The Bio-chemical and Bio-tech Sectors are Growing in Greater Fort Dodge

11 Nov 2019



Bio-chemical and Bio-tech components impact many aspects of Webster County and the regional economy. Pharmaceutical and Medicine manufacturing, when combined with Basic Chemical manufacturing, made up 65% of Webster County’s Gross Regional Product in 2018 according to (EMSI) The U.S. census Bureau and National Association of Manufacturers.

Seven miles west of Fort Dodge is the Iowa Crossroads of Global Innovation (ICGI), where many of these companies are located. ICGI houses global innovators such as Cargill, CJ Bio America, and Valero. The industrial center has over 500 acres of land available for development and is an Iowa Economic Development Authority certified site with dual rail access. In addition to those located in the ICGI, companies like NEW Cooperative, Koch Nitrogen, Poet, Prestage, Silgan and Nestle our also located within our region.

Reasons to Locate in Greater Fort Dodge

The Bio-chemical and Bio-tech sectors have reason to locate in Iowa and the Midwest and Webster County is motivated to become the location of choice within the region.

The Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance is specifically targeting these industries and the local government is building a support structure for them. Locating in the ICGI, specifically, offers several distinct advantages, including:

  • Renewable Energy – MidAmerican Energy can provide businesses with 50+% renewable energy.
  • Renewable Chemical Tax Credit – When maximizing this tax credit companies can receive up to $5M in refundable tax credits.
  • Research Activities Tax Credit – Statutorily companies can receive a 6.5% refundable tax credit and with a project could add 3% or 10%.
  • Research Space – Iowa Central Community College will be building lab space in the Iowa’s Crossroads of Global Innovation.  There are plans to have space on-site to lease for Cargill and other businesses.
  • Dual Rail – The competing dual class 1 rail infrastructure system in the park cuts logistics costs for companies and their customers.

At the state level, Iowa has one of the most aggressive Research Activities Tax Credit – hold that, Refundable Tax Credit.  Leaders in Iowa understand that companies must continually have to execute product and process improvements to maintain or increase their competitiveness in the global market.  They also understand that many of these companies are young and don’t have a lot of cash reserves to spend on R&D.  By making the tax credit refundable, companies without an Iowa tax liability, can receive a refund to infuse back into their company.  The refund may be used to acquire new machinery or equipment.  Innovation is the key to growth, and the leadership in state of Iowa get it!

Manufacturing Growth in Fort Dodge and Webster County

Fort Dodge and Webster County are known as being a solution-based government that actively works to help businesses succeed. This is an intangible asset that cannot be matched anywhere.  An example is in how they helped to assist in Cargill’s success in the region through investment, troubleshooting and removing barriers to growth.  As former Governor Terry Branstad says, “You can’t beat Fort Dodge!”

The support offered by the local government has helped manufacturing to grow within the county:

  • There were 2,442 people employed in the manufacturing sector in Webster County in 2018, which is a 7% growth over the last 5 years.
  • Webster County’s manufacturing employment during that period grew faster than the State of Iowa’s which was at 2%.
  • Webster County will continue to support the supply of needed labor, and a quality of life that an educated and trained workforce is looking for.

We invite you to discover how Fort Dodge’s many benefits can be put to use for your company. For more information, contact the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance.

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