The reviews are in, and it appears to have been a hit: - “Broad range of information covered. Wide variety of businesses represented” - “Got several ideas how to expand my business, the event opened up conversations and information in the tristate area” - “Tons of useful info” - “A very well balanced conference with a wide range of experts speaking candidly” Those are just a few bits of the feedback we received after the first Tri-State Procurement Conference held in Keokuk, IA this past spring of 2016.
Three major business deals involving some of Iowa’s most innovative and best-run firms in their fields should send a strong message to other Iowa companies, CIRAS believes: innovation combined with strong business skills reaps substantial reward. The owners of Harrisvaccines, Harvest Innovations, and Hagie Manufacturing all agreed over the past year to sell major portions … Continue reading Mergers Point to Major Success for Innovative Iowa Companies
Iowa manufacturers’ single largest fear, according to a CIRAS survey, is the looming cost of employee health care. And the worry appears to be well placed. “If you are a private employer in Iowa, you have reason to be concerned,” said Mark Becker, a Johnston-based employer benefits consultant. “There are far more questions than answers right now. On large insurance, there’s really no place to run.”
In need of some last minute gift ideas? We've put together a short list of Iowa-manufactured products that make great gifts!
[ONE OF CIRAS' REGULAR LOOKS AT A SECTOR OF THE IOWA ECONOMY. (By Liesl Eathington)]
By Mike O'Donnell At this very moment, the future of American manufacturing is being written at nine specially linked institutes fueled by $2.1 billion from the U.S. government, research universities, and hundreds of American companies. It’s known as the National Network of Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) – or, following a rebranding campaign launched in mid-September, as “Manufacturing USA.” If you aren’t familiar with it, you should begin educating yourself as soon as possible. Because your ability to compete could change dramatically, depending on the work taking place there and how quickly you’re willing and/or able to embrace it.
A trailblazing exploration of metal additive manufacturing as a new way for Iowa companies to make tooling could soon reap rewards in terms of cheerleaders with better balance. American Athletic Inc., a Jefferson, Iowa-based sports equipment manufacturer, plans to launch a new product this fall aimed at helping high school and college cheerleaders around the country find a safer way to strengthen leg muscles and learn the kind of balance necessary for standing in someone’s hands. American Athletic describes its new EliteTM Cheer Stand as a safer, closer-to-the-floor way for cheerleaders to train. The product, which also was tested by Iowa State University cheerleaders, includes multiple plastic parts produced by Ottumwa-based Angstrom Precision Molding—using a mold built by CIRAS’ metal 3D printer.
Perhaps the best way to think about the Kieffer family is to picture them with fishing poles, staring longingly into a lake. The owners of Preston, Iowa-based Plastics Unlimited seem ready, and they talk as if dinner is inevitable.
Loy Van’t Hul believes one of the keys for Double HH Manufacturing is a focus on getting the job done. “We provide quality products for a wide range of industries, and who we use as an operator, whether that person has a disability or not, shouldn’t make a difference,” said Van’t Hul, Double HH’s director of manufacturing operations. Double HH (a subsidiary of the broader Rock Valley-based Hope Haven Inc.) is one of a half-dozen CIRAS clients who exist both as nonprofit companies and as vocational rehabilitation firms, using physically or intellectually disabled workers to provide products or services.
Thanks to CIRAS and its partners, an estimated 8,000 or more Iowans ended October with a higher appreciation for the people who make a living making things. School children, parents and community leaders attended a total of 149 events in October to commemorate national Manufacturing Day – an annual October 7 industry celebration that Iowa stretches into month-long educational opportunity.