Business & Economy
Former Virginia Senator, Jim Webb will be guest speaker at the Iowa Federation of Labor Convention PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Lance Coles   
Wednesday, 20 August 2014 09:26

Senator will address convention on Thursday

Des Moines, Iowa – The Iowa Federation of Labor will be holding its annual convention this week at Prairie Meadows. Hundreds of labor union officials and delegates will be in attendance, and other guests will be speaking throughout the week. The Iowa Federation of Labor was honored when Former Virginia Senator, Jim Webb agreed to address the convention this Thursday.

Jim Webb, former Senator from Virginia, has been a combat Marine, a counsel in the Congress, an assistant Secretary of the Navy, an Emmy award winning journalist, a film-maker, and the author of ten books.

What: Former Virginia Senator, Jim Webb addresses the IFL Convention

When: Thursday, August 21, 2014 at 10 am

Where: Prairie Meadows (Altoona)

Media is invited to sit in on his address to the convention. There may be time after his address for interviews outside of the convention floor.

Specialty Retailer Buckle Relocates at NorthPark Mall in Davenport, IA PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Aleshia Chiesa   
Tuesday, 19 August 2014 15:16

August 18, 2014 -- Denim destination and specialty retailer, Buckle, announces that it is now open in a new location at NorthPark Mall in Davenport, IA. The store will be accepting applications for various positions. Interested applicants can learn more about career opportunities and apply online at

Offering a unique mix of on-trend clothing, shoes, and accessories, Buckle caters to style-conscious men and women who seek to express their individuality through fashion. Buckle carries a wide selection of fits, styles, and finishes from leading denim brands, including the

company’s exclusive brand, BKE, along with Big Star, Big Star Vintage, Rock Revival, MEK Denim, Miss Me, Buffalo, ReClaim, Silver Jeans and many more. To help guests complete their looks, Buckle offers tops, footwear, and accessories from popular lifestyle labels including BKE Boutique, Buckle Black, Affliction, RVCA, Corral, Sinful, Daytrip, Roar, OBEY, 7 Diamonds, Billabong, Hurley, Fossil, and Fox. In all, Buckle represents more than 200 fashion brands in its stores and online at

Acknowledged for their exceptional guest service, Buckle’s teammates are passionate about creating the most enjoyable shopping experience possible for their guests. Bolstering this approach is the Buckle’s wide array of value-added services such as free hemming, gift-packaging, easy layaway, a frequent shopper program, and a Buckle credit card with special benefits for cardholders. Buckle also offers personal fittings through its “Get Fitted” program—enabling guests to find their favorite jeans by making an appointment with a Buckle Stylist.

Headquartered in Kearney, Nebraska, Buckle currently operates 456 stores in 44 states, including 17 in Iowa. The Buckle, Inc. is traded under the symbol BKE on the New York Stock Exchange.

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Real Talk Training PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Katie McGovern   
Tuesday, 19 August 2014 13:07

Davenport, IA

September12 or 13, 2014 — Real Talk Training (RTT) is a oneday seminar training leaders to use professional coaching techniques to transform their everyday communications. RTT is an interactive learning experience using demonstration, practice and constructive feedback to equip leaders to be more effective communicators. This training has been offered globally to churches, major corporations and nonprofit organizations with outstanding results.

Train under professional coaches to learn how to take your relationships to the next level through REAL communication. Don’t miss this opportunity to unlock sustainable change in your relationships through REAL conversation! You will learn to:
● Avoid the number one killer of authentic communication
● Jumpstart a significant conversation with anyone
● Listen for heartlevel meaning
● Ask questions to open others up
● Solve problems permanently by not giving advice
● Get a response instead of a reaction

Presented by Kate McGovern is a Certified Growth Coach and Real Talk Presenter. Kate is passionate about restoring believers to a place of freedom as a children of God through physical, emotional, and spiritual healing. When she is not coaching, Kate is hosting a TBN news show, leading women’s Bible studies and prayer groups, tending her garden, travelling or spending time with her husband Tom and their four children (and spouses!) and nine grandchildren.

Jennie Turton is a Certified Coach Trainer, Certified Professional Coach and Real Talk Presenter. Jennie is committed to seeing herself and the body of Christ live the abundant lives promised by God. When she is not training coaches or coaching the coaches she trains, Jennie is visiting her large extended family, travelling internationally, ballroom dancing or enjoying the outdoors with her husband Valentin.

Event details:
What: Real Talk Training
When: Friday, September 12 or Saturday, September 13, 2014 9am-4pm (Coffee and snacks will be provided. Participants will be dismissed for lunch.)
Where: Quad Cities Prayer Center, 320 West Kimberly Rd., Davenport, Iowa 52807 (in North Park Mall next to Sears)
Who: Age 15 and up
Cost: $45/person
Registration: Online at:
Contact: Kate McGovern: (309) 2368718

3 Proven Management Techniques That Work in Any Business PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Friday, 15 August 2014 13:26
Identify the ‘Influencers’ on Your Front Lines, CEO Advises

In business, the only thing that matters is what works, says Peder Johnsen, a third-generation specialist in senior living communities.

“The people in your company who are dealing with your customers – the clerks, the caregivers, the customer service reps – are where the rubber meets the road,” says Johnsen, CEO of Concordis Senior Living,, which owns, operates and develops senior housing communities.

“That’s why it’s essential for the company leaders, the men and women in the offices that are often far from the front lines, to be where the action is on a regular basis,” he says.

Concordis’ specialties include managing senior-living communities for other owners and developers, an art it has perfected, Johnsen says.

“We developed certain practices over the decades, first by building assisted-living communities and then by operating them,” he says. “These practices work in any business because they keep the leadership actively involved in what’s going well – and not – on the front lines, and provides a system for regular communication through all layers of the company.”

Johnsen offers these tips for management that produces excellent results:

•  Identify the influencers in each work group. As with most businesses, senior living communities require teams of staff, from administrators to housekeepers and everyone in between. Within the various groups that make up your business, identify the key players – the people who influence others’ behavior, whether or not they hold a title or official authority. Meet with them on a regular basis so you can stay plugged in to what’s happening on the front lines.

•  Identify areas that need improvement. Talk to them about systems and areas that need to be fixed, overhauled or eliminated, and about how team members are working together. They’ll often have ideas for innovations. The idea is not to look for people or problems to blame, but to work together to develop solutions and improve the team’s overall efforts.

“The information you get in speaking with these key players is invaluable,” Johnsen says. “There may be nothing at all wrong, which is great, but these meetings give you, the CEO or manager, the information you need to constantly improve. It also reinforces the message to employees that they and their ideas are valued members of the team.”

•  Figure out those “wildly important goals.” You can have the best people in the field working for you, yet if they’re not specifically guided to a certain goal, they are putting their time and effort toward an end that they’re assuming is correct. CEOs and other upper-level managers have the 30,000-foot view, so it’s up to them to guide everyone beneath them.

“Short-term priorities may change slightly or drastically on a regular basis,” Johnsen says. “Your team may be self-sufficient, but their vision is limited to their daily duties. If they don’t know that a goal or objective has changed, they can’t work toward it.”

About Peder Johnsen

Peder Johnsen is the CEO of Concordis Senior Living,, which owns, operates and develops senior housing communities. He’s a third-generation assisted-living specialist whose grandfather and father built one of the first contemporary-style ALFs in Florida more than 30 years ago. Johnsen took over administration of two small facilities at age 18. Today, he runs the full spectrum of ALFs – from “ALF lites,” where most residents live very independent lifestyles but know assisted-living services are available if they should need them, to homes specializing in care for residents with Alzheimer’s and dementia. He is an industry leader in staff development and training, and has overseen the development, acquisition and financing of several communities.

Governor Quinn Announces Illinois’ Unemployment Rate Drops to Near Six-Year Low PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Dave Blanchette   
Friday, 15 August 2014 13:17

Visits Chicago Manufacturer to Announce State’s Unemployment Rate Dropped to 6.8 Percent in July with 11,200 Private Sector Jobs Added

CHICAGO – As Illinois’ unemployment rate fell to its lowest point since August 2008, Governor Pat Quinn today visited Wheatland Tube, the largest pipe and conduit manufacturer in North America, to discuss the state’s ongoing economic comeback. Illinois’ unemployment rate dropped to 6.8 percent in July, its lowest level since August 2008. Wheatland Tube is among many Illinois businesses that are adding new jobs to the state’s workforce and fueling the economic recovery. Today’s event is part of the Governor’s agenda to create jobs and drive Illinois’ economy forward.

“Illinois’ comeback is going strong and we’ve got more work to do,” Governor Quinn said. “Illinois manufacturers like Wheatland are helping to drive our economy forward by creating good jobs and supporting local communities across the state. Today’s news that unemployment has dropped to its lowest level in nearly six years is further proof that we are heading in the right direction.”

Illinois’ unemployment rate declined in July to 6.8 percent from June’s 7.1 percent, according to data released earlier today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Illinois Department of Employment Security. During July, 11,200 new private sector jobs were added, including 3,900 manufacturing jobs. The state’s unemployment rate has fallen steadily since July 2013, when it stood at 9.2 percent, and has completed its steepest 12-month decline of 2.4 percentage points since August 1984. Since February 2010, Illinois has added 263,100 private sector jobs.

As part of his agenda to drive the state’s economy forward, Governor Quinn has taken unprecedented steps to support Illinois’ manufacturers, which supports jobs in service industries and sends Illinois products worldwide. His signature effort in the field of manufacturing was a $16 million investment in the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute on Chicago’s Goose Island. The institute is a venture of UI Labs that will connect manufacturers to the latest tools and knowledge.

Since taking office in 2009, Governor Quinn has enacted worker’s compensation reform and unemployment insurance reform to make Illinois a better place to do business. Other major fiscal reforms such as pension reform and Medicaid restructuring are restoring fiscal stability to Illinois. Today Governor Quinn is pushing a new tax cut for businesses that provide job training. Lowering cost to train workers will make it easier for businesses to create new jobs and will ensure workers have the skills to drive a 21st century economy.

Wheatland Tube, a division of JMC Steel Group, began processing steel in Pennsylvania in 1931. Its Chicago facility began operation in 1969. The manufacturer of standard steel pipe, fence framework, fire sprinkler pipe, electrical conduit and mechanical tube employs 211 people at its Western Ave. plant but expects that number to increase by 10 percent over the next 12 months. In addition, Wheatland hired 51 new employees in 2013. Illinois is also home to Atlas Tube, a division of JMC Steel Group and the JMC Steel Group headquarters in Chicago. JMC Steel employs 300 people at the two locations.

“We are excited to have several of our largest tubing facilities located in Chicago,” Jim Hays , Wheatland President of Electrical, Fence and Mechanical Tube, said. “Our Illinois location is central to multiple modes of transportation that allows us to move material economically through America. With support from the state, we have hired a diverse labor pool with the skill sets required to support all levels of our organization.”

Wheatland Tube has received approximately $66,000 in Employer Training Investment Program (ETIP) funds that will help enhance the skills of its workforce. JMC received approximately $200,000 in state job-training this year to conduct a second round of industrial maintenance and advanced electrical maintenance training. The advanced training has helped current employees to improve their skills in key electrical and mechanical areas.

For more information on doing business in Illinois, visit

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