2018 Educators in the Workplace

Educators in the Workplace has a simple goal- provide exposure of business and industry career paths to teachers, counselors, and administrators in southeast Iowa school systems so that they have a much better idea of what types of work are available for their students. Even if those students don’t have college plans, there many options for high-paying, long-term careers…

Child Care Steering Committee Spearheads Efforts to Address Child Care Challenges Starting with the Release of Child Care Survey

Fairfield March 16, 2018

In November 2017, over fifty business and community leaders met to discuss child care challenges facing the Fairfield community.  Forum participants provided creative ideas to solve the existing child care challenges.  After, the forum participants formed a Child Care Steering Committee. The Child Care Steering Committee chose to conduct a market study to determine the amount of existing child care, to determine how much child care is needed by parents, and to determine which solutions will best meet the needs of businesses, parents, and the community.

Iowa/Jefferson/Keokuk Early Childhood Iowa Area in conjunction with Fairfield Economic Development Association, and the Child Care Steering Committee has contracted with First Children’s Finance to complete a child care market study. The first phase of the study will be a Child Care Market Analysis, which will include studying the supply and demand for child care in Jefferson County.  A component of the research will include a survey of local employers and parents and how child care affects them. The parent survey can be accessed online from March 19 through April 10 at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/JeffersonCountyChildCare.

After the Child Care Market Analysis is complete, First Children’s Finance will facilitate a process that focuses on addressing Jefferson County’s child care needs. This process will include facilitated meetings to identify priorities and develop goals with detailed strategies and specific activities to address the child care needs identified in the market analysis.

Child Care Aware states “the impact of the lack of affordable, accessible high-quality child care on employers is written in the bottom line: adjusted for inflation, U.S. businesses lose approximately $4.4 billion annually due to employee absenteeism as the result of child care breakdowns.”

For more information about the study or the Child Care Steering Committee contact Tammy Wetjen-Kesterson at iowajeffersonkeokukeci@gmail.com or Joshua Laraby at joshua.laraby@growfairfield.com

2018 Annual Fairfield Job Fair

IowaWORKS and Fairfield Economic Development Association will host our Annual Job Fair on Thursday, May 10, 2018 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Fairfield Arts & Convention Center Expo Hall…

Creative Edge Awarded Low Interest Loan from R.E.D.I. To Expand Operations and Create New Jobs

Pictured,Chris Bowers and Jim Belilove

Creative Edge Master Shop in Fairfield has been awarded a $110,000 low-interest loan from the Regional Economic Development Incorporated (R.E.D.I) Revolving Loan Fund to assist in expanding their operations. The R.E.D.I. Revolving Loan Fund is intended to be coupled with traditional financing or other Revolving Loan Funds. The loan funds will be used to purchase additional Waterjet Technology Machines and to upgrade existing equipment.

The planned expansion has immediately created 10 new advanced manufacturing jobs in the firms ToolKeepers Division which manufactures high performance industrial foam tool kits. The new jobs will include adding an additional programming engineer, a machinist and production positions. President of Creative Edge, Jim Belilove, worked with Fairfield Economic Development Association in applying for the loan which is administered by Area 15 Regional Planning Commission.

“The REDI Revolving Loan Fund has been an important ally in the expansion of Creative Edge and has made possible several expansions over the years. This project will add high-tech equipment and productive capacity to fuel the growth in the ToolKeepers Division” according to Belilove.

“The expansion of operations and the 10 new advanced manufacturing jobs is exciting news for Creative Edge and for Fairfield. Creative Edge has been a foundational employer in the community and they understand innovation is important, this is why they are seeing this growth” says, Joshua Laraby, Executive Director for Fairfield Economic Development Association.

Chris Bowers, Executive Director for Area 15 Regional Planning Commission shares, “Creative Edge and FEDA have a long history of working together to help create and retain jobs in our region. This is our fifth business loan since 2002 with Creative Edge. We have watched Jim’s business grow and succeed and I’m excited about the new opportunities this expansion project will create in Fairfield and the surrounding region. This is a good example of the importance of our partnerships in economic development to help keep and expand jobs in Southeast Iowa.”

In addition to Creative Edge’s ToolKeepers Division, they also have a hard surfaces flooring and soft surfaces flooring division that also utilizes Waterjet Technology. The company has a 30-year global footprint with installations around the world.

Jefferson County businesses interested in more information on the R.E.D.I Revolving Loan Fund and opportunities to finance projects should contact Joshua Laraby, Executive Director for Fairfield Economic Development Association.