The following press release was distributed on Jan. 19.
Sophia S. Ahmad
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, Jan. 19, 2016
HEARTLAND CIVIC COLLABORATIVE ANNOUNCES MEGA-REGION INITIATIVE
Four Midwest metro leaders partner to develop strategic, coordinated actions that strengthen the Heartland’s competitiveness in the global economy.
(DES MOINES, IOWA – January 19, 2016) Civic leaders from four Midwestern metros – Des Moines, Kansas City, Omaha and St. Louis – announced the official launch of the Heartland Civic Collaborative (HCC).
HCC is a mega-region initiative that has been in development for several years.
The mission of HCC is to take advantage of mutually advantageous opportunities and capitalize on the collective assets of the region in order to strengthen the entire region’s competitiveness and opportunities for economic development. The HCC kick-off event was held today at the Greater Des Moines Partnership.
This is the first time all four communities have bonded together to achieve long-term growth and economic success. HCC leadership is confident and optimistic because of the shared common and core values of the people throughout the region. In addition, regional strengths include natural resources, infrastructure and economic assets.
Each community and region has strong, ongoing and successful economic development initiatives. HCC will transcend and complement those activities already underway.
Building on the Strength of the Region
Initially, HCC will concentrate efforts in the following four strategic areas: federal advocacy, transportation, entrepreneurship and life sciences.
The Heartland business community holds a consensus on policy issues impacting the economic competitiveness of the region. HCC has created a shared federal advocacy agenda, which is designed to leverage the influence of eight U.S. senators and 19 U.S. representatives. This elevates and unifies the voice of the region on national policy debates. For the full federal advocacy agenda, please visit the website of HCC.
Sitting in the center of the country, HCC offers strategic advantages for transportation due to its geographic location. HCC is developing a multi-model integrated transportation vision that supports and enhances the competitive advantage of the Heartland. One upcoming event is the transportation futures symposium that will be held on Feb. 17, 2016, in Kansas City. The event will explore the future of transportation, the convergence of technology and transportation infrastructure, and the planning and funding opportunities faced by the region. William Clay Ford Jr., executive chairman of Ford Motor Company, will serve as the keynote speaker.
Another common strength is the entrepreneurial spirit in each community. HCC enhances the movement of ideas in entrepreneurship and human capital. Based on input and desires of successful entrepreneurs throughout the region, HCC has created and will soon launch a dashboard for the Kansas City metro that contains key metrics to help quantify progress in creating a rich entrepreneurial ecosystem. This dashboard could be replicated in Des Moines, Omaha and St. Louis.
Each metro also boasts a strong life sciences economy. HCC provides the opportunity for further collaboration in human, animal and plant health. Keith Gary, vice president of the Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute, announced details of the HCC life sciences asset-mapping project. This project was conducted from September 2014 to April 2015. The study identified 791 life sciences companies at 976 locations in the four-state region. There are significant opportunities to grow and strengthen the life sciences industry.
HCC expresses appreciation to the Metropolitan Policy Program of the Brookings Institution, leveraging their experience and expertise on national and global economic policies.
The official launch of HCC acknowledges the role of the four-state mega-region and the significant economic opportunities ahead. Visit the website of HCC to stay informed on ongoing initiatives, and join the mailing list for updates on the region’s collective economic success.
About the Heartland Civic Collaborative
The Heartland Civic Collaborative is a multi-state, multi-metro initiative to address the economic crossroads at which the Great Plains and Midwest regions of the United States stand.
Civic leaders from four Midwestern metros – Des Moines, Kansas City, Omaha and St. Louis – partner to develop strategic, coordinated actions that strengthen the Heartland’s competitiveness in the global economy. The mission of the Heartland Civic Collaborative is to take advantage of mutually advantageous opportunities and capitalize on the collective assets of the region in order to strengthen the entire region’s competitiveness and opportunities for economic development. For more information, please visit HeartlandCivicCollaborative.org.