The retired CEO of a major Cedar Rapids employer believes a merger of economic development organizations in the Corridor to form a single regional identity could happen “if we can get the right people together.”
Pat Baird, former president and CEO of AEGON USA (now Transamerica), facilitated a Nov. 19 meeting requested by investors of the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance and the Iowa City Area Development Group.
The goal of the meeting, which involved the executive committees and investors of both organizations, was to determine “how to be better together,” said Chuck Peters, ICAD board chairman. “We need to rethink how we do economic development.”
Baird said participants at that meeting primarily discussed whether thinking regionally is really a net win for the Corridor. “We asked two questions,” Baird said. “‘Can you do the same functions for less, or can you do more for the same? If we hold ourselves out as a region with more population, amenities and attractions, will we get noticed by more radar companies looking to locate somewhere?’
What do you think? Would promoting our region instead of individual communities be a better approach to economic and job development?