CIRAS DIGEST: Friday, August 28, 2015

  • We start closest to home, where Iowa State University has recently named a new assistant professor of art and “visual culture and community art extension specialist. The ISU news release says Jennifer Drinkwater has a “mission to help Iowa communities apply art in ways that improve the fabric of their towns.”
  • MidAmerican Energy Co. is planning to build two new wind farms in Ida and O’Brien counties, according to the Sioux City Journal’s analysis of a press release. It’s a $900 million, 552 megawatt project and is due to be completed by the end of 2016.
  • Meanwhile, Bloomberg Business says business is slowing in the U.S. chemical industry, a possible harbinger of an overall manufacturing slowdown for 2016.
  • For what it’s worth, according to this press release, confidence levels among manufacturing and logistics workers are continuing to rise.
  • Confidence among Chinese manufacturing workers, however, is plummeting. The International Business Times reports on increased worker protests there.
  • Fortune, meanwhile, has a column pondering Tech manufacturing and whether turmoil in China will make tech factories go elsewhere. (General implication is probably not, although there is an overall trend of making things regionally (i.e., not always chasing the cheapest labor costs) and keeping better control over  your supply chain.
  • ICYMI, Scott Walker earlier this week called for President Barack Obama to call a halt to a planned visit to the U.S. by Chinese President Xi Jinping. Walker subsequently reiterated to The Des Moines Register that yanking the invite wouldn’t hurt trade (including with Iowa.)
  • In other news, the Huffington Post has a column from the board president of a Croatian food and pharmaceutical arguing for closer ties between traditional manufacturing companies and tech start-ups. It boils down to new resources for the start-ups and making manufacturers more receptive to “disruptive change.”
  • And, the Cincinnati Business Courier says a new $6 million facility at Ivy Tech Community College there will help address a projected 18,000-person shortage of skilled manufacturing workers. The place will teach welding, robotics, etc.

Thanks for reading.

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