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Mixed Use Project Construction Begins on TechWorks Campus

Construction has begun on the hotel on the TechWorks Campus in the Cedar Valley of Iowa.

Construction has begun on the hotel on the TechWorks Campus in the Cedar Valley of Iowa.

$40M hotel, training center, conference space, restaurant construction launch in Tech 2 building

Today, TechWorks Campus, a subsidiary of the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber, together with the City of Waterloo, Iowa Economic Development Authority, and Financial District Properties (FDP), celebrated the construction launch of the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel, John Deere Training Center, and restaurant in the Tech 2 building on the TechWorks Campus. The construction launch represents a significant step in the continued progress of developing The Green@TechWorks.

Governor Terry Branstad, Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds,  and Iowa Economic Development Authority representatives were present to celebrate the launch and its significance as one of the first designated Iowa Reinvestment Districts (IRD) and one of the first IRD project to get underway.

Tech 2, an 88-year old former John Deere tractor manufacturing building, is being transformed into The Green@TechWorks re-development project. The 180,000 square foot, six-story building will house a 191-room Courtyard by Marriott hotel; a new restaurant operated by Consolidated Restaurant Operations, Inc. (CRO); John Deere Regional Training Center and a conference center (managed by Courtyard). The Green project is a principal feature of the overall TechWorks Campus riverfront re-development.

Also celebrating the launch was hotel operator Hotel Specialists, Inc. (HSI) of Jacksonville, Illinois and restaurant operator Consolidated Restaurant Operations, Inc. (CRO) of Dallas, Texas.

The Green & Overall Project

The Green@TechWorks is part of the larger 33-acre TechWorks Campus. In addition to the Tech 1 and Tech 2 buildings (formerly John Deere Westfield R & C2) the campus includes parcels suitable for light manufacturing and retail. TechWorks Campus is the first technology park of its kind in Iowa to combine world class business amenities within a Brownfield redevelopment site.

The John Deere Waterloo Tractor & Engine Museum is already established in the Campus area, as is the Tech 1 Center for Applied Advanced Manufacturing, including the University of Northern Iowa’s Metal Casting and Additive (3D) Manufacturing Center and a Design Lab in partnership with Hawkeye Community College.

A marina and a riverfront restaurant along the Cedar River are also part of the overall $74.1 million Campus development plan.

“This is a momentous day for TechWorks, the city, and the state of Iowa,” says Cary Darrah, General Manager of TechWorks Campus. “Finally, the public can see the results of years of planning and the efforts of those who believed in the vision for this campus. This is the first of many celebrations to come!”

Downtown Momentum

TechWorks Campus is just steps to the Cedar Valley Recreation Trails, entertainment & museum districts, and a variety of Riverloop District amenities.

Other developments underway in the vicinity include: Grand Crossing mixed use residential/condominiums, Single Speed Brewery with Sidecar Coffee Shop, and Hawkeye Community College Urban Campus.

Construction of the Tech 2 building is now underway, with a projected hotel opening in Spring 2017.

TechWorks Campus is a private non-profit corporation and subsidiary of the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber. More information can be found at www.techworkscampus.com or by contacting Cary Darrah, General Manager at cdarrah@cedarvalleyalliance.com, or Wes James Facilities Manager at wjames@cedarvalleyalliance.com, or by calling (319) 232-1156.

Find photos here.

Read more in the Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier.

Development Team Contacts:

The Green@TechWorks – Financial District Properties: Rodney Blackwell 563-324-9898

City of Waterloo: Mayor Quentin Hart 319-291-4301 or

Economic Development Director Noel Anderson 319-291-4366

 

 

TechWorks Campus Announces the Launch of the Green@TechWorks


$40M hotel and training center construction set to begin with Tech2 building sale to developer.

(Cedar Valley of Iowa) – The TechWorks Campus, announces the sale of the Tech2 building to Financial District Properties (FDP) and the start of construction of the highly anticipated Green@TechWorks mixed-use project.

Tech2, an 88 year old former John Deere tractor manufacturing building, is the starting point of the Green@TechWorks re-development project. The 180,000 square foot, six-story building will house a 191-room Courtyard by Marriott hotel; third-party restaurant; John Deere Regional Training Center and conference center. The Green is a principal feature of the overall $74M TechWorks Campus river-front re-development.

“It is gratifying to see The Green @ TechWorks become reality. The project will provide our Campus tenants with tremendous amenities just steps from their operations,” said Steve Dust, CEO of the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber and President of the TechWorks Campus. “Combined with the industrial 3D printing and design center, labs and shop in Tech 1, and the fantastic new John Deere Tractor and Engine Museum, the opportunities for the TechWorks building sites and the marina become clear. These new operations compliment the downtown Waterloo revitalization and anchors new Cedar Valley developments along the river from Waverly through Cedar Falls to Waterloo. This is a very exciting time in the Cedar Valley.”

Since The Green@TechWorks project was announced in 2012, FDP along with TechWorks has moved forward with steady determination, pursuing federal, state, and local re-development financing, and brokering agreements between the developer, the City of Waterloo, and others.

FDP Managing Principal Rodney Blackwell has significant experience with downtown real estate redevelopment and is recognized for successfully assembling complex financing structures for downtown projects. Earlier FDP projects include the Mississippi Plaza Center in downtown Davenport, IA, and the North American headquarters for KONE Corp. in Moline, IL. FDP is currently developing Machinery Row, a mixed use re-development area in downtown Racine, Wisconsin. FDP also owns the river-front building occupied primarily by the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier at 100 East Fourth.

“Despite the inevitable bumps in the road and some unexpected big challenges; creativity, commitment, and a lot of patience tied all the pieces of the financing puzzle together,” says Blackwell. “We are eager to start construction and look forward to delivering a venue that will compliment the Campus and delight the community.”

Helping to finance the project is $12 million from the Waterloo Reinvestment District.

A portion of the TechWorks Campus has also become the first designated Iowa Reinvestment District (IRD). The District, established by The City of Waterloo will provide up to $12M in new state hotel/motel and sales tax revenues generated within the district for capital projects. $8M will be used to pay off bonds financing The Green@TechWorks. $3M will go to the development of the Tech1 building, with $1M boosting a proposed marina development.

The projected economic impact of the District is significant. Up to 562 new permanent jobs will be created to accommodate the anticipated 275,000 annual visitors to the Campus. Visitors are expected to generate $2.9M in annual food, retail and other sales generated on Campus or in the vicinity.

Construction set to begin on The Green@TechWorks.

Interior pre-construction will begin in March with mobilization expected in mid-April. The target opening date for the project is May 2017. The Davenport office of contractor Ryan Companies US, Inc. has been named to complete the project. Ryan Companies’ Greg Lundgren, Midwest President is senior Project Executive Officer.

An estimated 130 people will be employed during the one year construction period. FDP is committed to use local trades and subcontractors to the greatest extent possible. Only when faced with a skill, schedule, or major price constraint outside trades would be sought, according to developer Blackwell.

Amenities for the business class traveler.

Business travelers to the Campus will enjoy the amenities of the 191-room Courtyard hotel, the newest Marriott property in the market. The hotel will be operated by Hospitality Specialists Inc. of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Hospitality Specialists Inc. has been operating hotels for over 30 years with properties in Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Florida.

The John Deere Regional Training Center will be constructed on the 2nd floor to address a range of skills upgrades for John Deere employees across its operations.

Consolidated Restaurant Operations, Inc. (CRO) of Dallas will expand its footprint to Iowa for the first time with a property in the Tech 2 building. CRO operates more than 91 full-service and 24 franchise restaurants in 17 states and globally. CRO manages brands ranging from the traditional steak house to Tex-Mex. The Green’s restaurant will be a new concept for CRO, consistent with Campus clienteles’ requirements.

$74.1 million TechWorks Campus mixed-use development offers unique opportunities.

The TechWorks Campus site and buildings, donated by John Deere to TechWorks in 2006 is located at the gateway to Downtown Waterloo at Highway 218 and West Commercial Street. The 30 acre TechWorks Campus is currently home to University of Northern Iowa Metal Casting Additive Manufacturing Center and Design Lab, Hawkeye Community College Design Lab, the Iowa Advanced Manufacturing Network Hub, John Deere Tractor and Engine Museum, and Cedar Valley Makerspace. TechWorks Campus is just steps to the Cedar Valley Recreation Trails, entertainment & museum districts, and a variety of Riverloop District amenities.

Four sites are available on the campus for light industrial, research and development, and retail. 100,000 sf remains in the six-floor Tech 1 building for build-to-suit space ideal for light manufacturing and R&D tenants. Six laboratories are also available. Plans for a marina and a riverfront restaurant along the Cedar River are part of the overall $74.1 million Campus development plan.

“Identifying and attracting the right tenant and development is the next priority for TechWorks,” says Cary Darrah, Vice President and General Manager of TechWorks Campus. “My job now is to work with the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber development team to help companies understand the tremendous value of locating on the TechWorks Campus. With access to University research and training, a wealth of resources, opportunities to make the right connections and create synergies, the amenities of The Green right outside their door, the Campus location shouldn’t be hard to sell.”

TechWorks Campus is a private non-profit corporation and subsidiary of the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber. More information can be found at www.techworkscampus.com or by contacting Steve Dust, President of TechWorks Campus by email sdust@cedarvalleyalliance.com, Cary Darrah, Vice President and General Manager at cdarrah@cedarvalleyalliance.com, or Wes James Facilities Manager at wjames@cedarvalleyalliance.com, or by calling (319)232-1156.

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TechWorks Bird’s Eye – Looking West (12.2.14) 24×36

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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Winnebago Industries to Expand Operation to the Cedar Valley of Iowa

Officials from Winnebago Industries Inc., the City of Waverly, Iowa, and the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber are announcing the planned location of a Winnebago production facility in Waverly, Iowa.

The Winnebago facility will locate in the Waverly’s SW Business Park on 8th St. SW in 33,400 square foot building.   As stated in an earlier press release from Winnebago Industries, the new Waverly facility will be used for wire loom assembly for the Company’s motorhomes.

The Waverly production facility is expected to employ 70 full time workers with a capital investment of $1.5 to $2 million.

The Alliance & Chamber along with the Cedar Valley Regional economic development partners, to Randy Potts, Winnebago’s Chairman, President & CEO after reading about the company’s projected growth in January.

“The announcement of Winnebago’s decision to locate their new facility in Waverly is the culmination of a collaborative effort among Winnebago Industries, Waverly Economic Development, the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance and Chamber and Hawkeye Community College. This effort has resulted in very positive outcome for the entire Cedar Valley Region” said Connie Tolan, Economic Development Specialist, Waverly Economic Development.

“We are very excited that Winnebago Industries has chosen Waverly as the site for their new sub-assembly facility. The addition of a quality employer like Winnebago to Waverly and the Cedar Valley will have a positive impact on the entire Region” said Bill Werger, Community Development Director, Waverly Economic Development.

“The Waverly property was the best fit for the companies immediate and long term needs,” Werger added.

Property acquisition is expected within the next 45-60 days. No timeline has been given for the start of production, but Winnebago anticipates that hiring will begin in June 2015. Those interested in employment are directed to the company website www.winnebagoind.com/company/careers.

“We are pleased to have another legacy Iowa brand locate in the manufacturing hub of Iowa, the Cedar Valley. On behalf of our manufacturers and all businesses and institutions, the Alliance & Chamber welcomes Winnebago to the Cedar Valley of Iowa,” said Steven Dust, CEO, Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber.

 

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WATERLOO, IOWA, NAMED A CERTIFIED BLUE ZONE COMMUNITY

Local Organizations and Community Leaders Implement a Wide Range of Environmental Improvements to Enhance the Well-Being of Residents and Achieve Community Transformation

Waterloo, Iowa (Sept. 10, 2014) — Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Healthways (NASDAQ: HWAY) and Blue Zones, LLC, today announced that Waterloo, Iowa, has been named a certified Blue Zones Community®. Certification recognizes Waterloo’s community transformation through successful implementation of the Blue Zones Project®, a first-of-its-kind population health program that brings the world’s best practices in food policy, built environment, purpose and social networking to participating cities.

The community is invited to share in this success at a certification celebration on Thursday, September 25, 2014. The celebration will take place at the Cedar Valley SportsPlex, with an announcement taking place at 4:30 p.m.

Brought to Iowa through an innovative sponsorship by Wellmark in collaboration with Healthways and Blue Zones, the Blue Zones Project encourages all communities in the state to change their built environments to make the healthy choice the easy choice. The Blue Zones Project is the centerpiece of the Healthiest State Initiative, designed to make Iowa the healthiest state by 2016.

Community leaders, volunteers and organizations throughout Waterloo have been working to reach this milestone since May 2012, when the community was named one of the first Blue Zones Project demonstration sites in Iowa. As a result of its efforts, Waterloo can celebrate the following outcomes:

  • The Complete Streets policy passed by city council in 2013 was named one of the top policies in the country by Smart Growth America.
  • The city adopted policies to support healthy food, beverages and vending at city-sponsored youth sporting events. Sales have remained consistent since the policies were adopted.
  • Lou Henry, Orange, Kittrell, and Irving Elementary Schools made healthy choices easier for students through Blue Zones challenge curriculum and a new lunchroom design.
    • At one school fourth and fifth grade students used the Blue Zones challenge to chart fruit and vegetable consumption as a mathematics assignment. Students reported a 33 percent increase in consumption of fruits and vegetables and a 50 percent increase in physical activity when comparing week one to week four.
    • Lou Henry experienced a 15 percent increase in the consumption of fruits and vegetables after making simple changes to its lunchroom design, such as positioning fruits and vegetables more prominently.
  • Healthier dining options are now offered in 12 Blue Zones Restaurants®, including smaller portions and lower-calorie desserts. Cu Restaurant has seen a 60 percent increase in customers splitting plates and a 50 percent increase in lunchtime salad sales since servers have begun promoting those options, both suggestions from the Blue Zones Restaurant pledge.
  • From 2012 to 2013, 88 percent of employees at Bertch Cabinet Manufacturing improved their health risk factors substantially, and employees collectively lost more than 1,660 pounds.
  • New walking paths at local worksites, including Allen Memorial Hospital, John Deere Engine Works, Tyson, Veridian Credit Union and Hawkeye Community College, are encouraging employees to move naturally throughout the day.
  • More than 450 residents participated in Walking Moai groups to expand their social networks in small-group settings while getting exercise.

“The Blue Zones Project has opened many doors of opportunity for Waterloo’s citizenry to live healthier, happier, longer lives,” said Waterloo Mayor Buck Clark.

“In supporting a commitment to healthy environmental changes, Waterloo has made a wise investment in its future, and I am thrilled to recognize the community’s achievements,” said Blue Zones founder Dan Buettner.

Waterloo achieved Blue Zones Community status after reaching the following key milestones designed to improve the community’s well-being, all of which are required improvement goals for Blue Zones Project demonstration communities seeking certification:

  • 50 percent of the top 20 identified worksites became designated Blue Zones Worksites®.
  • 25 percent of schools became designated Blue Zones Schools®.
  • 25 percent of restaurants became designated Blue Zones Restaurants.
  • 25 percent of grocery stores became designated Blue Zones Grocery Stores®.
  • 20 percent of citizens committed to Blue Zones Project and completed at least one well-being improvement action.
  • Waterloo successfully completed the Blue Zones Community Policy® pledge, which requires the passing of local policies to promote Blue Zones Project initiatives. Examples in Waterloo include the newly passed Complete Streets policy and healthy vending policy.

“Waterloo has embraced the philosophy of creating well-being for its citizens,” said Laura Jackson, Wellmark executive vice president. “Becoming a certified Blue Zones Community required a tremendous commitment and effort from the entire community, and we are proud of the example Waterloo has set for other Iowa communities.”

“As one of the largest and most diverse Blue Zones Project communities in Iowa, the progress made by Waterloo has been particularly exciting,” said Ben R. Leedle, Jr., Healthways president and chief executive officer. “Waterloo has clearly demonstrated its dedication to improved well-being and is highly deserving of Blue Zones Community certification. The successful promotion of healthier food options at schools and youth sporting events is particularly encouraging, as the adoption of healthy habits at a young age greatly improves the odds of higher well-being in the future.”

Fifteen Iowa communities are part of Blue Zones Project and are receiving assistance from experts to develop and implement a Blueprint for making permanent environmental, social and policy changes that transition people into healthier behaviors that can lead to longer, happier lives. Five of the communities have achieved Blue Zones Project Community certification to date. For more information, please visit www.bluezonesproject.com.

About Wellmark

Wellmark, Inc. (www.wellmark.com) does business as Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa. Wellmark and its subsidiaries and affiliated companies, including Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Dakota and Wellmark Health Plan of Iowa, Inc., insure or pay health benefit claims for more than 2 million members in Iowa and South Dakota. Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa, Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Dakota, and Wellmark Health Plan of Iowa, Inc. are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

About Blue Zones

Blue Zones employs evidence-based ways to help people live longer, better. The Company’s work is rooted in the New York Times best-selling books The Blue Zones and Thrive – both published by National Geographic books. In 2009, Blue Zones applied the tenets of the books to Albert Lea, MN and successfully raised life expectancy and lowered health care costs for city workers by 40%. Blue Zones takes a systematic, environmental approach to well-being, which focuses on optimizing policy, building design, social networks, and the built environment. The Blue Zones Project is based on this innovative approach. For more information, visit www.bluezones.com.

About Healthways

Healthways (NASDAQ: HWAY) is the largest independent global provider of well-being improvement solutions. Dedicated to creating a healthier world one person at a time, the Company uses the science of behavior change to produce and measure positive change in well-being for our customers, which include employers, integrated health systems, hospitals, physicians, health plans, communities and government entities. We provide highly specific and personalized support for each individual and their team of experts to optimize each participant’s health and productivity and to reduce health-related costs. Results are achieved by addressing longitudinal health risks and care needs of everyone in a given population. The Company has scaled its proprietary technology infrastructure and delivery capabilities developed over 30 years and now serves approximately 68 million people on four continents. Learn more at www.healthways.com.

 

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Blue Zones Project

620 Mulberry Street

Waterloo, IA 50703

 

Tel: (319) 287-8177

 

www.bluezonesproject.com

Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber Diversity & Inclusion Summit

The Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber is hosting the fourth annual Executive Diversity & Inclusion Summit, an educational event for professionals on Friday, September 26th.  The Executive Diversity & Inclusion Summit, sponsored by Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare-Iowa, Inc. will be held at Allen College, 1990 Heath Street, Waterloo, from 8:00am to 1:30pm, with registration and breakfast beginning at 7:30am. The Summit provides attendees a concentrated and focused experience with multiple activities including a keynote speaker, a featured speaker, and authoritative workshops. Recertification credit hours toward PHR, SPHR and GPHR recertification through the HR Certification Institute are available to attendees.

Summit Topic: Identifying Unconscious Bias in the Work Place

The keynote speaker is Armers Moncure, whose areas of speaking, consulting and training focus and expertise include: Unconscious Bias, Cultural Competency and Employee Engagement. Most recently, Armers piloted new approaches to integrating best practices in Diversity and Inclusion and Employee Engagement. One of his signature and most popular workshops for increasing engagement is called Discovering WorkLife Passion and Purpose.

The focus of the keynote presentation will be Unconscious Bias in the Work Place. Attendees will gain an understanding of the dynamics of hidden or unconscious perceptions and how it can show up in daily activities and reinforce stereotypes. The presentation will also show how unconscious bias impacts talents management and inclusion within the workplace and offer ways to mitigate the impact of unconscious bias.

The featured speaker is  Deanna Kosaraju with her presentation How to Create and Sustain a High Performing Team Through Diversification. This presentation will look at how diversity in an organization can increase innovation and enhance productivity, resulting in higher sales and profits. Creating a plan for the recruitment, retention and advancement of diverse employees, while eliminating unconscious bias and stereotype threat, will shift an organization from a stifling culture to one where ideas and innovation thrive.

Two breakout sessions will be presented by local experts; Effective Workplace Communication in a Pluralistic Society presented by Karris Golden and Diversity and the Impact on Your Organization presented by Quentin Hart.

Also during the Summit, the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber will announce the call for nominations and application processes for the Diversity & Inclusion Awards to be presented at the 2015 Annual Celebration, March 26, 2015 at the Park Place Event Center, Cedar Falls.

These awards will be given for outstanding contribution by a business or organization for leadership in creating and strengthening an environment of diversity and inclusion in the workplace culture, business practices and in the community.  Deadline for nominations is October 31, 2014.

The Summit’s premier sponsor is Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare Iowa-Inc. It is also supported by gold sponsors Allen College Unity Point and Veridian Credit Union. CUNA Mutual Group is the silver sponsor. There is no cost to attend, but registration is requested no later than September 19th by going to the Events Calendar at www.cedarvalleyalliance.com. More information about the initiative and the awards can be found there.

The Diversity & Inclusion Initiative helps the business & institutions of the Cedar Valley region recognize and act on the business case for adopting and implementing inclusive practices in hiring, employee development, marketing and environment.

For more information about the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber Diversity & Inclusion Partnership, Summit or awards call Cary Darrah at (319)232-1156 or email cdarrah@cedarvalleyalliance.com.

Go to the event page on our website by clicking here.

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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