Economic Development

Economic Development

UERPC serves as the Economic Development District for Northeast Iowa and has become the leader in stimulating economic growth.  UERPC provides the technical assistance necessary to develop comprehensive loan packages, business plans and financial packaging structured to meet the size and needs of each individual business.  UERPC has a $2,250,000 regional loan pool for business expansion and new start-up businesses.  In 1997, UERPC was designated as an SBA 504 Associate Development Company.  With this designation, the Commission has another long-term financing program available for area businesses.

Our services include:


For more information, contact Rachelle Howe or Diana Johnson.

Laborshed Studies for the NE Iowa Business Network Region (Cresco, Decorah, Elkader, Manchester, Oelwein, Waukon)

Laborshed studies are supply-side, labor availability studies. They provide community leaders, economic developers, site selectors and existing or prospective employers a flexible tool for understanding the workforce characteristics of their local labor market.

A Laborshed is defined as the area or region from which an employment center draws its commuting workers. It shows the distribution of these workers regardless of political boundaries.  Laborshed studies also address underemployment, availability of labor and likeliness of the employed or not employed to change or accept employment. Other topics covered within a Laborshed analysis include: current and desired occupations, wages, hours worked, job search resources and distance willing to commute to work. For more information regarding survey methodology please visit the Laborshed Survey Methodology or the Laborshed Studies Homepage

Northeast Iowa Business Network Action Plan

As part of the The Northeast Iowa Business Network (NIBN)'s grant with the U.S. Department of
Commerce and contract with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach (ISUEO)’s
Community and Economic Development (CED) program, an action planning session was performed to
examine themes drawn out from the primary and secondary data studies generated by ISUEO
CED. The process included visioning, identifying priorities, and strategic planning. Jane
Goeken and Eric Christianson, ISUEO community development specialists, agreed to organize
and facilitate a process that involved the following steps:

  1. Conduct a visioning and action planning session with stakeholders.
  2. Preparation of a final report including:
    • Participants’ vision for the Northeast Iowa area
    • Environmental scan
    • Development of a timeline and identification of a “champion” for each action step

In addition, other regional Field Specialists were tapped to review the data and action plan and
make further recommendations on similar programs and potential resources that may be of
interest to the NIBN group. Those recommendations are included in this report.

News Headlines

The September 2022 Newsletter is Here!

Posted: Mon, September 19, 2022

The UERPC September 2022 Newsletter is here! 

Highlights include:

  • YOU'RE INVITED! UERPC's 50th Anniversary Celebration on October 18th!
  • Mark Your Calendars for the Get Charged Up! EV Event! on October 13th!
  • Open House for Fayette County Housing Study on Sept. 22nd in Fayette
  • UERPC Announces Grant Awards for Transportation Projects
  • UERPC Attends Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals National Conference
  • UERPC Notices
  • Northeast Iowa STEM Festival is October 27th!
  • Funding Available through the Unified Hazard Mitigation Assistance Grant Program
  • Job-related Resources
  • September 5-2-1-0 Feature

Want to view the newsletter? Click here:  http://uerpc.org/newsletters.html 

Want to receive our newsletter in your inbox? Sign up here: http://uerpc.org/newsletters.html 

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Open house for Fayette County housing study Sept. 22 in Fayette

Posted: Fri, September 9, 2022

UERPC wrapped up a housing study this summer for Fayette County in collaboration with Fayette County Economic Development and Tourism (FCEDT). The goal of this effort was to identify housing needs and gaps to assist local stakeholders in finding solutions to current and future housing challenges.

All Fayette County stakeholders, residents, and community leaders are invited to join UERPC and FCEDT for an open house to learn about the completed study. The open house will be on Thursday, September 22, 2022, from 5pm-7pm at the Fayette Opera House in Fayette, Iowa. Attendees will have the opportunity to review the study and chat with representatives about how the study was conducted and how to best utilize the analysis for efforts to improve and expand housing in Fayette County communities.

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UERPC announces grant awards for transportation projects

Posted: Fri, August 19, 2022

Upper Explorerland Regional Planning Commission (UERPC) today announces more than $3.5 million in federal transportation grants for local projects, supporting more than $6 million in total project investments in the region.

UERPC is the designated Regional Planning Affiliation (RPA-1) for the northeast Iowa counties of Allamakee, Clayton, Fayette, Howard, and Winneshiek. Each year, the five-county region receives federal funding for diverse transportation projects that further the goals of RPA-1’s Long-range Transportation Plan. The RPA-1 Transportation Policy Board is responsible for evaluating grant applications and deciding which projects are awarded. Funding is typically awarded four years out (2026 for this round), but some projects received funding for 2023 and 2024 during this year’s application cycle.

The grants can support a wide variety of projects. Some address needed maintenance of the rural secondary road system, such as Fayette County’s pavement overlay project on W42/Juniper Road. Others, like the Main Street/IA-9 Corridor Vision Plan for the City of Lansing, support transportation planning efforts.

Funding also supports non-motorized transportation infrastructure, such as the City of Guttenberg’s Big Springs/Mississippi River Trail Connection; continued development of the Dry Run Trail in Winneshiek County; and an extension of the Turkey River Recreational Corridor trail east of Elgin into Clayton County.

The grants are funded by the Surface Transportation Block Grant (STBG) Program, and the STBG set-aside for transportation enhancements and alternatives. Continued and increased funding for these programs was enabled by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), also referred to as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, passed by Congress and signed into law last year.

Through these projects, RPA-1 seeks to advance the regional transportation goals set forth in the Long-range Transportation Plan. A complete listing of projects funded through the next four years can be found in the RPA-1 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) document, available at uerpc.org/transportation.html. Additional information about UERPC and Regional Planning Affiliation 1, including the region’s Long-range Transportation Plan, “Safe Mobility for Everyone,” can also be found at the link above.

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The August 2022 Newsletter is Here!

Posted: Wed, August 17, 2022

The UERPC August 2022 Newsletter is here! 

Highlights include:

  • YOU'RE INVITED! UERPC's 50th Anniversary Celebration on October 18th!
  • Mark Your Calendars for the Get Charged Up! EV Event! on October 13th!
  • Gov. Reynolds Issues Disaster Proclamation for Five Counties
  • Homes for Iowa Home Arrives in Fayette
  • NEIRHTF Accepting Applications
  • Homebuyer Educational Courses Offered
  • Back-to-School Transportation Safety:  It's the responsibility of each of us
  • UERPC Notices
  • Waukon and Lansing Residents and Business Owners:  Northeast Iowa Needs Your Help!
  • 5-yr CEDS Report Adopted
  • Funding Available for Upper Explorerland Regional Housing Authority Section 8 Program
  • Job-related Resources
  • The Walking and Biking School Bus Fall Season is Almost Here!
  • Keep Iowa Beautiful Photo Contest is Now Open
  • UERPC Employee Spotlight Board Brings Smiles and Spreads Kindness!
  • August 5-2-1-0 Feature

Want to view the newsletter? Click here:  http://uerpc.org/newsletters.html 

Want to receive our newsletter in your inbox? Sign up here: http://uerpc.org/newsletters.html 

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