Breaking New Ground: Exploring Iowa's Certified Sites Program

When considering operational expansion, time is of the essence. Business leaders don't have the luxury of investing significant amounts of time into the site selection process and scaling up quickly can be a game-changer for long-term profitability. With those challenges in mind, the Iowa Economic Development Authority introduced the Certified Sites program in 2012. Iowa's Certified Sites program parallels a typical site location process and provides developers with relatively risk-free sites well-suited for fast-tracked projects.

​Iowa's Certified Sites program considers national site location standards, the state's natural assets and the needs of key business sectors, including advanced manufacturing, finance and insurance and biosciences. Unlike some states that certify shovel-ready sites by their own criteria (which vary widely), Iowa's certification program leverages nationally recognized standards and an independent, third-party site selection firm.

To become certified, sites go through a rigorous review process and all resulting issues must be mitigated within a pre-determined timeline. The outcome is a shovel-ready site which accelerates the development schedule for today's fast-paced business environment.

Download the report for a closer look at the minimum criteria, data and documentation required to qualify a site or park as a credentialed Iowa Certified Site, including:

  • Property availability and developability
  • Zoning considerations
  • Transportation access requirements
  • Utility requirements



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