Business & Economy
Governor Quinn Statement on Anniversary of Fair Labor Standards Act PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Dave Blanchette   
Friday, 27 June 2014 10:08
CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn today issued the following statement on the anniversary of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the landmark law on June 25, 1938, which banned oppressive child labor, set a maximum hourly workweek and established the nation’s first minimum wage at 25 cents an hour. If the minimum wage had kept pace with inflation, it would be at $10.75 today.

“When President Roosevelt signed the Wages and Hours Bill into law, he gave workers benefits and protections that no other country had seen before, and put Americans on a path toward a fair standard of living.

“What was landmark legislation then is common-sense today. We know that children shouldn’t be abused and forced to work. We know there should be limits on how many hours a week someone works. And we know that no one should work 40 hours a week and live in poverty.

“If the minimum wage had kept pace with inflation it would be $10.75 today. Raising the minimum wage is good for workers and good for growth. It puts purchasing power back into the hands of hardworking Americans, helps reduce poverty and strengthens the economy.

"As we work to build a majority to raise the minimum wage in Illinois, let's remember this is about dignity and decency.

“The hardworking people of our state deserve the opportunity to earn a decent living. Building an economy that works for everyone makes our state stronger and more competitive, not the other way around.”

Governor Quinn first proposed raising the minimum wage to at least $10 an hour in his 2013 State of the State address. Studies conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago show that an increase of $1 in the minimum wage generates approximately $3,000 in household spending per year, greatly improving purchasing power and strengthening our economy. Six out of every 10 minimum wage workers are female, including many single parents. Additionally, nearly two-thirds of small business owners support raising the federal minimum wage because they believe it will help the economy and in turn enable them to hire more workers, according to a recent survey conducted by the Small Business Majority.


Loebsack Calls on Boehner to Bring Up & Pass Senate Passed Workforce Development Overhaul PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Joe Hand   
Friday, 27 June 2014 10:06

Bipartisan, bicameral legislation includes Loebsack’s SECTORS Act

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack released the following statement today urging Speaker of the House, John Boehner, to swiftly bring up and pass the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). This legislation, which would improve the nation’s workforce development system, passed the Senate today by a vote of 95-3. It also includes large portions of Loebsack’s SECTORS Act that links together businesses, labor organizations, local stakeholders, and education and training providers connected to a particular industry.

“The Senate did their part and now it is time for the House to do the same. Speaker Boehner needs to step up and allow a vote on the Senate passed Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act so that it can go to the President and be signed into law. From the overwhelming bipartisan passage in the Senate, it is clear that this legislation would have the votes to pass the House. It has been over 10 years since the Workforce Development Act has been reauthorized and now is the time to give workers the kind of skills they need and employers want.”

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act represents a compromise between the SKILLS Act (H.R. 803), which passed the House of Representatives in March of 2013 with bipartisan support, and the Workforce Investment Act of 2013 (S. 1356). It has been over a decade since the Workforce Investment Act has been reauthorized.


Consulting Firm Thinks Outside the Box With Launch of New Human Capital Division PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by David Thielen   
Wednesday, 25 June 2014 13:05

ICS Nett Inc. (ICS), an established Washington D.C. consulting firm, has launched a new division that takes a fresh approach towards Human Capital Management. David Thielen recently joined ICS and was tasked with developing and launching a service that offers small businesses, mid-size and large enterprise customers credible and qualified talent. In just two months, Thielen, with a depth of skill and experience in Human Capital Management, helped create Customer Oriented Enterprise Resources (COER). COER is a practice that has been developed based on a combination of proven industry expertise and critical success factors that have enabled ICS to exceed its goals over the last decade. By combining proprietary technology built on data analytics with deep customer and mission success knowledge, COER achieves with its approach what no other firm has been able to realize with human capital management solutions.

"We wanted to make a statement not only with what we’re launching but also by how we’re launching it", says Thielen, Director of COER. "COER has developed a video announcing the launch of an ideology within the corporate arena. This is something that hasn’t been seen before in our space and we hope it communicates at every level our commitment to innovation, our dedication to quality, and our position as a trendsetter in human capital management."

Watch the video here:

The video outlines how COER takes a unique approach by focusing on the client’s enterprise and by targeting companies of any size and virtually every industry including energy, healthcare, media, legal and manufacturing. "The response to the video has thus far been fantastic", says ICS Founder and CEO Khurram Shah. "It has generated a buzz internally and I’m hopeful it will generate a similar buzz nationally as clients and customers begin to realize the unique benefits of this new service."

One such benefit of COER is its proprietary tracking software that matches the candidate’s skill set with the client’s requirement and environment. Additionally, every candidate is interviewed by COER’s Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) to ensure they meet every requirement. "Our solution is based on the needs of our partners" says Becky Lewis, VP of Human Capital Management. "We interview our partners to understand not only their specific skill set in their industry but also to learn about their unique environment to ensure our candidates will be an ideal fit for their organization long-term."


About ICS Nett Inc.

ICS is a leading provider of innovative technologies and solutions within Intelligence, IT, ICT, Transit, Defense and Logistics markets located in Vienna, VA. ICS is an experienced company that is able to demonstrate significant expertise by partnering with its clients and by reducing the risks associated with traditionally long-term and large mission critical projects. ICS delivers success for its customers by combining carefully selected best practices and a refined agile methodology, with a mission-driven management approach. COER is the new Human Capital division targeting the entire United States to companies of all sizes. More information about ICS can be found at

3 Tips for Low, Middle & High Net Worth Peer-to-Peer Investors PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Tuesday, 24 June 2014 14:50
‘You Need to Learn Enough to be Dangerous,’ says P2P Pioneer

After the economy crashed in December 2007, nascent online peer-to-peer lending platforms quickly grew. They’ve since evolved into an increasingly popular investment alternative to Wall Street and other traditional options.

Peer-to-peer lending isn’t new and it’s no passing fad, says P2P pioneer Brendan Ross, president of Direct Lending Investments LLC, (, which runs a short-term, high-yield small business loan fund.

“It’s a rebirth of the simplest and oldest way of making money: one individual loaning money to another and getting paid back with interest,” Ross says.

What makes this new incarnation different is accessibility.

“Online lenders like IOU-Central and make it easy for prospective lenders to find and fund borrowers through a website,” Ross says. “These platforms have automated the underwriting process, including checking credit and looking at applicants’ bank accounts, so they can vet borrowers based on reliable information.”

Each online lending platform operates differently, but all vet applicants. The lender posts qualifying requests on its website, and private investors decide which to fund, either in their entirety or in part. At Lending Club, for instance, investors can choose to lend the entire amount requested by a borrower, or as little as $25 to multiple borrowers, which adds protection if one defaults.

Investors can manually choose which loans to fund, or they can ask the platform to choose within certain parameters. Yields on a portfolio of loans can be 10 percent or more, Ross says.

He offers these tips for investors in three tiered financial levels:

•  Investing $10,000 to $24,000: Visit the Lending Club and websites, and choose the one that most appeals to you, Ross says.

“Open an account in a tax-deferred IRA and shift a portion of your investments out of stocks and into lending,” he says.

The reason for that is interest income is taxed at a higher rate than the capital gains from stocks. Deferring those taxes until you begin spending from the IRA will help keep a lid on your current tax bill.

•  Investing $25,000 to $100,000: At $25,000, you have enough money to start getting professional advice about which loans to choose and how much to invest in each.

“I recommend going to because it’s run by Peter Renton, who’s very knowledgeable,” Ross says. “You choose between a conservative or balanced portfolio – I recommend balanced for higher yield -- and they’ll choose the loans for you and put them in your account.”

The fee is just 0.95 percent.

•  Investing more than $100,000: Accredited investors have privileged access – they can shop around for private fund pools, Ross says.

“As P2P matures, borrower categories that have always had the highest yields, such as small businesses, become available as private fund pools that are managed to deliver the highest yields,” he says.

These pools form mutually beneficial relationships with the P2P lending platforms, allowing the platforms to serve a larger volume of borrowers. The private funds get well-vetted borrowers from the platforms and manage the funds to the maximum benefit of all their investors.

“Everybody wins,” Ross says, “including the borrowers, who get fast loans at reasonable rates.”

About Brendan Ross

Money manager Brendan Ross is a peer-to-peer lending first adopter who has become an expert in this non-traditional transaction. The president of Direct Lending Investments LLC, (, which runs a short-term, high-yield small business loan fund, he previously ran a number of other companies, including ReserveAmerica, the world’s largest outdoor recreation reservation company.

Governor Quinn Cuts Property Leases to Achieve Additional $55 Million in Savings PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Dave Blanchette   
Tuesday, 24 June 2014 09:43

Since Taking Office Governor Quinn Has Achieved $220 Million in State Savings by Eliminating More Than 2.5 Million Square Feet of Leased Space – Equivalent to Emptying Out Chicago’s Trump Tower

CHICAGO – As part of his ongoing budget review, Governor Quinn today announced that the state of Illinois had again cut property leases to save an additional $55 million by continuing to downsize the space it leases in the upcoming fiscal year. This brings the total savings accomplished since the Governor took office to $220 million in property leases through consolidation, elimination or negotiation – roughly the equivalent of space in Chicago's Trump Tower.

Today’s announcement is part of Governor Quinn’s agenda to make state government efficient and accountable to taxpayers.

"Making government more efficient and doing more with less each year is always a priority," Governor Quinn said. "That's why as part of my ongoing budget review, we are continuing to downsize and eliminate space that the state leases, which will save taxpayers an additional $55 million this year alone."

When Governor Quinn took office, he directed the state to undertake a comprehensive effort to negotiate better lease rates for offices, and to close or consolidate duplicative, outdated or unnecessary space. That effort has resulted in $220 million in savings to date, including this year's additional $55 million, and cleared out 2.5 million square feet of leased space, roughly the equivalent of Chicago’s Trump Tower. In addition, state facility closures are saving taxpayers an additional $100 million annually.

Moving offices of the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) – from 32 W. Randolph St. in downtown Chicago to significantly less expensive space at 33 S. State St. saved taxpayers more than $4 million and eliminated 142,643 square feet of leased space.

Other recent lease cost-saving moves include:

·         The state is vacating two Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS) offices on Chicago’s North Side, consolidating the offices into new space at 5040-5060 N. Broadway to save state taxpayers about $118,000 a year.

·         The DHS is moving from the Hay Edwards Building into the Harris Building in Springfield, saving taxpayers $1.4 million a year in lease costs.

·         Five DHS offices in Charleston, Tuscola, Shelbyville, Paris and Effingham are moving into one new office in Charleston, saving state taxpayers $119,000 a year.

Since taking office and inheriting decades of mismanagement, Governor Quinn has enacted major reforms that are saving taxpayers billions of dollars. The Governor has saved taxpayers more than $3 billion by overhauling Illinois’ Medicaid system, cutting Medicaid spending and rooting out waste, fraud and abuse. He also passed comprehensive pension reform that will save taxpayers more than $140 billion over the next 30 years.

Additionally, the Governor negotiated a historic contract with Illinois’ employee unions that includes $900 million in savings for Illinois taxpayers. The Governor also enacted comprehensive worker’s compensation reform that has saved state taxpayers more than $40 million to date. The state workforce is the smallest it has been in decades, with 4,000 fewer state employees than we had five years ago. All things included, over the last five years, Governor Quinn has cut state spending by more than $5.7 billion.

To build on this progress, Governor Quinn is proposing a five-year blueprint to secure the state’s finances for the long-term and invest like never before in education and early childhood. The blueprint includes a historic $6 billion increase in classroom spending over the next five years, doubling the investment in college scholarships for students in need and increasing access to higher education through dual enrollment and early college programs. The Governor’s plan was lauded by all three bond-rating agencies for its comprehensive approach to paying down bills, stabilizing the state's finances and enacting spending restraints.

For more information on Governor’s Quinn’s budget cuts please visit:


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