Iowa State University uses a wide variety of equipment and technology for testing and scientific research. With proper coordination, this same equipment and personnel can be used to help Iowa companies test or analyze their products – but first you have to know what’s possible. Throughout October, CIRAS experts will be leading a series of four virtual tours to help Iowa manufacturers get more familiar with the tools and capabilities available in various Iowa State labs.
If your company works anywhere within a Department of Defense supply chain (or hopes to), the new CMMC cybersecurity standard will soon be part of your life. Are you confused by the alphabet soup and uncertain about what it all means? Here’s what you need to know:
More than 40 people from 32 companies now have taken part in the CIRAS Food Safety Collaboration, a series of intensive three-month classes that were created last summer. CIRAS project manager said the classes, which were developed as part of a nationwide effort to improve the way companies are taught about food safety, remain popular with small businesses. But they’ve also developed a new following as training for managers at larger food companies.
September 18, 2020 — (Final Update) As COVID-19 proliferates across our nation, the crisis continues to negatively impact our economy and spark concerns for the future of small and medium-sized businesses. Over several months, CIRAS conducted a phone survey so we could better understand the needs of Iowa companies and better connect them to appropriate resources. Here is what we learned during 23 weeks of survey:
Federal agencies buy a wide variety of products and services, but they’re required to try to purchase through specific sources before ordering from the open market. For this month’s “Did You Know?” article, we’ll take a closer look at one of these mandatory sources: The AbilityOne Program. We’ll learn more about AbilityOne, including what products and services it makes available to agencies, what ways businesses can support its mission, and how businesses can benefit from the program.
It’s been six months since COVID-19 forced CIRAS to temporarily halt in-person educational events. Since then, we’ve been working hard to meet your educational needs in cyberspace, opening up roundtable discussion groups and hosting more than 80 webinars involving thousands of people. Recently, to help you better, we made some changes in how we’ll handle webinars and roundtables going forward.
We’re inviting you to learn more about a major part of CIRAS programming. Ninety-four Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs), including CIRAS, form a nationwide network of more than 600 dedicated professionals who work to help local businesses sell their products and services to government agencies. If you’d like to know more about the network, we invite you to join a special webinar on Wednesday, September 16, from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. to celebrate National PTAC Day.
Like most responsible companies navigating a pandemic, Larson Manufacturing worked hard to secure its Lake Mills manufacturing facility against COVID-19. Among other things, the company posted signs, upgraded its cleaning procedures, and installed social distancing barriers. ut was that enough? To make certain, Larson this summer became one of Iowa’s first companies to receive a free CIRAS virtual COVID-19 Preparedness Assessment.
Attention continuous improvement practitioners! Get ready to take advantage of another quality, daylong learning and networking opportunity, this time without leaving your desk. Registration is now open for the Iowa Lean Consortium’s Annual Virtual Conference – the ILC’s first attempt at taking its popular yearly educational conference and reformatting it for cyberspace.
Joe Cordray put it simply when asked to explain the impact of new inspection rules that went into place for small Iowa meat processors this spring. “It’s really a pretty big deal,” said Cordray, a longtime meat science professor at Iowa State University. “The smaller plants, they’re essentially located in rural Iowa. And a lot of our rural Iowa towns could use a little revitalization.”