The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) Board approved awards for three companies, which will assist in the creation of 579 jobs and result in nearly $156 million in new capital investment for the state. These projects are located in Cedar Rapids, Des Moines and Lime Springs. The board also approved innovation funding in support of three startups located in Carroll, Cedar Rapids and Clive.
International Paper to construct steam plant in Cedar Rapids
International Paper is one of the world’s leading producers of renewable corrugated packaging and cellulose fibers, with their Iowa locations focused on creating material for fiber-based packaging products. The company plans to install package boilers for onsite steam production, which includes the construction of a new 48,500 square foot two-story building, to supply the needed process steam and continue operations at the facility. The project represents a $103 million capital investment and is expected to create seven jobs incented at a qualifying wage of $30.24 per hour. The board awarded the company tax benefits through the High Quality Jobs (HQJ) program.
OpenLoop Health to expand Des Moines headquarters
OpenLoop Health, Inc. provides a platform for comprehensive digital health operations. The service is designed to streamline and simplify telehealth care delivery. The company plans to lease and renovate a 40,000 square foot building to accommodate growth and expand its headquarters in Des Moines. The board awarded this $4.8 million capital investment project direct financial assistance of $500,000 through the HQJ program. It is expected to create 400 jobs, of which 60 are incented at a qualifying wage of $34.25 per hour.
Upper Iowa Beef to increase production capacity in Lime Springs
Opened in 2017 to provide local food production, Upper Iowa Beef works with family-owned and operated farms, which includes purchasing livestock from more than 400 independent cattle producers in northeastern Iowa. The company plans to expand and upgrade its facility in Lime Springs to increase capacity. The board awarded the company tax benefits through the HQJ program. The estimated $48 million capital investment is expected to create 172 jobs, of which 33 are incented at a qualifying wage of $23.53 per hour.
Awards made to three startups
Tech startup Cavergence in Cedar Rapids develops software for construction project management. The technology has the potential to save money, increase productivity and ensure on-time delivery. The company was awarded a $50,000 Proof of Commercial Relevance (POCR) loan for market and customer analysis, product refinement, market planning and entry activities and equipment.
Clive-based Above Par Tech of Iowa manufactures custom GPS sprayers for golf courses. The technology commonly used within the agriculture market is adapted for use on turf sprayers, allowing golf courses to decrease chemical usage and improve operator efficiency. The company was awarded a $100,000 Demonstration Fund loan for market and competitive analysis, proof of concept work, product refinement, market planning and entry activities, key personnel and equipment and construction.
A school-based telehealth company in Carroll, Classroom Clinic provides school districts with timely and convenient access to children’s mental health services. The “team-based care” model allows service providers and school staff to connect, communicate and collaborate using technology. The company was awarded a $100,000 Demonstration Fund loan for market planning and entry activities and key personnel.
Award recommendations for these funds are made by the Technology Commercialization Committee to the IEDA Board for approval.