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 - Continue ongoing efforts to diversify Dubuque’s economy, including all sectors and all employment types and categories.  #1.1.1

The following companies expanded operations and added employees recently.

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

Recommendation tracker

Economic Prosperity: 9 recommendations

Economic Prosperity

• At Risk  • Off Track  On Track  • Achieved



Continue to diversify Dubuque’s economy  - 1.1.1 *
Develop a ‘hyper-local’ approach to diverse talent attraction/development  - 1.1.2
Strengthen start-up businesses and entrepreneurial programming  - 1.1.3
Continue work of Inclusive Dubuque / enhance economic resilience  - 1.1.4


Continue ongoing efforts to diversify Dubuque’s economy, including all sectors and all employment types and categories.  1.1.1 * - Coordinator: Jason White,

► Status: On Track

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Simmons Pet Food purchased the 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.
    • July 2022 - Simmons announced a second pet food production line will begin commercial operation in August at the plant, bringing the facility's total workforce to over 400 employees.
  • Tri State Building Supply, a new construction material supplier for contractors and the public, opens in October 2022 as a full-service lumber yard, employing 10-15 full-time employees.
  • Progressive Processing, a subsidiary of Hormel Foods, announced a $13 million plan to expand their facility and add 58 new jobs. (January 2022)
  • 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."
  • Klauer Manufacturing Company announced plans in January 2022 to expand their existing manufacturing operations in the Kerper Boulevard Industrial Park. The company will invest over $13 million on building construction and manufacturing equipment which will expand the existing building by 73,000 square feet. Klauer Manufacturing also plans to add 16 high-quality jobs in conjunction with the expansion.
  • TriState Quality Metals is moving forward with plans to invest $1.75M on a new 31,350 square foot addition to its existing facility. The expansion will also include new machinery, equipment, and technology to better serve the marketplace and increase efficiency.
  • Green Industrial Supply Inc. plans to add 97,000 square feet to its 142,000-square-foot facility. The project is estimated to cost $7.8 million and add at least 10 additional employees.
  • Georgia-Pacific closed its Dubuque facility. Greater Dubuque Development Corporation organized a hiring fair with 50 employers for the 85 skilled workers that lost their jobs as a result, as well as any other individual seeking employment.


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.  1.1.2 - Coordinator: Jason White,

► Status: On Track

  • 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 to 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.
  • Greater Dubuque Development Corporation launched the YOU can be great here campaign in July 2022. This campaign is another workforce tool to help employers recruit, retain, and develop talent now and into the future. The campaign uses a targeted strategy to attract and welcome people from outside the region and utilizes cutting-edge technology and a community marketing effort to reach them.
  • 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.
  • Talent Dubuque offers summer interns a variety of networking, learning, and engagement opportunities to build connections with each other and our community. Sponsored by Greater Dubuque Development, this program is free and exclusive to investors.
  • Work That Works: Greater Dubuque Development Corporation has partnered with institutions of higher learning and employers to bring flexible, part-time employment opportunities to area students. The program began in a piloted phase in February 2022.
  • Opportunity Dubuque is a nationally-recognized, collaborative job training effort developed in response to local employers’ needs for a skilled workforce. Northeast Iowa Community College, funded through Dubuque Works, offers training in 18 disciplines to fill high-demand and highwage careers.
  • City Council Priority Alignment 2022-2024:
    • City Workforce Retention and Attraction: Direction and Funding


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.  1.1.3 - Coordinator: Jill Connors,

► Status: On Track

  • 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:
  • The City of Dubuque Economic Development Department is offering grants of up to $3,000 to help qualified low-and moderate-income (LMI) business owners succeed over the long term.


Continue the current work of Inclusive Dubuque, also formulating strategies to enhance economic resiliency and mitigate the impact of economic disruptions locally.  1.1.4 - Coordinator: Alex Baum,

► Status: On Track

  • The Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque's Business Leader Equity Cohort has over 30 local CEOs providing support to emerging leaders.
  • Dubuque College Access Network supports post-secondary training & education with 50 partners. This program is concluding its fourth year, and has applied for a supplemental year of funding for FY23.
  • 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.
  • The Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque is convening the Employer Inclusion Council, a regional action network that connects organizational leaders and influential community members to strengthen diversity, equity and inclusion efforts in Dubuque’s business community.
  • City Council Priority Alignment 2021-2023:
    • Equitable Poverty Prevention & Reduction Plan Implementation
    • Childcare Initiative