Awards and Accolades

Recognition for Dubuque

We are proud of what we do – our awards and accolades are testimony to our efforts in making the Greater Dubuque area a great place to live, work, and play. You can read about some of the recognition we have received below.

Greater Dubuque Development Takes Top Honors at Mid-America Economic Development Council Conference

2016 - The Mid-America Economic Development Council (MAEDC) presented Greater Dubuque Development Corporation with four honors at the 2016 Economic Development awards held December 5, 2016 at the Intercontinental Hotel in Chicago, Illinois.

Greater Dubuque Development Corporation took First Place in the following categories:

  • Annual Report for the 2015-2016 Report
  • Business Retention & Expansion for the InfoAction Program
  • Workforce Development for the HR Action Program

Greater Dubuque Development was also awarded the 2016 Deal of the Year for the Alliant Energy Solar Project. Announced in June 2016, Greater Dubuque Development’s Sustainable Innovation team collaborated with Alliant Energy, A.Y. McDonald Mfg. Co., and the City of Dubuque to create a two-site solar-utility development. The solar array, anticipated to start power generation in late 2017, will be the largest in the state of Iowa and will bring a large portion of green energy to the local grid. The Deal of the Year Award recognizes outstanding achievement in the location of a new or existing business, a type of economic development project having a major impact on a Community or Region, or the exhibiting of excellence by an economic development organization.

Greater Dubuque Development Receives Bronze Excellence in Economic Development Award

2016 -  The International Economic Development Council presented Greater Dubuque Development Corporation with the Bronze Excellence in Economic Development Award for the InfoAction program for business retention and expansion. InfoAction is a collaboration between businesses and Greater Dubuque Development Corporation to address challenges, provide solutions, and deliver services to promote growth. Since its inception, InfoAction has allowed Greater Dubuque Development Corporation to help businesses on more than 3,559 occasions.


Iowa Association of Community College Trustees

Greater Dubuque Development Awarded the Community Service Award

2016 - Greater Dubuque Development Corporation has been awarded the 2016 Community Service Award by the Iowa Association of Community College Trustees. Greater Dubuque Development received the award for our assistance in shaping Dubuque’s future through business retention and expansion, workforce solutions, new business recruitment, sustainable innovation and entrepreneurial support.


America's SBDC Iowa

Greater Dubuque Development Awarded SBDC Partner of Year Award

2016 - Greater Dubuque Development Corporation received the inaugural Partner of the Year award from America’s SBDC Iowa. The award recognizes an outstanding individual or organization for excellence in advancing America’s SBDC Iowa and Iowa’s small businesses and entrepreneurs.


Forbes Logo

Dubuque Among the Best Places in America to Climb the Economic Ladder to Success

2016 - Dubuque was highlighted in a Forbes.com blog authored by John Wasik. The article featured recent research conducted by Harvard and Stanford economist Raj Chetty that found that a child born to poverty in the Greater Dubuque area is among the most likely in the nation to reach the top 20% of income earners by the age of 26. Click here to learn more about this recognition. 


Money Geek Logo

Dubuque Named to Best Small Cities to Make a Living List

2015 - MoneyGeek.com ranked ‎Dubuque 38th out of 29,260 U.S. Cities on their listing of the "Best Small Cities to Make a Living." The list was compiled based on city population, median salary and cost of living. Click here to view the full listing. 


Nerd Wallet Logo

Dubuque Featured on Affordable Housing List

2015 - NerdWallet featured Dubuque on its listing of communities with affordable housing. Their listing identified communities with low crime and unemployment rates where a household making $50,000 could afford to buy a home.


National Trust for Historic Preservation logo

Dubuque’s Schmid Innovation Center Wins National Award

2015 - The Schmid Innovation Center located in the Historic Millwork District received the Tony Goldman Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the National Trust Community Investment Corporation.

This building was redeveloped into a mixed-use facility with ground-floor commercial/retail, lower-level non-profit offices and artist spaces, and apartments on the two upper floors. Greater Dubuque Development’s office is located on the first floor of the building.


Smart Asset

Dubuque County’s Economy Ranks Near Top in Iowa

2015 - SmartAsset.com named Dubuque County’s economy among the fastest-growing in Iowa. Dubuque County ranked 4th in percentage of growth and 6th by dollar amount for gross domestic product in the State of Iowa.


Nerd Wallet Logo

Dubuque Receives U.S. Top Ranking: Awarded for Economic Performance

2015 - Area Development Magazine has recognized the Greater Dubuque area for excellence in economic performance and a strong, healthy business climate. In the 2015 Leading Location Report, Dubuque was named one of the Top 100 Leading Locations in the United States. Dubuque was the highest-ranked “small metro” (populations less than 160,000) in Iowa and second in the state behind the Des Moines area. 


Forbes

Dubuque Named to the Best Small Places for Business and Career Listing

2015 - Forbes Magazine has named Dubuque in the U.S. Top 50 as being one of the 'Best Small Places for Business and Careers.' Dubuque was ranked #48.


Milken Institute

Dubuque Listed as One of the "Best-Performing" small Metros in the United States

2015 - The Greater Dubuque area was named to the Top 100 "Best-Performing" Small Metro Listing.


MovoToBlog

Dubuque Named 2nd Most Relaxed Small City in America

2015 - Dubuque has been named the second “Most Relaxed Small City in America” by MovoTo Blog’s.

The study evaluated metropolitan areas with a population between 50,000 and 60,000 citizens. Communities were compared based on the following criteria: commute time, unemployment rate, cost of living, crime, hours worked per week, population density, percent earnings spent on rent, number of massage businesses, yoga studios, and parks per capita.  

To read the full article, click here.


Milken Institute

Dubuque Named 13th “Best-Performing” Small Metro

2014The Dubuque metropolitan area has been named the 13th “Best-Performing” Small Metro by Milken Institute.

The Milken Institute's “Best-Performing” cities survey ranks U.S. metropolitan areas by job creation, sustaining jobs and economic growth. The components include job, wage and salary, and technology growth. The index used measures of job, wage and technology performance to rank the nation's 200 large metropolitan areas and 179 smaller metros.

To view the full listing, click here.


International Economic Development Council

Greater Dubuque's Workforce Solutions Receives Top International Award: the Newcomer Services Program Honored in Texas

2014 -Greater Dubuque Development’s Newcomer Services received a Silver Excellence in Economic Development Award in the human capital category for communities with populations of 25,000 – 200,000 at the International Economic Development Council Annual Conference. The event was held October 19-22 in Fort Worth, Texas.

Greater Dubuque Development, with funding from Dubuque Works, provides Newcomer Services. This one-stop service for individuals and employers provides a seamless transition, ensuring that individuals and families who have chosen Dubuque as a place to live and work are not only welcomed into the community but are equipped with the knowledge to enrich their experience.

 


USA Today

Dubuque Named One of the Best American Riverfronts

2014 - USA Today has named Dubuque #4 on its list of Best American Riverfronts.

To learn more about this ranking, please visit the US Today website.


Smart 21 Intelligent Communities of the Year

Dubuque Ranks as One of the World's 'Smart Communities'

2014 - Intelligent Community Forum has named Dubuque to their list of the world’s Smart21 Communities of 2015. It was one of five communities in the United States to receive the honor.

The Smart 21 list reflects 21 communities around the world that are making innovative, intelligent moves to improve the area. The communities are selected based on five indicators: broadband connectivity, knowledge workforce, innovation, digital inclusion and marketing and advocacy.

Learn more about this honor by visiting the Smart21 Communities website.


Smart Asset

Dubuque Named Ninth-Best City for Tech Workers

2014 -SmartAsset.com has named Dubuque one of the 10 best American cities to work in tech; ranking Dubuque ninth.

"Dubuque is one of the hilliest cities in the otherwise flat state of Iowa. Besides its picturesque geography, Dubuque has a large number of manufacturing firms which require the precision that the tech industry can provide in order to turn out products like heavy farm machinery. Dubuque has low unemployment, at 4.3 percent, compared to the 6 percent national average. Tech workers there make 1.86 times more than the city average, the highest ratio on our top 10 list."


Forbes.com

Dubuque Climbs to Top 10 in Forbes Best Small Places for Business and Career Ranking

2014 - Dubuque has climbed Forbes Magazine’s ranking of Best Small Places for Business and Careers. In 2014, Dubuque ranked #8 in the United States; moving up from #14 in 2013. Dubuque was the highest ranked city in Iowa in the small cities category; Des Moines also ranked in the Top 10 in the large city category.


Area Development

Dubuque Receives U.S. Top Ranking: Awarded for Economic Performance

2014 -Area Development Magazine has recognized the Greater Dubuque area for excellence in economic performance and a strong, healthy business climate. In the 2014 Leading Location Report, Dubuque was named one of the Top 100 Leading Locations, ranking 21st best in the United States.

Dubuque was also highly ranked in two of the other categories. The rankings included:

  • Top Cities in “Recession-Busting” Factors: Dubuque ranked 7th;
  • Top Cities in Economic Strength Factors: Dubuque ranked 9th.

Professional Developers of Iowa

Greater Dubuque Development Business Retention & Expansion Program Scores Top Honors

2014 - Greater Dubuque Development received first place honors in the category for “Best Overall Business Retention and Expansion Program” from the Professional Developers of Iowa (PDI). The award was presented during the annual Smart Conference, held in Des Moines on May 1st. This annual conference is Iowa’s largest annual conference devoted to economic development.


Site Selection Magazine

Dubuque Wins the Big Muddy Cup

2014 - The Greater Dubuque area is the recipient of Site Selection Magazine’s Big Muddy Cup. This new award recognizes the top metro area along the entire length of the Mississippi River for new and expanded private-sector facility projects per capita over an 18 month period.

Corporate projects in the Greater Dubuque area came from such companies as Hormel, Camoplast Solideal, Brightwood Corp. and software firm Design Mill. In Site Selection's 2013 Top Metro ranking, Dubuque also tied for first place in its population tier with Altoona, Pa., and Sioux City, Iowa-Neb.-S.D.

To read the article, click here.


Site Selection Magazine

Dubuque Score U.S. Top Metro Ranking

2014 - Dubuque has been recognized by the nation's leading publication for site-location and corporate real estate professionals, Site Selection Magazine, for business growth and expansion. Dubuque tied with two other communities for first place in the Top Metro ranking for cities with populations between 50,000 and 200,000. The Dubuque metro area was credited with fourteen projects within the criteria.

In the publication, Dubuque's diverse projects, ranging from Hormel Foods to Bodine Electric, were featured. Hormel Foods represented the area's largest project in 2013 with their $36 Million capital investment in the community which will bring two new product lines to the Progressive Processing facility.

To read the article, click here.


National Award for Smart Growth Achievement

Dubuque Receives EPA Smart Growth Achievement Award

2014 - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has named Dubuque a recipient of its 2013 National Award for Smart Growth Achievement.

Competing in the “Corridor or Neighborhood Revitalization” category, Dubuque was selected for revitalization efforts in the Historic Millwork District and Washington Neighborhood. Winning entries were selected based on their effectiveness in creating sustainable communities; showing innovative smart growth planning and implementation; establishing a robust public involvement process; generating partnerships among public, private, and nonprofit stakeholders; and serving as national models.

To learn more about this recognition, view a video or booklet produced that describes Dubuque’s smart growth efforts and the Historic Millwork District.


Governing

Dubuque 's Downtown Revitalization Touted in National Publication

2014 - Governing, a national magazine, features the revitalization of downtown Dubuque in an article titled, “Corporate Entrepreneurs Are at the Heart of Downtown Revitalizations.”

The article describes the transformation of Dubuque’s downtown from the high vacancy and unemployment rates of the 1980s to recent success stories including the IBM Global Delivery Center in the Roshek Building, the ongoing revitalization of the Historic Millwork District, and the Smarter Sustainable Dubuque initiative.

To read the full article, click here.


American City & County

Dubuque Named a “Crown Community”

2013 - Dubuque is one of only three cities in the country to be named a “Crown Community” by American City & County magazine. The award acknowledges the recent completion of Dubuque’s Water & Resource Recovery Center project, a three-year, $65 million upgrade of the city’s wastewater treatment facility.

To read the full article, click here.


Mid-America Economic Development Council

Double Win for Greater Dubuque: Awarded Top Honors at Regional Conference

2013 - Greater Dubuque Development has been awarded top honors in two separate categories, Business Retention and Expansion and Workforce Development, by the Mid-America Economic Development Council. The awards were presented during the annual Mid-America Competitiveness Conference & Site Selector Forum, held in Chicago on December 8-10. This annual award ceremony recognizes excellence in economic development throughout the ten-state Mid-America region.


Milken Institute

Dubuque Named 10th “Best-Performing” Small Metro

2013 - The Dubuque metropolitan area has been named the 10th “Best-Performing” Small Metro by Milken Institute. Dubuque climbed three spots in the annual ranking.

The Milken Institute's “Best-Performing” cities survey showed where jobs are being created and sustained in metropolitan areas across the nation. The index used measures of job, wage and technology performance to rank the nation's 200 large metropolitan areas and 179 smaller metros.

To view the full listing, click here.


movoto.com

Dubuque Named One of America’s Best Small Cities to Move To

2013 - Dubuque has been named to MoveToBlog’s listing of the “America’s Best Small Cities to Move to.” Dubuque ranks 14th.

The study evaluated metropolitan areas with a population of less than 60,000 citizens. Communities were compared based on the following criteria: cost of living, crime, median household income, unemployment rate, median home price, and homes for sale per capita.

To read the full article, click here.


The Guide to Greening Cities

Dubuque Recognized as Leader in National Guide to Greening Cities

2013 - Dubuque has been recognized as a national leader in developing partnerships and measuring community progress related to sustainability by “The Guide to Greening Cities.” In this publication, Dubuque was featured along with other cities nationally renowned for their sustainability efforts, including New York, San Antonio, Minneapolis, Denver, Asheville and Philadelphia.


movoto.com

Dubuque Named One of America's Most Exciting Small Cities

2013 - Dubuque has been named to MovoToBlog’s listing of the “America’s Most Exciting Small Cities.” Dubuque ranks 12th.

The study evaluated metropolitan areas with a population of less than 60,000 citizens. Communities were compared based on the following criteria: nightlife per capita (bars, clubs, comedy, etc.), live music venues per capita, active life options per capita (parks, outdoor activities, etc.), fast food restaurants per capita, percentage of restaurants that are fast food, and percentage of young residents ages 20 to 34.

To read the full article, click here.


Farmers Insurance

Dubuque Named One of the Most Secure Places to Live in the U.S.

2013 - Dubuque was named to Farmers Insurance’s listing of the “Most Secure Places to Live in the U.S.” Dubuque ranked 10th on the Small City listing (communities with a population less than 150,000).

The study of metropolitan areas considered criteria including economic stability, crime statistics, extreme weather, risk of natural disasters, housing depreciation, foreclosures, air quality, environmental hazards, life expectancy, motor vehicle fatalities and employment numbers.


International Economic Development Council

Greater Dubuque's Workforce Solutions Receives Top International Award: Opportunity Dubuque Program Honored in Philadelphia

2013 - Opportunity Dubuque received a Gold Excellence in Economic Development Award in the human capital category for communities with populations of 25,000 – 200,000 at the International Economic Development Council Annual Conference. The event was held October 6-9 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Opportunity Dubuque is a collaborative effort of Dubuque Works, Northeast Iowa Community College, Dubuque Community Schools, Iowa Works, East Central Intergovernmental Association, Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque, and Project Hope. The initiative’s goal is to upgrade workers’ skills, create non-credit to credit career pathways, and ultimately fill local employer demand for talent in high-wage, advanced manufacturing careers. Funding for the program includes local Workforce Investment Act dollars, NICC Gap Tuition assistance, Economic Development Administration grant dollars, funding from the local workforce umbrella “Dubuque Works” (funded by Mystique Casino, City of Dubuque, and Dubuque County), and many in-kind hours of service from all partners involved.


Bureau of Economic Analysis

Dubuque's Economy Fastest-Growing in Iowa Last Year, 27th Fastest in U.S.

2013 - According to a report release by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, Dubuque’s economy grew 5.1 percent last year over 2011, the fastest-growing city in Iowa and the 27th-fastest nationally.


Forbes.com

Dubuque Scores U.S. Top 20 Ranking from Forbes

2013 - Dubuque has scored another U.S. Top 20 recognition ranking 14th on Forbes’ list of “Best Small Places for Business and Career”.

The ranking took into consideration 12 metrics related to job growth (past and projected), costs (business and living), income growth over the past five years, educational attainment (college and high school) and projected economic growth through 2014.  

To view Forbes’ profile of Dubuque, click here.


The Equality of Opportunity Project

Dubuque Soars in Upward Mobility

2013 -  Recent findings from the Equality of Opportunity Project show that children raised in the greater Dubuque area are among the most likely in the nation to move upwards into a higher income class. The study, conducted by researchers at Harvard University and the University of California, Berkeley, found that children who were born to parents in the nation’s lowest income quintile had a 17.9% chance of being in the highest income quintile before reaching age 30. This is well above the national average of 10.6% and, of the 741 metropolitan commuting areas examined, places Dubuque in the top 60.

When compared to similar-sized commuting areas with a population between 150,000 and 200,000, Dubuque ranks first out of 58, and by a sizeable margin; Dubuque’s 17.9% likelihood is 2.1% greater than the next-highest probability, and is nearly double the national average of 9%. Dubuque ranks first among the ten largest cities in Iowa, also, with nearly a 3% higher probability than the next-largest city at 14%.

To view the study findings, click here.


Kiplinger

Dubuque Listed Among '10 Great Places to Live'

2013 -  Dubuque was named to Kiplinger's Personal Finance's list of 10 Great Places to Live for 2013. 

The rankings place an emphasis on small and mid-size cities, considering metro areas with a population of 1 million or less that have good jobs, reasonably priced homes, decent schools and access to great health care, according to a news release.

To view the full article, click here.


Harvard Kennedy School Ash Center

Sustainable Dubuque Named to Top 25 Innovations in Government

2013 - The Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University has named Smarter Sustainable Dubuque as one of the Top 25 programs in this year’s Innovations in American Government Award competition. The Top 25 government initiatives represent the dedicated efforts of city, state, federal, and tribal governments and address a host of policy issues including crime prevention, economic development, environmental and community revitalization, employment, education, and health care.


All-America City

Dubuque Named an All-America City

2013 - For the third time in six years, Dubuque has been named an All-America City. The All-America City award recognizes communities whose citizens work together to identify and tackle community-wide challenges and achieve uncommon results. Dubuque’s team told the story of the City’s successes by highlighted three community-driven projects: veteran-oriented programs, workforce development efforts, and the Historic Millwork District revitalization initiative. Awarded by the National Civic League, it is the nation’s most prestigious and oldest civic recognition program.


Site Selection

Dubuuqe Scores U.S. Top 5 Ranking

2013 - The nation’s leading publication for site-location and corporate real estate professionals has placed Dubuque with some elite company for business growth and expansion.  Site Selection Magazine’s annual “Top Metropolitan Areas” places Dubuque at 5th in the U.S. for Metro areas with under 200,000 people. 


Area Development

Dubuque Recognized for Outstanding Economic Development

2013 - Area Development Magazine has recognized the Greater Dubuque region for excellence in economic performance and a strong, healthy business climate. In the 2013 Leading Location Report, Dubuque’s ranking in the Top 100 Overall Cities climbed to 12th best in the United States, up from 16th in 2012. Dubuque was the only city in Iowa to place in the top 20.

Dubuque was also highly ranked in six of the other categories. The rankings included:

  • Top 20 Midwest Cities: Dubuque ranked 3rd;
  • Top 20 Midwest Cities – “Now” Cities: Dubuque ranked 6th;
  • Top 30 Small Cities: Dubuque ranked 5th; up from 12th in 2012;
  • Top 20 Small Cities in Economic Strength: Dubuque ranked 5th;
  • Top 20 Small Cities in Recovery Cities: Dubuque ranked 4th;
  • Top 20 Small Cities – “Now” Cities: Dubuque ranked 6th.

movoto.com

Opportunity Dubuque Wins Impact Award

2013 - Opportunity Dubuque was awarded the 365 Impact Award for Economic Development. Impact Awards recognize those who choose to make an everyday effort to impact the world around them 365 days a year -those who believe in our community and are willing to do something to make it better for everyone.

Opportunity Dubuque is a collaborative effort of Dubuque Works, Northeast Iowa Community College, Dubuque Community Schools, Iowa Works, East Central Intergovernmental Association, Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque, and Project Hope. The initiative was launched with the goal of upgrading workers’ skills, creating non-credit to credit career pathways, and ultimately filling local employer demand for talent in high-wage advanced manufacturing careers.