For many years we have heard phrases like, “Think Globally, Act Locally.” The perspective is, of course, a good one as we keep in mind the needs and interests of the world surrounding us and do our part through our everyday actions within our communities. More recently, however, increasing attention has been paid to the inherent strength of a region. Such regions often cross state and national boundaries and are driven more by shared resources such as transportation, commerce and trade and technology; they are less about lines on a map.
The Greater Des Moines region is a good example. Many are surprised to learn the entire labor shed for this region includes nearly one million people. In the past few years, Central has been building on very solid bases of engagement in the community of Pella and through our global programs by exploring the opportunities in our region. As a member of the Greater Des Moines Partnership*, the college has continued to develop relationships with partners for service learning and volunteer service, new and exciting internship experiences, and increasing relationships with business and industry. Together these regional activities enrich learning and create pathways for students both during and after college.
The human capital we bring to this region is also impressive. Throughout the Greater Des Moines Partnership region, Central has more than 6,600 alumni who are connected by a shared experience and act across the region to support existing and emerging opportunities for all. We can be proud of our impact on central Iowa and always remain mindful of the many benefits we enjoy.
It doesn’t end there, however. Our Central alumni are spread around the world participating in regional activities that knit communities together and strengthen our civil society through many modes of involvement. Businesses, governments, churches, schools and nonprofit organizations of all kinds are able to band together to support a shared vision that increases quality of life, nurtures more sustainable lifestyles and provides for economic success.
As we spread the reach of Central through regional involvement, our values of education and service support the needs of a very diverse and complicated world. Many of the solutions we seek as a society will surface as we embrace our regions and benefit from the partnerships that will make us strong.
*From its website, the Greater Des Moines Partnership is an economic and community development organization, united to drive economic growth with one voice, one mission, in one region. The Partnership works to grow opportunity, create jobs, and promote the best place to build a business, a career, and a future