Waterloo, IA: (319) 232-1156 | Cedar Falls, IA: (319) 266-3593

Tag Archives: growth

Dalton Plumbing, Heating, Cooling, Electric & Fireplaces: New Name, More Services

Dalton Plumbing, Heating & Cooling has added electrical services to its repertoire and changed its name to Dalton Plumbing, Heating, Cooling, Electric & Fireplaces to reflect its new “one-stop-shop” approach to home comfort.

As of Jan. 18, the locally-owned firm, which specializes in servicing residential, as well as commercial, customers in a 30-mile radius around Waterloo-Cedar Falls, launched a comprehensive suite of electrical services.

Joe Boyle, who founded his own electrical services firm in Cedar Falls since 2001, has folded the company into Dalton to head up its new department.

Boyle, a Waterloo native, also comes to Dalton from Cedar Rapids-based Point Builders LLC, for which he was project superintendent. He also was with Halvorson Trane in Cedar Rapids, where he was a building automation systems technician and project foreman. Since 2001, Boyle has owned Liberty Electric, a commercial and residential electrical contractor business in Cedar Falls.

“Joe’s got a vast amount of experience, too, with automated systems; he’s been in the heating, venting and air-conditioning business; he ran projects for a contractor here in Cedar Falls, so he’s used to scheduling and managing jobs,” said Dave Krejchi, owner of Dalton Plumbing, Heating, Cooling, Electric & Fireplaces.

Dalton’s expansion of services is a value-added proposition for customers, Krejchi said.

“This helps us take better care of our customers by keeping our electrical services in-house – to do a better job of getting the job done directly in a timely manner with our own staff,” Krejchi said.

Dalton Plumbing, Heating, Cooling, Electric & Fireplaces, which is located in the Cedar Falls Industrial Park, now can answer the three most basic needs of all residential and consumer customers, Krejchi said.

“The biggest thing is to be able to do maintenance on a whole home,” he said. “The three things that go wrong is plumbing, heating/cooling and electrical, and now we’ll be a full one-stop shop.”

Now, Dalton can examine all home systems to ensure each is running properly.

Boyle’s department will have full access to all other Dalton technicians.

“His staff is my staff – dispatchers, accounting, you name it,” Krejchi said. “We have a team of people here to help our customers. We’ll be doing installations and updating and, then, do service work.”

Commercial and residential customers will love Dalton’s expanded repertoire of services, Boyle said.

“Customer service is always what it’s about, and Dave already had a good, established company with an excellent reputation,” Boyle said. “We’ll supply any needs the customer has with this diversification.”

For years, Dalton has operated comprehensive apprenticeships in all its service areas, and the company will add an electrical apprenticeship program, Krejchi said.

The result is that customers can get quick, expert service, no matter what the issue may be.

“You may have a bad outlet or need to upgrade a lighting system, or you may want to switch to more energy-efficient lighting, run outdoor lighting, maybe upgrade your electrical service, or you may have 100-amp service and need 200-amp service,” Krejchi said. “Maybe you want to go from fuses to circuit breakers. Electrical is a whole other field, and we now can take care of that for you in-house.”

Dalton also offers emergency services 24 hours a day, as it has since Chuck Dalton started the firm in 1959.

Dalton’s services include a 100% satisfaction guarantee and financing options.

To reach Dalton Plumbing, Heating, Cooling, Electric & Fireplaces, call (319) 266–3513. More information is at www.daltonphc.com.

Hydrite Chemical Company set to make $15.9 million capital investment in Waterloo

Hydrite Chemical Company 2013

Hydrite Chemical Company set to make $15.9 million capital investment in Waterloo. Hydrite Chemical’s proposed project would increase manufacturing capabilities in Waterloo by expanding its product lines in the food, agriculture and sulfur industries. The board awarded the company tax benefits through the High Quality Jobs Program (HQJP). The project is expected to create 11 jobs at a qualifying wage of $16.79 per hour. The proposed project includes land acquisition, site preparation, the construction of a 20,000 s.f. building, and installation of manufacturing machinery and equipment and will have a capital investment of $15.9 million.

The Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber provided assistance to Hydrite. The Alliance & Chamber identified appropriate resources and tools available through the City of Waterloo and State of Iowa, and monitored the project throughout the process. State and local incentives were integral in Hydrite siting this project at their Waterloo location.

The Alliance & Chamber has provided assistance with previous Hydrite expansions. Since 2012, Hydrite has made more than $15 million in investment at the site.

Hydrite Chemical Company is one of the largest manufacturers and distributors of chemical products in the United States.  The company provides expertise in chemical distribution, food and dairy sanitation, food ingredients, organic processing, liquid sulfur salts, water treatment, foam control, and compliance management. The company began its Waterloo operations in 1978 where they currently have 86 full-time employees.

 

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TechWorks Campus Propels High-Speed Business Development with Startup Weekend Event

(Cedar Valley of Iowa) – TechWorks Campus, 360 Westfield Ave., Waterloo, will host Startup Weekend Cedar Valley November 20 -22, 2015. Startup Weekend is a 54-hour weekend event, during which groups of software developers, business managers, startup enthusiasts, marketing gurus, graphic artists and more pitch ideas for new startup companies, form teams around those ideas, and work to create a working prototype, demo, or presentation by Sunday evening.

Launch Party Kick-Off

The event will kick-off with the Startup Weekend Launch Party, Friday evening at 5:00pm. The Launch Party is an opportunity for the participants of Startup Weekend to network with each other and established Cedar Valley business leaders. The Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber and Far Reach are launch party sponsors. Alliance & Chamber investors and the Cedar Valley business community are invited to attend.

There is no cost for the launch event, but registration is needed. Register by calling the Alliance & Chamber at 319-232-1156 or on-line at www.cedarvalleyalliance.com/calendar-of-events.php.

Following the launch event, entrepreneurs will give a one-minute pitch of their business idea. Attendees will vote to decide which ideas will be developed over the next two days.

Beginning at 7:00am Saturday, teams will form around each idea. Teams will go through the customer discovery process, prototyping and testing their business model. Local mentors will come in throughout the event to coach teams and provide expertise. Meals will be provided throughout the work day and end with an after party at 10:30pm. Teams will return on Sunday morning to finalize plans and prepare presentations. That evening, a panel of judges will award prizes to the most viable business.

Local Organizers

Startup Weekend Cedar Valley is being organized by a core group of young Cedar Valley entrepreneurs: Cody Caraway, Michael Caraway, Patrick Luensmann, Keevin O’Rourke, Valyn Reinig, and Bart Schmitz. Organizers believe the event has the opportunity to bring individuals who normally wouldn’t consider themselves entrepreneurs into the growing Cedar Valley startup ecosystem. Gold Sponsors for the event include the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber, Scientific Games Interactive, and Cedar Falls Utilities. Veridian Credit Union and VGM Forbin are Silver Sponsors. The Center for Business, Growth, and Innovation and the Creative Life Research Center of the University of Northern Iowa, Visual Logic, and Martin Brothers are Bronze Sponsors.

“The average attendee will be exposed to what it’s like to be in a startup, the demands it brings, and also the correct way to create a business model,” says Michael Caraway, “This all translates into a more innovative, lean mindset that individuals can take back to their employers. Who knows, some may even take the leap to start their own business.”

Startup Weekend Cedar Valley Powered by Mediacom

Gigabit+ Fiber Solutions from Mediacom Business will provide 5 gigabit broadband to the TechWorks Campus for Startup Weekend Cedar Valley expanding the scope of potential business concepts and allowing teams to develop high bandwidth applications without limitation.

Why the TechWorks Campus

“The Techworks Campus is the historic location for industrial innovation in the Cedar Valley and a hub for Iowa’s latest production and design technologies,” says Steve Dust CEO of the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber and President of the TechWorks Campus. “TechWork’s Industrial Technology Center is the perfect place for entrepreneurs to launch the next great Cedar Valley success stories.”

This is the second year for Startup Weekend in the Cedar Valley. To learn more about Startup Weekend Cedar Valley, or to register, go to www.swcv.co or message Michael Caraway by email, mike@monday-creations.com.

For Blog

Startup Weekend Cedar Valley

Startup Weekend Cedar Valley

 

 

 

 

ConAgra Foods Announces $50M Expansion

Cedar Valley of Iowa – The Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber and the City of Waterloo, Iowa announce the $50M expansion of the ConAgra Foods plant located in the Waterloo MidPort Industrial Park, pending approval of state and local assistance.

Mayor Buck Clark welcomes the potential new investment and jobs at the MidPort site, thanking ConAgra’s staff and leadership, both at the Waterloo facility and corporate headquarters, for their decision to “Choose Waterloo.”

“The City of Waterloo is proud to continue our growing relationship with ConAgra Foods.  This expansion is great for Waterloo’s tax base and it adds new employment opportunities for the whole Cedar Valley area,” said Clark, “Furthermore, ConAgra continues to strengthen and diversify its Waterloo location by adding yet another product line.”

The project and impact:

ConAgra Foods makes consumer snacks marketed under the Snack Pack and Swiss Miss brand names at its Waterloo facility.

This proposed project will add DAVID snack seed production to its state-of-the-art manufacturing platform in Waterloo.

“Waterloo is a great fit for ConAgra Foods and our new snack seeds facility. Waterloo has an excellent workforce and the location will allow us to meet our current and future business needs,” said Mike Tracy, Sr. Vice President of Supply Chain for ConAgra Foods. “Selecting Waterloo, pending approval of state and local assistance, for this work was made possible through great partnerships between ConAgra Foods and local officials, and we look forward to having a continued presence in Waterloo.”

The proposed expansion project will include new construction of processing, packaging, warehouse, and administrative areas to accommodate the new product.  This expansion is expected to increase the plant production by 30 percent, adding approximately 99,000 square feet to the existing facility.   The new production line will create a highly automated, state of the art manufacturing platform designed to offer more flexibility in packaging options as business needs change.

Total employment is also expected to increase by about 55 positions. Hawkeye Community College will support the proposed ConAgra Foods expansion through the Iowa Industrial New Jobs Training Program (260E), which provides a funding mechanism for training new employees. The value of the training incentive is estimated to be approximately $536,000.

“Firms like ConAgra Foods have many options when deciding where to make large capital investments. We are excited that ConAgra Foods again chose to invest in the economy, workforce, and business climate of the Cedar Valley of Iowa. It’s exciting to have yet another nationally recognized brand added to the Cedar Valley by a Fortune 500 company,” said Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber CEO, Steve Dust. “Combining this major investment with the recent expansion of VGM and the location of Winnebago, the Cedar Valley economy continues to demonstrate its strength as a profitable, productive location to serve national and international markets.  I congratulate Mayor Clark, Noel Anderson and the Alliance & Chamber Economic Development team for this success for Waterloo and the Cedar Valley”, Dust concludes.

History

The MidPort site was originally chosen in 1997 by ConAgra Foods to build a state-of-the-art plant to produce pudding packs. The current project under consideration would be the third expansion at the MidPort plant, continuing to prove that the Cedar Valley is a prime location for quality companies with jobs like those at ConAgra Foods.

Moving Forward

ConAgra Foods officials have applied to the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) for state incentives, with action on the request expected at their board meeting on May 22 in Des Moines. The Waterloo City Council will consider necessary approvals during their May 26meeting.

Pending approval of incentives, ground-breaking for this project is expected to take place in mid-June. The new operation could begin production by late 2016.

For more information about this project or the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber contact Steve Dust by calling 319-232-1156 or by email to sdust@cedarvalleyalliance.com.

 

 

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.

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

Clayberg Joins Alliance & Chamber as Director of Business Retention & Expansion

The Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber is pleased to announce Nate Clayberg has accepted the position of Director of Business Retention & Expansion.

As Director of Business of Retention & Expansion, Clayberg will plan, develop, and implement regional economic development initiatives to encourage and facilitate growth in targeted industry sectors. An important initiative to be lead by Clayberg  is Advance Cedar Valley, local implementation of Advance Iowa, a statewide Economic Gardening program operated by UNI.

“Nate’s familiarity with the business community of the Cedar Valley economic region and the work of the Alliance & Chamber is a great asset. He will be able to provide services to growing Cedar Valley businesses immediately,” says Alliance & Chamber CEO Steven Dust, “It will be a fast transition for a talented professional like Nate.  This is an important addition to our organization.”

Clayberg was previously the Executive Director of Economic Development in Buchanan County and the current Chair of the Cedar Valley Regional Partnership , an economic development marketing collaboration. In addition to his work in the field of economic development, Clayberg is known in the Cedar Valley through his work in development at the University of Northern Iowa Athletics and Sartori Hospital. He is a 2013 Cedar Valley Courier Communications 20 Under 40 honoree.

Clayberg received his bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communications from Iowa State University and a master’s degree in Sports Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University. He is a graduate of the Economic Development Institute at the University of Oklahoma, and is in the process of attaining the Certified Economic Developer designation.

“We were looking for a candidate with strong economic development knowledge and experience who would work hard for the Cedar Valley,” says Lisa Skubal, Vice President of Economic Development. “We believe Nate will be highly effective in this role, delivering results in a very short time.”

Clayberg will assume his role with the Alliance & Chamber on May 1, 2014.

“I value the type of work I do every day as an economic developer as it contributes to the overall good of the entire community,” comments Clayberg.  “I look forward to utilizing my skills to help the Cedar Valley region grow and prosper,”

Originally from Webster City, Clayberg  lives in Jesup with his wife Kelly, a perfusionist with Cedar Valley Medical Associates at Unity Point – Allen Hospital and his two children Rachel, 11 and Daniel, 7.

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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Sue Beach Joins Alliance & Chamber as Director of Investor Relations

The Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber is pleased to announce that Sue Beach has joined the Alliance & Chamber as Director of Investor Relations.

The Director of Investor Relations is responsible for investor recruitment and retention. Beach will work collaboratively with Bette Wubbena, Director of Investor Services.

 “Sue has served as a volunteer on Alliance & Chamber committees and as an Ambassador for both the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber and the Waverly Chamber,” says Cary Darrah, Vice President of Community Development, “Her knowledge of our services and the return on investment available to investors will be a major benefit to our existing investors and to other businesses and institutions in the Cedar Valley economic area looking to give their operations a competitive advantage through the Alliance & Chamber.”

Beach has over 20 years of sales, marketing, fundraising, and management experience. Most recently, Beach led the Cedar Valley through the adoption and implementation of the Blue Zones Project of Waterloo and Cedar Falls as the Program Manager.

Beach is a graduate of North Iowa Area Community College and Hamilton College.

“Sue is a respected leader in the community with extensive expertise in building relationships and generating revenue, volunteer support and action,” says Alliance & Chamber CEO Steven Dust, “Her business and non-profit experience is a good match for this new role in the Alliance & Chamber. Our investors can expect the same kind of enthusiasm and energy to ensure they’re receiving maximum return on their Alliance & Chamber investments.”

Beach resides in Cedar Falls with her husband Sean and has an adult daughter Cheyenne.  She will begin her duties with the Alliance & Chamber on May 12,2014.

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.

Kittrell announces the IAMC proposed location at the Cedar Valley TechWorks in Waterloo

Cedar Valley of Iowa – On February 5, the Iowa Innovation Corporation will unveil the vision for the Iowa Advanced Manufacturing Center (IAMC). Two announcement / presentations will be made by Mark Kittrell, President, Iowa Innovation Corporation (IIC) on that day. The first will be at 9:00am during the 2014 Cedar Valley Manufacturing Conference held in Tama Hall on the Hawkeye Community College campus. Later, Kittrell will make an official presentation in Des Moines as a part of the IIC Legislative reception at 5:00pm at the World Food Prize building.

Kittrell’s announcement is expected to include: the IAMC proposed location at the Cedar Valley TechWorks in Waterloo; the role and composition of the newly formed Advanced Manufacturing Workgroup ; a schedule of Advanced Manufacturing Focus Groups to be held in various locations; the resources to be offered to Iowa small & medium size manufacturers such as an industrial business incubator, acceleration services, modeling and simulation, industrial laboratories, state of the art production equipment, access to Iowa’s top industrial innovation work and talent from our universities and community colleges, and process improvement.

Kittrell will also discuss capital and operational funding necessary to continue development of the Iowa Advanced Manufacturing Center.
 

Advanced Manufacturing Workgroup

Co-chaired by Sarah McDonald Hasken, Vice President, A.Y. McDonald MFG. Co., and Glenn Baker, Director Global Manufacturing and Enterprise Services, John Deere, this core group of Iowa’s manufacturing sector, has been formed to set the direction for the IAMC.

The workgroup comprises leaders from all types of advanced manufacturing in the state of Iowa and also includes representatives of the regent universities, community colleges, state government, engineering, business associations and economic development leaders. David Takes, President of Doerfer; Mark Hanawalt, President/CEO of United Business Equipment; and Marvin Schumacher, President of Schumacher Elevator; Metal Casting Center Director Jerry Thiel; Linda Allen, President of Hawkeye Community College; and TechWorks representatives Cary Darrah, Wes James, and Steve Dust participate in the Workgroup from the Cedar Valley.

Advanced Manufacturing Focus Groups

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 & medium size manufacturers.  The focus group sessions will be held March through mid -April. Advanced Manufacturing Focus Group Sessions will be held in: Council Bluffs, Mason City, Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, Dubuque, Iowa Quad Cities, and Holstein. Earlier, a session was held in the Cedar Valley.

 

TechWorks Campus

TechWorks is a 30-acre campus containing 20 acres of development sites and 300,000 square feet of space in two existing buildings undergoing renovation.  In 2007, Deere & Company donated land and buildings to start this innovation-driven economic development project.  This historic plant was the site of manufacturing and assembly of the earliest John Deere tractors. TechWorks Campus is a subsidiary of the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber.

TechWorks will partner with the Iowa Innovation Corporation to establish and house the Iowa Advanced Manufacturing Center (IAMC) in the Tech I building on the TechWorks Campus.

For more information on the Iowa Innovation Council, the Iowa Innovation Corporation, the Iowa Advanced Manufacturing Center, or the Iowa Innovation Council Legislative Reception on Feb. 5th, contact:

Tonja Richards

Director of Marketing and Communications
Iowa Innovation Corporation
tonja.richards@iowainnovationcoporation.com
(515)421-4038

For more information on the Cedar Valley Manufacturing Conference contact:

Pamela Wright, Business Development Manager

Hawkeye Community College

Pamela.wright@hawkeyecollege.edu
(319)296-2329 ext.3012

 

For information on the TechWorks Campus contact:

Steve Dust, CEO
Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber
sdust@cedarvalleyalliance.com
(319)232-1156

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