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July Is Busy Month for Economic Development Progress

July 23, 2014

These may be the dog days of summer, but July has been an especially busy month for economic progress in Greater Des Moines (DSM). The Partnership’s economic development team worked with four projects moving forward in the past week. These projects include a groundbreaking for Alliant Energy’s generating station in Marshalltown, funding approvals for the renovation and expansion of American Republic Insurance’s headquarters Downtown, and funding approvals for Athena GTX and Bawte, two expanding technology firms. 

Local and state leaders celebrated the beginning of the construction phase of the Marshalltown Generating Station last week. The 650 megawatt, combined-cycle, natural gas-fueled facility is expected to power more than 500,000 homes, will create long-term environmental benefits and economic opportunities for Iowa. The generation station is expected to begin operations in the second quarter 2017. Alliant Energy expects the estimated $920 million project to create approximately 200-300 jobs in Marshalltown during construction.

American Republic Insurance was awarded direct financial assistance and tax benefits for job creation and expansion projects by the Iowa Economic Development Authority board last week. The award will assist in the creation of 146 jobs and will result in $24.5 million in new capital investment for the region. The company plans to reconfigure its historic building and add employees to its Des Moines operations to meet demands of its growing business. The Partnership worked with American Republic Insurance and IEDA in the application for High Quality Jobs Program tax incentives. The expansion is expected to create jobs with a qualifying wage of $24.32 per hour.

Athena GTX® was awarded a $100,000 loan through the Iowa Innovation Acceleration Fund to complete the commercialization of their product prototype and market planning and entry activities. Athena GTX manufactures wireless, mobile, patient-worn, miniature medical monitors. The company’s product technology is focused on lightweight, portable, wireless medical devices that enable medical care providers to connect with multiple patients’ vital signs data remotely via Wi-Fi and web-based applications on mobile computers and smart phones. The Partnership recruited the company from Southern California seven years ago. 

Des Moines-based Bawte was awarded a $25,000 grant via the Proof of Commercial Relevance Fund.  This fund provides financial and technical assistance to encourage high-technology prototype and concept development activities that have a clear potential to lead to commercially viable products or services within a reasonable period of time. Bawte's product eliminates the need for paper instruction manuals, notifies users of a product recall or warranty expiration, allows users to keep digital receipts and helps users when a product is not working right.  The company will utilize this award for marketing and the development of the product.

For more information on economic activity in Des Moines and throughout the state, visit iowaeconomicdevelopment.com.

About the Iowa Economic Development Authority

The Iowa Economic Development Authority's (IEDA) mission is 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.

IEDA works to achieve its mission and goals to benefit Iowans while maintaining a high level of transparency. This section of the site includes reports, board information, public notices, job vacancies, requests for proposals (RFPs) and more.