CONTACT: GEORGE MCCRORY
300 Plaza Centre One
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0012; fax (319) 384-0024
CONTACT: DAVID HAKENSEN
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
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
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.