No time to slow down

The Gazette Editorial Board


Uncertainty. Belief. Happiness.

Richard Davis wove a message that connected all of those words. The CEO of Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp delivered it to a record crowd of nearly 900 in the new Cedar Rapids Convention Center on Tuesday. And he told the audience attending the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance annual meeting that our region, the Creative Corridor, has much going for it and is in good position when the so-far sluggish national recovery from the Great Recession really takes off.

Uncertainty: Davis says the national economy is poised to boom and the biggest thing holding it back is the nation’s collective uncertainty about what will come out of what has been a divided, political climate in Washington, D.C..

Belief: Davis said Creative Corridor leaders and residents proved their mettle by working together on massive flood recovery during the heart of the recession and modeling for the nation. We believed in each other.

Happiness: It’s not all about the money; it’s about having a positive outlook on the future — and Davis says we’ve got that here.

His speech tied in well with the Alliance’s plans for its third year of operation after the Cedar Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, Cedar Rapids Downtown District and Priority One combined forces on Jan. 1, 2012. They include a couple of major campaigns:

l A commitment of $750,000 to workforce recruitment. Already, job growth has come back to pre-flood levels but now is the time to seize the momentum with initiatives such as “There’s a job rush in Cedar Rapids and Iowa City” — see — and “Stay Here,” which targets graduates of Iowa colleges.

l Building Swagger — stepped-up marketing including commercials that brag about jobs and the quality and increasing diversity of life we enjoy in our region.

“Iowa humility has not been helping us,” Dee Baird, Alliance president, concluded. “It’s time to declare that we are special ... and spread the word.”

Let’s get on with it. Perhaps Congress will follow our example.

l Comments:

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