Regional Plan


The final report has been released! Learn about our ambitious and exciting plans for the future.

The final report presents the outcomes of the East Central Iowa comprehensive economic development strategy (CEDS) planning project. This project was termed ‘Envision East Central Iowa’ and the outcome is a new economic development strategy that will guide regional decision-making over the next five to ten years.


This report lays out the agreed future vision, value proposition, and strategic positioning for the East Central Iowa region. It identifies the key strategic actions and priorities needed to achieve the preferred future.

  • SIGNIFICANT APPETITE TO THINK BIG AND TAKE ACTION – Throughout the planning process, regional stakeholders have worked together to identify an ambitious future regional vision, which represents significant change from the current trajectory. There was recognition that the region has the potential to become a nationally and globally significant region. The institutional partners in the project have shown a keen willingness to step forward and be part of the implementation process and demonstrated a collective desire to move forward together.
  • STRONG DESIRE TO BUILD AN INNOVATION FOCUS – A key strategic lever for the region’s future is building a strong innovation focus. This plays to existing regional strengths and leverages the current capacity for human knowledge creation and educational technology. The optimal future pathway was identified as applying this innovation focus to existing industry clusters to build industrial diversification, and simultaneously applying it to spur new entrepreneurial activity and business creation in promising emerging sectors.
  • WILLINGNESS TO BE A LABORATORY OF LEARNING – Workforce capacity is a critical issue for all regions. East Central Iowa has identified a unique desire to ‘lean into’ the workforce and social evolution dimension and tackle the grand challenges of today’s society. There is willingness and desire to see the regional community evolve to intentionally foster new ideas, cultures, and experiences. The desired outcome is to build a thriving diverse regional workforce, that can actively lead in workplace and workforce transformation.
  • FOCUS ON CREATING SHARED PROSPERITY AS A FOUNDATIONAL STEP – The planning process has identified creating and expanding pathways for shared prosperity as the highest short-term priority. There is a desire to address disparities and remove barriers to individual and family prosperity and success. The regional stakeholders have embraced a future value proposition of being a community that welcomes, absorbs, and nurtures people. This represents a broad new approach to attracting people, by creating an inclusive regional community that values equity and diversity.


For more information about ECICOG’s CEDS Project, visit or contact:

Karen M. Kurt, Executive Director ECICOG
East Central Iowa Council of Governments
Phone: (319) 365-9941 Ext. 122