The Iowa Economic Development Authority would like to thank PDI members and economic developers who joined us for a presentation on site certification given by Don Schjeldahl and Jonathan Gemmen of Austin Consulting on Wednesday, February 1.
The Austin presentation focused on certification programs offered by other states, standard industry practices and offered a better understanding of what site selection consultants need when determining appropriate sites.
A steering committee chosen by Director Durham consisting of Karen Mitchell, Franklin County Development; Terry Bailey, Pottawattamie County Growth Alliance; Gary Blythe, Orange City Assistant City Administrator; Jeff Rossate, Cedar Rapids Priority One; Joe Raso, Iowa City Area Development Group; Bruce Hansen, Iowa Area Development Group; and Greg Theis, MidAmerican Energy met with Austin on February 1 prior to the PDI meeting. The committee discussed the state’s goal to work with a nationally-respected consulting firm to create a program with a nationally-recognized set of criteria – a program with teeth to make Iowa more competitive.
In the coming weeks, Austin Consulting will develop a set of site criteria and a checklist for consideration. This information will be reviewed by the steering committee, which will make any needed recommendations. Austin has suggested we have more than one site category, including mega, large, rural, etc. This site certification process will require significant time and resources for communities.
Director Durham has set June 1 as the roll out date for the program, and IEDA will communicate the details of that program as details are finalized. If you have any questions about the certified site program, the certification process or the recent Austin presentation, please contact Chris Cataldo at firstname.lastname@example.org or 515.725.3157.