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By Jason Hutcheson, PDI President

Jason Hutcheson
PDI President

Would you like your city to be the host city for the 2016 or 2017 PDI Fall Conference?

Each year PDI holds an Annual Meeting/Conference in late September/early October. Preliminary events are held on Wednesday and conference workshops and general sessions are held on Thursday and Friday. There are also events in the evening for some Conferences. Going forward, PDI Spring Conferences are held in the central Iowa region (in conjunction with another industry event.)

The host community for the PDI conferences is completely open to bid each year. Host communities are selected up to two years in advance. We move the conference around the state of Iowa and our goal it to locate the conference in the western, eastern, northern and southern regions. There are no predetermined policies based on region, however, consideration is given to cost effective hotel properties, locations of prior years, and meeting room and sleeping room space. Special consideration is given to communities with PDI member involvement as they often serve as co-chairs.

The Conference Committee along with the Executive Director will review all bids and decide on the city which best fits the members’ needs. The Conference Committee and the Executive Director then review all hotel proposals which meet the minimum requirements and conduct a site visit. Recommendations are made to the full Board.

For more information regarding the conference contact Lynn Harkin, PDI Executive Director at (515) 243-4585 or

P.S. The deadline to determine a host community is March 31. Confirmation of interest must be received by January 1.



 Branstad, Reynolds, Northey and State Officials Submit Comments on Federal “Waters of the United States” Proposed Rule

Proposed federal rule will impose barriers to the advancement of innovative, state- and local-driven conservation practices that would advance our common goal of water quality

Gov. Terry E. Branstad, Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds and Secretary Bill Northey, along with relevant state leaders, today sent a letter and submitted comments to United States Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy and Army for Civil Works Assistant Secretary Jo-Ellen Darcy on the proposed “Waters of the United States” federal rule under the Clean Water Act (CWA).

“The overriding concern of a diverse group of impacted stakeholders, including state leaders, is that the proposed rule will impose significant barriers to the advancement of innovative, state- and local-driven conservation and environmental practices that would actually advance our common goal of water quality,” the letter reads. “Because the proposed rule is fatally flawed, we request that it be withdrawn and that future rulemaking be appropriately coordinated with States and relevant stakeholders. We agree that clean water requires good, clear, well-designed regulations — unfortunately, the ones currently being proposed are not.”

More Information >>

 CIRAS Machinery Survey and Summit

Iowa State University needs your assistance with a new study that seeks to map the technology needs of machinery manufacturers and suggest future growth strategies for this important sector of the Iowa economy.

ISU’s Center for Industrial Research and Service (CIRAS) this month is sending a survey to machinery manufacturers around the state asking questions focused on identifying their technology needs. CIRAS then will analyze the needs of the sector overall and explore what steps should be taken to enhance its overall profitability and stimulate economic growth.

More Information >>

 How Local Governments Are (or Aren’t) Examining Economic Development Dollars
By Mike Maciag,, November 5, 2015

A new survey provides a detailed portrait of how local governments use business incentives, finding many lack basic accountability measures.

Just how effective tax breaks and other incentives are at boosting economic development is a crucial question states and localities should answer when they look to expand or renew programs.

More Information >>




 Democrats and Republicans Keep Main Leaders for 2015 Legislative Session
By Dar Danielson, Radio Iowa, November 10, 2014

The party leaders who control the Iowa House and Senate will remain the same in the new session in January. Republicans control the Iowa House and have voted to keep Representative Kraig Paulsen of Hiawatha in the role of the Speaker of the House.


 PDI 2015 Grow Iowa Day at the Capitol

Wednesday, February 4, 2015
Iowa State Capitol Rotunda, Des Moines, IA
[Registration information will be available early December]



 Fish Farm Project to Bring 150 Jobs to Webster City
Des Moines Register, November 4, 2014

A company is planning to build a large indoor fish farming operation in Webster City that will employ 150 people.

VeroBlue Farms is preparing to purchase two buildings in the central Iowa city, including the former Beam Building, more commonly known as the Kenco Building, the Daily Freeman-Journal reported.


 Wellsburg Wind Farm Gets Set to Go Online
By Jim Offner, Cedar Valley Business Monthly Online, November 2, 2014

Turbines soon will be humming on one of MidAmerican Energy Co.’s first Cedar Valley wind farms.

A 60-turbine wind farm that will generate 140.8 megawatts is going up in Wellsburg, a town of 750 people in Grundy County. It's part of the utility’s Wind VIII Project, which also includes four other new wind farms, in Marshall, Webster, Madison and O’Brien counties.

It’s part of a plan MidAmerican Energy unveiled in May 2013 to invest as much as $1.9 billion to expand its wind portfolio by the end of 2015.


 Alcoa Investing in Iowa Rolling Mill
Spending $190 million to make aerospace products

By George C. Ford, The Gazette, November 5, 2014

Alcoa plans to invest $190 million at its Davenport Works rolling mill to expand production of aluminum and aluminum-lithium plate for the aerospace and industrial markets.

New York City-based Alcoa completed a $300 million expansion of the rolling mill in January 2014 to supply aluminum sheet products to the automotive industry. The investment created 150 full-time jobs in the plant as well as 150 positions during the construction phase.





 New Members

Matt Mancuso, Iowa Western Community, Council Bluffs
Hollee McCormick, Allamakee Clayton Electric Cooperative, Postville

 Job Postings:

Planning and Economic Development Director, City of Norwalk, Norwalk
City Administrator, City of Fairfield, Fairfield
SE Iowa Regional Planning Commission Intern, SE Iowa Regional Planning Commission, West Burlington
SE Iowa Regional Planning Commission Planner, SE Iowa Regional Planning Commission, West Burlington
Executive Director, Winneshiek County Development Inc., Decorah

More Information >>




 Heartland Economic Development Course, Inc.

April 19-23, 2015
Adam's Pointe Conference Center, Blue Springs, MO

More Information & Registration >>

Scholarship Information >>



 2014 Iowa Women of Innovation Awards
November 11, 2014
Meadows Events & Conference Center
Altoona, Iowa
More Information & Registration >>

 Heartland Economic Development Course, Inc.
April 19-23, 2015
Adam's Pointe Conference Center, Blue Springs, MO
More Information & Registration >>
Scholarship Information >>

 PDI 2015 Spring Event
Wednesday, May 6, 2015
Location/Time/Topic TBD

 SMART Conference
Thursday, May 7, 2015
Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center, Des Moines, IA
Renaissance Savery Hotel — Sleeping Room (TBD)
$65 economic developers / $50 for volunteer leaders / $75 on-site registration

 PDI’s Fall Conference
September 23-25, 2015
Historic Park Inn, Holiday Inn Express
Mason City, IA

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


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