The newly formed Iowa Economic Development Authority (formerly IDED) will use the best aspects of the public and private sectors to create a dynamic, results-driven partnership with programs and incentives that will meet the needs for business growth.
This model marks a new direction in economic development for the state and consists of two arms – the Iowa Economic Development Authority and the Iowa Innovation Corporation.
The authority is a quasi-government agency that replaces the existing Iowa Department of Economic Development and will perform its current duties. The authority will have a more focused set of incentives, providing maximum flexibility to meet the needs of potential employers.
The second entity, the Iowa Innovation Corporation, will serve as the private sector side of the economic development equation and will work to attract investors and investment capital. A non-profit, the IIC will solicit funds for various sources in the private sector to be used for its job creation efforts.
Iowa has set bold economic development goals for the coming years: Create 200,000 private-sector jobs and raise family incomes by 25 percent. This new approach to economic development will focus on innovation and growing high-paying jobs that will support Iowa’s future.
Advanced Manufacturing On The Rise
One key economic cluster that will help the state reach these goals is the advanced manufacturing industry. Newly released numbers by the Battelle Memorial Institute, reveal that advanced manufacturing employs 13 percent of all Iowa private-sector jobs. It also accounts for 33 percent of Iowa’s private-sector economic output and generates 78 percent of its patents. During 2009, advanced manufacturing employed around 156,000 people.
The report also identified biosciences and information technology as key areas for the state.
Included below are some additional data points from the report:
• Iowa's advanced manufacturing sector remains diverse, and not overly dependent on any one sector for its economic fortunes. Containing 18 subsectors, the advanced manufacturing sector in Iowa demonstrates regional specialization in fully 14 of these.
• During the recession, Iowa's advanced manufacturing sector shed 11% of its jobs; somewhat less than the national sector which dropped by nearly 12%.
• Average wages for the state's advanced manufacturing sector and all of its major subsectors are greater than those for the average private sector worker. The average wage is $50,669 which is 40% higher or more than $14,000 greater per year. Among the major subsectors, aerospace has the highest average wages at $71,313 per year.
• The expanding biobased products sector and the need to find biobased alternatives to foreign energy imports is a good subsector in which to leverage strengths and holds promise for future employment growth.
• The "emerging potential" subclusters, that are gaining employment but have not yet reached regionally-specialized levels include "research, engineering and industrial design services" and "human biosciences"—areas that are actually supported by the other Iowa clusters of IT and bioscience.