will be a public-private partnership tasked with promoting and marketing our state to attract new investments and jobs.

The proposed legislation is found here.

The mission of IPEP will be: “To grow and diversify Iowa’s economy by encouraging the creation of high quality jobs for its citizens through business recruitment, retention, expansion and creation.”

Iowa Partnership for Economic Progress will function as a business and utilize the best practices of both the public and private sectors.

To address the spectrum of business attraction, retention/re-invention and new business growth, existing IDED functions will transfer to the new economic development authority and the Iowa Innovation Council will operate within the non-profit entity of IPEP.

Gov. Branstad highlighted that this model supports all aspects of a successful economic development portfolio; business attraction, retention/re-invention and new business growth.

The new model will enable the State of Iowa’s investment to be leveraged against private investment, while maintaining openness and transparency.  The IPEP model also utilizes the best practices of the public and private sectors, resulting in a more dynamic, results-oriented and accountable organization.

The new partnership will draw on the strengths of both the business and government sectors and will maximize the effort to attract more jobs and investment in Iowa. It also leverages private and public resources for programming and incentives that increases both the financial support and flexibility to meet the needs of businesses.

“The creation of the Iowa Partnership for Economic Progress is an important step forward in transforming Iowa’s economic development efforts into a culture of collaboration that removes roadblocks, eliminates redundancies and works proactively to create high quality jobs,” stated Branstad.  “The economic reality of the times is that business is global and fast paced and IPEP will be an organization that can keep pace with the speed in which business decisions are made.”

The legislation states that the new entity will be governed by an independent board of directors and chaired by Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds. IPEP will be led by Debi Durham, who is currently serving as director of the Iowa Department of Economic Development and is a successful, knowledgeable and experienced leader in economic development in Iowa.

With the new organization, the State of Iowa’s investment will be leveraged against private investment, while maintaining openness and transparency. Sound government principles of accountability, openness and transparency will be delivered.

“I look forward to being a part of Iowa’s economic development efforts and serving as chair of the IPEP board of directors,” stated Reynolds. “This is an important step for not only one state department, but all departments as we collectively work to provide quality jobs for Iowans.”

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