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By Sandy Ehrig, PDI President

Sandy Ehrig
Sandy Ehrig
PDI President
A BIG thank you to all the PDI members who showed up to support Grow Iowa Day at the Iowa State Capitol on Wednesday, February 1. Grow Iowa Day has become a valued tradition for PDI members. It was great to hear from IEDA Director, Debi Durham and Tim Whipple, Legal Counsel at Iowa Economic Development Authority at the media availability event. 20 organizations provided displays for legislators to see first-hand the great work going on in Iowa regarding economic development. Attendees had an opportunity to visit with legislators over pizza and cookies.

PDI's communication and marketing committee worked with professionals to promote "Grow Iowa" through a series of legislative 'unveilings'. Invitations to attend "Grow Iowa" were extended from the PDI exhibit at Transportation Day and the Travel Federation of Iowa's Showcase.

PDI Grow Iowa Day 2012


Thank you for sharing your time, dedication and financial investment. Collectively, we demonstrate to legislators the strength and breadth of our membership organization. It is critical PDI members communicate face to face with legislators. Our message – though we work daily to grow Iowa's economy their help to provide a competitive business friendly state is imperative.

Special thanks to all the PDI members who also helped with set-up, clean-up, serving food/beverages, and greeting legislators. We salute our legislative co-chairs, Brent Willett, Kathryn Kunert, and Jeff Rossate for keeping us informed along with Craig and Amy who invite you to read the PDI Perspective for bill tracking and updates.

Also, thank you to Bob Josten who lead a TIF Education Session via audio conference on January 25 with nearly seventy participants. Bob's handout is available here as well.

Please join me in congratulating our Executive Director, Lynn Harkin on her latest professional accomplishment of passing the rigorous program to become a CAE (Certified Association Executive). Lynn, you make us proud!

Sandy Ehrig,
President, Professional Developers of Iowa


Economic Development and Transportation Conference

Hosted by the Iowa Department of Transportation and Iowa Economic Development Authority

Save the date for this conference bringing together users and providers of the transportation industry and economic development officials to explore the role transportation plays in protecting and growing business and industry in Iowa. The conference is Tuesday, April 24, 2012, at the Sheraton — West Des Moines, Iowa.

Learn from speakers like Jim Young, Chairman, President & CEO of Union Pacific Railroad. Young was elected chairman in January, 20907, and president and chief executive officer in November, 2005.

Other highlights include a panel featuring Iowa business leaders who will discuss the role of transportation in their particular industry and how they mitigate transportation challenges.

[Link no longer available.]

 Chinese Vice President Xi to Visit Iowa

Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping will visit Iowa in February as part of his upcoming visit to the United States. Vice President Xi visited Iowa in 1985 as a Hebei Province party official, and was the director of the Feed Association of Shi jiazhuang Prefecture. Now, he is the Vice President and this year he will become the president of China. During a trade mission to China last September, Gov. Branstad met with Vice President Xi, and discussed at length the vice president's 1985 Iowa visit. The vice president informed the governor that he was impressed with the hospitality and friendliness of Iowans, and named a number of the Iowans with whom he met. During their conversation, the governor invited him to visit Iowa again. Staff at the Iowa Economic Development Authority are working on details of the trip to strengthen Vice President Xi's understanding of Iowa and the economic opportunities available.

 Iowa Library Services/State Library Launches First Capitol Complex IowaWORKS Access Point

Iowa Workforce Development is rapidly deploying access points across the state to bring workforce services closer to Iowans. Further enhancing this initiative is the launch of access points on the capitol complex. Iowa Library Services/State Library has installed access points at both the main library in the Ola Babcock Miller Building and at the Law Library in Iowa's Capitol Building. "Iowa Library Services and Iowa Workforce Development very much appreciate the great service provided by the access point libraries all around the state. 55,000 people walk through the doors of Iowa public libraries every day. Librarians have always worked hard to meet the needs of their customers, and are again responding to community needs by making the workforce access points available on library computers," said State Librarian Mary Wegner.

More Information >>

 Rural Energy for America Program 2012

The Fiscal Year 2012 Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) was announced on January 20. This grant and guaranteed loan program helps agricultural producers and rural small businesses reduce energy costs and consumption and helps meet the Nation's critical energy needs. A copy of Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA) is attached for your convenience.

More Information >>

 Iowa Still No. 2 in Wind Power
Business Record Daily AM, January 27, 2012

The American Wind Energy Association reported that California topped the list for megawatts installed in 2011 with 921, and Illinois was second with 692, rising to No. 4 on the overall list. Iowa remained No. 2 in the overall wind power rankings after adding 647 megawatts. Ohio came in as the fastest-growing wind power state in 2011; the addition of 101 megawatts brought its total capacity to 112 megawatts. South Dakota joined Iowa as the states receiving the highest proportion of their electricity from wind, with both at 20 percent.

 Renewable Energy Group® Announces Pricing of Initial Public Offering of Common Stock

Renewable Energy Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:REGI) today announced the pricing of its initial public offering of 7,200,000 shares of common stock at a price to the public of $10.00 per share. The shares are expected to begin trading on The Nasdaq Global Market on January 19, 2012 under the symbol "REGI." Of the shares of common stock in the offering, Renewable Energy Group is offering 6,857,140 shares and selling stockholders are offering 342,860 shares. In addition, Renewable Energy Group has granted the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to 1,080,000 additional shares of common stock to cover over-allotments, if any.


 New Startup Calendar Puts Statewide Event Information at Entrepreneurs' Fingertips

The Iowa Startup and Entrepreneur Calendar, hosted by Startup Iowa, goes live today, providing one-stop access to information about entrepreneurial and startup business activities around the state. Never has the state had a single repository for events of interest to startups and entrepreneurs. The online calendaring system is accessible to anyone for free.

More Information >>

 Iowa Workforce and Economic Development Status Report
by Iowa Workforce Development

In January, Iowa Workforce Development published the first annual Iowa Workforce and Economic Development Status Report. This report is centered on measuring the state's progress in achieving Governor Branstad's and Lieutenant Governor Reynolds' four goals for their administration:

More Information >>

 Business Retention & Expansion Awards
by Iowa Workforce Development

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

More Information >>


 Don't Kill Tax Tool that's Key to Growth
Written by The Register's Editorial

Coralville has been successful in attracting commercial and retail development, but in the process the city has attracted criticism for how it has used taxpayer money to leverage that development. Now some state legislators would limit the authority of all Iowa cities and counties to subsidize new development. That would be a mistake.


 Jobs Bill Information
Written by The Register's Editorial

Information on the High Quality Jobs Bill and Direct Assistance Information is now available at the PDI website.

More Information >>


 Sioux Center, Iowa, Firm Earns $300k in State Funding

A Sioux Center, Iowa, firm has received state funding for its work in the biomedical research industry. The Iowa Economic Development Authority recently awarded $300,000 in job creation and expansion funds to Exemplar Genetics.

The company uses pigs to study human diseases. The findings help the firm develop cures. The money will be used to develop more facilities and study new treatments and therapies, officials said.

 Developer Reapplying for Tallcorn Towers project
By Abigail Pelzer — Managing Editor,Times-Republican

Susie Sower Park could become a privately-owned green space in downtown Marshalltown with city council approval and a nod from the state. CommonBond Communities, a Minnesota-based developer, is reapplying to the Iowa Finance Authority to renovate Tallcorn Towers for low-income housing and retail space. However, this time CommonBond is hoping to secure Susie Sower Park, just north of the Tallcorn Towers, as a green space to boost its application.


 12 Iowa Towns in Roadway Improvement Program
Business Record Daily PM January 17, 2012

Twelve Iowa communities have been selected to participate in the Iowa's Living Roadways Community Visioning Program in 2012. The award-winning program integrates technical landscape planning and design techniques with sustainable community action to assist community leaders and volunteers in making sound and meaningful decisions about the local landscape. The 2012 visioning communities are Calmar, Center Point, Chariton, Colo, Dyersville, Manning, Paullina, Perry, Rock Valley, Schaller, Tripoli and Villisca. To qualify for the visioning program, a community must have a population of fewer than 10,000, existing transportation-related issues and a committee of volunteers willing to dedicate their time and talent to the visioning process.


 Welcome New Members:

Kelly Halsted, Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance
Stephen Bisenius, Lee County Economic Development Group

 Scholarship Recipients:

Hollie Askey, Warren County Economic Development
Dan Beenken, UNI

 Job Postings:

International Project Manager — Iowa Economic Development Authority

More Information >>


 Scholarship Available

Scholarships are available to attend the Heartland Economic Development Course April 15 — 19.
Deadline for application is March 1.

[Link no longer available.]

 Opening Global Opportunities Conference

March 29, 2012
Hotel Julien, Dubuque, Iowa
Where will your next customer come from? Ninety-six percent of the world's consumers reside outside of the United States and account for over two-thirds of the world's purchasing power. Join Prosperity Eastern Iowa at the Opening Global Opportunities Conference on Thursday, March 29th at the Hotel Julien in Dubuque, Iowa from 8:00 to 2:00 to learn how to tap your company's exporting potential.

Register Here >>

 Heartland Economic Development Course

April 15 — 19, 2012
Kansas City Area
[PDI Scholarships are available thru 3/31/12] — (800) 782-9520

 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

WHO: Professionals in Economic Development
WHAT: BREI Community Economic Analysis Course
WHEN: Wednesday, May 2, 2012 – 9:00 a.m. — 4:30 p.m.
WHERE: Renaissance Des Moines Savery Hotel, 401 Locust Street, Des Moines, IA 50309

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

REGISTER: More information for registration will be available after March 1 at

 SMART Conference

Thursday, May 3, 2012
Des Moines, Iowa

 PDI Spring Event — Getting to Know IEDA

Friday, May 4, 2012
Renaissance Des Moines Savery Hotel, Des Moines, Iowa
Registration materials available after March 1 at

 PDI Fall Conference

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

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