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   President's Message   Development Update   Legislative Update   Statewide Pride   Education   Who's Who   Events April 21, 2017

Mark Reinig, CEcD, PDI President

Mark Reinig, CEcD
PDI President
This late winter has turned out to be volatile with temperatures fluctuating and legislative actions breaking new ground. PDI is proud to partner with the SMART Conference and will be presenting the Business Recruitment and Expansion (BRE) awards, sponsored by Smart Solutions Group, Inc. and Blane/Canada Synchronist Suite at the Thursday, May 4 opening. As I travel about the State of Iowa, I see many exciting programs that I believe merit the recognition of this award and we are pleased to have several organizations who have submitted their applications by the April 4 deadline. We will feature each of them in upcoming PDI Post newsletters.

The PDI Spring Event is being held on the day prior to the 2017 SMART Conference. On Wednesday, May 3 the PDI Spring Event will be held at the DMACC Center for Career and Professional Development at the Southridge Mall in Des Moines. PDI has invested in bringing two national keynote speakers to address best practices in economic development “How to Build the Future” and how we can play a role in being proactive for our communities, regions and state. In addition to these two great speakers we have a wizened panel discussing “Creating a Collaborative Economic Development Team”. We will close the day with a legislative update which will be informative to say the least, considering this legislative session. You can register on the PDI website for both the PDI Spring event and the SMART Conference so do it today!

Mark Reinig
CEcD, PDI President


 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 The April 2nd Policy Perspectives Newsletter >>



 Ames Chamber Hires Workforce and Community Outreach Director
Business Record Daily AM, April 3, 2017

The Ames Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Commission has hired Brenda Dryer as director of Workforce Solutions and Story County Community Outreach. Dryer, previously executive director of the Mitchell County Economic Development Commission, begins her new position today. "Brenda is a logical addition to our team," said Dan Culhane, president and CEO of the Ames chamber.


 Alliant's New Marshalltown Plant Goes Online
Business Record, April 3, 2017

Alliant Energy began producing energy from its new combined cycle natural gas plant in Marshalltown last weekend. The $700 million plant — which uses both natural gas and waste heat to create power — will produce enough electricity to power 500,000 homes, the Associated Press reported.


 Registration Open for Regional Future Workforce Summit

Please join Southeast Iowa for the Regional Future Workforce Summit. Facilitating the day will be national workforce and education expert Dr. Kevin Fleming, author of ReDefining the Goal; the True Path to Career Readiness in the 21st Century and YouTube video "Success in the New Economy".

More Information & Registration >>

 Cedar Ridge Named 2017 Distiller of the Year by National Institute
Corridor Business Journal, April 10, 2017

Being named Distillery of the Year by the American Distilling Institute (ADI) doesn't just honor Cedar Ridge Winery & Distillery, founder and proprietor Jeff Quint says -- it helps place Iowa's blossoming distilling industry on the map.


 Storm Lake Times Editor Art Cullen Wins Pulitzer Prize
Sioux City Journal, April 11, 2017

Art Cullen, editor of The Storm Lake Times, won the Pulitzer Prize on Monday, becoming the first journalist in Northwest Iowa to secure journalism's top prize. The Times, a twice-per-week newspaper serving Buena Vista County, has a circulation of 3,000, making it one of the smallest enterprises to win a Pulitzer.




 TIF Question? Workforce Assistance? Utility Contact?

For answers to these questions and more grab your copy of the PDI Resource Guide now! The Resource Guide is packed with helpful information on a variety of topics. It also includes PDI member organization spotlights so you can learn more about your fellow PDI members in addition to a special feature entitled “You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know” which aims to shed light on hot topics and where to find additional information. The PDI Resource Guide is your go-to resource for all things economic development!

Grab Your PDI Resource Guide Here >>

 PDI Shining Star

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. If you have a special project or initiative that has helped shape your community or organization, please complete the form below 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:

Organization Name: Humboldt County Development Association
Organization Website Address:
Contact Person Name: Alissa O’Connor, Director
Phone: 515.332.2557
Special Project/Initiative Category: Workforce
Special Project/Initiative Title: “Jobs & Opportunities for Businesses and Students” (JOBS) High School Internship Program
Project Leaders-Stakeholders-Partners: Humboldt County Development, Humboldt Community School District and Humboldt industries.
Special Project/Initiative Description: Humboldt County Development offers high school seniors to intern in a career field of their choice for approximately 1.5 hours/day for an entire school semester. Students must meet the eligibility requirements, submit a resume and entrance essay and take part in a 6-member interview panel to be accepted into the program. Based upon the student’s career pathway, advanced coursework and previous experience students are allowed to intern with a business located in Humboldt that meets the needs of the student’s as well as the business’s. The goal of the program is to expose high school students to the careers in Humboldt and to provide an opportunity for students to gain real world experience in the field of their choice.
Special Project/Initiative Information Can Be Found By: For more information please contact Alissa at:

 Job Postings:

Economic Development Analyst, City of Davenport, Davenport
Project Financial Analyst, Iowa Area Development Group, Des Moines
Chief Executive Officer, Greater Ottumwa Partners in Progress, Ottumwa
Field Specialist I/II, Retail Business Specialist, ISU Extension, Ames
Executive Director, Mitchell County Economic Development Commission (MCEDC), Osage

More Information >>



PDI Spring Event
Wednesday, May 3, 2017
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
DMACC Southridge Conference Center
Des Moines, IA
More Information & Registration >>

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

PDI Fall Conference

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.

Conference Exhibitor Sponsors
Convergent Fundraising Solutions

Contributing Sponsors
Spring & Fall
Central Iowa Power Cooperative
Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative
Midland Power Cooperative
Spring only
Grater Des Moines Partnership
Iowa Utility Association
Fall only
Corn Belt Power Cooperative
Iowa Association of Business & Industry
North Iowa Corridor Economic Development Corp.

Trap Shoot

BRE Awards
Blane Canada
Smart Solutions Group

Local Host Sponsors
Alliant Energy
Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance
Central Iowa Power Cooperative
City of Cedar Rapids
Iowa City Area Development Group, Inc.
ITC Midwest
Marion Economic Development Corporation


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