2016 Economic
Impact Snapshot


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Iowa Lakes Community College

Testimonials

  1. “I have had the opportunity to speak at two Kossuth/Palo Alto County Economic Development Breakfasts over the past 3 years and each time I am impressed by the vitality of this group of communities. The premise of my talk is always about the Quality of Life that we share, and too often take for granted, in the State of Iowa, and my optimistic call to action is always warmly received by this group of business leaders from these counties. I have given my presentation all around the state but it is the enthusiasm (and attendance!) that welcomes me in Kossuth Palo Alto that makes me look forward to every visit. Economic vitality, commitment, compassion and hard work are alive and well in Kossuth and Palo Alto Counties. My thanks go to Maureen Elbert and everyone who has dedicated themselves to making their communities and the state of Iowa shining examples of Quality of Life.”
    - Gary Kroeger, Former actor/Current Creative Director, Mudd Advertising, Cedar Falls, Iowa
  2. “Our business involves working with dozens of economic development groups across the Midwest. The most successful programs work very diligently to maximize their limited resources for maximum results. Our experience shows us that a model for this maximizing is found in the Kossuth County Economic Development Corporation. We have been continually impressed with the dedication and drive of the organization to truly make a difference for their county. Their materials, presentation and attention to detail have made them a respected member of the economic development community.”
    —Irv Jensen, Bob Henningsen, Smart Solutions Group
  3. “Thank you for the great newsletter about KCEDC and particularly the intern program. What a fine job you are all doing! We appreciate your organizational skills to benefit all North Iowa and all Iowan’s.”
    —Marcella R. Frevert, State Representative
  4. “The Kossuth County Economic Development Corporation office provides a great resource of information to further economic development in the county. Their efforts have proved instrumental in new business development and in the expansion of existing business.”
    —Daron Wilson, General Manager, Voyager Ethanol, LLC
  5. “KCEDC has done a tremendous job with our expansion plans for Aluma, Ltd. in Bancroft. Maureen and her staff have done a wonderful job searching out programs that we can utilize for our expansion and keep our facility in Bancroft. Kossuth County is being represented well by the efforts of KCEDC.”
    —Mike Lloyd, President, Aluma, Ltd.
  6. “Economic development is key to the survival of Kossuth County. The recent success and support of economic development in our area could not have been achieved without KCEDC. Now, more than ever, continued support from each community in Kossuth County and the leadership of the Kossuth County Board of Supervisors is essential for an ongoing collaborative effort towards economic development – KCEDC is the organization that unites that effort for our area.”
    —John Bilsten, General Manger, Algona Municipal Utilities
  7. “An organization without a purpose is like a ship without a rudder. KCEDC has a clear and well-defined mission. The organization is working with its members and economic development partners to establish plans and implement priorities that will make Kossuth County a better place to live, work and raise a family. KCEDC needs and deserves your support.”
    —Rand M. Fisher, President, Iowa Area Development Group
  8. “We support and appreciate the economic development and community development efforts of the Kossuth County Economic Development Corporation. The initiatives developed by KCEDC –business retention and expansion, industrial recruitment, workforce development, tourism, and ag development to name a few – produce results that bear dividends well into the future. KCEDC’s successes demonstrate that much can be accomplished through teamwork, energy, enthusiasm, and professionalism.”
    —Larry N. Nelson, Manager-Economic Development, Alliant Energy
  9. “KCEDC has good vision for agricultural, manufacturing, and technological growth in Kossuth County. MaxYield Cooperative is very active in pursuing value added enterprise and bringing new employees and families to this area. We appreciate KCEDC’s support of growth opportunities that benefit not only our membership, but the entire county.”
    —Joseph K. Anniss, General Manager, MaxYield Cooperative
  10. “We want to again thank the people of Kossuth County for their support of the MGP ethanol plant. The purchase of supplies and services during construction is already having a positive impact in the area. Thanks to KCEDC for helping MGP in the development stage. We know we can count on their assistance as the business grows and as we continue developing the MGP Industrial Park.”
    —Dan Hernandez, Past General Manager, Midwest Grain Processors, Lakota
  11. “Since we have been located in Algona, IA, it is critical to be able to recruit individuals to this area for employment. The leading efforts being made by KCEDC to recruit young people to Kossuth County will be a tremendous contribution to our business as well as many others in the county. I have encouraged many companies in the area to utilize KCEDC in their recruiting efforts.”
    —Conley Nelson, Finishing Manager, Prestage-Stoecker Farms, Algona
  12. “Kossuth County Economic Development Corporation provides an excellent partner for the Algona Area Chamber of Commerce. We work together to promote our area to visitors through calendar of events listings, community celebrations and attractions, in addition to seminar opportunities. We are aiming toward the same goal and combining resources makes both organizations stronger.”
    —Vicki Mallory, Executive Director, Algona Area Chamber of Commerce
  13. “The community colleges in Iowa serve as the largest single industrial training vehicle in Iowa. It has been my pleasure to work with Maureen Elbert and her capable staff in reviewing the training and education needs of Kossuth County. Her leadership has afforded Iowa Lakes Community College the opportunity to participate in many economic development activities, the regular meetings of the Kossuth County CEO group, and her organization has served as a sounding board as the college attempts to find new approaches to serving the needs of the businesses and individuals in Kossuth County. We look forward to continuing this mutually beneficial, professional relationship.”
    —Michael Hupfer, Past President, Iowa Lakes Community College
  14. “The increased financial support of economic development by the Kossuth County Board of Supervisors and the overwhelming majority of voters who clearly indicated economic development efforts must be a priority in Kossuth County (as evidenced by the MGP Ethanol Plant Vote) is a very positive sign for our area. The momentum continues with the sale and expansion of AFECO to COZZINI. These successes will build momentum as Kossuth County becomes recognized as a county that realizes that these efforts are critical to a future of optimism and growth.”
    —Harold D. Prior, Ph.D., Past Superintendent of Schools, Algona Community School District, Algona
  15. “Attracting college graduates to work in local businesses is vital to the future of our county. Maureen Elbert and the entire KCEDC staff have shown leadership and dedication working with the Internship Committee in the development of the internship program in Kossuth County. KCEDC received state recognition and grant money for the innovative program, which serves as a model for other counties in Iowa. KCEDC’s continuing efforts to attract people to this area helps existing businesses in expansion efforts.”
    —Marilyn A. Deal, SPHR, CPCU, AIM, AIS, Vice President, Human Resources, Pharmacists Mutual Insurance Company
  16. “One of Kossuth County’s biggest misfortunes is the great amount of students that leave the area each year to get a college education and then take their talents elsewhere. The KCEDC is using a quality Intern Program to uncover opportunity for both businesses and college kids to become familiar with one another. Through this program Maureen and her staff are giving businesses employees that are more qualified and better educated.”
    —Shannon Krapp, Summer Intern, Pharmacists Mutual Insurance Company
  17. “The city of Algona strongly supports the economic development efforts of KCEDC. Everyone in Kossuth County must do his/her part in providing a positive climate to attract new business development and help our existing businesses expand. In a positive climate we can all succeed in making a bright future for our county.”
    —Lynn R. Kueck, Mayor, City of Algona
  18. “I believe that Kossuth County Economic Development Corporation is a valuable partner for businesses in Kossuth County and surrounding areas. They have been very helpful to our company when we needed help in any way.”
    —Ken Banwart, CEO, Country Maid, Inc., West Bend, Iowa
  19. “The engine of progress in Kossuth County the past few years has been KCEDC. Maureen and her staff have successfully organized volunteers and coordinated programs that have led to economic development benefiting our citizens. Continuation of this success is dependent upon the financial support of our city and county governments in conjunction with the funding and manpower of private businesses. Working together we can succeed!”
    —Ed Berg, President & CEO, Pharmacists Mutual Companies
  20. “The work ethic of Kossuth County residents is driven by our aspiration to provide opportunities and quality of life for our families. The KCEDC mission of job retention and business development runs parallel to these aspirations to preserve the opportunities we enjoy for our future generations. The efforts the KCEDC staff and board make in pursuit of this mission are a direct investment into the future of Kossuth County.”
    —Jim Conard, President, Northwest Federal Savings Bank, Algona
  21. “Positive growth can only be achieved by positive people. Kossuth County can be proud of its Economic Development Group and leadership of Maureen Elbert.”
    —Donald E. Schiltz, President/CEO, KOFAB
  22. “We have often had occasion, and have always been able, to call upon the Kossuth County Economic Development (KCEDC) organization and its Director, Ms. Maureen Elbert, for assistance with myriad economic development projects involving the community of West Bend and the surrounding area. Maureen and her staff have labored tirelessly to bring the “acres of opportunity” in this region to fruition—not immediately, not overnight, and not as soon as we all might like, but certainly as soon as possible. Maureen and company are seized of a strong sense of the possible, and of the power of the possible when somebody, like themselves and the communities in this area working together, does something about it. The KCEDC group, under Maureen’s direction, is especially gifted in this regard, and is truly deserving of recognition for its accomplishments, but even more importantly, for its indefatigable efforts to instigate, encourage, and sustain economic growth, whether or not these efforts meet with instant success and/or produce tangible results. Thanks for all you have done and continue to do, and may the force of common economic cause be with you for a long time to come.”
    —Peter Nessen, Coordinator, West Bend Economic Development
  23. “Thank you for asking me to write a testimonial in support of the Kossuth County Economic Development Corporation. But, I feel I should actually be writing you a Thank You note instead. This spring when this stay-at-home mom had an IDEA for a consignment educational resources bookshop (and a million questions) you at KCEDC had the ANSWERS! I truly appreciate the time you took to answer my questions and guide me in finding the right people to speak with to insure I was starting my new business right! Your enthusiastic staff encouraged me in this unique dream I had, and now it is a reality! Thank you very much for making this very NEW experience a very PLEASANT one.”
    —Cindi Wachholz, Owner, Open Door Book Shop, Ottosen
  24. “The demographics of Kossuth County continues to be the major challenge. KCEDC has grown to be a major force in developing new businesses and retaining sufficient work force necessary to meet the economic objectives. Maureen Elbert and staff have shown leadership and generated the background information required to forge a successful public/private partnership.”
    —William D. Mullins, President, Security State Bank
  25. "We want to again thank the people of Kossuth County for their support of the MGP ethanol plant. The purchase of supplies and services during construction is already having a positive impact in the area. Later in 2002 when MGP starts to hire people and begin operations, the benefits will be even greater. Thanks to KCEDC for helping MGP in the development stage. We know we can count on their assistance as the business grows."
    —Brad Petersburg, Project Coordinator, Midwest Grain Processors, Lakota
  26. "Through the coordination that KCEDC can provide to foster the retention of existing and prospective businesses, KCEDC will only enhance economic growth and unity within Kossuth County."
    —Sandy and Kurt Welp, Welp, Inc., Bancroft
  27. "The KCEDC office has served as a tremendous catalyst to furthering efforts of the Kossuth county business community to make the many opportunities that exist here known to prospects. The efforts lead by the KCEDC have clearly placed Kossuth County on the 'radar screen' for many businesses and organizations looking for expansion and growth opportunities."
    —Scott Curtis, Administrator/CEO, Kosssuth Regional Health Center, Algona
  28. "Economic development for our area is a common goal for both AAEDC & KCEDC. It has been essential for us to partner with and utilize the services from the KCEDC office. We look forward to more opportunities to work together as we continue to improve the economic environment of north central Iowa."
    —Blair Redenius, Past President, Algona Area Economic Development Corporation
  29. "The thorough explanation of programs available to us, and the excellent assistance offered by the KCEDC are among the reasons we are comfortable in expanding our business in Kossuth County."
    —Ivo Cozzini, President, COZZINI, INC., Chicago, IL
  30. "Bishop Garrigan Schools wants to thank Maureen Elbert and KCEDC for their effort and vision to provide business opportunities for Kossuth County and this region. This will in turn provide careers for all of us and assist in attracting and retaining our young people to live and raise families in this attractive area of the world."
    —Eugene Meister, President, Bishop Garrigan Schools, Algona
  31. "Because of the very positive efforts of KCEDC coordinating all of the other necessary organizations needed to put together a very good incentive package, we were able to convince our new owners to expand our facility in Algona and double the size of our facility and our employment here. It is obvious that they are all dedicated to economic development and very conscious of the attributes of working with existing companies. Thank You, KCEDC. YOU ARE A GREAT HELP!!"
    --Jeffrey P. Christensen, Past General Manager of AFECO/Cozzini, Algona
  32. “Because agriculture is obviously the largest industry in Kossuth County and because I am on the management team of the largest farm cooperative in Kossuth County, it is easy for me to appreciate a viable and active economic development entity within the county. KCEDC has already demonstrated its ability to meld agriculture and industry into a single cohesive unit. I have every confidence that this effort will continue to grow and prosper.”
    —Creighton Nelson, MaxYield Cooperative
  33. "The largest single impediment to economic growth in north central Iowa is a lack of people. KCEDC through its Board of Directors and staff led by Maureen Elbert has shown leadership in attracting investment and jobs to Kossuth County. The public/ private sector partnership fostered and nourished by KCEDC is critical to our future prosperity. Great job. Lets keep the ball rolling."
    —Tom Larson, President, Iowa State Bank, Algona
  34. "The community of West Bend is always in motion-always striving to be innovative with the resources available. The most recent undertaking involved the construction of a 36-unit motel and conference center. With this challenge at hand, many aspects of the project needed additional assistance. KCEDC has always been eager and willing to guide and direct whatever path we are on at the time. I have really appreciated Maureen and her continuous encouragement and support. Thank you!"
    —Dawn Schmidt, Project Coordinator, Park View Inn & Suites and Conference Center, West Bend
  35. "The increased financial support of economic development by the Kossuth County Board of Supervisors and the overwhelming majority of voters who clearly indicated economic development efforts must be a priority in Kossuth County (as evidenced by the MGP Ethanol Plant Vote) is a very positive sign for our area. The momentum continues with the sale and expansion of AFECO to COZZINI. These successes will build momentum as Kossuth County becomes recognized as a county that realizes that these efforts are critical to a future of optimism and growth."
    —Harold D. Prior, Ph.D., Past Superintendent of Schools, Algona Community School District, Algona
  36. "I still remember receiving the first fax from KCEDC regarding the site search for the MGP ethanol plant. My thoughts basically were: 'What are the chances we will get MGP located anywhere near Kossuth County?' Look what has happened! In my mind, there is no way MGP would be in Kossuth County if Maureen Elbert and KCEDC weren't up and running to accommodate the needs of the MGP organizers. Kossuth County and KCEDC deserve the utmost in compliments for their dedication and tenacity in rising to the occasion of making MGP a reality for Kossuth County."
    —Charles A. Kennedy, President, Farmers & Traders Savings Bank, Bancroft
  37. "I cannot say enough good for KCEDC in their work and tireless efforts in helping attract MGP to our area and Kossuth County. Maureen and her staff have always been available for any help and questions we have had for the City of Lakota. They also have had many good ideas and follow-up on their ideas! God Bless America and KCEDC."
    —Loren Ehrich, Former Mayor, City of Lakota
  38. "A strong public and private partnership is critical to the success of our economic development efforts. A perfect example of this partnership in action is the total county-wide team effort to bring the Midwest Grain Processor's ethanol plant to reality in our county. KCEDC, under the exceptional leadership of Maureen Elbert, provided the vision, determination and drive which resulted in the creation of an 'effective partnership' to make this project happen."
    —Wayne N. Forgey, Past President, Northwest Federal Savings Bank, Algona
  39. "When Maureen Elbert, KCEDC director, learned of our building expansion plans, she took the initiative to contact us. Maureen spearheaded efforts to find grants and low interest loans using the North Iowa Area Council of Governments (NIACOG), Iowa Department of Economic Development, the City of Algona and the Algona Area Economic Development Corporation resources. She made it happen!"
    —Ed Berg, President & CEO, Pharmacists Mutual Companies
  40. "KCEDC has provided valuable assistance to our company in recruiting student interns. This has allowed us the opportunity for outreach similar to that of large corporations in obtaining new employees. KCEDC is a tremendous benefit for my company as well as our entire county."
    —Michael J. McNeill, Ph.D., President, Ag Advisory, LTD, Algona
  41. "In the interest of providing continuity to our clients in the future, we are hiring a winter intern to give young aspiring individuals the opportunity to experience professional life in our community while providing a future employee base for our firm. We appreciate KCEDC efforts in identifying the need to enhance opportunities for our future workforce."
    —Tom Erpelding, Managing Partner, Erpelding, Voigt & Co. LLP, CPA
  42. "KCEDC's efforts to secure MGP for Kossuth County cannot be overstated. This organization, under the leadership of Maureen Elbert, has done much toward uniting the county in drawing opportunities that benefit us all."
    —Gail Hamilton, Titonka Topic
  43. "KCEDC is a good partner of Iowa Lakes Community College to have since our college mission is to provide quality lifelong learning and promote economic development in the communities we serve."
    —Dr. Dave Nixon, Past Dean, Emmetsburg Campus, Iowa Lakes Community College
  44. "KCEDC has been our organization's link to the Iowa Department of Economic Development in Des Moines. Without KCEDC's help, the YMCA would not have received a $200,000 grant from the Vision Iowa CAT."
    —Scott Harris, Past Executive Director, Algona Family YMCA
  45. “We were able to expand our medical clinic with the help of a grant from Iowa Rural Health. Maureen set a meeting with these people and helped us obtain the information needed to apply for this grant. As Mayor of Swea City, I would like to say THANK YOU to KCEDC.”
    —Robert Baker, Past Mayor, Swea City
  46. “Over the 6 years we have been located in Algona, it is critical to be able to recruit individuals to this area for employment. The efforts made by KCEDC to recruit young people to Kossuth County will be a tremendous contribution to our business as well as many others in the county.”
    —Conley Nelson, Finishing Operations Manager, Stoecker Farms, Inc., Algona
  47. “It’s time for the citizens of Kossuth County to understand two very clear and stark choices facing them. Either support economic development and attract people to live in this wonderful area and pay taxes that support public and community services, or simply sit and watch the population base of our county and cities continue to erode, leaving our area with a diminished funding base for the support of critically important public services. The demographics are clear, the choices are clear, let’s act now in an affirmative fashion to secure the future for our young people.”
    —Dr. Harold Prior, Past Superintendent, Algona Community Schools, Algona
  48. “The KCEDC office and Maureen Elbert have been very instrumental in helping us get established in the motorcoach industry. This has lead to motorcoaches coming to our area and see what we have to offer which has directly lead to tourism dollars for our business and Kossuth County.”
    —Rodney Davis, Past General Manager, AmericInn Motels & Suites, Algona
  49. “Working with KCEDC has been a very positive experience for the Algona Family YMCA. Our organization would not have received a grant for a feasibility study if KCEDC wasn’t involved. Kossuth County is in a much better position to attract new corporations due to the effectiveness of KCEDC.”
    —Scott Harris, Past Executive Director, Algona Family YMCA, Algona
  50. “The leadership of KCEDC thinks not only of prospective residents and businesses, they also have the insight to help present residents and established businesses improve their investments with the assistance of low interest loans.”
    —Larry Hudson, President Buchanan Abstract Co., Algona
  51. “KCEDC has been instrumental in helping us obtain a training grant for the implementation of a material requirements program. This training has proved to be invaluable in our competitive market. The future of Economic Development in our County is vital to business. ”
    —Brian Buscher, President Sbemco International, Inc., Algona
  52. “KCEDC was a valuable resource for information to share with a prospective pastor for our church. The material that was provided made our packet informative and shows that Titonka and Kossuth County is a great place to live!”
    —Carol A. Heesch, Call Committee Good Hope Lutheran Church, Titonka, Iowa
  53. “What helped make the final decisions were, number one, the abundant supply of relatively low-cost corn and also the Northern Border pipeline for natural gas runs right by that site; and third, by strong support from Kossuth County (economic development and officials).”
    —Brad Petersburg, Project Coordinator, Midwest Grain Processors
  54. “KCEDC has had a direct bearing on two successful industries in our area. In my mind, there would be no MGP ethanol plant in Kossuth County if Maureen Elbert and KCEDC weren’t up and running to accommodate the needs of the MGP organizers. Aluma LTD is also doing a 50% expansion in 2005. Had we not had Maureen and KCEDC rolling up their sleeves on this, the expansion could easily have been lost to another county. Keep up the good work KCEDC!”
    —Charles A. Kennedy, President, Farmers & Traders Savings Bank, Bancroft
  55. “Demographic studies on state and national levels indicate that our country is aging. No where is this more true than in Iowa. One of the fastest growing segments of our population is those persons age 65 years of age and 80 plus years of age. The BABY BOOMERs will be approaching these ages in the next 10 years. For that reason, we as a county, must look at our cities and towns to see what types of services we can offer that will provide for the unique needs of our seniors. KCEDC and its Executive Director, Maureen Elbert, were very helpful in assisting Algona Good Samaritan Communities in proceeding forward with the construction of a 16 unit assisted living facility by helping us obtain an interest free loan from USDA Rural Development Grant Program. This brings federal dollars into our community to assist in the project’s funding. KCEDC is truly a partner and a friend to all of the county’s businesses.
    —John Kern, Administrator, Algona Good Samaritan Communities
  56. “I feel strong about the efforts and commitment KCEDC has put forth. With their office as a resource for start up businesses and existing businesses, our county can only gain from their passion for growth.”
    —Stacy Besch, Owner of Innovations Salon & Spa, Co-Owner of Eastland Hills Plaza
  57. “The dedication and relentless hours of work of KCEDC has brought numerous positive projects to Kossuth County. There is no way to measure all the good and certainly no way to express enough thanks for all the KCEDC has done for our county. Thank you and keep up the good work!
    —Jeffrey P. Christensen, Past General Manager of AFECO/Cozzini – Algona Facility
  58. “The way of progress is neither swift nor easy. It requires a strong organization and hardworking volunteers. Please continue to support KCEDC.”
    —Rand M. Fisher, President, Iowa Area Development Group
  59. “Economic Development in Northern Iowa has many challenges, funding, access to interstate highways, access to airports, qualifying for state programs and incentives, just to name a few. Ten years ago, Kossuth County was loosing jobs and we had little organization to stop that trend. Today, because of KCEDC, you see job growth and the slowing of trends that once brought vibrant communities down. KCEDC has put together an organization that will lead our County and Region into Sustaining Prosperity.”
    —Conley Nelson, Finishing Manager, Prestage-Stoecker Farms, Algona
  60. “Attracting college graduates to work in local businesses is vital to the future success of Kossuth County. KCEDC’s innovative, award winning internship program, which serves as a model for other counties in Iowa, attracts college students to our area. Interns gain valuable “real world” work experience, receive information on employers and employment opportunities, and enjoy a great quality of life in Kossuth County. Several of our current employees were former KCEDC interns who chose to return to Pharmacists Mutual following graduation.”
    —Marilyn A. Deal, SPHR, CEBS, CPCU, Vice President, Human Resources, Pharmacists Mutual Insurance Company
  61. “Economic development efforts in Kossuth County are critical to the future of our schools and other public and private enterprises. The KCEDC office, staff, and volunteers have made significant strides in creating one of the best economic development climates in Iowa. It is critical that all individuals in Kossuth County, including public officials, support the efforts of economic development financially and with their time and expertise. Failure to adequately support economic development efforts will allow a continuation of the population declines and erosion of tax base that are clearly happening today in Kossuth County. Let’s have Kossuth County be a shining example of how rural Iowa can be revitalized. If it can happen anywhere it can happen here!”
    —Harold D. Prior, Ph.D., Past Superintendent of Schools, Algona Community School District, Algona

 


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Kossuth County Economic Development Corporation
106 South Dodge Street, Suite 210, Algona, Iowa 50511
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Kossuth County Economic Development Corporation