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Apr 24

Branstad, Reynolds kick off Year of Manufacturing to encourage growth of manufacturing in Iowa

Administration sets goal of increasing manufacturing GDP $3 billion in 5 years

DES MOINES – Today, Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds formally kicked-off the “Year of Manufacturing.” Gov. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Reynolds were joined by Dr. Maureen Lockwood, Manufacturing Manager at Thombert Inc., and Ms. Lori Schaefer-Weaton, President at Agri-Industrial Plastics Company and current board chair of the Association of Business and Industry.

Governor Branstad announced the establishment of this initiative during his Condition of the State Address in January in recognition of the importance of the advanced manufacturing industry to Iowa’s economy.



Manufacturing is a critical industry that impacts the state’s economic vitality. In total, Iowa has over 6,100 manufacturers that contribute more than $29 billion to Iowa’s economy and employ over 200,000 Iowans. In addition, Iowa consistently ranks among the top 10 states in terms of percentage of GDP derived from manufacturing. To strengthen this integral industry, the goal of the Year of Manufacturing initiative is to increase Iowa’s manufacturing GDP from $29 billion to $32 billion by 2022. The primary areas of focus include:

  • Building a skilled workforce
  • Promoting innovation and R&D
  • Improving global competitiveness

    “We must create an environment that ensures Iowa manufacturers and their employees can meet the competitive levels that are being set nationally and around the globe,” said Gov. Branstad. “Advanced manufacturing is a significant driver of our state’s economy. Our administration is committed to strengthening the industry by encouraging innovation, entrepreneurship and investment.”

    Iowa’s Year of Manufacturing collaborative initiative will be led by the Iowa Economic Development Authority, Iowa State University’s Center for Industrial Research and Service (CIRAS) and the Iowa Association of Business and Industry. Entities representing statewide interests will be encouraged to sign-on and partner in the effort as well. Activities planned in pursuit of achieving the initiative’s goal include providing educational opportunities for Iowa’s manufacturing community, establishing an online toolkit and building awareness of state resources via a coordinated statewide company call program.

    “Through the countless number of companies we have visited around the state, we recognize the need to connect them to the multitude of resources and initiatives in Iowa,” said Lt. Gov. Reynolds. “By tasking our state’s major economic development and advanced manufacturing entities in bringing these resources to the forefront, our hope is to elevate and bolster the state’s thriving advanced manufacturing sector and spur untapped growth in companies.”

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    About the Iowa Economic Development Authority
    IEDA works to strengthen economic and community vitality by building partnerships and leveraging resources to make Iowa the choice for people and business. Through two main divisions – business development and community development – IEDA administers several state and federal programs to meet its goals of assisting individuals, communities and businesses.

    About Iowa State University’s Center for Industrial Research and Service (CIRAS)
    Iowa State University’s Center for Industrial Research and Service (CIRAS) has been helping businesses and their communities prosper and grow since 1963. The CIRAS mission is to improve the quality of life in Iowa by enhancing the performance of industry through applied research, education, and technical assistance. CIRAS does this by working across the state to share its expertise in enterprise leadership, growth, productivity, and technology. In 2015, 1,561 businesses from 95 Iowa counties received assistance on projects or attended educational workshops from CIRAS’ staff and partners. Companies responding to surveys reported $424 million of total economic impact.

    About the Iowa Association of Business and Industry
    The Iowa Association of Business and Industry (ABI) has been the voice of Iowa business since 1903. Its mission is to provide a strong, unified voice to business and industry on issues affecting Iowa employers. ABI is comprised of 1,500 member companies of all types and sizes in all 99 counties employing more than 330,000 Iowans.

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