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By Brent Willett, PDI President

Brent Willett
Brent Willett
PDI President
Welcome to PDI’s New Website! is one of PDI's most important communication and member service tools, and over the past year, the association has invested significant financial and volunteer resources to fully overhaul and improve the site and its features. We've freshened the site's look, assimilated PDI social media resources into the experience, added important search functions and much more. Too, we've fully integrated PDI's member database into the site, meaning registration for events, contact information changes, receipt requests and more can be done in user-directed real time. As you review the site, we hope you'll notice more timely topical information delivery, better design and more efficient functionality. All this is not to suggest we don't have a bug or two to work out- we continue testing and appreciate any feedback you may have about the new site. And by 'we' I naturally mean 'Executive Director Lynn Harkin'.

Your login has been set up as your email address and your password is 1234567. Once you've logged into the site, you can click on 'My ACCT' and look for 'Login Credentials' in order to change your login/password.

I want to particularly thank Bruce Nuzum, Rob Williams, Shelly Turner, Darcy Watson and Lynn Harkin, who have managed this process from start to finish. This team has delivered to your association a fine product and contributed countless hours to see it through. Each of them deserves our gratitude.


Brent Willett
President, Professional Developers of Iowa


 Governor Branstad’s Deer Hunt

Governor Branstad, Lt. Governor Reynolds and the Iowa Economic Development Authority hosted site selection and C-level executives at Governor Branstad’s Deer Hunt January 4-6th in South Central Iowa. Governor Branstad, pictured below, was one of the event’s successful hunters.

 Site Certification Program Updates

The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) launched its Certified Mega Site program last spring with the nationally recognized site selection firm of McCallum Sweeney Consulting serving as the independent third-party certifiers. Six sites have now moved into the third and final step of the site certification process. Each of these sites will have until November 1 to complete the final step with final notification of certification coming no later than January 2014. These communities can also submit their information any time prior to November 1 for immediate evaluation and potential certification.

For communities interested in certifying sites of 250 acres or larger, the application process will be re-opened in May immediately following the SMART Conference. Advantages to certification include the ability for communities to proactively market the site; educate the developer on the details of the site; and speed up the development schedule by having the due diligence completed. If you have any questions on the Site Certification program, please feel free to contact Chris Cataldo at 515.725.3157 or

 Benefits Change to High Quality Jobs and Enterprise Zones Programs

The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) Board has recently acted to change the benefit requirements for businesses to be eligible for direct financial assistance and tax benefits through the High Quality Jobs and Enterprise Zones Programs. The proposed requirements have been modified to more accurately reflect current market conditions.

More Information >>

 IEDA Enters Partnership to Expand EB-5 Program in Iowa

IEDA is excited to announce its partnership with CMB Regional Centers to operate the Iowa Regional Center for the EB-5 program. As you know, we’ve been working over the last year to get our strategy and plan in place to begin to operate a regional center to attract foreign direct investment through the EB-5 program. CMB leaders will present to the IEDA Board on Friday to share more information about this partnership. IEDA will formally announce our contractual relationship with CMB next week, so stay tuned for more information on how this new program can help advance projects in your communities.

 Wind Energy Production Tax Credit Extended
From Business Record Daily AM, January 3, 2013, "Ticker"

Congress extended the federal production tax credit for wind energy projects through year-end 2013 as part of the 'fiscal cliff' legislation. The extended credit "will create another significant increase in the construction of wind farm projects in Iowa and the nation," said Harold Prior, executive director of the Iowa Wind Energy Association. For the first time, the legislation includes "in construction progress" language that would allow projects that have begun construction before Dec. 31, 2013, to qualify for as many as 15 to 18 months of the credit after the end of the year. Prior said further extensions of the tax credit will be needed to avoid boom-bust construction cycles of wind energy assets.

 ISU Researcher Says Many Iowa Factory Jobs Not Coming Back
New technology, efficiency practices diminishing need

By George C. Ford, The Gazette, January 9, 2013

While Iowa manufacturing employment grew by 2.5 percent from 2010 to 2011, it is still 10 percent lower than pre-recession levels in 2007 and unlikely to fully recover, according to an Iowa State University researcher.


 Update from Iowa Department of Natural Resources

Check out the Iowa Department of Natural Resources: January 2013 FABA Bulletin: Annual Report Edition for articles on Derelict Building Grant Programs, Solid Waste Alternative Programs, Iowa Waste Exchange, Pollution Prevention Services and much more.

FABA Bulletin >>



 PDI Grow Iowa Day

PDI Grow Iowa Day at the Capitol 2013
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
10:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
(Exhibitors set up at 9:30 a.m.)
State Capitol, Des Moines, IA

Grow Iowa Day is fast approaching and you won't want to miss the chance to promote your organization with a booth in the rotunda or by chatting with your legislators on the PDI legislative issues. You can register today for the February 1st event at the Captiol. Let's make this our biggest and best effort to date for PDI members to promote Iowa's economic growth and influence with our legislators!

More Information >>



 Alliant, MidAmerican recognized for work during Superstorm Sandy
From Business Record Daily PM, January 10, 2013, “Ticker”

Iowa's two largest utility companies are being recognized for their work to help restore gas service to customers on the East Coast who were affected by Superstorm Sandy. The Edison Electric Institute presented Alliant Energy Corp. and MidAmerican Energy Co. with its annual 2012 Emergency Assistance Award. Alliant sent 215 employees and 138 contract line workers and tree crew members to assist with restoration efforts. Of the 215 employees, 114 were from Iowa. MidAmerican Energy sent 29 Iowa employees and more than 250 contract line workers and tree crew members.

 New Power Plant Work Moves Forward
Bids due for project in March

By Andrerw Potter, Staff Writer, Times-Republican, January 3, 2013

A few new details on the proposed natural gas fired power plant from Alliant Energy were revealed Wednesday during the Marshall County Board of Supervisors meeting.


 Iowa Takes Off
From Business Record Daily PM, January 4, 2013, “Ticker

Delta Air Lines passengers will get a chance to read up on Iowa and all it has to offer. The state was featured in the latest Delta Sky magazine. The 17-page spread touches on Iowa State University's biofuel research, the World Food Prize, the Des Moines startup scene and finance industry, as well as Central Iowa's vibrant culture hub. Click here to read the profile.

 The Cedar Valley to seek Skilled Iowa Community Distinction

The Cedar Valley recently pledged its commitment to becoming a Skilled Iowa Community, the first Iowa community to seek this distinction. This move signals that the Cedar Valley, which includes the Waterloo-Cedar Falls metro area, is dedicated to growing a skilled workforce.

The Skilled Iowa Community initiative encourages local workers to earn a National Career Readiness Certificate, or NCRC. This certificate highlights a worker’s skills and abilities to hiring businesses, helping them hire the right workers with the right skill sets.

More Information >>

 Eastern Iowa Leaders Aim to Build Career Pipeline
Cedar Rapids event will connect businesses, local students

By Meryn Fluker, The Gazette, January 16, 2013

After hearing local business leaders wonder how to better reach area students, DaLayne Williamson and her colleagues on the board of Workplace Learning Connection, decided to do something about it.

“We needed to facilitate a conversation,” said Williamson, the Workforce Business Services director for the Iowa City Area Development Group.




With the unveil of PDI's new website
vendors now have a prominent place
on the home page to advertise!

Check out the rates for the PDI newsletter and/or website at:


February 26, 2013 - 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
FFA Enrichment Center - DMACC Ankeny Campus

Held in association with Alliant Energy, Black Hills Energy, Des Moines Area Community College, Iowa Area Development Group & MidAmerican Energy.

This event is held the day before PDI’s Grow Iowa Day on February 27, 2013 at the Iowa State Capitol. Plan to attend both!

Registration & Information >>

 Business Retention & Expansion Awards 2013

The PDI Business Retention and Expansion (BRE) Awards Program recognizes the contribution of BRE to the success of local and regional economic development initiatives.

Purpose of Award: To increase the focus on BRE in economic development organizations by identifying programs and projects that have significant impact on Iowa communities.

More Information >>

 Job Postings:

President and Chief Executive Officer, GMMCI, Muscatine, IA
Director Convention and Visitor's Bureau (CVB) Clinton, IA
President & CEO, Clinton (Iowa) Regional Development Corporation, Clinton, IA

More Information >>



 Heartland Economic Development Course Scholarship for Community Service

Heartland EDC’s Scholarship for Community Service is a tuition scholarship awarded annually to one community volunteer involved with local economic development initiatives in rural communities or urban neighborhoods. To be eligible, volunteers must reside in Heartland’s partner states of Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma. The scholarship for Community Service application must be completed and submitted no later than February 28, 2013 to be considered for the April 2013 course.

More Information >>

 Business Retention and Expansion Course

University of Minnesota Extension is pleased to again offer a course in Business Retention and Expansion (BR&E) strategies for economic development (ED) and community development (CD) professionals and stakeholders. Our redesigned and updated course, “Business Retention and Expansion in Your Community,” combines both in-person and online learning in a blended approach that offers the best of both worlds. Who should take this course?

More Information >>



 University of Oklahoma EDI Economic Development Marketing and Attraction Course

January 14, 2013 - March 11, 2013 - Online registration coming soon.

 Main Street Iowa Economic Impact Symposium

Presentation by Economist Donovan Rypkema of Place Economics
January 31, 2013, 5:00 - 6:30 pm
State Historical Society Auditorium
600 East Locust Street, Des Moines Iowa
RSVP Here >>

 PDI Workforce Summit

February 26, 2013
FFA Enrichment Center - DMACC Ankeny Campus
Ankeny, IA

 PDI Grow Iowa Day at the Capitol 2013

Wednesday, February 27, 2013
11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Iowa State Capitol Complex, Des Moines, Iowa

 University of Oklahoma Economic Development Institute

March 10-14, 2013
NCED Conference Center and Hotel
Norman, Oklahoma
More Information & Registration >>

 PPP Course - The Partners, the Profession and the Process

Wednesday, March 27, 2013
9:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
Iowa Farm Bureau Federation
5400 University Avenue
West Des Moines, Iowa
To attend:

 Getting to Know The Authority

Wednesday, March 27, 2013
1:00-4:00 p.m.
Iowa Economic Development Authority
200 East Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50309 [TENTATIVE]
-Registration information available in mid-January

 Heartland Economic Development Course

April 21-25, 2013
Blue Springs, MO
PDI Scholarships are available thru 3/31/13 at - (800) 782-9520
Registration & Information >>

 PDI Spring Event

In conjunction with the SMART Conference
May 1-3, 2013
Renaissance Savery Hotel, Des Moines, IA

 2013 C2ER Annual Conference & LMI Training Institute Annual Forum

May 20-25, 2013 Nashville, TN Full agenda coming in January More information >>

 University of Oklahoma EDI Entrepreneurship Course

June 10, 2013 - August 5, 2013 - Online registration coming soon

 University of Oklahoma EDI Strategic Planning Course
More Information & Registration >>

 PDI Fall Conference

September 25-27, 2013
Park Place Event Centre
Wingate by Wyndham and AmericInn Hotel
Cedar Falls, Iowa

 University of Oklahoma Economic Development Institute

October 20-24, 2013
University Place Conference Center and Hotel
Indianapolis, Indiana
More Information & Registration >>

 University of Oklahoma EDI Economic Development Marketing and Attraction Course

November 4, 2013 - January 13, 2014 - Online registration coming soon.

For more information, contact Lynn Harkin, PDI Headquarters at (515) 243-4585 or Email

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