Author: carmenw

Registration Paves the Way for Highway Improvement Contracts

A $1 trillion infrastructure bill signed into law last November could mean more projects for Iowans who are certified to work with the government.  Iowa is scheduled to receive $5 billion in funding for improvements, including $3.4 billion for highway repairs, $432 million to replace and repair bridges, $638 million for water infrastructure improvements, $305 … Continue reading Registration Paves the Way for Highway Improvement Contracts

Leading through the Workforce Crisis

Workforce shortages are impacting businesses of all types and sizes across the country. These challenges are more onerous in Iowa because of our slow population growth.   Here is some advice that members of the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) National Network™ have published recently on strategies to help small- and medium-sized manufacturers address their workforce issues.   … Continue reading Leading through the Workforce Crisis

Capstone Projects Are a Win-Win for Students, Industry

An increasing number of companies are turning to Iowa State University students for possible solutions to business needs through capstone projects.  CIRAS project manager Jake Behrens said student capstone teams work with nearly 70 Iowa companies each year on projects that span one or two semesters. Students use the opportunities to demonstrate their ability to … Continue reading Capstone Projects Are a Win-Win for Students, Industry

ACT Safe Expecting Record Year

ACT Safe, a Sioux City business focused on assisting companies with compliance issues, is looking forward to a record year after receiving their 8(a) certification.   ACT Safe plans to hire 15–20 new employees and hopes to secure more government contracts like the one that currently has founder Lorna Puntillo working with the Florida Veterans Administration … Continue reading ACT Safe Expecting Record Year

Iowa State’s Polymer and Food Protection Consortium Is on the Move

The Polymer and Food Protection Consortium (PFPC) recently shifted its packaging processing function to the Biocentury Research Farm near Boone, having outgrown its original facilities on the Iowa State campus. The larger space will enable PFPC to continue expanding its services in food safety research to support companies.  With initial and ongoing support from CIRAS, … Continue reading Iowa State’s Polymer and Food Protection Consortium Is on the Move

Patience and Persistence Key to Potential $2 Million Sales Growth

There’s no such thing as an overnight success. Anything that results in sustainable growth requires patience and persistence. But the payoff can be substantial. That’s the lesson learned by Black Cat Wear Parts, a company that started working with CIRAS four years ago and is now poised to see increased sales of more than $2 … Continue reading Patience and Persistence Key to Potential $2 Million Sales Growth

Digital Manufacturing Lab Adds New Technologies

Iowa State’s CIRAS Digital Manufacturing Lab powered by Alliant Energy continues to invest in technologies that fit the needs of Iowa manufacturers.   “Technology can change rapidly through software, hardware, or material improvements,” said Chris Hill, CIRAS program director. “A key to the continued success of the digital lab is to ensure we have access to … Continue reading Digital Manufacturing Lab Adds New Technologies

Connections Help Business Assume Financial Management

A Sioux City construction company now handles a majority of its accounting work in-house thanks to the help it received from the Iowa Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program.  I&A Construction’s primary focus is flat concrete work like sidewalks, driveways, trails, and curbs and gutters, as well as cast-in-place intakes. I&A Construction is DBE certified, which … Continue reading Connections Help Business Assume Financial Management

Using Automation to Bridge Labor Gap

Iowa manufacturers are turning to CIRAS with questions on how to maintain productivity and profitability when workforce is in short supply. Depending on the application, the answer can be automation or using robotics instead of humans to perform tasks like machine-tending. “Machinists are high-skilled employees, but some of the tasks they perform do not require … Continue reading Using Automation to Bridge Labor Gap

IPI Finds Benefit in ILC Membership

Iowa Prison Industries (IPI) credits membership in the Iowa Lean Consortium (ILC) with broadening opportunities for the people it serves. IPI is a division of the Iowa Department of Corrections that provides training to incarcerated men and women. IPI staff are ILC members through the State of Iowa’s organizational membership.  “The networking relationships we’ve developed … Continue reading IPI Finds Benefit in ILC Membership