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Tag Archives: Lisa Skubal

In the Media: Waterloo renews contract to fund Alliance & Chamber

The City of Waterloo approved a new contract with the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber: $28,500 plus $56,500 in incentive payments.

“Lisa Skubal, GCVAC vice president of economic development, said those efforts landed $37 million in projects and 246 new jobs in the first six months of the fiscal year, primarily from expansions at Crystal Distribution Services and Tyson Fresh Meats…

Skubal said the city’s internal economic development staff is ‘transaction oriented’ and willing to work with prospects to get deals done. The challenge was Waterloo’s high property tax rate.

Alliance and Chamber CEO Steve Dust said the city is generally able to cover the property tax discrepancy through additional incentives to businesses.

‘You burn through incentives overcoming the property tax issue,’ he said.

Dust said one of the biggest issues on the horizon involves talent development, which is why the GCVAC is working on programs to recruit and train the work force businesses need to thrive locally.”

Waterloo renews GVCA contract, Tim Jamison, The Courier, November 28, 2017

State tax incentives programs are ‘important tool’

All of the projects we have, regardless of size, there isn’t one that I can think of that wasn’t a good deal,’ Skubal said.

Lisa Rivera Skubal, Vice President of Economic Development, Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber

Lisa Rivera Skubal

Read more of what Lisa Skubal, Vice President of Economic Development for the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber, and other experts have to say about state and local incentives to companies in this article in the Quad-City Times.

After Apple deal, tax incentives face scrutiny, Erin Murphy, Quad-City Times, October 6, 2017

Asia Trade Delegation tour & briefing in the Cedar Valley

Alliance & Chamber Host Asia Export Experts

The Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber will host members of the Iowa Economic Development Authority International Trade Offices (IEDA) for a familiarization tour on December 8, 2015.

The purpose of the IEDA Foreign Trade Team tour is to become acquainted with actively exporting manufacturers in the Cedar Valley Region. IEDA International Foreign Offices including China, Japan, Germany, Mexico, and Taiwan, assist Iowa companies with global market research, trade missions and trade shows. The tours of the Cedar Valley will focus on IEDA’s efforts to enhance export competitiveness in the Asia-Pacific markets, and to create more jobs in Iowa.

“More than 95 percent of the world’s consumers live outside of the U.S., accounting for 70 percent of the world’s purchasing power,” said Debi Durham, director of the IEDA. “Exporting is important to Iowa’s economy because it results in new jobs right here in our state.”

The day will include a tour of the TechWorks Campus with a demonstration of the 3D sandcast printer located in University of Northern Iowa Metal Casting Center Additive Manufacturing Lab, and tours of United Equipment Accessories and CPM Roskamp.

United Equipment Accessories, located in Waverly, custom engineers and designs slip rings, hydraulic swivels, cable reels and shift controls for electronics applications. CPM Roskamp, located in Waterloo, is a designer and manufacturer of pelleting and particle size reduction equipment and automation systems for the animal feed milling and oilseed processing, pet food, ethanol and super absorbent polymer industries. Both companies export products.

The Alliance & Chamber will host an Asia Executive Briefing & Market Overview at the Isle Casino Hotel Waterloo from 3:00 – 4:30 pm. Companies already exporting to Asia are encouraged to attend for the latest market briefing.   “IEDA’s international experts will provide the latest information on growing market opportunities in China, Japan and Taiwan,” said Steve Dust, CEO of the Alliance & Chamber.   “Companies interested in export opportunities to Asia markets are welcome to attend to learn about current market conditions and establish network relationships with IEDA’s International Foreign Offices,” Dust added.

“Cedar Valley exports totaled $362 million in 2014 including machinery, processed foods, agriculture commodities, fabricated metal products and more with opportunity for growth,’’ explains Dust. “We provide these opportunities to educate and connect our businesses to international markets because exports are important to the growth and diversity of the Cedar Valley economy.”

The Alliance & Chamber will announce details of its second Global Familiarization Tour to China scheduled for October 2016.

Following the briefing, the Alliance & Chamber will hold its annual Legislative Reception & Networking event. The IEDA International Trade Office representatives and Cedar Valley Legislative Delegation will be present for casual meetings and conversation.

For more information about the IEDA International Trade Office familiarization tour of the Cedar Valley, contact Lisa Skubal, Vice President of Economic Development, Alliance & Chamber, lskubal@cedarvalleyalliance.com. Register for the Asia Executive Briefing & Market Overview through the Alliance & Chamber web-site’s event calendar at www.cedarvalleyalliance.com.
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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.

Clayberg Receives CEcD Designation from the IEDC

Nate Clayberg, Director of Business Retention and Expansion with the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber recently earned the designation of Certified Economic Developer (CEcD), a national recognition that denotes a mastery of principal skills in economic development, professional attainment and a commitment to personal and professional growth.

The CEcD exam was administered by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) on October 18 and 19 in Fort Worth, TX at the Fort Worth Convention Center. In May, Clayberg joined the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber after serving as the Executive Director of the Buchanan County Economic Development Commission since 2010. Clayberg is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma’s Economic Development Institute, Heartland Economic Development Course and holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Iowa State University and a Master’s Degree from Virginia Commonwealth University.

The CEcD designation recognizes qualified and dedicated practitioners in the economic development field and sets the standard of excellence within the profession.  Candidates must pass a rigorous and comprehensive three-part, two-day examination, which tests a practitioner’s  knowledge, proficiency and judgment in the key areas of economic development, including business retention and expansion, marketing, finance, workforce development, community development, real estate, strategic planning, technology-led economic development and management.

 

“Much of what we know about economic development comes from the practical day in, day out interaction with the businesses in the Cedar Valley to address their specific needs and help identify innovative solutions,” says Clayberg,  “It is tremendously valuable to add to this the resources, experience, and variety of knowledge base of leaders in this field. “

As highly competent economic development practitioners, Certified Economic Developers work with public officials, business leaders and community members to create leadership to build upon and maximize the economic development sector.  Excellence in the economic development profession improves the well-being, quality of life and opportunities for individuals, businesses and communities.  There are currently over 1,000 active CEcDs in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Clayberg is the third member of the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber Economic Development team to receive the CEcD distinction, joining CEO Steve Dust and Vice President of Economic Development Lisa Skubal.

“This certification further demonstrates that economic development activities in the Cedar Valley are being led by qualified professionals, drawing on best practices and proven techniques to grow the regional economy,” says Dust, “We are proud of Nate’s accomplishments and his determination to help businesses in the Cedar Valley succeed.”

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.

About IEDC:

The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) is a non-profit membership organization serving economic developers. With more than 4,000 members, IEDC is the largest organization of its kind. Economic developers promote economic well-being and quality of life for their communities, by creating, retaining and expanding jobs that facilitate growth, enhance wealth and provide a stable tax base. IEDC members help business and institutions create high-quality jobs, develop vibrant communities, and improve the quality of life in their regions.

Learn more about IEDC: www.iedconline.org

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber Announces New Roles, Promotions

“It helps a very talented professional team do our jobs more effectively and increase the competitive stance of the Cedar Valley in a global economy.” This is how Steve Dust,  CEO of the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber describes his motivation for announcing recent promotions within that economic and community development corporation.

The announcement describes a realignment of existing staff. No new hires were made, and no compensation adjustments were included in the process, Dust emphasizes. “We did this to operate more efficiently as a combined economic development, redevelopment, and community development organization, he says.  Team members who do similar things are grouped by related functions, yet it allows us to remain flexible to very quickly attack any opportunity or issue in our economic area.”

In the new alignment, Dust is supported by four vice presidents, including Lisa Skubal, CEcD, who was named Vice President of Economic Development. Lisa oversees all business expansion and recruitment programs, marketing and project management, talent recruitment and retention, and business and economic information gathering. “Lisa enjoys a statewide reputation as one of the best in our field. Her professional growth has given her the skills to lead the team that helps wealth creating businesses and institutions locate and expand in the Cedar Valley of Iowa,” explained Dust.

Dust also named Cary Darrah as Vice President of Community Development. “Cary was brought into the Alliance & Chamber structure to manage the TechWorks Campus redevelopment, in large part because of the marvelous job she did in Cedar Falls Main Street organization, said Dust. “She has the Campus on a good trajectory with The Green @ TechWorks project getting underway in Tech II, and several good manufacturing technology-related opportunities exploring space commitments in Tech I. As I looked at the skills necessary to deal with our Competitiveness and Amenities work, which includes things like networking and events, local issues management, improving our infrastructure for business growth, and Leader Valley educational programs, it matched up nicely with Cary’s organizational skills and interests,” concluded Dust.

“In many regards, the Alliance & Chamber is a growing, entrepreneurial small business,” explains Dust. “We’re growth-oriented, and focused on doing what’s expected of us by our customers and clients, our investor-members, and this team faces the same kind of challenges our investor-members do in handling all the human resources, IT, facilities, and administrative tasks, and holding each other accountable for the wise use of our talents and resources. We take this very seriously, and to oversee the administrative components of the Alliance & Chamber, we have elevated Sandi Sommerfelt to Vice President of Operations. Sandi was in a similar VP role at another business, and she’s demonstrated that she can effectively lead and keep us well organized.”

At the same time, the CFO role held by Sue Hansen, CPA, becomes a part-time position. “Sue has worked very hard to bring us to an even higher level of management reporting and compliance with changing requirements. Sue will remain focused on our financial reporting and major HR issues, where she also has deep experience and knowledge, while having more time for family pursuits and personal interests.” said Dust.

“As we looked at the goals we expect to accomplish for  the Cedar Valley business community and economic area this fiscal year (which began on July 1), and the number of complex and sometimes new challenges we’ll face, it became obvious to the senior team a realignment was necessary to get it all done effectively. It also permits me to spend more time on strategic business development, regional issues, and investor relationships.  We’ll still be stretched, but this arrangement of duties and leadership will help relieve that challenge”, claimed Dust.

Dust concludes, “I think the most important thing to communicate to our investor-members, the business community in general, and all of the partners we rely on in accomplishing our work is that there is a team of highly talented, motivated and enthusiastic economic and community development professionals working every day in the Alliance & Chamber to increase wealth and economic vitality in the Cedar Valley economic area.”

The Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber is a private, not-for-profit corporation whose investors include businesses, institutions, local governments and professionals dedicated to continuously improving the economic environment and quality of life in the Cedar Valley.  The Alliance & Chamber works to increase wealth and economic vitality through collaborative economic and community development throughout the Cedar Valley economic area.

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Call for Entries Dream Big Grow Here

Cedar Valley Dream Big Grow Here Contest Call for Entries September 4-18

The Dream Big, Grow Here business grant contest is an opportunity for Iowans to win one regional $5,000 small business grant and then go on to pitch their business for a shot at a $10,000 grand prize.

For-profit start-up and small businesses providing value-added production or services in Black Hawk, Bremer, Buchanan, Butler, Chickasaw, Grundy and Tama counties are eligible to apply. Qualifying applicants will receive confirmation within 2 business days. See contest rules.

The top 5 businesses by popular online voting will face off in the Cedar Valley DBGH Pitch-Off for a chance to win $5,000 to start or grow their small business on October 18, 2012 at the Cedar Valley Innovation Day. The Cedar Valley Pitch-Off winner will advance to the statewide Pitch-Off for an additional $10,000 the Spring 2013.

Top 15 businesses by popular online voting are invited to set up a table at the Cedar Valley Innovation Day on October 18, 2012 to showcase their product or service to regional business leaders and other entrepreneurs.

Learn more from this excellent KWWL video news story.

Find out more at http://www.dreambiggrowhere.com/HowItWorks.aspx?contest=17

Cedar Valley Innovation Day

Cedar Valley’s Innovation Day celebrates the best in innovative information technology, value-added production and related business services from start-ups and small businesses in the Cedar Valley Region.

GCVAC has teamed up with Technology Association of Iowa (TAI) to bring TAI’s Pitch & Grow event to the Cedar Valley Region.

In addition, the Cedar Valley Region will be celebrating the top 15 popular vote winners from the Dream Big Grow Here Cedar Valley contest while the top 5 popular vote winners will Pitch-Off for the grand prize of $5,000.

The day will conclude with keynote speaker Sarah Miller Caldicott, great grandniece of Thomas Edison, discussing her book Inventing the Future a look at how Edison would innovate today using new technology and how individuals can adapt his proven innovation methods to their advantage.

All events will occur at the University of Northern Iowa Campus – Business & Community Services and Center for Energy & Environment Education Buildings.

Find out more about all three components of Innovation Day at: http://cedarvalleyalliance.com/cms/238/Cedar_Valley_Innovation_Day

Or contact Lisa Skubal at the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber, 319-232-1156,
or lskubal@cedarvalleyalliance.com.

 

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