PDI Blog

PDI's Blog will include legislative news, economic development news headlines, messages from our PDI President and other topics contributed by our membership. Choose from the list of contributors and categories, listed to the right,  to find the type of articles you are interested in.

Building Opportunity Workshop with Roger Brooks in Pella, Iowa

Roger Brooks, President of Destination Development International, will be doing an Opportunity Assessment of the Red Rock Area in June. The assessment is made possible through the partnership of 16 different local and regional entities. The power of this partnership is that our rural area will be provided the expertise of the most respected professional in destination development in the United States. 

The workshop will includes Roger's insights on branding in addition to his findings and suggestions from the Opportunity Assessment. This past December Roger was the speaker on two webinars that were hosted for the tourism industry. Now, you have the opportunity to hear his insight in person. 

If you have others in your office that would like to attend please forward this information on to them. Early bird registration ends May 1, so don't delay in registering.

Registration & Information 

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Skilled Iowa Initiative works to address the "Skills Gap"

Skilled Iowa LogoOur nation is currently facing a shortage of qualified workers.  This trend is commonly referred to as the “skills gap” – the difference between the skills employers require and those that workers actually possess – and it has left scores of jobs unfilled across America.  

The Skilled Iowa Initiative is working to better prepare Iowa’s students and workers by making sure they are equipped with the practical workplace skills that employers need. 

The National Career Readiness Certificate that Skilled Iowa is encouraging workers to earn tests the skills of workers in three areas: applied mathematics, reading for information, and locating information.  Each of these proficiencies has numerous real-world applications and is vital to career success. 

Each skill area is tested through ACT’s WorkKeys assessment, which utilizes real-world examples, allowing test takers to problem solve in a practical way.  

An NCRC certificate allows workers to quantify their aptitudes and demonstrate to employers they are qualified for positions they are seeking. 

The WorkKeys assessment gives test takers an overall score of platinum, gold, silver, or bronze, which gives employers a clear prediction of an individual’s potential in the workplace. Test takers have access to additional training if they want to try to improve their scores and earn a higher-level certificate. 

Since the NCRC program was launched in 2006, more than 1 million certificates have been awarded, helping put America back to work and allowing companies to find skilled workers.  The Skilled Iowa Initiative is proud to be a part of achieving these goals.  With a more skilled workforce, Iowa can remain competitive in the global market and become an even more attractive place to do business.  

We urge community, business and education leaders to be a part of the Skilled Iowa Initiative’s effort to grow the Iowa economy.  

Visit www.SkilledIowa.org for more information and follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SkilledIowa for the latest updates.


Written by Skilled Iowa
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Presidential Post - March 15, 2013

I expect many of you have seen the article by David J. Robinson in the most recent edition of Area Development magazine discussing the importance and value of incentives to successful economic development, “How Some Locations are Making Their Business Case for Incentives”. ...

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Written by Brent Willett
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Presidential Post - March 1, 2013

Dear Members: Thank you to everyone who joined PDI for the annual Grow Iowa Day at the Capitol last week. Twenty-two exhibitors braved the snow and storms to represent the ...

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Written by Brent Willett
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Sabre Industries, Inc. Holds Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for New Industrial Complex in Sioux City, Iowa

Sioux City, Iowa - (January 15, 2013) Sabre Industries, Inc. held a ribbon cutting ceremony today for their new Iowa industrial complex in Sioux City’s Southbridge Business Park. A multi-phase expansion project, this new 150 acre site provides Sabre with the ability to locate all Sioux City operations on one campus.

Speakers at today’s ceremony included Iowa Governor Terry Branstad; Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds; Sioux City Mayor Bob Scott; Economic Development Director Marty Dougherty; Sabre Industries’ President and CEO, Peter J. Sandore; and Brian Newberg, Executive Vice President of Sabre Steel Products.

Purpose-built for the manufacture of steel communication and electric transmission structures, Sabre Industries’ new state-of-the-art Iowa facility has 192,000 square feet of production space and offers the most streamlined and efficient manufacturing. Once completed, the new industrial complex will include a paint and blast building, plate blast building, maintenance building, and new administration building.

"Sabre is pleased to host the ribbon cutting for our new Iowa Industrial Complex," said Peter J. Sandore, President and CEO of Sabre Industries, Inc. "With increased demand in both the utility and wireless industries, this new facility provides the Company with the manufacturing capacity needed to better serve our customers. In addition, the site provides ample room for future growth."

Sabre Industries has been manufacturing tower structures in Sioux City for nearly 36 years. The Company has grown from a small tower manufacturer to the leading provider of steel structures for the wireless communications industry, and the third largest provider of transmission structures for the utility industry. Future demand in both industries created the need for the company to expand and upgrade their manufacturing operations.

"Sabre is the perfect company to be the first to locate in the new Southbridge Business Park," said Mayor Bob Scott. "Their presence brings significant investment, demonstrates their commitment to growing our local economy, and is creating new jobs and career paths for younger employees." 2

Already having manufacturing facilities in Texas, Pennsylvania and Louisiana, the Company looked at several locations across the country. Sioux City and the state of Iowa offered the best solution. In addition to providing ample room for expansion, Sioux City has a sizable, highly-skilled and technically sophisticated workforce. With the new facility requiring nearly 200 new positions, this was an important ingredient in the overall decision on location.

"We are pleased to be able to keep our Iowa operations in Sioux City," commented Brian Newberg, Executive Vice President of Sabre Steel Products. "This new site provides us with what we need in terms of capacity and workforce, and offers our Sioux City employees increased opportunities."

About Sabre

In business since 1977, Sabre Industries, Inc. ("Sabre") is a leading producer of utility structures, communication towers, shelters and building systems, and tower accessories. In addition Sabre provides a full range of services including hot-dip galvanizing, turnkey construction, site development, interior integration, and field maintenance. The company operates manufacturing facilities in Alvarado, Texas; Sioux City, Iowa; Ellwood City, Pennsylvania; and Bossier City, Louisiana. For further information on Sabre and its various divisions, please visit our web site at: www.SabreIndustries.com

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