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   President's Message   Development Update   Legislative Update   Statewide Pride   Education   Who's Who   Events January 17, 2017


 Mark Reinig, CEcD, PDI President

Mark Reinig, CEcD
PDI President
It's a new year which will be filled with new opportunities for all PDI members to expand our knowledge and to effect changes through our legislative and collaborative efforts. Our PDI Day at the Capitol is February 8th, 10:30 am - 2:30 pm on the first floor rotunda. Please make an effort to attend and review the 2017 PDI Legislative Agenda and be a strong advocate for PDI and your community. As part of my duties as President of PDI I have the opportunity to sit in on committee meetings and the excitement and buzz around this Spring and Fall's PDI Conferences is amazing. Expect engaging, educational and rewarding content that will expand your professional and personal boundaries, be sure to register! Speaking of committees, if you are not a member of a committee please give serious thought to joining a committee, PDI needs your expertise and energy to make 2017 a great year. Membership is on the rise, keep up the great work in referencing co-workers, board members, and individuals interested in economic development to PDI for membership. If you haven't yet paid your 2017 dues please do so and consider becoming a sponsor for PDI.

On Friday, November 18th, two events were held one in Jefferson and one in Mt. Pleasant, both addressing rural communities and the issues they face. The Rural Development Summit was a first time event and the Tri-State Summit in Mt. Pleasant celebrated its 20th anniversary, both of these events highlight great efforts occurring across Iowa in economic and community development. The Rural Development Summit brought together 300 people representing 63 communities to meet, listen and discuss the future of rural communities and the Iowans who call them home. The Tri-State Development Summit was held bringing three states community and economic development leaders together to discuss myriad issues effecting Illinois, Missouri and Iowa.

As we enter the new year let's make 2017 the best year ever for PDI! I look forward to seeing everyone at the Capitol in February.

Mark Reinig
CEcD, PDI President



 Economic Development Organizations Encouraged to Submit Awards Application for Business Retention and Expansion Efforts

The Professional Developers of Iowa (PDI) will honor economic development organizations from across Iowa during the SMART Economic Development Conference held in Des Moines on May 4.

The PDI Business Retention and Expansion (BRE) Awards Program recognizes the outstanding efforts of local and regional economic development initiatives in supporting growth and expansion of existing Iowa companies.

"Supporting Iowa's existing industry is a key priority for PDI's membership," stated Mark Reinig, PDI President. "The BRE Awards are intended to increase the focus on fostering Iowa business growth by economic development organizations and spotlight BRE programs and projects that have made a significant impact on Iowa communities."

Learn More about the BRE Awards >>

 A Rural County Offers Free Land to Housing Developers
Rob Dillard, Iowa Public Radio, January 4, 2017

A small county in South Central Iowa is launching an innovative approach to attracting home builders. Officials in Clarke County are starting to give away land to prospective contractors. The Clarke County seat of Osceola is hoping to attract housing developments to town by giving away plots of land.

The Clarke County seat is Osceola, a town of about 5,000 people. There are more than 4,400 non-farm jobs in town, more than half of them held by people who don't live there. The executive director of the Clarke County Development Corporation, Bill Trickey, says this means employers in Osceola are constantly scrambling to find workers. One solution, he says, is to remove the risks for residential developers.

More Information on Chapter 163, RISE Program >> >>




 PDI's 2017 Legislative Agenda

The most significant impediments to economic growth in Iowa are a tight labor market and inadequate housing. Together these challenges perpetuate a cycle: Businesses choose not to locate in areas of Iowa due to insufficient numbers of workers and a shortage of housing. In turn, communities are unable to build housing or draw new residents because of a lack of jobs. Solving the problem will require action on multiple fronts:


 Sign Up for PDI Grow Iowa Day

Make your plans to join other PDI members on Wednesday, February 8, 2017 for 2017 Grow Iowa Day at the Iowa State Capitol. You've all heard the news about state budget cuts and Grow Iowa Day is PDI's best opportunity to demonstrate to legislators the strength and breadth of our membership organization. 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. We appreciate your support in any way you can help. Exhibit spaces are available and you can get more information at

NEW in 2017! The inside 10 tables will be used as issues tables — highlighting each of the 2017 PDI Legislative agenda items with PDI member experts. (Tax Increment Financing, Workforce Housing Tax Credit, Workforce Recruitment, Workforce Training, State Economic Development Resources, Brownfield/Grayfield Tax Credit Program, Corporate Income Tax; Enhance Iowa, School Funding, Minimum Wage, Water Quality, Small Business & Entrepreneurship Support.)

For More Information Contact:
Tod Faris, Legislative Committee Co-Chair 641/856-3388;
Kiley Miller, Legislative Committee Co-Chair 712/264-3474;
Amy Campbell, Lobbyist 515/554-5838;
Craig Patterson, Lobbyist 515/554-7920;




 Iowa State to Manage Biorefinery Projects for New Manufacturing USA Institute
Iowa State University News Service, December 20, 2016

Iowa State University will bring its expertise in biorenewable technologies and pilot plant operations to the country's 10th Manufacturing USA Institute.

The recently announced advanced manufacturing institute is dedicated to improving the productivity and efficiency of chemical manufacturing. Those improvements could include combining processes such as mixing, reacting and separating into single steps.


 Industrial Neighborhood of Sioux City Getting $25M Makeover
Sioux City Journal, December 18, 2016

An abandoned industrial section of downtown Sioux City is getting a $25 million makeover that developers home will turn the neighborhood into a bustling urban residential area. The project is led by Ho-Chunk Inc., which is the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska's economic development corporation. Over the past two years, Ho-Chunk has bought and started refurbishing two abandoned buildings.


 Fertilizer Plant 98% Done
Jeff Hunt, Fort Madison Daily Democrat, December 27, 2016

Even before New Year's festivities get underway, final strides in the Iowa Fertilizer Company are being made.

According to IFC Site Operations Director Darrell Allman, the plant, which is now 98 percent complete, will begin ammonia plant start up activities this week.


  Nominate your company for the Technology Association of Iowa's 12th Annual LWBJ Prometheus Awards today!

The nomination period is open for the 2017 LWBJ Prometheus Awards presented by Iowa Economic Development Authority through Tuesday, January 17.

The premier event for Iowa technology, the Prometheus Awards bring leaders together from technology, business, education and government to celebrate technology achievements and recognize the year's momentous innovations.

Award categories include:

Software Company of the Year
Mobile App of the Year (Internal/Corporate Application)
Mobile App of the Year (Stand-alone/Consumer Application)
IT Service Provider of the Year
Top Growth Company of the Year
Best User of Technology
CIO/CTO/CSO of the Year
CEO of the Year
Student Innovation of the Year
Outstanding Startup Company of the Year
Life Sciences Company of the Year
Ag Technology Company of the Year
Technology Community of the Year
Technology Company of the Year (Small/Medium)
Technology Company of the Year (Large/Enterprise)

Nominations may be submitted in more than one award category, and companies do not have to be a member of TAI to apply or to win. Companies are encouraged to self-nominate. To submit a nomination and for more information, please visit

Finalists will be recognized and winners announced at the Prometheus Awards celebration on Thursday, April 20, 2017, at the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center in Downtown Des Moines.

Submit a Nomination >>

 No. 4: CF Industries Completes $2 Billion Expansion
Ty Rushing, Sioux City Journal, December 27, 2016

After three years of construction, CF Industries has fired up its new fertilizer plants at Port Neal.

The completion of the $2 billion expansion is No. 4 on the Journal's list of the top 10 stories of 2016.


 Report: Vilsack to Join U.S. Dairy Export Council
Des Moines Register Bizz Buzz, December 23, 2016

Iowa's former governor Tom Vilsack will join the U.S. Dairy Export Council after leaving his job as U.S. agriculture secretary later this month, according to a report from Agri-Pulse, a Washington farm publication.


 Sterilite Could Bring 500 Jobs to Davenport
Stephen Elliott, QC Online, January 3, 2017

A proposed $73 million development project could bring 500 jobs to the city over the next five years.

Sterilite Corp. — the largest plastic housewares company in North America — is working with city officials on the construction of a state-of-the-art manufacturing and distribution center. The project is contingent upon state and local incentives.


 Iowa City Council Supports Workforce Housing in Riverfront Crossings District
City pledge allows developer to seek tax credits from the state
Madison Arnold, The Gazette, January 3, 2017

More than 300 units of workforce housing in the Riverfront Crossing District received unanimous financial support Tuesday from the City Council.

The council pledged $1,000 per housing unit at 1201 and 1301 Gilbert St. to clear the way for the developer to apply for state tax credits.





 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.




 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: Ames Economic Development Commission
Geography: Ames and Story County
Funding: Public-Private
Budget: Approximately $1.1 million annually
Staffing: 8 FTE
Board: 57 Board Members. 8 Executive Committee Members.
Priorities: Workforce Development; Business Retention and Expansion; Business Attraction, Development, and Marketing; Housing; Community and Economic Development; Education; and Advocacy.
Metrics: Capital investment, jobs created, jobs retained, talent recruitment and retention, annual investment in the organization.
News: Boehringer Ingelheim opened a 52,000 square-foot research and development facility in April 2016 in the Iowa State University Research Park. Vermeer opened their 35,880 square-foot Applied Technology Hub, which also houses the ISU StartUp Factory, in the ISU Research Park. Secured private funding to construct a new hangar at the Ames Municipal Airport, and the City of Ames has begun construction on the new terminal, which is immediately adjacent to the hangar. Received City Council approval to annex 1,350 acres for industrial development between Ames and Nevada on the Union Pacific Main Line along U.S. Highway 30 and the Lincoln Highway. Continued mixed-use development in Campustown. Implementing SCALE (Story County Active Learning Experiences), a program being launched in eight area school districts in fall 2017 that will draw upon the expertise of educational and business partners to bring real world application into the comprehensive high school experience and develop Iowa's next generation of innovators and leaders.
PDI Contact: Dan Culhane:, 515-232-2310

 Job Postings:

General Manager, Sheldon Crossroads Pavilion Event Center, Sheldon
Executive Director of Community Development, Mahaska Community, Oskaloosa
Field Specialist I/II — Retail Business Specialist, ISU Extension & Outreach, Ames
Chamber Director of Business Services, Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber, Waterloo/Cedar Falls

More Information >>


PDI 2017 Grow Iowa Day at the Capitol
Wednesday, February 8, 2017
Iowa State Capitol Rotunda
Des Moines, IA
More Information >>

Heartland Economic Development Course, Inc.
April 23-27, 2017
Adam's Pointe Conference Center, Blue Springs, MO
More Information & Registration >>

PDI Spring Event
Wednesday, May 3, 2017
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
DMACC Southridge Conference Center
Business Retention & Expansion (BRE) Awards
Held during the SMART Conference
Deadline to submit April 5, 2017
More Information >>

SMART Conference
Thursday, May 4, 2017
Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center, Des Moines, IA
More Information >>

PPP Course: The Partners, the Profession and the Process
Tuesday, July 18, 2017, 9:00 - noon
Farm Bureau Board Room
5400 University Ave., West Des Moines, IA
More Information & Registration >>

PDI 2017 Fall 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 2017 Sponsors








Triple Event Sponsors
Kossuth/Palo Alto County Economic Development Corp.

Conference Supporting Sponsor
Iowa Workforce Development

BRE Award
Smart Solutions Group

Contributing Sponsors - Spring & Fall
Central Iowa Power Cooperative
Spring only
Greater Des Moines Partnership


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