This Week in the Corridor
We should celebrate manufacturing for more than a month
As manufacturing month chugs toward completion, it’s worth a few minutes to consider how important the sector is to our region.

We are sometimes tempted to undervalue the making of things in our service age. The news is dominated by apps and quants and financial instruments. Meanwhile, the number of US manufacturing jobs has declined 4.3 million since the peak year of 1979. That’s the state of Iowa, with Rhode Island thrown in for good measure.

But folks with oil under their nails know that manufacturing output continues to point north. In fact, our neighbors to the north offer a nice comparison: If US manufacturing were a country, it would have a larger economy, at $2.1 trillion, than Canada. Obviously, takt times are tightening.

And 2018 marked a transition of sorts, with manufacturing jobs increasing as a percent of the total workforce for the first time since the middle of the Reagan years. Manufacturing now accounts for 8.5 percent of US employment.

Here in the Iowa Lakes Corridor, more than 11 percent of jobs entail bending, welding, joining, machining, assembling, painting and the like. Plus, the median wage in manufacturing is $18.50 per hour. Only construction crews do better.

Without a doubt, our communities are made healthier by the presence of manufacturing. A few years back, a team of researchers at Iowa State University dug deep into longitudinal data about quality of life from towns across the state. Those places where residents felt life was improving even though the population was getting smaller were said to be “shrinking smart.” A common characteristic of these shrink-smart towns is that they have managed to grow their manufacturing base.

An obvious reason for the benefit is that manufacturing is additive. Customers might be located across the nation or around the globe, but their money winds up here locally.

Plus manufacturers are big spenders. Like a sun warming the planets in in its orbit, their expenditures sustain countless nearby business.

Finally, and this is unquantifiable but absolutely true, manufacturing is good for us because it’s real, tangible, and tactile. When lives are spent at laptops and entire jobs are built on paperless paperwork, there is satisfaction for all of us, both manufacturing workers and the rest of us driving by, in knowing that inside that plant the finished product is a product indeed.

Develop This! in Arkansas
The 2019 Business Recognition Speakers Dennis Fraise and Jason Hutcheson recently were the keynote speakers for the Arkansas Community Development Society's Annual Conference. Hear their podcast with Mike Preston, Secretary of Commerce and Executive Director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission.
You're invited!
Do you want to hear Jason & Dennis in person? Join us for this year's Business Recognition Luncheon from 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, November 13th at the Clay County Regional Events Center.
RSVP to Alyssa Petersen at or by calling 712.264.3474.
Featured Real Estate
Site: Formerly SPM Gaskets
Industrial, Warehouse & Distribution
Location: 618 10th Ave. E.
Spencer, IA 51301
30,000 sf.


For more information visit the Corridor website!
News to Know
Iowa Lakes Corridor seeking Community Champions
Community Champions are people who enjoy living and working in the Lakes Region of Northwest Iowa. These Champions reach out to people they know that might have an interest in moving here and assisting them in a job search or to buy or start a business.

Tyson 'Hunger Heroes' honors SL's Bosley
As part of a 2015 commitment to donate cash or in-kind donations toward hunger relief, Tyson is recognizing individuals fighting hunger in their own communities. These Homegrown Hunger Heroes get nominated by Tyson team members for their hands-on involvement with hunger relief projects. Cindy Bosley, the owner of BozWellz in Storm Lake, has been selected as one of 21 Homegrown Hunger Heroes across the nation so far.

Read about Homegrown Heroes.
1,000 students at Storm Lake Elementary
Storm Lake Elementary has reached 1,000 students enrolled. In honor of the milestone, the school celebrated with activities and a "1,000!" picture with all of the students.

Sunset Apartments nearing completion, preparing for grand opening
The Community Housing Initiative renovation to Sunset Apartments is nearly complete. The updates include 91 renovated apartments, new elevators, a community room, fitness room, and other new amenities better suited to the community-centered residents.

Read more about the renovations.
Investor Spotlight
Each week we want to feature and thank the businesses and individuals that have committed to economic development and growth in our communities. To learn more about these investors and others, visit our Business Directory!
Storm Lake United
Sector: Business Services/Other
Location: Storm Lake
Description: Storm Lake United is the voice of business in the region. As the leading community organization, Storm Lake United advocates for issues that support commerce, community health and the overall prosperity of the area.
Tecton Industries Inc.
Sector: Manufacturing
Location: Spencer
Description: Founded in 1981, Tecton Indsutries, Inc. is a leading producer of precision machined components located in two separate temperature and humidity controlled manufacturing facilities in Spencer. With over 45,000 sq. feet of combined shop floor, they have the latest machine tool technology and manufacturing techniques available.
Jobs in the Iowa Lakes Corridor
Post your jobs where quality candidates are already looking:

See more current job openings here.
Job Title
Landfill Equipment Operator II
City of Spencer
Questions? Want to be featured in next week's newsletter?
Contact the Iowa Lakes Corridor at ,
or call us at 712.264.3474.