Dubuque Selected for Economic Mobility and Opportunity Cohort

Dubuque is one of 10 communities nationwide selected to participate in a series of learning and training opportunities on boosting upward economic mobility.

The City of Dubuque and Greater Dubuque Development Corporation will participate in the program and plan to gain best practices, tools, and/or technical assistance to implement the City’s Equitable Poverty Reduction and Prevention Plan. The Dubuque team is comprised of Anderson Sainci (Director of the Office of Shared Prosperity & Neighborhood Support, City of Dubuque), Cori Burbach (Assistant City Manager, City of Dubuque), and Nic Hockenberry (Director of Workforce Programming, Greater Dubuque Development Corporation).

Economic mobility describes the upward or downward movement in a person’s economic or social status throughout their lifetime and throughout generations. With the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Economic Mobility and Opportunity (EMO) program, the International City Management Association (ICMA) is offering a series of learning and training opportunities in 2023 focused on boosting upward mobility in local communities.  Embedded within ICMA’s “Local Government Reimagined” initiative, efforts will educate local leaders about drivers of mobility and opportunity and what is working to move the needle for the security, health, and welfare of vulnerable residents in communities across the country.

Sainci said the program will assist in tracking key city-level data/metrics on upward mobility and engaging the business sector to address workforce preparation and training issues, including expanding job options for Dubuque’s underemployed through targeted marketing of existing programs and resources, student support, and community engagement. Another benefit of the program will be exploring best practices and strategies from other cohort communities focused on addressing economic insecurity among their residents.

As a participant in the program, the City of Dubuque will receive a $30,000 grant to address workforce preparation and training issues, focusing on expanding job options for Dubuque’s underemployed.  The funds will also be used for small grants to area entrepreneurs, including minority, women, disabled, and LGBTQ-owned businesses.

According to ICMA, local government managers and their teams are uniquely positioned to implement policies and affect conditions that promote overall well-being and upward mobility for their residents. The goals of this opportunity are to increase local decision-makers’ understanding of the drivers of and barriers to mobility and opportunity, and to support them in identifying and implementing actions to advance upward mobility for residents of their communities.

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