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University of Iowa News Release

June 12, 2003

Photo: Officials with Pearson Government Solutions, the University of Iowa and local agencies and organizations cut the ribbon Thursday, June 12, for the company's news Customer Interaction Center in the UI's Oakdale Research Park. Click here for a high-resolution version of the image.

To hear an audio excerpt of the ceremony, click here The clip features Mary Westbrook, vice president and general manager of Pearson Government Solutions, talking about job creation at Pearson's Customer Interaction Center.

Pearson Government Solutions, UI Oakdale Research Park Host Opening

Pearson Government Solutions today (June 12) celebrated the opening of its new 40,290-square-foot Customer Interaction Center, the largest private development on the University of Iowa's Oakdale Research Park.

The new building allows expansion of the Pearson Government Solutions business. About 350 employees will work at the Customer Interaction Center, joined by about 300 other employees in two other buildings in the Corridor Technology Center complex. About 100 new jobs are being created at the Customer Interaction Center.

The Pearson Government Solutions complex in the 2400 block of Oakdale Blvd. in Coralville is the largest private development and employer at the Oakdale Research Park and is one of the most significant technology developments in the Iowa City-Coralville-North Liberty-Cedar Rapids Technology Corridor.

Speakers included William Decker, UI interim vice president for research, Mary Westbrook, vice president and general manager of Pearson Government Solutions and Leodis Davis, president, Oakdale Research Park Board of Directors.

"The UI's relationship with Pearson can be traced from Professor E.F. Lindquist's work in our College of Education more than 50 years ago to today's appearance by Pearson Government Solutions here on our Oakdale campus. We are justifiably proud of that relationship and even more proud that Pearson has seen fit to participate with us in contributing to Iowa's technology-based economic development here at our Oakdale Research Park," said Decker.

"We're thrilled to call the Oakdale Research Park home," said Westbrook. "We now have our government services consolidated here on the campus, and our clients and employees are really pleased to be here. The center of the Technology Corridor is an important place for us to be."

Pearson Government Solutions has its program and development staff located within the Oakdale facility. The projects and programs supported by these groups include inbound customer call interaction, document management and software support work for several federal government contracts, such as the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System for the U.S. Department of the Treasury; the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on the web, Editorial Services Contract (ESC), and the Student Authentication Network (STAN), all for the U.S. Department of Education; Office of Personnel Management (OPM); plus several state grant and scholarship programs.

Pearson employees at the Center provide support to customers of government agencies looking for information and assistance. Specialized software development is done in Coralville to support the work done for government agencies. The document management function includes collecting and managing large amounts of data, using technology to help transform this data into meaningful information that customers can use in making business decisions.

Pearson leased the Center from the Hunter Companies of Cedar Rapids, which also served as developer and general contractor. The architect for the project was the Howard R. Green Company of Cedar Rapids.

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.

Other firms already on the park include LMS CADSI, Stanley Consultants/Environmental, Pinnacor, Breakthrough to Literacy, Inc., Patient Education Institute, Apovia and the 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 Pearson, 952-681-3040.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Media: George McCrory, University of Iowa News Services 319-384-0012, David Hakensen, Pearson Government Solutions, 952-681-3040,