FAYETTE, Iowa (January 7, 2009) - Upper Iowa University will host a community forum on Thursday, Jan. 22 at Garbee Hall, East Cafeteria on the Fayette campus from 7-8:00 p.m., preceded by a brief social reception beginning at 6:30.
The public is encouraged to attend this informational event, wherein UIU will reveal its future $60 million capital outlay plan and give a comprehensive presentation that will highlight opportunities stemming from UIU's recent and future growth. UIU officials will also discuss the University's latest economic development initiatives, including its e-Center, the Upper Iowa Business Development (UIBD) grant, and receipt of the $139,500 Rural Community Development Initiative grant funded by the USDA.
According to e-Center Director Andrew Wenthe, the goals of the event include informing the regional community about UIU's capital outlay plan, raising awareness about Upper Iowa's economic development initiatives, and promoting possible capitalization on UIU's growth.
"It's all about partnership and working together," said Wenthe. "Upper Iowa is proud to be a big part of the wonderful community of Fayette, but we know that it will take strategic planning and cooperation to meet the challenges that lie ahead for rural communities like ours."
Wenthe mentioned retail and housing are two areas in need of local improvement. "Over the past four years Upper Iowa has hired 53 new employees, which actually equates to a total of 104 people when you include the entire households of employees," explained Wenthe. "However, only 23 employees, or a household total of 41 individuals, actually moved into the City of Fayette because of a lack of housing. This is just one area that can be improved to the benefit of the local economy."
He added that Upper Iowa students contribute a significant amount annually to the local economy in retail and rental spending, a number that will continue to increase as UIU enrollment grows.
Wenthe hopes the forum will encourage dialog and ideas, saying, "We're all working toward the same goal--the continued success and viability of our businesses, local economy, community, and lifestyle."
Upper Iowa President Alan G. Walker, UIU Chief Financial Officer Don Aungst, and Wenthe will present at the community event. Business owners, civic group members, elected officials or any individual with a stake in Fayette's future are encouraged to attend.
For more information about the community forum, please contact Wenthe at 563-425-5348 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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