Chamber

2021 State Legislative Agenda

Mount Pleasant Area Chamber Alliance
2021 State Legislative Agenda


Economic Development

A well-executed economic development program promotes job creation, enhances the tax base over the duration of the program, and allows local governments to incur debt in a sustainable manner. The Mount Pleasant Area Chamber Alliance supports:

  • Economic development programs that attract quality jobs, foster innovation and entrepreneurship, and existing business expansions.
  • Local control over TIF districts for continued utilization of dollars for both horizontal and vertical infrastructure development and its use as an incentive tool for job creation.
  • Continued support for the department of corrections including additional security personnel, technology and data support and treatment capacity.

 

Workforce and Housing

Iowa’s businesses are challenged to find qualified candidates with the appropriate skills who are ready to work. Efforts to attract applicants and to educate our future workforce about job opportunities is critical to our future success. The Mount Pleasant Area Chamber Alliance supports:

  • Fully funding the Future Ready Iowa Initiative.
  • Programs and incentives for communities that are marketing and recruiting outside of Iowa.
  • Strategies that leverage a variety of state and local resources to increase the number and variety of homes available in the region.
  • Iowa Jobs Training Programs (260E and 260F) that are administered by one of Iowa’s 15 community colleges which expand Iowa’s workforce through new employee training, increasing the employees’ skill set and improving productivity of employers.

 

Education and Childcare

Iowa must have an educational system that prepares students to succeed in a very competitive economy. With the cost of education increasing and standards decreasing it is important that Iowa’s educational system have a strong core curriculum to ensure that students are prepared for higher education and/or the workplace. The Mount Pleasant Area Chamber Alliance supports:

  • Action that will incentivize communities to address the need for quality and affordable early childcare.
  • K-12 funding that allows schools to certify budgets on time, is equitable across the range of Iowa’s diverse school districts and is at a level that is both appropriate and sustainable.
  • Policies to aid rural areas that are faced with high transportation costs for busing children to and from school.
  • Continued emphasis on STEM fields and Career and Technical Education.
  • Funding for the Iowa Tuition Grant and PSEO.
  • Resources to address the increasing instances of mental health among students at all levels of learning.

Healthcare

The health of our community is one of our greatest concerns, especially in the trying times that we are facing. Access to health care for everyone through public and private options is critical. The Mount Pleasant Area Chamber Alliance supports:

  • Efforts to consider Emergency Management Services (EMS) an essential service.
  • Continued funding of the cost adjustment factor for Critical Access Hospitals approved by the state legislature.
  • The passage of payment parity for providers for telehealth services.

 

Transportation and Infrastructure

An established transportation system that connects Southeast Iowa within the region and beyond is vitally important to our state. Addressing transportation and infrastructure concerns is necessary to continue everyday business and attract both companies and future employees. The Mount Pleasant Area Chamber Alliance supports:

  • Significant infrastructure investments to improve broadband connectivity statewide, especially in Iowa’s most rural areas.
  • Funding at the Iowa Department of Transportation for rail service into industrial parks and sites appropriate for rail projects.
  • Address a long-term, equitable solution to Iowa’s water quality challenge.

 

Tax Policy

Iowa’s tax code should encourage business growth, limit the size and costs of government, and reflect the principles of equity, neutrality, simplicity, and predictability. Continued exploration of tax reform and finding ways to alleviate the tax burden on Iowa employers it necessary. The Mount Pleasant Area Chamber Alliance supports:

  • Efforts to simplify and reduce corporate income taxes.
  • Allowing states to collect sales tax from out-of-state establishments on internet purchases.
  • Oversight of tax credits and programs that have a documented Return on Investment with clear objectives for growing the economy.
  • Fully funding existing budget obligations including tax credits and promised “backfill” to local government.

 

Quality of Life

Iowa must create attractive places for people to live and work by developing quality of life projects that leverage community assets. Community placemaking projects and recreational opportunities are vital components of Iowa’s workforce attraction and retention strategies. The Mount Pleasant Area Chamber Alliance supports:

  • New initiatives that center on rural business development such as entertainment amenities, restaurants, and retail.
  • Support funding for quality-of-life projects that directly correlate to business and employee recruitment and retention.
  • Funding for existing programs and consideration of new resources that promote “placemaking” including quality of life and the arts.

 

 

Contact Information

State Representative Joe Mitchell (R), District 84

joe.mitchell@legis.iowa.gov, (319) 461-9620

 

State Senator Jeff Reichman (R), District 42

jeff.reichman@legis.iowa.gov, (319) 520-8157

 

Kristi Ray, Mount Pleasant Area Chamber Alliance

kristi@mpiowa.org, (319) 385-3101

 

2019 Novel Coronavirus Pandemic Vaccination for Industry Webinar

2019 Novel Coronavirus Pandemic
Vaccination for Industry Webinar


IDPH has partnered with our peers at Iowa Economic Development (EDA) to host a vaccine webinar for business, industry, and agriculture. With the Microsoft Teams app, Iowa EDA is able to host up to 20,000 attendees. We think it makes sense to reach out to all of these audiences at the same time since many of their members will fall within the Phase 1b and 1c as defined by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. Please help us by distributing this invitation to your contacts and distribution lists. Local Public Health is invited to attend this webinar, we understand the short notice and have attached the slides for your review if unable to attend. Title: COVID-19 Vaccine Information for Business, Industry, and Agriculture When: Friday, January 8th, 2:30 – 4pm

Details:
 This event can be attended through the link http://covidvax.idph.live in any web browser
 If as an attendee you already use Microsoft Teams, you can choose to open it there, otherwise choose “Watch on the web instead”
 An account is not required, click on the “Join anonymously” option on the splash page in the browser.
 Questions may be asked in the Q&A chat window, and as time allows, presenters will address questions

 

View Vaccine Presentation Slideshow Here

Mount Pleasant Childcare Center Accepting Applications for Director

Mount Pleasant Childcare Center
Accepting Applications for Director


The Mount Pleasant Childcare Center Board of Directors is now accepting applications for Director of their new center. The Center Director must meet the guidelines as specified by the State of Iowa. Applicants must complete a Director Qualifications Worksheet which is available at the Mount Pleasant Area Chamber Alliance office at 124 S. Main or find the form below. For more information, contact Kristi Perry at the Mount Pleasant Area Chamber Alliance, 319-385-3101 or email kids@mpiowa.org.  The new center is scheduled to open in May/June of 2021. Mount Pleasant Childcare  Center is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. The Mount Pleasant Area Chamber Alliance is assisting the Mount Pleasant Childcare Center with this important community project.

Center Director Worksheet

Mount Pleasant Childcare Center Director

Covid-19 Response Update

Covid-19 Response Update


The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be a concern for our community. Now is not the time to let our guard down either at home or at work. On Monday, the Mount Pleasant Area Chamber Alliance hosted a Zoom call with the Henry County Public Health Department and Henry County Health Center. Thanks to everyone that joined us for that call. If you would like to watch a recording of the call, please use this link. This information will be very important for you and your employees as we all work together to keep our community safe.

Mount Pleasant Chamber Hosted Candidate Forum

Chamber Hosted Candidate Forum


As the General Election approaches, the Mount Pleasant Area Chamber Alliance is pleased to present the following election day information.

Candidate QuestionnaireHere, you will find information from the candidates running for the Iowa Senate, Iowa State Representative and Henry County Supervisors. We have posed a series of questions to each candidate pertinent to the business community. Please take a moment to read over the important responses from the candidates before you go to the polls.

Please VOTE on November 3 – No matter the result of any given election, lawmakers can see what matters to their constituents based on the number of votes cast. Our country’s founders and generations of women and men have fought long and hard for the right to vote. Please honor their dedication and efforts by exercising this hard-earned privilege. With every voter, our democracy becomes more representative and better able to serve.

For more information about the upcoming election, please log on to https://voterready.iowa.gov/.

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 http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges.

 

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!

 

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