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From: Iowa Department of Economic Development News
Sent: Tuesday, March 30, 2004 9:54 AM
To: Iowa Department of Economic Development News
Subject: IDED Quick News

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.


March 30, 2004


Economic Development Top Stories

·         Values Fund and IDED board Awards Announced

·         Vision Iowa Seeks New CAT applications

·         Mason City Named “Main Street” Community


Business Development News

·         Sell Iowa Trip to California

·         Iowa Companies Exhibit Products at Tokyo Food Show

·         Automated Export System Training Offered

·         New Zealand Mission

·         ETAP Fund Recipients

·         Free EPA Risk Management Workshop Offered

·         VNI Session on the Internet

·         New Des Moines Area Multicultural Resource Guide Available

·         HRRC Sponsors Basketball Tournament

·         Spring Break in Iowa Program Offered 50 Work Opportunities

·         HRRC Attends NSBE

·         A Taste of Iowa® at Food Shows


Community Development News

·         Main Street Tops Million Hour Mark

·         Burlington Named Semi-finalist in Main Street Competition

·         CDBG Community Facilities and Services Awards Announced

·         CDBG Water/Sewer Awards Announced

·         RACI Applications Due

·         Housing Fund Award Decisions Announced

·         Enterprise Zone Housing Projects Approved

·         Iowa Film Office at Locations Expo

·         Welcome Center Training Announced

·         PlanIt Iowa Event Scheduled in Twin Cities

·         Tourism Unity Day Scheduled

·         Altoona Receives Community Development Fund Award


Calendar of Events

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Economic Development Top Stories

The Iowa Values Fund Board and the Iowa Department of Economic Development (IDED) Board recently approved 14 projects for investments, including seven business development projects and seven brownfield redevelopment projects. The Iowa Values Fund Board awarded $320,000 to Protocol Driven Healthcare, Inc. (PDHI), which has the potential of creating 48 jobs in Iowa at an average wage of $33.68 per hour.  PDHI is evaluating locations in Des Moines, Texas and New Jersey, where it is based, for an $11 million expansion. The company is a leading provider of Internet software and services used by the pharmaceutical and healthcare companies. With the funds it has reserved for the Value-Added Agricultural Products and Processes Financial Assistance Program (VAAPFAP), the Iowa Values Fund Board made three investments:


The IDED Board approved two business projects:


The IDED Board also approved nearly $475,000 in investments for communities to acquire, clean-up and redevelop qualifying industrial or commercial property under the Brownfield Redevelopment Program Fund, established with House File 2423. 


Another investment approved by the IDED Board with remaining VAAPFAP funds was for Sheeder’s Cloverleaf Dairy in Guthrie County, which will receive $70,000 for on-farm processing of value-added milk and other farm fresh dairy products, creating four jobs. Since July 2003 and not including today’s action, the state’s incentive programs have assisted 117 projects, created and retained 6,744 jobs and resulted in $797 million capital investment.  This includes 18 projects funded from the Iowa Values Fund. 

The Vision Iowa board recently announced that the group will begin considering new applications for funding from the Community Attraction and Tourism program (CAT). Iowa Legislators committed $12.5 million annually to CAT through the end of the 2004 fiscal year. The money had all been allocated but some previous grant recipients have returned their awards, and other recipients owed money back to the program because projects were completed under budget. The result is approximately $2.7 million in unclaimed money. New applications must be received by May 14, 2004. Communities or organizations that are interested in applying for CAT funds should visit www.visioniowa.org or call 515-242-4827.

Mason City was announced as Iowa's newest Main Street community in a presentation made on Friday, March 19, 2004. Mason City will join 33 other Iowa communities who currently participate in this nationally recognized downtown revitalization program. Main Street was established as a program of the Iowa Department of Economic Development by the Iowa Legislature in 1985. Since April 1986 more than $460 million has been invested by private entities to rehabilitate, renovate and purchase downtown buildings. In addition, a net gain of 2,468 business starts, relocations and expansions and 7,050 new jobs has been realized. As of March 2004, 7,614 building rehabilitations, renovations and sales have been completed, and community volunteers have donated more than one million hours for the betterment of downtown. For more information, on the Main Street Iowa program, call 515.242.4756 or email mainstreet@ided.state.ia.us.


Business Development News

Community representatives from Burlington, Dubuque, Des Moines, Sioux City, the Quad Cities and Ames, and Iowa Department of Economic Development (IDED) staff recently met with over 30 companies in three days of prospecting in southern California. The meetings resulted in 8 leads and projects with a potential for jobs and investment in the biotechnology, value-added food and financial services sectors.


Staffs of Iowa companies and the IDED exhibited Iowa products in the USA pavilion at Foodex Trade Show, Asia's biggest food and beverage show on Mar. 9-13 in Tokyo. The show attracted more than 90,000 professional visitors from 75 countries. Sales and procurement managers, owners, and chefs from supermarket chains, foodservice, wholesalers, trading firms and importers attended this premier food show. Japan purchased $43 billion in food imports in 2001.

The IDED's International Office is cooperating with the U.S. Export Assistance Center on a series of Automated Export System (AES) training sessions in various locations around the state.  AES is the paperless way to file the Shipper's Export Declaration, a document required by the federal government for most exports and used for export control and statistical purposes.  AES will become mandatory for all exporters later this year.  Three sessions have been held with additional sessions currently scheduled in the Quad Cities - April (date to be selected), Mason City - May 12 and Fort Dodge - July 21.


Approximately 30 representatives from Iowa, including IDED director Mike Blouin and venture capital representatives, are on a trade mission in New Zealand until March 28. The delegation will be meeting with the Prime Minister and 5 government ministers as well as with 200 life science researchers from companies, universities and government.


Four of the companies on the life sciences mission to New Zealand are receiving funds from the Export Trade Assistance Program (ETAP). Integrated DNA Technologies, Coralville; Cybus Capital, Des Moines; Struve Labs, Manning; and Horan Brothers Agricultural Enterprises, Marion received ETAP funds for participation. Other companies receiving ETAP funds in February for overseas marketing events include: Cemen Tech, Indianola for Germany; Maxcare International, West Des Moines; Sukup Manufacturing, Sheffield; and Met-Coil Corp., Cedar Rapids for the Ukraine; SIG International, Boyden for Japan; J-TEC Associates for Canada; and M.A. Ford, Davenport for Korea.


The IDED is hosting a no-cost EPA workshop for Iowa companies updating their risk management plans for flammable and toxic substances on Mar. 31st in Ames at the Quality Inn Starlite Village. Environmental safety and compliance representatives and persons responsible for Clean Air Act and the Chemical Accident Prevention at regulated facilities should attend. Facilities with extremely hazardous substances must submit a risk management plan to the EPA and implement a program to prevent chemical accidents that might impact the surrounding community.


Venture Network of Iowa (VNI) hosted a statewide videoconference over the Iowa Communications Network to connect entrepreneurs with possible investors on Thursday Mar. 11th. It is the first VNI session to be available worldwide via a Webcast. Future sessions will also be available for viewing on the Internet. Companies presenting were Mirenco, ProPlanner, CombiSep, and District Administration. The keynote speaker was Dr. Robert W. Overell, Frazier Healthcare Ventures, Seattle.


The 2nd edition of the Greater Des Moines Area Multicultural Resource Guide is now available, highlighting the multicultural resources in Central Iowa.  This updated tool is used to attract and retain a diverse workforce in the Greater Des Moines area.  The Human Resource Recruitment Consortium (HRRC) has supported both editions of this guide in hopes it would serve as a model for other communities to develop similar resources. The Technology Corridor (Cedar Rapids/Iowa City) developed a guide in 2003. Several other communities have expressed an interest in exploring the opportunity in the coming year.


The HRRC again sponsored the NAIA Women's Division II Basketball tournament in Sioux City on March 10-16. The tournament served as an excellent opportunity to promote Iowa to over 500 women athletes and coaches and thousands of fans from across the nation. The HRRC sponsored the Team Player Lounge, which offered 12 computers for the ladies to check e-mail, send e-postcards and do homework; healthy food; comfortable furniture and TV for following the tournament. It was a great opportunity for individual contact with the athletes to showcase Iowa's benefits as well as excellent branding to spectators during the game with signage, commercials broadcast on the FOX Sports Network and game-time messages.


Spring Break in Iowa took place March 15-19 and involved employers and students from across Iowa. Over 130 students applied for the 50 Spring Break work opportunities, which are one week projects that give them exposure to corporate life. The goal is to generate full-time internships and employment from these connections. Companies taking part in Spring Break 2004 included: HON Industries, Allsteel, HON Company, Farmland Insurance/Nationwide Agribusiness, Pella Corporation, Wells Fargo, Principal Financial Group, Rockwell Collins and MidAmerican Energy.


The HRRC promoted Iowa careers at the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) Conference in Dallas on March 13-15. Employers exhibiting with the HRRC were: Rockwell Collins, HON Industries, Pella Corporation, Corridor Careers (Cedar Rapids/Iowa City), and Alliant Energy. The Annual NSBE Convention features the largest career fair for underrepresented persons in engineering. Over 13,000 students and professionals attend the conference, a talented pool of potential employees from a variety of engineering disciplines, physical sciences and information technology.


A Taste of Iowa® is working with food distribution shows including Farner-Bocken Co., April 2nd; Reinhart Food Service, April 6th; and Sysco Food Services of Iowa, Apr.26-27; to persuade more restaurants to buy from Iowa companies.


Community Development News

 Volunteer hours invested in local Main Street Iowa programs had surpassed 1 million hours as of March 1, 2004. This translates into over $16 million dollars of labor dedicated to improving the social, economic and physical health of Iowa's Main Street downtowns.


Burlington, Iowa has been selected a semi-finalist for the Great American Main Street Award. This prestigious award is given to only 5 communities annually. Iowa has six previous award winners: Dubuque, Bonaparte, Keokuk, Corning, Elkader, & Cedar Falls. This is more than any other state in the country. The award winners will be announced on May 10th at the National Main Streets Conference in Albuquerque, NM. For more information, contact Thom Guzman at 515.242.4733.


IDED recently made 11 Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) awards through the community facilities and services fund totaling $4.4 million. Communities will provide $10 million in matching funds to these projects. Projects include child care centers, facilities for disabled persons, homeless shelters, medical clinics, and storm sewer systems.


IDED recently made 42 CDBG awards through the water/sewer fund. Communities will provide $30 million in local matching funds to these projects.


RACI applications will be due on April 30, 2004. $200,000 is available for awards. For more information, contact Hank Manning at 515.242.4836.


Housing Fund award decisions were announced Wednesday, March 3, 2004.  Fifty-two housing activities or projects received awards totaling $18,463,926.  The HOME Investment Partnership Program accounted for 26 of these awards totaling $10,721,450, and the other 26 awards totaling $7,742,476 were from the CDBG Housing Set-Aside. These 52 activities or projects will generate a total of 729 units of affordable housing. A wide variety of activities and projects were funded including Homeownership Assistance; Owner-Occupied Rehabilitation; Tenant-Based Rental Assistance and Rental. For more information, contact Terry Vestal at 515.242.4850.


The following Enterprise Zone Housing Projects have been approved: Western Iowa Land Development LLC, $98,050; East Village Partners, LLC, $602,934; Format LC, $90,000; and  Welcome Homes, Inc., $69,111. For more information, contact Mike Miller at 515.242.4807.


The Iowa Film Office will attend Locations Expo in California on April 16 - 18. This expo provides an opportunity to meet with location managers and update them on filming opportunities in Iowa. For more information, contact Tom Wheeler at 515.242.4726.


Representatives from Iowa's welcome centers will meet for training and a familiarization tour on April 12-14. The training will provide updates from the Eastern, Central and Western Tourism Regions about new or special activities at attractions, events and destinations. A familiarization tour of south central Iowa will follow the training.


Iowans are heading to Minnesota for a PlanIt Iowa Showcase, to be held April 1. This event will promote Iowa's group tour offering to tour planners from Minnesota and Wisconsin. Participants in the PlanIt Iowa Showcase are invited to attend "Meet the Media" on March 31. This event will be a discussion with Becky Beyers, travel editor of the St. Paul Pioneer Press and Chris Welsch, travel editor of the Minneapolis Star Tribune.


Iowa Tourism Unity Day will be held on Friday, April 30 at the Hy-Vee Conference Center in West Des Moines. Doug Lipp, an internationally known expert on customer service, will provide the keynote. The Tourism Leadership Award will be presented and the 2005 cooperative advertising options will be announced. For more information, contact Nancy Landess at 515.242.4702.


The City of Altoona recently received $3,680 in funding from the Community Development Fund for the Conference & Institute Scholarship Project. For more information, contact Cali Beals at 515.242.4723.


Calendar of Events

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