Advanced Manufacturing

Where Manufacturing Keeps Advancing

Advanced Manufacturing: Iowa's Largest Industry

Advanced manufacturing is Iowa’s largest industry, accounting for nearly 18% of the state’s total GDP. Iowa's 4,100 manufacturers produce everything from food products and medical devices to aerospace products and construction machinery.
Iowa is perfectly positioned to export these products around the globe, with a strong transportation network with access to air, water, rail and highway. In addition, Iowa’s skilled talent pool and state-of-the-art training and research programs at our colleges and universities offer a wealth of workforce resources.
Iowa’s combination of business-friendly government policies and tax structure, connection to centers of research excellence and strong transportation network have established Iowa as a leader in advanced manufacturing.

Seizing the Manufacturing 4.0 Opportunity: A Strategic Plan for Iowa's Manufacturing Industry

Prepared By: TEConomy Partners, LLC

Manufacturing, a critical industry sector for Iowa, faces a technology revolution that emphasizes automation and smart technology. While the Manufacturing 4.0 plan is primarily focused on advancing technology adoption and utilization among Iowa’s manufacturers, it further addresses enhancements in the broader manufacturing ecosystem.

The Advanced Manufacturing Work Group, a subgroup of the Iowa Economic Development Authority’s (IEDA) Iowa Innovation Council, led the Manufacturing 4.0 initiative with support from TEConomy Partners, manufacturing leaders and IEDA.

For more information on Iowa's Manufacturing 4.0 initiative, including resources and programs for the state's manufacturers, visit

    Manufacturing represents nearly 17% of Iowa’s GDP and exports $12.4 billion worth of goods.
    Iowa's central location and network of air, water, rail and highway systems is designed for commerce.
    Almost a third of the largest 100 food manufacturers have operations in Iowa, the No. 1 producer of eggs, corn and pork.
    Iowa employs 15.8% of the agricultural machinery manufacturing workforce in the U.S.

Innovation at Agri-Industrial Plastics

Fairfield, Iowa is Home to State-of-the-Art Manufacturing Facility

AIP Founder Dick Smith and President Lori Schaefer-Weaton

It would be fitting if giant welcome mats were at each entrance of the 340,000-square-foot Agri-Industrial Plastics Company (AIP) facility in Fairfield.

“We love opening our doors and letting people see who we are, what we do and how we do it,” said President Lori Schaefer-Weaton. “We are always willing to give tours and hope that long term, it may change any misconceptions about our company, working in manufacturing and Iowa’s impact on the industry.”

Most recently, AIP launched Iowa's first solar and Tesla Powerpack project to control energy cost. Using technology designed by another Iowa-based firm, the company now incorporates solar and energy storage to become more energy efficient. It does this using a roof-mounted solar array working in tandem with a Tesla battery energy storage system.

Iowa Labor Force

Laborshed Studies

A flexible tool for understanding the workforce characteristics of the local labor market.

For more information, contact:

Allen Williams