Senior Program Manager, IDM
Communications and Public Relations, 1991
UNI; Master of Public Policy, 2002
James Hoelscher, Program Manager at UNI’s Institute for Decision Making, provides consultation and facilitation to rural/urban community and economic development organizations undertaking strategic planning and applied research. James facilitates community-wide strategic planning, visioning and program development related to business retention, industry recruitment, entrepreneurship, marketing, workforce development, tourism and organizational management. He is the principal investigator for UNI’s Economic Development Administration awarded University Center and serves as the Director of the Heartland Economic Development Course. James is a Certified Economic Developer through the International Economic Development Association.
James’ economic and community development experience includes serving as the Northeast Iowa STEM Hub Manager for the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council; managing video production and resource development for UNI’s Center for Teaching and Learning Mathematics; counseling and teaching small business owners through UNI’s Center for Business Growth and Innovation-SBDC; and developing workforce and economic development related program for communities and immigrant/refugee newcomers through UNI’s New Iowans Program. James has also served as a national account executive and video production manager for EdgeCore Marketing.
Latest News & Views
The pandemic has damaged businesses across the country. Federal aid in the form of Paycheck Protection Program—which began April 3 and ended Aug. 8 and handed out 5.2 million loans worth $525 billion—provided an essential crutch. But some businesses, particularly Black-owned and minority-owned businesses, were largely locked out, according to a recent report from the Association Press and CBS.
Travis Steffen remembers the first time he contemplated building a business. An undergraduate student, he was sitting in his dorm room at Dancer Hall, chatting with his two roommates. They wanted to make bed lofts and sell them to incoming students. They calculated a $10,000 profit, life-changing money in college. Although they later found out UNI already contracted with a bed loft company and dropped the idea, Steffen couldn’t shake the potential.
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