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High-Capacity Broadband from Mediacom Business Powering University of Northern Iowa Metal Casting Center

 The following information was released by Mediacom Business

 New additive manufacturing and design facility utilizes bandwidth intensive applications to train and prepare manufacturers and students

Waterloo, IA – June 28, 2016Furthering its commitment to drive economic growth in the Cedar Valley corridor, Mediacom Business, a division of Mediacom Communications Corporation, today announced the installation of a high-capacity broadband connection at the new University of Northern Iowa (UNI) Metal Casting Center on the TechWorks Campus in downtown Waterloo.

Randy Pilkington, Director of Business and Community Services for UNI, said manufacturers and students alike will learn necessary design software skills at the UNI Metal Casting Center to develop products and prepare CAD documents in conjunction with Hawkeye Community College for 3D printing. The facility houses the largest sand mold 3D design printer in the country, and is installing three new 3D printers over the next several months using a variety of media.

“Our goal is make the facility at the UNI Metal Casting Center the go to place in Iowa, if not the Midwest, to expand additive manufacturing training of this kind. This is a huge initiative for Iowa. We feel confident that by partnering with Mediacom Business, we’ll receive the high-capacity broadband necessary to make this happen,” Mr. Pilkington said.

Dan Templin, Senior Vice President for Mediacom Business, said his company’s partnership with UNI exemplifies how critical it is to have a high-capacity broadband connection to power advanced technology platforms. “The design software needed to fuel expertise in sand mold printing used by companies like John Deere or Rockwell Collins requires high speed data. Without it, you simply can’t conduct the training needed. We’re especially glad to play such an important role in bringing business and education together via our proprietary fiber-optic network.”

Cary Darrah, TechWorks Vice President and General Manager, said Mediacom Business powered a TechWorks Campus StartUp event last November with 5 Gigabits of fiber connectivity. “Fast broadband was a necessity for the event – the first time StartUp Weekend was held on the Campus. Mediacom Business delivered the fastest connection to data that we’d used. Mediacom Business came through for TechWorks Campus and StartUp Weekend Cedar Valley participants. I believe that gave the Metal Casting Center a clear indication that Mediacom Business was a good solution at this location.”

About the University of Northern Iowa Metal Casting Center

The University of Northern Iowa Metal Casting Center was established in 1990 with a grant from the Iowa Lottery to serve foundries and foundry suppliers in Iowa. The UNI MCC has been a leader in foundry innovations and added 3D sand mold printing capabilities in 2014. Since then, the UNI MCC has worked with more than 100 small and medium enterprises across Iowa and the Midwest as well as with all branches of the US military.

About the TechWorks Campus

TechWorks Campus is a 30-acre advanced manufacturing, research & development, innovation, education, commercial, and manufacturing center located in downtown Waterloo, Iowa. The campus is comprised of 20 acres of development sites, and 300,000 square feet of flex space for innovation and development.

About Mediacom Communications

Mediacom Communications Corporation is the fifth largest cable operator in the U.S. serving about 1.3 million customers in smaller markets primarily in the Midwest and Southeast through its wholly-owned subsidiaries, Mediacom Broadband LLC and Mediacom LLC. Mediacom offers a wide array of information, communications and entertainment services to households and businesses, including video, high-speed data, phone, and home security and automation. Through Mediacom Business, the company provides innovative broadband solutions to commercial and public sector customers of all sizes, and sells advertising and production services under the OnMedia brand. More information about Mediacom is available at www.mediacomcc.com.

Contact
Tom Larsen
Senior Vice President, Government & Public Relations
Phone: 845-443-2754 | Email: info@mediacomcc.com

Iowa Advanced Manufacturing Network Hub at TechWorks of First Projects to Receive Iowa’s New Strategic Infrastructure Funding – $2.7 Million for additional 3D Printers UNI Metal Casting Center

(Cedar Valley of Iowa) The Iowa Advanced Manufacturing Network Hub (IAMNH), at the TechWorks Campus in Waterloo, is one of the first projects in the state to be awarded funds through Iowa’s new Strategic Infrastructure Fund (SIF). The funding was approved by the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) Board at their June meeting. The project, Iowa Advanced Manufacturing Network Hub – Phase I, Additive Manufacturing Center, will receive $2.7 million to fund additional 3D printers for the UNI Metal Casting Center, building improvements, and a design center to be operated by Hawkeye Community College.

“With this financial support from the IEDA and Iowa Innovation Council, UNI is excited and anxious to move forward with creating a full-service additive manufacturing center to meet the innovation and technology needs of Iowa companies,” says Randy Pilkington, Executive Director of UNI’s Business and Community Services. “Thanks to support from IEDA, UNI is building on the momentum of the past 18 months of 3D printing success to create a full-service additive manufacturing center for Iowa manufacturers. Expansion into plastics, metals and ceramics will create one of the best equipped 3D printing facilities in North America.”

The Iowa Advanced Manufacturing Network Hub application for Strategic Infrastructure Fund (SIF) was completed by TechWorks staff and a team including UNI’s Randy Pilkington and Metal Casting Center Director Jerry Thiel; Hawkeye Community College President Linda Allen, and Vice President of Academic Affairs Jane Bradley; and TechWorks board chair Tim Hurley. The team worked with the State of Iowa and the Iowa Innovation Council’s Advanced Manufacturing Workgroup to finalize the application.

The IEDA funding will help to move Iowa to the forefront of technology in additive manufacturing and establish a premier center for support of its manufacturing base.  This funding is a critical step in advancing the state’s technology base and providing a central location for technology advancement.

Governor, IPEP release findings of 2014 Battelle Report, a new economic development roadmap for Iowa

Governor Terry Branstad joined representatives from the Iowa Partnership for Economic Progress (IPEP) — the state’s CEO-level, industry-led advisory board co-chaired by the Governor and Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds – to release the findings of the 2014 Battelle Report: Iowa’s Re-envisioned Economic Development Roadmap. The Battelle Technology Partnership Practice was commissioned by IPEP and the Iowa Business Council to conduct this comprehensive analysis.

Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber CEO, Steven Dust, was a member of the task force and Past Board Chair, Tom Penaluna, serves on the IPEP Board of Directors. Randy Pilkington and Drew Conrad of the University of Northern Iowa Business and Community Services provided data support.

“Thanks to the IPEP board and the Iowa Business Council, we now have a roadmap for the future,” said Governor Branstad. “These business leaders – in addition to their day jobs of running Iowa’s top businesses – have given of their time and resources to make sure Iowa has a focused plan to achieve success. We are grateful for their leadership.”

Battelle is the world’s largest nonprofit independent research and development organization. The Technology Partnership Practice (TPP) assists local, state, and regional organizations, universities, nonprofit technology organizations, and others in designing, implementing, and assessing technology-based economic development programs. Over the past 18 months, researchers from Battelle have been working with the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) and regional economic development organizations around the state to conduct the study. The comprehensive report reviews Iowa’s industry drivers and potential growth opportunities. It also looks at how the state has fared in advancing innovation, job attraction and retention since the last roadmap was developed in 2004-2005.

“IPEP is charged with advising the state on economic trends that will affect Iowa’s economy and to create a long-term strategy to keep Iowa ahead of the pack,” said Bill Fehrman, president and CEO of MidAmerican Energy and IPEP board member. “With a third-party analysis of the state’s resources, assets and existing gaps, IPEP now has both the qualitative and quantitative foundation on which to base our strategy development. Further, the Battelle Report gives us a call-to-action that will help our elected officials, policymakers, economic developers and business leaders know what strategic priorities we must embrace if we are to achieve economic success over the next decade.”

The executive summary and full report can be downloaded at iowaeconomicdevelopment.com/battelle. Some key findings identified in the report are below:

The Battelle Report takes a look at Iowa’s current position, as compared to the nation and benchmarked states. Due in part to the focused work over the past several years, Iowa is faring well. Some identified successes include:

  • Restructuring of IEDA and streamlining of funding programs
  • Creating better private/public partnerships
  • Better collaboration of stakeholders
  • Improved marketing of Iowa and its assets

Iowa has made substantial economic progress over the last decade, resulting in positive trends in Iowa’s top-line measures of success:

  • Productivity is high — As of 2013, Iowa’s economic output, in real, inflation-adjusted terms, was 5.9% higher than the pre-recession levels of 2007, outpacing the national growth of 4.7% during the same period.
  • Job growth and workforce are strong — Iowa outperformed the nation in the growth of both middle and high-skilled jobs. At the same time, the number of low-skill jobs has actually declined as both employers and employees transition to a more skilled workforce.
  • Wages are rising — Iowa substantially outpaced national gains in private sector average wages.  This is consistent with the rising workforce skill levels in Iowa and an increase in the number of higher quality jobs.
  • Per capita income is growing — While record farm incomes have driven a substantial increase in per capita income during the last decade, from 2007 to 2013, Iowa’s nonfarm personal income also grew 20%, eclipsing national growth of 14% over the same period.

The Battelle Report makes recommendations for strategic priorities that Iowa must adopt to competitively position the state in a global economy. Recommendations (Strategic Priorities) include:

  • Build on the competitiveness and growth of Iowa’s industry clusters through innovation, retention and attraction.
  • Generate and attract skilled workforce in demand by Iowa’s businesses.
  • Accelerate the development of Iowa’s emerging entrepreneurial eco-system.
  • Advance Iowa’s physical infrastructure and regional development capacities to realize Iowa’s economic potential.

“This report is such a valuable resource for the IEDA, economic developers and policymakers around our state,” commented Debi Durham, director of the IEDA. “It truly is a data-driven look at where we are at, while at the same time, it gives a clear picture of what we could achieve with the right kind of resources focused on targeted priorities.”

The Battelle study was funded through support from private-sector entities at a cost of approximately $400,000.

Cedar Valley 1 Million Cups Program to Launch

Waterloo – 1 Million Cups, a weekly event to engage, educate, and connect entrepreneurs, is set to launch during Global Entrepreneurship Week. The public is invited to attend at nine the morning of Wednesday, November 19th at the UNI Innovation Incubator (8120 Jennings Drive in Cedar Falls).

Cedar Valley 1 Million Cups is a regional initiative where two area entrepreneurs are given six minutes to deliver a prepared presentation about a new idea or business startup. This is then followed by 20 minutes of dialog with the audience in attendance. Organizers hope the audience will be successful existing area business owners, peer startup entrepreneurs, public sector service providers, lenders, and potential investors. The location of 1 Million Cups will rotate throughout the Cedar Valley, but will start on the campus of the University of Northern Iowa.

According to Randy Pilkington, director of UNI Business and Community Services, “UNI Business and Community Services has a rich tradition of supporting entrepreneurs, both statewide and here at home in the Cedar Valley.  We know that the Cedar Valley 1 Million Cups program will connect innovators in the Cedar Valley to each other and to other entrepreneurship networking events to make the region a leader in entrepreneurship support and development.”

The Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber supports the effort.  Steve Dust, CEO 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 is excited to work with the 1 Million Cups team to enhance the strong, growing startup scene throughout the Cedar Valley economic area.”

“1 Million Cups is a program for entrepreneurs, driven by entrepreneurs,” said Alyssa Nolte, Director of Marketing for iTracking Research.  “It’s a true collaborative effort of a committee comprised of 23 varied public and private sector organizations coming together to make this a reality in the Cedar Valley.”  Other entrepreneurially-minded firms on the planning committee include Visual Logic Group, Monday Creations, iGus Marketing, Spinutech, Pixel Labs Creative, Sidecar Coffee Roasters, Far Reach, and Luann Alemao & Associates.

The Cedar Valley joins dozens of other communities across the US where 1 Million Cups is already in operation, including Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, and Iowa City.  The public is invited to sign up to present startup business ideas, RSVP to attend (not required), or to learn more about the initiative via the website at www.cedarvalley1mc.com. To find other local Global Entrepreneurship Week events coming up visit www.iasourcelink.com/gew.

Advanced Manufacturing Hub Step Closer with State Funding

The Cedar Valley TechWorks is one step closer to becoming the physical location of an Advanced Manufacturing Hub for the region and state thanks to legislation adopted this week.  Nearly $4 million was included in Iowa Economic Development Authority appropriations for the project.

The IEDA’s Iowa Invocation Council, which will administer the funds, has been working closely with the Cedar Valley TechWorks and Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber to establish the Campus as the designated site for the Hub.

The bulk of the funds will construct improvements in the Tech 1 building on the Campus. A portion of the funds will be used for the University of Northern Iowa to purchase a 3-dimensional (3D) printer to fabricate on-demand molds for cast components  to support  advanced manufacturing , in collaboration with TechWorks.

“With this funding, we can make the capital and infrastructure improvements to the Tech 1 building needed to attract more technology and bio-products related industrial operations and partners to the campus. The investment in building improvements and equipment will prepare space for new businesses and educational programs, and bring tremendous momentum and excitement to the Campus as these projects move forward alongside the previously announced anchor projects,” states Cary Darrah, General Manager of the Cedar Valley TechWorks Campus. “ We are grateful to the entire Cedar Valley legislative delegation for its bi-partisan advocacy for this funding, especially Senator Bill Dotzler who really went to bat for the Cedar Valley and the TechWorks Campus. His work for this and other economic development issues this year is recognized by legislators from both sides of the isle.”

Jerry Thiel, Director of UNI’s Metal Casting Center is also optimistic about the impact of the collaboration on the industry statewide, “The capabilities of having technology like this will undoubtedly increase the overall competitiveness of Iowa manufacturers by allowing them to deliver products to the market at an unprecedented rate.”

Randy Pilkington, Executive Director, UNI Business and Community Services adds,
“This is a substantial investment in advanced manufacturing not just for the Cedar Valley, but for the entire state of Iowa. It also shows UNI’s commitment to advanced manufacturing statewide.”

What this means to the Cedar Valley

“The Cedar Valley is known as Iowa’s center of Advanced Manufacturing,” states Steve Dust, CEO of the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber.  “With the high concentration of manufacturing in our economic area, and the manufacturing technology -related resources of UNI and our higher education partners, the Cedar Valley is the prime location to establish the state’s hub of leading edge applied manufacturing technologies. As businesses and entrepreneurs from all over the Midwest access our equipment and facilities to improve and produce innovative products, we take another step in innovation led economic development in the Cedar Valley economy, and toward fulfilling the original vision for the Campus. We’re proud to be known as the Advanced Manufacturing Hub,” concludes Dust.

The Governor is expected to sign the bill into law before the end of June.

The Cedar Valley TechWorks is a 30-acre advanced manufacturing and biotechnology research, development and education center, and business and manufacturing cluster. The campus is located in downtown Waterloo, Iowa adjacent to the John Deere operations. The Cedar Valley TechWorks is owned and managed by the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber.

 

 

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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