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Uncategorized Newswire Stories

Employers Find Workforce Success through Student Opportunities

Using Career Fairs to Engage Future Workers Iowa State career fairs are an excellent way for employers to meet, interview, and interact with students to grow an educated and well-rounded workforce. In-person fairs occur each semester and offer employers the opportunity to fill interview schedules, network with students and increase name recognition. The College of … Continue reading Employers Find Workforce Success through Student Opportunities

1st Annual Construction Diversity Accelerator – Hosted by Turner Construction & CIRAS

An international construction company is partnering with CIRAS to increase the participation of underrepresented contractors on its projects. Turner Construction, the largest domestic contractor in the U.S., and the CIRAS Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) are offering a free five-week program designed to enhance the ability of Underrepresented Business Enterprises (UBEs) and Disadvantaged Business Enterprises … Continue reading 1st Annual Construction Diversity Accelerator – Hosted by Turner Construction & CIRAS

Watching Iowa’s Economy – November

Here is CIRAS’s quick look at major economic indicators for Iowa. For an introduction and a description of the indicators used, see our first post. Indicator Status Underlying Data Notes ISM Manufacturing PMI® Indicators were mixed, all remaining close to neutral. Mid-American Index Prices continued sharp increases along with strong growth in new orders in … Continue reading Watching Iowa’s Economy – November

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

CIRAS Student Employee Named Truman Scholar

NEW Cyber Threat Hacking Industrial Control Systems: Take Action Today to Protect Your Business

A new cybersecurity risk with direct impacts on most manufacturers has recently been discovered. The Department of Energy (DOE), the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the National Security Agency (NSA), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) released a joint Cybersecurity Advisory (CSA) on Wednesday. The CSA warns that specific advanced persistent threat (APT) actors have … Continue reading NEW Cyber Threat Hacking Industrial Control Systems: Take Action Today to Protect Your Business

Innovation at Work: Strengthening Iowa Communities

Innovation At Work is a series of stories, photos, videos and audio highlighting the new approaches Iowa State University is taking to big challenges that affect Iowa’s communities and landscape. A new entry in the series will be published every Tuesday between April 5 and May 3. To learn more about the impact CIRAS and … Continue reading Innovation at Work: Strengthening Iowa Communities

Did You Know? More and More Agencies are Using Electronic Bidding Software

By Kelly Freel   Many cities, counties, and state agencies have been using or will be implementing electronic bidding software to help streamline their bid process. Electronic bidding has many advantages for agencies and for bidders: Time and Stamp. When you log in and view the bid opportunity, it provides a time and date stamp … Continue reading Did You Know? More and More Agencies are Using Electronic Bidding Software

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

Retirement of Capstone Project Manager, Carey Novak

After eight years, Carey Novak has retired from CIRAS as a project manager, where his work focused on serving Iowa State University’s College of Engineering Capstone program. Carey came to Iowa State from Bradly University, and has previous experience at Iowa State supporting companies with technology transfer. Throughout his career, Carey’s work has been beneficial … Continue reading Retirement of Capstone Project Manager, Carey Novak

Government Contracting Training Videos Now Available on CIRAS Online Resource Library

CIRAS hosts many training events each year on a variety of government contracting topics.  We bring in government contracting experts such as attorneys, accountants, federal agencies, and other consultants so you can learn from the best.  We realize that you are not always able to attend our webinars live or that a topic may not … Continue reading Government Contracting Training Videos Now Available on CIRAS Online Resource Library

Lean Culture Helped These Companies become Best Places to Work

What do the best places to work have in common? Five companies recognized as being among the best employers in Iowa credit their adoption of Lean with helping them create a culture where workers simply love to work. The Iowa Lean Consortium (ILC) gathered the five companies together for an online event earlier this year. … Continue reading Lean Culture Helped These Companies become Best Places to Work

CIRAS Staff News: Meet Jennifer Garcia-Velazquez

Jennifer Garcia-Velazquez has joined CIRAS as a full-time events coordinator. Jennifer, who received her bachelor’s degree in Nutritional Science from Iowa State University, previously worked for Science Bound, Iowa’s State University’s pre-college through college program to empower Iowa students of color to pursue degrees and careers in ASTEM (agriculture, science technology, engineering and mathematics) fields … Continue reading CIRAS Staff News: Meet Jennifer Garcia-Velazquez

Did You Know? Rock Island Arsenal Overview

Did you know that the Rock Island Arsenal (RIA), which is an actual island situated between Iowa and Illinois on the Mississippi River, houses more than one major Army command and over 60 tenant organizations, both public and private entities? The five major Army organizations on the island each have different and unique buying needs: … Continue reading Did You Know? Rock Island Arsenal Overview

Muscatine’s MARRVE Will Make Fuel from Former Food

A Muscatine solid-waste treatment facility is building what it hopes will become a major biogas production plant after Iowa State University helped the city discover its best formula for using food waste to produce methane.

Jon Koch, director of the city of Muscatine’s Water and Resource Recovery Facility, said his agency recently completed the first two-year, $4 million phase of developing Muscatine Area Resource Recovery for Vehicles and Energy (MARRVE). The effort has turned a former recycling center into a hub for food manufacturers around the Midwest to drop off food waste for treatment by Muscatine’s anaerobic digesters.

The goal eventually is to handle enough food waste—and produce enough biogas from that process—to generate and sell the equivalent of 1,000 gallons of vehicle fuel per day.

Register Now for Business Analytics Symposium

Registration is now open for the Iowa State University’s first virtual Business Analytics Symposium, hosted by the Ivy College of Business.

Now in its fifth year, the April 6 symposium will feature a new format – four influential keynote speakers over two half-day sessions, with one breakout session each day.

Did You Know?… The AbilityOne Program

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.

Twice-Weekly Roundtables Help You Talk Through COVID-19

Do you have specific, industry-related COVID-19 questions you’d like to have answered? Would you simply like to chat with others who are struggling to adapt to a global pandemic? CIRAS is hosting twice-weekly online roundtables to share the latest coronavirus response information. Our experts will walk you through an overview of what we know about … Continue reading Twice-Weekly Roundtables Help You Talk Through COVID-19

The Basics of Fighting COVID-19

CIRAS exists to improve Iowa businesses by helping them identify research-proven best practices. Following are a collection of tips and links designed to point your company to the best possible information for navigating the current pandemic. For more, visit our site at

Triplett Buoyant about Bidmatch

For Steve Cochren, it amounts to sustenance—and it arrives at about the same time.

“I read my BidMatch every day at lunch,” said Cochren, who works in sales at Triplett Office Essentials in Urbandale. “It makes me aware of opportunities that I may not have been aware of before.”

BidMatch, a software service that’s available to all active clients of the CIRAS Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), scours government databases to deliver a list of government procurement opportunities tailored to what an individual client sells.

Birmingham Manufacturing gets Reawakened to the Value of Innovation

Michael Nunn hasn’t yet found the product improvement idea he was searching for, but at least he now knows that he’s on the correct path.

Nunn is the owner of Birmingham Manufacturing, a four-person shop in Birmingham, Iowa, that makes condensated evaporating pans for use in commercial coolers. The pans, which contain a heating element and sit below refrigeration units, work to evaporate the water that drips from inside coolers.

Snapshot of Iowa’s Information Sector


Partner Spotlight: Iowa Association of Business and Industry

One of CIRAS’ points of pride is our outstanding network of partners. We believe they are critical to the health of businesses in Iowa, and we just don’t talk about them often enough. So, today we’re launching a new regular feature to help showcase our great partners and the amazing things they do.    

Manufacturing Day (Month) 2016: Iowa Students Discover the Possibilities

Shelly Vanyo smiled happily as her science and engineering students milled around a Boone High School classroom ogling various tiny machine parts made inside a metal 3D printer at Iowa State University.

Mission accomplished. They students were excited, and their teacher was pleased.

Iowa Celebration of “Manufacturing Day” will include nearly 150 Events

AMES – Iowans once again will have easy access this October to a broad spectrum of educational events aimed at promoting the benefits of a career in manufacturing.
Friday, October 7, has been designated as national Manufacturing Day – a time for U.S. factories to open their doors and show the public that manufacturing has become a clean, high-technology industry packed with fulfilling opportunities.
For Iowans, however, the celebrations, plant tours and seminars will stretch well beyond a single day – into an entire month.

CIRAS has Checklist for Businesses Headed to Higher Ground

Roughly one-third of Iowa’s counties were under a flood watch or warning on Friday morning after massive rainfalls throughout the state – in some areas, up to 9 inches – send rivers higher. More rain is expected throughout the weekend, posing a significant and imminent flooding threat for many Iowa businesses.

CIRAS believes that any company who does not have a flood plan already in place should immediately begin making preparations for trouble.

New Regional Peer Forums Intended to Engage, Educate Iowa’s Professionals

A new series of BizWise regional peer forums is launching this year as part of an ongoing effort by CIRAS and the Iowa Association of Business and Industry (ABI) to help Iowa business professionals stay ahead of the curve and perform at their peak.

NEWS: CIRAS Approved to Purchase Metal 3-D Printer for Iowa Businesses

DES MOINES – The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) agreed this morning to contribute $100,000 toward the purchase of a metal 3-D printer that will be used to help CIRAS educate businesses across Iowa on the latest capabilities of additive manufacturing, to help train the next generation of workers in this poised-to-explode technology and to support new faculty research.
The IEDA contribution joins other federal and Iowa State University funding that will be used to purchase a direct metal sintering system, part of a $900,000 investment in this technology. The machine, which now will be ordered from its manufacturer, is expected to be up and running in an Iowa State University lab within months for the benefit of Iowa businesses.

BREAKING: CIRAS, NICC Partner to Better Serve Northeast Iowa Businesses

DUBUQUE– Northeast Iowa businesses should now find it easier to get what they need to grow.

Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC) and Iowa State University’s Center for Industrial Research and Service (CIRAS) have announced a partnership to provide a single point of contact for businesses seeking help in that region. As part of this agreement, Seth Gilbert, J.D., has been named the NICC/CIRAS Account Manager for the Dubuque area and will be charged with helping businesses find the programs and support services they need in either or both entities.

Register now for CIRAS’ Internet Marketing Boot Camp

Meet Paul.

Paul’s mission in life (at least partly) is to help you understand the Internet and how it can help your business.

CIRAS Innovation Summit to Map Future for Iowa Machinery Makers

Iowa machinery manufacturers have seen their share of U.S. machinery exports more than double since 2000, according to a CIRAS analysis of U.S. industry statistics. Now, manufacturers need to figure out how to build on that gain.

A CIRAS analysis, completed by Iowa State University economist Liesl Eathington for an April 2 summit on the state of machinery production in Iowa, shows that Iowans have a competi­tive advantage over the rest of the na­tion—especially when it comes to making agricultural and construction equipment.

What we’re about


If you’re reading this, you’ve found CIRAS Newswire, the “publishing” arm of Iowa State University’s Center for Industrial Research and Service.