Flood protection waiting is over

CBJ Editorial 

The Corridor was fortunately spared from devastating flooding this year, but each new rainstorm and flooding episode across the Midwest reminds us that Cedar Rapids doesn’t have complete flood protection, yet.

It was therefore reassuring to see another step in the direction of permanent flood protection when city, state, and federal leaders came together in Cedar Rapids last week to break ground on the city’s first federally funded flood protection structure.

CBJ News partner CBS2/FOX 28 reported that the structure, a floodgate to be placed on the southeast side of the 16th Avenue Bridge, is a $2.4 million section of a project funded by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. It will be an impressive 67-foot, 14-foot-high retractable gate that rolls across the road and locks in 30 minutes.

Each step in the construction of the Cedar Rapids flood control system makes citizens and property safer from floods and will help release inhibitions about investing in development within the core areas of the city affected by past flooding. Federal funding makes this possible much sooner, and we congratulate the city and the Corps of Engineers for their work together to make this possible.

Growing a talent pipeline

This floodgate is another sign of progress toward permanent flood protection and should be reassuring to homeowners and businesses in flood prone areas.

Manufacturers in the Corridor need young talent, but it’s not necessarily the first thought for today’s generation of high school graduates. That’s why we’re excited to hear that many high schools will be get a visit from Improving manufacturing’s PR

The manufacturing industry in Iowa and across the nation needs better public relations. Too many students and their parents still think of manufacturing as a grimy and old-school occupation.

Most well-informed folks, know that isn’t the case. It is a clean, safe and highly technical profession. Getting people to understand that takes a lot of effort.

A step in that direction are the tours of manufacturers from Oct. 14-18, as part of the seventh-annual Advancing the Future event.

The event results from a partnership between the Workplace Learning Connection at Kirkwood Community College and the region’s Advanced Manufacturing Sector Board. Several Corridor manufacturing companies will participate in public and school tours with the goal of educating people about job opportunities and positive changes in the industry.

“Advancing the Future is all about growing the local talent pipeline,” said Kirkwood Program Developer and Advanced Manufacturing Sector Board Facilitator Barb Rawson in a release. “We want to create awareness among the public so they’ll understand how many well-paying job opportunities are right here.”

Ms. Rawson said many high-paying positions could be filled by younger members of the workforce, but many have negative misconceptions about the industry.

“We want to dispel the myths about the dirty, grungy and backbreaking work,” Ms. Rawson said.

Coe’s entrepreneurial approach

We were pleased to learn about Coe College’s new on-campus Entrepreneur-in-Residence position being filled by alumnus David Tominsky, a strong regional leader and entrepreneurial guru.

Mr. Tominsky, NewBoCo’s chief relationship officer, will teach two entrepreneurial thinking sessions entitled “Entrepreneurship 101.” The sessions will cover basics of creating a business model and the steps needed to identify customers, generate revenue and deliver value.

Following Entrepreneurship 101 will be the second-annual Kohawk Startup, a 24-hour entrepreneurship and innovation event where students work in teams to turn an idea into action and build a business around the idea. Cash prizes of up to $10,000 will be awarded to winners.

This is great news for the college and the region as we look at solidifying entrepreneurship as the region and state’s top economic development priority.