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By Sandy Ehrig, PDI President

Sandy Ehrig
Sandy Ehrig
PDI President
Don't miss out! Now is the time to register for the 2012 Fall PDI Conference "Exploring the Silicon Prairie...Technology & Economic Development"! Council Bluffs is planning a fantastic couple of days with Mid-American Center as on-site host. There will be several opportunities to check out downtown Council Bluffs. A reception at the Chamber of Commerce is offered followed by the "Dine Around" in historic downtown with a conference sponsored $20. to enjoy at one of eleven restaurants. If you choose Dixie Quicks Restaurant (featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives) you're asked to make reservations by calling 712.256.4140

Out of state and non-members are welcome to register at a non-memeber conference rate. Check out the website for registration and hotel details - www.

Sandy Ehrig,
President, Professional Developers of Iowa


 IEDA Update


Iowa Familiarization Events: The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) just wrapped up its RAGBRAI Familiarization tour. This is the first time IEDA has used the venue of RAGBRAI as vehicle to present Iowa to site selectors and industry folks. Across the selected RAGBRAI route, economic development folks and their local business leaders met with guests and showcased their community. Our guests learned much more about Iowa and Iowans, made important connections, and were excellent riders, despite the hottest RAGBRAI week ever. This was a monumental effort, made possible through IEDA staff, RAGBRAI staff, and local economic development staff. Many thanks to all of you who secured accommodations and assisted with this event.

Over the next several months, IEDA will be assisting with additional opportunities to bring site selection and location professionals to Iowa through the Governor's Pheasant Hunt and the Governor's Deer Hunt. If you are working on a project with a location professional or industry leader who may be interested in visiting Iowa and participating in either the Pheasant Hunt or Deer Hunt, contact Kathy Anderson at 515.725.3149 or over the next month or so. The Pheasant Hunt is scheduled for November 9-10 and the Deer Hunt is scheduled for Jan 3-4.

Wage Threshholds: Many of you participated in the audio conference call with Director Debi Durham discussing the top of new wage thresholds on August 1. For those of you who missed it, the handouts are posted at [Link no longer available.]

You can also listen to your conference online or over the phone.

Playback via the Internet

  1. Click on the link below or paste the entire URL into your browser:
  2. At the prompt, enter your name and email address.
  3. Choose your player.
  4. Click Listen. [Drag the timer to start at 6.0 minutes as the first part contains only the clicks of people logging into the call.]
For any additional questions on the new wage thresholds, please contact Craig Block at 515.725.3018.

 "Operation: Thank you" Update

Over the next several months, Governor Branstad, Lt. Governor Reynolds and Debi Durham will be traveling the state with "Operation: Thank You" outreach events. The outreach will be coordinated through the regional marketing groups and local economic development groups to deliver the most effective program to our existing businesses. Companies who have completed a Synchronist call will be eligible for all of the opportunities from this outreach.

More Information >>

 BEST of Iowa Workshops

The 2012 BEST workshops will focus on helping you understand data derived from the existing business interviews conducted throughout the state. Focusing on Synchronist, you will gain a better understanding of the report functions and how to benchmark your data against the state, Midwest, and national data standards.

[Link no longer available.]

 Governor Branstad and Director Durham Led Trade Mission to Brazil and Chile


Iowa Governor Terry E. Branstad and Iowa Economic Development Authority director Debi Durham led a trade mission to Brazil and Chile July 21-28 with the aim of expanding trade and investment opportunities. The governor and IEDA director were accompanied by representatives from Iowa companies.

More Information >>

 44th Annual Midwest U.S. — Japan Association Conference
September 16 — 18, 2012
Hilton Hotel, Minneapolis, Minnesota

The Midwest U.S.-Japan Association Conference brings together leaders of industry and government to advance our region's relationship with Japan. Minnesota will welcome participants from Japan and the Midwest to the Twin Cities for this important forum on trade and investment. Join the conversation as we discuss "Global Strategies for Economic Growth" and explore topics ranging from sustainable energy solutions to trade partnerships to using advances in technology to nurture business growth.

[Links no longer available.]

 Iowa Finance Authority Housing Study Public Meetings

The Iowa Finance Authority is conducting a comprehensive, statewide housing study in partnership with RDG Planning & Design in order to better understand the current and future housing needs of Iowans. The study includes public forums and expert round tables throughout the state, as well as data analysis of the current housing stock. The results of this study will assist the Iowa Finance Authority in strategic planning to best serve the current needs of Iowans.

More Information >>

 In Case You Missed This…

Dear Iowa Economic Development Leader:

As Iowa's economy continues on a growth pattern, it becomes increasingly clear that our current workforce maintains an every growing skills gap. Recent statistics show that fifty percent of Iowa's current job openings fall within the middle skill range, however on thirty-three percent of the workforce is qualified for the opportunities. On the opposite side, eighteen percent of Iowa's employment opportunities are considered low skilled, yet thirty-eight percent of the current workforce only have the skill set to fill this type of a job. This divide will only continue to increase as Iowa's economy grows unless we partner throughout the state to address the issue.

More Information >>


 Mark Your Calendar

Mark your Calendar: PDI Grow Iowa Day at the Capitol 2013:

Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Iowa State Capitol Rotunda

Iowa Bankers Association


 IEDA Awards Five Businesses
From the Business Record Daily AM 7.23.12

The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) board granted financial assistance to five Iowa companies on Friday, including two in the Des Moines area. Financial assistance was awarded to the companies to create jobs and help expand small businesses, according to a release. Johnston-based Energy Independence Partners Inc. (EIP) was awarded a $500,000 loan to help it commercialize a product that helps in the treatment of waste water. ReWall, of Des Moines, was awarded a $50,000 grant to evaluate, select and optimize building materials made from recycled beverage containers. Coralville-based Green Team Technologies, Harlan-based Proliant Meat Ingredients and Manchester's Exide Technologies also received funds.

Submit a Nomination >>

 Just Published! "Unleashing Fundamental Change"
By LaDene Bowen, CEcD, FM; Ronnie Bryant, CEcD, FM, HLM; Jim Damicis; Scott Gibbs; Rick Smyre; and Mark Waterhouse, CEcD, FM, HLM

*This article is from Economic Development Journal, published by the International Economic Development Council.

Networking Transformational Thinking and Action Through Economic Development
The global economy has changed in fundamental ways and the current practice of economic development is no longer working and needs to be changed. We live in a time of transformation when there are three different types of economies mixed together for the first time in history — the old industrial, recent knowledge and emerging creative molecular economies. As a result, practitioners of economic development will be required to expand their focus beyond creating jobs primarily through recruitment and retention. Economic developers will need to help build successful communities that can adapt to constant change using the emerging principles and skills of "comprehensive community transformation."




"Exploring the Silicon Prairie...Technology & Economic Development"

September 26-28, 2012
Mid-America Center, Council Bluffs, Iowa
Hilton Garden Inn/County Inn & Suites, Council Bluffs, Iowa

Council Bluffs Convention Center

Spotlight on Speakers:

Mitch Mathews has a passion for helping individuals and organizations to dream big, innovate and achieve more! Mitch has worked with leaders from organizations like NASA, Nike, Disney, Pioneer and the Principal Financial Group. His goal is to help leaders navigate the wild waters of innovation more effectively by applying some of the simple but powerful strategies he'll be talking about in The Innovation HabitTM. Mitch also works one-on-one with leaders as an Elite Executive Coach. Plus, he has created a coach-training program that has been utilized around the globe. In fact, his unique ideas and approach led to him being asked to sit on the Franklin Covey Companies® Innovation Advisory Board for Professional Coaching. In 2006, Mitch and his wife also started something called the BIG Dream Gatherings which have helped thousands of people to dream bigger and, in many cases, get the boost they needed to get their big dreams accomplished.

In 2011, Mitch's book: "IGNITE — A little book to spark your big dreams!" was published.

Other Topics to be covered and speakers to be announced later:

Panel on — Technology Opportunities, Trends, and Future Workers/Occupations
Panel on — Choosing Locations, Chances for the Future in Iowa
IDEA Update
Financing — Right Time/Right Resource
Starting a Comprehensive Entrepreneur Development Program on a Shoe String Budget
Action Steps to Increase the Economic Development Profession
Workforce Development & Technology
Legislative Update
Connecting community entrepreneurs
Time to meet old friends, time to meet new friends
And much, much more<


It is with heavy hearts but fond memories that the members of the Site Selectors Guild announce the passing of our dear friend and Guild founder, Bob Ady. Over the years, Bob has been a legend in site selection and economic development circles. His humor and that special spark he always had in his eyes will be sorely missed by his family, friends, colleagues, and all of us in the Guild.

More Information >>  Hosting Proposals Now Available for 6th Annual EntreFest! Conference

EntreFest! is a two-day conference dedicated to Iowa small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs, which takes place on a Thursday and Friday either in late February or early March. EntreFest! attracts hundreds of small business owners, individuals that are thinking of starting a small business, community leaders, and service providers who help foster entrepreneurial growth in their communities.

More Information >>  Did You Know...

Did you know...If you missed the recent edition of the PDI Post newsletter?

Catch up at

 Job Opportunities:

Executive Director, Cedar Co. ED Comm
Economic Development Coordinator, City of Davenport
Executive Director, Chamber & Development Council of Crawford County
Consultant, Business Solutions, DMACC, Ankeny Campus
Economic Development Director, Shelby County DevelopSource seeks Director

More on Job Opportunities >>


 Nurturing Clean Tech and its Benefits in Your Community

Date: Thursday, August 16
Time: 2:30 - 4:00 pm EST
Cost: $85 for IEDC members, $125 for Non-members

More Information & Registration >>

 Economic Development Strategic Planning Training Course

July 26-27, 2012
IEDC - Chicago, IL
More Information & Registration >>

 Iowa Downtown Summit

Tuesday-Wednesday, August 21-22, 2012
Presented by the IEDA and the Federal Home Loan Bank (Des Moines)
Keokuk, IA
[Link no longer availabe.]

 44th Annual Midwest U.S. — Japan Association Conference

September 16 - 18, 2012
Hilton Hotel, Minneapolis, Minnesota
More Information >>

 PDI Fall Conference
"Exploring the Silicon Prairie….Technology & Economic Development"

Wednesday — Friday, September 26-28, 2012
Mid-America Center, Council Bluffs, Iowa
Hilton Garden Inn and Country Inn & Suites
Terry Bailey, Lori Holste & Jason Hutcheson, Conference Co-Chairs

 International Economic Development Council Annual Conference
"Energizing Today to Empower Tomorrow"

September 30 - October 3, 2012
Houston, TX
*Register by Friday, July 27, and save with our Early Registration Rates
More Information & Registration >>

 Great Plains Energy Codes Conference

October 16-18, 2012
Marriott in Regency Plaza
Omaha, Nebraska
Request for Presentation Proposals:
The deadline to submit proposals is APRIL 27, 2012.  2012 Competitiveness Conference & Site Selector Forum

December 2-4, 2012
Intercontinental Hotel Chicago
Chicago, IL
[Link no longer availabe.]



PDI Thanks the 2012 Sponsors



Alliant Energy

Renew Rural Iowa
Council Bluffs Regional Economic Development Commission

Council Bluffs Convention & Visitors Bureau

Triple Event Sponsors
ITC Midwest
Kossuth/Palo Alto County Economic Development Corp.
Iowa Economic Development Authority

Conference Supporting Sponsors
Black Hills Energy
Pioneer Hi-Bred International
Iowa Workforce Development

Conference Exhibit Sponsors - Fall & Spring
Ady Voltedge
Convergent Non Profit Fundraising
Iowa Business Growth
Iowa State University CIRAS
JEO Consulting Group Inc.
North Iowa Corridor Development Corp.
Peoples Company
Spring Only
Viebicher Associates Inc.

Fall Only
Iowa City Area Development Group Inc.
Iowa Department of Natural Resources
Iowa Small Business Development Centers
Iowa Telecommunications Association

BREI Award
Smart Solutions Group
& Blane Canada

Contributing Sponsors - Fall & Spring
Iowa Association of Business & Industry
Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative

Contributing Sponsors - Spring Only
Iowa Utility Association

Contributing Sponsors - Fall Only
Access Energy Cooperative
Buchanan County Economic Development
Guthrie County Rural Electric Cooperative Association
Midland Power Cooperative


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