Posts by Rachel Manfredi

Announcing Plans for a New Childcare Center

Mount Pleasant Area Chamber Alliance announces Plan for a New Childcare center

October 8, 2020

Today, the Mount Pleasant Area Chamber Alliance announced the formation of the Mount Pleasant Community Childcare organization to address the childcare needs in Mount Pleasant.

“Childcare is routinely recognized as one of the biggest challenges employees face when working in Mount Pleasant” said Executive Vice President Kristi Ray. Ray noted that Mount Pleasant has 1041 kids under the age of 11 and only 201 registered childcare seats. “It is very alarming that we have had a 51% reduction in childcare seats in our community in just the last five years.”

Mount Pleasant Community Childcare will be a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. The board will be going through a strategic planning process and writing a business plan for a new center. Once a location is established, they will look to hire an experienced and knowledgeable director and staff. One of the key components of a new center will address the need for afterschool care. The board is currently looking for an existing location in hopes of taking little ones as soon as the Spring of 2021.

Members of the Mount Pleasant Community Childcare Center include President Sarah Donnolly, Walmart Distribution Center; Vice President Kelsey Maynard, Iowa Wesleyan University; Secretary Kadie Johannson, KILJ Radio; Treasurer Mary Koontz, 5 Star Community Credit Union; Kevin Dameron, Steffes Group Inc.; Jordie Dingman, The Rec Center; Dawn Dunnegan, ISU Extension and Outreach; Lynn Humphreys, Henry County Health Center; Don LeBlanc, Retired Principal Mount Pleasant Community Schools; Jennifer Lehman, Concerned Citizen and Parent; and Jennifer Moutrie, Moutrie Trucking LLC. Tasha Beghtol, Early Childhood Iowa and Jodi Norton from Childcare Resource and Referral will serve as consultants on the project.

Anyone interested in more information about the childcare center should email The Mount Pleasant Area Chamber Alliance exists to improve the quality of life for Henry County residents through economic growth. The Chamber consists of 360 businesses, organizations, and individual members. In addition to the Chamber of Commerce, the Mount Pleasant Area Chamber Alliance includes the Mount Pleasant Area Development Commission, Main Street Mount Pleasant, and Henry County Tourism.

Recognizing the Mount Pleasant High School CTE Program

Mount Pleasant Area Chamber Alliance to Recognize Mount Pleasant High School CTE Program

October 8, 2020

Earlier this year, Governor Kim Reynolds announced 14 recipients of the Future Ready Iowa Employer Innovation Fund, a matching grant that helps employers provide postsecondary training and education opportunities for their employees. The Mount Pleasant Area Chamber Alliance was honored to receive a grant to purchase a new CNC Machine for the Career and Technical Education Department at Mount Pleasant High School.

On Thursday, October 8 at 3:30 pm at the High School, the Mount Pleasant Area Chamber Alliance will unveil the new CNC machine and will also present the CTE Department with a $2,000 check to further career exploration in trade industries at Mount Pleasant High School. Some of the CTE programs offered include culinary, photography and graphic design, business and finance, information technology, manufacturing, construction, building trades, and automotive.

“Entering a trade offers personal fulfillment, high salary potential, and job stability” said Kristi Ray, Executive Vice President of the Mount Pleasant Area Chamber Alliance. “We need students to study those trades now more than ever before”.

After presenting the check to the CTE instructors, the community will have the opportunity to see the new Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machine that arrived at the school over the summer. This $20,000 project was funded with $10,000 from the state grant, $5,000 from the school district and the remaining $5,000 was generous contributions from Cornerstone Building Products, Hearth & Home Technologies, Jabil, Lomont Molding, and Steffensmeier Welding.

The Mount Pleasant Area Chamber Alliance exists to improve the quality of life for Henry County residents through economic growth. The Mount Pleasant Area Chamber Alliance includes the Mount Pleasant Area Development Commission, the Mount Pleasant Area Chamber of Commerce, Main Street Mount Pleasant and Henry County Tourism.

Mount Pleasant Chamber Celebrating Manufacturing Week 2020

Chamber and Area Development Commission

Celebrate Manufacturing Week

October 5-10, 2020

“Mount Pleasant and Henry County have a long tradition of strong and stable manufacturing companies. It only makes sense that we take a few days each year to focus on their accomplishments and support of this community” said Kristi Ray, Executive Vice President of the Mount Pleasant Area Chamber Alliance.

The Chamber has four important activities planned for the week. Two of which will include exciting announcements directly related to the manufacturing sector. A press conference will be held on Tuesday, October 6 at 4:00 pm in Central Park in downtown Mount Pleasant for an important announcement addressing our childcare needs in Mount Pleasant. The second announcement will be held on Thursday, October 8 at 3:30 pm at Mount Pleasant High School where the Chamber will unveil new equipment designed to train our future workforce.

In Henry County, manufacturing accounts for more than 3,000 jobs.  Manufacturing Week celebrates those who proudly stand behind our goods and services in America.  Manufacturing businesses create jobs through entrepreneurship, and their competitiveness revitalizes American manufacturing.

The Mount Pleasant Area Chamber Alliance exists to improve the quality of life for Henry County residents through economic growth. The Chamber consists of 360 businesses, organizations, and individual members. In addition to the Chamber of Commerce, the Mount Pleasant Area Chamber Alliance includes the Mount Pleasant Area Development Commission, Main Street Mount Pleasant, and Henry County Tourism.

Iowa Wesleyan University Ranked as Best Regional College fro 2021 by U.S. News

Iowa Wesleyan University Ranked as Best Regional College for 2021 by U.S. News

Earns Top Rankings in Ethnic Diversity, Economic Diversity and International Students

Mount Pleasant, IA – September 14, 2020 — The 2021 U.S. News and World Report ranked Iowa Wesleyan University (IW) as a Best College in the Midwest.  Iowa Wesleyan’s diverse campus received multiple recognitions by U.S. News among regional colleges.

In addition to its overall ranking, Iowa Wesleyan ranked second for all regional Midwest colleges for the number of international students, boasting a student body representing over 30 countries. This is the third consecutive year in which IW has led Iowa in this recognition, adding to a global campus experience for all students.

Iowa Wesleyan was also ranked sixth for ethnic diversity, with 52% of IW’s enrollment represented and the only school in Iowa recognized.  Students who attend Iowa Wesleyan have the unique opportunity to live and study on a rural campus with a significant number of students from different racial and ethnic backgrounds.

This year, Iowa Wesleyan was also highly ranked for its commitment to provide educational access for all.  Iowa Wesleyan received recognition for its economic diversity, ranking sixth overall in the Midwest. Economic diversity has received growing attention in higher education as the country’s student population is more diverse than ever. Iowa Wesleyan is once again the only college in Iowa represented in this ranking. 

“Having our university recognized as one of the best in the Midwest reflects our commitment to fostering a student-centered community and providing an outstanding education that is accessible and affordable,” said Christine Plunkett, university president. “We are extremely proud of the students we serve, and we remain committed to our diverse campus. Rankings such as these validate our commitment to excellent educational experiences that prepare students to lead meaningful lives and careers.”

The U.S. News Best Colleges rankings, now in their 36th year, help students who plan to pursue a bachelor’s degree select a university. This year’s rankings considered several factors including graduation and retention rates; social mobility; faculty resources, which takes into account class size and faculty salary; peer assessment by other universities; financial resources; student excellence, which includes performance on standardized tests and high school class standing; and alumni giving. For more information about the rankings, visit


Iowa Wesleyan University Excels in Enrollment

Iowa Wesleyan University Excels in Enrollment during a

Challenging Year for Higher Education



Mount Pleasant, IA – September 7, 2020 — Iowa Wesleyan University (IW) surpassed new student admission goals with a fifth consecutive year of increased overall enrollment and a continued improved student retention rate.

IW’s enrollment has risen by a dramatic 13% this academic year alone, with 729 undergraduate and graduate students making this the school’s largest enrollment since 2011. By comparison, the average yearly increase in student enrollment over the previous five years was 5.5%. In addition, the Graduate and Professional Programs have experienced a 25% enrollment increase from last year. This year, the university also boasts a 63% retention rate for first-year undergraduate students who have returned this fall; this is a significant achievement following many years with retention rates below 50%.

Iowa Wesleyan University also claimed an unprecedented 54% increase over last year in new undergraduate domestic students. These 244 students represent 33 states across the United States, including Puerto Rico.  While the new international student enrollment dropped slightly due to pandemic-related restrictions, more than 65 international students returned from last year.  Overall, this is the university’s largest class of new students since 2009.

IW has been focused on strategically increasing its retention and persistence, most recently with the addition of a Student Success Center through the Office of Academic Success and Inclusive Support. These efforts have paid off.  Over the last five years, the university’s overall persistence has risen by 17%, and the retention of first-year students has improved by 31%.

“Over the past year, the IW community has paid increasing attention to the unique niche of students we serve,” said President Christine Plunkett.  “For most of our students, including many who are the first in their family to attend college, IW becomes a comfortable second home.  I am incredibly proud of the campus-wide effort put forth by our admissions, athletic, and student success staff and our faculty and other staff members to support each student from the moment they enroll at the university.  These remarkable increases in enrollment, retention, and persistence are a testament to those efforts.”

These impressive statistics for Iowa Wesleyan University come during a challenging year for higher education institutions across the country. With the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, many colleges and universities are seeing a decrease in enrollment. One of IW’s strengths has always been its small class sizes and rural campus, explicitly adding to its success during a global pandemic.  The addition of the Tiger Athletics Men’s and Women’s Wrestling Teams and a growing Football roster directly boosted the increased undergraduate enrollment.


Iowa Wesleyan University – As Southeast Iowa’s regional comprehensive university, Iowa Wesleyan University is a transformational learning community whose passion is to educate, empower and inspire students to lead meaningful lives and careers.

Crafts in the Park, Canceled for 2020

Crafts in the Park

2020 Show Canceled

We want to remind everyone that we are not holding Crafts in the Park this year due to the health and safety of our residents and guests. Unfortunately, someone has a facebook event named Crafts in the Park scheduled for this weekend in Central Park. That is not us and we have confirmed with the Parks and Recreation Department that no one has booked the park for this weekend. See you in 2021!


City Wide Garage Sale

Mount Pleasant City Wide Garage Sale

August 27-29, 2020

Mount Pleasant Area Chamber Alliance is hosting a City Wide Garage Sales and Shop Local Days!

We currently have over 60 garage sales and our local businesses are getting ready as well! Fliers will be available at the Chamber office after Monday. Stop by and get your brochure and register for a chance to win one of exciting door prizes. Don’t forget to wear your mask when you come in- we have a  prize for the most creative face mask!

The deadline to register your garage sale is Today (Friday, August 21st) by 5 PM. Please email or call the office at 319-385-3101 to get your garage sale registered!


Old Threshers Reunion Cancelled for 2020

Reunion Cancelled for 2020

This week, the Midwest Old Settlers and Threshers Board of Directors made the very difficult situation to cancel the 2020 reunion. While disappointing, we support this decision and will work with them to make 2021 the best reunion ever. In accordance with this decision, the Chamber will also cancel the 2020 Crafts in the Park. Please stay tuned for exciting ways that we can all celebrate our community in a safe and healthy setting later this year.

Mount Pleasant Iowa Pulse Poll

Main Street Mount Pleasant, in conjunction with Main Street Iowa, needs your help to assess the impacts of COVID-19 on Mount Pleasant as we enter and progress through the reopening and recovery phases. This quick survey takes about three minutes or less to complete. Your responses will be valuable to our efforts, and the efforts of Mount Pleasant businesses, to welcome you back to a clean, safe, and comfortable setting; and to strategize and prioritize actions as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic. All information is collected anonymously.

Click here to take the survey!

Mount Pleasant Improvement and Beautification Ideas

The Mount Pleasant Community Visioning Steering Committee has identified six areas for potential improvements and beautification efforts. Please take a moment to review the attached document of our preliminary ideas. These are not actual drawings as that will come once we gather your feedback. For now, please complete this important survey about which projects are most important to our community.  To take the survey, click here!

We will be gathering input from now through June 28 so feel free to share this PDF and survey with anyone that you think might be interested.

Click here to view the flyer with the project ideas!