The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

December 13, 2012

Want more jobs? Grow them here

Supervisors get timeline for incubator

OTTUMWA — The Wapello County Board of Supervisors say they’re just one of the groups throwing support behind a building that helps new businesses begin.

“We have a lot of local students that go to Indian Hills [Community College] and graduate in robotics, laser optics and computer programing,” said Supervisor Steve Siegel. “But there’s very few jobs in Wapello County, or even Iowa, in those fields. So we train all these young people — and they leave to get a job.”

The hope is some of them have a good business idea but not the funds to get it started. That could be the difference between just dreaming of starting a business or actually doing it.

Siegel said there are always efforts by local entities to draw in new business, including those that would appreciate potential employees with high-tech skills. Yet it’s the growth of local business that tends to provide employment opportunities, he agreed, not the sudden influx of huge manufacturers.

The incubator building, which will be constructed near the Ottumwa Regional Airport on the Indian Hills North Campus, will have easy access to services from Iowa Workforce Development. The fledgling businesses — the building can hold up to four — will have subsidized rent, utilities and maintenance. A committee will go over applications and determine the most viable candidates from the 10-county area.

“The incubator is to assist you at the beginning of your business, just like an incubator for chicks, it helps support you from your birth,” Siegel said. “Then when you grow, you move out and another business moves in.”

At the supervisors’ board meeting this week, representatives from the college updated the supervisors on the progress of the Incubator.

“We have a tentative time frame,” said IHCC President Jim Lindenmayer. “We hope to break ground on that in March of 2013 after a public bidding process and have it finished in the fall.”

Indian Hills is spearheading the project, but they aren’t doing it alone.

“To me, one of the most important parts of this was the partnerships,” said Lindenmayer, “because no single one of us had the resources do to this alone. That’s an example of how a partnership can leverage resources to be successful.”

Siegel said the county kicked in $50,000 as an investment in the county’s future. The local Rotary club gave a big check, as did IHCC and the U.S. Economic Development Agency. And the Ottumwa Regional Legacy Foundation made it’s largest grant to date: $350,000.

“We could not have thought of a better first big grant,” said Brad Little, president and CEO of the Ottumwa Regional Legacy Foundation during an earlier interview with the Courier. “How can we get Ottumwa back as a thriving, growing, prospering community? With the economy the way it is, it’s through entrepreneurism and getting good jobs in the community.”

As the foundation reviewed Indian Hills’ grant application, they researched how business incubators have fared across the country.

“If we go to surrounding communities that have something like this incubator under way ... the success rate of companies that have been incubated is extremely high,” Little said. “And what’s more impressive is the number of those that choose to stay in the area, which is encouraging for us.”

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Calendar Groups wanting to be included in the Calendar must submit the item every time the group meets, at least three days in advance of the meeting.Send information to Calendar, Newsroom, Ottumwa Courier, 213 E. Second St., Ottumwa 52501 or send email to ne

    July 26, 2014

  • Alternate juror could not have convicted Techel based on evidence DAVENPORT — An alternate juror who was dismissed before Seth Techel, 23, of Agency was convicted of killing his wife and the non-consensual termination of a human pregnancy says the verdict could have been different if she had been in deliberations.D

    July 25, 2014

  • Overcome testing fear, get a good job OTTUMWA — It's not who you know, it's what you know. That's what City leaders say about getting a good paying job in Ottumwa. "It seems like in the last year we've had a real reduction in the number of individuals who've applied," said Joni Keith, hu

    July 25, 2014

  • Water Pollution Control Facility gets OK to upgrade OTTUMWA — An emergency Ottumwa City Council meeting resulted in spending $140,583 for the Water Pollution Control Facility. Friday afternoon, council members listened intently as Ottumwa Water Pollution Control Facility Superintendent Kam Reeves told

    July 25, 2014

  • 0724 OTT Tehel mug -T -M Resolution — Techel verdict reached

    DAVENPORT — The father of a slain Wapello County woman said he began to heal as soon as he heard the guilty verdict today. The jury unanimously pronounced Seth Techel, 23, guilty on charges of first-degree murder and non-consensual termination of a h

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Quincy Ave. project starts Aug. 4 OTTUMWA — Updates on the Quincy Avenue project was given to residents and businesses residing between Albia Road and Hwy. 34 on Thursday night at Ottumwa City Hall. About a dozen people attended the meeting where City Engineer Dan Sturm gave an updat

    July 25, 2014

  • Silence continues on fatal shooting OTTUMWA — Law enforcement is exercising its right to remain silent about a shooting death that occurred south of town this week. The Wapello County Sheriff's Office, which had responded to the shooting, said most information on the case would now com

    July 25, 2014

  • 0726 OTT cedar creek Gone in a flash

    BLOOMFIELD — Bob Parker got about as close to lightning as you can Friday morning, and came out of it without injury. A line of thunderstorms started moving through southeast Iowa in the early morning hours. Parker was heading to work at about 7 a.m.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0726 OTT Garden Bites III Color Photo -T Garden Bites sees growth BLOOMFIELD — Nearly one month ago, families gathered at Pioneer Ridge Nature Center to plant various vegetables to harvest and eat on Thursday at Garden Bites. The program allows families to get their hands a bit dirty at Pioneer Ridge and plant food

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0725 OTT Riverfront design A new outlook on Ottumwa OTTUMWA — A "River Renaissance" is brewing in Wapello County. Planners working for Christian Rushing Studio from Tennessee took the public's ideas, and gave them life via maps, numerical projections and artists' renderings. "Hold onto your seats; you

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

Photo reprints


Obituaries

Facebook