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   President's Message   Development Update   Legislative Update   Statewide Pride   Education   Who's Who   Events May 24, 2016


"The Partners, the Profession and the Process" workshop for those new to economic development or new to Iowa is scheduled for Tuesday, July 12, 2016, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon at the Farm Bureau Office, 5400 University Avenue, West Des Moines, Iowa.

An interactive day is planned. You will meet with PDI veterans that will lead discussions, make introductions, and answer questions. The session will conclude by 12:00 noon. to register. There is NO COST to attend. Deadline to register is July 5.

Questions? Contact Sandy Ehrig, Economic Development Administrator, Renew Rural Iowa/ Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, or Lynn Harkin, PDI Executive Director,

Registration & Information >>


PDI would like to thank the DMACC Center for Career & Professional Development Center in Des Moines, Iowa for hosting the PDI Spring Event.



 Nuisance Property and Abandoned Building Remediation Program

The Iowa Economic Development Authority has released a new community development program, the Nuisance Property and Abandoned Building Remediation program.

More Information >>




 Policy Perspectives

Read Policy Perspectives Newsletter >>





 SBA Announces Iowa's 2016 Small Business Week Award Winners

Five people and two institutions were honored at the Iowa Small Business Week Awards reception on May 6, 2016. The winners:

Tony Halsted of Hoover's Hatchery, Rudd: Iowa SBA Small Business Person of the Year.
City of Sioux City: Iowa SBA Small Business Community of the Year.
Connor Deering of Cemen Tech, Indianola: Iowa SBA Small Business Exporter of the Year.
Jathan Chicoine of Iowa State University: Iowa SBA Veterans Small Business Champion of the Year.
Ying Sa of Community CPA, Des Moines: Iowa SBA Minority Small Business Champion of the Year.
Lynn Schreder of KHI Solutions, Fort Dodge: Iowa SBA Women in Business Champion of the Year.
U.S. Bank: SBA Lenders' Cup.

 28-story high rise proposed in downtown Cedar Rapids
Structure on former Siegel's site would be city's tallest building

By B.A. Morelli, The Gazette, May 2, 2016

Three developers have proposed high-rises that could change the downtown Cedar Rapids skyline, including a 28-story, $103 million tower that would be the tallest in downtown.

The proposals for three city-owned parcels at the southeast corner of First Street SE and Third Avenue SE vary in function and could change the feel of downtown, too, with grocery stores, a medical clinic, a rooftop restaurant, hotel and housing.


 Iowa STEM School+Business Innovation Conference

On June 29 our STEM Council is hosting a conference of business and school leaders interested in building or expanding partnerships. The Iowa STEM School+Business Innovation Conference will highlight best practices going on across Iowa including our acclaimed STEM BESTģ (Businesses Engaging Students and Teachers) and STEM RLE (Redesigned Learning Environment) models, as well as others such as APEX in Waukee. The goal is to equip attendees with the knowledge, connections, and resources to build school+business partnerships in home communities. Plus, we plan a special announcement about an opportunity to join the growing community of STEM BEST partners across Iowa.


 Natural Grocers Plans Expansion into Eastern Iowa
By Alison Gowans, The Gazette, May 10, 2016

A Denver, Colo.-based grocery store chain is planning to expand into Eastern Iowa.

Natural Grocers, which sells organic and natural foods, has new stores planned for Cedar Rapids, Iowa City and Cedar Falls.


 Fareway Tests Meat Market Concept
By Patt Johnson, The Des Moines Register, May 17, 2016

Fareway Stores Inc. is capitalizing on what it does best: meat.

The Boone-based grocery store chain known for thick steaks and hearty chops, will open its first Fareway Meat Market on May 26 in Omaha. The company planned the specialty marketís debut to coincide with Memorial Day weekend, traditionally the kickoff to summer grilling and picnics.


 MRHD to Award $1.25M Grant to Connect Sioux City Trail System
By Kirby Kaufman, Sioux City Journal, May 13, 2016

The city will accept a $1.25 million gift from Missouri River Historical Development on Friday that will help complete the riverfront trail system along Interstate 29.

"This is a game changer for Sioux City and all of Siouxland," said Matt Salvatore, the city's parks and recreation director. "This contribution toward our trails will help connect the most high priority trail project for the city and support numerous trail connections."


 Corridor express bus to launch in 2018
Cedar Rapids to Iowa City service timed to ease congestion while interchange is being replaced

By B.A. Morelli, The Gazette, May 17, 2016

When an express bus service between Cedar Rapids and Iowa City finally gets off the ground — planned for 2018 — Linda Fisher, 74, said it is going to beat all expectations.

"I think this has the potential to not be what is envisioned at the moment but will grow and grow and grow," the Coralville woman said. "Think about how much easier it is to sit on a bus rather than drive. This could really free up peoplesí lives."





 How to Spot the Trends Shaping our Future Economy

We are living in a time of rapid economic transition driven by the exponential rate of change in technology and demographics. For example, robots are expected to displace 15 million workers by 2025. Itís no longer enough to just adapt to change, but we must anticipate it so that our communities do not become extinct in the new economy. Is your community prepared for these changes that will be shaping our cities, economies, and workforce?

Join us online, Thursday, May 26 at 1:00pm CT (2:00pm ET) for a 90-minute (60-min presentation followed by 30-min Q&A session) webinar where Dean Whittaker, President & CEO of Whittaker Associates, will demonstrate the use of a STEEP (Social, Technological, Economic, Environmental, and Political) process trend analysis to discover developments that will shape our future and help your organization move from strategic planning to strategic doing!

Registration >>

 OUEDI 2016 Course Offerings


November 13-17, 2016 in Fort Lauderdale, FL


Strategic Planning: May 16- July 10
Entrepreneurship: July 18 - September 11
Marketing: September 19 - November 13
Business Retention & Expansion: November 21 - January 15, 2017

More Information >>




 Getting To Know Your Members — Spotlight Article

The PDI PR/Communications Committee invites you to share information about your organization in our monthly spotlights. You can use this information to connect with other PDI members who have the same issues you might be facing or can contact them regarding something new they are doing. We want to hear from YOU too! It should include information on: Name; Geography (area served; location in state); Funding make-up; Budget size; Staffing (how many & their titles); Board make-up; Priority Areas; Metrics (ie: Jobs Created and Retained; Capital Investment; Businesses started; Capital raised; Housing starts etc.); News & Accomplishments; PDI Contact & Email/phone. Send photos too! Please meet our next PDI member in the following spotlight:


Organization: Marion County Development Commission (MCDC)
Geography: Marion County, Iowa (NOT Marion, IA) 40 minutes southeast of Des Moines Pella-Knoxville-Pleasantville-Melcher Dallas-Lake Red Rock
Structure: Department of County Government
Governance: 11 person commission from various geographic parts of the county appointed by the Board of Supervisors to serve a 3 year term. Commissioners can serve up to 3 consecutive terms. Monthly meetings
Funding: Primarily funded by Marion County for operations. Projects are public-private funded
Staffing: 1 Full time Executive Director plus 1 part time (10-15 hours per week) Communications Assistant
Budget: Approximately $140,000
Primary Operations: CULTIVATION-Building a business friendly county; PROMOTION-Promotion of opportunities to visit, work and operate a business; CONNECT-Connecting economic development efforts internally and externally
Recent Special Projects: County Housing Analysis Study-Maxfield Research, Teaching for the Workforce-Opportunity2 and DMACC, Destination Analysis-Roger Brooks International, Red Rock Area Travel Guide, Best of Red Rock Area contest and brochure, Leadership Red Rock
Associations: Opportunity2 Central Iowa Tourism Region, Travel Federation of Iowa, Greater Des Moines Partnership
Local Structure: Locally we have 3 chambers of commerce, 1 local economic development group, 1 cvb, and 1 city economic development.
Key Demographics: 38% of jobs are in manufacturing rank in top 13% of US counties for median household income
Population Size: 33,252
Key Employers: Pella Corporation, Vermeer Corporation, Weiler, 3M, PPI, Van Gorp, Lely, Hormel, Cascade, Central College
Awards: National Go-Getter Award for Existing Call Program for our population size, 2015 Iowa Business Retention & Expansion Award, 5 time Iowa Tourism County of the Year, Top Tourism Publication
PDI Contact: Carla Eysink
Years in PDI: 20 years
Expertise: Tourism Existing Industry Leadership Training, Collaboration

 Did You Know?...

PDI Membership comes from all kinds of industries:

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

 Job Postings:

Economic Development Manager, City of Johnston, Johnston
Busines Development Manager, Short-Elliott-Hendrickson Inc., Rochester, MN
Chief Economic Development Officer, Quad Cities Chamber, Quad Cities
Mills County Economic Development Executive Director, Glenwood

More Information >>


 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.

Click to Learn More >>


 Mark Your Calendars for Future Events/Conferences:

How to Spot the Trends Shaping our Future Economy
May 26, 2016
Registration >>

Iowa STEM School+Business Innovation Conference
June 29, 2016
Sheraton West Des Moines Hotel
West Des Moines, IA
More Information & Registration >>

"The Partners, the Profession and the Process" Workshop
July 12, 2016
Farm Bureau Board Room
West Des Moines, IA
More Information >>

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

17th Annual Synchronist Users Forum
October 3-4, 2016
Chicago, IL
More Information >>

University of Oklahoma Economic Development Institute
November 13-17, 2016
Fort Lauderdale, FL

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

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


PDI Thanks the 2016 Sponsors




Alliant Energy


Renew Rural Iowa


Triple Event Sponsors
Diligent Development
(Peoples Company)
ITC Midwest
Kossuth/Palo Alto County Economic Development Corp.

Conference Supporting Sponsor
Iowa Workforce Development

Conference Supporting Sponsors - Fall only
Black Hills Energy

Conference Exhibit Sponsors - Fall only
Convergent Fundraising Solutions
Greater Burlington Partnership
JEO Consulting Group Inc.

BRE Award
Smart Solutions Group

Contributing Sponsors - Spring & Fall
Central Iowa Power Cooperative
Greater Des Moines Partnership
Iowa Association of Business & Industry
Union County Development Association
Fall only
Access Energy Cooperative
Maquoketa Valley Electric Cooperative
Spring only
Iowa Utility Association

Trap Shoot Sponsor
Interstates Companies

Local Host Sponsors
Calhoun County REC
Calhoun County Economic Development Corp
City of Fort Dodge
Corn Belt Power
Iowa Central Community College
Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative
Mid Iowa Growth Partners
Midland Power Cooperative
Prairie Energy Cooperative
Woodruff Construction, LLC


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