What does it mean to live and work in Dubuque?

January 13, 2017 | Rediscovering Dubuque and Northeast Iowa Emily Schettler, Iowa Association of Business and Industry, eschettler@iowaabi.org

What does it mean to live and work in Dubuque? The Iowa Association of Business and Industry asked native Dubuquers and longtime business leaders what makes the area such a special place.

“I’m a lifelong Dubuquer and very proud to call it home. Dubuque and its amazing citizens epitomize an often repeated quote of Ronald Reagan: ‘There is no limit to what can be accomplished if it doesn’t matter who gets the credit.’

“Years ago Dubuque fell on hard times economically, with two of our largest employers scaling back their workforces. But Dubuquers refused to give up. The private sector, labor and government at all levels came together to lead a renaissance of the city that continues today.

“Today Dubuque has grown into an economically and culturally diverse All-American City with a “cool factor” of restaurants, music, art and entertainment — all beneficial to the city’s entrepreneurial spirit.” — U.S. REP. ROD BLUM, a lifelong Dubuque resident and business owner who has represented Iowa’s 1st District in Congress since 2015.

“What makes Dubuque so special is the quality of the people and the fact that they have so much pride in what they do. If there are projects that need doing, the community does a phenomenal job of getting behind them and supporting them, whether it’s a work project or cultural project. People here work together, play together and support each other.

“One nice thing about Dubuque is that there is such a good business employment mix for people. You have the ability to stay here and be challenged. Like a lot of communities, we have younger people who think they have to go somewhere else to really get the experience they’re looking for, but as they get older they recognize the quality of life here and want to come back.

“We have a great partnership between businesses and area economic development officials that has allowed us to create an environment that brings people here. Our internship program is very strong, and through that we’ve learned we have people who’d rather live in Dubuque than larger metro areas, such as Madison, Wis. That speaks to the quality of our community and the direction we’re heading.”  — ANDREW BUTLER, a lifelong Dubuque resident and president of SISCO and HealthCorp.