(Glenwood) -- A veteran economic development official crosses the river from Nebraska to spearhead Mills County's efforts.
The Mills County Economic Development Board recently selected Marco Floreani as the county's next economic development director. Floreani succeeds Rick Allely who recently resigned. Floreani has been involved in economic development work for the past 10 years. Most recently, he served as senior director of business development with the Greater Omaha Economic Partnership. Speaking on KMA's "Morning Line" program Tuesday morning, Floreani says the county's support for business and industrial development lured him to the position.
"There was a lot of support, I felt, from the local business community, the stakeholders, the utility organizations, the state of Iowa's economic development agency," said Floreani. "I really felt they were well organized. There was a lot of support. And, where Mills County is geographically, I felt this was a prime spot to attract industry, to attract high quality jobs, and do economic development."
Floreani says the county's location was also a factor. With its proximity to the Omaha-Council Bluffs area plus major interstates, among other attributes, he says the county is fertile for development opportunities.
"I think Mills County is just a great location for that," he said. "The people that are here are dedicated to economic development. There are great parks, great schools, and just great amenities just throughout. So, it just kind of checked all the boxes."
Floreani says Mills County's amenities lends itself to particular industries.
"You obviously want to think of logistics," said Floreani, "because of where we're located. We're kind of in the center of the country. Transportation and logistics is a big one. Moving goods, warehousing, for instance--there's a lot of jobs around that. So, you have dispatchers, you have freight agents, you have drivers--a huge industry there."
And, he says the county is ripe for agricultural development, as well.
"We're surrounded by some great land for soil and water," he said, "kind of the golden triangle. We've got the land, we've got the people, we've got the water. So, a great place for agriculture, particularly for value-added (agriculture). Biotechnology is a big industry that I think we can attract here. Deriving as much as we can from the ag that's here. For farmers, it's hopeful that it drives up the ag and commodity prices, as well."
Floreani assumes his post at a precarious time, as the county is still recovering from the 2019 Missouri River flooding, and is still dealing with impact of the coronavirus pandemic. We'll talk about those challenges in a future news story. You can hear the full interview with Marco Floreani on our "Morning Line" page at kmaland.com.