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INVISION Honored with Two National Design Awards

The Following information was submitted by our investor INVISION.

INVISION received a Gold Award and a Merit Award in the national 2016 Association of Licensed Architects Design Awards Program.

INVISION, a planning, architecture and interiors firm with locations in Des Moines and Waterloo, received two awards in the recent 2016 Association of Licensed Architects (ALA) Design Awards Program. INVISION received the Gold Award for work on the Cedar Valley SportsPlex in Waterloo, Iowa, as well as a Merit Award for a mountain cabin private residence in Whitefish, MT.

ALA uses the Design Awards Program as an annual showcase of the power of design by its members nation-wide. A complete list of winners will be highlighted in the 2016 winter issue of Licensed Architect magazine.

Cedar Valley Sportsplex, Gold Award

The Waterloo Development Corporation teamed with INVSION to provide an affordable and high-quality fitness center to improve the health and wellness of the community. One key objective in the design of the Cedar Valley SportsPlex was the expression of movement throughout the project; from the gently curving fieldhouse roof to the transparent glazing throughout the facility—bodies in motion was consistently at the forefront of design thought. A wood datum wall divides the two main volumes and makes a monumental statement inside the space. The use of wood throughout the facility provides cohesion between the basketball court, bleachers, and wayfinding elements while delivering a modern, yet natural aesthetic. The Sportsplex attracts patrons from across the Cedar Valley and houses indoor soccer fields, basketball and volleyball courts, a leisure pool, an elevated four-lane running track, weight and cardio workout areas, fitness studios, a golf practice area, child care, kid’s gym, and departmental offices.

A Mountain Cabin, Merit Award

The design for this private vacation home was done in partnership with Hunter & Company Interior Designs. It caters to an active family whose contemporary style broke the mold of the traditional rustic mountain home. The exterior design is carried through into the interior architecture through strategic use of natural materials and soft colors that complement the mountain views and contemporary lines. Extensive use of glass maintains a strong connection to the outdoors and blends with the interior to create a sophisticated sanctuary.

INVISION is honored to be recognized in this competition and looks forward to the next opportunity to create imaginative and client-focused design solutions that have a positive impact on the people who experience them.

Steve Dust receives ABI’s Advocacy in Action Award

The Alliance & Chamber congratulates Steve Dust on being honored with the 2016 Advocacy in Action Award by the Iowa Association of Business and Industry.

The Iowa Association of Business and Industry is pleased to present its 2016 Advocacy in Action award to Steve Dust for his work to advance ABI’s public policy agenda. The award was presented during the Advanced Manufacturing Conference on Oct. 4.

Dust is the president and CEO of the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber. Dust has been a chief advocate and architect of the new Cedar Valley TechWorks campus, a 30-acre advanced manufacturing, research and development, innovation, education, commercial and manufacturing center in downtown Waterloo.

The Advocacy in Action award was created in 2014 to recognize ABI members’ commitment to ABI advocacy efforts.

Dust serves on the ABI Board of Directors and has been a vocal advocate for Iowa business issues. He frequently meets with area legislators and members of Iowa’s congressional delegation about issues important to companies in the Cedar Valley. In addition to his leadership at the Alliance, he takes part in ABI’s public policy committee process, hosts ABI members at his facility, attends ABI’s biennial Washington D.C. fly-in and many other ABI public policy events. He is a platinum level contributor to ABI’s Iowa Industry PAC.

“Steve Dust is the epitome of an advocate,” ABI President Mike Ralston said. “He tirelessly represents the greater Cedar Valley, his investors and all Iowa businesses to make Iowa a better place to live and work. We are grateful for Steve’s leadership and appreciate his collaboration with ABI.”

Dust ABI award 2016

Manpower Receive 2016 Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber Diversity & Inclusion Award

Cedar Valley Manpower team celebrate their accomplishments.

Cedar Valley Manpower team celebrate their accomplishments.

The Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber presented their Annual Awards on Thursday, March 31, 2016.

Manpower creates customized programs to recruit and develop a workforce reflective of the Cedar Valley through effective partnerships with local agencies.

Access2Ability partnership with Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services (IVRS) provides job opportunities for those with a disability.

Collaboration with Iowa Workforce Development is putting formerly incarcerated candidates to work.  Department of Correction facilities have placed reformed job seekers from the Work Release program into jobs.

Manpower staff serves on the Refugee Resource committee led by Catholic Charities. The goal is to help integrate refugees from Myanmar into the Cedar Valley.  The Manpower team developed job opportunities and overcame language barriers by creating work teams of 3-4 refugees, with one member serving as translator.

Manpower provides job preparation advice to students at Waterloo West High and college students through Iowa Association of Business and Industry’s Leadership Iowa University program.

Regional Director Kathy Joblinski is an active member of the Alliance & Chamber’s Chamber Council, its Diversity & Inclusion Partnership, and she is also a member of the Chamber Council’s Workforce Committee.

View the video produced by Pyke Studios here.

View a video of the entire event, including acceptance speeches, produced by Cedar Falls Cable is here.

 

 

2016 DIVERSITY & INCLUSION Award (50+ employees) – Waterloo Schools

 

Dr. Lindaman and Dr. Smith accept the Diversity & Inclusion award on behalf of the Waterloo Schools.

Dr. Lindaman and Dr. Smith accept the Diversity & Inclusion award on behalf of the Waterloo Schools.

The Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber presented their Annual Awards on Thursday, March 31, 2016. Congratulations to the Waterloo Schools, recipient of the 2016 Diversity & Inclusion Award.

The Waterloo Community School District serves children and families bringing over 30 languages and 70+ dialects, plus a similarly diverse staff. District goals include enhanced efforts to reduce the achievement gap between demographic subgroups, provide cultural competency training, utilize research-based cultural competency strategies, maximize equitable community access to and use of our facilities, recruit and retain employees from diverse backgrounds, build partnerships within the community, and schools and homes of our students.

The WCSD Equity Committee, made up of school and community stakeholders, provides linkages to diverse area communities and organizations.  Collaboration partners include: Waterloo Human Rights Commission, NAACP – Education Committee, representatives from the Bosnian, Latino and Burma-origin Communities, and UNI Conference on African-American Children and Families.

The District is a lead partner in Cedar Valley CultureFest – a celebration showcasing the increasing diversity in the Cedar Valley through food, art, music and exhibits.

The Districts Community Relations Department regularly promotes diversity across the district by sharing stories through multiple media platforms with the general Cedar Valley area.

View the video produced by Pyke Studios here.

 

View a video of the entire event, including acceptance speeches, produced by Cedar Falls Cable is here.

 

HowFactory Receives 2016 Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber Harold Brock Innovation Award

Co-founder Trace Steffan accepts the Harold Brock Innovation Award.

Co-founder Trace Steffan accepts the Harold Brock Innovation Award.

The Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber presented their Annual Awards on Thursday, March 31, 2016. Howfactory received the Harold Brock Innovation Award.

HowFactory, a Cedar Valley startup business has developed software to better create, manage, and distribute knowledge documents, standard operating procedures, training, and other key documents for industrial manufacturing and other companies. The idea co-founder Trace Steffan started toying with in his home office in 2012 has become one of the fastest growing and most acclaimed tech startups in Iowa.

After developing their business model at the Iowa Startup Accelerator in 2014, HowFactory received a $50,000 investment from Built by IowaHowFactory was the first Iowa company to be selected to the national Tech Crunch Disrupt Startup Battlefield.  In 2015, HowFactory swept the Dream Big Grow Here awards at Entrefest , then was named the Silicon Prairie News’ New Startup of the Year.

HowFactory is a vital member of the Cedar Valley startup ecosystem. HowFactory is a founding member of Millrace, the Cedar Valley’s first subscription based tech co-working space. The firm supports and routinely participates in One Million Cups, Startup Weekend, and a host of other initiatives to nurture innovation in the Cedar Valley.

View the video here.

Jim & Cecelia Mudd Honored with 2016 Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber Legacy Award

The Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber presented their Annual Awards on Thursday, March 31, 2016.  Jim and Cecelia Mudd received the Legacy Award.

“Servant Leaders” Jim and Cecelia Mudd have a true American success story. The couple has built a strong business from the ground up while remaining true to their values. The Mudds believe in Friends, Family, and Faith made visible through their generous contribution of time, money, and wisdom to countless charitable organizations, especially those serving the underprivileged throughout the Cedar Valley and beyond.

Cecelia started her career as an airline flight attendant, and later worked alongside Jim in radio and at Mudd Advertising. She has been an active volunteer and supporter of the Sartori Festival of Trees, EPI, PEO, Catholic Daughters, and the American Heart Association Go Red Luncheon. Cecelia taught their children the value of hard work through helping with their paper routes and de-tasseling corn.

Jim is an unabashed promoter of free enterprise, personal responsibility, and civic involvement.

A graduate of Brescia University, Jim studied broadcasting at Northwestern University, spending 21 years in radio before starting Jim Mudd and Associates in the basement of their home in 1981. Today Mudd Advertising is a global marketing firm, serving over 3,500 clients primarily in the automotive industry. Clients also include Bridgestone Tires as well as 50 John Deere retailers.  Celebrating its 35th anniversary, Mudd employs 165 with offices around the country.

Jim maintains a personal friendship with Ken Blanchard and served on the board of Blanchard’s Lead Like Jesus, and incorporates his Gung Ho principles into daily business culture and practice at Mudd Advertising.

Jim has served on the Western Home board of directors, as co-chair of the Cedar Falls Library Capital Campaign, United Way Annual Campaign and others. He is currently a member of the University of Northern Iowa Foundation board. Together the Mudds support 80 different Cedar Valley organizations, including St. Patrick Church, UNI and countless others.

View the Video here.

 

BUSINESS OF THE YEAR – The VGM Group

 

CEO Mike Mallaro accepts the Business of the Year Award.

CEO Mike Mallaro accepts the Business of the Year Award.

The Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber presented their Annual Awards on Thursday, March 31, 2016. The VGM Group received the Business of the Year Award for companies with 51+ employees.  PDCM Insurance sponsors this award.

View the presentation video about the VGM Group, produced by Pyke Studios,  here.

With 25 years of success, The VGM Group includes more than 20 business units. The most recent $20m expansion adds 70,000 square feet of new offices to the San Marnan Ave. corporate campus and will be home to 300 employees.  The $2m renovation of the Alexandra Drive location accommodates growth of new tech based jobs.

VGM is a 100% owned by its 650+ employees through Employee Stock Ownership Plan “ESOP”, keeping wealth in the Cedar Valley and creating an employee focused culture and unique employment brand. VGM is one of Iowa’s 2015 Top Workplace in the Large Company category selected through an independent survey by Workplace Dynamics.

VGM’s annual Heartland Conference contributed an economic benefit of $1.1 million in the Cedar Valley in 2015 alone.

To help develop, strengthen, and retain talent in the company and the Cedar Valley, VGM participates in Iowa’s STEM Student Internship Program and has developed an internal professional development program for emerging leaders with in their company.

 

View a video of the entire event, including acceptance speeches, produced by Cedar Falls Cable is here.

 

GREATER CEDAR VALLEY ALLIANCE & CHAMBER NOW ACCCEPTING NOMINATIONS FOR ANNUAL AWARDS

 The Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber announces nominations will be accepted now through  January 8, 2016 for  business awards to be presented during the 2016 Annual Celebration on Thursday, March 31st at the Park Place Event Centre.

Do you know of an individual who should be recognized for their contributions in creating a strong business climate and enhancing the quality of life in the Cedar Valley by continued service and leadership?  Has an Alliance & Chamber business or organization made an outstanding contribution to the Cedar Valley and its citizens on a continued basis or with a specific project?  You are encouraged to nominate Alliance & Chamber investors for recognition of their contributions.

“The strength of the Cedar Valley is a result of visionary, innovative leadership – individuals, businesses and organizations who are investing capital, creating jobs and making things happen in the workplace and the community. It’s important to tell their stories and recognize them for their contributions,” says Alliance & Chamber CEO Steve Dust.

Nominations are being accepted through January 8th for the following awards:

  • Business of the Year Award -(Small companies 1-50 FTE’s,
    Large companies 51+ FTE’s)
  • Harold Brock Innovation Award
  • John Deere Treating Capital Well Award
  • Fulfilling the Vision of One Award
  • Cedar Valley Partner Award

*Full-time Employees (FTE)

Winners from the 2015 event include:

      • Business of the Year (Small companies 1-50 FTE’s) – Far Reach Technologies
      • Business of the Year (Large companies 51 + FTE’s) – United Equipment Accessories, Inc.
      • Harold Brock Innovation Award: OMJC Signal
      • John Deere Treating Capital Well Award:         Farmers State Bank
      • Fulfilling the Vision of One Award – Tom Penaluna
      • Cedar Valley Partner Award: Boy & Girls Club and Hawkeye Community College
      • Legacy Award – Ed Gallagher
      • Inclusion Awards (Small companies 1-50 FTE’s) – Cadillac Lane
      • Inclusion Awards (Large companies 51 +         FTE’s) – Hawkeye Community College

Nominations for Inclusions Awards has passed.

Descriptions of the awards and nomination forms are available at the Alliance & Chamber offices or online at www.cedarvalleyalliance.com/programsandevents . For additional information, please contact Bette Wubbena at bwubbena@cedarvalleyalliance.com or 319-232-1156.

 

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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.

GREATER CEDAR VALLEY ALLIANCE & CHAMBER NOW ACCCEPTING NOMINATIONS FOR ANNUAL AWARDS

The Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber announces nominations will be accepted now through of January 9, 2015 for a variety of business awards to be presented during the 2015 Annual Celebration on Thursday, March 26th at the Park Place Event Centre.

Do you know of an individual who should be recognized for their contributions in creating a strong business climate and enhancing the quality of life in the Cedar Valley by continued service and leadership?  Has an Alliance & Chamber business or organization made an outstanding contribution to the Cedar Valley and its citizens on a continued basis or with a specific project?  You are encouraged to nominate Alliance & Chamber investors for recognition of their contributions.

“The strength of the Cedar Valley is a result of visionary, innovative leadership – individuals, businesses and organizations who are investing capital, creating jobs and making things happen in the workplace and the community.  It’s important to tell their stories and recognize them for their contributions,” says Alliance & Chamber CEO Steve Dust.

Nominations are being accepted through January 9th for the following awards:

Business of the Year Award (Small companies 1-50 employees, Large companies 51+ employees)
Harold Brock Innovation Award
John Deere Treating Capital Well Award
Fulfilling the Vision of One Award
Cedar Valley Partner Award

Winners from the 2014 event include Bob Koob, Ken Lockard, Barry Schaffter, Tim Hurley, Allen College Unity Point, Hydrite Chemical Co., Kryton Engineered Metals, Inc., Schumacher Elevator and Veridian Credit Union.

Descriptions of the awards and nomination forms are available at the Alliance & Chamber offices or online at www.cedarvalleyalliance.com/programsandevents .  For additional information, please contact Bette Wubbena at bwubbena@cedarvalleyalliance.com or 319-232-1156.

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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