Friday, April 16, 2010

Dubuque serves as Growth Model for Owensboro

The recent visit to Dubuque, Iowa by local leaders to look at the Grand Rivers Convention Center and other downtown amenities gives a potential glimpse into the future. Dubuque's success goes much farther than the convention center.

Dubuque is on the Mississippi River, and the city and Dubuque County are nearly identical to Owensboro and Daviess County in population. The city is one of ten "peer region" that the Greater Owensboro Economic Development Corporation uses for benchmarking of the regional economy.

"There are great similarities between Owensboro and Dubuque," Downtown Development Director Fred Reeves said. "But they are about 10 years ahead of us with their downtown riverfront and convention center and hotel."

Investments over the past years have paid off. Dubuque is the shining star of the ten U.S. regions of the most like Owensboro in terms of demographics. Dubuque ranks at the top of every economic category, including job growth, per capita income, educational attainment, lowest unemployment rate during the recent recession, and the retention of manufacturing jobs. Owensboro ranked between fourth and seventh compared to the ten peers on most of the same measures.

The moral of the story is that Dubuque's success with quality of place development, particularly on the riverfront and in downtown has translated into overall economic success and an abundance of new jobs.

To see how Owensboro compared or to view complete data from Dubuque and other peer regions, please visit

No comments: