CIRAS Digest: Friday, March 13, 2015

  • Iowa Dept. of Transportation Director Paul Trombino, flush with revenue from the newly increased gas tax, spoke at an economic development event in Cedar Rapids on Wednesday. The Gazette describes Trombino’s remarks re: plans to work with the Iowa Economic Development Authority “on an effort to optimize Iowa’s supply chain design.”
  • Sticking with Cedar Rapids, the city announced Thursday that it’s hired a Texas analytics firm to help “strengthen its retail economic development program citywide.” According to a press release, Buxton is “the industry leader in customer analytics. We help businesses understand who their customers are, where their customers are located, and how to grow the value of each customer.”
  • If you’re planning a Spring Break vacation: The Washington Post has an explainer piece on the downfall of the weakened Euro and why next summer might be the best time in history to take your money overseas.
  • Elsewhere, The (Nashville) Tennessean has an opinion piece from two economic development officials that (roughly halfway down) describes a $2.5 million collaboration between the state and the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The money is to make sure “more companies will be able to connect with ORNL capabilities and expertise.” (It sounds similar to some of what CIRAS already does.) You can find a shorter, but marginally more clear AP story in the Washington Times.
  • Farther afield, Dow Jones says GE is planning to invest $200 million in a manufacturing center in Egypt. The company also will provide 46 turbines and enough electricity to power 2.5 million homes.
  • Forbes has a piece describing how the re-emerging philosophy of Total Cost of Ownership “could strengthen the U.S. manufacturing revival” by showing more companies the wisdom of bringing production back to the U.S.
  • Meanwhile, apparently for the heck of it, autoblog has a look at the five largest manufacturing strikes in the history of the United Automotive Workers.

That’s all for now. Enjoy your weekend.

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