Why Google is betting $1 billion on Iowa as a business home

Des Moines, Iowa.
Denis Jr. Tangney | E+ | Getty Images
Des Moines, Iowa.

Editor's note: This commentary was written before the release of the Top States 2015 data. The governor did not have knowledge of the rankings or the comprehensive data.

The state of Iowa is once again one of "America's Top States for Business," because we are committed to building a strong, diverse economy and raising the standard of living for all Iowans. We do this through a focused economic development strategy that spurs innovation, allows for business growth and creates jobs. We invest the time and energy to understand the needs of industry and partner to create solutions to challenges and put them in place quickly.

Our nimble and collaborative approach is paying off as the state had a record-breaking year in manufacturing exports. We've attracted more than $11 billion of private capital investment projects over the last four years, and every corner of the state has benefited from business expansions from top-tier companies.

Read MoreAmerica's Top States for Business 2015

Iowa is able to quickly react to global market and industry needs, because our fiscal house is in order. We are the fourth best-managed state, with a perfect credit rating and a balanced budget. The state's fair regulatory environment allows for Iowa CEOs to confidently invest in R&D, hire additional employees or expand into new international markets. Plus, we recently approved the largest property-tax cut in Iowa's history in order to save taxpayers $4.4 billion over the next decade.

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad
Source: Office of the Governor of Iowa
Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad
"You know you're on the right path when companies in your own backyard continue to invest in your state."

As Iowa's longest-serving governor, my consistent efforts to build and strengthen international trade relationships over the years are coming to fruition. In 2014, Iowa reached a new export record of more than $15.1 billion in manufactured and value-added goods. The state's exports have increased 39 percent since my reelection in 2011.

For example, this relationship-building led to a $110 million capital investment from Germany-based Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica (BIVI) to expand its livestock pharmaceuticals production and biological research facilities in both Fort Dodge and Ames, Iowa. The new BIVI facility, in Ames, will also be a large component of the recently announced expansion of the ISU Research Park, which is also home to Ebola vaccine and cancer treatment researcher NewLink Genetics.

Read MoreThe big business pitch for state governors across the US

Today, as the nation deals with critical infrastructure issues, Iowa has recognized that a vital component of growing our exports and working with emerging international markets is transportation infrastructure, so we are investing in critical, structural improvements to keep Iowa a global force to be reckoned with.

In 2015, the Iowa legislature approved the first significant increase for road and highway infrastructure in 25 years. With that, Iowa will invest $3.2 billion over five years to improve the state's highways, bridges and connections to U.S. interstates (I-29 / I-80 / I-35). These key improvements will elevate the state's ability to attract major exporters who already benefit from a reliable statewide rail system, several regional airports and the Mississippi River along our state's eastern border.

Google's $1 billion bet on Iowa

In addition to international outreach and improving our infrastructure, it's also important that we take care of the companies that are already investing in Iowa's future. Our low cost of doing business and access to productive and well-trained employees help us attract additional investment from existing business.

In Council Bluffs, tech-giant Google is adding 35 high-paying jobs and making a $1 billion capital investment. Much of their success and continued investment is due to Iowa's commitment to renewable wind energy. Google also benefits from Iowa's educated workforce and Iowa universities that graduate 2,000 engineers each year. And it's not just giants like Google benefiting from Iowa's labor force. In Ankeny, genetic analysis manufacturer Advanced Analytical Technologies is hiring nearly 60 highly trained workers, while insurance broker Cottingham & Butler will reinvest in Dubuque with facility upgrades and expand its employee base by nearly 100 workers.

You know you're on the right path when companies in your own backyard continue to invest in your state. Time and time again, well-respected global companies like DuPont Pioneer, Rockwell Collins and The Principal Group attribute their growth and innovation to the skilled, productive Iowa workforce and business-friendly environment in the state. Combine top-notch education, affordable housing and utilities, plus a 20-minute average commute and you've got the recipe for a content and committed workforce.

So if you're looking for a collaborative and focused state government and lower operating costs, give me a call. Iowa is ready to help move your business forward.

—By Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad