Linn County ranked highly to attract ‘4th economy' investment

Community-based development cited as factor for ranking

April 1, 2014 | 3:17 am

A Pittsburgh-based economic development consulting firm ranks Linn County No. 4 on its list of large U.S. counties ideally positioned to attract modern investment and managed economic growth.

The Fourth Economy Community Index, compiled by Fourth Economy Consulting, considers investment, talent, sustainability, place, and diversity when it ranks counties categorized by Census 2010 population. The firm contends the criteria serve as a foundation for future economic success.

Linn County, with a population of 213,875, is cited for "a sincere and heartfelt revitalization" in the aftermath of the June 2008 flood.

"The efforts of groups such as the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance have resulted in true community-based development," Fourth Economy Consulting noted. "A campaign entitled 'Signs of Progress' catalogs and markets the rebuilding effort, demonstrating a real push for change in the region."

The Pittsburgh consulting firm also pointed to collaboration as a key to the county’s improvement.

"A collaborative initiative between the county and the Greater Cedar Rapids region, aptly entitled the Community Development Grant Program, facilitates those alliances to approach large-scale projects," Fourth Economy Consulting added. "One such large scale project is creation of  'Iowa’s Creative Corridor,' a regional collaboration with Johnson and five other surrounding counties.

Polk County is ranked No. 8 on the Fourth Economy Community Index.

Fourth Economy Consulting contends the "fourth economy" characterizes the most recent phase of  the U.S. economy, combining the previous three phases of agricultural (1300 to 1700), industrial (1700 to 1900) and technological 1900 to 2000).

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