Before Gov. Terry Branstad left Iowa to become the U.S. Ambassador to China, he and then Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds declared 2017 the Year of Manufacturing in Iowa. This initiative is focused on building a skilled workforce, promoting innovation and R&D, and improving the global competitiveness of Iowa manufacturers.
Manufacturing makes up the largest business sector of Iowa’s Gross Domestic Product. Not only are manufacturers critical to our state’s GDP, but these companies employ more than 200,000 Iowans. The Greater Cedar Valley is also driven by manufacturing: more people here work in the industry than in any other.
We’re excited for all that is happening in Iowa, and specifically the Greater Cedar Valley, to thank our manufacturers and educate the public on what our manufacturers do and what manufacturing careers look like. Throughout the month, we’ll be showcasing Cedar Valley manufacturers on the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber Facebook page.
Manufacturing Month in the Cedar Valley
You can also learn more about manufacturing by attending a manufacturing event. Manufacturing Day and Manufacturing Month have been national initiatives since 2012, and throughout the month we’ll be showcasing Cedar Valley manufacturers and manufacturing events.
More than 160 events will be hosted throughout October in Iowa, from facility tours to presentations for students interested in manufacturing careers. As you can see in this graphic from Manufacturing Day, there’s an amazing distribution of events all throughout Iowa. Our state hosts quite a concentration in comparison to its neighbors.
Events in the Greater Cedar Valley Region include:
- October 10 – October 14: Buchanan County Tours
Various manufacturers around Buchanan County are opening their doors to the public for tours, including Bertch Cabinet Mfg, Geater Machining & Manufacturing Co., Pries Enterprises, Inc., East Iowa Plastics, Hager’s Coffee Roasting Company, and Circle 8 Cyclery.
- October 26: Manufacturing Parent’s Night, Waterloo
The Alliance & Chamber is hosting this event. Parents are invited to tour Power Engineering & Manufacturing, the UNI Metal Casting Center, and the Cedar Valley Makerspace. Then, they’ll be able to network with resource providers including Elevate Iowa, Hawkeye Community College Admissions, and Hawkeye Cedar Valley Career Connections.
Other events celebrated Manufacturing Day last week:
- October 2: Rada
- Rada gave Wapsie Valley High School students a tour.
- October 6: Sukup Manufacturing
- Aplington-Parkersburg High School students toured Sukup Manufacturing.
- October 6: Geater Machining and Mfg Co
- Jesup High School students toured Geater Machining & Manufacturing, Co
Cassie Evers Grimsman is Business Services Coordinator for the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber. To learn more about manufacturing events or available businesses services, call 319-232-1156.