Year: 2021

Woofables Uses COVID-19 Slump to Plan Future Growth

A Coralville bakery catering to the culinary needs of dogs expects to triple in size over the next three years after CIRAS gave it the confidence to expand its service of two different parts of the market for high-quality treats. Woofables, a gourmet dog treat bakery established in 2004, is wrapping up a major expansion that included creation of two separate production lines to serve both small pet boutiques and large commercial supermarkets. Company leaders say the investment will make Woofables more efficient at serving two growing segments of a growing industry—segments with competing interests that don’t always align.

New Consortium to Support Tech Training for Iowa Manufacturers

For Immediate Release: As business and industry evolve at an ever-increasing pace, the next wave of change in the form of digitalization and automation, known as “Industry 4.0,” will require new processes for businesses and new skills for employees. Today, Iowa’s Community Colleges and the Iowa State University’s Center for Industrial Research and Service (CIRAS) announced a new consortium to support the manufacturing sector in adapting to these changes. The training and awareness initiative includes partners from across the state. “Iowa has the right mix of relationships and resources to help our manufacturers remain competitive through a global technology revolution that is transforming factory floors and jobs,” said Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds. “This important partnership addresses a critical need identified in the state’s Manufacturing 4.0 strategic plan by uniting key education and industry stakeholders in a comprehensive effort to prepare workers with the skills they need in an increasingly digital economy."

ABI Taking Care of Business Conference is June 8-10

Are you ready to gain valuable insights that can help your business? If so, CIRAS recommends that you plan to attend the annual Taking Care of Business Conference next month in Coralville. The yearly conference, which is hosted by the Iowa Association of Business and Industry, is a valuable way for Iowa manufacturers to invest … Continue reading ABI Taking Care of Business Conference is June 8-10

CIRAS Staff News: Meet Tim Miller

Tim Miller has joined CIRAS as a manufacturing engineering project manager.   Tim has a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Iowa State University and a master’s degree in industrial engineering from the University of Cincinnati, as well as a graduate certificate in system design and management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He comes … Continue reading CIRAS Staff News: Meet Tim Miller

Come Tell Your Story at ILC’s 2021 Annual Conference

Do you have a Continuous Improvement story to tell? If so, we want to hear about it. The Iowa Lean Consortium is pleased to issue a call for presentations for our 2021 Annual Conference to be held on October 26-27.  This will be a hybrid event, with the main conference taking place Prairie Meadows Events & Conference Center in Altoona. There will be satellite locations throughout the state for smaller gatherings, and there will be a virtual option.

ALERT: New Tax Credits Support On-the-clock Vaccination

CIRAS and other members of the MEP National Network are sharing this message to alert manufacturers to important news about new tax credits available to help companies assist their workers with COVID-19 vaccinations: On Wednesday, President Joe Biden called on employers across America to do everything they can to help their employees – and their communities – get vaccinated. As part of that effort, President Biden is calling on every employer in America to offer full pay to their employees for any time off needed to get vaccinated and for any time it takes to recover from the after-effects of vaccination. Now is the time to step up our efforts to reach every working-age adult in America, and today’s announcement to help employers offset the cost of paid time off is an important step in getting America’s workforce vaccinated.

Gilcrest/Jewett Finds Success in Bringing Lean to Lumber

A 165-year-old Des Moines lumber company has gained new efficiencies, better customer service, and a tangible reduction in injuries after its employees embraced continuous improvement. Rick Kyser, operations manager at Gilcrest/Jewett Lumber Company, said company leaders have seen a massive cultural shift since the lumberyard took its first steps toward Lean management at the end … Continue reading Gilcrest/Jewett Finds Success in Bringing Lean to Lumber

Virtual Matchmaking Session on April 8

Government contracting can be an excellent path for a business to diversify its customer base and build a stable source of revenue. But the pool of available opportunities can expand dramatically when large prime companies team with small businesses. How do companies of different sizes with complementary capabilities find each other? To help with that, … Continue reading Virtual Matchmaking Session on April 8

Have You Hired Your Summer Engineering Intern?

Spring is here, and that means summer won’t be far behind. Is your summer workforce where it needs to be? If not, Engineering Career Services at Iowa State University is eager to work with any company interested in hiring engineering interns during the coming summer. As of April 5, registrations are still being accepted in … Continue reading Have You Hired Your Summer Engineering Intern?