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Colo-Nesco School District Awarded Power of Connection Community Grant

COLO, Iowa (July 20, 2023)  An initiative to provide reliable childcare in the Colo area has received a $5,000 Power of Connection grant jointly administered by ITC Midwest and the Iowa Rural Development Council.

The Colo-NESCO School District has formed a childcare task force comprised of school board members as well as local business and organization representatives, including the Ames Chamber of Commerce and Youth Social Serves (YSS), with a mission of providing additional before- and after-school childcare. This need was discovered as survey results showed a lack of childcare as a primary reason families were opting to open enroll out of the district.

Four power of connection recipients from Colo-Nesco School standing in front of blue wall.
Left to right: ITC Midwest LGCA Director Troy Weary, Ames Economic Development Commission Director, Economic Development Outreach & Government Relations Greg Piklapp, Ames Economic Development Commission Director, Workforce & Diversity Nikki Fischer, and Colo Nesco Community School District Superintendent & Elementary Principal Marc Snavely.

“This project is a top priority not only for the Colo-NESCO School District, but the community as a whole,” said Colo-NESCO Community School District Superintendent Marc Snavely. “We have willing partners at the table wanting to share the burden and all members of our task force see the goals in front of us.”

A recent report completed by the Iowa Women’s Foundation showed 65% of parents/guardians are late to work or leave work early because of childcare inadequacies. Additionally, 63% of those respondents said that lack of childcare continues to influence their careers. This results in an impact on not only parents but the workforce, including local businesses and the communities they serve.

The Power of Connection grant program is intended to help fund feasibility studies, strategic planning and non-construction/equipment elements of a rural project. In Colo-NESCO School District, the funding will be used to offset fees and training sessions needed to create a registered childcare center utilizing two rooms in the recently renovated high school building. YSS will facilitate the Kids Club program which will provide before and after-school care, and continuous care during no-school days to families in the district.

“When parents’ childcare options are narrow or inaccessible, their ability to participate in the workforce becomes limited and, in some cases, eliminated entirely,” said ITC Midwest President Dusky Terry. “We are pleased to assist the Colo-NESCO School District in their efforts to combat this growing concern, as we believe their effort will result in additional economic growth in the area.”

About the Power of Connection Program
The Power of Connectioncommunity grant program is an initiative of ITC Midwest and the Iowa Rural Development Council (IRDC). This innovative economic development program is designed to pair rural communities seeking assistance with IRDC resource teams. Those teams drive both community conversations and solution development for problems or projects.

Communities eligible for the Power of Connection program must have populations of under 10,000 and be outside of a metropolitan area. Power of Connectiongrant dollars cannot be used for construction, real estate or equipment.

About ITC Midwest  
ITC Midwest LLC is a subsidiary of ITC Holdings Corp., the largest independent electricity transmission company in the U.S. ITC Midwest operates more than 6,600 circuit miles of transmission lines in Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois and Missouri, and holds utility status in Wisconsin. ITC Midwest is headquartered in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and maintains regional operating facilities in Dubuque, Iowa City and Perry, Iowa; and Albert Lea and Lakefield, Minnesota.  For further information visit ITC is a subsidiary of Fortis Inc., a leader in the North American regulated electric and gas utility industry. For further information visit