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Economic Development Board Awards Incentives to Create up to 261 New Iowa Jobs

September 15, 2011 (DES MOINES, IA) – The Iowa Economic Development Board approved awards today that will create up to 261 jobs in Iowa and retain another 220 jobs.

The board approved incentives for planned or proposed projects located in Cedar Rapids, Fairfield, West Des Moines, Des Moines and Scott County.

“Companies in a wide range of industries are choosing Iowa as the best place to locate or expand their operations,” said Governor Terry Branstad. “Iowa offers a number of unique business advantages for companies here, including Iowa’s status as a Right to Work state and its educated workforce.”

The incentives handed out today went to companies in the areas of technology, manufacturing, food processing, and business and technology startup development.

“Economic development remains a top priority for Iowa,” said Debi Durham, director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority. “Because of that focus, Iowa is able to offer competitive incentive packages to qualified companies creating jobs in the state.”

Alcoa receives award for proposed expansion in Scott County

The board approved $3 million in direct financial assistance to Alcoa through the 130 percent component program for a physical expansion that is under consideration at its Davenport facility. Alcoa is a world leader in the production and management of primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum, and alumina combined, through its active and growing participation in all major aspects of the industry: technology, mining, refining, smelting, fabricating, and recycling. Expansion plans include the installation of a new heat treatment line and other finishing equipment with a total investment of $300 million for this new advanced manufacturing line. The expansion and modernization of the facility will serve new demand for light, strong, and recyclable aluminum sheet for the automotive industry. The project is expected to create 150 new jobs and retain 200 jobs.

Harper Brush Works considers relocation of operations to Fairfield

The board approved $160,000 in direct financial assistance through GIVFAP for a project under consideration by Harper Brush Works, Inc. to close its east coast operations and bring them to Fairfield. Established in 1900, the manufacturer of brooms, brushes and other handheld cleaning products has corporate offices at the site of its original manufacturing facility in Fairfield. If it were to bring its east coast operations to Iowa, the project is expected to create 25 jobs, two of which are supported by state incentives, and retain another 20 jobs. The proposed project represents a $30,000 capital investment and includes the relocation of brush manufacturing, mop manufacturing, product assembly, packaging and shipping to Iowa.

H.J. Heinz proposes expansion in Cedar Rapids

The board approved $100,000 in direct financial assistance as well as tax incentives to H.J. Heinz Company and Subsidiaries for a possible expansion at its Cedar Rapids facility, which produces food service soups and entrees. The expansion the company is considering would represent a $10.9 million capital investment and is expected to create 31 jobs, two of which are supported by state incentives. The proposed project would include building improvements for production equipment and an 8,000-square-foot expansion for a research and development lab and bulk chemical storage facility. Direct financial assistance is through the Value-Added Agricultural Component program and tax incentives awarded for the proposal are through the High Quality Jobs program.

Microsoft receives award for second phase of West Des Moines data center

The board approved tax incentives through the High Quality Jobs program for Microsoft Corporation to expand its data center in West Des Moines. The project represents an $84.7 million capital investment by the company and is expected to create 10 jobs, four of which are supported by state incentives. Microsoft data centers support hundreds of online services, including Windows Azure,Office 365, Bing, MSN, Windows Live, Hotmail and Xbox Live. More than a billion customers and 20 million businesses in over 70 countries use these services each year. The facility will house networking equipment and information technology servers to support of the company’s online services.

Opportunities and Threats program funds Des Moines project

Opportunities and Threats is a program that funds projects that present a unique opportunity for economic development or address a situation posing a threat to economic prosperity in Iowa.

The board approved a $250,000 royalty agreement through the Opportunities and Threats program to StartupCity Des Moines, an entity that connects entrepreneurs with mentors to develop early stage technology-oriented startups.

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