BCS Makes an Impact on Iowa

Posted on Thursday, March 1st, 2018
Mikayla Wahl: Public Relations and Marketing Intern

Business and Community is services is dedicated to making an impact across Iowa. Here are just some of the way BCS programs and projects have impacted Iowans over the past year!


Economic Development


Two of BCS' programs, the Institute for Decision Making (IDM) and the Center for Business Growth & Innovation (CBGI) came together to develop the Small Business Opportunity Toolbox (SBOX). The SBOX helps economic developers in Iowa's rural areas conduct a business retention and expansion program for small businesses. The SBOX program has assisted eight Iowa communities and the surrounding rural areas in Adair and Guthrie counties. Over 300 Iowa businesses have been targeted for a visit over three separate events.


Waste Reduction


The Iowa Waste Reduction Center (IWRC) believes food should be a resource, not a waste. Food waste is a major environmental, economic, and social issue. To combat this, the IWRC partnered with the Iowa Rural Communities Food Waste Reduction Project to work with four Iowa communities: Postville, Chariton, Lamoni, and Bloomfield. The IWRC’s efforts in these communities was multi-faceted. They worked with school districts to reduce their overall waste, helped residents learn more about tracking and reducing food waste, and much more.


Additionally, in 2017, the IWRC held the first Midwest Food Recovery Summit. The summit brought together 130+ attendees to focus on food waste reduction, recycling, and recovery. If you missed the first summit, don’t worry. The Midwest Food Recovery Summit will be coming back to Des Moines in 2018!


The IWRC doesn’t stop at food waste. The Iowa Green Brewery Certification (IGBC) launched in 2016, and since then has been working to help craft breweries in Iowa benchmark their environmental and sustainability efforts. In 2017, the IGBC received the Commitment to Iowa Award from the Iowa Recycling Association. Since the program’s inception, 6 breweries have been certified.




The John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center (JPEC), BCS’s award winning student entrepreneurship program, is committed to helping Iowa entrepreneurs succeed! Each year the students in the JPEC’s Entrepreneurial Strategy class help real Iowa businesses and non-profits with feasibility, marketing, operations, and strategic/tactical plans. Since 2011, 39 Iowa businesses have been helped.


Realizing a need throughout all of Iowa for professional skills for college graduates in Iowa companies and beyond, the UNI College of Business Administration developed the Professional Readiness Program. The JPEC provides instruction on elevator pitching and general communication tactics to sophomore business majors each semester. Since FY13, the JPEC has taught 2,147 business students how to pitch.




The Metal Casting Center (MCC) served as a leader in growing Iowa’s position in additive manufacturing research, development and direct company assistance. UNI’s Metal Casting Center received one of the first Strategic Infrastructure Grants from the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) to substantially expand service to small- and medium-sized businesses across the state.  Additional 3D sand mold printing services and R&D were added, and a new design lab opened in partnership with Hawkeye Community College.


These are just some of the many ways BCS projects have impacted Iowans. To learn more about our statewide impact, visit our website.