PDI Blog

The Presidential Post - April 7, 2015


By Jason Hutcheson, PDI President

Jason Hutcheson
PDI President

PDI Board Meets with Director Townsend

Spring has finally arrived, and that means PDI's spring event (in conjunction with the SMART Conference) is just around the corner. The education committee led by Stacie LoVan, Greg Theis, and Sandy Ehrig has done a terrific job preparing the content for Wednesday afternoon. If you have not registered yet, there is still time (/wcm/Members/EventDetail?EventKey=SPR15.

In addition, it is long-held tradition that the PDI board of directors meets at least once per year with key department heads in state government to discuss policy issues and department strategies/goals. In March, your board of directors met with Beth Townsend, the recently confirmed director of Iowa Workforce Development. Director Townsend is new to the department, and that has provided her with an opportunity to take a fresh perspective on the department's initiatives.


Although her calendar is quite full, Director Townsend is traveling around the state and hopes to hold meetings in every workforce region soon. She is very welcoming of feedback and input into how IWD can be more effective and timely in meeting the needs of today's employers.

One of the board's key messages during the meeting was emphasizing the great support local economic developers receive from the labor market research staff regarding laborshed reports and other analysis documents. There was also some discussion regarding the new WIOA federal legislation and the state's potential implementation of SECTOR boards. As the rules have not yet been released, Director Townsend urged patience as the state evaluates the legislation and determines its process for implementing the new rules. More information should come soon. 

As a parting thought, I recently learned a new definition from Seth Godin, one of my marketing heroes. Reputation: it is what people expect us to do next. In Iowa, the economic development industry has a strong reputation because it has been earned. Our stakeholders expect great things because we continue to deliver results. PDI members work hard on behalf of their communities each and every day. As a result, I am proud to work with so many great colleagues across the state. Keep up the good work!


Date: Wednesday, May 6, 2015 1:00 - 7:30 pm
Location: Farm Bureau Auditorium, 5400 University Avenue, West Des Moines, IA
Registration Fee: $100 for members / Registration info

1:00 - 1:30 Welcome/ PDI and Legislative Update 
1:30 - 2:30 Time Management - Balancing Work and Life 
2:30 - 2:45 Break
2:45 - 3:45 Corporate Panel on Site Selection Perspective 
Wells Fargo Corporate Properties Group, DuPont Pioneer; Precision Tank and Equipment & Iowa Economic Development Authority
3:45 - 4:45 Economic Developers on Site Selection & Best Practices
Greater Fort Dodge Alliance, Siouxland Initiative, Butler County Development Corp and Iowa Economic Development Authority 
4:45 - 5:00 Wrap up
5:30 - 7:30 Reception: Des Moines Social Club, 900 Mulberry Street, Des Moines, IA 

This event is recognized by the International Economic for Development Council (IEDC) as a professional development event that counts towards the recertification of Certified Economic Developers (CEcDs).

Are you attending the SMART Conference only? Please register directly atwww.cvent.com/d/14qfm6/4W. You may also view the event summary and view the full SMART Conference agenda. 

Registration Information >>

Check out this video about the SMART Conference >>


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