About Us

About Us


The Upper Explorerland Regional Planning Commission is a regional organization serving 52 cities in Northeast Iowa. We provide support through regional cooperation and collaboration between local governments, nonprofits and community members. We are an essential portal for planning and economic development expertise. We provide resources to support housing, workforce development, business development, community planning, and transportation. We do this by connecting community members to resources.

Upper Explorerland Regional Planning Commission (UERPC) was formally established in November of 1972.  UERPC was created to promote regional cooperation and meet the planning and economic development needs of local governments in the five NE Iowa counties of Allamakee, Clayton, Fayette, Howard and Winneshiek.

  • Providing technical assistance, information resources, and administrative services for local infrastructure projects and community facility projects to make communities a better place to live
  • Assisting with grants, providing loans and local financing tools to develop and preserve quality, affordable housing
  • Serving as the Economic Development District for the Region to stimulate economic growth through comprehensive loan programs, assisting with business plans, and financial packaging structured to meet the size and needs of individual businesses
  • Providing an extensive on-going cooperative planning effort to improve transportation needs of the area and assisting with regional transit planning to promote transit programs that further the development of the state's public transportation systems
  • Providing training and support assistance to low-income individuals, dislocated workers, and youth through classroom, pre-employment and on-the-job training programs
  • Providing assistance to low-income families with decent, safe, and sanitary housing in the private rental market
  • Facilitating access to employment and services for Iowa job seekers with disabilities
  • Providing technical assistance on land use planning, zoning, sub-division regulations, and local government financing
  • Providing assistance in updating city ordinances and conducting requested needs assessments to determine local housing demand
  • Providing information on historic preservation, recreation planning, downtown revitalization, and urban renewal special taxation districts.

The work accomplished by this Agency is spoken of highly by city council members, community leaders, home and business owners, and others who have received their assistance and benefited greatly from it.

For more information or a tour of the facilities, feel free to contact us at (563)-382-6171 or at (563)-864-7551.

News Headlines

UERPC April Newsletter

Posted: Mon, April 21, 2014
Some of the headlines you can read about:
  • IARC Hosts Legislative Breakfast
  • Employee Spotlight-Kris Timp
  • IowaWorks Did you Know?
  • $1,066 Million in Funding for Housing Opportunities
  • Wellness Update
  • Upper Explorerland's Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Program Publishes a Model for Rural SRTS
  • NE IA Charitable Foundation Awards FCLHTF
  • NICC Leading Implementation of $2.7M U.S. Department of Labor Grant to Upper Explorerland
  • Watch Elkader Live!
... [ Read More ]

Use Social Media to Report Potholes to Iowa DOT

Posted: Fri, April 11, 2014
While warmer temperatures are always welcome after a particularly cold winter, the recent fluctuating temperatures, ample moisture, and aging pavements are keeping the Iowa Department of Transportation, as well as county and city road crews, busy fixing potholes and addressing other structural damage to our streets, roads, and bridges.

Iowa DOT crews travel our state's highways regularly, but we can't be everywhere all the time. That's where you come in. If you see a pothole on an interstate or state highway, let us know on Facebook www.facebook.com/iowadot or Twitter www.twitter.com/iowadot using the hashtag #IAFillUsIn. Be sure to provide specific location information so we can find the pothole in question. For potholes on streets or county roadways, contact the local city administrator /engineer or county engineer.
... [ Read More ]

NICC Leading Implementation of $2.7M US Department of Labor Grant to UERPC

Posted: Wed, April 9, 2014

Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC) will be leading the implementation of a $2.7 million U.S. Department of Labor competitive grant awarded to Upper Explorerland Regional Planning Commission (UERPC),  the grant's fiscal agent and lead workforce partner. The U.S. Department of Labor grant was one of 24 awarded nationwide and the only one in Iowa.

The three-year grant supports a new Youth CareerConnect program through the Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration. NICC and UERPC will partner with 23 participating high schools in the Northeast Iowa Pathways to Employment project (IA-PIPE). IA-PIPE will expand the college's efforts to develop new and expand existing concurrent enrollments at regional high schools in high demand industries.

The grant and IA-PIPE will focus its high school student concurrent enrollment plan on high-demand federal H-1B designated career pathways, including finance and insurance, healthcare, information technology, advanced manufacturing, and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields.

"This grant enables NICC and our partners to greatly expand educational programs and career planning services for high school students in northeast Iowa," according to Dr. Liang Chee Wee, NICC president. "Especially rewarding about this successful grant is the coalition of partners who share a common vision of student engagement and achievement."

In addition to the schools and UERPC, NICC is partnering with East Central Intergovernmental Association, Dubuque Area Labor-Management Council, Keystone Area Education Agency, and a growing list of employers including Berry Plastics, Caterpillar, US Bank, Dubuque Data Services, Eastern Iowa Machine Company, Henderson Products, IBM, Mercy Medical Center, and Norplex-Micarta.

In the Youth CareerConnect program, participating high school juniors will select a two-year pathway, take concurrent college credit courses through NICC and participate in an array of career awareness and work-based learning opportunities, all while on course to receive their high school diplomas. Throughout the program, participants will receive career counseling and have access to wrap-around services based on their individual needs. The education and experiential opportunities that IA-PIPE offers will enable participants to graduate from high school and enter the workforce with industry credentials or begin their college education having already earned college credits. 

For more information, contact: Rachelle Howe, UERPC director, at (563) 382-6171 or rhowe@uerpc.org; or Wendy Mihm-Herold, Ph.D., NICC vice president of Business and Community Solutions, at (800) 728-2256, ext. 221 or mihm-heroldw@nicc.edu.
... [ Read More ]

UERPC March Newsletter

Posted: Mon, March 17, 2014
Some of the headlines you can read about:
  • Upcoming Rules for Federal Contractors
  • Employee Spotlight-Fern Rissman
  • Gender Balance on Boards and Commissions in Iowa
  • IowaWorks Did you Know
  • Great Give Day
... [ Read More ]
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