BOARD ACTION: Board Approves Awards to Support 218 New Jobs

December 21, 2018

For more information contact: 

Jacque Matsen, Iowa Economic Development Authority
Phone:   515.348.6245 

Economic Development Board approves awards to support 218 new jobs and more than $76 million in capital investment in Iowa 

December 21, 2018 (DES MOINES, IA) – Today, the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) Board awarded tax benefits to three companies for job creation and expansion projects. These awards will assist in the creation of 218 jobs and will result in more than $76 million in new capital investment for the state. The board also approved innovation funding for two startups. The board approved assistance for planned or proposed projects located in Ankeny, Cedar Rapids, Pella and West Des Moines. 

Lely to create North American headquarters in Pella
Lely North America, based in Pella, is part of the Lely Group, which was founded in 1948 in the Netherlands. The company develops innovative robotics and data analytics that improve animal welfare, flexibility and production on dairy farms. Lely North America plans to expand its presences in Iowa with the construction of a new, 150,000 square foot North American headquarters. With this expansion, products currently manufactured in Europe will now be manufactured in Pella. The board awarded this $15.7 million capital investment tax benefits from the High Quality Jobs (HQJ) program. The project is expected to create 15 jobs, incented at a qualifying wage of $21.61 per hour.

Kreg Enterprises, Inc. to expand in Ankeny
Founded in central Iowa almost 30 years ago, Kreg Enterprises, Inc., is a leader in woodworking tools for do-it-yourselfers. Kreg develops, manufactures and sells a wide variety of tool accessories and equipment for the woodworking market, including its flagship tool, the Kreg Jig®. Kreg plans to construct a 250,000 square foot facility on 25 acres in Ankeny’s Crosswinds Business Park. The board awarded Kreg Enterprises tax benefits for its $34 million capital investment. The project is expected to create 20 jobs, incented at a qualifying wage of at least $30.32 per hour, under the HQJ program.

Northern Tool & Equipment Company plans to locate operations in Ankeny
Northern Tool & Equipment Company, Inc. manufactures log splitters, generators, pressure washers and air compressors to serve customers from businesses of all sizes to U.S. military and do-it-yourselfers. Headquartered in Burnsville, MN, the company plans to build a 600,000 square foot facility in Ankeny to serve as a distribution center for retail centers throughout the country. The board awarded the company tax benefits from HQJ for this $26.2 million capital investment. The project is expected to create 183 jobs, of which 19 are incented at a qualifying wage of at least $30.32.

Awards made to two startups
Based in West Des Moines, Predictive Health Partners (PHP) uses real-time data, predictive analytics and artificial intelligence to help employees be better consumers and managers of their health insurance by personalizing communications and aligning personal preferences to act as a virtual health concierge. The company received a $25,000 Proof of Commercial Relevance (POCR) loan for IP development and evaluation, proof of concept, market planning and hiring key personnel. 

The POCR Fund provides financial assistance to innovative businesses that are pursuing proof of commercial relevance and marketability of a technology.

Whirrx is a Cedar Rapids-based company that has created a turnkey drone system for engineering design surveys that is as accurate as traditional methods. This system, known as SurveyWhirrx, includes everything a customer needs from an equipment and training standpoint, in addition to cloud software processing for converting collected drone data into a highly accurate engineering deliverable for design.  This system allows surveys to be done 5-7 times faster than the traditional survey method, eliminates the need to have in-house experts to process collected survey data, provides a superior digital 3-dimensional deliverable with aerial imagery for less cost and improves safety by removing surveyors from hazardous areas. The company was awarded a $100,000 Demonstration Fund loan for product refinement, market planning and hiring key personnel.

The Demonstration Fund provides financial and technical assistance to encourage high-technology prototype and concept development activities that have a clear potential to lead to commercially viable products or services within a reasonable period. 

Award recommendations for these funds are made by the Technology Commercialization Committee to the IEDA Board for approval.

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