BOARD ACTION: Board Approves Awards to Support 90 New Jobs

August 17, 2018

For more information contact:

Jacque Matsen, Iowa Economic Development Authority
Phone:  515.348.6245

Economic Development Board approves awards to support 90 new jobs and close to $30 million in capital investment in Iowa

August 17, 2018 (DES MOINES, IA) – Today, the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) board awarded direct financial assistance and tax benefits to two companies for job creation and expansion projects. These awards will assist in the creation of 90 jobs and will result in close to $30 million in new capital investment for the state. The board also approved a Strategic Infrastructure Program grant.

The board approved assistance for planned or proposed projects located in Sioux County, Ames and Cedar Falls. 

Specialty pork processor to expand Sioux County facility
Sioux-Preme Packing, Co. plans to expand its pork harvest operation in Sioux County with a 50,000 square-foot addition to help meet demand for its specialty pork products. The Sioux Center facility was acquired by Perdue Farms in 2015 as part of its acquisition of Natural Food Holdings and its brands. The expansion will include installation of high tech automated pork cutting equipment and water jet cutting technologies. The project represents a $29 million investment by Sioux-Preme and will create 50 new jobs, of which 10 are incented at a qualifying wage of $20.41 per hour. Sioux-Preme was awarded tax incentives from the High Quality Jobs (HQJ) Program. 

Ames company set to create 40 jobs
Smart Ag, Inc. was founded in 2015 to address the growing labor crisis in production agriculture. The company creates agriculture technology to fully automate tractors so they may be used without drivers for various operations. The kits and software sold to dealers and farmers are aimed at reducing labor requirements and increasing efficiency. The company plans to add-on and make improvements to its leased facility in Ames. The board awarded Smart Ag $250,000 in direct financial assistance as well as tax benefits from HQJ for this $830,000 capital investment. The project is expected to create 40 jobs, all of which are incented at a qualifying wage of $26.11 per hour.

University of Northern Iowa’s Metal Casting Center approved for Strategic Infrastructure Program grant
The board approved a $1.5 million grant for the University of Northern Iowa’s (UNI) Metal Casting Center Additive Manufacturing project. The funding will help UNI purchase and set up new equipment, which will advance metal casting technology in the state by enabling the use of 3-D printing to produce high quality investment castings more quickly and consistently. UNI will also transfer the technology to the industry and assist in its adoption and utilization as part of the project.

The Strategic Infrastructure Program supports projects that develop foundational assets with a goal of providing a competitive advantage to the private sector or creating needed physical infrastructure in Iowa. Award recommendations for these funds are made by the Iowa Innovation Council to the IEDA board for approval. 

Board approves appropriation to implement IBDC
The IEDA board today also approved $4.5 million in funding over three years for creation of the Iowa Bioscience Development Center (IBDC). At last month’s meeting, the board heard an update on the existing Iowa Innovation Corporation, the state’s public-private partnership for economic development that is transitioning to serve as the IBDC. The IBDC will bring together partners from research institutions, global companies, entrepreneurs, investors and government to accelerate bioscience sector growth and development in Iowa. Today’s action supports implementation of the biosciences development roadmap released in December 2017. 

Firms selected to advance IEDA’s integrated marketing strategy
In May 2018, IEDA issued a request for proposals seeking marketing and communications service provider(s). The providers will support IEDA’s in-house team in developing and implementing an integrated marketing strategy to achieve the department’s business development and tourism objectives. LS2/FleishmanHillard has been selected as IEDA’s marketing and communications partner effective September 1, 2018. The IEDA board approved staff to execute a contract for an amount not to exceed $5.2 million for the remainder of the current fiscal year.  

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