Twenty-eight Iowa companies, including one that’s testing a cancer vaccine, have received nearly 20-million dollars in state grants from a variety of state economic development programs. Governor Tom Vilsack calls it a “red letter day” for the state, as those 28 companies promise to create 17-hundred-40 new jobs. Vilsack highlighted four projects that’re getting state grants: the Ames company that’s making that cancer vaccine, another Ames company that’s changing the genetic make-up of plants, a Coralville company that’s the world’s largest maker of synthetic D-N-A and a new plant planned for Cedar Rapids that’ll be North America’s largest yeast-making facility. Vilsack says the companies provide more than good-paying jobs, they provide a “new exciting vision” for Iowa and a chance for the state to “make a statement” in the biotechnology field. Iowa Department of Economic Development director Michael Blouin says these are companies that offer good-paying jobs.Blouin says the 28 companies are located in 12 counties. Bob Baaken, chairman of the Iowa Economic Development Board, says Hormel’s getting nearly 200-thousand dollars from the state for expansion of its Osceola plant. Hormel plans to add new, “cutting-edge technology” that’ll increase the shelf-life and the safety of meat products. American Republic Insurance will get nearly 250-thousand dollars from the state for an expansion in Council Bluffs. VeraSun in Webster County, an ethanol plant, will get state tax breaks to help back its expansion which will make it the country’s 5th-largest ethanol producer.And the soon-to-be-built Red Star Yeast plant in Cedar Rapids will get state tax credits and a half-million dollar state grant. Most of the money handed out today — about 15-and-a-half million — comes from the new state economic development fund. Iowa Farm Bureau president Craig Lange serves as chair of the “Iowa Values Board” that formed eight months ago to hand out the money. Lange says it’s all about creating wealth in Iowa. The jobs to be created pay 25-thousand dollars a year on the low end; 91-thousand dollars a year would be the top salary.
You are here: / / Varied businesses win state aid to create jobs