This is a periodic newsletter for customers, partners, friends and staff of the Iowa Department of Economic Development. It contains brief news items and links for gathering more information. If you do not wish to receive this newsletter please refer to the "unsubscribe" information at the end of the newsletter, or reply to this email with "unsubscribe" in the subject line. Please also reply with any comments or suggestions. We look forward to hearing from you.

IDED Quick News

The news report for customers, partners and friends of the
Iowa Department of Economic Development.
January 14, 2004


Economic Development Top Stories

Business Development News

Community Development News

Calendar of Events

Privacy Statement


Economic Development Top Stories

Lt. Governor Sally Pederson announced recently that the Vision Iowa board will invest $4 million in the city of Des Moines' riverfront redevelopment project called "Rediscovering the Rivers." The announcement came at the board's monthly meeting in Des Moines. The state's investment will assist the first phase of this project, which includes a 1.2 mile pedestrian promenade slated for construction on the east and west sides of the Des Moines River. A two-mile multi-purpose trail will connect the promenade to Gray’s Lake. The project also calls for the creation of a fountain, civic gardens and ice skating rink. Officials are confident that these amenities will spur private development such as food stands and bicycle or boat rentals. The Lt. Governor said the project is a prime example of a public/private partnership, as The Principal Financial Group has pledged a minimum of $10 million to the $26.4 million project. Downtown's largest private employee, The Principal will celebrate its 125th anniversary in Des Moines in 2004. The company cites the project as an excellent way to celebrate this milestone.

The Iowa Values Fund Board recently approved a $6.6 million award to train Lennox workers in advanced manufacturing techniques. The training will make the Marshalltown operations more competitive. The first $1.6 million from the Iowa Values Fund is a loan for training that Lennox would not have to repay if it goes ahead with proposed investments. Lennox Manufacturing, Inc., would retain 1,118 workers at a combined average wage of $18.65 per hour. To stay competitive in the global market, the company proposes to implement more than 100 training programs in advanced manufacturing. Successfully upgrading worker skills will make Marshalltown competitive for a total package of $18.5 million in new investment over a four-year period.

Business Development News

Four IDED project managers accompanied ten representatives of community and utility economic development organizations for the Sell Iowa trip to the New York City area the second week of December. Nearly 36 appointments were arranged by the Prospect Qualification Center with insurance executives and executives of companies that have Iowa. At least 7 Sell Iowa trips are planned for 2004.

Because of budget adjustments the level of assistance available to Iowa companies from the Export Trade Assistance Program (ETAP) has been revised. The program now offers maximum assistance of $2,500 per company per pre-approved event for the balance of Fiscal Year 2004. The International Office of IDED administers the ETAP program, which provides financial assistance to Iowa companies participating in international trade shows or trade missions.

The Spring Break in Iowa 2004 program, which matches college students with Iowa employers for a work environment experience, is moving forward. Several Human Resource Recruitment Consortium (HRRC) members are making plans to host students for the program, which will run the week of March 15-19, 2004. They include: HON Industries; Farmland Insurance/Nationwide Agribusiness; Wells Fargo; Pella Corporation; Rockwell Collins; MidAmerican Energy; and Principal Financial Group. The weeklong contact provides opportunities for companies to get acquainted with students and for students to review possible job options before graduation.

HRRC staff exhibited and recruited at the annual Iowa Job Fair for the Regents Universities on January 7, at the Polk County Convention Center. The career fair is an opportunity to discuss job opportunities in Iowa with a mix of individuals that include seasoned professionals, those looking for entry-level opportunities and students looking for internships. Resumes collected by the HRRC staff will be forwarded to members.

The HRRC will be promoting Iowa career and lifestyle opportunities at the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers National Technical & Career Conference (NTCC) on January 9-10 in Chicago. Other Iowa employers participating in this conference include MidAmerican Energy, Rockwell Collins, Pella Corporation and HON Industries. The NTCC is the largest technical Hispanic conference in the nation and concentrates on methods to promote engineering, mathematics and science for Hispanics.

A Taste of Iowa® at the Capitol has been scheduled for Wednesday, February 11. This event features A Taste of Iowa® members and restaurants serving samples of their food to members of the Iowa Legislature and visitors to the statehouse.

Food companies are being recruited for the A Taste of Iowa® pavilion at the Upper Midwest Restaurant, Hospitality and Lodging Show February 23 - 25, 2004 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. The show attracts food service professionals from around the United States.

As a follow-up to Governor Vilsack's trip to Taiwan in September, where he signed a letter of intent with the China Meat Import Distribution Association to dramatically increase the amount of pork and meat products purchased from the State of Iowa, Iowa took a small trade team to Taiwan November 29 - December 6, 2003. The seven-member Iowa team went to Taipei and Kaohsiung to meet with Taiwan meat importers, retailers, processors and government officials. The Iowa team hosted a reception for Taiwan meat importers while in Taipei. IDED organized the mission with in-country support from the U.S. Meat Export Federation - Taiwan office and financial support from the Iowa Pork Producers Association.

A Mexico Trade Mission on February 15 to 21, 2004, is an IDED effort to assist Iowa manufacturers, and grain and meat producers with new opportunities. Participants will visit their choice of areas of the country with the entire group visiting the Mexico City area and then proceeding to Guadalajara, Jalisco, or the State of Veracruz depending upon market opportunities or interests. One-on-one pre-qualified appointments will be arranged in each location for participating companies whether they are seeking to develop or expand direct export sales, locate distributors or agents, conduct market research or have other goals. All manufacturing industry sectors are invited to participate in this mission. Mexico offers enormous market opportunities and is now the second most important U.S. trading partner after Canada, and the third largest destination for Iowa’s exports.

Iowa exporters are reporting impressive sales resulting from the Japan Food Soybean Mission that took place November 15 to 22. The Iowa delegation included eight exporting companies. Sales reported to IDED staff are the best that Iowa exporters have ever had there. A seminar that was part of the trip drew about 135-140 persons.

Community Development News

One hundred forty-nine of Iowa's century and older businesses were honored on December 8th at the Iowa Century Business Awards celebration at the Hotel Fort Des Moines. The second annual awards honored these businesses' contribution to the Iowa economy for the past 100 plus years. The awards event was jointly sponsored this year by IDED and the Association of Business and Industry.

The Downtown Resource Center is receiving a $500,000 federal award for Main Street Iowa for FY 2004. The previous year’s award was used to leverage over $4.7 million in building improvements to Main Street Iowa downtowns, and to provide small business consulting to 120 downtown businesses. The downtown resource center team will develop a challenge grant program and additional business assistance with the new award. For more information, contact Thom Guzman at 515.242.4733.

The IDED Infrastructure Team is currently reviewing Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) water/sewer applications. We invited 63 projects to submit full applications requesting $19.4 million in funds. Applications for the CDBG Community Facilities and Services Fund were due on December 19. The team invited 22 projects to submit full applications requesting $8.7 million in funds. For more information, contact Hank Manning at 515.242.4836.

The City Development Board is continuing the revision of Administrative Rules, preparing for the public comment phase in January or February '04. For more information, contact Steve McCann at 515.242.4719.

Iowa Tourism cooperative advertising will appear in March/April editions of The Iowan, Midwest Living, and AAA Home & Away. Additional ads will be placed later in the spring in USA Weekend, Better Homes and Gardens, Ladies' Home Journal, Midwest Meetings , Good Housekeeping, Minneapolis Star Tribune, The Des Moines Register and Chicago Tribune. More than 100 destinations, communities, attractions and events participated in the cooperative advertising program.

The Travel Federation of Iowa has scheduled the annual Legislative Showcase for Wednesday, February 4, 2004. It will be held in the 4-H Building at the Iowa State Fairgrounds beginning at 5:00 p.m. Over 80 exhibitors will feature communities and attractions throughout the state. For more information, contact Nancy Landess at 515.242.4702.

Tom Wheeler joined the Department of Economic Development on January 5, 2004 as the new manager of the Iowa Film Office. For more information, contact Nancy Landess at 515.242.4702.

The Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service (ICVS) recently announced the availability of federal funds to support AmeriCorps programs to begin September 2004 for a twelve-month cycle. To download the RFP and guidelines, visit For more information contact Kelly Thompson at 515.242.4866 or

Nominations for Iowa Community Betterment Awards are due January 30, 2004. Any community improvement or service project completed with the assistance of volunteers during 2003 may be nominated for an Iowa Community Betterment award in one of five categories: Community; Neighborhood; Keep Iowa Beautiful; County/Coalition; or Youth. In addition to statewide recognition, projects selected for awards receive cash prizes of up to $1,500. Guidelines and nomination materials are available from the Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service Web site (

The ICVS is partnering with Iowa Public Television to present the second annual "Volunteer Iowa!" volunteer-a-thon on February 29, 2004 (time has not been confirmed). During the first live statewide broadcast, held in January 2003, 434,682 volunteer hours, valued at nearly $7 million, were pledged. For more information, visit or contact Tina Dunphy at 515.242.4567.

Calendar of Events

For up-to-date IDED Calendar of Events listings Click Here:

Privacy statement

To be removed from this newsletter click here or send email to with the word "Unsubscribe" in the subject line.