Iowa's First Certified Shovel Ready Sites Program



From November 2008 through May 2010, the Iowa City Area Development Group (ICAD Group), and its regional and state partners, developed the first regional shovel ready sites program in the State of Iowa.  The project started with a benchmark study of leading certification programs around the United States.  We discovered that in order to be meaningful a certification program must be carefully defined, governed by well established procedures, and employ 3rd party accreditation.  Consequently ICAD Group pushed for professional standards at every step in developing this certification program. 

To assist with the development of this program, ICAD Group hired Austin Consulting and Foote Consulting to provide the professional services of their nationally recognized site location consulting firms to create a program that would provide instant credibility in the development community.

What are the Objectives? 

• Establish an inventory of certified sites in our region

• To improve our competitive edge by giving more certainty for businesses in locating and developing projects quickly

• To standardize and recognize one set of site specific data that is most demanded by site selectors and developers

• To encourage local economic development organizations and cities to control, invest and comprehensively analyze sites prior to client visits

• To demonstrate that we are committed to promoting and expediting economic development projects