CEDAR FALLS — A five-year federal grant will help the University of Northern Iowa support business retention and expansion throughout the region.
The U.S. Economic Development Administration recently announced the grant to UNI and 19 other universities and colleges in 13 states through the 2018 University Center Economic Development Program Competition. A total of $2.5 million is being awarded per year, including $131,000 to UNI’s business and community services.
Drew Conrad, director of the Institute for Decision Making, said this is the second time the university has received a five-year grant through the program. The first grant, which is just ending, supported entrepreneurship around the state. The focus is different this time.
“It will be a more concentrated effort on the Cedar Valley region,” he said. Conrad noted university programs will work in partnership with local economic development organizations such as the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber and the Butler Grundy Development Alliance.
“Those funds will go to a variety of programs at UNI and also some implementation dollars to help, as well,” he said. “We’re looking forward to launching the project.”