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NCS Pearson
(952) 681-3040

Release: Sept. 17, 2002

NCS Pearson opens new facility on UI Oakdale Research Park

NCS Pearson today (Sept. 17) celebrated the opening of its new 37,500-square-foot facility at the Corridor Technology Center, while at the same time breaking ground for a 30,000-square-foot second building on the same site, the largest private development on the University of Iowa's Oakdale Research Park.

The now-completed building at 2450 Oakdale Blvd. was added to allow for NCS Pearson's expansion in its Government Solutions division. About 175 employees now work at the Corridor Technology Center, with 100 more expected to work in Building II, scheduled for completion in February 2003. The facility will become the largest private development on the Research Park.

U.S. Rep. Jim Leach (R- Iowa); University of Iowa Interim President Willard "Sandy" Boyd; Owen Newlin, president, Board of Regents, State of Iowa; Mary Westbrook, vice president and general manager of the Post-Secondary Services Division of NCS Pearson; and David Skorton, vice president for research and external relations at the UI, spoke at the dedication program, which was moderated by Oakdale Research Park Director Bruce Wheaton.

"NCS Pearson is delighted to be a part of the Oakdale Research Park in Coralville," said Westbrook said of the company's Government Solutions business. "We chose this location because it is at the center of the important Iowa City-Cedar Rapids technology corridor and gives us the space to expand our growing business. And I know our employees are happy to be here as well."

Said Boyd, "By the time I came to the University of Iowa in 1954, E. F. Lindquist had made Iowa City the nation's testing capital. The present NCS Pearson group resulted from the sale of the scoring machine he conceived and generously turned over to the Measurement Research Foundation for the benefit of the College of Education's assessment research. The cooperation between the UI and NCS Pearson, as well as other local testing firms, has made Iowa City the world center for educational assessment."

"NCS Pearson has been an important partner with the University of Iowa for many years. The firm also is a crucial part of the State of Iowa's economy. The Board of Regents is proud to be involved with their efforts in research development and in creating good jobs for Iowans," said Newlin.

NCS Pearson leased the Corridor Technology Center from the local development firm TMD, LLC. Designed by Shive-Hattery Inc. of Iowa City, the Center was built by general contractor Selzer-Werderitsch Associates of Iowa City.

NCS Pearson's Government Solutions business has program and development staff located within the Oakdale facility. The customers supported by these groups include the U.S. Department of Education; the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS); Office of Personnel Management (OPM); Transportation Security Administration (TSA); and the states of Iowa, New York and Illinois.

One of the newest contracts at the Coralville operation is with the Transportation Security Administration. In March, NCS Pearson was selected to help screen and qualify 30,000 airport screeners and law enforcement officers for this new federal agency. The Coralville operation assisted in developing software and systems for screening these airport security candidates.

At the open house, NCS Pearson conducted tours of four areas, giving guests a cross-section view of its services. The tours included:

The EDExpress Program supports the U.S. Department of Education's Federal Student Aid (FSA) programs by allowing more than 6,000 financial aid administrators to electronically enter, report and manage data. Major financial aid programs include the Federal Pell Grant and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant programs; the Federal Work-Study Program; and the Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Family Education Loan, and William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan programs.

NCS Pearson Government Solutions Engineering
NCS Pearson's Government Solutions business software development capability includes developing, enhancing, and maintaining large mainframe, web-based, and PC systems. NCS Pearson builds, operates, and maintains large-scale, complex, mission critical systems for its customers. The majority of systems it builds are fully integrated, cross-platform systems comprised of transaction processing systems with web and PC client interfaces.

Editorial Services Contract (ESC)
The Editorial Services Contract is a program that supports FSA by responding to written inquiries from students, parents, financial aid professionals, members of Congress, the White House, and others seeking information on Title IV federal financial aid programs.

Office of Personnel Management (OPM)
OPM works with other agencies to create systems to recruit, develop, manage, and retain a high quality and diverse workforce. NCS Pearson serves OPM by providing information and services to Federal Annuitants including processing 200,000 health insurance changes each year.

NCS Pearson is a global information services company providing software, services, systems and web-based technologies for data collection, management and interpretation. The company serves segments of the education, testing, assessment, government and complex data management markets with more than 6,000 employees in more than 30 locations worldwide. NCS Pearson was founded in Minneapolis in 1962 as National Computer Systems. The company was acquired in 2000 by Pearson plc, the international media company based in London. NCS Pearson is a part of Pearson Education, the largest integrated education company in the world.

The UI Oakdale Research Park was established in 1989 to encourage sustained research relationships between the UI and industry. The Park offers leased building sites and space to corporations engaged in research and development and related production and marketing activities.

NCS Pearson is the 10th company to expand on the research park. Firms already on the park include Albany Molecular Research Inc., LMS CADSI, Oakdale Systems, Stanley Consultants/Environmental, CompuTerra, Inc., Ascend Technologies, Inc., Stock Point Inc., Breakthrough to Literacy, Inc., and Police Law Institute. University "magnet" laboratories on the park are Oakdale Medical Research, the Center for Biocatalysis and Bioprocessing, and the National Advanced Driving Simulator. A fourth magnet laboratory, the Center for Advanced Drug Development, is also at Oakdale.

For more information, contact Bruce Wheaton, director of the Oakdale Research Park, (319) 335-4063 or David Hakensen at NCS Pearson, (952) 681-3040.