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IDED Quick News

The news report for customers, partners and friends of the

Iowa Department of Economic Development.

October 28, 2002


Economic Development Top Stories

Milken Study Cites Iowa as "Most Improved"

Iowans Meet With Cuban Officials

Venture Capital Conference Draws 700

Rural Telecongress a Hit in Des Moines

Business Development Division News

CEBA Award to Hampton, Northern Pipe

Perry-Judd Receives EDSA Award

Enterprise Zones Approved

Iowa Waste Exchange Honored

Mexican Buying Team Visits Iowa

Companies Get ETAP Assistance

Taste of Iowa to Present Award, Info

CoreNet Global Show

Community Development Division News

IDED Visits Vedic City, Fairfield

Main Street to Partner in Tri-State Conference

Tools and Trends On-Line

CDBG Water/Sewer Application On-Line

Fall Foliage Reports on the Web

Tourism Conference

Region XII to Hold Workforce Seminar

Calendar of Events

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Economic Development Top Stories

Which states are in the best position to take advantage of the opportunities for growth in the New Economy? According to the latest New Economy Index from the Milken Institute, Iowa ranks as one of the most improved states in the country. Massachusetts, California, Colorado, Connecticut and Maryland are the five top-ranking states on the Institute’s New Economy Index, which ranks each state based upon 12 criteria that Milken Institute research has determined are critical to a region’s future high-tech growth. Iowa improved from 43rd to 38th.

The State of Iowa delegation at the US Food and Agribusiness Exhibition in Cuba was small in number but received much attention. Secretary of Agriculture Patty Judge attended a private dinner hosted by President Castro, a gala event at their cultural center featuring two and one-half-hours of Cuban music. The Iowa delegation, including IDED’s Dick Vegors, was also invited to a private dinner with President Castro at the Palace. Sec. Judge reciprocated by inviting President Castro to attend the signing of the purchase of Iowa corn and soybeans. Cubans are also interested in buying more grains, supplements and minerals to increase poultry, swine and milk production, and Iowa food-processing equipment, such as the machines which produce textured soy protein.

The Iowa Venture Capital Conference was attended by more than 700 entrepreneurs, investors, business people, educators, economic developers and students at the Polk County Convention Complex in Des Moines on September 30. Cosponsored by IDED, Equity Dynamics and the Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Centers, the conference highlighted venture capital and entrepreneurial issues key to Iowa. Keynote speaker Donald Keough, investment banker and former Coca-Cola CEO, spoke, crediting his Iowa roots and education for his success. From arm wrestling guru Cactus Jack Barringer to biotech's Jon Leafstedt with Phytodyne, Inc, to creator Spence Wike showcasing the next generation of farm vehicles, the Venture Network of Iowa (VNI) portion of the conference was a key component. An overview of Iowa's Venture Capital Stimulus Package and breakout sessions completed the day.

The Rural Telecongress attracted nearly 250 attendees representing 49 states and 6 foreign countries to Des Moines in October to discuss "Building Demand for Broadband." Sue Lambertz and Beth Danowsky spearheaded the organizing and hosting with a little help from many of IDED’s partners. This was the first conference of the Rural Telecongress held away from Colorado where it originated. Iowa was a huge hit with the conference attendees and many notes of praise are still pouring in to IDED.

Business Development Division News

Hampton's efforts to recruit a regional pipe manufacturer to the community got an assist from the Iowa Department of Economic Development (IDED) board recently. The board approved a $100,000 investment (half loan, half forgivable loan) for job creation to Northern Pipe Products of Fargo, North Dakota. Northern plans to create 23 jobs in Hampton at an average starting wage of $12.04 per hour. The company will invest $5.2 million with most of the investment ($3.5 million) going for machinery and equipment to manufacture a new line of polyethylene pipe products.

Perry Judd Printing in Spencer has been awarded an $81,000 federally funded Economic Development Set-Aside (EDSA) program forgivable loan to create 25 new jobs. Perry Judd Incorporated is investing $2.7 million in a new press and remodeling to bring new printing capabilities to the Spencer plant. The IDED investment will assist in the purchase of the machinery and equipment. IDED Director CJ Niles said, "With nearly 20,000 employees statewide, printing is a significant part of our manufacturing employment in the state of Iowa, and printing continues to offer highly skilled work opportunities for people throughout the state."

The IDED Board recently approved a total of nine Enterprise Zones (EZ’s) in five Iowa communities. Algona, Manson, Mason City, Nashua and Rockwell City all received approval for zones ranging in size from a little more than one acre to greater than 300 acres in size. Under Iowa's Enterprise Zone program, state and local tax benefits may be extended to investments that create quality job opportunities or develop housing in approved areas.

The Iowa Waste Exchange was named winner of the Best Business Assistance Provider Award for the 2002 awards program of the Iowa Recycling Association. The Iowa Recycling Association recognized the Iowa Waste Exchange for its work helping businesses find creative uses and new users for industrial by-products and waste materials and acknowledged the its commitment to the communities it serves. Since its inception, the Iowa Waste Exchange has served thousands of businesses and diverted over 740,000 tons of materials from landfills with a related savings in avoided disposal costs of over $20 million.

A 13-member buying team from Mexico visited Iowa Oct. 8-11 to look at pork products that could be exported to Mexico. The team represents five large retail groups in Mexico. IDED worked with the US Meat Export Federation to arrange Iowa appointments. IDED and the Iowa Pork Producers Assn. hosted a pork dinner for the team on Oct. 9. Five smaller Iowa pork processors attended the dinner to discuss their pork products and future business opportunities.

Twelve companies were approved to receive funds from the Export Trade Assistance Program (ETAP) during the month of September. The program provides financial assistance to Iowa companies participating in international trade shows or trade missions. A qualified company may receive up to $4,000 in financial assistance for each pre-approved event.

Approved for ETAP funds were: JE Adams Ind., Cedar Rapids for Rotoplas 2002 in Canada; Med-Tec, Orange City for ESTRO 21, Czech Republic; Natural Products Inc., Grinnell and MBG, LLC, Prairie City for the U.S. Food & Ag Exhibition in Cuba; Kent Feeds, Muscatine and Immuno-Dynamics, Perry for VIV Asia; Stonebridge Ltd., Cedar Falls, Profiseed Intl., Hampton; Latham Seed Co., Alexander and Heartland Organic Mkt. Coop., Stuart for the Food Grade Soybean Mission to Japan; Roto Rooter Corp., West Des Moines for Intl. Franchise Messe, Germany; and Brown Bear Corp., Corning for Canadian Public Works Expo.

On November 3, A Taste of Iowaź staff will attend the Iowa Hospitality Association's annual awards program and VIP reception. About 250 representatives from the food service and lodging industries will be present. 'A Taste of Iowaź' is a co-sponsor of the program and the culinary competition. Staff will present the "Best Use of 'A Taste of Iowaź' by a Restaurant" award to the Iowa Room at the Hotel Savery. 'A Taste of Iowaź' staff also presented an overview of the program to International Traders of Iowa during their September quarterly meeting at Summerset Winery, which is north of Indianola. The group received 'A Taste of Iowaź' samples and a copy of the 'A Taste of Iowaź' Restaurant Guide.

Corporate Real Estate Executives from around the world will visit with representatives of IDED and 10 other Iowa economic development organizations at the CoreNet Global Summit in San Diego on November 16-20. Iowa is raising our profile by not only attending, but by networking with attendees at our Iowa booth in the trade show to promote Iowa business location advantages. Iowa will also be entertaining approximately 40 prime business prospects during a private dinner aboard the High Spirits yacht, which is one of the finest antique yachts available for entertaining on the West Coast. CoreNet Global is the world's leading association serving the corporate real estate profession. The fall 2002 Global Summit boasts attendance of 3,000 corporate real estate and related professionals.

Community Development Division News

Representatives from Community Development and other divisions toured Vedic City and Fairfield in September. The group visited several innovative businesses and met with the city council from the newly formed Vedic City. Each group discussed interest in further knowledge of services offered through IDED.

Main Street Iowa and the Iowa Downtown Resource Center are partnering with Main Street programs from Illinois and Wisconsin for the Tri-State Exchange conference on November 6-8 in Dubuque. The Tri-State Exchange is an opportunity for participants to share program information, network and learn in a structured workshop format. The biannual gathering is a required training workshop for all Main Street cities in each state and averages 150 to 175 people in attendance. For more information, contact Thom Guzman at 515.242.4733.

The latest issue of the Community Development Division’s Tools and Trends newsletter is available online at

Invitations for the full applications for the CDBG Water/Sewer fund were distributed to 58 localities. Final applications for the fund are only available electronically. This is the second year we have been "100% E" with this particular application. For more information, contact Hank Manning at 515.242.4836.

Fall foliage reports have been added to the Tourism web site ( The report is updated weekly and provides current information on the colors and peak time for viewing changing leaves. The fall foliage information is a partnership between the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and the Iowa Department of Economic Development.

The Iowa Tourism Conference was held in Sioux City on October 21-23. Some of the highlights of the conference included the AAA Four Diamond Awards Luncheon with Governor Tom Vilsack presenting the awards; a national tourism perspective from Fred Lounsberry, Chair of the Travel Industry Association of America; remarks from Steve Zikman, author of Chicken Soup for the Traveler's Soul; and a customer service session conducted by Bill Geist. A special joint event with the attendees of the Nebraska Tourism Conference was held on Tuesday evening, October 22 and focused on the Lewis and Clark Commemoration. For more information, contact Nancy Landess at 515.242.4702.

A Homeless Workshop was conducted on October 7 and applications are due by December 16, 2002. For more information, contact Diane Foss at 515.242.5907.

Region XII Council of Governments, on behalf of the Carroll Area Development Corporation, was awarded a Community Development Fund award for $2,812.50 for funding of a Rebecca Ryan Seminar focusing on Workforce Recruitment and Retention. For more information, contact Cali Beals at 515.242.4723.

Calendar of Events

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

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