On December 12 the Ames Chamber of Commerce held its annual event. This year’s event focused on our Bold Vision for 2020 and beyond, and it was great to see so many business leaders in Story County get on board with our vision. We will be launching our new strategic plan wrapped around the idea of this bold vision in the first part of the new year, and I’m excited for you to see it.
The idea of our bold vision came as we were reviewing some data that we found really staggering that I’d like to share with you.
In January of 2010, there were 50,100 jobs in Ames and Story County or the Ames Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), a federal criterion for measuring marketplaces. At the same time, unemployment was 4.8%. Who wouldn’t love 4.8% unemployment today? Because then we could put all of those people to work.
The latest data set we have is from October of 2019. According to those numbers, there are 62,700 jobs in the Ames MSA. We have an unemployment rate of 1.3%. That’s 12,600 new jobs in the last nine and a half years in Ames and Story County. Think about that for a minute. That’s incredible job growth for a market of roughly 100,000 people. That’s 1,260 jobs a year. I think our strategic plan would love if we could be part of companies in creating 1,260 jobs a year. 105 new jobs per month, and I’m not going to break it down by the day. But the point is, that is significant job growth for a market of this size.
That shows you that we continue to punch our weight class here in this Ames MSA and this Ames and Story County community. Here’s the question: how many of those 12,600 people live in Ames or Story County? What would our market look like if 75% of those people lived here or in Nevada or in Huxley or points in between Story City? That’s my challenge to you. How do we take our first step into 2020, into a new decade, trying to find that solution? That solution is a bold vision.
A bold vision for Ames.
A bold vision for Story County.
A bold vision for business, workforce.
A bold vision for community.
A bold vision for one of our core values at the Ames Chamber of Commerce, the greater good.
Bold vision for you.
And certainly, bold vision for me every day as the leader of the Ames Chamber of Commerce.
And bold vision for our future generations.
Join us in this exciting journey with a bold vision for every aspect of Story County, whether it’s the greater good, diversity and inclusion, community growth, or whatever it might be. Please join us in 2020.
Thanks to all of you for being active and engaged community members. With your continued support, I promise our success is assured. Enjoy the rest of your year, go Cyclones, and all the best for a great 2020!