Partners in Progress

Partners in Progress

A  Grant Program  of the IADG  Community  FoundationIADG Community Foundation Logo

For over thirty years at Iowa Area Development Group (IADG), and for better than a decade at IADG Community Foundation (IADG CF), we have worked to create, discover, share and implement best practices and innovative ideas to advance business and community development efforts throughout the state. While we're confident we have made significant contributions to the field of economic development and community philanthropy we're sure our partners have as well.

It is in this regard that we announced a grant program called "Partners in Progress." At the heart of this new grant program is our desire to help our IADG and IADG CF partners share and implement programs and initiatives that are new and innovative, and have demonstrated their contribution and value. As such, our grant program is all about partnering, sharing and replicating success. It is our intention to promote and encourage the notoriety and improvement of one organization's innovative idea through replication, improvement, and implementation at yet another.

With this objective, the IADG CF awarded three $10,000 grants. Awards will be split or shared among the cooperating communities or organizations in a manner agreed to by the recipients.

Our Partners in Progress…

Housing Award:

East Central Development Corporation (ECDC) was selected for their “Pocket NeighborhoodPocket Neighborhood artist rendering Housing Project in Preston and Maquoketa. Housing is a challenge across the state of Iowa. The pocket neighborhood concept will address the need for workforce housing in Jackson County for households at or below 100% of the County Median Income level.

The pocket neighborhoods, (Small-scale communities in a larger-scale world,) foster a sense of belonging and meaning. The pocket neighborhood concept features clusters of homes gathered around a landscaped common area with recreational amenities, creating a neighborhood setting and facilitate interaction on a daily basis with shared outdoor common space. The homes in this project will be single family, story-and-a-half bungalows that incorporate sustainable practices. Grant funds will support final blueprints and site layout, review and finalization of association covenants and support for replication.

Population Growth Award:

Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation is implementing the Five by Five (5x5) Five by Five Program LogoCampaign, in effort to reverse chronic population loss and drive a 5% increase in population over a five-year period of 2017 – 2021. This extensive program included identification of skill needs and attributes needed to fill open positions. Community champions were recruited to spread the word through videos and other digital marketing channels. High-quality videos and digital marketing materials were developed to support the campaign. The IADG CF funds will be used to support the development of the technology “portal” that allows organizations to accumulate a database of prospects and to assist with refining of the marketing message and materials. The Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation has already generated a lot of interest and shared information about their program with other Iowa communities and is interested in sharing their program throughout the state. 

Workforce Development Award

Rocket Manufacturing is a fully operational manufacturing business operating within the Rock Photo of Rocket Manufacturing StudentsValley High School. This is the first of its kind in Iowa. The community, School District, local companies, volunteers and students have all come together to make this project a success. Donated manufacturing equipment, welding stations, and other metal fabrication tools fill the new 10,000 sq. ft. expansion of the existing “shop class.” Local companies are sending smaller jobs to the students to test and work with the equipment.  Now in the second of a five-year plan, the community and businesses continue to show support.  This is real world work for the students.  Each semester the students take their position in the company. There is a manager, bookkeeper, sales people, marketing and other students working in the “plant” taking orders and making products.

The Partners in Progress program is in its early stages. Watch for more information and updates in the months to come.

Any "Partners in Progress" program questions may be directed to either Rand Fisher, IADG Community Foundation CEO, (, or Bruce Nuzum, IADG Community Foundation Secretary and Treasurer, (