It’s never too early to start thinking about career paths and as a community, we want students of all ages to explore their interests and passions and graduate from high school ready for the next step in their life. Future Ready Story County, a new Ames Chamber of Commerce resource and complementary program to Future Ready Iowa, is designed to help students prepare for the future while learning about different industries, local employers, and ways to get plugged into clubs and organizations at school and in the community.
Did you know there are over 120 student clubs and organizations in Story County? Hop online and find a club or two your school that will get you plugged into causes and activities you are passionate about.
Chart Your Course
Chart Your Course to better understand your passions and strengths. Explore the 16 different career pathways to help you plan your education and career as you work to achieve your greatest aspirations.
Stand out when applying for jobs and colleges! Learn how to create a high school resumé with a step-by-step guide and look at examples for inspiration on how to make yours capture the attention of hiring managers and admissions counselors.
Deepen your understanding of core values like philanthropy, inclusion, leadership, opportunity and teamwork, gain hands-on experience, and explore a variety of career opportunities over the course of five all-day events throughout the school year with students from across the county. Juniors and seniors can sign up for spring semester events now!
Volunteering and Job Shadows
Get to know your community on a more personal level by volunteering or spending time in local businesses through job shadows and internships.
As we start the new year and find ways to be more engaged and involved in the Ames and Story County community in 2020, there are plenty of opportunities to be involved in the governing and policy making process. The old adage that all politics is local still rings true, and this is evident in many of the ways citizens can be involved in the public policy process throughout 2020.
There are ample opportunities to be involved throughout the calendar year, including the 2020 State Legislative Session, which starts on January 13th and should conclude by April 21st; the 2020 Democratic Caucuses on February 3rd, volunteering for a Board or Commission at the state or local level, Ames Day at the Capitol on March 17th, the Ames Chamber of Commerce Washing ton, D.C. Fly-In on May 19th-21st, the 2020 Primary Election on June 2nd, the 2020 General Election on November 3rd, to name a few.
There are several critical policy issues being considered in the 2020 Legislative Session, and it is important to stay informed and advocate on policy priorities, such as the need for talent to address Iowa’s workforce development challenges, investment in economic development, cultivation of a strong business climate, and investing in Iowa’s transportation network and critical infrastructure. The Ames Chamber of Commerce advocates tirelessly for our members priorities, but we are the most impactful and successful when you provide your insight, experience, and voice throughout the legislative process.
As Iowa residents, we are all well aware it has been Caucus season for some time, but as the Iowa Democratic Caucuses quickly approach on February 3rd, it is important to remain informed and participate in the electoral process. Though this year’s Caucuses are only for the Democratic candidates, and only registered Democrats can participate, voters need to be informed heading into election season. Therefore, as we work to retain our first in the nation status, Iowans need to capitalize on the access we have to all candidates and educate ourselves to make sure the best possible candidate is elected.
Another way to give back and be engaged in a very meaningful manner is to volunteer for one of the many Boards and Commissions available at the state and local level. There are always ample opportunities to serve at the city, county, and state level, and these technical committees play a key role in the vetting of public policy. In Ames, boards and commissions are filled at the recommendation of the Mayor. The City accepts applications for local boards and commissions until February 5th and is always in need of quality applicants looking to serve their community. The Story County Board of Supervisors is also frequently in need of quality members for their boards and commissions as well. Interested individuals can apply on the county’s website and can always inquire with any of the three Supervisors to learn how their talents may best be utilized. Finally, the State of Iowa also has a wide array of boards and commissions citizens can serve on. The Governor makes these appointments throughout the year, and interested individuals can apply online for positions via the Iowa Talent Bank. Members of boards and commissions may not always get a lot of attention, but they all serve pivotal roles in Iowa’s state and local governments, and provide elected officials valuable technical assistance and expertise.
Annually, the Ames Chamber of Commerce sends a delegation of key Ames and Story County business, community, and institutional leaders to the nation’s capital for our Annual Washington, D.C. Fly-In. While in DC, the delegation meets with all of Iowa’s federal elected officials, the White House, and key federal agencies to present and discuss the priorities of our members. It is a great opportunity to engage our elected officials and learn more about critical policy issues, but it is also an excellent opportunity to meet key community leaders and develop relationships with them during this 3-day excursion.
With this being a Presidential election year, not only are the Iowa Caucuses in February, the Primary Election is on June 2nd, and the General Election is on November 3rd. While it is always important for people to participate in the electoral process, the 2020 General Election may bring a record number of individuals to the polls, so it is important that all voters educate themselves, so they can make an informed decision. In the Primary, voters will vote for the United States Senate, United States House, applicable state offices, and applicable county offices for their respective party. In the General Election, voters will cast ballots for President/Vice President, United States Senate, United States House, applicable state offices, and applicable county offices. As in past years, the Ames Chamber of Commerce will provide an array of election resources to ensure all members are adequately prepared before heading to the polls.
Finally, there are always a wide assortment of plans being undertaken by the City of Ames that are important for Chamber members to know about. In 2020, the City will finalize the Ames 2040 Comprehensive Plan, , which will guide the city’s priorities for the next 20-years, the Long Range Transportation Plan, which will guide our transportation and infrastructure planning through 2045, the Ames Municipal Airport Master Plan, which will guide operations at the Airport through 2040, the Downtown Parking Study, which will set the stage for current and future parking throughout Downtown Ames, the development and adoption of the FY2021 budget, which will guide Ames’ funding priorities through June 30, 2021, and the Capital Improvements Plan, which will prioritize capital expenditures for the five-year period of FY2021-FY2025. Each of these plans take a substantial amount of time to complete, and it is important that Ames Chamber of Commerce members play an active role in the development of each, as the voice of the business community always needs to be heard.
As you can see, there is no shortage of opportunities for Ames Chamber of Commerce members to be actively engaged in the public policy process in 2020. Now all you have to do is take advantage of them.
Written by: Stacy Dreyer, 2020 Ames Chamber of Commerce Board Chair
Welcome to 2020!
Remember when you were young and 2020 seemed so far away? Well it’s here today, and the Ames Chamber of Commerce is excited to launch A Bold Vision as we embark on the new decade.
I am elated to serve as the Chair of the Ames Chamber of Commerce in 2020. As I read through the strategic plan for the Ames Chamber & Economic Development Commission, I reflected on the reasons why I am involved with these organizations. There are so many awesome things happening in Story County – and it’s exciting to be a part of the action.
Want to get involved?
The Ames Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Commission work tirelessly to enhance the quality of life, spark job growth and nurture diversity and inclusion for all of Story County. It’s through our members and hard-working staff that so many wonderful things for our community and economy are accomplished.
Here’s to an exciting 2020………..and beyond!
Happy New Year and welcome to a brand-new decade! The last 10 years were very good to the Ames and Story County community and I remain optimistic for more of the same in the new year and beyond.
Did you know that from January of 2010 to October of 2019 (the most recent data collected) our market added 12,600 new jobs? That is a very large number for a market of roughly 100,000 people. The market being the Ames Metropolitan Statistical Area (Ames MSA), which is the geographic boundary of Story County. MSA’s are how the federal government measures a number of data points in population centers. In that same time period, our MSA went from 4.8% unemployment to 1.3%, which is the lowest in the United States! This number one ranking is a distinction the Ames MSA has held for roughly the last 36-40 months. Truly incredible.
I remain bullish on our economy going into the new decade. I am also very excited that the Ames Chamber of Commerce and our Affiliate entities will be launching a new strategic plan that will chart our organizational course for the next three years. Watch for this the latter part of January.
Many of my peers across the country often ask what the secret sauce is for our market success. I tell them it is a combination of things. First, we are home to a world-class educational institution in Iowa State University. Follow this with a wide array of strong partners like the City of Ames, Story County, Alliant Energy, and Des Moines Area Community College, to name a few, and when you couple all of this with an engaged business community – it really starts to come together.
The constant challenge is keeping people in the boat and what I mean by that is keeping all of the partners engaged. We do this through constant communication and by being inclusive. Hopefully you see this as we go about our business.
2020 will also be a rich opportunity for our team here at the Ames Chamber of Commerce to take Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) to a new level. Watch for a blog or other presentation from us on this outstanding process that I believe is making me, and our team, better communicators internally and more accountable to one another, which should ultimately make us a more responsive organization for our members, investors, and public and private partners.
Speaking of our members, investors, and public and private partners; thanks to all of you for a great decade! With your ongoing engagement the continued success of the Ames/Story County market is assured.
Happy New Year!