Business & Economy
Loebsack’s SECTORS Provisions Pass House, Head to President PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Joe Hand   
Friday, 11 July 2014 09:41

Jobs legislation was incorporated in reauthorization of Workforce Investment Act

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack released the following statement today after large portions of the SECTORS Act, legislation he introduced to close the gap between the kinds of skills that workers have and skills that businesses need, passed the House. HR 803, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WOIA), is designed to improve the nation’s workforce development system. The legislation, which already passed the Senate on an overwhelming bipartisan vote, now heads to the President for his signature. Video of Loebsack discussing his SECTORS Act on the House floor can be found here.

“The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WOIA) is critical to our nation’s economic recovery, and I am pleased that it was passed with truly bipartisan support. I am also pleased that this bill contains large portions of the SECTORS Act that will close the gap between the kinds of skills that workers have and the skills that businesses need. The sector partnerships created by this bill will get people back to work and move our economy forward.”

Loebsack’s SECTORS Act links together businesses, labor organizations, local stakeholders, and education and training providers connected to a particular industry. These partnerships work to develop or implement plans for growing or saving that targeted industry, promoting long-term competitiveness and advancing employment opportunities for workers. The inclusion of the legislation will ensure employees on the local level are properly trained so they can effectively compete in the 21st Century global economy. Loebsack first introduced the SECTORS Act in 2009 and the House of Representatives unanimously passed it in 2010. While it was not taken up in the Senate at that time, Loebsack has continued to fight for its passage.

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Discover the Advantages of Mediation and Arbitration for Your Business PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Mark McLaughlin   
Friday, 11 July 2014 09:38
IA/IL QUAD-CITIES – Conflict has always been a part of life. It occurs at home and at work and no one is immune from its effects. Having to deal with a disagreement is a frustrating experience that most would wish to avoid – but if some form of resolution cannot be agreed upon, the problem may lead to court, prolonging the dispute and adding in legal expenses.

At the next Idea Lab program, “The Advantages of Mediation and Arbitration for Your Business,” presenter James E. Slavens, Founder of New Era Mediation Arbitration, will discuss the benefits of mediation and/or arbitration and how this process may prove helpful the next time you must face a difficult dispute. The Idea Lab, a division of Results Marketing, offers live learning experiences in the Quad-Cities.
“The Advantages of Mediation and Arbitration for Your Business” will be held as a Lunch & Learn program from 12 to 1 p.m., July 18, at DHCU Community Credit Union, 1900 52nd Ave., Moline, IL. Admission is $15 and the event will include a catered Chick-fil-A meal. Attendees can select from a Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich meal, a veggie-wrap meal, or for one dollar more, a Grilled Chicken Market Salad.
Key areas of Slavens’ mediation expertise include business issues, family businesses, labor/management, employment discrimination, custody issues, divorce, civil litigation and personal injury.
“Slavens will discuss various types of mediation and arbitration and tell when and how these methods of conflict resolution can prove most effective,” said Todd Ashby, Managing Partner of Results Marketing. “Not all problems can be solved through mediation/arbitration, but this is an option well worth exploring whenever conflicts arise in one’s business or personal life.”
“When working with New Era clients, my preferred mediation style has been a collaborative problem-solving approach,” Slavens said. “This approach encompasses more than just giving advice. In this hands-on technique, the mediator works as a team with the entire group of interested parties involved in a dispute. The mediator then takes the participants through an effective, multi-phase process so that the team can discover the best solution and act upon it.”
For more information on the event or to register, please call Les Flesher at 563-322-2065 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it " target="_blank"'; var path = 'hr' + 'ef' + '='; var addy78170 = 'Les' + '@'; addy78170 = addy78170 + 'resultsimc' + '.' + 'com'; var addy_text78170 = ' '; document.write( '' ); document.write( addy_text78170 ); document.write( '<\/a>' ); //--> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Feel free to follow the Idea Lab on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Idealabqc.

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Iowa WorkForce Strong and Improving PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Ernie Goss, Ph.D.   
Tuesday, 08 July 2014 14:29
OMAHA, NEBRASKA - AIM's May Work Force Index (WFI) soared to 84.6 from April's very healthy 69.1. The WFI is a statistically based measurement tool produced by AIM, a nonprofit organization based in Omaha, Nebraska. The Index is a ratio of unique online job postings and the number of unemployed in Iowa (not seasonally adjusted). The Index ranges between 0 and 100. A WFI below 50.0 indicates short-term economic contraction while an Index above 50.0 indicates economic expansion. At 84.6, Iowa's WFI is in a range indicating healthy and improving job openings.

In June online job postings listed the largest number of open positions in absolute numbers in 1) Sales, followed by 2) Management, and 3) Skilled craftsman. As a share of employment, the largest number of job openings in descending order were: 1) Finance, 2) Engineering and 3) Customer Service positions.

In terms of indices among the states, North Dakota ranked number one with the highest WorkForce Index. North Dakota was followed by Vermont, at number two, Florida at three, Kansas at four, and Iowa at five. The state with the lowest index was Maine, followed by California and then Mississippi. New York ranked at 47th and Rhode Island at 46th rounded out the bottom five states. Iowa ranked as the 5th best in the nation for June 2014, which was an improvement over the state's May ranking of 8th.

View the Video

About the AIM WorkForce Index

AIM and the Creighton University College of Business produce the AIM WorkForce Index each month to track the relationship between the WFI and the changes in the U.S. Gross Domestic Product. This comparative analysis measures the relative strength of the Iowa labor market. It can also be compared to Creighton University's monthly survey of bank CEOs in 10 states including Iowa. Creighton's survey has also been pointing to an expansion in the Iowa Rural Mainstreet economy. See Rural Mainstream Index

This type of information is of value to both the employer and the job applicant as they develop plans and strategies for participation in the local and regional labor market. For more information on the WFI, please visit http://aiminstitute.org/aim-workforce-index/ or http://business.creighton.edu/economicoutlook.

 
Read Contracts Carefully Before Signing PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Jason Alderman   
Monday, 07 July 2014 12:57

If you always stop to read the fine print before signing anything, congratulations – your parents trained you well. If you don't, beware: Your signature could commit you to a long-term gym membership you don't really want, an apartment you can't afford or worst of all, paying off someone else's loan you cosigned.

Broadly defined, contracts are mutually binding agreements between two or more parties to do – or not do – something. It could be as simple as buying coffee (you pay $3 and the restaurant agrees to serve you a drinkable beverage), or as complex as signing a 30-year mortgage.

Once a contract is in force it generally cannot be altered unless all parties agree. And, with very few exceptions (e.g., if deception or fraud took place), contracts cannot easily be broken.

Before you enter a contractual agreement, try to anticipate everything that might possibly go wrong. For example:

  • After you've leased an apartment you decide you can't afford the rent or don't like the neighborhood.
  • Your roommate moves out, leaving you responsible for the rest of the lease.
  • You finance a car you can't afford, but when you try to sell, it's worth less than your outstanding loan balance.
  • You buy a car and only later notice that the sales agreement includes an extended warranty or other features you didn't verbally authorize.
  • You sign a payday loan without fully understanding the terms and end up owing many times the original loan amount.
  • You buy something on sale and don't notice the store's "No returns on sale items" policy.
  • You click "I agree" to a website's privacy policy and later realize you've given permission to share your personal information.
  • You buy a two-year cellphone plan, but after the grace period ends, discover that you have spotty reception and it will costs hundreds of dollars to buy your way out.

Cosigning a loan can be particularly risky. If the other person stops making payments, you're responsible for the full amount, including late fees or collection costs. Not only will your credit rating suffer, but the creditor can use the same collection methods against you as against the primary borrower, including suing you or garnishing your wages.

Still, there may be times you want to cosign a loan to help out a relative or friend. The Federal Trade Commission's handy guide, "Co-signing a Loan," shows precautions to take before entering such agreements (www.consumer.ftc.gov).

A few additional reminders:

  • Ensure that everything you were promised verbally appears in writing.
  • Make sure all blank spaces are filled in or crossed out before signing any documents –including the tip line on restaurant and hotel bills.
  • Don't be afraid to ask to take a contract home for more careful analysis or to get a second opinion. A lawyer or financial advisor can help.
  • Don't be pressured into signing anything. If salespeople try that tactic, walk away. (Be particularly wary at timeshare rental meetings.)
  • Keep copies of every document you sign. This will be especially important for contested rental deposits, damaged merchandise, insurance claims, extended warranties, etc.
  • Take along a "wingman" if you're making an important decision like renting an apartment or buying a car to help ask questions and protect your interests.
  • Be wary of "free trial" offers. Read all terms and conditions and pay particular attention to pre-checked boxes in online offers.

Bottom line: Contracts protect both parties. Just make sure you fully understand all details before signing on the dotted line.

 
Braley Brings Protecting Social Security & Medicare Tour to Dubuque, Davenport & Burlington PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Braley for Iowa   
Wednesday, 02 July 2014 08:44
Braley discussed protecting the promise of Social Security and Medicare with Iowa’s seniors.

Des Moines, IA – Rep. Bruce Braley today continued his statewide Protecting Social Security & Medicare Tour in Dubuque, Davenport and Burlington, hosting roundtable discussions with local seniors to discuss the importance of the programs to their retirement security and underscoring the importance of honoring the promise of Social Security and Medicare to current and future retirees.

Braley said, “Social Security and Medicare are a promise that if you work hard, the benefits you’ve earned will be there for you when you retire. We need to protect Social Security and Medicare and ensure their promise is honored for current and future generations of workers.

“That’s why I’ve fought against schemes to privatize Social Security and end Medicare as we know it, because gambling Social Security on the stock market and giving Medicare vouchers to seniors puts current retirees at risk. We should strengthen these programs, not undermine them.”

Braley has held similar roundtables in Waterloo, Des Moines and Cedar Rapids. The tour will continue this week with stops in Ottumwa, Ames, Mason City, Sioux City and Council Bluffs.

The tour comes on the heels of a new report released by Braley for Iowa that details the devastating impact of State Senator Joni Ernst’s plan to privatize Social Security and replace guaranteed benefits with personal savings accounts for Iowa seniors. According to the report, Ernst’s proposal would require “radical reductions in benefits”—cutting future retirees’ benefits nearly in half and severely threatening the retirement security Iowans have earned through a lifetime of work. As of 2012, 19,420 Dubuque County residents relied on an average Social Security benefit of $13,994 a year; 30, 730 Scott County residents relied on an average Social Security benefit of $14,333 a year, and 9,575 Des Moines County residents relied on an average Social Security benefit of $14,240 a year.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, more than 530,000 Iowans were enrolled in Medicare in 2012. The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare calculates that Iowa has more than 584,000 Social Security beneficiaries, with the average senior receiving a monthly benefit of $1,131.

Braley has strongly opposed efforts to privatize Social Security and transform Medicare into a voucher program. Braley has also opposed efforts to reduce future Social Security benefits for retirees if cost-of-living increases were shifted to a so-called “chained CPI” calculation.

Last month, Braley earned the endorsement of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare PAC for his strong record of fighting for Social Security and Medicare. And last week, Braley introduced legislation to block planned service reductions at 19 Social Security offices in Iowa.

State Sen. Joni Ernst has called for privatization of Social Security, a position that would undermine benefits for current retirees. Sen. Ernst has also supported plans that would transform Medicare as we know it and pave the way for Medicare vouchers, increasing costs for retirees.
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