This Week in the Corridor
Follon visits Iowa Prison Industry (IPI) and Prison Industry Enhancement (PIE) programs
Last week Corridor Business Retention & Workforce Partnership Coordinator Joanne Follon and Bob Becker, Spencer IowaWORKS, traveled to the North Central Correctional Facility in Rockwell City. They had the opportunity to meet with Daniel Clark, Director of the Iowa Prisons Industry (IPI) Program and see the IPI training programs available for inmates to gain the education, soft and hard skills needed to be successful citizens upon their release.

There are three private-sector work partnerships available through the Prison Industry Enhancement Certification Program:
1) employers transport offenders to/from the workplace
2) employers subcontract with IPI
3) employers set an operation inside a prison. The State of Iowa is certified to provide inmates for private business, providing the business meets state and federal guidelines.

To be eligible for this program, offenders must be scheduled for release within three years.

"From the onset, I was impressed with the cleanliness of the facility itself, the friendliness of the staff and inmates within and the amazing training opportunities being provided to equip the soon-to-be released inmates," said Becker after the visit. "The facility offers some 25 fully Department of Labor approved Registered Apprenticeships in everything from the traditional trades like plumbing, HVAC and electrical, to other skilled trades such as information technology, maintenance repair and even a dog training program to train dogs as therapy animals! I was amazed at the fact that minimum security is needed as the prisoners are on their best behavior and they are extremely motivated to accelerate their release time."

The prison operates as a fully self-funded operation in that contracts with businesses to provide valuable services such as D.O.T. truck equipment repair, refurbishing and replacement of rusted pieces, powder coat repair and heat treatment to cure the paint. Additionally, compactor parts for garbage trucks are fabricated and welded in the facility. Inmates receive a working wage and the remaining profits cover the expenses of the prison. 

"It is truly amazing that such a highly skilled workforce stands at the ready to be hired by employers wise enough to give returning citizens a second chance," says Becker.

The private employer provides all training, and in many cases have offered jobs to the offenders upon their release. If you are interested in learning more about the IPI Program please contact Joanne Follon at
Miller presents to South Dakota economic developers
Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation President & CEO Kiley Miller was the featured presenter last month in a webinar with economic development professionals across South Dakota.

Miller delivered, “Secret Tips for Economic Development,” at the request of the South Dakota Governor’s Office of Economic Development.

The invitation to conduct the webinar came after Miller’s engagement as keynote speaker for the 2019 Governor’s Economic Development Conference in April was canceled due to snow.

Miller is a frequent presenter to economic development groups across Iowa and the Midwest but this was his first webinar. He said that “Secret Tips for Economic Development” is based on conversations with scores of his peers in which he asked them for tricks of the trade that he could steal to make the Corridor more effective and impactful.

“It was an honor to be asked by the governor’s office to be a presenter,” Miller said. “Growth in South Dakota and in Nebraska and in Minnesota is good for growth in northwest Iowa. The Midwest is strongest when we work collaboratively across borders to grow our regional brand, recruit workers and support businesses.”
Featured Real Estate
Site: Estherville South Industrial Park
Opportunity Zone Eligible
Location: 9th Ave. S.
Estherville, IA 51334

42 acres
Sale Price: Negotiable

For more information visit the Corridor website!
News to Know
Clay County Fair receives international recognition at IAFE Convention
The International Association of Fairs and Expositions (IAFE) Convention was held earlier this week in San Antonio, TX. At the convention, the Clay County Fair received a record 14 awards, 4 of which are first-place.

Read more about the awards for the Fair.
'Our goal is to have a facility that's friendly to the community'
The work on the future Spencer City Hall continues on schedule and on budget. City officials are excited for a newer, bigger space to facilitate partnerships, community and efficiency. Construction is on track for city staff to start moving to the new building in February.

Future Ready Iowa
DOC and IWD invite employers to learn about opportunities with hiring reentering citizens
The Iowa Department of Corrections (DOC) and Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) will host an Employer and Reentry Breakfast Roundtable at the North Central Correctional Facility in Rockwell City on December 12 at 8 a.m. Governor Reynolds will kick off the event.

The roundtable will feature presentations and discussions about recruiting and training practices, apprenticeship programs and incentives available to employers who hire returning citizens.

Register here if you are interested in attending. Contact Richelle Seitz with any questions.
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!
Winther, Stave & Co., LLP
Sector: Insurance & Financial Services
Location: Spencer
Description: Winther, Stave & Co., LLP uses a team approach. You have a team of professionals at your disposal, not just one person. With specialists in many different areas, the company can draw on that breadth of knowledge and experience.
Wolfe Eye Clinic
Sector: Healthcare
Location: Spencer
Description: When it comes to selecting an eye-care specialist, seeing is believing. That's why since 1919, generations of Iowans have trusted the medical and surgical experts at Wolfe Eye Clinic to provide a higher standard of eye-care excellence.
Jobs in the Iowa Lakes Corridor
Post your jobs where quality candidates are already looking:

See current job openings here.
Job Title
Auto Dismantler
Maintenance Technician
Grab & Go Auto Salvage
Shine Bros. Corp.
Questions? Want to be featured in next week's newsletter?
Contact the Iowa Lakes Corridor at ,
or call us at 712.264.3474.