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Decatur County Awarded Power of Connection Community Grant

LEON, Iowa (April 14, 2023) – An initiative to assess the need for flexible and reliable childcare in Decatur County has received a $5,000 Power of Connection grant jointly administered by ITC Midwest and the Iowa Rural Development Council.

The Decatur County Development Corporation, in partnership with the Decatur County Hospital, has developed a steering committee to address the scarcity of childcare options in Decatur County. Decatur County Hospital is the largest employer in the county, staffing 85 to90 full-time employees with an additional 20 to 30 part-time employees.

 ITC Midwest Community Affairs Manager Scott Arnold, Bill Morain
Photo caption (left to right): ITC Midwest Community Affairs Manager Scott Arnold, Bill Morain,
Decatur County Development Corporation Executive Director Cierra Fountain, and Shannon Erb.

“Since the majority of childcare can be found in-home, or privately, our largest employers constantly struggle to find flexible and reliable providers,” said Decatur County Development Corporation Executive Director Cierra Fountain. “It’s estimated that nearly 40% of employees have a need for childcare. Limited access to childcare creates issues with staffing many shifts.” 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 Decatur County, the ITC Midwest funding will be used to conduct a market study to understand the childcare needs in the area and determine the feasibility of additional options including a childcare center.

“Childcare in rural areas is challenging for parents and as a result, employers are affected,” said ITC Midwest President Dusky Terry. “We are pleased to assist the steering committee in Decatur County in this market study, as we believe the results will provide insight and lead to solutions to foster continued economic growth in the area.”

About the Power of Connection Program
The Power of Connection community 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 Connection grant 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


Media Contacts:
Bill Menner, Executive Director, Iowa Rural Development Council or 641-990-4757
Darcy Ehrmann, Senior Communications Specialist, ITC Midwest or 319-297-6837