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   President's Message   Development Update   Legislative Update   Statewide Pride   Education   Who's Who   Events July 15, 2016

President's Message

Wayne Pantini, CEcD
PDI President
I sure hope you are taking time this summer to recharge and enjoy the fruits of our labor. Summer is a great time to vacation and visit other communities not only here in Iowa but across the country. Now I realize tourism is not in all of our work plans. However, it is one of the easiest ways a community can market itself and show off its amenities. I don't know about you but this is one of the ways I generate new ideas to bring back to my community. Seeing a community from a visitor's perspective can provide a lot of insight. This can also be used as a tool to recruit potential candidates for employment to your community.

Does your community have a canned tour to show potential new candidates to fill employer's needs? Do you have volunteers lined up to help? Transportation routes identified? There will be a great opportunity to learn about how to put such a tour together for your community this September at the Fall PDI Conference in Ft. Dodge. The Fall Conference committee has planned an educational session focused on this very topic. This session will show you how to meld together quality of life, housing opportunities, community amenities and so much more. This session will be an optional event on Wednesday, Sept 28th. While you are there be sure to check out the other sessions on workforce development. The PDI Fall Conference registration is now open. Be sure to take advantage of the online discounted rate.

Enjoy the rest of your summer!

Wayne Pantini
CEcD, PDI President



 Redevelopment Tax Credit Program for Brownfields and Grayfields

The Iowa Economic Development Authority is pleased to announce this call for applications for the Redevelopment Tax Credit Program for Brownfields and Grayfields. Application can be made online only at, and will be accepted from July 1, 2016 until September 1, 2016 at 4:30 pm only.

Instructions: Go to and click on "View Details" under REDEVELOPMENT, then click on "Sign In" (or click on "Sign In"). At the sign in page, you will need to create a State of Iowa "Enterprise A & A" account if you have not already done so. To do that, click "Create An Account" at the top of the page and follow instructions. If you have already created and Enterprise A & A account simply enter your Account ID and Password to sign in. For answers to any question regarding the program or online application or call or email Program Manager Matt Rasmussen at 515-725-3126 or

More Information >>

 Funding Available for Iowa Communities to Remove Nuisance Property
By IASourceLink Administrator, June 30, 2016

Last summer Governor Branstad signed legislation into law creating the Nuisance/Abandoned Property Remediation Fund, which is managed through the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA). This fund allocates $6 million in the form of low interest, short-term loans available to municipalities of any size across the state. One third of these monies have been specifically set aside for cities of less than 10,000 population until September 1, 2016. Costs incurred in the preparation of an application are not eligible to be reimbursed with program funds.


 Workshop Encourages Small Scale Development Aspirations

Small scale development positively impacts neighborhoods, corridors, and communities. On September 14, entrepreneurs, neighborhood advocates, and professionals from a broad range of sectors including real estate, finance, architecture, engineering, and others interested in learning how to complete a small scale development project can participate in a 1-day workshop led by the Incremental Development Alliance.

More Information >>




 Policy Perspectives

Read Policy Perspectives Newsletter >>





 Wells Fargo seeks community development grant applications
Business Record Daily PM, July 13, 2016

Wells Fargo is currently accepting grant requests for community development-related organizations and projects. The deadline is July 15 for grant requests that: create and sustain affordable housing for low- and moderate-income individuals; promote economic development by financing small businesses or small farms; provide job training and workforce development; provide financial education and promote economic empowerment; or help to revitalize low- and moderate-income communities. The Wells Fargo Foundation awarded $587,800 in grants to nonprofits in central Iowa during the second quarter of 2016, with the majority of the contributions being made to nonprofits whose emphasis is on education. For more information and to apply for a grant, go to Wells Fargo's Iowa charitable contributions website and click on the "Our Giving Priorities" tab.

 Nissen Elected to National Council for Workforce Education

Paula Nissen, certified public manager for the Iowa Department of Education, has been elected to the National Council for Workforce Education board of directors, effective today. The council serves as the national forum to direct the future role of two-year and other postsecondary institutions in workforce education and economic development. Nissen serves as education program consultant for the Iowa Department of Education and outreach liaison for the Community College Division specializing in workforce preparation and education outcomes research. "Becoming a member of the NCWE board provides me the opportunity to learn about workforce initiatives being implemented in other states," she said. "I will also be able to share Iowa's progress in developing and strengthening key partnerships."

 West Liberty Foods' Plants Landfill Free
Meat processor creates waste reduction plan

By George C. Ford, The Gazette, July 5, 2016

An Iowa meat processor has achieved 100 percent landfill-free status at all of its facilities.

West Liberty Foods is a 2,200-employee cooperative owned by growers that produces a variety of turkey, ham, chicken and beef products for restaurant chains and other food service customers.


 State Auditor Gives Governor, Legislators a B+ for State Budget
By O. Kay Henderson, Radio Iowa, June 27, 2016

The state's auditor says the state budget plan written by lawmakers and approved by the governor this spring is "sustainable and responsible." The new 12-month state budget goes into effect July 1 and State Auditor Mary Mosiman delivered a budget briefing in her office this morning.


 Millstream Brewing Buys Colony Inn in Amana
Brewery plans to open Brau Haus restaurant in the fall

By George C. Ford, The Gazette, June 22, 2016

Late evening dining will be coming to the Amana Colonies in the fall. Millstream Brewing Co. has purchased the Colony Inn Restaurant in Amana with plans to open Millstream Brau Haus. The Colony Inn building, originally a frame structure, was constructed in 1860 and was known as the Amana Hotel. The building contained a kitchen and dining room that served meals to travelers.


 Ground Breaking Set for Oelwein Plant
East Penn Manufacturing will create 350 jobs

By George C. Ford, The Gazette, June 16, 2016

Excavation work has begun on a $68 million battery manufacturing plant, distribution center and warehouse in Oelwein.

East Penn Manufacturing of Lyon Station, Pa., on June 28 will mark the beginning of construction of a 318,600-square-foot facility with a groundbreaking ceremony.


 Debi Durham, IEDA Director Honored with 2016 Women of Influence
Business Record Daily PM, July 13, 2016

The Business Record's Women of Influence awards celebrate the work of women who have made a difference.

They've devoted their lives to doing things most wouldn't. They've spent countless hours on various boards and they've blazed a trail either personally or professionally for other women to follow.


 Darrah Takes Lead Role in Next Phase of TechWorks Campus Development

As the TechWorks Campus project progresses to implementation there will be changes in its management structure. Alliance & Chamber CEO Steve Dust has held the role of TechWorks Campus President since its inception in 2006. Current TechWorks General Manager Cary Darrah will assume the responsibilities of President beginning July 1, 2016.


 MRHD to Award $1M to Ag Expo Center
By Dave Dreeszen, Sioux City Journal, June 16, 2016

The Missouri River Historical Development Board has approved a $1 million grant for Sioux City's proposed Ag Expo & Learning Center. The gift, the second-largest in the 27-year history of MRHD, a local nonprofit gaming group, could help leverage millions of dollars in state tax dollars for the $6.7 million ag center, envisioned for a parcel in the former stockyards along Interstate 29.





 Social Media Tip!

Organic reach on Facebook continues to decline, but the good news is that advertising on Facebook is flexible, affordable and offers many very specific targeting options. For just a few dollars a day you can reach thousands a of people in your your target audience.

 Iowa Tourism Conference Registration Now Open

Join the Iowa Tourism Office October 19-21, 2016 for a marvelous time on the Mississippi at the Iowa Tourism Conference in the Quad Cities. Register to attend. The state's premier tourism education and networking event will be held at the Quad Cities Waterfront Convention Center in Bettendorf. View the agenda.

2016 Rates: Through September 15: $210 | September 16-October 11: $230 | Single-day registration available.

 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 >>




 Enhance Iowa Board Applicants

The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) is seeking your organization's help in recruiting applicants for the new Enhance Iowa Board. The Iowa Legislature passed the Enhance Iowa bill this session, which replaces the Vision Iowa Board with the new Enhance Iowa (EI) Board. The EI Board will oversee three grant programs: CAT (Community Attraction and Tourism), RECAT (River Enhancement Community Attraction and Tourism), and a new Sports Tourism program. CAT received an appropriation of $5 million for FY2017, but funds were not appropriated for the other two programs. The Vision Iowa Board previously administered both the CAT and RECAT programs.

More Information >>

 Getting To Know Your Members — Spotlight Article

IADG 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: Iowa Area Development Group
Geography: Statewide in territories served by Rural Electric Cooperatives and/or Independent Telecommunications Companies
Funding: Private
Staffing: 9
Board: 8 consisting of managers and board members of Iowa Electric Cooperatives
Priority Areas: Business attraction, retention and expansion; community development, philanthropy
Metrics: jobs created and retained; capital investment; development of additional industrial space Recent News: Six additional awards secured for IADG utility partners through the USDA Rural Economic Development Loan & Grant (REDL&G) program, bringing total amount to 227 awards totaling over $85 million to support Iowa companies and communities.
Contact: Kay Snyder, Director of Marketing and Communications, 800.888.4743

 New Members

Ashley Jared, Iowa Finance Authority, Des Moines, IA
Micah Freese, Rock Rapids Development, Rock Rapids, IA
Ross Opsal, Sac City Chamber MainStreet, Wall Lake, IA

 Job Postings:

Team Leader for the Regulatory and Workforce Assistance Team, IEDA, Des Moines
SWIPCO Community Development Specialist, Southwest Iowa Planning Council, Atlantic
Executive Director, Advance Southwest Iowa, Omaha, NE
Economic Development Manager, City of Johnston, Johnston

More Information >>

PDI 2016 Fall Conference
September 28 - 30, 2016

Best Western Starlite Village Inn & Suites, Fort Dodge, IA
"Positioning Your Assets for Global Competition"

Registration is still open! Click here >>

Make your hotel arrangements now & conference registration is now OPEN. Some of the topics/speakers and fun things to do...

• Economic Impacts on Industrial Development and the Role of the Community College Dr. Ernie Goss
• Appealing to Millennials and Generational Changes and the Data
• BEST Annual Meeting
• IEDA Update
• Legislative Update
• Successful Workforce Tactics on Any Budget

• Rolling Classroom Iowa Crossroads of Global Innovation
• How to Recruit & Retain Millennials
• Social Media Incorporating a Campaign for Economic Development
• Getting Your Elected Officials on Board Best Practices

Optional Activities
• Golf at Fort Dodge County Club
• Trap Shoot at Iowa Central Community College
• Educational Session on Perspective Employee Candidates Tours
• Welcome Reception at Fort Frenzy
• Thursday Reception at Willow Ridge Golf Course & Dueling Pianos


 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:

Employment Workshops: Iowa's Untapped Workforce
July 26, 2016 — Cedar Rapids
July 27, 2016 — Fort Dodge
July 28, 2016 — Sioux City
Download Workshop Brochure >>

Dream Big, Think Bigger
August 15, 2016
Iowa City
August 16, 17, 2016
Ames, IA
More Information & Registration >>

2016 HousingIowa Conference
September 7-8, 2016
Mariott Downtown
Des Moines, IA
All nominations must be submitted to the Iowa Finance Authority no later than Friday, July 15, 2016.
Register Today >>

Small Scale Developer Training Workshop
September 14, 2016
Cedar Rapids, IA
More Information >>

Moving Iowa Forward Conference
September 20, 2016
Des Moines Mariott
Registration Available in July at

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 LLC
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

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
North Iowa Corridor Economic Development Corp.
Spring only
Iowa Utility Association

Trap Shoot Sponsor
Interstates Companies

Golf Sponsor
Woodruff Construction, LLC

Local Host Sponsors
Calhoun County REC
Calhoun County Economic Development Corp
City of Fort Dodge
Corn Belt Power
Fort Dodge Convention & Visitors Bureau
Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance
Iowa Central Community College
Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative
Mid Iowa Growth Partners
Midland Power Cooperative
Prairie Energy Cooperative


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