Business & Economy
Braley Statement on Defense Appropriations Bill PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Jeff Giertz   
Friday, 20 July 2012 14:42

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) released the following statement today after voting against a $607 billion defense spending bill:

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“While there are parts of the Defense Appropriations Bill that I strongly support – a pay raise for our troops and a provision blocking cuts to the Iowa Air National Guard’s 132nd Fighter Wing in Des Moines, for example – I cannot vote to spend nearly $90 billion to continue combat operations in Afghanistan that began over a decade ago.

 

“We have accomplished the objectives of our mission in Afghanistan.  Osama bin Laden is dead, al-Qaida has been marginalized, and the Afghan government has been stabilized. It’s time to bring our brave men and women home to their families and focus on rebuilding America.”

 

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Governor Quinn Signs Law to Increase Transparency PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Nafia Khan   
Friday, 20 July 2012 14:01

New Law Improves Access to Public Meeting Information

WHEATON – July 19, 2012. As part of his ongoing efforts to increase government accountability and transparency, Governor Pat Quinn today signed legislation to strengthen the Illinois Open Meetings Act. The governor was joined at the ceremony, held in the DuPage County building council chambers, by local legislators and DuPage County Chairman Dan Cronin. Governor Quinn is committed to restoring integrity to Illinois government.

“This law gives the public greater access to information and activities that impact their lives,” Governor Quinn said. “Increasing government openness and accountability from the statewide level to the local level will make Illinois a stronger, more ethical state.”

House Bill 4687, sponsored by Rep. Sandra Pihos (R-Glen Ellyn) and Sen. Kirk Dillard (R-Hinsdale), requires public bodies conducting a public meeting to ensure that a copy of the meeting notice and agenda is available to the public for the entire 48 hours preceding the meeting. The measure specifies that public bodies can satisfy this requirement by posting the meeting notice on the Internet. The law also ensures that meeting agendas provide the public with adequate information about the meeting’s actions.

“I applaud Governor Quinn’s ongoing commitment to achieve more openness and greater transparency in Illinois government,” Chairman Cronin said. “By bridging the information gap between government and taxpayers, we make meaningful progress in the effort to restore the trust of our residents and the integrity of state government.”

“This new law will require all entities subject to the Open Meetings Act to provide a certain level of specificity when creating their agendas,” said Rep. Pihos.

"I'm happy we were able to work together in a bipartisan way to close a loophole that didn't serve the public," Sen. Dillard said. "This measure will help the public be better informed about what their local governments are doing."

This legislation was inspired by a court case centered on an Illinois municipality that posted a meeting notice before the meeting but did so in a building that was locked on the weekends and not accessible to the public. This legislation closes that loophole by requiring online posting of meeting agendas that list meeting action items in such cases and which are continuously available. The law takes effect Jan. 1.

Since taking office, Governor Quinn has made improving ethics and increasing government transparency and accountability a top priority. In 2011, the governor signed new laws that hold local governments more accountable by requiring them to provide information such as finances, contracts and non-compliances to County Boards. Governor Quinn also launched Appointments.Illinois.Gov, Accountability.Illinois.Gov and Data.Illinois.Gov to bring more transparency to state appointments, contracts and salary information and public data collected by state and federal agencies.

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Governor Quinn Announces Opening of Nippon Sharyo U.S. Headquarters and Manufacturing Facility in Illinois PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Nafia Khan   
Friday, 20 July 2012 13:55

Japanese Train Car Manufacturer Creates 250 New Jobs and Invests $50M in Rochelle, IL

ROCHELLE, Ill. – July 19, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn was joined by Nippon Sharyo executives today to open the company’s new U.S. headquarters and passenger railcar production facility in Rochelle, Illinois. Japanese train car manufacturer Nippon Sharyo is investing $50 million and creating 250 new jobs in Rochelle, which will help the company increase its competitiveness by moving closer to its U.S. customers and suppliers. Today’s announcement is a result of Governor Quinn’s efforts to bring new business to Illinois.

“I am committed to growing our manufacturing industry, increasing foreign investment and bringing high-speed rail to Illinois,” Governor Quinn said. “Our strong transportation network and central location make Illinois the ideal choice for global companies like Nippon Sharyo that are looking to grow.”

In Japan, Nippon Sharyo boasts the largest market share of high-speed rail rolling stock. In August 2010, METRA awarded Nippon Sharyo the contract to build its next generation of rail cars. METRA will purchase 160 new rail cars over the next five years with $585 million provided through Governor Quinn’s Illinois Jobs Now! capital program. The first car is scheduled to be shipped in September, and delivery of the last car is scheduled for the summer of 2015.

The new 465,000 square foot manufacturing facility will enable the company to meet the Federal Railroad Administration’s “Made in America” requirements and compete for contracts to assemble high-speed rail cars as America builds its high-speed rail network. The facility’s centralized Illinois location will also help decrease total production costs by reducing transportation costs.

In October 2010, Governor Quinn announced over $10 million in targeted investments to strengthen Nippon Sharyo’s expansion in Illinois. The state investment consists of $2.85 million in Economic Development for a Growing Economy tax credits, which are based on job-creation, and Employer Training Investment Program job-training funds that will help enhance the skills of the company’s workforce. The company will also benefit from being located in an Enterprise Zone. The city of Rochelle was awarded $1.866 million from the Community Development Assistance Program and Economic Development Program to assist with infrastructure improvements for road, water and sewer needs. In addition, the Illinois Department of Transportation is investing $5.5 million through the Illinois Jobs Now! capital program to build a rail spur from the Burlington Northern Santa Fe main line to the new factory. The siding will open up 12,000 new acres for future development.

Since January 2010, Illinois has added 136,000 private sector jobs and 40,700 manufacturing jobs. Under Governor Quinn's leadership, the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity has worked diligently to identify and aggressively court companies like Nippon Sharyo that are looking to relocate and/or expand their North American presence. Illinois ranks first in the Midwest as a destination for foreign investment and has already attracted 1,597 foreign firms with 6,416 locations, which employ 323,362 Illinois residents. The Governor is committed to playing a key role in marketing Illinois' world-class attributes abroad and personally meeting with companies to recruit them to Illinois.

For more information on why Illinois is the right place for any business, visit www.illinoisbiz.biz.

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The ‘Moneyball’ Approach to Business Hiring PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Tuesday, 17 July 2012 14:39
Expert Offers Tips for Creating Championship Teams

Great coaches take into consideration an athlete’s talent and heart when they’re building a team, but they consider group dynamics, too, says entrepreneur J. Allan McCarthy.

“It’s not just a matter of getting the fastest, strongest and smartest players on your side,” says McCarthy, an international scaling expert and author of Beyond Genius, Innovation & Luck: The ‘Rocket Science’ of Building High-Performance Corporations (www.mccarthyandaffiliates.com).

“If you’re building a championship team, you’re gauging how the individual athletes fit together; how their personalities, talents, drive and abilities will mesh to meet the team’s goals. It’s exactly what you need to do to build a winning corporate team. As Michael Jordan, put it, ‘Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.’ ”

In the 2011 film Moneyball, Coach Billy Beane picks his players based on analysis and evidence, says McCarthy, who has worked with hundreds of companies. He doesn’t ever just “go with his gut.”

McCarthy provides key points for building a successful, effective team:

• Lead with a team, not a group: A team of leaders behaves very differently than a group of leaders. Many companies don’t know the difference. “It comes down to clear goals, interdependencies and rules of engagement,” McCarthy says, Every corporation claims to hire only the best and the brightest but it is evident that getting the best and brightest to function as a team can be a challenge.

• Know your goals: McCarthy cites Bill Gates – “Teams should be able to act with the same unity of purpose and focus as a well-motivated individual.” Many big-name CEOs like to say their talent runs free with innovative ideas. “It makes for compelling literature,” McCarthy says. But would that work on the football field? Corporations need their personnel to think out-of-the-box but also act in a prescriptive culture – to work within a system in order to achieve common objectives.

• Not everyone can be the coach – or the quarterback: The problem with executives is that they all want to lead and none want to follow, McCarthy says. A team made up of executives is like a group of thoroughbred stallions confined to a small space called an organization -- plenty of kicking, biting and discord. Thoroughbreds don’t naturally work well as a team. Better to define responsibilities that build a “foxhole mentality,” wherein one person has the gun, the other the bullets, McCarthy says. It’s in the best interests of both for each to succeed.

• The strongest teams are adept at resolving conflict: Hiring the best and the brightest should create a diverse, competent group — but inevitably these stallions generate friction that can sabotage company progress. So, sensitize team members to the early warning signs: know-it-all attitudes, multi-tasking during team meetings, exhibiting dominant behavior, not responding in a timely fashion or engaging in avoidance. Agree, as a team, on how to mutually manage and minimize counterproductive behaviors as they surface.

• Create individual and team agreements: Here is where the “rubber meets the road” – it’s the final stage of planning who will do what for team objectives, as well as a collective agreement on team rules and interdependencies. Ask individuals to openly commit to what they will do, and how the team is to function. The public declaration stresses employee obligation and collaborative management.

“We live in a 21st-century economy where speed and efficiency is a top priority, and that often means a ‘shoot first, ask questions later’ mentality,” McCarthy says. “But you get the team that you plan for, not necessarily what you pay for. If time is money, then I’d invest it in creating and building a championship team.”

About J. Allan McCarthy

J. Allan McCarthy, principal of J.A. McCarthy & Affiliates, has more than 20 years of experience across 15 industries and more than 200 companies. He is a scaling expert who helps organizations determine how to best align strategy, structure and workforce capabilities. He earned his master’s of management from Golden Gate University, a Stanford University AEA MBA refresher, and has worked with many international companies, including Cisco Systems, Raychem Corporation, SAP Inc., Redback Networks, BEA Systems and Ericsson.

 
Governor Quinn Launches Production of Mitsubishi Outlander Sport in Normal PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Nafia Khan   
Tuesday, 17 July 2012 09:22

Company Moves Production of New Crossover from Japan to Normal; Keeps 1,200 Jobs in Illinois

NORMAL, Ill. – July 17, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today joined executives with Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) to launch production of the 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport in the U.S. market. Mitsubishi has invested $45 million to retool its Normal, Ill. facility to begin production of the new Outlander Sport Crossover Utility Vehicle, which was previously produced in Japan. Mitsubishi’s expansion in Illinois follows Chrysler’s growth from 200 jobs in 2009 to more than 4,000 jobs this summer and Ford’s addition of a third shift of workers in Chicago.

“Illinois’ automobile industry has seen tremendous growth over the last few years,” Governor Quinn said. “Mitsubishi Motors had a choice and they chose Illinois as the place to build their new Outlander Sport. That’s because our state is a great place to invest and grow, and our workers are the best in the world.”

The Outlander Sport is built upon the same highly flexible vehicle platform used for the Lancer compact car and Outlander SUV. In Feb. 2011, Mitsubishi announced that production of the new vehicle would be a part of the corporation’s global strategy and would significantly increase production at the Normal facility. Sales of the Outlander Sport, which received “Top Safety Pick” by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, are already up 13 percent compared to this time last year.

Mitsubishi Motors Corporation Managing Director in charge of global production Tetsuro Aikawa noted that bringing production of the Outlander Sport to the Normal plant reinforces MMC’s commitment to the U.S. market.

Mr. Aikawa estimated that about half of the Outlander Sports produced will be exported. “We will build vehicles here not just for the United States, but for many nations around the world,” he said.  “This is the chance for employees at the Normal plant to prove that its quality and productivity are competitive in the global automobile market.”

Last year, Governor Quinn announced a targeted investment package which bolstered Mitsubishi’s expansion in Illinois and enabled the automaker to keep 1,200 jobs at its Normal plant. The state investment consists of Economic Development for a Growing Economy tax credits, which are based on job-creation, and Employer Training Investment Program job-training funds that will help enhance the skills of the company’s workforce. Mitsubishi is also located in an Enterprise Zone.

Since January 2010, Illinois has added 136,000 private sector jobs and 40,700 manufacturing jobs.

For more information on why Illinois is the right place for any business, visit www.illinoisbiz.biz.

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