The Northwest Iowa center became a part of the statewide network on January 1, 1986. The center has positioned itself as an integral part of the efforts and activities of economic development in Northwest Iowa, along with chambers of commerce and municipalities in the nine counties it serves. A strong emphasis is placed on providing individualized business counseling and specialized workshops in Buena Vista, Clay, Dickinson, Emmet, Kossuth, Lyon, O’Brien, Osceola, Palo Alto and Sioux counties.
The center is in the unique position of serving two community college districts - Iowa Lakes Community College in Area III and Northwest Community College in Area IV - and has an excellent relationship with its host institution, serving as a separate component of the institution's business assistance and economic development initiatives. The center director works with the college's executive director of economic development to coordinate and maintain assistance and programs for business and industry in Northwest Iowa.