BOARD ACTION: Board Approves Awards to Support 286 New Jobs

January 25, 2019

For more information contact:

Kanan Kappelman, Iowa Economic Development Authority
Phone: 515.348.6248

Economic Development Board approves awards to support 286 new jobs and more than $74 million in capital investment in Iowa

January 25, 2019 (DES MOINES, IA) – Today, the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) Board awarded direct financial assistance and tax benefits to three companies for job creation and expansion projects. These awards will assist in the creation of 286 jobs and will result in more than $74 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 Albia, Iowa City, Marshalltown and West Des Moines.

Sammons to build West Des Moines headquarters
Sammons Financial Group (SFG) and its subsidiaries, Midland National Life Insurance Group and North American Company for Life and Health Insurance, offer a variety of financial products such as retirement products, annuities and life insurance. SFG plans to build a new 200,000 square-foot office in West Des Moines, which will serve as a headquarters facility for all current West Des Moines-area employees and provided space for anticipated future growth. The board awarded this $65 million capital investment tax benefits via the High Quality Jobs (HQJ) program. The project is expected to create 125 jobs, incented at a qualifying wage of $30.32 per hour.

Outdoors company receives assistance for Albia expansion project
AWOL Outdoors, Inc., doing business as CAMP365, has developed the Camp365™ camper trailer, which transforms from a compact structure into a cabin that can sleep six people. The design incorporates patented, patent-pending and other proprietary technological advancements.  This project includes construction of an approximately 25,000 square-foot manufacturing facility in the South Albia Industrial Park. The board awarded CAMP365 direct financial assistance and tax benefits for this project from the HQJ program. This $3.5 million capital investment is expected to create 156 jobs in rural Albia, incented at a qualifying wage of $16.05 per hour.

Marshalltown manufacturer plans for growth after tornado damage
RACOM Corporation designs, installs and maintains technologies involved in emergency response situations, such as large-scale public safety communication networks that integrate phone systems, radios, warning lights, sirens and dispatch systems. RACOM sustained significant damage in the July 19, 2018, tornado that hit Marshalltown. The company plans to leverage unique provisions within the HQJ program to rebuild and position itself for growth. In a first-of-this kind disaster relief assistance via HQJ, the board awarded this $6.3 million capital investment project tax benefits. The project is expected to create five jobs, of which three are incented at a qualifying wage of $18.51 per hour.

Awards made to two startups
Based in Iowa City, Firefly Photonics, LLC researches and develops high performance mid- to long-wave infrared LED and laser technology. The company plans to develop high-power infrared LEDs (IRLEDs) that operate at industrially relevant temperatures and with enough efficiency to be used in next-generation carbon dioxide sensors. The company was awarded a $25,000 Proof of Commercial Relevance (POCR) loan for proof of concept work.

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

Also based in Iowa City, ECR Logic LLC has developed a multi-platform, mobile fieldwork data application that aggregates map data for field use to facilitate compliance investigations. FieldProTM reduces the time from project start to completion, leading to increased profits and streamlined fieldwork and compliance reporting. The company was awarded a $100,000 Demonstration Fund loan for product refinement and market planning.

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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