Business & Economy
Simon: New college partnership should serve as model to boost state’s workforce PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Annie Thompson   
Thursday, 11 September 2014 16:19

Encourages statewide replication of Joliet Community College program 

JOLIET — Sept. 9, 2014. Lt. Governor Sheila Simon today celebrated a new partnership between Joliet Junior College (JJC) and the Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters that will help boost career readiness. Simon encouraged colleges around Illinois to consider similar partnerships in order to better prepare students to enter the workforce.

“This cooperative arrangement brings together the best of skills training by the carpenters and academic training by JJC,” said Simon. “Combining these training programs provide a way for the carpenters union to be recognized for their training, and for individual carpenters to expand their opportunities. And the state is a winner as well, gaining a more able workforce.”

Joliet Junior College president Dr. Debra S. Daniels and Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters President Frank Libby hosted the event at JJC Tuesday thanking Lt. Governor Simon for her support of the newly-launched program.

“Partnerships with community organizations, businesses, and other educational institutions are central to our mission,” Joliet Junior College President Daniels said. “They are a valuable way to connect individuals with opportunities. This partnership truly exemplifies that.”

“On behalf of the Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters, I sincerely thank Lt. Governor Simon for her longstanding commitment and dedication to the carpenters,” said President Libby. “She has helped to provide an opportunity to many individuals who may never have even dreamed of being able to attend college, let alone earn a degree.”

Apprentices or journeymen now have a number of options available through JJC to translate their on-the-job training into college credits and certificates. Options include an associate’s degree in general studies that incorporates apprenticeship program completion and on-the-job training, with 20 hours of JJC course credits. JJC also offers several construction management certificates that count on-the-job proficiency toward completion.

Several Illinois colleges, including City Colleges of Chicago, Triton College, the College of DuPage, the College of Lake County and Waubonsee Community College, have either begun similar programs or are currently in talks to launch them. JJC has had about 90 applicants this year.

Applicants have a wide variety of previously earned credits under their belts, from architects looking for career changes, to students with 160 college credits but no degree.

Previously, Simon visited the state’s 48 community colleges and 12 public universities to see how the schools are working to improve completion rates and workforce development, and gather ideas on how the state can help schools overcome barriers to completion goals.

As the chair of the Joint Educational Leadership Committee, Simon is working to increase the proportion of working-age adults in Illinois with meaningful college degrees or certificates to 60 percent by 2025.


Joliet Junior College and Chicago Carpenters to honor Simon, new education program PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Ken Lowe   
Thursday, 11 September 2014 15:12

JOLIET — Officials with Joliet Junior College and the Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters will host a reception to honor Lt. Governor Sheila Simon for her support in launching an educational program that will open the doors for members of the carpenters’ union to earn bachelor’s degrees.

Working with Joliet Junior College, Simon gave her support to a program that allows union members to gain college credit for applicable on-the-job experience that can go toward degrees and certificates.

JJC president Dr. Debra S. Daniels and CRCC President Frank Libby will present the event.

Should You Change Investment Strategies Because of Unrest in Ukraine, Iraq and Israel? PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Chris Snyder and Haitham “Hutch” Ashoo   
Thursday, 11 September 2014 14:24
Advisors To The Affluent Offer Tips for People Concerned About World Events

The summer’s headlines grew increasingly shocking:

• Malaysia Airlines Passenger Jet Shot Down Over Ukraine

• Israel Steps Up Airstrikes as Gaza Buries Dead

• U.S. Warplanes Strike ISIS in Iraq

The violence and instability, along with worries about the Federal Reserve ending its market-bolstering stimulus and raising interest rates, precipitated a negative return in July for the Dow Jones Industrial average, the first decline in 2014. Should you be taking steps to protect your portfolio?

If the recent geopolitical events have made you uneasy about the possible effects on your portfolio, now might be a good time to evaluate the real risks you are taking, says wealth management expert Chris Snyder, co-founder with Haitham “Hutch” Ashoo of Pillar Wealth Management, LLC, (Get their white paper, Intelligent Investing: Making Smart Investing Decisions In Today’s Volatile Market, at the website.)

“You have to allocate your assets to avoid Undue Risk which will help protect your portfolio through  the inevitable wars, natural disasters, recessions and depressions that will occur,” Ashoo says.  “That’s right – not if, will. A well-diversified portfolio provides peace of mind.”

Snyder and Ashoo offer these tips for weathering today’s troubles – and those to come in the years ahead:

•  Ensure your portfolio is diversified.
Modern Portfolio Theory, developed by Nobel Prize-winner Harry Markowitz, tells us that 90 percent of the return in your portfolio is based on the allocation of stocks, bonds and cash, Snyder says.

“The percentages you allocate between these asset classes is far more important than timing the market or chasing around for the best manager, hedge fund, gold/commodities, dividend paying stocks or whatever Wall Street’s next pitch is,” he says.

•  Steer clear of active portfolio management.
Trying to outperform the markets involves active trading, which can have great impacts on your portfolio’s net return. With active management normally comes high management fees and high portfolio turnover, which lead to higher taxes and transaction costs, potentially leaving Wall Street and the IRS the biggest winners!

“World-class investment management must rise above the noise from Wall Street and day to day news headline,” Ashoo says.

• Never make financial decisions based on emotion.

Individual investors tend to buy and sell based on the emotions: greed and fear. When the markets are up, they tend to buy, hoping to catch a piece of the rise, yet when markets are losing, fear sets in and investors sell. Investing with emotion often leaves investors wondering why they are overweight in growth investments before a market drop and subsequently why they were out of the market when it recovered.

“Be sure that you and your investment advisers are qualified to understand and test the volatility and risk consequences your portfolio faces before the next big bad event happens ” Snyder says.

About Chris Snyder and Haitham “Hutch” Ashoo

Chris Snyder and Haitham “Hutch” Ashoo are co-founders of Pillar Wealth Management LLC, (, of Walnut Creek, Calif., specializing in customized wealth management advice to affluent families. Their unique five-step consultative process for new clients ensures they have a deep understanding of clients’ goals. With a combined 51 years of experience, they are the authors of numerous published works, have addressed thousands of investors nationwide, and have been interviewed on radio shows across the country.

QCR Holdings, Inc. Announces Ruhl Mortgage Partners With Quad City Bank & Trust PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Richard Martin   
Thursday, 11 September 2014 09:11

MOLINE, Ill., Sept. 5, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ruhl Mortgage and Quad City Bank & Trust, a wholly-owned subsidiary of QCR Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq:QCRH), announced today that they have formed a new joint venture to provide mortgage services and products to their clients.

The new venture is pending certain regulatory approvals and is anticipated to commence operation in the fourth quarter of 2014. The combined entity will operate as Ruhl Mortgage.

"Ruhl Mortgage, Ruhl&Ruhl Realtors and Quad City Bank & Trust all have their roots in the Quad Cities Region," said Caroline Ruhl, President of Ruhl&Ruhl Realtors. "Our companies share common philosophies: we are all relationship driven and focused on delivering extraordinary customer service."

"We are so pleased to be partnering with the market leader in residential real estate sales and services," stated John Anderson, President and CEO of Quad City Bank & Trust. "With this new partnership, Quad City Bank & Trust will be able to expand our product offerings and capitalize on the strengths of both companies' commitment to our clients."

Ruhl Mortgage offers purchase and refinance loans, including FHA, VA and Rural Development loans, second home loans, down payment and closing cost assistance programs, and loans for investment properties and relocations. Additionally because of the new partnership with Quad City Bank & Trust, Ruhl Mortgage will now be able to offer portfolio, bridge and new construction loans.

All mortgage staff from Quad City Bank & Trust and Ruhl Mortgage are being offered positions with the new venture. The new company will be led by Jane Schneider, President.

The staff of 22 professionals will include 10 loan officers or loan officer assistants, and 12 operations and support staff. The operations center will be located at 1701 52nd Avenue, Moline, IL.

The company will serve the same regional market as Ruhl&Ruhl Realtors, encompassing 13 MLS's (Multiple Listing Services) throughout eastern Iowa, northwestern Illinois, and southwestern Wisconsin. Loan officers will be located in Davenport, Bettendorf, Moline, Dubuque, Iowa City, Muscatine, Clinton, and Cedar Rapids, with travel to other locations as needed.

"We are a full-service mortgage banker dedicated to each relationship from application to closing," said Jane Schneider, President of Ruhl Mortgage.

Contact Ruhl Mortgage at 309-743-8061 or visit to contact a loan officer, to get pre?approved online, or for more information on home financing.

KONE to add light manufacturing to AllenPlace PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Meghan Reilly   
Thursday, 11 September 2014 08:57

ALLEN, Tex.— KONE, a global leader in the elevator and escalator industry, will build and occupy a light-manufacturing facility in AllenPlace and will add 80 new positions to the facility, the company and Allen Economic Development Corporation announced today. KONE will expand its current competence by adding a light manufacturing facility to its operations in North America. In May, KONE announced it would be the lead tenant for the $26 million first phase of AllenPlace, and since, has committed to another 121,852 square feet for a light-manufacturing facility in the office park.

KONE now has plans to occupy nearly a quarter of the master-planned, 22.5-acre, 700,000 square-foot, five-building Class A office park being developed by Houston-based Sentinel Capital, LLC, in partnership with Centra Partners, LLC and Triad Real Estate. In addition to the light manufacturing and test facility, KONE will lease office space totaling more than 169,000 square feet at AllenPlace, east of North Central Expressway between West Bethany and West McDermott Drives. The Allen Economic Development Corporation has worked in partnership with Sentinel on the project, assisting with both the real estate transaction and KONE’s expansion.

KONE expects Sentinel Capital to break ground in the next few months and KONE will have most of the positions in place by the end of next year, according to Ron Bagwill, vice president of Supply Operations for KONE Americas. Bagwill said some employees will relocate from a facility that has been operating in Torreon, Mexico, while other positions will be new. He said growth and proximity to U.S. and Canadian suppliers and customers were the key factors contributing to the decision to centralize sourcing, engineering and testing in Allen. The company said it will maintain its operations in Torreon, Mexico, with particular focus on manufacturing the core components of its elevator products, the elevator cars and doors.

“We will be customizing the elevator controls closer to where they are installed in the U.S. and Canada,” he said. “Our centralized location in Allen will simplify logistics, enhance quality and speed delivery.”

“KONE’s commitment to Allen and AllenPlace firmly anchors our vision for this office park, and they will serve as an important physical and symbolic landmark for what Allen means to corporate business,” said Dan Bowman, Allen Economic Development Corporation Executive Director and CEO.

While construction is underway, KONE continues to occupy office space in Allen Central Park and a testing facility in nearby McKinney. KONE is expected to take occupancy in the first half of 2015, according to Greg Nelson of Sentinel Capital. The AllenPlace complex is being designed by the architecture firm Goulas + Associates, Inc.

Ben Appleby, formerly with Houston-based PM Realty Group, represented Sentinel Capital on the KONE transaction and now handles all leasing for AllenPlace.

“This public-private collaboration should speak volumes about our intent and commitment to be a corporate home for growing and developing businesses,” said Allen Mayor Stephen Terrell.



KONE is one of the global leaders in the elevator and escalator industry. KONE's objective is to offer the best People Flow® experience by developing and delivering solutions that enable people to move smoothly, safely, comfortably and without waiting in buildings in an increasingly urbanizing environment. KONE provides industry- leading elevators, escalators, automatic building doors and integrated solutions to enhance the People Flow in and between buildings. KONE's services cover the entire lifetime of a building, from the design phase to maintenance, repairs and modernization solutions. In 2013, KONE had annual net sales of EUR 6.9 billion and at the end of the year over 43,000 employees. KONE class B shares are listed on the NASDAQ OMX Helsinki Ltd in Finland.


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