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Gladbrook Commercial Club Meets

August 27, 2012
Northern-Sun Print
The Gladbrook Commercial Club met, Thursday, August 9th at 6:30 at the Uptown Lounge.  Two speakers brought interesting and encouraging information for persons interested in or owning Gladbrook businesses.  You are invited to attend our next meeting, Thurs, Oct. 4 to support Gladbrook businesses. Gladbrook Community School District Superintendent, Tim Kuehl, emphasized three topics he’s excited about concerning our school district:  Cedar Valley West partnership, use of technology and the upcoming PPEL vote, September 11th. Mr. Kuehl believes our participation in the Cedar Valley West school partnership provides many benefits for our students.  The Internship Experience provides students with the opportunity to explore career fields while still in high school.  While this Internship process is still being fine-tuned, students in the 11th or 12th grades can work for area employers and improve their awareness of career opportunities in our area.  It also enables students to complete more dual enrollment classes, receiving both high school and college credit.  For instance, last school year G-R students earned more than 120 college credits at no cost to those students, saving families on future tuition costs. New technology opportunities are a resource to stimulate learning and communication at all educational levels.  High school students, working with their own G-R laptops, benefited by having a consistent ability to access learning 24/7.  They were challenged to increase their self-directed learning while allowing their teachers to present material in new and interesting ways.  Elementary students are working with mobile and traditional computer labs, ipads, and ipods to access more and more visual as well as written and oral learning modalities.  They can access learning through YouTube videos made by their teachers or peers, so when they are trying to figure out a homework problem, their teaching resource is always at hand. The PPEL vote will be September 11, 2012.  It will maintain the current levy rate of $0.67/$1000, which will mean NO increase in taxes.  The PPEL revenue, which amounts to approximately $130,000/year can NOT be used for personnel, but it helps to improve our campuses with physical plant projects such as replacing inefficient windows, plumbing & heating systems as well as money for technology.  Your vote is very much needed to continue to offer a top quality facility to enhance learning. These topics and more information are available on Mr. Kuehl’s G-R Happenings blog page on the school website:    under “Superintendent Blog”.  Please take time to check it out to stay informed. The second guest speaker was new Tama County Economic Development Director, Heath Kellogg.  Mr. Kellogg began his new position May 7, 2012, bringing the experience of business owner, and corporate marketing and sales development experience to the job.   As aTama county native, he understands the rural business climate as well as the manufacturing and transportation needs we face every day.  Mr. Kellogg’s priority is to be involved with the nearly 1000 businesses in Tama county to encourage and strengthen existing areas and to explore and grow new possible businesses.  When Development Commission chair, Keith Sash, and a four-member Tama Co. Economic Development subcommittee finalized their search, Heath expressed excitement to be able to work in his home county to strengthen and build business development in new ways.  It’s not just OK because we’ve always done it that way, but new ideas have to make economic sense.  Heath challenged us to look at the Gladbrook community both closely, but also with a wide view to see the big picture.  He encouraged us to invite an outside evaluation of area business to see what might be our current strengths and future needs.  Often those of us who have been working in an area for a long time are too close to the situation to see clearly our possibilities and limitations.   Mr. Kellogg said he developed a description of Economic Development in a way he thought it most understandable in trying to tell his son about his new job.  He described it as a circular process much like looking at a clock.  As a stimulus to future thinking, we were each asked to write on a slip of paper the one thing we think is the most urgent need for a successful business climate in Gladbrook.  He will look at the answers, compile a list and revisit this topic with us in the future.  If you have suggestions and would like to add to the list, please take your suggestion to one of your Commercial Club members. The next meeting of the Gladbrook Commercial Club will be at Gifts of Grace on October 4th in the morning at 6:30 a.m.  Please consider joining us.

Article Photos

Heath Kellog, above left, new Tama County Economic Development Director and Tim Kuehl, above right, Gladbrook Community School District Superintendent were guest speakers at the Gladbrook Commercial Club which met on August 9.



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