PROJECT BETTER TOGETHER
Project Better Together aims to build a transformed future for our community with greater economic diversity, growth, inclusivity, resilience, and well-being for all. Led by The Iowa City Area Business Partnership, Iowa City Area Development Group, Think Iowa City, and the Iowa City Downtown District, this community-wide recovery effort includes leaders from the four partner organizations, all three hospitals, the school district, area non-profits, social services, private business, and elected officials from all levels of government.
To help drive the work it will take to achieve these goals, the four organizations announced the appointment of former President & CEO of the Iowa City Area Development Group, Mark Nolte, to serve as Director of Project Better Together. Under Nolte’s leadership and strong back-end support from the four partner organizations, Project Better Together will begin by working with the network to quickly identify an organizational framework that is built on the following three pillars.
Affordable Child Care
Currently, Iowa has one of the worst rates of accessibility to quality child care with a shortfall of 361,677 child care spaces throughout the state. In Johnson County, that shortfall is almost 13,000 spaces, and about 50-70 children are on a waitlist at the Neighborhood Centers of Johnson County at any one time. It is clear to see that there is a crisis occurring, and that is why we have partnered with the Iowa Women’s Foundation to help solve this problem. In September 2019, we hosted the IWF for a Child Care Solutions Summit. From that summit, several teams of Johnson County stakeholders, including members of the Business Partnership & ICAD Group staffs, formed around the areas of Building & Expanding Childcare Centers, Child Care Entrepreneurs, Businesses & Child Care, and Before & After School Programs. These teams are working to address these issues, and are reporting back to the Iowa Women’s Foundation on a regular basis.
innovation in education
It’s finally time to present the 2020 Innovation in Education Awards! Congratulations to all of our winners, and thank you to the co-presenter of this event, Iowa City Area Development Group!
Our winners come from across the Iowa City area, including Northwest Junior High School, Regina Catholic Education Center, Willowwind School, West Branch High School, Hancher, and Foundations in Learning. Join us in celebrating them by watching the video below! Watch the awards video.
Buy Here is a local economic development initiative of the Iowa City Area Business Partnership to strengthen our local economy through increased business-to-business purchasing. If every business in Johnson County shifted just 5% of their out-of-area spending, the change would result in approximately $95 million for our community. The program has brought over $6 million into the Johnson County area.
2017 One District. One Bond. Campaign to Pass the ICCSD General Obligation Bond
The Business Partnership, then known as the Chamber of Commerce, lead the charge to pass the 2017 General Obligation Bond for the Iowa City Community School District. We supported the passage of this bond because it aligns with our mission of fostering a better business environment. Many employers in our area cite recruiting and retaining talent as their number one challenge. Improvements to our schools’ infrastructure is necessary to attract the skilled workforce needed today and train the workforce of tomorrow.