Manufacturing Month: Council Bluffs Chamber Highlights Local Manufacturers

While many may think agriculture is the top industry in Iowa, that is not the case. Agriculture and associated biosciences are certainly critical to the Iowa economy, but advanced manufacturing is the state’s top industry. It represents seventeen percent of Iowa’s gross state product, making Iowa ninth nationally in percentage of gross state product from the manufacturing sector. 

With October being Manufacturing Month, it is fitting the Council Bluffs Area Chamber of Commerce is celebrating the major contributions of Council Bluffs and southwest Iowa manufacturers. 

In Pottawattamie County, there are 1,958 manufacturers accounting for 31,473 jobs, $1.3 billion in annual wages, and $1.328 billion in annual taxable sales. They compose 11.5% of the county GDP and pay $54,609,092 in county taxes and fees alone*. These figures speak to the significant impact local manufacturers are having on the community and why supporting them and ensuring they have everything they need to succeed is so important. 

Not only do manufacturers contribute handedly economically to the community, but their team members are also key board members and volunteers, offer critical insight and expertise on key issues, invest sizable in community betterment and local projects that align with their mission, and maintain sizable amounts of property throughout the community. Without the taxes and fees they and other large employers pay, communities would not be able to invest in themselves and prosper in the manner they do. 

Council Bluffs and southwest Iowa are a natural location for manufacturers supplying goods worldwide. We are well-positioned to globally distribute locally

 manufactured goods, possessing a strong transportation network with easy access to air, water, rail, and highway infrastructure. In addition, local education and job training efforts, in collaboration with our community school districts and Iowa Western Community College, ensure we can continually grow a workforce pipeline to fill the innovative, technical jobs local manufacturers require. We are also part of the largest metropolitan statistical area in the state of Iowa, so while attracting and retaining talent is still a challenge, we have a much larger laborshed to draw from. 

Attractive state tax and economic policy, low utility rates, and ample water supply, paired with local economic development assistance programs, such as tax increment financing and job training programs administered by Iowa Western Community College, make Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie County, and southwest Iowa an extremely attractive location for manufacturers. 

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“At the CB Chamber these are but a few reasons we value and highlight our member manufacturers this Manufacturing Month,” said Drew Kamp, president and CEO for the CB Chamber. “In collaboration with our partners at the city, county, Advance Southwest Iowa, Iowa Western Community College, community school districts throughout the county, utility partners, state and local governmental entities, and local nonprofits, including Iowa West Foundation for their significant investment in our Workforce Development Program, we work tirelessly to ensure manufacturers have the resources and assistance they need to thrive.” 

* Per 2020 Census, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and Iowa Department of Revenue data

Save These Dates:

November 03: State of the City – Mayor’s Address
Great opportunity to network!

November 08: Coffee & Contacts
Great opportunity to network!

November 10: Workforce Lunch & Learn
Network with HR Professionals!

November 10: Forks, Corks, & Brews
Great opportunity to network!

November 14: Impact CB: Snacks & Spotlight
Network Opportunity for Young Professionals!

November 17: Chamber Mixer
Great Opportunity to Network!

November 18: Impact CB Foodie Friday
Network Opportunity for Young Professionals!

November 30: Executive Women’s Partnership
Connecting Executive Level Women!


Manufacturing 4.0

Manufacturing 4.0 is an initiative of the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) that supports manufacturers’ abilities to incorporate advancing technologies and ensures businesses of all sizes continue to remain competitive in the global economy. After recognizing the critical need to support our local manufacturers in Iowa, Iowa’s Manufacturing 4.0 initiative began in 2020. Manufacturing 4.0 refers to the utilization of technologies that fully automate processes for decision-making across a full product lifecycle. It challenges the industry to adopt innovative technologies to increase productivity, compete for talent, and encourage ongoing globalization. 

As the state’s largest industry, advanced manufacturing generates more than $12 billion worth of exported goods and accounts for nearly 18% of the state’s GDP. Fifteen percent of Iowa’s workforce is employed by more than 4,100 manufacturing facilities so it is important to focus on further enhancing productivity and innovation in this industry.

IEDA has released a strategic plan outlining the five strategic priorities of Manufacturing 4.0. The five strategic priorities include:

• Adopting and utilizing Manufacturing 4.0 technology

• Enabling infrastructure for digital technologies

• Improving supply chain linkages

• Accelerating manufacturing startups & scale-ups

• Ensuring an effectively trained workforce

The plan offers a roadmap to accelerate the growth of Iowa’s manufacturing ecosystem through the adoption and utilization of Industry 4.0 technologies. This plan includes clear actions for all manufacturers, regardless of size, and engages the state’s resource providers, community colleges and universities, economic developers, elected officials, and entrepreneurs.

In Pottawattamie County, over 10% of the workforce is employed in the manufacturing sector. “The Council Bluffs Area Chamber of Commerce and Advance Southwest Iowa Corporation work with city, county, and state representatives to retain and advance our manufacturing industries,” says Drew Kamp, president and CEO of the Council Bluffs Area Chamber of Commerce. “Iowa continues to target the manufacturing sector because of its significant economic impact.”

Address: 149 West Broadway, Council Bluffs, IA 51503
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