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   President's Message   Development Update   Legislative Update   Statewide Pride   Education   Who's Who   Events August 8, 2016

September 28-30, 2016
Best Western Starlite Village Inn & Suites, Fort Dodge, IA
"Positioning Your Assets for Global Competition"

Registration is open! Click here >>

 Economic Impacts on Industrial Development and the Role of the Community College

Get Inspired by Our Opening Speaker: Dr. Ernie Goss, Ph.D., Creighton University, Omaha, NE

Dr. Goss will discuss his findings in the impacts on a regional level on large industrial development projects. It will include the impacts a community college supporting the area economy via its programs and how this fits into regional economic development efforts.

Ernie Goss is the Jack MacAllister Chair in Regional Economics for the Heider College of Business at Creighton University, and principal of the Goss Institute in Denver, Colorado. He received his Ph.D. in Economics from The University of Tennessee in 1983 and is a former faculty research fellow at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. He was a visiting scholar with the Congressional Budget Office for 2003-04, and he has testified before the U.S. Congress, the Kansas Legislature, and the Nebraska Legislature. In the fall of 2005, the Nebraska Attorney General appointed Goss to head a task force examining gasoline pricing in the state. He has published more than 100 research studies focusing primarily on economic forecasting and on the statistical analysis of business and economic data. His book Changing Attitudes Toward Economic Reform During the Yeltsin Era was published by Praeger Press in 2003, and his book Governing Fortune: Casino Gambling in America was published by the University of Michigan Press in March 2007. He is editor of Economic Trends, an economics newsletter published monthly with 9,500 subscribers. He is the past-president of the Omaha Association of Business Economics, and past-president of the Nebraska Purchasing Management Association. Goss produces a monthly business conditions index for the nine-state Mid-American region and the three-state Mountain region. He also conducts a survey of bank CEOs in ten U.S. states. Survey results from all three surveys are cited each month in approximately 100 newspapers. Newspaper citations have included the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Investors Business Daily, The Christian Science Monitor, Chicago Sun Times and other national and regional newspapers and magazines. Each month 75-100 radio stations carry his Regional Economic Report.

Sponsored by Iowa Economic Development Authority

 The Honorable Terry E. Branstad and Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds will join PDI for our Annual Meeting Lunch on Thursday, September 29.

PDI was informed earlier this week that Governor Terry Branstad and Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds will join during our annual meeting on Thursday, September 29, 2016 at the Best Western Starlite Village in Fort Dodge, Iowa.

We have requested an economic development update and will leave some time for Q & A at the end.

Plan to join PDI in Fort Dodge for the 2016 Fall conference!

Conference Facility & Sleeping Rooms:

Best Western
Starlite Village Inn & Suites
1518 3rd Ave NW, Fort Dodge, IA 50501
Phone: (515) 573-7177
Rates (do not include applicable taxes): $85 Single Queen; $90 Single Queen w/sofa sleeper; $99 Double Queen; $104 King; $129 Business King Suites

Deadline for sleeping rooms: September 9, 2016
Be sure to mention Professional Developers of Iowa for the above rates.

Deadline to register: September 14, 2016!
For information, contact Janean Carey, PDI Headquarters at (515) 243-4585 or Email



 CBI State Fair Conference

Community Bankers of Iowa is proud to hold their 4th CBI State Fair Conference on August 11th at Prairie Meadows Conference Center in Altoona. We invite you to be a part of this great event!

The CBI State Fair Conference is a one-day event where we invite the Governor, Lt. Governor, Congressmen and State leaders to speak to our group on issues affecting the banking industry. Among these issues this year, we are focusing on an economic development theme and along with our policy makers, we have secured a general session speaker to discuss rural Iowa economic development.

More Information >>

 Did You Know About….iJAG: Unlocking Student Potential

iJAG is often called "Iowa’s best kept secret". Others say it is a program that is desperately needed in all schools. iJAG students frequently call the program “a miracle”. iJAG will be called the best thing ever to happen to Iowa and Illinois students.

iJAG is an independent, statewide 501(c)(3) private nonprofit corporation established in 1999 and has become a leader within the national JAG network. Initially created for high school seniors as a school-to-work program, iJAG has evolved into an organization serving more than 2,000 students per year in 44 programs (33 schools), reaching into 17 communities across the state of Iowa and Illinois.

In its 15+ year history, iJAG has mentored over 11,000 students who were at the highest risk of disengaging from school or dropping out of school without the skills and motivation needed to succeed in higher education and the workforce.

Students in the iJAG program have trouble making it in a conventional classroom because of the distractions and barriers at home, outside the classroom or even inside the classroom. Relying on real-world, project-based instructional methods and an unconventional approach to personal connections with students, the iJAG teaching specialists work within conventional learning environments to help remove barriers and show students how to achieve the next step of their career or education.

More Information >>




 Policy Perspectives

Read Policy Perspectives Newsletter >>





 Iowa Lands $25 Million Grant for One-of-a-Kind Freight Hub in Cedar Rapids
$46.5 million facility to be built in Cedar Rapids

By Mitchell Schmidt, The Gazette, July 7, 2016

A grant worth more than $25 million has been awarded to construct a Cedar Rapids intermodal transportation facility officials say is to become a one-of-a-kind freight hub for the state.

Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds announced Thursday a nearly $25.7 million grant to the Iowa Department of Transportation to build a full service intermodal facility southwest of the Highway 30 and Edgewood Road SW interchange, along the Cedar Rapids and Iowa City Railway — or CRANDIC.


 Hard Rock Casino Expansion Approved by State Gaming Board
By Erin Murphy, Sioux City Journal Des Moines Bureau, July 14, 2016

The state board that oversees gambling approved Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sioux City's planned expansion at a meeting Thursday.

The 2-year-old casino plans a $6.5 million, 7,800-square-foot expansion that will add a high-stakes gambling area, a wine bar and a private lounge. The project previously was estimated at $5 million.


 The 30 Best College Towns in America
By Emmie Martin, Business Insider, July 13, 2016

When deciding where to go to college, location can matter just as much as academics. Factors like safety, job opportunities, and cultural vibrancy can elevate — or detract from — the college experience.

Niche, a company that researches and compiles information on cities, recently named the best college towns in America, focusing on the overall livability of places where undergraduates from a top-250 college make up at least 10% of the town's overall population.


 LyondellBasell Launches $50M Project in Clinton
By Jennifer DeWitt, Quad City Times, July 25, 2016

LyondellBasell has begun construction on a $50 million administration building at its Clinton complex.

Company officials joined Clinton community representatives and representatives of Bush Construction Co., the project's contractor, in a private ground-breaking ceremony two weeks ago. The new state-of-the-art facility will include administrative offices, a control room, laboratory and a maintenance shop.


 ISU to launch entrepreneurship major
Business Record Daily PM, August 3, 2016

Students who want to become entrepreneurs will have more options this fall at Iowa State University. The College of Business announced it will begin offering an undergraduate major in entrepreneurship this fall. The Iowa Board of Regents gave its final approval for the program at its July 18 meeting, making ISU the first public university in Iowa to offer an undergraduate major in entrepreneurship, said Raisbeck Endowed Dean David Spalding. Earlier this year the college also received approval to launch a doctorate program in entrepreneurship, which will begin this fall. The college also offers a minor in entrepreneurship. The undergraduate program will be in the university catalog beginning fall 2017, but students can begin the program this academic year.

 2016 Women of Influence Honorees
Business Record Iowa, July 29, 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. Below you'll find a story on each of these remarkable women.

Debi Durham >>>
Nora Everett >>>
Monica Friedman >>>
Diane Glass >>>
Cathy Lacy >>>
Barb Kniff McCulla >>>
Dawn Martinez Oropeza >>>
Ruth Randleman >>>

Woman Business Owner of the Year:
Eileen Wixted >>>

Emerging Woman of Influence:
Emily Abbas >>>





 Social Media Tip!

Videos that are uploaded directly to Facebook will auto play in the news feeds of your page followers. This is not the case when you add a link to a video on YouTube. The auto play feature will gain more attention from your audience and get more views.

 Mark Your Calendars for The Heartland Economic Development Course

April 23 - 27, 2017
Adam's Pointe Conference Center | Blue Springs, Missouri

Heartland Economic Development Course
University of Northern Iowa
113 Business and Community Services Bldg.
Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0186

Office: (319)273-6944, (800)782-9520
FAX: (319)273-2787

Presented By: Heartland Economic Development Course, Inc., with the Institute for Decision Making at the University of Northern Iowa, in partnership with the Kansas Economic Development Alliance, Professional Developers of Iowa, Missouri Economic Development Council, Nebraska Economic Developers Association, Oklahoma Professional Economic Development Council (OEDC) and South Dakota Governor's Office of Economic Development.

 OUEDI 2016 Course Offerings


November 13-17, 2016 in Fort Lauderdale, FL


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: First Choice Talent Development
Serving: Businesses; Industry; Government agencies; Nonprofit organizations
Priority Areas: Best business practices and custom consulting; Organizational evolution (change management, transition planning and more); Develop Managers and Supervisors Technical Training; Safety / OSHA; Employee Workplace Skills; Lean for the Workplace; Waste Management and Control
Recent News: Experienced DBR consultants provide thorough needs assessments; Customized training, on-budget and on-schedule, designed to address your business needs; Ongoing coaching for successful implementation and sustainability
Contact: 515-287-8700

 New Members

Micah Freese, Director of Economic Development, Rock Rapids Development, Rock Rapids
Ashley Jared, Communications Director, Iowa Finance Authority, Des Moines
Ross Opsal, Executive Director, Sac City Chamber MainStreet, Wall Lake

 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

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 >>


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

Vilsack to Address Conference
August 17, 2016
Gateway Conference Center
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
Des Moines, IA
Registration & Information >>

Workshop: 2016 Funding Economic Development & Land Revitalization through Brownfields, Ames IA Workshop
September 21, 2016
Octagon Center for the Arts
Ames, IA
Registration & 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 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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