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Encyclopedia Dubuque


"Encyclopedia Dubuque is the online authority for all things Dubuque, written by the people who know the city best.”
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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.


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Photo courtesy: Telegraph Herald

JACKSON, Ernest. (Cincinnati, OH-- ). A graduate of Ohio State University with an engineering degree, Ernest eventually earned a Master's Degree in business from the UNIVERSITY OF DUBUQUE. He worked in several cities before being recruited by the JOHN DEERE DUBUQUE WORKS. He and his family moved to Dubuque in 1993. He retired from John Deere in the beginning of 2020 as the operations manager of the plant.

Active in mentoring with his church in Indianapolis, Ernest resumed his work upon arriving in Dubuque. Working through the DUBUQUE COMMUNITY SCHOOL DISTRICT and coaching BASEBALL, he was involved in a program called 'Yes, You Can.' Mentors in the program were encouraged to share their experiences to inspire other that they could do some of the same things.

He was among those who began the DUBUQUE BLACK MEN COALITION, a coalition of local Black professionals who offered programs and services to young Black youth to inspire them to succeed. A training program with an author from Baltimore led coalition members to reassess their mentoring approach. Ernest recalled that the focus had to be on teaching the young men the need to survive in multiple levels of society. 'Changing the code' meant dealing with a neighborhood, school system, and business. Acceptable behavior in high school might not be acceptable elsewhere. Providing coping skills allowed the young men to build relationships that helped handle challenges in the community.

Ernest also served on the board of DUBUQUE INITIATIVES, "TRUE NORTH", COMMUNITY FOUNDATION OF GREATER DUBUQUE, and FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH and donates annually to the MULTICULTURAL FAMILY CENTER. (1) In his retirement, Jackson established Ernest Jackson Painting, LLC, a painting company and worked along side his two employees. (2)

In 2021 for his civic involvement, Ernest Jackson was announced as the recipient of the FIRST CITIZEN AWARD established in 1970 by the TELEGRAPH HERALD.



1. Hogstrom, Erik, "Jackson's Mentorship Builds Youth Community," Telegraph Herald, January 1, 2022, p. 1a

2. "About Ernest Jackson," Online: https://www.dbqschools.org/district/community/facesandvoices/about-ernest-jackson/

Video-- "A Little Motivation From Ernest Jackson," Online: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1175573909501166