A year-long study of Manning’s goals will solidify when a summer intern helps implement strategies to bring employees to the city and make it a popular destination.
Graduating Drake University senior Brennan Haymond will spend eight weeks in Manning this summer to help execute plans a Drake senior capstone class spent the past academic year drawing up for the city.
The plans will address the city’s goals to make Manning a weekend retreat through use of the Hausbarn Heritage Park and other tourist attractions, to present the city as a mid-week retreat destination for businesses and schools, to attract employees and employers to the city and to bring alumni back to Manning, among other goals.
A comprehensive plan put together by the class offers a wide variety of ideas for the city, including creating regional partnerships to offer a wider variety of linked activities and attractions for visitors.
Those can turn into concrete ideas such as a “passport” that invites visiting families to complete a certain number of activities in the area or visit a certain number of places; once they get each point stamped on the passport, they could receive a discount at a Manning restaurant or store that invites them either to come back or to continue their day in the city, Haymond said. The city could also recognize specific alumni and offer them shopping or dining opportunities in downtown Manning to encourage them to return for a visit, he added.
Other ideas address housing and health care.
The city has already begun to implement some of the class’s ideas, including by forming a housing committee that will look at ways to offer more places to live for those who do move to Manning.
Other ideas the city could implement easily include posting open Manning jobs on Iowa job sites, said Ron Reischl, Main Street Manning board president.
Haymond will begin working with the city May 23 to help put into action some of the class’s ideas. Main Street Manning is funding the internship, but he will work with the City of Manning as well.
The work with the public-relations class is one of several projects spurred by Manning’s two-year relationship with Drake University.
Others include having web development students create websites for Manning businesses, a boot camp for female entrepreneurs held in Manning, and an upcoming visit to Manning from a group of young African professionals because of Drake University’s involvement with the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders.
This fall, the city hopes to work with art students at Drake, Reischl said.
Haymond will be a good force for the city, he added.
“We’ve gotten to know the students individually, and (Haymond) was one that was kind of a fireball,” Reischl said.
His background in a small Iowa community — Haymond is from Winfield, in southeast Iowa — is a plus as well.
Haymond, 22, is graduating this spring from Drake University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications, with a major in public relations and a minor in international relations.
After spending the summer in Manning, Haymond will spend a year teaching conversational English to college students at Sichuan International Studies University in Chongqing, China. He’s excited about the contrast of living and working in a town of fewer than 1,500 residents, followed by one with more than 9 million.
Working with Manning throughout the last year gave the students a hands-on idea of what it was like working with a client as a public-relations professional, Haymond said.
“This is an amazing town that is small-town Iowa — it still has that feel — but it’s wanting to grow and be a holistic community,” he said.
Haymond, who said he loves the relationships that can be built through public relations, hopes to take the ideas he learns and implements in Manning back to his own small Iowa town someday.
“Manning gives me hope that small towns are (the place for) the next generation of young professionals,” he said.
Link to article and picture