DES MOINES – The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) agreed this morning to contribute $100,000 toward the purchase of a metal 3-D printer that will be used to help CIRAS educate businesses across Iowa on the latest capabilities of additive manufacturing, to help train the next generation of workers in this poised-to-explode technology and to support new faculty research. The IEDA contribution joins other federal and Iowa State University funding that will be used to purchase a direct metal sintering system, part of a $900,000 investment in this technology. The machine, which now will be ordered from its manufacturer, is expected to be up and running in an Iowa State University lab within months for the benefit of Iowa businesses.
Month: June 2015
Six years ago, the Iowa Lean Consortium (ILC) was just a group of volunteers with a passion for Lean and a desire to bring its practitioners together from across the Iowa economy. Today, the organization has 76 member companies and 63 individual members and routinely hosts events with capacity crowds—sometimes with a waiting list to get a seat. Members come from manufacturing, health care, insurance, finance, government, and education to learn from one another.
By all accounts, it was a successful first date. Mary Connell, president of Clinton-based Air Control/ACI Fabricators, attended an annual Midwest NDIA (National Defense Industrial Association) conference because CIRAS asked her to in its capacity as the company’s “matchmaker.” And she found a new business opportunity.
Small businesses are expected to always have a place in government contracting. United States policy, per the Small Business Act and other subsequent legislation, says the maximum practical opportunity must be provided to all small business categories. The president annually establishes government-wide goals declaring the minimum percentage of prime contracts that should go to businesses in the following categories:
In a time of tight budgets and unfavorable demographics, it’s in Dave Zrostlik’s best interest to keep all the employees he has. Zrostlik is president of Stellar Industries, an employee-owned maker of truck-mounted hydraulic equipment in Garner. Like the rest of Iowa, Stellar faces a growing shortage of skilled workers, as older employees retire and young rural residents head out of town for the brighter lights of big cities.
(ICYMI, here's another in CIRAS' series of "Did You Know?" informational guides authored by the experts with our Procurement Technical Assistance Program. Their purpose is to help guide businesses through the world of government contracting. Check the end of the story for contract information.) Did you know that the U.S. Small Business Administration is working on a new program that will allow all types of small businesses to have a mentor protégé agreement (MPA) and potential joint ventures with other businesses, even large businesses?