The state’s top job recruiter is praising the Iowa Department of Natural Resources for doing a better job clearing the way for new employers in the state. The agency issues permits for manufacturing plants and other industries.

Debi Durham, director of the Iowa Partnership for Economic Progress, says the permitting process is working better lately.

“The D.N.R. is really saying to industry, ‘if you want to have your permits done in this certain period of time, you need to provide us with this information in a certain period of time.’ That way, everybody understands what each others’ expectations are,” Durham said.

Valent Biosciences will break ground on a new manufacturer plant next month in northern Iowa. Durham said officials with the Japan-based chemical manufacturer were pleased with their interactions with the Iowa D.N.R. “The Valent folks just sent us a letter saying how pleasantly surprised they were that the permitting was done in such an expeditious way,” Durham said.

That kind of compliment, Durham said, doesn’t come every day. The $150 million dollar Valent Biosciences facility will be located in Osage. It’s expected to create up to 90 jobs.