Economic Prosperity includes 9 recommendations across 3 sub-categories: Employment, Housing, and Business. The bar chart below highlights the status of the 9 recommendations. Scroll down to the Recommendation Tracker for details. Status information reflects the community's work toward each recommendation.

Recommendation Highlight - Identify markets and sites for new homes  #A2a

Click the image to learn about Dubuque's efforts to increase affordable housing.

- Data will be updated bi-annually to align with Council Reports -

Recommendation tracker

Economic Prosperity: 9 recommendations


Needs Resources  Getting Started  Underway  Complete/Ongoing



Continue to diversify Dubuque’s economy  - A1a *
Develop a ‘hyper-local’ approach to diverse talent attraction/development  - A1b
Strengthen start-up businesses and entrepreneurial programming  -A1c
Continue work of Inclusive Dubuque / enhance economic resilience  -A1d


Continue ongoing efforts to diversify Dubuque’s economy, including all sectors and all employment types and categories.  A1a * - Coordinator: Jason White,

► Status: Underway

  • As America's longest-running urban Main Street program, Dubuque Main Street pivoted in 2020 to support small businesses as they struggled to navigate how to stay open, relevant and safe during the pandemic. Signage, marketing and advocacy helped local businesses shift to alternative services, like curbside delivery of not just food, but everything from books to beer.
  • Cottingham & Butler and Heartland Financial USA purchased the Roshek Building in order to expand in the Dubuque market. Heartland has exceeded their projection for capital and jobs creation investment. Capital investment will exceed $15.5 million, with the creation of 420 full time equivalent positions, exceeding their required 348 jobs.
  • Simmons Pet Food purchased vacated Flexsteel Industries manufacturing plant in the Dubuque Industrial Center West, with plans to create 271 new full-time, living-wage jobs by 2023. Production at the facility began on July 1, 2021 with over 200 employees already on-staff, far exceeding initial employment projections.
  • Progressive Processing, a subsidiary of Hormel Foods, announced a $13 million plan to expand their facility and add 58 new jobs.
  • The 75 year old Dubuque Screw Products Inc. announced its physical expansion in order to accommodate 10 more employees in April 2022. “The growth in our sales over the past years continues to have us purchase more equipment and hire more people,” President Matt Scherr relays in a Telegraph Herald article dated April 45, 2022. “We have simply run out of space."
  • Walter Development (HODGE) has leased existing space on Chavenelle Road to Duluth Trading Company and Crown Holdings, two new employers to Dubuque who pledged to add a collective 116 jobs. Job numbers have significantly outpaced original commitments. A new distribution facility exceeding 220,000 square feet, was built by HODGE for Duluth Trading in 2020. The balance of the space vacated by Duluth Trading, has been leased by Crown Holdings for expanded production and warehousing and distribution of their finished product.


Convene local employers attracting talent from elsewhere and from the region, identify successes and challenges based upon local employer experiences, and develop a comprehensive ‘hyper-local’ approach to overall diverse talent attraction and development, including a local talent pipeline.  A1b - Coordinator: Jason White,

► Status: Underway

  • Greater Dubuque Development Corporation's five year capital campaign for 2027 includes efforts to increase the County's workforce to more than 64,000 from 59,000, surpassing the workforce loss during the pandemic. Another goal is reach a median household income of $76,000 in the county over the next five years, up from about $63,000 in 2021 and $56,000 in 2017. (March 2022)
  • Greater Dubuque Development Corporation's InfoAction confers with 300 CEOs, while HR Action confers with human resource professionals from 60 businesses annually. Together, they aggregate data to inform business and the community.
  • The Tri-State Black Business Expo, organized by Tri-Phoenix Group, premiered in August 2021 to build connections and awareness between Black-owned business and consumers.
  • Greater Dubuque Development Corporation's Workforce Solutions team and AccessDubuqueJobs host events to connect employers and the potential workforce.
  • DubuqueWorks is a collaborative regional partnership of 18 employers, funding partners, workforce experts, and educators. The initiative focuses on human capital, skill development, and collaboration & valuation.
  • Big Life, Small City attracts, informs, and engages young people to return or stay in Dubuque.
  • Greater Dubuque Development's Retention Recruitment Creation strategy measures the temperature of newcomers to understand what's working (and what's not) in Dubuque.


Continue to strengthen existing start-up business and entrepreneurial programming to develop a comprehensive entrepreneurial eco-system. This system should include programs and resources, including funding, for entrepreneurs through Stage 2 growth.  A1c - Coordinator: Jill Connors,

► Status: Getting Started

  • Greater Dubuque Development Corporation's Future Leadership Team explores issues and best practices in business and industry, community, non-profits, and education.
  • The Tri-State Black Business Expo, organized by Tri-Phoenix Group, premiered in August 2021 to build connections and awareness between Black-owned business and consumers.
  • The Tri-Phoenix Group's Goldie Pages DBQ is a directory of Black-owned businesses.
  • City support through the Economic Development Department of the Fountain of Youth Program, which connects low-moderate income individuals to small business grants of up to $3,000 each. (August 2021)
  • Program & Initiatives:


Continue the current work of Inclusive Dubuque, also formulating strategies to enhance economic resiliency and mitigate the impact of economic disruptions locally.  A1d - Coordinator: Alex Baum,

Status: Ongoing

  • The Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque's New Business Leader Equity Cohort has over 30 local CEOs providing support to emerging leaders.
  • Dubuque College Access Network post-secondary training & education with 50 partners. Read more about a grant supporting this effort.
  • The City of Dubuque scores 100% on the 2020 Municipal Equality Index, demonstrating the support of LGBTQ people who work and live in Dubuque.
  • As the Dubuque region grows more racially and ethnically diverse, the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque’s Inclusive Dubuque team has created the new DEI Toolkit, a collection of resources that local organizations can use on their DEI learning journeys.
  • A modification to the City's code in Fall 2021 provided more flexibility to include a registered child development home as a permitted use in office, industrial and zoning districts.
  • The Dubuque Cultural Resource Guide is a list of available resources for the diverse people in Dubuque, whether they have lived here many years, are newcomers, or are considering making this community their home.
  • City Council Priority Alignment 2021-2023:
    • Equitable Poverty Prevention & Reduction Plan Implementation
    • Childcare Initiative