Click here to view this email in your browser.


PDI 40 Years

By Brent Willett, PDI President

Brent Willett
PDI President
I'm going to keep this brief, because you don't have time to read some longwinded newsletter article- you're getting your affairs in order to be out of the office for a couple of days to attend PDI conference September 25—27. Right? By now you've heard about the fantastic programming for work and play

  • Wednesday: Golf! Bikes! Trapshooting!
  • Thursday: Personalized leadership roadmaps. Bar Camp. Roundtables. Certification.
  • Friday: Governor Branstad. Lt. Governor Reynolds. Director Durham. Legislative updates.
I want to focus in on that third bullet [shamelessly lifted from my August 13 PDI Post message] for a minute. If you've been a member for a while, you've come to be accustomed to a great social activity on conference Wednesday [though not three, like we have this year] and you've come to expect a Thursday packed with programming and networking opportunities [though perhaps not to the level they're being offered this year, including a national speaker, a Bar Camp and discussion roundtables with the very best in the business]. It's Friday that puts this year's conference over the top.

We'll kick off the day with a shot of economic development adrenaline [as always] from Director Durham for an IEDA update. Then we'll move into a legislative update and the naming of PDI Legislators of the Year- the first in several years. We'll have a session on putting a DC fly-in together and federal advocacy best practices. And then Governor Branstad [confirmed] and Lt. Governor Reynolds [confirmed] will address us all, so make sure you stick around through the morning Friday to hear from our state's top officials.

We'll start the conference off with a bang [literally, if you're participating in the trapshooting event] and end with a boom in an address from our state's top two officials. 2013 PDI Conference is truly something not to miss.

Don't have time to register? It will take you less time than reading this message did. Here.

Brent Willett
President, Professional Developers of Iowa



 Presidentially Speaking...

"PDI has been a tremendous asset for advancing the economic development professional in Iowa by providing opportunities for education, networking and personal growth. As a collective group, we have been able to influence development policies and create programs to enhance the economic climate and well being of our state."

-Randy Pilkington, Executive Director, Business & Community Services, University of Northern Iowa, PDI President 1998-1999

 A bit more history for you...

"PDI was a small organization for many years. The first major initiative the organization accomplished was to get the Iowa Legislature to pass the real estate tax abatement for new industrial buildings. My year as President provided me the opportunity to grow as an individual and a leader. That exposure opened doors for me as I was observed by others throughout the State of Iowa."

Some other names that will not be known by most of the current members but were charter members also are Phil Brunk, Iowa Southern Utilities; Biff Byrum, Ottumwa Area Development Corporation; Dean Chandler, Iowa Power; Hugh McLaurey, Burlington Area Development Corporation; Keith Peterson, Chicago Northwestern Railroad; and John Wetzel, Iowa-Illinois Gas and Electric; and the one that pushed the idea to start the organization the most was Dick Powell, Director of Industrial Development for the Iowa Development Commission.

-Gary Owens, PDI President 1983-1984


 Governor Announces Broadband Initiative
Business Record Daily PM, September 3, 2013

Gov. Terry Branstad today announced a"Connect Every Iowan" initiative to increase the access and use of broadband in the state. The existing Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Advisory Council will develop legislative recommendations that will encourage broadband access in the state. The committee will have its first meeting Sept. 10, and its recommendations are expected by Dec. 1. The committee also is charged with developing a long-term strategic plan for broadband adoption by Jan. 1, 2015. Iowa ranks 11th out of 12 Midwestern states in the TechNet State Broadband Index, which takes into account the household adoption rate of broadband, network speeds and the amount of jobs that benefit from broadband technology.

 Iowa Small Business Development Center Partners with Ex-Im Bank, Multiplies Access to Export Financing for Iowa Businesses

The Iowa Small Business Development Center (Iowa SBDC) today announced a new partnership that will help Iowa small- and medium-sized businesses boost export sales and jobs. Iowa SBDC's partnership with Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank)'s City/State Partnership is the first of its kind in the state of Iowa. It will give exporters enhanced access to information about Ex-Im Bank's resources to exporters in all 99 Iowa counties.

More Information >>

 Iowa Workforce and Economic Development Status Reports

In January of 2011, Governor Terry Branstad released a set of goals aimed at improving the socio-economic environment of Iowans. These goals include: creating 200,000 new jobs, increasing family incomes by 25 percent, providing Iowa's youth with the best education in the nation and reducing State government costs by 15 percent. The second annual report is complete and can be used to delineate some of the opportunities and challenges Iowa faces in several areas as they relate to the attainment of these goals.

Along with the statewide report, regional reports based on economic development regional marketing group territories and Laborshed areas were independently analyzed. Select an area on the map to view the individual region's report.

Link to The Statewide Report. >>

 Iowa State to Establish Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Network
Center for Industrial Research and Service Receives Grant from EDA University Center

By Mike O'Donnell, Laura Sternweis, Iowa State Extension & Outreach

Iowa State University will be establishing the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Network with a $250,000 grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration's 2013 University Center Economic Development Program Competition. The grant was awarded to the ISU Extension and Outreach Center for Industrial Research and Service.

"The EDA University Center Program is an integral component of Iowa State University's effort to drive innovation-based economic development and job creation in Iowa," said CIRAS Director Ron Cox.

"The EDA-ISU partnership will help match university experts with advanced manufacturing companies to provide the innovation and technology solutions Iowa industry needs to remain competitive in a global economy," Cox said.






 UNI's Advance Iowa Program is Growing Businesses across the State

Thanks to funding from the Iowa legislature, the University of Northern Iowa's Advance Iowa program, the state's only certified Economic Gardening center, is off and running. The purpose of the program is to provide an array of services to second stage businesses (10-99 employees) fostering growth.

More Information >>

 City Receives EDA Award to Further Rail Improvements

The City of Sioux City has been awarded a $551,459 grant from the Economic Development Administration (EDA) to assist with rail improvements in Southbridge Business Park. The grant will be used for the construction of an industrial lead track and "drop & pull" yard".

"We are grateful for the support of our Congressional delegation for this important project," said Mayor Bob Scott. "These funds will greatly assist our efforts to attract new development and new jobs to Sioux City."

More Information >>




 Main Street Iowa Application Workshops

Main Street Iowa will host three regional application workshops in September. The workshops will cover topics ranging from the basics of the Main Street Approach® and program services of Main Street Iowa to the mechanics of completing an application in 2013 for Main Street Iowa designation, selection criteria, application distribution and review.

Following each workshop, attendees will have an opportunity to tour (approximately one hour) the historic commercial district of the hosting community (optional).

Community representatives must participate in one of the workshops to be eligible to submit an application for Main Street Iowa designation.

More Information >>



 Job Postings:

Program Manager, Institute for Decision Making, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls
Economic Development Director, Wilton Development Corporation, Wilton
Regional Planner, Region XII COG, Carroll
Community Development Director, The City of Sheldon, Sheldon, Iowa
Executive Director - The Red Oak Chamber and Industry Association, Red Oak, Iowa
Senior Industry Manager, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa
Executive Director - Carroll Chamber of Commerce and Carroll Area Development Corporation, Carroll, Iowa
Capital Investment Campaign and Marketing Coordinator, Lee County Economic Development Group, Keokuk, Iowa

More Information >>




 On-Line Course: University of Oklahoma Economic Development Institute - Strategic Planning

September 9 - November 4, 2013
More Information & Registration >>

 Main Street Iowa Application Workshop

Tuesday, Sept. 17 / 1 - 4 p.m.
The Accel Group – First Insurance Services
300 E Bremer
Waverly, Iowa
v  Main Street Iowa Application Workshop

Wednesday, Sept. 18 / 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.
City Hall
118 East Main Street, 2nd Floor
State Center, Iowa

 Main Street Iowa Application Workshop

Thursday, Sept. 19 / 1 - 4 p.m.
Corning Opera House
800 Davis Avenue
Corning, Iowa

 PDI Fall Conference

September 25-27, 2013
Park Place Event Centre
Wingate by Wyndham and AmericInn Hotel
Cedar Falls, Iowa - Hosted by Cedar Valley
Check out our video!
Early Bird Registration has passed but Registration Still Open >>

 Economic Development Tools for Iowa

September 30, 2013
The Legacy Golf Club

 Economic Development Tools for Iowa

October 2, 2013
Riverside Casino & Golf Resort

 Economic Development Tools for Iowa

October 3, 2013
Spencer Golf & Country Club

 University of Oklahoma Economic Development Institute (On-Site)

November 3-7, 2013
Crowne Plaza Hotel - Downtown Union Station Indianapolis, Indiana
More Information & Registration >>

 On-Line Course: University of Oklahoma Economic Development Institute – Marketing Course

November 4, 2013 - January 13, 2014
More Information & Registration >>

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


PDI Thanks the 2013 Sponsors



Alliant Energy

Renew Rural Iowa

Special thanks to our local sponsors in Cedar Valley:
Black Hawk Economic Development, Inc.
Cedar Falls Utilities
Cedar Valley Regional Partnership
City of Cedar Falls
Farmers State Bank
Hawkeye Community College
Iowa Waste Reduction Center
Point Builders
Prairie Construction
& JEO Consulting Group Inc.
Strategic Marketing Services - UNI
Veridian Credit Union
In-Kind: Waverly Chamber of Commerce

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

Conference Benefactor Sponsor
Iowa LinkedUp/ITC Venture
North Iowa Corridor Development Corp.

Conference Exhibit Sponsors — Fall & Spring
Black Hills Energy
Center for Industrial Research & Service - ISU
Convergent Fundraising Solutions
Peoples Company

Spring Only
Viebicher Associates Inc.
The Iowa Regional Center

Fall Only
Iowa Small Business Development Centers
JEO Consulting Group Inc.

BREI Award
Smart Solutions Group
Blane Canada

Contributing Sponsors — Fall & Spring
Iowa Association of Business & Industry
Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative
Central Iowa Power Cooperative

Contributing Sponsors — Spring Only
Great Des Moines Partnership
Iowa Utility Association

Contributing Sponsors — Fall Only
Access Energy Cooperative
East Central Iowa Rural Electric Cooperative
Grow Greater Burlington
Guthrie County Rural Electric Cooperative Association
Maquoketa Valley Electric Cooperative
Midland Power Cooperative

Twitter      Facebook      LinkedIn


Published by WinM@il