BCEDC Highlighted Industrial Site
Home Base Iowa: Putting Vets to Work
Hiring an Immigrant Workforce
How Companies Can Post Job Openings

Is it time to start your own business?


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Your business newsletter from the
Buchanan County Economic Development Commission

Highlighted Available Building or Building Site

Fairbank Development Industrial Park

This multi-site development property is owned by the Fairbank Development Corporation and is located in an existing industrial/commercial area. Available sites range in size from .7 - 1.7 acres. Because the property is preliminary platted, sites can be easily combined to create larger lots. Transportation is not an issue as the Park is situated on Iowa Highway 281 and the Iowa Northern Railroad is located on the north end of the development. The industrial site is served by a 10” water main, 4” natural gas main and by city sanitary sewer. The City of Fairbank will consider Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) for new construction.
To learn more about business expansion opportunities in Fairbank and Buchanan County, contact BCEDC Director George Lake, 319-334-7497

HBI Steering Committee: Front-Jerry Griffin, Anita Arnold, Patty Meyer, George Lake, Denny Vaughn, Back-Debra Willard, Rodger Sill.  Absent Dave Bishop, Don Shonka, Roger Allen

BCEDC is Leading the Effort to Put Our Veterans to Work
Attention Buchanan County businesses! You will soon be called upon to support America’s veterans by becoming a Home Base Iowa Business.
The Buchanan County Economic Development Commission (BCEDC) is undertaking the responsibility of making Buchanan County a Home Base Iowa community. We want to make our County an attractive place for military veterans to live and work.  The BCEDC is a 20 year old nonprofit organization whose mission is to facilitate economic expansion in Buchanan County.  Supporting a strong, educated workforce is one of the four key elements that provide the foundation for a strong economy.  We recognize that America’s veterans are highly skilled and motivated, and putting our veterans to work will provide positive benefits to our businesses and communities.
The State of Iowa has launched a new public-private partnership; Home Base Iowa (HBI), is designed to match military veterans with open job positions in the state. The Home Base Iowa program provides educational and employment opportunities to veterans already here or to those considering Iowa as a place to live and work. The BCEDC will implement Home Base Iowa in Buchanan County.
With the help of a local steering committee and Iowa Workforce Development, the BCEDC will lead the effort to call upon the business community to help put veterans to work by asking them to become a Home Base Iowa business. Due to military downsizing, many thousands of veterans will leave the service over the next few years. While our veterans are highly skilled and have a great work ethic, recently discharged veterans have often have difficulty locating employment to match their skills. The BCEDC’s goal is to increase veterans' employment rate by identifying Buchanan County businesses that have a desire to hire our highly skilled military vets.
Members of the Buchanan County Home Base Iowa Steering Committee include: Rodger Sill-Stanley & BCEDC, Anita Arnold-Quasqueton, Jerry Griffin-Lamont & American Legion, Don Shonka-County Supervisors, Debra Willard- Aurora, David Bishop-Jesup, Denny Vaughn- Independence & BCEDC, Roger Allen-Independence-Veterans of Foreign Wars and Patty Meyer-Buchanan County Veteran Affairs.
Contact BCEDC Director, George Lake if want to become a Home Base Iowa Business or if you have additional questions.  319-334-7497


Hiring Immigrants: The Answer to Your Workforce Woes?
Registration deadline is Aug. 5.

Finding qualified worker is one of the biggest challenges facing employers in Buchanan County, Iowa and the United States.  Is hiring immigrants a viable solution to your employee woes?
The Corridor Business Journal (CBJ) will host its August Power Breakfast - Immigration and the Workforce from 7:30-9:30 a.m. Aug. 12 at The Hotel at Kirkwood Center, 7725 Kirkwood Blvd. SW, Cedar Rapids.
This interactive event will provide a sharing of field expertise from immigrant experts, human resource professionals and immigrants. Sara McElmurry, assistant director of immigration at the Chicago Council of Global Affairs, will kick-off the event with a presentation on "Midwest Immigration: A Demographic Lifeline."
Kathleen Minette, former general manager and head of assessment scoring & PAC Portfolio at Pearson, will lead a panel discussion on immigrant employment opportunities to solve Iowa's workforce challenges. Panelists include Ms. McElmurry, Mark Nolte of ICAD Group, Natalya Voropaeva of Pearson, and Uday Verma of Mazira LLC.
This event marks the second of three installments of the 2015 Power Breakfast Series. The Nov. 4 Power Breakfast will address "Cyber Security - Protecting your business now."
Tickets to the August Power Breakfast are $40. Breakfast will be provided. For more information or to register, call Ashley Levitt at (319) 887-2251, ext. 311, or visit

Registration deadline is Aug. 5.

Near Record Low Unemployment: How Can I Post Job Openings?
Despite recent layoffs in the agricultural manufacturing sector, Iowa’s and the nation’s economy is continuing to improve on a broad basis. Several Buchanan County companies are in the process of hiring additional employee, but there is a challenge in finding good workers. Iowa’s June unemployment rate is at 3.8% and finding qualified workers is difficult, but there are several alternatives for employers to advertise their job openings.
Advertising job opening is your local newspaper is your 1st choice. Not only will the hard-copy want-ads promote your openings, the newspapers will also post your ad on their website so that you can reach the digital world.
The BCEDC and Buchanan County is part of the Cedar Valley regional partnership. You can post a job on the regional job board by clicking on this Cedar Valley Link and then scrolling down to the bottom of the page.
You can also post your job at Iowa Workforce Development (IWD). This will provide you with state-wide advertising for you unfilled positions.
And of course there is Facebook!  The BCEDC and the Cedar Valley Regional Partnership hosts a jobs Facebook site.   Go here, to like our page and then post your job opening. 

See the accompanying article on an Immigrant Workforce.
Are you looking for work?  These same sites will enable you to find the job of your dreams.
For trivia geeks:
Click here to see the unemployment rate in all of Iowa’s counties.
Click here to compare Iowa’s unemployment rate to all 50 states.
Is it time you took the first step to starting/building your business?
Eighteen Buchanan County businesses, new and start-ups, have met with the Small Business Development Center in the BCEDC offices in the past 9 months. Isn’t it time you took the first step to building your business?
Are you thinking about starting or expanding a business, but you’re not sure about how to proceed?  Professionals from the UNI Small Business Development Center (SBDC) will be operating out The Buchanan County Economic Development (BCEDC) offices on the 3rd Monday of each month.
The SBDC will next visit the BCEDC offices, 112 1st St. Independence, on Monday, August 17. Contact BCEDC Director George Lake at 319-334-7497 to set an appointment to meet with the SBDC.
BCEDC Facebook
BCEDC Facebook
BCEDC Twitter
BCEDC Twitter
BCEDC Website
BCEDC Website
Email the BCEDC
Email the BCEDC
The Buchanan County Economic Development Commission (BCEDC)
P.O. Box 109
Independence, IA  50644

Street address: 112 1st St. East, Independence,  IA  50644

Contact: George Lake, Executive Director

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