2011 (Jan - Jun) Economic Development Projects in Iowa's Tech Corridor
This list includes all project announcements and economic development activity from January until June 2011. Projects are listed in reverse (most recent at the top).
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.