It’s been just shy of a decade since the recession hit. In 2007 and on into ’08 and ’09, employment rates plummeted across the nation, jobs disappeared taking their highly valued tax bases with them. Retail shops closed their doors. What seemed like long-standing, stable local businesses even pulled their shingles in. It was a rough time across the nation and southern Iowa was certainly not immune to the pains.
Clarke County and the City of Osceola certainly felt the hit, however the most recent jobs reports, tell a unique story. Clarke County and Osceola have shown tremendous recovery with Clarke County faring quite well in non-farm jobs – approaching 4,250 – close to pre-recessions numbers.
For Osceola, it was easier on those who were displaced to get back on their feet due of the success of the industries operating out of the city and surrounding areas. Reports show that, while a handful of businesses were lost, new companies soon replaced them, adding to the tax base and growing beyond the levels of the previous companies.
“While we’d like to talk about Osceola as this micropolitan community, we are nestled in Clarke County and when the folks in the outlying areas of the county are doing well we benefit from that progress.” said Bill Trickey. CEO of Clarke County Development Corporation (CCDC)
With the addition of businesses like Walmart, Valley of the Moon Poults hatchery, and others, job opportunities as well as the tax base were brought back to pre-recession levels and even surpassed them in recent months.
“According to the most recent reports,” Trickey continued, “Taxable retail sales grew $20 million in one year and are continuing to grow because the new businesses thriving in Clarke County.”
The reason Trickey attributes to the success of these businesses and the promising future growth we’re seeing is a strong, growing labor force and the resources available in the county. From transportation access to commercial real estate, power and other resources, Clarke County and the City of Osceola continue to be a magnet for manufacturing and industrial jobs.
Because of the consistent growth in the non-farm, manufacturing and industrial sectors, the CCDC continues to focus on the future by incorporating training opportunities for skilled labor and manufacturing for local high school students. This past February, the CCDC brought together 80 juniors and local businesses to discuss possible career pathways each student could take. While some would require four-year degrees, many students could see stable and profitable employment as quickly as two.
When asked about his vision of the future of doing business in Clarke County, Tricky stated, “We’re not a small rural community any more, we’re an industrial complex here. For a town our size, it’s pretty amazing,”
If you would like to download the recent Scorecard Development Report for 2015, please click on this link or on the chart above.
For more information on Clarke County Development Corporation, please contact:
Clarke County Development Corporation
c/o Bill Trickey
115 E Washington Street
P.O. Box 426
Osceola, IA 50213
p: (641) 342-2944
fx: (641) 342-6353
e: [email protected]