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IDED Quick News

The news report for customers, partners and friends of the

Iowa Department of Economic Development.

December 4, 2002


Economic Development Top Stories

Century Businesses to be Honored

Iowa Capital Investment Corp. Website On-line Soon

New Jobs in Carroll

Healthy Iowa

IDED Director Resigns, Interim Director Named

Business Development Division News

ICON Training in January

Mi-T-M in Peosta to Expand

CEBA Awards Announced

Golden Grain Receives NJIP Waiver

Enterprise Zones Approved

Chicago Sold on Iowa

SITI Award Nominations Open

CoreNet Global Participation

Insurance Prospecting

Iowa at Bio-Europe Show

IDED Helps Marketing to China Region

ETAP Funds Awarded

Monterrey Meat Mission

HRRC Announces New Chair, Staff Member

A Taste of Iowa for the Holidays

Community Development Division News

Models For Success Workshops Planned

Community Development Funds Awarded

400 Attend Tourism Conference

Travel Coupons On-Line

Film Office Update

City Development Board Reviews

Historic Preservation Action Plan Discussed

Calendar of Events

Privacy Statement


Economic Development Top Stories

The Iowa Department of Economic Development will host a Century Business recognition reception at Hoyt Sherman Place in Des Moines on December 9. Approximately 180 Iowa businesses were nominated for recognition as Century Businesses. This award program was created to recognize and express appreciation to Iowa businesses that began as small enterprises and grew to become the foundation of our state's economy. The reception will honor businesses which have supported their local communities for over 100 years and will continue to provide valuable opportunities for Iowans into the future.

The Iowa Capital Investment Corporation (ICIC) website is now active at The website will also soon be found at The ICIC is a private, not-for-profit corporation whose primary function is to organize and manage the Iowa Fund of Funds. ICIC Board members are: Dennis Murdock of Marion, John Rigler of New Hampton, Tim Urban of Des Moines, Bruce Tamisiea of Spencer, and new member Melinda Ellsworth of Davenport.

The Iowa Capital Investment Board (ICIB) is the state board responsible for issuing tax credits for investments in qualifying businesses, community-based seed capital funds and the Iowa Fund of Funds. Public Board members are: Gene Blansham of Panora, Burt Chojnowski of Fairfield, Carol Garrett of Bettendorf, Cyril Mandelbaum of Des Moines and Rick Neumann of Des Moines.

American Home Shield is bringing 60 new jobs to Carroll from the consolidation of operations in other states. To secure the expansion, IDED awarded a $90,000 forgivable loan from the federally funded Economic Development Set-Aside program. The company is investing more than $524,000 in a 7,200-sq. ft. addition to the company’s leased offices at 901 Highway 30 East in Carroll. AHS already has 100 employees in the building that will be expanded and more than 400 employees at the company-owned headquarters building in Carroll.

Iowa was named one of the healthiest states in the country by the United Health Foundation, which surveys all 50 states annually on 17 different health factors. Iowa was ranked 7th overall. Iowa was ranked 10th last year. Iowa earned top 10 rankings in seven categories including wide availability of pre-natal care, a low child poverty rate and a low rate of premature death.

IDED Director CJ Niles’ resignation was accepted by the Governor effective December 31. Mary Lawyer, Chief of Staff, has been named interim director. Governor Vilsack will nominate a candidate for IDED director sometime in the next several weeks.


Business Development Division News

A second round of Iowa Communities Online Network (ICON) training sessions will be held at various location in Iowa January 8-21. In these sessions, we will profile new enhancements, provide one-on-one tutorials for entering your community data, highlight the user resource guides now available online, and showcase the seamless integration of ICON into community web sites. To fully benefit from the marketing and ICON system, communities must have their building, site and community information entered in the system. Access the training schedule and additional ICON information at .

Mi-T-M Corporation of Peosta will receive a $180,000 Economic Development Set-Aside program investment from the IDED. The investment is tied to the creation of 60 jobs at an average starting wage of $11.57 per hour. Mi-T-M has a complete metal fabrication facility, powder-coating and assembly operation in an ultramodern 260,000-sq. ft. plant in Peosta and is a leading manufacturer of pressure washers for consumers, industry and agriculture. More than 230 persons currently work at the plant.

The IDED board approved CEBA awards to three communities recently. The board approved a $360,000 investment to help Polaris Industries in Spirit Lake for a plant expansion. The expansion will create 120 jobs. A $300,000 investment to RELCO Locomotives, Inc. for a $3.7 million project in Centerville that would create 65 jobs repairing and remanufacturing railroad locomotives. A $250,000 CEBA investment for Wausau Benefits to expand claims operations in Des Moines and acquire retiree benefits business from Marsh, Inc. The Wisconsin-based company will create 100 jobs in the Des Moines claims operation for employer benefit plans.

Golden Grain Energy, which is seeking to raise $51 million for an investor-owned ethanol plant near Mason City, received a waiver from the 50 jobs requirement of the New Jobs and Income Program. The IDED board decided that the economic needs of the area are significant enough to allow a state investment tax credit, refund of sales taxes on construction services, and additional job training funds as incentives. The project will create 32 jobs.

The IDED board certified Enterprise Zones for Franklin County (Hampton, Sheffield), Kossuth County (Bancroft), Montgomery County (Red Oak), and Shelby County (Earling, Harlan). The communities will use the Enterprise Zones to offer tax benefits to attract new housing and business investments.

The Chicago Sell Iowa trip during the week of November 11 sent four, two-person teams into the Chicago area to meet with approximately 30 companies. The calls were made at headquarters offices of companies with facilities in Iowa, on new prospects and site location consultants. Among the development groups making the calls with IDED staff were Iowa Area Development Group, MidAmerican Energy, Aquila, Sioux City, Quad Cities and Ames.

Nominations are now open for the Software and Information Technology of Iowa (SITI) association's first annual awards gala on January 9th. Companies may nominate themselves. The only requirement is to be a member in good standing of SITI. The award categories, nomination packet and reservation information are available on-line at IDED is sponsoring an award category.

IDED partnered with 10 Iowa Economic Development organizations at the CoreNet Global Summit in San Diego on November 16-20 to promote Iowa business location advantages. 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. For the first time, IDED had a booth in the exhibit hall during the summit. Allsteel of Muscatine donated one of its popular executive chairs for use as a prize at the event.

IDED staff conducted 17 presentations with insurance companies and site location firms in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut during the week of Sept. 30-Oct. 4. IDED also staffed a booth at the annual meeting of the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) in an attempt to market Iowa as a prime location for insurance growth, especially given the recent premium tax cut.

The State of Iowa displayed an official presence at the BIO-Europe trade show in Stuttgart, Germany, November 11-13. BIO-Europe is sponsored by the Biotechnology Industry Association and is considered Europe's largest networking and partnership facilitating event for biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. Staff from Iowa's European office spoke with executives of biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies at the Iowa booth to promote Iowa as an ideal corporate and research location.

Jimmy Chu, IDED's contractor in the Greater China Region, visited Iowa November 2-16 to meet with companies interested in exporting to China. Chu traveled with Kathy Hill in Western Iowa to meet with Iowa companies that are participating in the Iowa Pavilion at the VIV ASIA 2003 to be held in Bangkok, Thailand, in March. Chu and Dennis Leland traveled in northeast Iowa to call on companies that have committed or have potential for exhibiting at the Hofex show next May in Hong Kong. Chu also met with companies to follow up on meat promotions that have been done in China and to assist a variety of companies with market entry or expansion strategies for the Greater China Region. Staff arranged meetings for The Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) which sent specialists to Iowa on November 14 to meet five Iowa companies.

Nine companies were awarded Export Trade Assistance Program (ETAP) funds from IDED during the month of October to participate in international trade shows or trade missions with the potential to increase Iowa exports. A qualified company may receive up to $4,000 in financial assistance for each pre-approved event. The new marketing initiatives funded by ETAP are: Midwestern Soybean International, Mason City, for a Food Grade Soybean Mission to Japan; American Professional Quilting Systems, Des Moines, for the Tokyo International Great Quilt Festival; Triple "F" Inc., Urbandale, for VIV Asia in Thailand; Dee Implement, Waukon, for Asian Seed, Vietnam; Varied Industries Corp., Mason City, for VIV Asia; Innovative Growers, Mason City, for the Food Grade Soybean Mission to Japan; CK International, Waukee, for the Mexico Meat Mission; Jacobs Corp., Harlan, for VIV Asia; and Bee Line Co., Bettendorf, for Expo Transporte in Guadalajara, Mexico.

An Iowa trade mission led by IDED staff targeted Monterrey, one of Mexico's major meat processing centers, from November 11-14. Individual appointments allowed Iowa companies to meet with Mexican buyers. A day tour of the border crossing in Laredo was included to help Iowa companies to better understand this changing and sometimes confusing process. Mexico was one of Iowa's fastest growing meat export markets in 2001.

Human Resources Recruitment Consortium

Board members of the Human Resources Recruitment Consortium unanimously elected Carla Cain of Pioneer to serve as Chair and Julie Sorci of MidAmerican Energy to serve as HRRC Vice Chair for the 2002-2003 membership year during the October 17th Advisory Board Meeting. Outgoing Chair Tracy Lewis of Kemin Industries was presented with a plaque to thank him for his valuable year of service as Chair for 2001-2002. Also serving on the HRRC Executive Committee are Reid Christopherson of Pella Corporation as the Marketing Committee Chair and Kelly Kennedy of Rockwell Collins as the Membership Committee Chair. HRRC Account Executive

IDED and the HRRC welcome a new staff person on December 6.

Tonya Ries will join the team as and account executive working with the HRRC and Business Development Division to help fulfill the workforce needs of Iowa employers. Tonya brings a strong knowledge of recruiting, marketing and customers service to the Department.

Many "A Taste of Iowa" companies take mail orders and offer online shopping for such items as meats, chocolates, salsa/sauces, soynuts, honey, wine, etc for the holidays. Three companies also specialize in creating A Taste of Iowa Gift Baskets. Basket Bowtique in Cedar Rapids, IA, Phone: 319.362.2577; Heart of Iowa in West Des Moines, IA (Valley Junction,) Phone: 515.274.IOWA (4692,) Web Site:; Iowa's Bounty Gift Baskets in Early, IA, Phone: 712.273.5670. Please contact these companies directly to inquire about purchases. Contact Dionne Makila at 515.242.4751 or visit A Taste of Iowa online at: for a complete listing of companies and their products.


Community Development Division News

A series of nine monthly "Models for Success" workshop begins December 9. The series continues the in-depth look at the 2010 Plan and how communities can meet the goals of that plan. The workshops are a partnership between the Iowa Association of Regional Councils (IARC), the Iowa Department of Economic Development (IDED) and the Iowa Rural Development Council (IRDC).

Community Development Funds were awarded to the following: The City of Waverly, on behalf of Waverly Area Development Group, was awarded $9,100 for the Iowa Youth Seminars on Service Quality project. The City of Dubuque, on behalf of Dubuque Main Street, Ltd., was awarded $25,000 for the Dubuque-Vision Downtown project. The City of Fort Dodge was awarded $5,000 to conduct a Sirolli Workshop. For more information, contact Cali Beals at 515.242.4723.

Nearly 400 people attended the Iowa Tourism Conference in Sioux City on October 21-23, 2002. Awards and recognition were given to communities across the state, including tourism and event awards, Community Economic Preparedness Program (CEPP) recognition, as well as TEAM (Tourism Enhancement and Marketing) recognition.

Travel Savings coupons will be added to the tourism website ( in December. Attractions, events, lodging properties and restaurants may offer a savings to travelers. The travelers will be able to print the coupon and redeem them at participating facilities. One of the recent trends for travelers is they are looking for value when they travel.

Film Office update: Contractor Steve Schott is working with Kathy Bowermaster to create the 2003 Production Guide which will be published in January. Steve has identified 16 projects currently making filming plans in Iowa. Steve is also updating the status of various projects and creating a pitch Iowa list, including former Iowans with active film and TV connections. An Iowa Motion Picture Association Workshop in Des Moines is scheduled for Dec. 28th.

The City Development Board is reviewing a petition to discontinue the City of Kent, Iowa. The board is also reviewing voluntary annexations for the City of Waukee, Des Moines, Dubuque, Altoona and Council Bluffs. For more information, contact Steve McCann at 515.242.4719.

The Infrastructure Team participated on the Iowa Reinvention team with the Department of Cultural Affairs and IARC and developed an action plan to improve the consultation process required under the national historic preservation act.

Calendar of Events

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

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