Economic Development Board approves awards to support over $89 million in capital investments in Iowa

On April 22nd, The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) board awarded direct financial assistance and tax benefits to nine companies for job creation and expansion projects. These awards will assist in the creation of 349 jobs and will result in over $89 million in new capital investment for the state. The board also approved innovation funding for seven startups.
The board approved assistance for planned or proposed projects located in Altoona, Ankeny, Coralville, Davenport, Des Moines, Dubuque, Elkader, Iowa City, Johnston, Knoxville, Mt. Pleasant, New Sharon, St. Ansgar and Waterloo.

For a complete list of investments visit:


2016 Taking Care of Business Conference

June 14 – 16 | Sioux City

The 2016 Taking Care of Business Conference promises to be unlike any other business program you’ve ever attended. This is Iowa’s premier business conference, bringing together industry leaders to learn, network and share ideas on how to grow and strengthen Iowa’s business climate. If you are passionate about business in Iowa, you need to attend this conference.Register today to join us in Sioux City on June 14–16, reserve your hotel room and watch for more details on how to get involved!

Watch: Dare to be Different

MidAmerican Energy Makes Big Bet on Iowa Wind

The plan would boost the share of electricity Iowa generates from wind to 40% from 31%

MidAmerican Energy plans to invest $3.6 billion to boost wind-power-generation capacity in Iowa. Above, a wind farm in Pomeroy, Iowa.
MidAmerican Energy plans to invest $3.6 billion to boost wind-power-generation capacity in Iowa. Above, a wind farm in Pomeroy, Iowa.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES 
By CASSANDRA SWEET of the Wall Street Journal / April 14, 2016 4:47 p.m. ET

Iowa, which already gets more of its power from wind than any other U.S. state, will become more reliant on the electricity source under a $3.6 billion plan announced Thursday by a utility owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

MidAmerican Energy Co. said Thursday that it is planning to build up to 2,000 additional megawatts of wind turbines with a goal of generating 85% of its power from wind. The company, based in Des Moines, will use renewable-energy tax credits that Congress extended last December to make the project economically feasible, said MidAmerican Chief Executive Bill Fehrman.

For the full story visit:

Iowa State College of Engineering dean receives national engineer of the year award

Dean Rajala wins AAES award

AMES, Iowa – Sarah Rajala, dean of the Iowa State University College of Engineering, has been named national engineer of the year by the American Association of Engineering Societies (AAES) – representing 17 multidisciplinary engineering societies from industry, government and academia. Rajala received the award on April 18 at a ceremony in Washington D.C.

The AAES national engineer of the year award recognizes Rajala’s outstanding service in three key areas:

1) inspirational leadership at the institutional, national and international levels;

2) innovations in engineering education and assessment; and 3) her tireless efforts to promote diversity in the engineering field.

Rajala joined Iowa State on April 1, 2013 from Mississippi State University where she was dean of the Bagley College of Engineering. Prior to her dean positions, she had a distinguished career as a professor, center director and served in various academic leadership positions. Rajala earned her bachelor’s degree from Michigan Technological University and master’s and Ph.D. degrees from Rice University.

The Iowa State College of Engineering is one the largest engineering programs in the country offering 12 majors and five minors to more than 9,300 students. The college is consistently ranked a top 25 engineering program at public universities.

For more information contact:

  • Sarah Rajala, dean, 515.294.9988 |
  • Ann Wilson, communications: 515.294.4881 |





DMACC Prsident, Rob Denson, speaks at a STEM council meeting

Des Moines Area Community College President Rob Denson presents the STEM Counselor Engagement Working Group’s recommendations at the June 2015 meeting of the STEM Council, alongside his co-chair University of Northern Iowa President Bill Ruud.

With a near-perfect attendance record and a long history of contributions tothe foundation of Iowa STEM, it is no surprise that this month’s MVP for IowaSTEM is Des Moines Area Community College President Rob Denson.

As a founding appointee to the STEM Council and the Executive Committee in 2011, Denson has served on several working groups of the Council, including the STEM Summit Planning group, the Public Awareness Campaign search committee, the STEM Teacher Recruitment and Preparation group that produced the STEM Teaching Endorsement and even the lead of the Regional Networks Design and Governance group in the formative days of the STEM Council. He is currently active on the STEM Support of Agricultural Science group, the IT Program Proposal Selection Committee and co-chairs the STEM Counselor Engagement group alongside University of Northern Iowa President Bill Ruud.

Just last June, the STEM Counselor Engagement working group presented its recommendations to the STEM Council, and since then, Denson says co-leading this group is his most personally-rewarding involvement with the STEM Council to date. In fact, DMACC and Heartland AEA 11 recently raised the funding necessary to co-sponsor a statewide counselor stakeholder survey that will provide a deeper insight into the role, scope and function of Iowa’s school counselors.

The Iowa School Counselor Association is a group of passionate professionals dedicated to what they do for their students and have taken the recommendations of the STEM Council to heart,” Denson said. “STEM is one of the few topics in education that will not be a ‘flavor of the month.’ It is subject matter that can really excite kids, but you have to want to get them excited about it first.”

At a national level, he promotes Iowa STEM as the chair of the STEM Higher Education Council of STEMconnector®. Yet, Denson agrees his involvement on the Iowa STEM Council is unlike any other “team.”

“We all work very well together. That’s what makes this Council fun and successful. I want to do more because of the team I’m on,” Denson said. “I am a firm believer that there is a solution to every problem, and Iowa’s problem is that we need to have more and more young Iowans interested in STEM careers and going into college who are college and career-ready. Someone will figure this out, and I am confident that it will be us.”

This month, we thank President Rob Denson for his dedication and passion that has helped move Iowa STEM forward. For more information about the other committed 46 members of the STEM Council, please visit

Renewable Energy Group Begins Upgrade and Expansion at Ames, IA Laboratory

Ames, IA – Renewable Energy Group, Inc.(NASDAQ: REGI) leaders celebrated the beginning Friday of an expansion and upgrade of the laboratory at the company’s Ames, Iowa headquarters to further enhance renewable chemical related biotechnology research, development and commercialization.

The lab expansion will include the installation of fermentation equipment and significant analytical capabilities.

Upon completion, full-time positions will be added to focus on commercialization and integration of products to be developed by REG in South San Francisco into production and delivery platforms.

“This expansion is simply one of many examples of REG’s commitment to innovation and economic development in Iowa and in particular Ames which is a cornerstone of Iowa’s Cultivation Corridor,” said REG President and CEO Daniel Oh.

“These upgrades will allow us to increase our midwestern focus on product development for renewable chemicals.”

Local and state business and community leaders joined REG employees for the groundbreaking ceremony and say the benefits from projects like this reach far and wide.

“Technology investments like expanding lab capabilities in the Ames community enhance Iowa State University’s ability to market the community and place our students in their chosen field,” said Dr. Steven Leath, Iowa State University President.

“Retention of top talent is vital in economic development and Iowa as a global leader in agbioscience, biorenewables, biotech and advanced manufacturing industries.”

“The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) is dedicated to cultivating innovation and economic growth in our state of Iowa,” said IEDA Director Debi Durham.

“REG’s commitment and investment in Ames shows Iowa is primed for a new era in biotechnology, focused on using agricultural feedstocks to make high value products.”

Oh said legislation expected to be signed soon Governor Terry Branstad and approved by the Iowa legislature this week, which will provide tax credits for the renewable chemical industry, should provide extra momentum for REG’s investment in the field.

“The state’s efforts to promote and grow renewable chemicals are a natural extension of the state’s support of agriculture and renewable fuels.

“This bill shows commitment and purpose and demonstrates that the investment is desired here in Iowa, and we are thankful for the support of our elected officials in getting it done. ”

For more information, please contact Anthony Hulen at 703-822-1972 or