Jefferson County Kids, Inc. Kicks Off $3.5M Capital Campaign
This is an artist rendering of what the New Jefferson County Kids Inc. Child Care Center could look like. The design is in its beginning stages and is subject to change.
FAIRFIELD, IOWA (January 30, 2020) – Two Fairfield employers, Cambridge Investment Research, Inc. and TrafFix Devices, Inc. pledged major contributions to Jefferson County Kids Inc’s, future child care center. Cambridge pledged $1.25 million and TrafFix Devices pledged $500,000, as the Jefferson County Kids (JCK) Board of Directors launches its $3.5 million capital campaign.
“Cambridge is pleased to support the Jefferson County Kids Inc., Board of Directors to build this new childcare center in the local area where many of our associates live with their families,” said Amy Webber, Cambridge’s President and CEO. Webber continued, “Our funding pledge of $1.25 million towards this project reflects our continuing commitment to our associates as well as their families. We continually seek feedback, and a childcare solution has been a top request from our associates for some time, and we believe the new child care center will enhance local community amenities for our existing associates and employees of other area businesses while attracting and retaining new talent to the local area.”
Jack Kulp, Founder and President of TrafFix Devices, stated, “Our $500,000 pledge over the next five years to increase the capacity for child care in Fairfield is a sound business decision to invest in our employees we currently have and those we will be hiring in the future.” Kulp added, “we will be able to attract more quality workers to manufacture our products. We are very pleased to be partners with Jefferson County Kids and FEDA in developing this child care facility for Fairfield. We encourage other Fairfield employers to match our contribution.”
Campaign funds will be used to construct a 14,000 square foot child care center in Fairfield, and will serve up to 185 children. Last month, Jefferson County Health Center donated 3.5-acres west of its campus for the development. These two major pledges are just half of what is needed to complete the project. The JCK Board of Directors aims to have the project fully funded by March 31, 2020.
Terri Kness, JCK Board member, said, “We are so thankful for our business leaders stepping up to help make this child care center a reality. We thank Cambridge and TrafFix Devices for being leading donors. Fulfilling our remaining fundraising goal within the first quarter of the year is essential in making this center a reality for a late summer 2021 opening date. The longer it takes to reach our goal, the later construction will start, and we see the need in the community for this center immediately.”
In 2018, a child care market study identified a shortage of over 500 child care spaces in Jefferson County. In response, the Jefferson County Child Care Steering Committee (JCCC) created a plan to address the need, by first assisting existing child care centers to grow through expansion grants, and secondly, by recruiting and retaining home-based child care businesses with incentive programs. Adding this child care center will help further reduce the shortage.
Tammy Wetjen-Kesterson, Iowa/Jefferson/Keokuk Early Childhood Iowa (ECI), Director and Co-Project Manager for JCK, said, “The vitality of a community depends on its infrastructure. Child care is infrastructure. It is as important as water, sewer, utilities, and roads are to building a sustainable community.”
Joshua Laraby, Executive Director for Fairfield Economic Development Association and Co-Project Manager for Jefferson County Kids said, “We’re thankful for and empowered by the funding commitments from Cambridge and TrafFix Devices. The addition of this center will position Fairfield for further growth. That’s the goal.” Businesses and individuals interested in participating in the capital campaign should contact Laraby.
Jefferson County Kids, Inc. is led by the following Board of Directors:
Bryan Hunger, CEO of Jefferson County Health Center and President of Jefferson County Kids, Inc Board; Teri Bockting, Vice President of Human Resources at Cambridge and Vice President of Jefferson County Kids, Inc.; Kate Van Pelt, Owner of Chickadee and Secretary/Treasurer of Jefferson County Kids, Inc.; Todd Reifsteck, Human Resources Director, Dexter Laundry; Terri Kness, Realtor at Davis and Palmer Real Estate.
Tammy Wetjen-Kesterson, Iowa/Jefferson/Keokuk Early Childhood Iowa, Director and Joshua Laraby Executive Director of Fairfield Economic Development Association are project managers for the development.
Jefferson County Kids is an independent non-profit corporation which will own and operate the center.
Media & Capital Campaign Contact:
Joshua Laraby, Executive Director
Fairfield Economic Development Association