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ITC Midwest, IRDC Launch Power of Connection Community Grant Program

Innovative economic development program will support rural communities across Iowa

PERRY, Iowa (Dec. 18, 2019) – ITC Midwest and the Iowa Rural Development Council (IRDC) today launched the Power of Connection Community Grant Program to facilitate economic development in rural communities across Iowa. The announcement was made at the IRDC’s meeting held in Perry.

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. Ultimately, grants of up to $5,000 – funded by ITC Midwest and the IRDC – may be awarded to rural communities for capacity building, strategic planning, studies or assessment.

“As a leading provider of electric transmission services, ITC Midwest is committed to the future of Iowa. ITC Midwest is keenly interested in initiatives that drive economic vitality and enhanced quality of life across the state,” said ITC Midwest President Dusky Terry. “We are pleased to partner with the Iowa Rural Development Council to create the Power of Connection Community Grant Program, which will leverage the participation of IRDC members to provide rural communities with resources to seize economic development opportunities and make them realities.”

The ITC/IRDC “Power of Connection” Community Grant Program will have three major objectives:

  • Provide technical assistance and the potential for grant funding to rural communities seeking to build capacity, drive new projects, expand leadership opportunities and plan strategically.
  • Make use of existing resources to provide a broad portfolio of services to communities, filling a current need for this comprehensive review;
  • Enhance under the umbrella of IRDC the coordination and collaboration of the 100+ entities who are members of the Council.

The ITC/ IRDC “Power of Connection” Community Grant Program will leverage the participation of the many members of the Iowa Rural Development Council, from federal and state agencies to educational institutions, associations, non-profits and for profits.

These organizations have a thorough knowledge of rural challenges and the variety of resources that exist to address them.

“We know rural communities seeking to develop projects face an early challenge of funding needed to get things rolling,” said IRDC Chair Sandy Ehrig. “These ITC/IRDC grants provide a little seed capital to make things happen and empower communities to move ahead with good ideas.”


A rural community seeking Power of Connection support will be assigned an IRDC SWOT team, which will work with community leaders to consider issues/opportunities identified by the community. Once the SWOT team has completed its work in the community, local leaders can seek grant funds to help implement any new initiatives identified. Priority will be given to requests that leverage other resources.

Communities eligible for the Power of Connection 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.

For more information about program details, contact IRDC Executive Director Bill Menner at or call 641-990-4757.

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 6,800 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

About the Iowa Rural Development Council

The Iowa Rural Development Council is a non-profit public-private partnership featuring members ranging from federal agencies to utilities, universities and community colleges and for-profit entities. The Council is a federal Farm Bill-authorized organization that seeks to empower rural communities and bring together partners to advance the interests of rural Iowa.


Media Contacts: Rod Pritchard, ITC Midwest – 319-350-9255;
Bill Menner, Iowa Rural Development Council – 641-990-4757;