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Building Awareness of Local Careers

On Friday, February 12, ACED along with NICC-Waukon and Waukon High School hosted a Career Workshop for Waukon High School juniors and seniors.  Each student had to pick 2 career tracks.  Each track included employers from the county who specifically outlined current job openings – pay, benefits, training, education, environment, etc.

Tracks & Speakers:

  • Clem Schulte, Kerndt Brothers Savings Bank
  • Nancy Everman, Waukon Feed Ranch
  • Mike Myers, Veterans Memorial Hospital
  • Jim Sewick, Good Samaritan Society - Waukon
Advanced Manufacturing
  • Gil Hunstad, G&S Machine
  • Dixie Doeppke, Norplex-Micarta
Small Business
  • Tyler Halverson, Epic Wear
  • Paul Weighner, WW Homestead Dairy
  • John Blake, Blake Electric
  • Kyle Halse & Niki Palas, Mueller Concrete Construction

Cost of Living
A Cost of Living hand-out was produced by NICC and provided to the attendees.  This compared $50,000 salary in Northern Iowa to salaries in other parts of the country, as well as, grocery, housing, utility, transportation, and health care costs.
If you live in Northern Iowa and make $50,000 – here is the Cost of Living Difference in other Cities.

    Price Difference
City/State Comparable Salary Groceries Housing Utilities Transportation Health Care
Des Moines, IA $52,362 +1% +19% 0% +9% +4%
Chicago, IL $66,935 +20% +93% +12% +31% +7%
Denver, CO $62,961 +5% +83% +2% +13% +16%
Minneapolis, MN $62,212 +14% +60% -1% +22% +13%
Miami, FL $64,631 +16% +82% +4% +27% +13%
Seattle, WA $79,608 +30 +160% +13% +34% +30%
Los Angeles, CA $80,127 +13 +199% +22% +43% $19%
New York, NY $130,069 +34% +546% +39% +44% +25%

The Northern Region Area Skills Gap Analysis was provided by NICC.  This analysis outlined the occupations that pay $16/hour or more and typically require at least a HSED – the occupations were listed by largest skill gap.  A great tool to assist students and even adults chose career paths with employment opportunities in the area.

NICC North Area Skills Gap Analysis COMBO Spring 2016.pdf

The goal of this workshop is to start the thinking process about careers and highlight what Allamakee County has to offer.  We want our students to remember if they do leave they are always invited back to live, work and play in Allamakee County.  For those who want to stay, we want to encourage career paths that lead to employment.

Tackling Workforce Issues

It is called a sector board – we are pulling together to solve workforce issues.  The group has met and pulled 3 definable, actionable items forward where we can make an impact.  A number of our employers in the county are looking at large number of retirements within the next 5-10 years.  What can we do to supply skilled labor force? 

If you are interested in getting involved, please contact Val at ACED.

Tourism Statistics At Your Fingertips

If you are interested in Iowa tourism and you like research numbers, feel free to visit 

The link is

Winterfest Enjoys Great Weather

A warm and beautiful day did not deter activities at Lansing’s annual Winterfest Celebration held on Saturday, February 20th which saw well over 200 people registering and enjoying the day.  Activities included the Full Moon Snowshoe; a hike up Mt. Hosmer or just the opportunity to stroll down Lansing’s Main Street corridor.  A stop at the Plaza gave an awe-inspired opportunity to witness the ice carvings being created by Chain Saw Creations, which included an Eskimo, Igloo, wolves and eagles.  Another hit was watching the cutting of ice the old fashioned way down at the landing.  Ice on the landing was 18 inches thick which made excellent ice for demonstrating.

Another big hit at this year’s celebration was the Official Allamakee County Chili Cook-off.  A total of 18 entries made for good tasting and a difficult decision by the panel of judges.  The Business winner was Lansing Hardware and the individual winners were:  Marylu Baker (1st); Ladonna Noelting (2nd) and Jeannine Hisel (3rd).   

The Lansing Winterfest Committee was pleased with this year’s activities, number of visitors and participants and the increased amount of money raised and they look forward to planning for  Winterfest 2017. 

Lansing Housing Products Receives Accolades

Way to Go, Lansing Housing Products (LHP)!  LHP received an award from  Safe Kids Worldwide for providing safe windows for children.  


Visit Our Business Directory

Please take a moment to visit our business directory on our website.  We ask that you verify your business listing and give us feedback.  You can find the directory here:

Business Consultant in Waukon

ACED will be offering free and confidential business assistance Wednesday, March 16.  Amy Chicos will be available to offer one-on-one, free and confidential counseling services.

Chicos is a small business counselor for NICC and SBDC.  Her background includes small business ownership, non-profit start-up, teaching, employment & training, and counseling.

Chicos will provide advice for those thinking of starting a business.  Existing business owners may receive assistance on topics such as expansion challenges or marketing issues.

Chicos’s visit to Waukon is sponsored by ACED, NICC, and the Northeast Iowa Business Network (NIBN), which consists of economic development staffers from Allamakee, Clayton, Delaware, Fayette, Howard, and Winneshiek counties.

Please call ACED at 563-568-2624 or email to make an appointment.

Effigy Mounds to Release Draft Cultural
Landscape Report for Public Review

On February 25, the National Park Service began seeking the public’s comments on a Draft Cultural Landscape Report and Environmental Assessment for Effigy Mounds.  The public is encouraged to download ( and comment on the Draft Report during the public review period, which is from February 25th through March 25th.  According to Superintendent, Jim Nepstad, “this is a critically important document for Effigy Mounds.  It provides park staff with both the how and the why when it comes to management practices involving the mounds and their surrounding landscape.” 

Park staff will be hosting a pair of open houses in order to discuss the Draft Landscape Report, answer questions, and receive input.  The first meeting will be held on March 7th from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm at the Marquette City Hall, located at 88 North Street in Marquette, Iowa.  The second meeting will be held on March 9th, from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm at the Effigy Mounds National Monument Visitor Center, located 3 miles north of Marquette on Highway 76.  For further information, please contact Effigy Mounds National Monument at 563-873-3491. 

Solar Energy Heats Up

Are you curious about solar energy?  Join the workshop and a take a tour on March 3rd.  See details at the attached link.

Women in Farming Class

Annie’s Project:  Farm Business Management is a 6-session course create to guide women in making good decisions for their farm business.  Classes are Thursdays - March 17, March 24, March 31, April 7, April 14, and April 21.  Class times are 9 a.m. – Noon with a light meal served at noon.  Please contact or call 563-568-6345.


Financing Options for Small Business Owners

ACED will be hosting Financing Options for Small Business Owners on Wednesday, March 30, 5:30-7 p.m. at the Allamakee County Economic Development Office located at 101 West Main, Waukon.  This is a great way to learn more about Small Business Administration, Upper Explorerland, Allamakee County Revolving Loan Fund, and commercial loans with local banks.  Call today to reserve your space!

Financing Options for Small Business Flyer 3-30-2016 2.pdf

ServSafe Food Safety Training

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach partners with ServSafe to offer food safety for foodservice managers and workers.  The class is offered at Iowa’s Dairy Center in Calmar on Thursday, April 7 or Wednesday, June 22.  Please contact Sheila to register.

Farm Succession Planning Workshop

Call our office if you are interested in participating in a farm succession planning workshop which would be taught by Iowa State University Extension & Outreach. 

Growing Small Business in Northeast Iowa _Farm Succession Planning_ 2016.pdf

Waukon Chamber of Commerce
Annual Banquet Held Recently

The Waukon Chamber of Commerce Annual Banquet was held Friday, February 26th at the Waukon Reception Center.  The Fabulous 50’s came to life as chamber members and guests enjoyed a nostalgic look back at poodle skirts, saddle shoes, the old diner, juke box and 45’s, Coca Cola, root beer floats, and many other displayed relics.  After dinner, the Chamber awards were presented to the following recipients:  New Business of the Year went to Green Valley Getaway; Business of the Year to Cunningham Hardware; Volunteer of the Year Award was presented to Stefanie Perkins and Person of the Year went to Howard Van Ruler.  ACED congratulates all of these award winners and the Waukon Chamber Board of Directors for their work in hosting a “FABULOUS” evening.     

Happy  St. Patrick’s Day!

Did you know:

  • In Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day is a religious holiday similar to Christmas and Easter.
  • Saint Patrick’s real name is Maewyn Succat.
  • The very first St. Patrick’s Day parade was not in Ireland.  It was in Boston in 1737.
  • The largest parade in the United States, held since 1762, is in New York City, and draws more than one million spectators each year.
  • Chicago dyes their river green to celebrate the holiday.
  • Over 100 US cities hold a parade every year.  Some of the other biggest St. Patrick’s Day parades are in Chicago, IL and Savannah, GA.
  • There are more Americans of Irish origin than there are Irish in Ireland.
  • There are 10,000 three-leaf clovers for every 4-leaf clover so the luck of finding a four-leaf clover is not exaggerated.
March Calendar of Events
3/1 Kee High Dairyland Donkey Basketball Key High Gym  7pm
3/2 Pre-school Open House Lansing  3:30 – 6 pm
3/3                 Blood Drive First Baptist Church, Waukon
3/5 MS Tri State Honor Band  Decorah
3/5 Allamakee County Pheasants Forever Banquet  Waukon Banquet Center
3/5 Cabin Fever Adult Night New Albin Community Center 5pm-12am
3/5&6 Variety Show Silent Auction /Bake Sale Fine Arts Center-Postville Middle School 4-7:30pm
  Variety Show Concert Fine Arts Center-Postville Middle School 7:30 pm
  Romeo & Juliet to the Max Play Fine Arts Center-Postville Middle School    Sat. 3/5 @ 7pm; Sun. 3/6 @ 2pm
3/6                  Grand Ole Opera   Waukon Banquet Center
3/6 Senior Class Bingo Kee High 4-7 pm
3/6                  Waterville Firemen's Pancake Breakfast  Waterville Fire Dept  7am - 1 pm
3/7&8 UIC Art Show Fine Arts Center & YMCA Community Room
3/8 Kee High Scholarship Fund Phone a Thon Kee High
3/11 Postville School Carnival High School Gym
3/11                Wine Tasting  Waukon Greenhouse
3/11 Good Samaritan Annual Fish Fry Postville
3/12 State Individual Lansing
3/12                 St. Pat's Dinner St. Patrick Parish
3/12 Boy Scout Food Drive Postville 12th – 15th
3/13                St. Pat's Day Parade  check paper for parade route
3/15 Variety Show Postville 7pm
3/15                 After School with Ross, Robey Memorial Library
3/16                 Amy Chicos Business Consultant -  ACED
3/17 Band Booster Soup Supper School lunch room 5-7pm
  Band-O-Rama Concert Fine Arts Center-Postville Middle School
3/17, 24, 31      Annie's Project -  Farmers & Merchant Bank (classes continue. April 7, 14, 21)
3/18 Diversity Celebration  Postville High School Gym
3/19 Woman’s Day at the Y YMCA Postville 9am-noon
3/19                 Waukon Lions Variety Show  
3/21 UIC Indoor Track Meet  Luther College Decorah 3-9 pm
3/21 Chamber Concert Kee High Lansing
3/24               Helping Services Nurtured Heart
Approach: Session 1
200 2nd St. SW, Waukon
3/26                  Easter Egg Hunt  Waukon City Park
3/26 Easter Egg Hunt New Albin Elementary
3/27                Happy Easter  
3/28                Free Community Meal -  First Presbyterian Church, Waukon
3/31 Story of Death in a One-Room Country School - Elaine Hegg will share her book Lansing Public Library 6:30 pm
Copyright © 2016 Allamakee County Economic Development, All rights reserved.

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