Debbie Durham

State officials have commissioned a survey of Iowa manufacturers to evaluate industry trends.

Iowa Economic Development Authority director Debi Durham says the results will likely help reconfigure state incentives as well as re-training programs.

“We always think of digitalization and modernization and , automation as losing jobs, but it’s quite the contrary,” Durham says, “because with every revolution that’s happened like this, you actually see more jobs, but they look different.”

Durham expects results from the survey to be released in October and she says the information will guide how her agency approaches businesses on a variety of key topics.

“How do we encourage businesses to make the investments they need to make?” Durham asks rhetorically.

Issues about the supply chains Iowa manufacturers depend upon are likely to be highlighted in the study, too. There’s still time for Iowa companies to sign up to participate in the study. It will ultimately produce what Durham has dubbed the “Iowa Manufacturing 4.0 Plan.”