Iowa State Center Honored with Economic Development Award

November 1st, 2006

AMES, Iowa — The University Economic Development Association has presented Iowa State University with its Economic Development Research award for targeted industrial research in southeastern Iowa.
The project began in August 2004 to conduct research-based industrial assessments to assist Iowa's economically distressed regions. Southeast Iowa, including the counties of Louisa, Muscatine, Des Moines, Henry and Lee, was the first region chosen. Between 1998 and 2002 the area lost 20 manufacturing firms and saw total employment decline by more than 4 percent.
The Department of Economics did the research study funded by the Iowa Economic Development Administration (EDA) University Center program at Iowa State's Center for Industrial Research and Service (CIRAS). Liesl Eathington and David Swenson in the economics department conducted the research.
They developed a report in May 2005 that was distributed in the southeast Iowa region. Presentations were made in the spring and summer of 2005 to the region's economic development participants and elected representatives.
Southeast Iowa participants incorporated the research into their regional and local strategic planning processes, used the material to develop their marketing plans and identified and prioritized their industrial targeting activities. Iowa State staff have provided additional research and advised economic development planners on how to incorporate the research findings into their local and regional development plans.
This regional research process has been repeated for six central counties in southern Iowa and work is being done for a region in the southwestern part of the state.
This is the second year in a row that Iowa State won the association's Economic Development Research award. Last year CIRAS received the award for its Biodiesel Feasibility Study for the MaxYield Cooperative.
The award was presented at the University Economic Development Association (UEDA) conference Oct. 29 to 31 in Savannah, Ga. The UEDA serves the nation's institutions of higher education and their economic development affiliates.

Contacts: 

Liesl Eathington, Economics, (515) 294-2954, leathing@iastate.edu
Dave Swenson, Economics, (515) 294-7458, dswenson@iastate.edu
John Roberts, Center for Industrial Research and Service, (515) 294-0932, jarobert@iastate.edu
Mark Reinig, College of Engineering, (515) 294-7883, mreinig@iastate.edu
Ed Adcock, Communications Service, (515) 294-2314, edadcock@iastate.edu

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