PDI POST with a message from PDI President Wayne J. Pantini
   President's Message   Development Update   Statewide Pride   Education   Who's Who   Events December 23, 2015

President's Message

By Wayne Pantini, PDI President

Wayne Pantini
PDI President
The PDI Board met last month to plan for 2016 and beyond. Steve Langerud facilitated our planning session and did an excellent job keeping us focused on a couple of key priorities identified over the past year with board and member input. PDI is a well-run organization with committed professionals leading our efforts and good financial footing. In 2016, we plan to narrow the focus on a couple of priorities and what PDI can do to impact those areas.

At the board retreat, the discussion focused on these issues: Workforce of which included upskilling, Immigration, finding “bodies” (recruitment), educating local government and legislators, incentives and putting a positive face on economic development. Although we made some great strides, we will be taking time at each of our board meetings this next year. You can see we have our work cut out for us and will keep you informed. We are open to your ideas on how PDI can be a greater resource to you as an economic development professional in Iowa.

Take time to find the balance in your life and enjoy time with family and friends. On behalf of the PDI Board of Directors we wish you a safe holiday season!

Wayne J. Pantini





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The Iowa BuzzBuilders are a group of professionals who want to raise awareness of the great things happening in Iowa. They're sharing the latest news about business, industries, innovations, and more with their followers. Sign up to become a BuzzBuilder and start sharing Iowa's story.

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 Key Initiative — Renewable Chemical Production Tax Credit

As the legislative session draws nearer, the PDI Legislative Committee Chairs and Lobbyists have been laying some of the groundwork for a successful 2016 session. One of the key initiatives included in the 2016 Legislative Agenda is the continued support for the Renewable Chemical Production Tax Credit, a bill that PDI supported last year along with a number of partner organizations in the business, agribusiness and biosciences industries. At the link below, you'll find a 2-pager that should help you be able to explain this issue to your board members and others. Feel free to print the document off and distribute as you see fit.

With less than five weeks to go before the fall of the gavel, please take this time to reach out to your local legislators and share with them your thoughts about economic development issues in the 2016 session. Hold a local forum or just invite them to your office for coffee. Once the session starts, legislators get pulled a thousand different directions and it's much harder to be able to get their attention.

Print PDF /

 PDI 2016 Legislative Agenda Unveiled

The Professional Developers of Iowa (PDI) is a statewide non-profit organization of more than 330 practicing economic development professionals dedicated to expanding the economy of the State of Iowa. For decades, PDI has successfully represented the collective economic development interests of both the private and public sectors by providing leadership in defining and promoting statewide economic development initiatives. In order to compete with other states and countries, Iowa must create a business climate that enhances our strengths, expands the state's tax base, creates and retains high-paying jobs, and builds the industries of the future.

  • Tax Increment Financing
  • Workforce
  • State Economic Development Resources
  • Brownfield/Grayfield Tax Credit Program
  • Income Tax Reform
  • Housing
  • Small Business & Entrepreneurship Support
  • Renewable Chemical Tax Credit
  • Broadband

See Full Agenda >>

 PDI 2016 Grow Iowa Day at the Capitol

Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Iowa State Capitol Rotunda, Des Moines, IA

Join us for the 2016 Grow Iowa Day at the Iowa State Capitol on February 10, 2016. As you know, Grow Iowa Day is PDI's best opportunity to demonstrate to legislators the strength and breadth of our membership organization. Legislators respond to their constituents which is why it is so important that our members attend in mass and dialogue with them. We realize this important event requires an investment of your time and financial resources, but our history with the Grow Iowa Day has demonstrated a tremendous return on investment with our legislators. During these economic growth times, it is critical that we communicate to legislators that we stand ready to grow Iowa's economy, but need their help in maintaining a business friendly atmosphere.

We appreciated your support last year. Exhibit spaces are available and the application form is attached or online at http://www.pdiowa.com/wcm/Members/EventDetail?EventKey=GID16. We are adding an additional element to the 2016 agenda through a planned, systematic unveil of PDI's legislative agenda plus participation in ‘sister' organizations legislative events - all culminating in Grow Iowa Day in the Capitol rotunda.

You may want to consider being an Annual Sponsor or a Triple Event Sponsor next year. You can receive benefits for all PDI events or choose any three out of four events that PDI has slated for 2015 including Grow Iowa Day. More information on sponsorships is also attached and online at http://www.pdiowa.com/events/sponsoradvertise/.

If you want more information, contact PDI Headquarters at director@pdiowa.com.

For More Information Contact:
Tod Faris, Legislative Committee Co-Chair - 641/856-3388; aedcdirector@iowatelecom.net
Kiley Miller, Legislative Committee Co-Chair – 712/264-3474; kmiller@lakescorridor.com
Brian Crowe, Legislative Committee Co-Chair- 319/730-1425 bcrowe@cedarrapids.org
Amy Campbell, Lobbyist – 515/554-5838; Amy@IALobby.com
Craig Patterson, Lobbyist – 515/554-7920; Craig@IALobby.com



 Iowa Unemployment Rate Reaches 10-year Low
By Kevin Hardy, The Des Moines Register, November 20, 2015

Iowa's unemployment rate dipped to a 10-year low in October, state officials reported Friday. October's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 3.5 percent was the lowest of the last decade and a small improvement over September's rate of 3.6 percent.


 Local Leaders Focus on International Welcoming Efforts and Get Recognition from The Governor

On November 21st, 2015 Kate Moreland from the Iowa City Area Development Group and Nancy Bird from the Iowa City Downtown District received the Karen Evans Immigrant Champion award from Governor Terry Branstad at the Immigrant Entrepreneur Summit in Ankeny Iowa. This award recognizes a non-immigrant who is dedicated to making a positive impact on the immigrant community. The award was presented for their collaborative work to make our Iowa City area more welcoming place to the international population. The Immigrant Entrepreneurs Summit's is an annual event and the mission is to bring businesses of diverse backgrounds together to share, learn, and celebrate the immigrant entrepreneurship experience and contribution to the overall community.

More Information & Application >>




 Am I Considered A Professional?
LaDene H. Bowen, CEcD, FM, HLM

Often I am asked, "When did you get certified in economic development?" In some ways, it seems like yesterday in 1993 enjoying my PDI comrades and celebrating being the first certified female in Iowa. I remember the group stating, "you passed the exam nationally, now you need to pass in Iowa." They proceeded to (in jest) grill me with Iowa-style questions. Now, as I understood, was considered a "professional."





 Did You Know?

PDI's Membership is made up of:

Economic Development Organizations: 182
Colleges/Universities/Community Colleges: 32
Construction/Engineering/Rail/Utility/Banks: 40
Government: 29
Associations/Consultants: 28
Honorary/Complimentary/Students: 19

 Become a PDI Sponsor or Advertiser!

Consider becoming a PDI Sponsor or Advertiser! There are many opportunities to help sponsor PDI and our events for 2016. Participate in it all! PDI's Grow Iowa Day, Spring Event, Educational Events and the Fall Conference - join as a member — advertise in the newsletter and/or website — this kit covers everything. See the benefits of being a partner with PDI.

   •2016 PDI Marketing Kit

Annual & Conference Sponsors

Annual Sponsors are promoted on the PDI printed materials and are automatically part of the PDI's Grow Iowa Day, Spring Event, Educational Events and the Fall Conference signage/materials. Among other benefits, Annual Sponsors receive a complementary registration to each conference.

A variety of sponsorship levels are available for both PDI's Spring Event and Fall Conferences. For your convenience, these levels and the associated benefits are outlined on the sponsorship form below. All conference sponsors are included in event promotional materials. So, be sure to turn in your sponsorship early in order to receive the most recognition for your organization.

   •2016 PDI Conference Sponsor Form

Contact PDI Headquarters at (515) 243-4585, or by Email at director@pdiowa.com.

   •2016 PDI Rate Sheet for Website/Newsletter Advertising

For more information, please contact Sponsorship Chair, Shelly Turner, Turner Marketing Consulting, (319) 360-6976 or shelly@turnermktng.com Advertise in the Newsletter, or on the PDI Website

 Job Postings:

Tax & Compliance Counsel and Legislative Liaison, Iowa Economic Development Authority, Des Moines
Project Manager, Iowa Economic Development Authority, Des Moines
Regional Planner, Region XII COG, Region XII Council of Governments, Carroll
Program Manager, Institute for Decision Making, UNI, Cedar Falls

More Information >>

This following is an opinion editorial written by Dan Culhane, CEcD, CCE, President and CEO of the Ames Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Commission. PDI is passing this onto our membership for their information only. While PDI encourages information sharing on topics related to economic development in Iowa, we reserve the right for final approval on the submission of any editorial content.

As a key stakeholder in Iowa's Cultivation Corridor, the Ames Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Commission is at the heart of our state's changing economy. Through increased investments in agbioscience, biotechnology, biorenewables, informational technology, and advanced manufacturing, our region is a leading and diverse entrepreneurial corridor in the Midwest and across the United States. While the Corridor continues to experience job growth and low unemployment, workforce development remains a key issue, as companies continue to be unable to find qualified workers to fill available positions. There are many possible solutions to this pressing issue, but one that warrants strong consideration is modernization of our nation's immigration system.

In accounting for, and advancing with, the changing economy, Central Iowa has experienced tremendous growth in high-skill jobs over the last decade, but a qualified workforce has not increased at a sufficient rate to fill those positions. In fact, according to a recent study, for every 3.4 job openings in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields in Iowa, there is only one qualified worker. With Iowa facing a shortage of high-skilled workers in the STEM fields, it becomes increasingly important to embrace talented, foreign-born students and workers if this growth is to continue.

More Information >>

PDI Holiday Hours


 Mark Your Calendars for Future Events/Conferences:

PDI 2016 Grow Iowa Day at the Capitol
Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Iowa State Capitol Rotunda
Des Moines, Iowa
(Registration information will be available early December)

Heartland Economic Development Course, Inc.
April 24-28, 2016
Adam's Pointe Conference Center
Blue Springs, MO
More Information & Registration >>

PDI 2016 Spring Event
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
DMACC Southridge Conference Center
Des Moines, Iowa

2016 Iowa SMART Economic Development Conference
Thursday, April 28, 2016
Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center
Embassy Suites on the River — Sleeping Rooms
Des Moines, IA

PDI 2016 Fall Conference
September 28-30, 2016
Best Western Starlite Village Inn & Suites
Fort Dodge, Iowa

PDI 2016 Spring Conference
September 27-29, 2017
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, Cedar Rapids Convention Complex
Cedar Rapids, Iowa

For more information, contact Lynn Harkin, PDI Headquarters at (515) 243-4585 or Email director@pdiowa.com.

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