By Sen. Tod Bowman
Special to the Herald
I recently toured Precision Metal Works in Maquoketa with Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds.
The company is using students from the Welding Academy under the leadership of instructor Craig Burken at Maquoketa High School.
Wes Merryman, president of PMW, explained the needs of the company, including the importance of matching students in skilled training programs at community colleges with the employer. Hiring veterans was also discussed, as they often have great leadership skills.
Recent news that state revenues are rising is a good sign that Iowa’s economy is growing and creating jobs. The nonpartisan revenue panel has reported that this year’s real economic growth is greater than predicted.
With the 2013 legislative session just a few short months away, planning is under way for the next state budget. I’ll continue to keep job creation and education at the forefront. We can and must invest in these priorities while balancing the budget without raising taxes. That’s the best way to make sure middle-class Iowans and local businesses will benefit from a lasting recovery.
Part of Iowa’s rebound is thanks to our state’s thriving tourism industry. New data shows that in 2011, tourists spent more than $7 billion in Iowa. The U.S. Travel Association found that:
• Iowa jobs related to travel increased by 2.2 percent to 63,400.
• A 10.3 percent increase in tourism spending helped Iowa workers earn $1.1 billion in income.
• Iowa tourism produced $329 million in state tax revenue and $101 million in local tax revenue.
You can learn more about the economic impact of travel in Iowa overall and in local counties at http://tinyurl.com/IAtour11.
Senator Tod Bowman serves the people of Iowa's Senate District 13, which includes Jackson County, northeast Clinton County and southeast Dubuque County.