Gov. Kim Reynolds will create an Economic Recovery Advisory Board to guide Iowa’s recovery as the state navigates the process of reopening after months of economic losses because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Announced in a press conference Thursday, Reynolds said she would sign an executive order the same day of creating the board.
The group is chaired by Ruan Transportation CEO Ben McClean and composed of several business leaders in Iowa. It includes executives from MidAmerican Energy, Bush Construction, Foundation Analytical, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, HyVee, and John Deere.
The board will be charged with aiding the recovery of Iowa’s economy, which has taken a significant hit in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The state’s revenue is expected to drop $65 million next year, and more than 150,000 Iowans are still out of work.
Reynolds said the group will analyze recovery solutions and identify and recommend strategies for economic growth.
“Their work isn’t just about moving the economic dial,” Reynolds said. “But also about ensuring the future prosperity of our state is widespread and reaches those workers and communities who too often feel left out, even when times are good.”
McClean, who was appointed as chair of the group, joined Reynolds at the conference. He said the advisory board is looking for ideas from Iowans on how to aid in recovery, and it will identify the best ones and attempt to improve the economic standing of businesses, schools, and health-care facilities.
“This is about taking an incredibly difficult time and an incredibly difficult situation and using it as an opportunity to make Iowa a better place to live, to work, and to raise a family,” he said.