Diana Dominguez: Cultivating Economic Growth and Community Unity in Ottumwa

Diana Dominguez: Cultivating Economic Growth and Community Unity in Ottumwa Main Photo

18 Dec 2023

Diana Dominguez is a vital figure in the heart of Ottumwa, where economic development converges with cultural diversity. Her role as an Office Associate for Greater Ottumwa Partners in Progress (GOPIP) marks a pivotal point in promoting inclusivity, economic empowerment, and community engagement, particularly within Ottumwa's vibrant Hispanic population.

Diana's keen insights shed light on the Hispanic community's invaluable contributions to Ottumwa's economic landscape. "Around 50% of new business growth in Ottumwa has been attributed to the Hispanic population," she notes. This surge encourages residents to shop within the community. The result is a web of interconnected benefits, from job creation to expanded services, amplifying Ottumwa's prosperity.

“Most of the people I have met are extremely hard-working, and they want to contribute to the growth and advancement of the place they now call home.  The increase in population also means more revenue, which permits the expansion and implementation of several projects throughout Ottumwa,” Diana says.

However, Diana acknowledges the hurdles faced by Hispanic professionals in Ottumwa. "The language barrier is one of the biggest obstacles," she admits. “Initiatives by organizations like the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) and the Ottumwa Community School District are pivotal in bridging this gap, translating essential paperwork and announcements for improved community-wide communication,” she says. Diana adds, “ I would say that education is probably a close second, which is why banks like Community 1st Credit Union and institutions like Indian Hills Community College are stepping up to offer English and financial literacy courses.” Diana perceives these initiatives as the initial steps toward enhancing communication. She anticipates that, over time, additional improvements will ideally unfold.

In her new role at GOPIP, Diana is at the forefront of initiatives to support Hispanic economic growth. She accentuates the organization's role in aiding partnerships and discussions around community concerns. Her bilingual proficiency enables her to connect directly with the Hispanic population, understanding their unique challenges and aspirations. Diana's involvement with GOPIP and LULAC signifies the initial steps toward building robust relationships and a cohesive community fabric.

Diana envisions a future where GOPIP catalyzes opportunities, leveraging partnerships and understanding to unlock the potential within Ottumwa's diverse population. “I think Greater Ottumwa Partners in Progress has taken the first step in supporting local Hispanic businesses in the area by participating in discussions about the issues in the community. Our involvement and partnerships with our local leaders will build a strong foundation for later initiatives.  In my role at GOPIP and LULAC, I have begun to learn about the different concerns and priorities of the Hispanic businesses in the area. Being bilingual, I hope to connect with the Hispanic population and bridge that gap to create stronger relationships and a sense of community.”  Diana’s relentless pursuit of unity and progress resonates within the organization, paving the way for a more cohesive and prosperous Ottumwa.

Diana Dominguez embodies the spirit of change and solidarity, infusing Ottumwa's economic development with inclusivity and empowerment. Her endeavors at GOPIP herald a promising future where diversity isn't just celebrated but becomes the cornerstone of Ottumwa's economic and communal growth.