With a three-year grant from the Economic Development Administration, the Center for Industrial Research and Service (CIRAS) launched the Sustainable Economies Program last winter to help five regional trade centers (RTCs) and their businesses identify and target opportunities for sustainable growth. The program provides RTCs in rural Iowa with an in-depth economic assessment of the financial, social and environmental “triple bottom line” of the region.
The Carroll RTC is in the final step of the program, engaging community members to implement changes that will lead to sustainable growth. CIRAS provides technical assistance and serves as a mentor, helping the stakeholders develop an action plan for the region as a whole. The team also is working with Lee County and starting work in Wapello County using a similar process.