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C.R. Metro Economic Alliance Annual Meeting, celebrates success and paves path forward

Over 1,000 people attend the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance Annual Meeting. (CBS2/FOX28)

The Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance Annual Meeting brought more than a thousand members of the business community to the Double Tree Convention Center on Wednesday.

The organization took the opportunity to remind member of their mission, to foster economic diversity, growth and prosperity in the region.

They highlighted their successes of 2017 including an increase in member engagement.

Their goal was to involve 75% of their 1,203 members in at least one program, event, service-project, committee or substantive one-on-one discussion with Alliance staff and they exceeded that goal reaching 93%.

They also celebrated their work in helping to develop a workforce that can meet regional demands and create further growth.

Economic Alliance, Executive Director Doug Neumann says that growth counts on new companies coming in but also depends on building what we already have.

"A lot of the strength in the growth of an economy comes from the expansion of existing business, so we also have a team that's working very hard on existing business relationships and being sure that those companies that are poised for growth are able to grow right here in Cedar Rapids and in the entire region," says Neumann.

The Economic Alliance also shared today's stage with Corridor Development, a joint venture between the Economic Alliance and the Iowa City Area Development Group.

They announced the start of a three-year goal to attract at least 15 new companies, create a minimum of 700 new jobs and bring in $60 million of commercial capital investment.

Corridor Development, Board Chair, Lydia Brown says it will be critical for the region to work together to hit those marks.

"Depending on where you want to live depending on where you want to work depending on where you want to have your site there are options all up and down the Corridor and it really has allowed us to create an environment where we're stronger together,”

Corridor development say regional work gives prospective companies a broader picture of what the corridor has to offer.

They also announced plans to unveil a new a new regional marketing campaign sometime this March.

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