Reminder: New CIRAS Services Can Help you Handle COVID-19

Writen by: Mike O’Donnell
CIRAS Program Manager, Manufacturing Extension Partnership

April was a disruptive time for Iowa businesses, and the challenges are not yet finished.

The COVID-19 pandemic has dealt a body blow to companies throughout the state, with about half of Iowa manufacturers responding to a CIRAS survey saying by that they’re now operating at a reduced capacity.

Many company leaders, worried about their employees, have reworked their workplaces to install social distancing measures and temperature screening. Others spent part of the past six weeks searching out new markets to replace lost demand. Some have redirected, retooled, and formed new ventures to help Iowa medical institutions find the personal protection equipment they need.

CIRAS has been honored to play roles in many of your COVID-19 stories over the past month. We wanted to take this chance to remind everyone that we’re here to help you as the journey to recovery continues to evolve. CIRAS has added new services in recent weeks to help with your pandemic response and recovery needs, and, as a part of the MEP National NetworkTM, we’re offering our traditional services in new ways to help your company get through this disaster. Because of the emergency, CIRAS will not be charging for any of our COVID-19 response services.

Our new services include:

  • Helpline: Email with any questions, our experts will be in touch within 24 hours.
  • Financial Needs: We have brought in experts to help you make informed cash flow decisions during significant supply and demand swings.
  • Restoring Revenue: We can help you quickly identify and act on paths to new sales.
  • Supply Chain: Our network can help you find and connect with new suppliers throughout Iowa and the nation.
  • Retooling Production: Technical support in upgrading your processes to meet changing needs and markets.
  • HR Help: Emerging COVID-19 laws are complex and confusing, but we’ll help you understand the best moves for your company.
  • COVID-19 Website: We’re filtering the noise for you to help find best practices at
  • Virtual Process Review: Take a short video or your process and upload it to our secure folder here. Email with what you would like advice on. Our experts will be in touch with process and technology opportunities shortly.

In addition, our traditional services in leadership, growth, technology, and productivity remain available:

  • Most services are available virtually.
  • Our testing services are available with limited capacity. This may change as the university responds to COVID-19 risks in Ames.
  • Our Digital Manufacturing Lab powered by Alliant Energy is closed to the public, but related technical services remain available.

Manufacturing drives Iowa’s economy, and your well-being is critical to our state’s recovery. As we look ahead and change our focus from response to recovery, expect additional assistance from CIRAS to help make Iowa a leader in reshoring critical medical production and related industries.

Our mission is to improve Iowa. If there’s anything we can do to help you, please don’t hesitate to contact our hotline at or me directly at