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.

May 2, 2003


Economic Development Top Stories

Business Development News

Community Development News

Calendar of Events

Privacy Statement



Economic Development Top Stories

Iowa had 17.1 million visitors in 2002. This is a 7.7 percent increase over 2001. Visitation volume is provided by the Travel Industry Association of America. To qualify as a visitor, a person must travel at least 50 miles or more one way from home.

Five Economic Development Set-Aside Projects (EDSA) were announced recently by the IDED. These projects will help existing businesses expand in Iowa communities.


Business Development News

IDED's International Office will be visiting Iowa communities in May to showcase the resources available for businesses involved in or interested in exporting. The workshops will provide an opportunity for attendees to meet with freight forwarding, banking, legal and other service providers. The panels will also discuss current international exporting issues. IDED's international staff, foreign office directors and representatives will also be available. Businesses new to exporting and experienced exporters are all encouraged to attend. Workshops will be held in Sioux Center (May 20), Marshalltown (May 21) and Mount Pleasant (May 22). For more information or to register, contact Kanan Kappelman at 515.242.4892.

Eight Iowa companies will exhibit at the Food Marketing Institute show in Chicago on May 4-6, 2003, according to Dennis Leland, IDED marketing manager. The show at McCormick Place is the largest, most comprehensive annual event of its kind in the world, with over 1,500 exhibitors and a worldwide industry audience ranging from CEOs through store level management.

Three companies were recently approved for Export Trade assistance Program (ETAP) funds to participate in international trade shows or trade missions. New companies receiving marketing funds are Proliant of Ames for the meat trade mission to Japan, Wayne Engineering of Cedar Falls for a trade show in the Netherlands, and Midland BioProducts of Boone for a trade show in Spain. A qualified company may receive up to $4,000 in financial assistance from IDED's International office for each pre-approved event.

A Taste of Iowaź exhibited at the Reinhart Distribution Food Show in Cedar Rapids on April 1, promoting the 13 Iowa food companies and products that are currently being stocked by Reinhart. Staff also used the opportunity to recruit Iowa restaurants and food service facilities to join the Restaurant Menu Mention Program.

A Taste of Iowaź sponsored a state food procurement and business-networking seminar in April for food companies interested in doing business with the state of Iowa. Topics discussed included the procurement process, the competitive bid process, and a list of food products purchased by state agencies. Presenters included representatives from General Services, Iowa State University, University of Northern Iowa and the University of Iowa. The seminar was in Marion.

A Taste of Iowaź exhibited at the SYSCO Spring Food Show in Des Moines on April 28 - 29. The exhibit featured the 18 Iowa food companies and their products currently distributed by SYSCO. SYSCO also invited Laura Foods, maker of "Toasteds" roasted soy nuts, to exhibit free of charge.

IDED, TMS (IDED's contractor in Mexico,) and the Iowa Corn Promotion Board are preparing the final itinerary for an outbound grain mission to Mexico. The mission will pursue expansion of exports for Iowa corn, soybeans and dried distillers grain, a by-product of the ethanol industry.

Iowa's efforts to recruit workers with diverse backgrounds was featured in Diversity/Careers in Engineering & Information /technology, Feb/Mar 2003 issue. The article highlighted the Human Resource Recruitment Consortium (HRRC) led statewide recruiting efforts as well as interviews with Bhawna Giare who moved to Iowa to be a senior systems engineer with Rockwell Collins and Dr. Veera Padmanabhan, a scientist in the information management support area at Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc. The article is available at, the cornerstone of the HRRC marketing plan, has been reviewed for the fourth year in a row in CareerXroads. This leading reference book reviewed over 4,000 web sites and prints the review of the top 500 sites in their book. Web sites are evaluated for readiness, navigation, image, relevance and feedback.

The 2003 HRRC RAGBRAI event will take place on July 23 in Oskaloosa. An advance mailing will be sent to the 5,000+ out-of-state riders. On-site activities will include Internet stations to send e-postcards and see, entertainment, games, (including the signature frozen T-shirt contest), Iowa trivia and many consortium members there promoting Iowa to the bicycle riders.

Community Development News

A total of $2.5 million in homeless assistance funding was recently awarded to 121 organizations in Iowa. The organizations will use the awards for shelter rehabilitation/renovation, shelter operating expense assistance and homelessness prevention activities. Clients assisted through these programs include persons currently living on the streets, victims of domestic violence and persons with mental or physical disabilities. The federally-funded Emergency Shelter Grant Program and the IDED's Homeless Shelter Operations Grant Program awarded the grants.

The first of a series of six regional business development related workshops, conducted by Kent Burnes Consulting, took place in Perry on April 8. The series will continue every two months and concludes in March 2004 in Pella. For more information visit

On-site technical assistance visits to five Main Street Iowa communities by Consultants Johnson & Segel have been completed. Twenty-three downtown business owners received personal business assistance consultations. Five workshops were also conducted on "How to Make Money in Small Business Today". These visits will continue throughout the spring and summer. A total of 26 Main Street Iowa communities signed up to take advantage of this service. For more information, contact Thom Guzman at 515.242.4733.

Main Street Challenge Grants environmental reviews are continuing on the Main Street Challenge Grant projects. Several projects are underway. For more information, contact Thom Guzman at 515.242.4733.

The 16th annual Main Street Awards ceremony is scheduled for May 9 at the Temple for the Performing Arts in downtown Des Moines. Over 400 people from Main Street Iowa's 33 participating communities are expected to attend. For more information, contact Thom Guzman at 515.242.4733.

Revitalization Assistance for Community Improvements (RACI) applications are due May 9. RACI has $150,000 in funds available for award. For more information, contact Hank Manning at 515.242.4836.

National Tourism Week returns May 10- 18, and visitors to Iowa can win special gifts as part of the weeklong celebration. The Iowa Tourism Office is teaming up with Best Western Hotels of Iowa to provide 13 travel cards valued at $100 each. The cards are good toward a stay at any one of Best Western's more than 4,000 locations in 80 countries. Visitors can register to win the cards at welcome centers located in Burlington, Amana (I-80), Le Claire, Northwood, Underwood, Sergeant Bluff, Wilton and Davis City.

Iowa was represented at the Midwest Travel Writers Association meeting April 9-13 in Oklahoma City. The conference provided opportunities to talk one-on-one with travel writers and editors to pitch Iowa tourism story ideas.

The Iowa Welcome Center Training and Familiarization Tour was held in western Iowa April 14-16. This is an annual training for welcome center counselors to receive updates and see tourism attractions first hand.

Iowa was represented at the Locations Expo in Los Angeles April 10-15. Film locations in Iowa were showcased to recruit filming projects to the state.

The Iowa Motion Picture Association hosted an annual awards banquet and workshop on Saturday, April 19 at the Renaissance Savery Hotel in Des Moines. Workshops on acting, movies on a budget and cinematography were followed by the awards banquet.

Tourism Unity Day was held on April 25. The day included a legislative update, leadership awards, announcement of the 2004 co-op advertising options and a customer service presentation.

The Iowa Department of Transportation has introduced the "511" traveler information number. Dial "511" for up-to-the-minute information about current travel conditions and local highway transportation options.

The Iowa Film Production Guide is available. It lists helpful resource and reference information for people filming in Iowa. For more information, visit or contact Nancy Landess at 515.242.4702.

The Governor's Conference on Volunteer Service was held April 15 and 16, in Des Moines. The conference included workshops and activities for youth, seniors, program directors and volunteers. Also featured were: Plenary speaker Lt. Governor Pederson; GregAlan Williams, author, native Iowan and Emmy Award winning actor; and Rudy Simms, Executive Director , National Conference for Community and Justice, Iowa Region. The Governor's Youth Leadership and Iowa Community Betterment Awards were presented and the Iowa Volunteer Hall of Fame Inductions were also held.



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.