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Lt Gov visits Estherville Tuesday

Lieutenant Governor Adam Gregg visited Heartland Team Solutions for cybersecurity week

By Amy H. Peterson - Staff Writer | Oct 28, 2020

Iowa Lieutenant Governor Adam Gregg visited Heartland Team Solutions in Estherville as part of his 99-county tour and as part of Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Representatives from Iowa Lakes Community College, the Estherville Chamber of Commerce, economic development, and Estherville Lincoln Central School District joined Edwin Waleh, Mark Gruwell, Rick Frost and Joe Frost of Heartland Team Solutions at the Central Ave. shop, where Lt. Gov. Gregg asked numerous questions.

Gregg spoke with Waleh via Zoom teleconferencing as Waleh was on vacation in North Carolina. Waleh said a major challenge in cybersecurity is in the mindset of the people who run businesses and organizations in the rural area.

“Cybersecurity is expensive. It’s not an inexpensive solution,” Waleh said. Cost is a factor in convincing business leaders to invest in cybersecurity before their networks have been compromised, Waleh said.

Lt. Gov. Gregg said his nine-year-old son is highly interested in computer science, and asked Waleh’s advice on resources with which he could experiment with coding.

Waleh said cybersecurity is important because it involves the protection of sensitive data, personally-identifiable information, protected health information, personal information, intellectual property, data and governmental and industry systems from hacking, theft and damage attempts either from inside or outside an organization. This kind of sensitive data is stored on the internet, but without layers of security provided to it, the data is at risk of breach.

Gruwell discussed the company’s work with college and high school students, providing experience working with technology and, if things work out, possibly a job as the company expands. Rick Frost said Heartland Team Solutions has a vision to expand its services to work alongside 100 new computer sales and service companies, which will create jobs requiring various skillsets the most important of which are soft skills. Jo Rogers from Iowa Lakes Community College, said a better name for those personal skills is essential skills.

Rogers told Lt. Gov. Gregg about the college’s success with 100 People in 100 Days, a project using $100,000 in COVID-19 grant money to earn at least one industry certification through short-term training classes and meeting with career coaches to ensure their pathways prepare them for entry into the workforce at the end of the program.

Lyle Hevern, Estherville and Emmet County economic development director, told Lt. Gov. Gregg about Studio 12 and its role in the launch of Heartland Team Solutions. The company was located in a Studio 12 office until its move this year to 500 Central Ave.

Lt. Gov. Gregg said, “Studio 12 is on our list, maybe for our next visit to Estherville.”