Iowa’s Secretary of Agriculture is leading a delegation to Kosovo. The group includes representatives from business, education and sports.
Bill Northey is being joined by a number of representatives from higher education, including the presidents of Des Moines Area Community College and Iowa Central Community College. Northey says their work is of interest to educators in Kosovo.
“They are very intrigued with the community college system we have here," he says. "Is there a way our community colleges could help set up there that could be as successful as what our community colleges are here?”
Iowa’s ties to Kosovo have strengthened in recent years. The Iowa National Guard formed a partnership with the Kosovo Security Force in 2011. And the Balkan nation opened a consulate in Des Moines last year, which Northey says is paying off.
“It is wonderful to have that consulate in Des Moines," he says. "We have a full-time representative from Kosovo right here in Des Moines, who spends time talking to businesses and colleges here.”
The 18-member group also includes representatives from the Greater Des Moines Partnership, the city of Fort Dodge and the Iowa Amateur Athletics Union.