PDI POST featuring a recap of Director Townsend's visit.
 Presidential Post   Development Update   Legislative Update   Statewide Pride   Who's Who   Events April 7, 2015


By Jason Hutcheson, PDI President

Jason Hutcheson
PDI President

PDI Board Meets with Director Townsend

Spring has finally arrived, and that means PDI's spring event (in conjunction with the SMART Conference) is just around the corner. The education committee led by Stacie LoVan, Greg Theis, and Sandy Ehrig has done a terrific job preparing the content for Wednesday afternoon. If you have not registered yet, there is still time (http://www.pdiowa.com/wcm/Members/EventDetail?EventKey=SPR15.

In addition, it is long-held tradition that the PDI board of directors meets at least once per year with key department heads in state government to discuss policy issues and department strategies/goals. In March, your board of directors met with Beth Townsend, the recently confirmed director of Iowa Workforce Development. Director Townsend is new to the department, and that has provided her with an opportunity to take a fresh perspective on the department's initiatives.

Although her calendar is quite full, Director Townsend is traveling around the state and hopes to hold meetings in every workforce region soon. She is very welcoming of feedback and input into how IWD can be more effective and timely in meeting the needs of today's employers.

One of the board's key messages during the meeting was emphasizing the great support local economic developers receive from the labor market research staff regarding laborshed reports and other analysis documents. There was also some discussion regarding the new WIOA federal legislation and the state's potential implementation of SECTOR boards. As the rules have not yet been released, Director Townsend urged patience as the state evaluates the legislation and determines its process for implementing the new rules. More information should come soon.

As a parting thought, I recently learned a new definition from Seth Godin, one of my marketing heroes. Reputation: it is what people expect us to do next. In Iowa, the economic development industry has a strong reputation because it has been earned. Our stakeholders expect great things because we continue to deliver results. PDI members work hard on behalf of their communities each and every day. As a result, I am proud to work with so many great colleagues across the state. Keep up the good work!


Date: Wednesday, May 6, 2015 1:00 - 7:30 pm
Location: Farm Bureau Auditorium, 5400 University Avenue, West Des Moines, IA
Registration Fee: $100 for members / Registration info

1:00 - 1:30 Welcome/ PDI and Legislative Update
1:30 - 2:30 Time Management - Balancing Work and Life
2:30 - 2:45 Break
2:45 - 3:45 Corporate Panel on Site Selection Perspective
Wells Fargo Corporate Properties Group, DuPont Pioneer; Precision Tank and Equipment & Iowa Economic Development Authority
3:45 - 4:45 Economic Developers on Site Selection & Best Practices
Greater Fort Dodge Alliance, Siouxland Initiative, Butler County Development Corp and Iowa Economic Development Authority
4:45 - 5:00 Wrap up
5:30 - 7:30 Reception: Des Moines Social Club, 900 Mulberry Street, Des Moines, IA

This event is recognized by the International Economic for Development Council (IEDC) as a professional development event that counts towards the recertification of Certified Economic Developers (CEcDs).

Are you attending the SMART Conference only? Please register directly at www.cvent.com/d/14qfm6/4W. You may also view the event summary and view the full SMART Conference agenda.

Registration Information >>

Check out this video about the SMART Conference >>


(You Don't Know What You Don't Know Series)

 ELPLAST Awarded $2 Million USDA Rural Economic Development Loan
Loan Application Sponsored by Central Iowa Power Cooperative

ELPLAST America Inc. has been awarded a $2 million USDA Pass-Through Loan to aid in the construction of their new 32,000 sq. ft. facility in the Marion Enterprise Center. United States Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced the award as a part of a total of $31 million in loans and grants for organizations in 12 states to promote rural economic development. The ELPLAST loan application was sponsored by the Central Iowa Power Cooperative (CIPCO) as the company will be served by CIPCO member, Linn County Rural Electric Cooperative.

More Information >>

 Iowa Farmland Values Drop 15 Percent Over Two Years
By Donnelle Eller, Des Moines Register, March 31, 2015

After peaking two years ago, Iowa farmland values have tumbled about 15 percent, a new report shows, and are likely to continue dropping, given weakness in corn and soybean prices.

The hit, while mostly on paper, is expected to further dent farmer confidence in spending on tractors, combines and other big-ticket equipment, say experts.

That hurts Iowa's economy and is already rippling through farm-equipment factory floors.




 Iowa City MSA Third Strongest Iowa Economy in New POLICOM Strength Rankings Top Ten Percent Nationally

The Iowa City MSA, which includes Johnson and Washington Counties, jumped 14 spots to number 38, among 381 MSAs nationwide, in the new Economic Strength Rankings just released by POLICOM. This places our area as the third strongest metro economy in the state, behind Des Moines and the Council Bluffs-Omaha area.

More Information >>

 Iowa Business Conference Slated for Q-C
By Doug Schorpp, Quad City Times, March 19, 3015

The Quad-Cities will be host to a business and industry conference that will draw hundreds of guests and is expected to pump at least $400,000 into the local economy.

The Iowa Association of Business and Industry's annual leadership conference, "Taking Care of Business," will be June 10-12. The association is the largest statewide organization of business owners and executives in Iowa.


 City Awarded Grant for Water Quality Project
By Melissa Erickson, Associate Editor, Ames Tribune, March 27, 2015

The city of Ames has received a $100,000 grant from the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship to help fund a water quality improvement project that involves using "green infrastructure best practices" to reduce urban stormwater discharge from the public parking lots in the City Hall complex.

The "South Skunk River Basin Watershed Project" is part of a master plan of improvements at the City Hall complex between Fifth and Sixth streets and Grand and Clark avenues, said Tracy Warner, a municipal engineer in the city's public works department.


 Airport Site Positioned to Be Iowa's First "Super Park"
By Dave DeWitte, Corridor Business, April 6, 2015

The first industrial park to be designated a "Super Park" under the Iowa Certified Sites program is expected to be named this summer at the Eastern Iowa Airport, positioning the Corridor to land some new, fast-moving projects that need plenty of land.

The Iowa Certified Sites designation will essentially confirm for developers that most of the streets and utilities needed to develop the site are already in place, and that there won't be any surprises, such as unidentified wetlands or environmental contamination, to throw a project off timetable.


 UPDATE: Winnebago to Open Plant in Waverly
By Jim Offner, Cedar Valley Business Monthly Online, March 27, 2015

Recreational vehicle manufacturer Winnebago Industries Inc. will open a manufacturing operation in Waverly that will employ 70 workers.

The Forest City-based company said Friday it plans to purchase a 33,400-square-foot building in Waverly for expansion of the company's subassembly operations.


 Nagle Lumber Opening Up for Redevelopment
By Andy Davis, Iowa City Press-Citizen, March 24, 2015

A longtime Iowa City lumber company is weighing a move that would open its property up to mixed-use developments in the city's Riverfront Crossings District.

Nagle Lumber is in the preliminary stages of transitioning to 1201 at the Crossings, planned to become a collection of commercial and residential properties that would adhere to the Downtown and Riverfront Crossings Master Plan and compliment the nearby Riverfront Park project.


 City Panels Endorse Multi-story Waterloo Storage Business
By Tim Jamison, WCFCourier.com, March 25, 2015

A planned "third generation" storage building in the San Marnan Business Park cleared a zoning hurdle Tuesday.

But growing opposition from adjacent property owners put new obstacles in front of Green Acres Storage's proposed three-story, 108,500-square-foot indoor rental storage facility.




 Did You Know?
Snippets from 2014 Member Survey...

More than 70% of our members say PDI's legislative efforts have a positive impact.

 New Members

Emily Hockins, Midwest Partnership Development Corporation, Stuart
Hunter Callanan, North Iowa Corridor EDC, Mason City

 Scholarship Recipient

Shelly Oltman, Keokuk Area Chamber of Commerce/ISU Extention & Outreach, Keokuk, IA - Heartland Economic Development Course

Emily Hockins, Midwest Partnership EDC, Adair, IA Heartland Economic Development Course

 Job Postings:

Executive Director, Allamakee County Economic Development, Waukon

More Information >>


PDI Fall Conference


 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
1:00-7:00 pm
Farm Bureau Headquarters, West Des Moines, IA
Registration & Information >>

 SMART Conference
Thursday, May 7, 2015
Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center, Des Moines, IA
Embassy Suites Des Moines Downtown — Sleeping Rooms
Registration & Information >>

 International Training on Importing, Filing an EEI, and Exporting
May 19 & 20, 2015
Iowa Farm Bureau Auditorium
West Des Moines, IA
More Information & 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 director@pdiowa.com.

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