The State Department benefits the American people by advancing U.S. national security, promoting our economic interests, providing services, and reaffirming our country’s exceptional role in the world. The State Department impacts the "Hawkeye State" of Iowa through job creation, exchange programs, and military partnerships.
First, the Department of State, in partnership with agencies across the federal government, creates jobs for American workers by opening markets and eliminating trade barriers overseas, as well as by attracting foreign investment to the United States. In 2017, goods exports of over $13 billion supported approximately 94,000 Iowan jobs. Foreign direct investment into Iowa supported an additional 60,300 jobs in 2016.
Secondly, higher education institutions in Iowa play a significant role in creating new opportunities to increase academic exchanges between Iowa and Latin America so that more students can work in teams, solve real-world problems, and better prepare for the 21st century work force. The 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund is the public-private sector collaboration that supports new higher education partnerships between the United States and countries throughout the Americas. The Innovation Fund fuels new higher education partnerships, increases academic exchanges, provides critical access training programs, and builds bridges of opportunities. To date, universities in Iowa have received three Innovation Fund grants in partnership with Latin America.
Along with three other Midwestern U.S. universities, Iowa State University is partnering with Universidade Federal de Viçosa in Brazil to provide undergraduate courses in English in agricultural and biological engineering, food science, animal science, and agricultural economics, and to create opportunities for U.S. students to work in teams with Brazilian students. The University of Northern Iowa has partnered with Universidad Latina de Costa Rica to provide new exchange opportunities for students from Iowa and Costa Rica. Students traveled to Iowa to participate in a Sustainability Immersion Program, while U.S. students traveled to Costa Rica to learn about the impact of tourism on the environment. Finally, the University of Northern Iowa is also working with the Universidad do Piura in Peru to implement a new student exchange program for Peruvian pre-service teachers focused on providing environmental education and English language training. The Innovation Fund program gives more students from Iowa and Peru the opportunity to work together in teams and gain skills in an international setting as part of their degree programs. Such programs provide mutual benefits to students and higher education institutions in Iowa and across Latin America.
Our exchange relationships, however, are not limited to the education field. The State Department has facilitated the Iowa National Guard’s State Partnership Program with Kosovo since its founding in 2011. Through the Program, the Iowa National Guard conducts military-to-military engagements with Kosovar counterparts in support of defense security goals. The State Partnership Program has become a key U.S. security cooperation tool, facilitating collaboration across all aspects of international civil-military affairs and encouraging people-to-people ties at the state level.
From Sioux City to Iowa City, the State Department continues to pursue avenues to build global relationships with the great people, institutions, and businesses of Iowa. And Iowans, in return, will contribute to international goodwill and mutual understanding, ultimately impacting communities around the globe.
Find out more about the Department of State's impact in American communities at Department of State by State.
Editor's Note: This entry also appears in the U.S. Department of State's publication on Medium.
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