Officials Thursday handed out the first one-million dollars from the state’s revived “Iowa Values Fund.” At Governor Vilsack’s urging, legislators set aside 50 million dollars each year for business grants. Eight projects located in Council Bluffs, the Des Moines area, Davenport and Fort Dodge will be splitting the more than one-million in state grants. The governor says $18.91 is the average hourly wage for the jobs created or retained by the eight companies that got the grants. Vilsack says 450 jobs will either be created or retained by those companies. Vilsack also cited today’s report which showed June’s unemployment rate in Iowa fell slightly compared to May. He says that’s proof Iowa’s economy is percolating, and evidence that there’s a need for the federal government to engage in similar economic development hand-outs to businesses in order to stimulate the economy.
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