Year: 2021

CIRAS to Lead Multistate Diversity Effort

A new program to attract under-represented minorities to technical and managerial roles in manufacturing is the focus of a $919,000 award received by CIRAS. CIRAS, in partnership with Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) centers in three other states, will create a structure for an internship program to build a pipeline of future employees for MEP centers … Continue reading CIRAS to Lead Multistate Diversity Effort

CIRAS Helps Appraiser Get First-ever Government Contract

A Windsor Heights real estate appraisal company was awarded its first-ever government contract last February after reaching out to CIRAS for assistance with the process. Neilly & Company Real Estate Appraisals received $3,900 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to determine the value of a facility located in Jefferson. Justin Niceswanger, a government contracting specialist … Continue reading CIRAS Helps Appraiser Get First-ever Government Contract

Automated Data Makes for Rapid Reports and More Problem Solving

A Story City food packaging company expects to save more than three-and-a-half weeks of labor over the next year after CIRAS helped the business automate weekly and monthly reports for managers. Dennis Sankot, production manager for American Packaging Corporation, used to spend about 16 hours a month transferring data from the company’s ERP (enterprise resource … Continue reading Automated Data Makes for Rapid Reports and More Problem Solving

The Iowa Workforce Skirmishes by Ron Cox, PhD, CIRAS Director

A historical look at Iowa’s labor force leads to a new approach for companies to address systemic workforce shortages. Merriam-Webster dictionary defines skirmish as “a minor fight in war usually incidental to larger movements.” This seems a fitting description of the labor force issues that have been brewing in Iowa—and what the data suggests we … Continue reading The Iowa Workforce Skirmishes by Ron Cox, PhD, CIRAS Director

Did You Know? Federal Contract COVID Vaccination Requirements

By Justin Niceswanger On September 9, 2021, President Biden signed Executive Order 14042, Ensuring Adequate COVID Safety Protocols for Federal Contractors.  The order creates requirements for federal agencies to add a new Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) clause in many federal solicitations and contracts (and other contract-like instruments) which, in turn, requires many federal contractors and subcontractors to … Continue reading Did You Know? Federal Contract COVID Vaccination Requirements

CIRAS News: Meet Eric Higgins

Eric Higgins is the most recent addition to the CIRAS staff, and he will be working alongside the Industry 4.0 team. Over his career, Eric has gained experience surrounding automation implementation by working with industrial scale manufacturers. He has a background in Lean management and facilitation, which makes him a valuable member of our ever-growing … Continue reading CIRAS News: Meet Eric Higgins

Doing Business with the Iowa Department of Corrections and Iowa Prison Industries

While you might think those two sound the same, they are essentially different in not only their mission but also how they purchase items. the Iowa Prison Industries (IPI) refers to itself as the ‘work arm’ of the Iowa Department of Corrections (DOC)… essentially, the IPI helps prepare current offenders with work training opportunities to … Continue reading Doing Business with the Iowa Department of Corrections and Iowa Prison Industries

CIRAS News: Meet New Hire Kelly Freel

Kelly Freel has recently started as the newest counselor for the Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) at CIRAS. Most recently, she worked with ISU Purchasing as a Senior Contract Manager, where she helped to procure medical and scientific equipment for a number of federal research projects. Considering her background with state procurement practices and federal acquisition regulations, is … Continue reading CIRAS News: Meet New Hire Kelly Freel

PTAC Counselor Expands Territory Southeast Iowa

A CIRAS government contracting specialist will soon have an expanded role. Samantha Ferm will take over the territory covered by Melissa Burant, a counselor in the CIRAS Procurement and Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) since 2014, is transitioning into a new position leading strategic supply chain initiatives. Ferm has been with CIRAS as a PTAC counselor … Continue reading PTAC Counselor Expands Territory Southeast Iowa