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Brookings Selects Greater Des Moines for the Metropolitan Export Initiative

Posted September 19, 2012 in Web Exclusives

GREATER DES MOINES – The Greater Des Moines region has been selected to participate in the Metropolitan Export Initiative (MEI) developed by the Brookings Institution. Brookings made the announcement today, naming Greater Des Moines, along with six other regions across the United States: Charleston, SC; Chicago, IL; Columbus, OH; Louisville-Lexington, KY; San Diego, CA; and Tampa Bay, FL. The selection follows a comprehensive statement of readiness and capabilities submitted by the Greater Des Moines Partnership on behalf of the metro area and Central Iowa business community.

“With less than one percent of U.S. small businesses currently exporting and more than 95 percent of consumers living outside our borders, this is a great opportunity to help Central Iowa companies be more competitive in the international marketplace,” said Jay Byers, CEO, Greater Des Moines Partnership. “Brookings will provide guidance to our staff and other community leaders to help us better position our region on a global economic scale.”

Brookings developed the Metropolitan Export Initiative (MEI), a ground-up collaborative effort to help a pilot group of regional civic, business, and political leaders, with their states, create and implement customized Metropolitan Export Plans (MEP). These localized export plans apply market intelligence to develop better targeted, integrated export-related services and strategies to help regions better connect their firms to global customers, as outlined by their individualized export goals.

To help other metropolitan leaders successfully adopt their own plans, Brookings developed The Metropolitan Export Exchange (The Exchange), a six to 12 month long program that will use a mix of classroom instruction, peer learning opportunities, regional team work assignments, and targeted advice to help multiple metropolitan areas successfully design and launch (and ultimately implement) their own MEPs by the end of the exchange period.

“This initiative fulfills an integral part of Iowa State University’s mission to provide economic development assistance,” said Dr. Michael Crum, Interim Raisbeck Endowed Dean and Ruan Chair in Supply Chain Management, Iowa State University College of Business. “Under the guidance of Brookings and with collaboration from other metropolitan areas selected to participate, Central Iowa leaders will develop an action-oriented exporting plan to generate economic benefits for the region and the entire State of Iowa.”

The Partnership’s next step is to assemble a steering committee of staff and community leaders to participate in the initiative.

For more information, contact Susan Ramsey at sramsey@desmoinesmetro.com or 515-286-4945.

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The Greater Des Moines Partnership serves the economic development needs of Dallas, Jasper, Madison, Marshall, Polk and Warren Counties, connects over 4,700 business members from 24 regional Affiliate Chambers of Commerce, and is united to drive economic growth with one voice, one mission, and as one region.
The Brookings Institution is a private nonprofit organization devoted to independent research and innovative policy solutions. For nearly 100 years, Brookings has analyzed current and emerging issues and produced new ideas that matter—for the nation and the world.
The Metropolitan Export Initiative is part of the Brookings-Rockefeller Project on State and Metropolitan Innovation, a national effort to catalyze and showcase leading-edge practices to boost the nation’s transition to the next economy.





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