Both The Gazette newspaper and the Corridor Business Journal have long been supporters of regional development. It was still nice to see their perspectives on Michael Langley’s presentation and the Path to Regional Excellence event last week.
The Corridor Business Journal’s latest editorial started with:
Nearly 350 business and community leaders came out last week to attend The Path to Regional Excellence breakfast at Kirkwood Community College. The keynote speaker, Michael Langley, congratulated the audience for taking the first step by coming together to learn more about what a strong economic region looks like, but emphasized that there is no easy or quick path and that it will take strong leadership to make it happen here.
On this page, we have been very critical of the lack of progress that the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City Corridor has made over the past several years and highlighted specific steps that can be made to get the ball rolling again.
We did want to take time to celebrate a step in the right direction, specifically the collaboration created by the Corridor Business Alliance — a coalition of a dozen organizations with an economic development focus ranging from the Small Business Development Centers to the chambers of commerce to several of the higher education institutions.
The Gazette’s editorial ended with:
Our region’s leaders must agree how to work together and create a unified strategy and a brand image. A regional approach is inclusive of small and rural businesses, not just the core. It identifies the region’s “jewels” large and small, and broadens opportunities to meet new people who can do business together.
It also can foster public-private initiatives that provide regional solutions to transportation and infrastructure needs.
Langley provides guidelines on how to accomplish regional excellence. The specifics are up to us. Let’s get at it.