Start with chambers of commerce, professional planners, nonprofit organizations and other local leaders. Add a need for community and economic development. Stir in an online clearinghouse of programs and services from ISU Extension and other sources. Mix with convenient access to training, technicians and assistance that address community needs. Result: Extension’s Program Builder, a new Web site that connects Iowans with community and economic development resources throughout the state.
The site became available this spring, said Susan Erickson, ISU Extension program coordinator. Community leaders can use Program Builder to construct personalized service agreements with economic development service providers. Resources include services for leadership, landscape revitalization, community visualizing, downtown restoration, parks, transportation, local government, geographic information systems, nonprofit agencies and management.
“Program Builder offers convenient access to the wealth of assistance that’s available to Iowa communities, planners, decision-makers and developers,” Erickson said. “It gives people the ability to find the best type of assistance for their particular situation. Iowa’s communities offer a great quality of life, and we want to work to make life even better in Iowa.”