We're prepping for the future. View our development ambitions for economic diversity, job growth, startups and inventions, business expansion, population growth, and more.

Economic Diversity

Why it Matters Building on Marion County’s strong manufacturing sector, opportunity exists to attract additional suppliers and service companies. Economic downturn impacts can be lessened by developing employment in a variety of sectors beyond manufacturing.
Fact The Job Diversity Index for Marion County is 0.59 compared to 0.72 in the US and 0.73 in Iowa.
Marion County Strategy Targeted Industry Study & Marketing Existing Industry Calls

Job Growth

Why it Matters New & expanding companies means more net new job opportunities. Automation and robotics will change our future, but jobs will remain a key component of community vibrancy.
Fact Since 2016, the annual growth rate of employment in Marion County has outpaced growth in the US. Since 2009, there were 1,417 new jobs within the manufacturing sector in Marion County.
Marion County Strategy Economic Gardening Pilot, Regional Broadband Study, Existing Industry Calls, Targeted Industry Study

Startup & Invent

Why it Matters Invention introduces the next breakthrough ideas to our area’s economy and feeds a climate of innovation.
Fact During 2019, there were 216 business applications in Marion County which is up 2.9% from 2018.
Marion County Strategy Regional Broadband Study, Entrepreneur Launch Workshop, Manufacturing 4.0

Business Expansion

Why it Matters Expanding companies are increasing sales and building a stronger position within their market segment.
Fact 32% of Marion County Prime Employers plan to expand in the next 3 years as compared to only 15% in Iowa. Workforce and sites are key to keeping job growth by these employers in Marion County.
Marion County Strategy Regional Broadband Study, Existing Industry Calls, Economic Gardening Pilot

Population Growth

Why it Matters Population growth is not keeping pace with job growth in Marion County. Communities need population growth to fund innovative schools and local government services.
Fact Marion County’s population has remained constant for the past twenty years even though jobs in the county have grown.
Marion County Strategy County Housing Study, Child Care Needs Study, Website, Workforce Attraction, Red Rock Guide

Talent Migration

Why it Matters People are our greatest asset. If growing companies are able to find or recruit talent, they will continue to start and expand in those locations which can retain talent.
Fact Over 71% of Prime Employers have recruitment problems currently and 31% have lost a high value employee in the past 6 months as compared to 18.2% statewide.
Marion County Strategy Workforce Recruitment, Top 10 Under 40, Website, Leadership Red Rock, Regional Broadband Study, Existing Industry Calls

Workforce Skills

Why it Matters The skills required for future jobs are constantly changing. To retain high skilled jobs, we need high skilled workers and a constant focus on upskilling our current workforce.
Fact Assemblers are the number one occupation currently in Marion County and are also the top occupation predicted to decline in the next 5 years.
Marion County Strategy Teaching for the Workforce, Leadership Red Rock


Why it Matters Talent does not need to live where they work anymore. Gathering spaces and community assets lure talent. Talent creates economic prosperity.
Fact Each year, travelers spend over $55 million in Marion County. Lake Red Rock is Iowa’s largest lake.
Marion County Strategy Placemaking Study, Red Rock Guide, Website, Regional Broadband Study, Best of Red Rock Contest