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Tag Archives: Advanced Manufacturing

The Cedar Valley Economy – Strong and Growing!

The Cedar Valley Economy – Strong and Growing!

The strong and growing Cedar Valley economy contains the right conditions for business and career success. Current economic growth and its demand for quality talent is benefiting manufacturing, business services, retail, housing, education, healthcare and other enterprises that contribute to the vitality of the region.

Strong Cedar Valley job market is creating opportunity and raising income.

According to Smart Solutions Group, employment in the Cedar Valley Region Labor Market grew by 7.4% from 2003 to 2013, slightly above the State of Iowa during the same period. As of November 1st, Iowajobs.org, the web-based job board of Iowa Workforce Development (IWD), shows 1,504 positions currently available in the Cedar Valley. Many of these jobs are in the advanced manufacturing sector. Welders and CNC operators are among the many positions available in advanced manufacturing operations in the Cedar Valley.

The Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber recently surveyed Cedar Valley employers regarding their immediate employment needs. “We’ve identified businesses in the Cedar Valley region with immediate openings,” reports Danny Laudick, Talent Solutions Coordinator with the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber.  “We are coordinating efforts to match available talent with these companies or with training in the fields where there is greatest demand.”
Connecting to training

The Alliance & Chamber collaborates with Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) and Hawkeye Community College (HCC) and other agencies to connect talent with employment and training opportunities through career and resource fairs, data collection and sharing.  There is ongoing collaboration between employers and agencies to design programs to stay ahead of shifts in demand and provide rapid response to immediate workforce needs. The Alliance & Chamber identifies the specific employment needs in the Cedar Valley business community and acts as the voice of business. The Alliance & Chamber develops innovative solutions to solve talent issues. They use their network of partners and affiliate to bring others into the process.

In response to local demand, Hawkeye Community College now offers short term certifications for industrial maintenance and CNC machining programs. The CNC Machining Program prepares students for high demand, entry-level positions as a CNC machine operator or general machinist, one of the most demanded skills by area employers in the Cedar Valley. Both programs are designed to create a pipeline of available talent with new skills to fill these high demand jobs in a short amount of time.

The Department of Industrial Technology at the University of Northern Iowa also offers undergraduate and graduate programs in the areas of: Construction Management; Electrical Engineering, Manufacturing Technology, Technology Education, and Technology Management. The UNI Metal Casting Center, offers students practical hands-on experience in concepts in additive manufacturing with modern well-equipped facilities and cutting edge technology. At the Additive Manufacturing Center, located at the Cedar Valley TechWorks, students operate a variety of 3D printers, including the ExOne, the largest of its kind in North America.  Students are producing products and part prototypes for manufacturing clients across state.  UNI students are ‘floor ready’ upon graduation having had real world experience working with private sector businesses on actual projects. The Center also provides manufacturers affordable access to research and development and rapid prototyping. The Department of Industrial Technology currently enrolls over 500 students annually.

K-12 Career Training

Cedar Valley school districts are making sure their students are prepare for success beyond graduation through a variety of initiatives and partnerships with the business community.

In the Waterloo Community School District, Career Academies give students the opportunity to choose an area of interest, such as construction, business and finance, marketing, engineering, healthcare, etc. Students then take a sequence of classes to prepare for the real world of work in that field. Waterloo also has an International Baccalaureate Program which is an intensive, two year academic program in the high schools that prepares students for success in higher education and for effective participation in global society. The program includes writing an extended essay (similar to a doctorate thesis, but at high school level), a focus on critical thinking as well as creativity, action, and service activities. Waterloo’s West High and East High are two of only three schools in Iowa to offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program.

Both the Waterloo and Cedar Falls school districts have embraced the Leader in Me initiative championed by the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber. The Leader in Me is based on Stephen Covey’s book Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. The initiative teaches students 21st Century soft skills for success in college, career, and citizenship. Through authentic leadership opportunities and daily practice of the habits, participating schools are transforming their school cultures into proactive, leadership focused communities of learning and development.

Cedar Valley West’s School to Work program brings together students from four Cedar Valley school districts (Aplington-Parkersburg, Dike-New Hartford, Gladbrook-Reinbeck, and Grundy Center) to provide valuable career information and connections to area businesses. Businesses are asked to provide speakers, offer internship and job shadowing opportunities, give worksite tours and contribute financial support.

Through the School to Work program, students throughout the Cedar Valley are becoming more prepared for the local job market. Businesses are molding potential employees by creating hands-on ways for students to explore careers while still in high school. Business – education partnerships like these are helping to bridge the talent gap and produce individuals prepared for employers across sectors in the Cedar Valley.

Diverse Economic Base
The Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber and the Cedar Valley Regional Partners have placed diversifying the economic base as a top priority of business attraction . . . and it has paid off. The diversified economic base has created jobs and helped the region weather the last recession far better than most parts of the country earning the Cedar Valley the title “Recession Busting” by Area Development Magazine, a leading executive magazine covering corporate site selection.  The Cedar Valley is not reliant on one sector to maintain the health of the economy.

Since 1996, 76% of new jobs created in the Cedar Valley have not been tied to a single industry, specifically agricultural manufacturing. Likewise, 81% of the new capital investments in the Cedar Valley were equally diversified during the same time. This diverse industrial base provides increased opportunities for wealth creation and employment in the event of a downturn in one sector.

“Most new capital investment has come from companies who have expanded existing operations here or established new locations in a broad spectrum of industry sector. This is consistent with new construction and new jobs created,” notes Lisa Skubal, Vice President of Economic Development with the Alliance & Chamber.

Adding to the industry mix is the growing Information Technology (IT) sector. In the Cedar Valley, IT consists of local start-up web product and software companies, and is among the fastest growing sector in percentage of current workforce in the Cedar Valley market area. Enterprises also see internal IT operations increasing and contributing to the growing demand for highly skilled programmers, engineers, coders, and designers in the Cedar Valley.

Conversations with technology leaders in the Cedar Valley suggest that IT employers are increasing their employment by up to 50% or more over the next few years.  This makes availability of trained/educated individuals critical. The Alliance & Chamber, Kate Washut of Far Reach Inc., and Linda Allen of Hawkeye Community College (HCC) convened a discussion between Alliance & Chamber investors in the IT sector and HCC academic and career education teams. The group discussed courses, training, and programs available through Hawkeye, and the expectations of the employers. Dialogs like this, between business and education, are vital to better understand of specific skill demand in order to offer training programs that are most relevant to industry needs.

 

“The strong job market is creating opportunities for individuals to take advantage of an increase in training opportunities and raising personal income,” says Steve Dust, CEO of the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber. “We see growing demand across industry sectors. IT related fields, advanced manufacturing, higher education, healthcare, logistics, and business service markets make up the employment landscape of the Cedar Valley.  The competitive wage scales being offered go much further here than in most areas of the country thanks to our low cost of living.”

The cost of living in the Cedar Valley is 8.1% lower than the national average according to third quarter 2014 Cost of Living Index prepared by The Council for Community and Economic Research. Utility costs are an even greater value, at 10.4% below the national average – a key factor for companies looking to locate or expand their operations.

While the cost of living is low, prosperity is on the rise in Cedar Valley. According to the new US Cluster Mapping website launched by Harvard Business School and the U.S. Economic Development Administration, the Cedar Valley Region is one of a handful of regions with growth in prosperity from 1998 -2012. Our economic region ranks 7th among 170 economic regions in the country for prosperity growth. The scorecard is based on three categories of data: performance (the economic activities of the region), business environment, and demographics & geography. The Cedar Valley is also in the top 20 regions for growth in annual personal wages at 3.49%.  This outpaces the national average of 3.16% during the same period.

Low cost of living and strong personal wages may contribute to an increase in spending. In September of 2014, the latest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) numbers were released showing considerable growth in the Cedar Valley. The Waterloo/Cedar Falls Metropolitan Statistical Area (GDP) grew to $8.7 billion from 2012-2013. This is up 5.6% from the previous year, according to data released in September from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.  Collectively, real GDP for U.S. metropolitan areas increased 1.7% during the same period. The Waterloo/Cedar Falls metro area had the second highest percentage increase in GDP compared to other Iowa metros.

These gauges of economic health demonstrate the strength and continued growth of an already stable Cedar Valley economy and instill confidence both in consumers and business leaders. Recent announcements of business expansions reflect confidence and optimism in the region.

Business Confidence and Private Investment

Cedar Valley businesses across the region are making investments in their companies. Increasing exports, and hiring talented, productive people demonstrates their confidence in the strength of the Cedar Valley economy.

CBE Companies, with international locations, chooses to keep their corporate headquarters here in the Cedar Valley where their success started over 80 years ago. “We continue to tap into a rich talent pool in our own backyard to fill a variety of positions and levels – from contact center associates to fraud service representatives to IT, Analytics, Finance, Marketing and HR professionals,” says Mary Phillips, Chief Human Resources Officer for CBE Companies.

Based on a variety of regional data, CBE has determined that the Cedar Valley has the talent resources available to expand their staff considerably.  “We use information from both the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber and Iowa Workforce Development when considering expansion.  We evaluated unemployment rates, education levels, Spanish speaking population, underemployment, average wages, and average ages.”  Over the last year, CBE has had two major surges in hiring making them one of the top ten major employers in the Cedar Valley.

Mark Hanawalt is the CEO of United Equipment Accessories, Inc. (UEA) in Waverly, Iowa and the current chair of the Iowa Association of Business and Industry (ABI). He often shares with peers from around the state that the Cedar Valley is a great place to do business. “They know about the Cedar Valley and never disagree,” notes Hanawalt. UEA has found that being part of a regional economy driven by advanced manufacturing has contributed to their growth. “Because of the presence of very large manufacturers in the area, we can utilize a common vendor base with tremendous capabilities without having to go outside the area.”

UEA invests in training and development opportunities that contribute to the personal and professional growth of their employees.  UEA provides training for new hires, development opportunities with specifically designed skills enhancement training, job cross-training, as well as a Tuition Assistance Program for employees. Highly technical positions, such as CNC programmers, machinists, engineers and IT professionals regularly participate in training opportunities relating to technology advancements and developments, job knowledge enhancement, computer software and system developments and updates.

“United Equipment Accessories, Inc. has been a Cedar Valley manufacturer for over 60 years.  Even as we have grown substantially over the years, we have never felt the need to expand outside this area,” says Hanawalt. “Our pool of labor talent is very high.  Employees are well educated, trained, and motivated to be productive employees.”

Start-up Momentum

While long standing businesses continue to expand, the start-up community in the Cedar Valley is picking up momentum at a rapid pace. ‘Serial’ entrepreneurs and young visionaries are gathering in coffee shops, bars, and meeting rooms around the Cedar Valley to share ideas and connect with resources in hopes of launching the next big thing. Start-Up Drinks, Start-Up Weekend, BarCamp, One Million Cups, Cedar Valley Opencoffee, and Cedar Valley Makers are a few of the organized efforts to support a young and energetic start-up community.

Steve Dust, CEO of the Alliance & Chamber, believes that “the prosperity of the Cedar Valley still depends on fostering, growing, and attracting entrepreneurship in all types of businesses. We want to encourage more people to build on our history of successful entrepreneurship, and the Alliance & Chamber supports efforts to enhance the strong, growing start-up scene throughout the Cedar Valley economic area.”

The Cedar Valley is thriving

With an abundance of good paying jobs and access to higher education, the Cedar Valley offers a wealth of opportunities for individuals to grow their careers. Businesses are thriving and making significant investments in the region by expanding their operations through building projects, new processes, equipment, technology, and talent. The lower cost of living, excellent school districts, and overall safety make it a desirable place to live, work, and raise a family.

The mission of the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber is to increase economic vitality and wealth by leading collaborative economic and community development. Details about the many programs and initiatives of the Alliance & Chamber can be found at www.cedarvalleyalliance.com or by calling Steve Dust, CEO at (319) 232-1156.

Waterloo/Cedar Falls Metropolitan Area produces second highest percentage increase GDP gain in Iowa

CEDAR VALLEY OF IOWA (Sept. 2014) The Waterloo/Cedar Falls Metropolitan Statistical Area gross domestic product (GDP) of $8.7 billion from 2012-2013. This is up 5.6% from the previous year, according to data released last week from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.  Collectively, real GDP for U.S. metropolitan areas increased 1.7% during the same period.

The Metro Area had the second highest percentage increase compared to other Iowa metros.  The largest percentage GDP increases by industry were: Information (7.5%); Real Estate, Rental, Leasing (11.9%); and Finance, Insurance (10.3%).  Manufacturing and Retail grew 3.3% and 3.7% respectively.

“These numbers support what our businesses have been saying all along: the Cedar Valley is strong and growing,” comments Steve Dust, CEO of the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber. “These gains reflect the confidence of Cedar Valley businesses across the valley who are making investments in their companies, increasing exports, and hiring talented, productive people.”

Other IA metros GDP growth from 2012-2013:

Ames: 5.4%

Cedar Rapids: 3.1%

Des Moines: 4.5%

Dubuque: 1.3%

Iowa City: 4.4%

Quad Cities: 2.8%

Sioux City: 7.3% (25.2% construction led growth by industry sector)

Omaha/Council Bluffs: 3.9%

The complete data can be found here.

The mission of the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber is to increase economic vitality and wealth by leading collaborative economic and community development. Details about the many programs and initiatives of the Alliance & Chamber can be found at www.cedarvalleyalliance.com or by calling Steve Dust, CEO at (319) 232-1156.

 

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Three Reinvestment District Projects receive provisional funding approvals

The Iowa Reinvestment District Program is designed to assist communities in developing transformative projects that will improve the quality of life, create and enhance unique opportunities and substantially benefit the community, region and state. The program provides for up to $100 million in new state hotel/motel and sales tax revenues to be “reinvested” within approved districts. Districts cannot exceed 25 acres in size and must be in an Enterprise Zone or Urban Renewal Area.

Iowa Reinvestment District plans must include tax revenues generated by “new retail establishments” and “new lessors”.  New retail establishments cannot exceed 50 percent of the total proposed capital investment. At least one of the new proposed projects within the district must reach a total capital investment of $10 million. And, the total amount of new tax revenues to be remitted to the municipality cannot exceed 35 percent of the total cost of all proposed projects in the district plan.

Three of the 10 applicants received a score in excess of 70 points (out of 100) and presented their projects to the Due Diligence Committee in May. The IEDA board today, upon the recommendation of the Due Diligence Committee, decided on provisional funding for the projects in the city of Des Moines, the city of Muscatine and the city of Waterloo.

The provisional funding decisions are designed to provide practical feedback for municipalities interested in creating a reinvestment district but are not final or binding. Following the provisional approval, final application materials fully meeting all of the program’s requirements are due prior to March 1, 2015. Applicants may amend any part of the pre-application to represent any change to the proposed projects within the district. The final application will be re-scored in the same manner as the pre-application, if changes are made. The board’s final funding decision may be different from the provisional funding decision based on the final application.

The city of Des Moines was provisionally approved for a maximum of $36,487,400 in funding for its proposed district in the city’s downtown. The Des Moines plan proposes a total capital investment of $178.5 million and includes building a convention headquarters hotel, investing in infrastructure and amenities to support new visitors, redeveloping important downtown sites, preserving significant architecture, improving walk-ability throughout downtown, and connecting important amenities such as the Iowa Events Center, Principal Riverwalk, the Civic Center of Greater Des Moines and Cowles Commons, the East Village, Court Avenue and Western Gateway Park.

The Muscatine Reinvestment District received provisional funding approval of $10 million maximum for its $41.1 million capital investment. This district includes one major project, the Riverview Suites Development, consisting of three elements: the construction of a new hotel, the remodel of a vacant building into a conference and events center, and the construction of a parking ramp.

The city of Waterloo was provisionally approved for $12 million maximum for the TechWorks district, located at the west end of downtown and made up of land donated by Deere & Company. The district has a capital investment of $74.1 million and includes three projects. The first is a mixed-use development including a business-class hotel, industrial incubator, private sector lab and manufacturing maker-space and John Deere Tractor & Engine Museum.  The second project area includes commercial out-lots such as a restaurants and retailers that complement other project areas. The third project area includes a marina for boat storage, boat sales, fuel sales and a riverfront restaurant.

Full application materials for these three projects will be available within 10 days for public viewing at www.iowaeconomicdevelopment.com/CommunityDevelopment/ReinvestmentDistrict. Applications for subsequent Reinvestment Districts will be accepted from March 1-15, 2015.

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Download a spreadsheet of today’s awards:
http://iowaeconomicdevelopment.com/UserDocs/documents/IEDA/june14awards.pdf

Construction Begins on Cedar Valley TechWorks Campus

Cedar Valley of Iowa, (May 19, 2014) Construction is underway at the Cedar Valley TechWorks Campus. Modifications to the existing Tech I structure started on April 14, 2014 as part of the $2M construction project. This project focuses on basic interior renovations and preparation for additional projects on the first two floors. The project will bring both spaces to a ready state for future tenant improvements. The current project includes insulation, windows, basic utilities, lighting, and HVAC.   Tenants for the first and second floors have been identified, with negotiations ongoing.  The project is scheduled for completion fall 2014.  The Cedar Valley’s Cardinal Construction is the design-build general contractor. INVISION is their design partner.

“This project is significant in that it lays the groundwork for all future tenant spaces,” says Steve Dust, President/CEO of the Alliance & Chamber and President, TechWorks Campus. “It represents the diligent behind the scene efforts of the TechWorks board and staff, and is a visual sign of progress to the community.”

Cedar Valley TechWorks is a 30-acre advanced manufacturing and biotechnology research, development and education center, creating business and manufacturing cluster. The campus is located in downtown Waterloo, Iowa adjacent to the John Deere Westfield manufacturing operations. The campus includes two historic former Deere manufacturing buildings; Tech I and Tech II. The Tech I building includes: the University of Northern Iowa Metal Casting Center featuring the ExOne 3D printer  – the largest in North America; industrial manufacturing space; tech shop or ‘tinkers’ space; incubator; and classrooms. Tech II is the starting point of the larger Green@TechWorks development project which includes:  the John Deere Regional Training Center; an internationally recognized business class hotel; fine dining establishment; office and conference space. The John Deere Waterloo & Tractor Museum is also located on the campus and is scheduled to open in the summer of 2014. The campus includes parcels suitable for larger scale manufacturing facilities. TechWorks is the first technology park of its kind in the Iowa to combine world class business amenities within a Brownfield industrial redevelopment project. TechWorks has been designated as the site of the Iowa Advanced Manufacturing Center (IAMC) by the Iowa Innovation Corporation.

“The Cedar Valley has a rich history of value-added manufacturing and industrial innovation which makes TechWorks an ideal location for the statewide IAMC resource center,” says Cary Darrah, Vice President of Community Development and General Manager of Cedar Valley TechWorks Campus.

Cedar Valley TechWorks is a subsidiary of by the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber.

For more information on the Cedar Valley TechWorks, contact Cary Darrah, General Manager of Cedar Valley TechWorks Campus by calling (319)232-1156 or email cdarrah@cedarvalleyalliance.com, or Wes James, at wjames@cedarvalleyalliance.com.

 

 

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Economic Development Board Approves Cedar Valley Project

The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) board  awarded direct financial assistance and tax benefits to nine companies for job creation and expansion projects including a major project in the Cedar Valley. These awards will assist in the creation/retention of 484 jobs and will result in nearly $105 million in new capital investment for the state.

A proposed project includes an investment to expand tractor product laboratories at the John Deere Product Engineering Center in Cedar Falls. These investments will address the evolution of tractor size and power, and add test capabilities to help ensure that John Deere products meet customers’ expectations for productivity, reliability, efficiency and comfort. The project is expected to have a capital investment of $27.7 million and would retain 29 jobs at a qualifying wage of $18.84. The board awarded John Deere tax incentives through the HQJP to complete this project in Iowa.

 

Cedar Valley Investor Report

The Cedar Valley Investor Report gives a snap shot of the activities of the Alliance & Chamber, news from our investors, and informative articles selected for their relevance to economic growth in the Cedar Valley.

Cedar Valley Investor Report

Hawkeye Community College Trustees hosts public focus groups through out the Cedar Valley.

Hawkeye Community College Trustees will be hosting public focus groups through out the Cedar Valley.

Input is being sought to know what challenges or needs that your business or organization faces in the next 3-5 years, with which Hawkeye Community College might be able to assist you. Individuals are encouraged to come from all areas: businesses, education, government, parents, students, economic developers, community support groups and faith communities.

Jay Nardini Hawkeye Community College Trustee for District 8 will host two public focus groups for community input to the trustees’ strategic visioning plan.  Merged Area District 8 includes part of Waterloo north of Evansdale, all of Evansdale, and the area of Waterloo south of Evansdale to the county line.

The morning focus group will be held Wed., May 14 from 7:00-8:00 a.m. at the Evansdale City Hall Council Chambers, 123 N. Evans Road, Evansdale, Iowa. The evening focus group will be held Wed., May 14 from 5:00-6:00 p.m. at Highland Elementary School (Pre-K area), 812 Idaho, Waterloo, Iowa.

Bruce Clark, Hawkeye Community College Trustee for District 5 will host a public focus group for community input to the trustees’ strategic visioning plan. The focus group will be held on Tues. May 13 from 5:00-6:00 p.m. at Lowell Elementary, 1628 Washington Street, Waterloo. Iowa.  Merged Area District 5 is in the Waterloo area and includes the following locations:  George Washington Carver Academy, Allen Memorial Hospital, Lowell Elementary, and Waterloo Sportsplex.

Dave Krejchi, Hawkeye Community College Trustee for District 9 will host a public focus group for community input to the trustees’ strategic visioning plan. The focus group will be held on Thursday, May 8, 2014 from 7:00-8:00 a.m. at the Family Restaurant, 2627 Center Street, Cedar Falls, Iowa.  Merged Area District 9 includes most of the Cedar Falls school district including North Cedar; west of Union Road, south to University Ave., George Wyth Park to Leversee Road, north to Fitkin Road.

For more information call the Board of Trustees Secretary at 319-296-4267.

Alliance & Chamber Investor Bossard NA Receives Contract with American Electric Auto Manufacturer

Steen Hansen, President, Bossard North America announces that Bossard NA has received a contract to supply  American electric vehicle manufacturerTesla with fasteners, engineering and logistics. This contract is significant to Bossard and the strength of the Cedar Valley headquarter operations. All parts of the work – engineering, planning, administration, logistics support – will be fulfilled in the Cedar Valley with warehousing in California. (Read More)

Three-Year Contract with Tesla Opens Up New Opportunities

Zug, March 12, 2014 – The Bossard Group is strengthening its collaboration with the American electric vehicle manufacturer, Tesla. Tesla awarded Bossard with a three- year contract with a total volume of around USD 140 million to provide production fasteners, engineering and logistical services. The importance of this co-operation has prompted Bossard to open a new distribution center near the Tesla factory in Fremont (California).

For more than four years, the two companies have collaborated in the design and development of the cutting edge Model S, including engineering, prototyping and ultimate delivery of production fasteners utilizing Bossard’s globally unique inventory management system, SmartBin®. Bossard Group has proven to be the preferred fastener supplier for Tesla while offering exceptional engineering and design services. This collaboration is reflected in sharply increasing sales volume for Bossard in support of the California based auto manufacturer: “Bossard considers it an honor that the existing successful collaboration is now solidified with a three-year contract with an estimated value of USD 140 million for this period” explains CEO, David Dean. Opening the new distribution center near the Tesla factory in Fremont will allow Bossard to provide valuable and quick customer service coping with the increasing demands. Bossard has steadily expanded its market share in the past few years in the United States; in part due to the intensified collaboration with Tesla.

Tesla’s goal is to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable transport with a full range of increasingly affordable electric cars. Founded in 2003, California-based Tesla designs and manufactures electric vehicles (EV), as well as EV powertrain components for partners such as Mercedes and Toyota.

For further information:

David Dean, CEO, E-mail             investor@bossard.com www.bossard.com

 

 

Zuidberg to Locate First U.S. Facility in the Cedar Valley of Iowa


Officials from Zuidberg, the City of Cedar Falls, Iowa, Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber and Iowa Economic Development Authority have jointly announced the location of Zuidberg North America, Inc. in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

Zuidberg’s facility will be located in the Cedar Falls Industrial Park on Capital Way in an industrial operations building, that local developer, Brent Dahlstrom will construct this year.   Zuidberg NA starts with 10,000 square feet, to establish a warehouse and distribution facility to service the North American market (USA, Canada and Mexico).   Zuidberg NA, Inc. will distribute two product lines, Frontline Systems, and Transmissions which are manufactured by parent company Zuidberg Frontline Systems B.V. located in the Netherlands. Starting in 2015 a third product line, Tracks, will be added.

“Iowa and the Cedar Valley are very central within the USA, and have an excellent reputation for global manufacturing including a hardworking and reliable workforce,” said Rudolf de Jong, President, Zuidberg North America Inc.   “This fits with the Dutch and the Zuidberg mentality in particular,” de Jong stated.

“Also, we wish to be in the heartland of America’s agriculture and agricultural machinery industry.” de Jong added.

“Zuidberg appreciates the great and inspiring help the State of Iowa, the Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber and local business leaders offered which helped to make the decision easier.” de Jong said.

Zuidberg was first introduced to the idea of an Iowa location after meeting representatives from IEDA’s European office at a 2011 trade show in Germany. After continued contact with Iowa officials, Zuidberg executives traveled to Iowa this past summer to visit several suitable locations for their North American project.

“Through our focus on recruiting supply chain companies to Iowa, we’ve been courting Zuidberg for a few years now,” said Debi Durham, director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA). “We are so pleased this advanced manufacturing company ultimately chose Cedar Falls, Iowa to call home.”

Several Iowa communities and multiple states were considered during the process.  The Cedar Falls site was selected for its location and the ability of Zuidberg to work with the developer to design the building before construction began.

“It is significant that Zuidberg makes their first North American investment in the Cedar Valley.  This decision again affirms the Cedar Valley as a location to manufacture and serve global markets,  and we deliver a quality of life that persuades young professionals like Rudolf de Jong and his family to relocate here from the Netherlands,”   said Steven Dust, CEO, Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber.

“On behalf of our manufacturers and all businesses and institutions, the Alliance & Chamber welcomes Zuidberg to the Cedar Valley of Iowa and North America.” Dust added. The Cedar Valley must also recognize the hard work of Lisa Skubal, Alliance & Chamber Vice President of Economic Development and her project team that sold Zuidberg on a superior Cedar Valley location,” Dust concluded.

Zuidberg North America will take occupancy of the facility in June 2014 and be fully operational by July 1, 2014.   Zuidberg will be hiring in-house sales and technical positions this spring.

“The City of Cedar Falls is extremely pleased that Zuidberg North America, Inc. has selected Cedar Falls and the Cedar Valley as its home for the company’s first facility in North America.  We appreciate the efforts of all involved to make this project a reality including the IEDA, GCVAC, City staff, Cedar Falls Utilities, Brent Dahlstrom, and of course Rudolf de Jong.” said Cedar Falls Mayor Jon Crews.

“We are glad to welcome Zuidberg as our newest member of the Cedar Falls Industrial Park and look forward to a successful long term partnership.” said Bob Seymour, Community Service Manager, City of Cedar Falls.

Zuidberg is a family owned and managed company based in Ens, The Netherlands, dedicated to serve the world-wide agricultural industry. Since 1982, farmers all over the globe rely on Zuidberg to make their businesses more efficient by making use of the Zuidberg front hitches and front PTO’s, transmissions or rubber track systems. Zuidberg‘s products are sold by importers in over 45 countries worldwide. The remarkable quality and performance of the Zuidberg products has as well been recognized by many OEM’s, more than 40 manufacturers of tractors and harvesting equipment around the globe make use of Zuidberg’s unique knowledge and experience. www.zuidberg.com

 

 

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TechWorks Progress Steady

21 hours ago  •  By Jim Offner

WATERLOO | Mark Kittrell issued a challenge to attendees at the Cedar Valley Manufacturing Conference this week at Hawkeye Community College.

Kittrell, president of the Des Moines-based Iowa Innovation Corp., told an estimated 200 representatives from area manufacturers that the nascent Iowa Advanced Manufacturing Center, which will operate at Cedar Valley TechWorks, will need their input on how to push industry forward in the state — and build it in the Cedar Valley.

The center is the focal point of the effort, he said, since it will bring together new technology, expertise and research on the 30-acre campus in downtown Waterloo.

Planners say the center will be open in the middle of this year.

The center will offer new services to manufacturers, including an industrial business incubator, acceleration services, modeling and simulation, industrial laboratories, production equipment and access to ideas and graduates from universities and community colleges as well as ways to improve manufacturing processes.

“I think it will serve as a place, and a group of people are going to help bring together a lot of resources across the state into one place, where people come and say, ‘Hey, I’ve got a new manufacturing company. I’ve got a new product I need. I’d love to figure out how I can get this thing done,’” Kittrell said of the center’s relationship with the manufacturing community.

“That kind of question is being dealt with all the time. That’s the primary role. What impact will it have in the Cedar Valley?”

There are several similar initiatives taking shape across Iowa, but the center at TechWorks will play a particularly important role, Kittrell said.

“We’re built on this stuff,” he said. “The reason why a community like the Cedar Valley exists is to build things, I think, because of TechWorks, that sort of history, the legacy that’s here, the opportunity to really show we can move the needle ahead in this community by bringing more R&D and more manufacturing back to this area.

“If we can do that, we’ll be a national model,” Kittrell said. “We’ll be the kind of place where people will say we’re going to be doing more of that and look to us as innovator.”

Iowa Innovation Corp. and the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber are working together to build the Advanced Manufacturing Center, said Steve Dust, CEO of the Alliance and president of TechWorks.

“You’ve already seen pieces of it with UNI’s Metal Casting Center up and running, so you’re getting a hint of what we’re talking about,” Dust said.

Attendees at Wednesday’s conference got a tour of the Metal Casting Center and a demonstration of its new 3-D printer late in the afternoon.

The center will begin to take tangible shape at TechWorks shortly, Dust said.

“A part of that same appropriation were dollars to improve two floors of our Tech 1 building for that hub of advanced manufacturing, and that construction activity will begin in just within a few weeks within that building,” he said. “So, you’ll start to see physical changes happening to accommodate the growth of the center in the building.”

The Advanced Manufacturing Workgroup is led by Sarah McDonald Hasken, vice president of A.Y. McDonald Manufacturing Co., and Glenn Baker, director of global manufacturing and enterprise services at John Deere. It includes leaders from advanced manufacturing firms across Iowa and also includes representatives of the state universities, community colleges, state government, engineering, business associations and economic development leaders.

Among local participants in the work group are David Takes, president of Doerfer Cos.; Mark Hanawalt, president and CEO of United Business Equipment Inc.; Marvin Schumacher, president of Schumacher Elevator; Jerry Thiel, UNI Metal Casting Center director; Linda Allen, president of Hawkeye Community College; and TechWorks representatives Cary Darrah, Wes James and Dust.

The Advanced Manufacturing Workgroup will hold a series of industry focus group sessions around the state to discuss the issues faced and needs of small and medium-size manufacturers. Focus group sessions are scheduled in March through mid-April across the state.

Kittrell said there’s a potential for 37,000 manufacturing jobs that bring wages of $50,000 or more.

“These are good jobs,” he said.

Kittrell challenged each attendee at Wednesday’s conference to ponder how the new center can help their companies.

“We ask them what would you like to see,” Kittrell said. “They say, ‘We’d like to look to this place as being the place where we can have a good gauge of what new technologies are coming out.’

“Second,” he said, “they said what new processes and materials will be important for us. Then, they had the three things that you’d expect to see: They’re looking for help with workforce. They’re helping very much with education and entrepreneurship kind of work. And they’re looking for guidance on how do they finance the kind of growth they’re working for.”

Be part of something greater - The Cedar Valley of Iowa

The Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber is a regional economic community development corporation working to increase economic vitality and wealth in the Waterloo / Cedar Falls area and surrounding economic region. The Alliance & Chamber has approximately 800 members that represents over 40,000 employees