The head of an Iowa-based company that’s just gotten a state grant to expand says Iowa has turned out to be a stable place when it comes to keeping employees. Dr. Charles Link founded New Link Genetics in Ames, a firm that’s now testing a lung cancer vaccine.Link grew up in a small Midwestern town, and when he left the National Cancer Institute after eight years of work there, he was interested in starting a company like the ones he’d seen and worked with in Silicon Valley. He says while observing those companies, he came to the conclusion it wasn’t about location, it was about what the company did that counts.Link says he was interested in having his family live in the Midwest. Link says he relates to the values and work ethic of Midwesterners. Link says the employees he’s hired who’ve moved to Iowa from places like London and Washington, D.C. have been thrilled with the quality of life they now lead in Iowa. Link says in San Diego, the city with the highest concentration of biotech firms, employee turnover is 25 percent per year. Link’s company has only had one senior scientist leave the company in the firm’s five years of existence. Link says that scientist didn’t leave for a better job in a bigger city — he moved home to care for an ailing father. Link’s company has made a 186-million dollar capital investment, employing 350 at jobs with an average wage of just under 25 dollars an hour. The state of Iowa this week gave New Link Genetics a six-million dollar grant.