The East Central Intergovernmental Association is a council of governments, formed in 1974 with the goal of developing regional solutions for local governments facing similar problems. ECIA was designated as a Regional Economic Development District in 1978 by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Governer of Iowa. This designation means that ECIA is a focal point for economic development assistance in the region.
ECIA is an evolving organization, creating new programs and ititiaves. The Eastern Iowa Regional Utility Service Systems (EIRUSS) was organized in 2005 and created by the Cedar, Clinton, Delaware, Jackson, and Jones County Boards of Supervisors. EIRUSS assists local governments establish agreements that enable them to provide joint services and facilites with other agencies. Also in 2005, ECIA began overseeing the management of the Delaware Dubuque Jackson County Regional Transit Authority. The RTA contracts with ECIA for management services and office space. Additionally in 2005, the Iowa Department of Economic Development awarded ECIA a grant to help fund a collaborative marketing campaign and from that, Prosperity Eastern Iowa was born. In 2006, Prosperity's Buyer Supplier program was developed connecting eastern Iowa businesses and encouraging regional purchasing. In the Spring of 2009, a new website was launched, AccessMyFuture targeting 14 to 25 year olds in eastern Iowa as a resource for career information. Also in 2009, the Petal Project green business certification was introduced, providing a framework for businesses to help manage natural resource use while benefiting the environment and their bottom line.
With the constant goal of efficiency and quality in solving regional problems, ECIA continues to provide services in the areas of economic development, transportation planning, transit, housing, job training, grant-writing, grant administration, economic development, planning, codification, preparation of financial reports, and general information.