CIRAS DIGEST: Friday, November 6, 2015

  • Thursday's USDA event in Washington D.C.
    Thursday’s USDA event in Washington D.C.

    We begin by congratulating the Iowa Area Development Group (IADG) for receiving the USDA’s Abraham Lincoln Honor Award at a ceremony in Washington D.C. on Thursday. IADG, which functions as the marketing and business development office for nearly 250 of Iowa’s member-owned rural electric cooperatives, manages a USDA loan program that has been involved with 200 projects that have received $82 million in USDA funding. Those projects have leveraged $635 million in capital investment and led to the creation of 15,000 rural Iowa jobs.

  • This follows an announcement earlier this week (chronicled in the Des Moines Business Record) that Iowa State University is one of five universities who will work to create “SEEDCorn,” a Midwest big data hub, under a $1.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation.
  • Elsewhere, you probably heard – reported in the Quad City Business Journal and elsewhere – that the state decided to give $4.75 million in incentives to Kraft Heinz, which is closing one plant in Davenport and building a smaller one that will employ at least 900 fewer people.
  • Meanwhile, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s administration is taking heat for his administration’s failure to offer Kraft assistance, according to the Wisconsin State Journal. (New York apparently followed the Iowa path in a separate bid to keep company business in that state.)
  • In other news, Bloomberg says the U.S. trade deficit in manufacturing hit a record $74.7 billion in September.
  • While manufacturing treads water, service industries are roaring, according to a post Business Insider calls “The whole U.S. economic story told in one chart.”
  • And speaking of the trade deficit, a Boston-based robotics company just announced a deal to sell industrial robots to China, according to the Boston Business Journal.

That’s it. Thanks for reading.

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