#innovationIOWA Deere, UAW enter contract negotiations

Deere & Company and the UAW have started negotiations on a new master labor agreement to replace a contract expiring at midnight Sept. 30.
The current six-year master agreement covers approximately 10,000 manufacturing employees at 12 Deere facilities, the company stated in a press release.
In Iowa, the company’s locations include its Davenport Works, Des Moines Works, Dubuque Works, Ottumwa Works and Waterloo Works, as well as three others in Waterloo: its Tractor and Cab Assembly, Engine Works and Foundry. In Illinois, locations include its Harvester Works in East Moline, a Parts Distribution Center in Milan, and the Seeding Group and Cylinder Division in Moline. Kansas’s Coffeyville Works is also included.
Deere and the UAW will also negotiate a separate agreement that includes approximately 110 UAW employees at Deere facilities in Atlanta and Denver.
“This process of bargaining is not new to any of us, we have negotiated contracts at John Deere before,” UAW President Dennis Williams said in a press release. “Over the years, we have gone through many changes and sacrifices. In the last year, we have gone through some tough times. But we know from history that these times are cyclical. And we know from history that the key to a good contract is one in which UAW members prosper, John Deere prospers and customers prosper with our products.”

#innovationIOWA 1 Million Cups Des Moines

Wednesday, August 26
8 – 9:30 a.m.

Join these presentations every Wednesday at the Science Center of Iowa in downtown Des Moines, as Iowa entrepreneurs are caffeinated with free coffee, complimentary parking and an innovative energy generated by an interactive community-driven networking experience unlike any other. Click here for more information.

#innovationIOWA ICAD Group to host development Expo

An event planned by the Iowa City Area Development (ICAD) Group for next  month will showcase the work of some of the area’s tech businesses and research institutes, as well as exhibit upcoming development areas and the work of various local businesses, the group announced this week.

“Our goal is that people come away from this event with a greater understanding of how this area is growing and its role in leading the future economy,” ICAD Group President Mark Nolte said in a news release.
The event will take place Sept. 17 at the Iowa City Municipal Airport at 1801 S. Riverside Drive in Iowa City.

Cost is $35 for ICAD Investors, CoLab members and students, $45 for future ICAD investors. To register, visit the event ticket purchase page. For more information, contact Andre Wright at awright@icadgroup.com or at (319) 541-9790.

#innovationIOWA Iowa’s manufacturing strength gets national notice 

Iowa is known primarily as a farm state, so the enduring strength of our industrial base would surprise many Americans, reports CNN Money. In fact, Iowa has more than 200 manufacturers more than 100 years old and is home to more than 6,100 small-to-medium-sized manufacturers. CNN’s report draws on an Iowa State University study showing that manufacturing accounts for 18 percent of the state’s GDP, second only to financial activity. What keeps Iowa manufacturers going? Four companies past the century mark credited being small and nimble, a strong work ethic, high education levels, community investment, competitive wages, Iowa engineering talent and a knowledgeable and loyal workforce that drives innovation and creativity.

#innovationIOWA VOTE: Who’s the most influential business leader?



BY CHRIS CONETZKEY | Editor | @ChrisConetzkey


We want to know who our members think is the most influential business leader in the Des Moines metro area.


So, for the fourth straight year we are opening up a vote that gives you the chance to pick the business leaders who you think have the most influence in the community.


From your responses — confidential, of course — we’ll tally up the votes and reveal in the 2016 Book of Lists who you think are the top 25 most influential business leaders.


Voting closes at 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 25. You must be a member to vote.


* To vote, become a Business Record Insider today. BECOME AN INSIDER >>> * Already get the weekly print product? Then you’re already an Insider and entitled to vote. ACTIVATE ACCOUNT >>>

#innovationIOWA Utilities board issues proposed rate of return for MidAmerican wind project


MidAmerican Energy took a step closer to getting its next major wind project in Iowa approved on Friday. The Iowa Utilities Board issued an order approving settlement with modification and requiring reports regarding MidAmerican Energy’s proposed “Wind X” Iowa electric generation project of up to 552 megawatts.

In modifying the settlement agreement, the board’s order sets the cost cap for Wind X at $1.61 million per megawatt, including allowance for funds used during construction, which is down from $1.638 million per megawatt for the completed project as a whole. The board said in a release, “This lower cap reduces the risk to customers and provides an incentive to MidAmerican to keep costs low while still providing a contingency for unanticipated changes that could increase costs above that shown by MidAmerican’s economic analysis.”

The settlement agreement for the more than $888 million project provides that MidAmerican’s allowed return on the common equity portion of Wind X that will be included in Iowa electric rate base will be 11.35 percent, down from 11.5 percent proposed by MidAmerican. The board stated, “The agreed-upon ROE is lower than that awarded in any prior MidAmerican advance ratemaking proceeding including Wind IX, the most recent docket.”

Before the board could determine applicable ratemaking principles for Wind X, two statutory conditions had to be met under Iowa code. First, MidAmerican has to have in effect a board-approved energy-efficiency plan. Second, MidAmerican must demonstrate that it has considered other sources for long-term energy supply and that the facility is reasonable when compared with other feasible alternative sources of supply.

MidAmerican will have 30 days from Friday’s decision to notify the board whether it accepts the ratemaking principles awarded. If accepted, the ratemaking principles would be effective for the regulated life of the facilities.

#innovationIOWA Quad Cities Chamber launches manufacturing innovation hub

Tuesday, August 04, 2015 2:39 PM

The Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce today announced the official launch of the Quad Cities Manufacturing Innovation Hub. The initiative will assist businesses by offering services such as operational assessments, registry in a regional catalog of manufacturers and suppliers, trade and business-to-business events, access to national and international marketing, access to subject matter experts through the Chamber’s Critical Talent Network, connections to the Quad City Manufacturing Lab and national research, and training seminars targeted at key technologies. The Hub concept was advanced through an Investing in Manufacturing Community Partnership planning grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration in 2013. Click here for more information.

Read more: http://businessrecord.com/Content/Manufacturing-Logistics/Manufacturing-Logistics/Article/Quad-Cities-Chamber-launches-manufacturing-innovation-hub/182/929/69708#ixzz3jTwuzeK3

#innovationIOWA REG completes acquisition of Imperium Renewables

Thursday, August 20, 2015 10:37 AM

Renewable Energy Group Inc. on Wednesday completed its previously announced acquisition of substantially all the assets of Imperium Renewables Inc. REG paid Imperium $15 million in cash and issued 1.675 million shares of REG common stock in exchange for substantially all of Imperium’s assets, including the 100 million-gallon nameplate biodiesel refinery and terminal at the Port of Grays Harbor, Wash. Ames-based REG assumed $5.2 million of Imperium’s debt from Umpqua Bank, which has agreed to provide the newly named REG Grays Harbor LLC with an additional loan capacity of up to $5 million to fund capital expenditures and improvements at the facility.

Read more: http://businessrecord.com/Content/Energy-Environment/Energy-Environment/Article/REG-completes-acquisition-of-Imperium-Renewables/183/930/69907#ixzz3jTvssFQQ