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By Sandy Ehrig, PDI President

Sandy Ehrig
Sandy Ehrig
PDI President
PDI needs your help! We need to know of anyone who is new in their economic development position or new to Iowa and working in and economic development role.

An important aspect of Professional Developers of Iowa is to assist with the education, information, and reputation of the profession by connecting new folks with the appropriate resources. Please send Lynn the names and contact information for anyone that you know should be contacted.

There are two great opportunities that we don't want people to miss.

1. The PPP Workshop scheduled for April 23rd from 2:00 - 5:00 p.m. at Iowa Farm to anyone who signs up - wanting to learn about the Partners, Profession, and Process for Iowa' s economic development. Contact to register.

2. May 4…"Getting to Know IEDA" from 8:00 a.m. - noon at the Renaissance Des Moines Savery Hotel

Sandy Ehrig,
President, Professional Developers of Iowa


A look at the one-year transformation of Iowa's economic development agency by Chelsea Keenan, Staff Writer, Business Record, March 30, 2012

The Iowa Department of Economic Development (IDED) underwent major changes last year, morphing from a state agency into a public-private partnership. Tasked with the lofty goal of creating 200,000 jobs and increasing family incomes by 25 percent, the agency has a lot of work ahead of it.


 IEDA International News

The Iowa Economic Development Authority's International Update newsletter, March/April. issue, is now available.


 Iowa Innovation Corporation Update

Wondering what's been going on with the Iowa Innovation Corporation? Here's an update from Chair Bob Riley provided by staff.

More Information >>

 IWD Update

Please find a series of documents attached from the Iowa Workforce Development Labor Market Information section outlining the status of the Iowa economy and the status of our workforce. The attachments include unemployment by county. Please pass along to all interested parties.

Please note the following:

  • Iowa's unemployment rate fell for the fifth time in the past six months, dropping to 5.3 percent in February.
  • Iowa's jobless rate was 5.4 percent in January, and 6.0 percent one year ago. Iowa's unemployment rate is the sixth lowest in the U.S.
  • The state's number of unemployed fell to 88,500 in February, the best reading since December 2008.
More Information >>

 Capital Crossroads: Business Capital
Business Capital looks to leverage natural regional strengths
by Kyle Oppenhuizen, Staff Writer, Business Record, March 2, 2012

What is Capital Crossroads:
Capital Crossroads is a regional planning effort headed up by leaders in Greater Des Moines and surrounding community.

What is Business Capital:
The Business Capital section of the Capital Crossroads plan focuses on how to best create jobs through growing what is already strong in the region and figuring out how to make it stronger.


 Revolving Loan and Grant (RRLG) Program

Need money to improve rail facilities that will create jobs, spur economic activity and improve Iowa's rail transportation system? DOT's Rail Revolving Loan and Grant (RRLG) program expects $2 million available for eligible projects with applications due on May 24, 2012. (See link for details and how to apply.)




 Policy Perspectives

Read the latest Policy Perspectives at the PDI web site

Read Legislative Alert from April 10, 2012 >>



 Wind Energy Grant to Build Iowa's Research Capacity
Corridor Business Journal, April 10, 2012M

University of Iowa researchers have been awarded a $1.3 million grant as part of the Iowa Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR).

The UI grant is part of a larger five-year, $20 million Iowa EPSCoR grant awarded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) in 2011 to build Iowa's research capacity in renewable energy and energy efficiency at Iowa's three public universities: Iowa State University, the University of Iowa, and the University of Northern Iowa.


 California Business Gets State Help to Relocate Office to Cedar Rapids
Posted March 26, 2012, by George Ford

A California business will receive state financial help to relocate its support services office to Cedar Rapids.

The Iowa Economic Development Authority board on Monday awarded $40,000 in direct financial assistance to Expense Reduction Analysts Inc.

Expense Reduction Analysts, also known as ERA-USA, started in 2003-2004 and is a franchisor company that supports franchisees that operate an Expense Reduction Analysts® Consulting Practice. The latter helps organizations improve profitability through cost, purchase and supplier management.


 Australian Company Chooses Dyersville for $2.2 Million Facility
Posted March 26, 2012, by George Ford

An Australian company has selected Dyersville for a $2.2 million facility that will serve its North American customers and create 30 new jobs in the area.

Digga North America LLC is proposing to build a new 30,000-square-foot, state-of-art facility in Dyersville's new industrial park. The project was approved Monday by the Iowa Economic Development Authority board for $240,000 in direct financial assistance and tax benefits.

The Dyersville City Council is expected to approve a tax increment financing agreement with the company in April. Digga also will be using the Iowa New Jobs Training Program administered locally through Northeast Iowa Community College.


 A Closer Look: Mary Lawyer
Iowa Honorary Consul for Canada, director of Iowa Blue Zones Project
by Kent Darr, Senior Staff Writer, Business Record, March 23, 2012

In a career of key appointments, Mary Lawyer's most recent might be her most obscure. She was named in January to be Iowa's honorary consul for Canada, a job that allows her to promote Iowa businesses and use experience she has gained as a director, deputy director and chief of staff for the former Iowa Department of Economic Development (IDED), president of the Downtown Community Alliance and business director for 108-year-old Conlon Construction Co. in Dubuque. Lawyer is the state leader for the Blue Zones Project, part of the Healthiest State initiative.




 Reminder: PPP Workshop

If you're new to economic development or new to Iowa or just need a refresher, please contact to reserve your seat at PDI sponsored "The Partners, Profession, and Process" workshop. There is no fee for this workshop. It will take place at Iowa Farm Bureau on Monday, April 23rd from 2:00 - 5:00 p.m. purposely connecting to the following day's "Moving Forward" conference. This is a terrific chance to learn more about the tools and partners for working in Iowa's economic development profession!

 2012 PDI Spring Event: Spotlight on BREI Training Course:

Wednesday, May 2
(This is in combination with the SMART Conference and PDI's Getting to Know Iowa Economic Development Authority on May 3 and May 4.)

What is Business Retention & Expansion?
BR&E is an economic development strategy that focuses on the retention and expansion of existing businesses. Programs are designed to help support existing business develop and expand in today's global economy. PDI is bringing one of BREI's certification courses to central Iowa – but you don't have to be working toward one of the two levels of certification – this course will provide beneficial information for all economic developers!

Community Economic Analysis (This course qualifies for BREI Certification)
Gain and develop the basic tools for understanding your local economy and learn where to find the necessary data. Instructor: Alan Barefield, Mississippi In this course you will learn:

  • Local Demand Assessment: Trade Area, Potential Sales, Pull Factor, Demand Threshold
  • Retail Seepage: Location Quotient, Census-to-Employment Ratios
  • Community Competition: Regional Evaluation Tools, Shift Sharing, Gross County Product
For additional information regarding details of this course, please contact Connie at> or (800) 677-9930 or visit their website at

[Link no longer available.]

 Job Opportunities:

Director of Economic Development, Greater Burlington Partnership
Assistant Economic Development Director, City of Dubuque
President, Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce
Executive Director, Cedar County Economic Development Commission (CCEDCO)
Executive Director, DeWitt, IA

More on Job Opportunities >>



 PPP Course — The Partners, the Profession and the Process

Monday, April 23, 2012
2:00-5:00 p.m.
Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, 5400 University Avenue, West Des Moines, Iowa
To attend email: or

 BREI Training Course - Community Economic Analysis Course

Wednesday, May, 20, 2012
Renaissance Des Moines Savery Hotel, 401 Locust Street, Des Moines, IA 50309

 SMART Conference

Thursday, May 3, 2012
Des Moines, Iowa
More Information >>

 PDI Spring Event — Getting to Know IEDA

Friday, May 4, 2012
Renaissance Des Moines Savery Hotel, Des Moines, Iowa
Registration materials available at

Room rates: $104/night; Call (515) 244-2151 or Marriott Reservations (800) 514-4706 Identify that you are affiliated with the Professional Developers of Iowa Room Block
Deadline for sleeping rooms: April 25

 Register Now for the OU/EDI 50th Anniversary Session Oklahoma City

May 6-10, 2012
Oklahoma City, OK
Registration open at

Scholarships are available for various professional development opportunities. For more information, [Link no longer available.]

 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

 Regional 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.


PDI Thanks the 2012 Sponsors



Alliant Energy

Renew Rural Iowa
Council Bluffs Economic Development Commission

Council Bluffs Convention & Visitors Bureau

Western Iowa Regional Groups

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

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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