Recent Projects and Announcements
Here are the most recent economic development projects in the region, major community projects as well as projects within the educational community, such as the University of Iowa and Kirkwood Community College.
MediRevv New Coralville Facility
The City of Coralville has been awarded a $154,734 state grant to provide access for a new MediRevv Inc. facility expected to bring 53 new jobs.
The Iowa Transportation Commission approved the grant to help with extending University Parkway east of Coral Ridge Avenue on the northwest side of Coralville. The 425-foot street extension is expected to be completed by June 2012.
The improvement would provide access to a proposed site of MediRevv Inc. MediRevv is a revenue cycle management company. The project is expected to create 53 new jobs and bring more than $2.7 million in capital investment.
Kirkwood to Open New Regional Center
Kirkwood Community College will be moving programming offered at its Marion Center to a new location in Hiawatha that will house its Linn Regional Education Center.
The Kirkwood Board of Trustees approved an agreement in principal to purchase a 98,061-square-foot building at 1 Martha’s Way from Transamerica Life Insurance Co. for $5.7 million.
Second Delta Flight
Delta Air Lines is adding a second non-stop flight from The Eastern Iowa Airport (CID) to Atlanta (ATL) starting March 2. The new flight departure time out of CID is 10:30 a.m., arriving in ATL at 1:25 p.m. All flight times are local.
Eastern Iowa Airport Seeks to Expand Foreign Trade Zone
The Eastern Iowa Airport foreign trade zone would be expanded from 2,000 acres to 28 counties by next summer under a new structure that awaits federal approval.
Airport Director Tim Bradshaw said approval will likely be granted by July 2012. It would enable any manufacturing or distribution business in the 28 Eastern Iowa counties included in the expanded zone to reduce global supply chain costs.
Whirlpool to Rehire and Add Jobs
Whirlpool Corp. plans to add 250 production workers at its refrigerator plant in Middle Amana during the first three months of 2012 and recall all its laid off workers effective January 3, 2012.
CIVCO Opens Coralville Office
CIVCO Medical Solutions has opened its new office at 2301 Jones Blvd. in Coralville. CIVCO’s Coralville location houses the company’s Multi-Modality Imaging sales, marketing and engineering functions, including an engineering lab with advanced device prototyping and testing capabilities. CIVCO is maintaining its Kalona location as a flagship manufacturing and distribution center. This expansion of CIVCO facilities comes as a result of the tremendous growth the company has experienced throughout its 30 year history. After building a manufacturing facility in Kalona in 1992 and expanding the facility two times CIVCO has grown beyond the Kalona location’s capacity. Additional manufacturing space is needed to support the growth of the company.
Enseva and Partners to Build Hiawatha Datacenter
Enseva, a data colocation firm, and Iowa Health System, announce the construction and opening of a new data center in Hiawatha, Iowa. The multi-tenant data center facility, which will house a portion of Iowa Health System's data, will be 12,000 square feet and have the capability, security and infrastructural support to house data for additional corporations that seek off site secure storage for integral data systems.
The project will add 10 new jobs to the region.
New Economic Development Alliance Created in Cedar Rapids
Members of the three boards of directors for the Cedar Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, Priority One and the Downtown District have approved the successful merger of the three organizations, now known as the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance.
The structure of the new organization includes four “innovation” councils that will support key efforts and shape strategy for the region. The four councils are Large Investors; Business Support and Innovation; Community Development; and Economic Development. The councils will feed into a nine-member policy board for the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance.
Whirlpool Amana to add 160 Jobs
Whirlpool Corp. has announced it is moving about 160 production jobs to Amana as the company closes its refrigerator plant in Fort Smith, Ark. The production of side-by-side and built-in refrigerators will come to the Amana refrigerator plant.
Iowa Partnership for Economic Progress
Executive Order No. 75 created the Iowa Partnership for Economic Progress (IPEP).
The board will focus on "job creation, identifying emerging global markets, harnessing competitive economic forces, increasing the income of Iowa families and growing Iowa's economy."
The IPEP board will be composed of no more than 15 members appointed by the governor. The partnership will include the following four ex-officio, non-voting members: the chair of the economic authority board, the head of the Iowa Innovation Corp., the director of the economic development authority and the governor, or his designee.
The 11 other members will be individuals who are "actively engaged in the private, for-profit sector of the economy or have experience in private sector job creation and economic development."
The goal of this board will be to develop a strategic vision for economic development and private-sector job creation.
The economic development authority will provide staff support to IPEP, as needed. Initially, terms of members will be staggered with five members appointed to an initial one-year term and six members appointed to an initial two-year term. The members will serve at the pleasure of the governor, without compensation and in an advisory capacity. The board members are subject to Senate confirmation.
Shovel Ready Research Park
The State of Iowa approved $331,854 in infrastructure improvement funding to the City of Coralville to upgrade and expand sewer services for a development project at the University of Iowa Research Park (UIRP). The request is part of a larger investment being made by the City of Coralville and the UIRP to make adjoining lots suitable for development to increase opportunities for future investments and job creation.
Once completed these sites will be reviewed for shovel ready status from Shovel Ready Iowa.
The state of Iowa approved $12,000 in financial assistance to Rives Audio. Originally a small-room acoustics engineering firm, Rives Audio purchased Talon Loudspeakers in 2007, and in 2009, moved nearly all of their operations from Utah to Iowa for the purpose of improving the overall quality in manufacturing, and to re-launch the Talon brand. The financial assistance award will be used for the development of the active crossover and the marketing and product launch of its new product.
Quad Cities International Airport
The Quad City International Airport (MLI) has completed rehabilitation of the main 10,000-foot runway, known as 9/27. The rehabilitated runway 9/27 will feature 47,000 cubic yards of new concrete. Paved asphalt shoulders on each side of 9/27 are an added safety enhancement.
The Iowa Department of Economic Development board has approved $100,000 in direct financial assistance as well as tax incentives to H.J. Heinz Company for a possible expansion at their Cedar Rapids facility, located at 4601 C Street SW. The expansion is primarily machinery and equipment, but would also include small building additions.
Stuefen Manufacturing will occupy a 10,000 square foot facility on approximately 2.3 acres of the Tipton Busines Park. Stuefen Manufacturing builds and installs Powerlift Hydraulic doors, marketing them largely for agricultural use, business and airport hangars. The Tipton Business Park is the first property in the region to be certified by the Iowa Shovel Ready program.
AirCover Integrated Solutions
AirCover Integrated Solutions of El Dorado Hills, California, plans to lease space in Cedar Rapids to assemble, test and sell its QuadRotor unmanned surveillance systems to non-military commercial users, such as police, firefighters, farmers, forest rangers and railroads.
Zero Energy Systems
Zero Energy Systems (ZES) of Coralville has received state funding to assist with the proposed construction of a 45,000 square foot manufacturing facility in the Wescor development in Coralville. The facility will be the first of its kind in the U.S. and will take approximately 12-months to complete. Construction will start in March 2012.
ZES is a start-up company that will provide computer-automated production of a proprietary insulated concrete wall system for residential and commercial use. The product will deliver the necessary building envelope to attain net-zero energy use results while providing disaster resistance and longevity.
The project represents $7.5 million in capital investment and will create 25 jobs over the next three years, with a projected payroll threshold of 130% of Johnson County.
Innovative Software Engineering
Innovative Software Engineering (ISE) has been chosen to supply software engineering services to John Deere's E3S (Embedded Systems Shared Services) operations in Moline, Illinois, and ISG (Intelligent Solutions Group) in Urbandale, Iowa, the company announced recently. ISE is based in Coralville and recently opened a new 11,000 square foot facility in Coralville.
Whirlpool Corp. is laying off 300 permanent and 50 summer workers, most third shift, at its manufacturing and assembly plant in Amana.
47 jobs eliminated at Iowa City location as Roberts Dairy closes production. About 30 will stay on in distribution operations.
Intermec Inc. has applied for state and local funds to assist with the proposed construction of a two-story, 78,000 square-foot facility at 601 Third St. SE in downtown Cedar Rapids. The new building would replace their existing facility at 550 Second St. SE.
Raining Rose Inc. has applied for state and local funds to assist with the proposed construction of a two-story, 122,000 square-foot manufacturing facility at 3015 First Ave. SE in Cedar Rapids. The new building would replace their existing facility at 407 Ninth Ave. SE, as well as leased space at other buildings.
AgSugar International Inc. has applied for state and local funds to assist with the proposed construction of a manufacturing facility, data center and executive office at 1129 Wenig Rd. NE in Cedar Rapids.
AgSugar is an industrial biotechnology company specializing in the manufacture of equipment for bio-based materials. The proposed manufacturing facility would develop Cellulose Conversion Modules – equipment that can convert cellulose to soluble sugars pure enough for fermentation at a much lower cost than currently available.
The project represents $1.4 million in capital investment, and will create 24 jobs over the next three years.
Green Team Technologies
Coming off the best quarter in the company’s history, Green Team Technologies is continuing to create local jobs as it takes on demand for its Fuse5 software product. The company recently signed eleven new customers and continues to work with buying groups that represent independently owned auto parts stores throughout the United States.
Fuse5 is a point-of-sale software product created for the aftermarket auto parts industry, and according to GTT’s founder Gabe Davis, the first new software product in this industry since 2001.
In September of 2010, GTT received a $150,000 Demonstration Fund Award from the state of Iowa to help launch Fuse5. Since that time, GTT has continued to add clients and staff and is currently hiring.
The Iowa Power Fund Board approved an award of $2.3 million to Clipper Windpower Inc. for a project to construct and install a prototype wind turbine in Iowa that is designed to be used at low wind speed sites.
Clipper leveraged an additional $18 million for the project.
The proposed turbine, which will be based on upgrades to its current 2.5MW Liberty platform, will be used to do validation testing of the new design later this year, with prototype installation scheduled in 2012.
Once the platform enhancements are tested and the technology is commercialized, Clipper will create job opportunities at its Cedar Rapids manufacturing facility to produce the low wind speed designed turbines for sale in North America and internationally.
Kirkwood Community College has release a survey of 241 Tech Corridor employers detailing employers’ skills and employment needs. Skills 2014 is available online.
PNE WIND USA Inc
Officials from PNE WIND USA Inc (PNE), based in Chicago, announced plans to locate an operations and maintenance center in Solon. This new facility would support a planned 3,000 acre, 30-megawatt wind farm which was announced in February.
PNE developer Keith Kurtz anticipates the Solon project to be operational during the fourth quarter of 2012 or the first quarter of 2013 and will initially hire 5.
Two sites in the Tech Corridor region have been independently certified as "Shovel Ready." The Tipton Business Park and three lots on the University of Iowa Research Campus have received the designation. For more information, visit www.shovelreadyiowa.com.
Diamond V has announced a new world headquarters facility near their existing manufacturing plant at 2575 60th Ave SW in Cedar Rapids. The new building would replace the current Diamond V headquarters on the north side of downtown Cedar Rapids. The project represents $17 million in capital investment and will create 12 new positions.
Genencor, a division of Danisco, has applied for state and local funds to assist with a proposed second phase production capacity expansion and modernization project at its enzyme manufacturing plant at 1000 41st Ave. SW in Cedar Rapids. Phase two would increase production capacity, including new machinery and equipment, building additions and new job creation.
Acciona Windpower North America
The Iowa Power Fund Board awarded over $3 million in grant funding to Acciona Windpower North America, LLC for a project to install their latest wind generation turbine technology, the AW-3000 wind turbines, in Iowa. Acciona will leverage over $16 million in matching funds to bring the total project cost to over $19.9 million.
CIVCO Medical Solutions, a medical technology and solutions company headquartered in Kalona, Iowa, recently announced plans to partner with a local development firm to build a new $1.1 million, 11,400 square foot office in Coralville. CIVCO plans to employ more than 50 associates at this new location in positions such as product sales, marketing, engineering and corporate leadership.
American Profol, manufacturer of cast polypropylene film, is considering another new production line for their existing facility at 4333 C Street SW in Cedar Rapids. This is in addition to the new production line the company announced in 2010.
The Air Force announced that a $35 billion contract to build up to 179 KC-46a aerial refueling tankers has been awarded to the Boeing-Rockwell Collins team. The contract will support $40 million in economic development in Iowa, up to 800 jobs throughout the state and up to 200 jobs at Rockwell Collins in Cedar Rapids.
MetaCommunications, a developer of project management software and collaboration tools for marketing and creative departments, has begun an expansion of its Iowa City office including hiring of twenty-four professional positions in sales, marketing, document/training, and software engineering.
Eastern Iowa Airport
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City regional travelers will now be able to fly non-stop to Houston, Texas, beginning May 3 on Continental Airlines.
The 20-year-old provider of strategic fundraising and enrollment management services plans to hire 75 full-time employees nationwide, 150 part-time college students in Cedar Rapids and another 1,000 part-time students at on-site college and university call centers.
The 75 full-time positions, with the majority hired in Cedar Rapids, will pay an average $40,000 annually plus benefits.
Rockwell Collins and the University of Iowa
A team comprised of Rockwell Collins, Advanced Infoneering, Inc. (AI2) and The University of Iowa Operator Performance Laboratory (OPL) has been awarded a Phase 2 contract by the Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division, Orlando. This contract will allow further development in a new concept for mass military training called Skill Appropriate Training Environment (SKATE).
Rockwell Collins plans to hire 800 over the next 12 months (into 2012), about half of them in Iowa. Rockwell Collins, headquartered in Cedar Rapids, has operations in Cedar Rapids and Coralville.
Mercer, a human resources and benefits consulting business, will increase its operations in Iowa City, by at least 200 people through 2013.
NIS, Inc., a value-added third party logistics (3PL) provider of contract assembly, inventory management, warehousing and distribution, announced that anticipates hiring an additional 40 people as it expands into a new location in North Liberty.
Genencor, a division of Danisco A/S, was approved for a $500,000 forgiveable loan from the Grow Iowa Values Financial Assistance program and enterprise zone tax incentives for a planned expansion of its plant in Cedar Rapids.
Genencor expects to invest $37.9 million for two building additions, adding and updating machinery, equipment and infrastructure to increase production capacity for new product demand.
Fastek International, a software developer in Cedar Rapids, was approved for a $250,000 royalty agreement from the entrepreneurial component of the Grow Iowa Values Financial Assistance program for its electrical power management system.
Fastek International will make a $100,000 capital investment to support the creation of 11 new jobs.
Kirkwood Community College
Kirkwood received more than $650,000 from the State Energy Sector Partnership Grant for their Green Energy Training Project and Energy Sector Worker Program.
Iowa City/Chicago Rail
The Chicago to Iowa City passenger rail route will receive $230 million from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to initiate intercity passenger rail service the route via the Quad Cities. The 219.5-mile route will provide twice-daily, round-trip service at maximum speeds of 79 mph, and have an expected trip time of less than five hours.
JET Engineering has opened a new facility in Cedar Rapids. The company specializes in electronics, software and mechanical systems. The plan to hire 26 employees.
Marion Enterprise Center
The Marion Economic Development Company has broken ground on the 184 acre Marion Enterprise Center. The new industrial park is located along Highway 151 next to the Marion airport.
Go Daddy, the world’s largest Web-hosting and domain name registrar, is expanding its office in Hiawatha. Go Daddy plans to add a total of 500-700 employees over the next five years.
Whirlpool Corporation’s Amana Division, a leading producer of refrigerators and the only manufacturer of the freestanding freezer-on-the-bottom configuration of refrigerators in the United States, announced plans for a $20 million dollar investment in its facility in Amana, Iowa, bringing a new ice maker line and 60 jobs.
Quality Associates, headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, has opened a 245,000 square foot packaging facility in Iowa City's Scott Six Industrial Park. The focus of the new facility will be to provide functional, cost-competitive packing for retail consumer packaged goods.
University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics have received Iowa State Board of Regents approval on a five-story, 150,000 square foot, $73 million outpatient clinic in Coralville.
EdLink, a Chicago-based company specializing in tuition assistance management, has opened its new facility in Coralville. EdLink expects to process $200 million in education funds over the next year.
Coralville Arts Center
The $10 million Coralville Center for the Performing Arts will be a community space owned and operated by the City of Coralville, scheduled to open spring 2011. The 518-seat theater will offer 330 seats on the main floor and 188 in the balcony, providing a fully accessible, flexible space for a variety of events in the greater Johnson County area.
Cedar Rapids Downtown Development
U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announced $38 million in U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) grants for Cedar Rapids to help the region rebound economically from the 2008 floods. The investment includes $35 million to the city of Cedar Rapids to assist with the construction of the new downtown events center and $3 million to the Cedar Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce to build the Regional Commerce Center and Small Business Incubator.