Click here to view this email in your browser.

   President's Message   Development Update   Legislative Update   Statewide Pride   Education   Who's Who   Events March 24, 2017

About the PDI Spring Event

1. PDI Wants 10 Members to Submit Awards Application for Business Retention and Expansion Awards

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, in conjunction with the PDI Spring Event on May 3.

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 at Deadline for submission is Tuesday, April 4, 2017

2. PDI’s focus of the Spring Event is taking economic development professionals to the next level as thought leaders in their communities.

3. You will not find any available hotel rooms in Des Moines because of a square dancing convention.*

*Obviously #3 is the lie – there are 12,500+ rooms in Greater Des Moines. The link will take you to the Catch Des Moines website to search for a location/price. Hotel rooms have been secured for the SMART Conference at the Holiday Inn Downtown at Mercy Campus, 1050 6th Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa for the night of Wednesday, May 3, 2017 with a special group rate of $129.00 per night. Call (515) 283-0151 and indicate the "Iowa Smart Conference" when making reservations. Or book online through this link, Iowa Smart Conference, Room block closes by April 12, 2017.


 Railroad Revolving Loan and Grant Program

The Railroad Revolving Loan & Grant Program (RRLG) is an economic development program that provides loans & grants to businesses, communities, and railroads to build or renovate rail infrastructure. The Administrative Rules for the RRLG program have been revised, and as stakeholders, I would appreciate your review and comments. The attached document includes the changes to the RRLG rules, as well as rules for a DOT/DNR inactive program that will be rescinded at a later date. Comments are requested by March 27,2017. Questions or comments about to rules can be directed to

Learn More about Changes to The RRLG Rules >>

 Fast-Track Iowa’s Future Conference

In partnership with the National Governor's Association Work-Based Learning Grant, the Iowa STEM Council and numerous organizational planning partners, as pleased to introduce, FAST-TRACK IOWA's FUTURE: "A Future Ready Iowa Conference to make Work-Based Learning and STEM work for you."

Fast-Track Iowa's Future, a conference featuring education-workforce innovations emerging across Iowa, will engage stakeholders in dialogue on how to grow and improve school-business partnerships, especially in STEM. The conference goal is to equip attendees with the knowledge, connections and resources to build school-business partnerships in home communities. It is the state's major work-based learning and STEM Conference on June 21, 2017, at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines, IA.

More Information & Registration >>

 PLAN TO ATTEND All Three of These Great IOWA EVENTS May 3-5, 2017

PDI Spring Event
Wednesday, May 3, 2017
10:00 am – 4:30 pm
DMACC Center for Career & Professional Development at Southridge Mall
1111 South Army Post Road, Des Moines, Iowa
More Info >>

2017 SMART Conference
Thursday, May 4, 2017
8:00 am – 4:00 pm
Community Choice Credit Union Conference Center
833 5th Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa
More Information >>
You may also view the full SMART Conference agenda.

2017 EntreFEST
Thursday-Friday, May 4-5, 2017
Various Venues in Downtown Iowa City, Iowa
More Information >>

Here are discount codes for PDI Spring Event and SMART Conference Attendees:
EntrePDI = 20% off full conference
PDIFri = $100 single day ticket
EntreSMART = $100 single day Friday Ticket
For Hotel Rooms:




 Policy Update

Read Policy Perspectives Newsletter >>



 Study: Iowa Sees 61% Boost in The Number of Solar Jobs
Matt Kelley, Radio Iowa, March 3, 2017

A report called the Solar Jobs Census finds the number of people working in the solar industry in Iowa rose just over 60% in the past two years.

Avery Palmer, spokesman for the non-profit Solar Foundation, says Iowa had about 350 solar jobs in 2015 versus more than 560 last year. The study finds one out of every 50 new jobs in the country last year was in the solar industry.


 Big Plans Afoot to Bring Crowds to Bluffs, Omaha Riverfront
Roseann Moring, BH News Service, March 12, 2017

A committee of powerful Omahans is toying with the idea of filling the Gene Leahy Mall with shops and restaurants, making it like the popular Riverwalk in San Antonio.

Their vision also includes a riverfront bursting with attractions designed to draw people in year-round, such as a pavilion, sand volleyball courts and a rock climbing wall.


 What's Next for Renewable Energy in Iowa?
Environmentally friendly investments bring economic opportunities

Rod Boshart, The Gazette, March 5, 2017

Iowa is on the road to a greener future. Iowa continues to build on an impressive renewable energy portfolio that leads the nation in ethanol and biofuel production, is blowing through the competition in wind energy and is beginning to harness the sun with more solar panels brightening the state’s urban and rural landscapes.


 American Packaging Corporation Makes Use of Expanded Facility
Ronna Lawless, Ames Tribune, March 15, 2017

American Packaging in Story City opened its doors to show off its $45 million expansion that increased the size of its facility to around 360,000 square feet.

Story City Council members and other city officials toured the facility earlier this month, seeing where it makes integrated packaging for the food, beverage, medical, personal care, household, pet food, agricultural chemical, lawn and garden and other specialty markets.





 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.



 PDI Kicks off the Shining Star Newsletter Feature

In an effort to promote best practices and to highlight successful programs and initiatives by PDI member organizations, the Shining Star newsletter feature segment was created.

Do you have a great program, project or initiative that has helped your community in the following areas: workforce, housing, business recruitment, business retention or organizational development? PDI is searching for all the Shining Stars among us to showcase your program to the membership in the PDI Post newsletter. We would like to showcase programs and initiatives that have helped organizations and communities in the areas of: workforce, housing, business retention, business recruitment and organizational development. In completing the “Shining Star” Newsletter Feature Form your program will be not only highlighted in the PDI Post newsletter but also in the PDI Resource Guide. The intention of this feature is to share best practices to act as a catalyst for future growth within our own communities. The form is brief, requiring just an overview of your program, as means to encourage our membership to connect directly with the organization and individuals that created the program.

This feature serves not only as a way to share successful programs but to also encourage networking among our members. Please consider being a Shining Star today…complete the form and you will be featured in an upcoming PDI Post newsletter. Please complete the form and return it to PDI at: If you have any questions or would like additional information, please contact PR-Communications Committee Chair Alissa O’Connor at:

Download Shining Star Form >>

 New Members

Rick Peterson, Iowa Economic Development Authority, Des Moines, IA
Carrie Rankin, Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory, Cedar Falls, IA
Joseph Steil, Lee County EDG, Keokuk, IA

 Scholarship Recipient

John Hall, Ames Economic Development Commission, OUEDI
Jill Heisterkamp, Calhoun County Economic Development Corp. Heartland Economic Development Course
Katie Gieszler, City of Urbandale, IEDA Entrepreneurial & Small Business Development Strategies

 Job Postings:

Field Specialist I/II, Retail Business Specialist, ISU Extension, Ames
Executive Director, Mitchell County Economic Development Commission (MCEDC), Osage
Director of Planning & Community Development, City of Council Bluffs, Council Bluffs

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
Des Moines, IA
More Information & Registration >>

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 & Registration >>

Fast-Track Iowa's Future Conference
Wednesday, June 20, 2017 - "STEM Ed Chat" Reception
Thursday, June 21, 2017 - Fast-Track Iowa's Future Conference
Iowa Events Center
Des Moines, IA
More Iinformation & Registration >>

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 >>

The Iowa Downtown Conference
August 1 - 3, 2017
Sioux City, IA

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

Synchronist Users Forum 2017
October 2-3, 2017
Chicago, IL

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


PDI Thanks the 2017 Sponsors







Triple Event Sponsors
Iowa Economic Development Authority
ITC Midwest
Kossuth/Palo Alto County Economic Development Corp.

Contributing Sponsors
Spring & Fall
Central Iowa Power Cooperative
Spring only
Grater Des Moines Partnership
Iowa Utility Association
Fall only
Iowa Association of Business & Industry

Trap Shoot

BRE Awards
Blane Canada
Smart Solutions Group

Local Host Sponsors
Alliant Energy
Central Iowa Power Cooperative
ITC Midwest


Twitter     Facebook     LinkedIn

Published by WinM@il