Business & Economy
On World Day Against Child Labor, 17 Senators Urge Largest Tobacco Companies to Prohibit Child Labor in the Supply Chain PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Sen. Tom Harkin   
Friday, 13 June 2014 15:07

Letter follows the release of a national report showing children experience sudden, serious health ailments while working in tobacco fields, curing barns

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Seventeen U.S. Senators led by Tom Harkin (D-IA) today sent a letter to the ten largest tobacco companies urging them to prohibit child labor in their supply chain.  The letter comes on the heels of a new report by Human Rights Watch.  The report found that nearly three-quarters of the child tobacco workers in the four largest tobacco-producing states had experienced the sudden onset of serious symptoms, including nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, headaches, dizziness, difficulty breathing, skin rashes, and irritation to their eyes and mouths; while working on tobacco fields and in curing barns.  Many of these symptoms are consistent with acute nicotine poisoning.

In the letter, the lawmakers urged the companies to develop company policies and industry-wide standards that would include the following:

·         A prohibition on child labor anywhere in the tobacco supply chain, including any work in which children under age 18 come in direct contact with tobacco plants or dried tobacco leaves, including in countries where national laws provide lesser protections;

·         Provisions in all contracts with growers and suppliers that child labor is prohibited, including work by children under age 18 that brings them in direct contact with tobacco;

·         Provisions stipulating qualified third-party monitors to conduct regular inspections of suppliers during peak season when children are most likely to work, and ensure that their reports are made public.”

·         Support for programs to prevent child labor in tobacco, including programs to support educational, recreational, and alternative skills building and vocational opportunities.

Noting that other major tobacco-producing countries, including India and Brazil, prohibit children under age 18 from working in tobacco, the Senators wrote, “We urge you, as the world’s leading tobacco companies and tobacco leaf merchants, to take the steps outlined above to ensure that all children are protected from nicotine poisoning and other health hazards in tobacco production.”

The letter was signed by Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Bob Casey (D-PA), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Ed Markey (D-MA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Jack Reed (D-RI), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Brian Schatz (D-HI), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).  It was sent to executives at Altria Group, Inc., British American Tobacco PLC, China National Tobacco, Imperial Tobacco Group PLC, Japan Tobacco Inc., Lorillard, Inc., Philip Morris International Inc., Reynolds American Inc., Alliance One International, Inc., and Universal Corporation.

A signed copy of the letter can be found here.


Iowa Business Growth Company Gets Grant for Iowa Developers PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Lori Blackburn   
Tuesday, 10 June 2014 15:26
$45 Million in New Market Tax Credits Now Available to Iowa Developers Iowa Business Growth Company Will Administer Funds to Improve Iowa’s Economic Health
JOHNSTON, Iowa – Iowa Business Growth Company announced today that Iowa Community Development (ICD) has received a $45 million New Market Tax Credit (NMTC) allocation from the United States Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund. The NMTC program spurs new and increased investments in low-income communities by giving tax credits to operating businesses and real estate projects.
“NMTCs help revitalize low-income communities and increase employment opportunities,” said Dennis Murdock, ICD chairman. “ICD is pleased to once again have these funds to help entrepreneurs and developers invest in the state of Iowa.”
This is the fifth time ICD has received an NMTC allocation, for a total of $245 million in tax credits. Iowa Business Growth Company administers the tax credit program for ICD.
“NMTCs have been instrumental in our efforts to attract and retain projects that improve the economic health of Iowa as it competes with other states for these investments,” said Daniel Robeson, Iowa Business Growth Company president.
Since the NMTC program’s inception in 2000, Iowa Community Development has awarded NMTC tax credits to 19 projects in 15 different communities in Iowa. One such project was the 2013 construction and expansion of a manufacturing facility by Winegard Company in Burlington, Iowa. Winegard manufactures TV reception products.
“NMTC funded $12 million of the $17 million Winegard project,” Robeson said. “The expansion resulted in the creation of 70 new full-time jobs, and the retention of 320  jobs and 200 contract positions – which is very meaningful in a rural community with high poverty and unemployment rates.”
Iowa Business Growth Company is a certified development company that assists businesses throughout the state with alternative financing through various programs, including NMTC and Small Business Administration (SBA) 504 loans. Businesses interested in applying for NMTC funding can contact Daniel Robeson at 515-223-4511 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Branstad, Reynolds celebrate success of the Skilled Iowa Initiative on second anniversary of its launch PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Office of the Governor of the State of Iowa   
Monday, 09 June 2014 10:50

Plan to prepare working Iowans for careers in demand has certified 45,000 individuals through National Career Readiness Certificate


(DES MOINES) – Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds today were joined by Iowa Workforce Development Director Teresa Wahlert at the administration’s weekly press conference as they celebrated the successes of the Skilled Iowa Initiative, two years after its launch in June 2012. The Skilled Iowa Initiative has had impacts across every county in Iowa, far greater than originally imagined.  To date, over 10,000 Iowa businesses have signed on in support of the initiative and over 45,000 Iowans have certified their skill sets through the National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC).

“Skilled Iowa has made tremendous strides across the state, realizing success in areas beyond the traditional workforce, which is positioning Iowa – and hardworking Iowans – for continued success for years to come,” said Branstad. “The Skilled Iowa Initiative is helping Iowa businesses identify capable and qualified employees, and giving working Iowans an opportunity to demonstrate the extent of their skillset with a recognized accomplishment – the National Career Readiness Certificate.”

One of the cornerstones of the Skilled Iowa Initiative is the internship program, a unique opportunity that connects unemployed Iowans with training opportunities at Iowa businesses.  The individuals receive a new transferrable skill through an internship that provides on-the-job training in conjunction with basic skill development all while maintaining unemployment benefits.  To date, over 300 unique internship opportunities have been utilized by unemployed Iowans and those receiving public assistance.  Fifty-five percent of the internships have resulted in offers of full-time permanent job opportunities.

“With $8.8 billion in private capital investment coming to Iowa since 2011, Governor Branstad and I knew there would be tremendous opportunities for working Iowans to apply their unique skillsets in high-quality careers,” said Reynolds. “The innovative Skilled Iowa Initiative helps workers prepare to fill the jobs that are being created all across Iowa.”

“The Skilled Iowa Initiative is a perfect demonstration of working together to improve the Iowa economy without concern for politics,” stated Bill Knapp, who helped launch the initiative in 2012.  “Governor Branstad and Director Wahlert through Skilled Iowa, and especially the internship portion, have done much to achieve success for the initiative.”

The Skilled Iowa Initiative targeted the future workforce during the second year.  The goal was to connect high school students with growing high-tech, high-demand occupations in Iowa.  To date, over 7,000 Iowa high school students have taken the National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) assessment, and several students achieved the platinum status.  They join the less than three hundred Iowans who have attained platinum.

“Our students are critical to tomorrow’s workforce,” stated Teresa Wahlert, director of Iowa Workforce Development.  “By embedding the work critical skills of applied mathematics, reading for information and locating information into the high schools, our students are receiving a sound platform to begin further education and employment.”

The Skilled Iowa Initiative strives to create Skilled Iowa Communities across the state.  Des Moines County was the first area to become a Skilled Iowa Community and was quickly followed by others across the state.  To date, the Skilled Iowa Community designation has also been given to Union County, Ringgold County, Adams County, Jones County, Monona County, Lucas County, Keokuk County, Washington County and the City of Onawa.  In order to become a Skilled Iowa Community, the area must meet the following metrics: 10 percent of the employers covering at least 20 percent of the areas employment must be Skilled Iowa Members, 5 percent of the current labor force has achieve the NCRC certification, and 20 percent of the transitioning labor force must receive the NCRC certification.

The Skilled Iowa Initiative has gained national attention for its success from the National Governor’s Association and other states looking to implement a similar program.  For more information on the Skilled Iowa Initiative, visit


News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Kevin Gibbs   
Friday, 06 June 2014 15:38

Community-focused Bank Changes Name

MOLINE, Illinois, – June 6, 2014 – THE National Bank, a full-service community bank and member of the Triumph Bancorp, Inc. group of companies, announced today that it is changing its name to Triumph Community Bank, N.A. effective June 30.

“Although our name is changing, we are still the same community-focused bank that will continue to deliver top-notch service to our customers,” said John DeDoncker, president and CEO of THE National Bank. “The name Triumph Community Bank not only unites the bank with our parent company, Triumph Bancorp, but it also removes some of the confusion around the spelling and location of our company. Not to mention, adding the word ‘community’ reinforces the fact that our friends, neighbors and members of the local community have always been at the core of our business. They will continue to be our focus for the long haul.”

Exterior updates to ATMs around the Quad Cities area have already started. Throughout the summer, signs, forms and other communication materials will also be updated with the new name and logo. Although the bank will be operating with a new name, employees, products and services will remain the same.

“Customers do not need to do anything as part of this name change. Our new brand promise, ‘Here for Life,’ speaks to what we offer – financial services for all phases of life. Our goal is to make lives easier. Checkbooks, deposit slips, debit and credit cards, bill payment services, mobile banking, ATM cards and PINs will continue to work as they always have. Staff will also remain the same at the bank locations,” DeDoncker said.

The bank is also introducing a new URL,, which is set to launch on June 30. Users will still be able to access THE National Bank’s website for full online banking services at

If customers have questions about this change they can call their local branch or the corporate office at 563-344-3935, or drop by one of their 19 locations throughout Illinois and Iowa. A list of FAQs on the transition to the new name is available at under "Quick Links" on the lower left of the home page.


About Triumph Community Bank

Triumph Community Bank, formerly known as THE National Bank, is a full-service community bank headquartered in Moline, Illinois. Additional branches are located in Bettendorf and Davenport, Iowa; Canton, Chadwick, East Moline, Elgin, Havana, Milan, Morrison, Mount Carroll, Rapids City, Savanna, Silvis and Sterling, Illinois. Triumph Community Bank, member FDIC and Equal Housing Lender, offers personal checking accounts, savings accounts, CDs, money market, HSA, IRA and business accounts, as well as consumer, commercial and mortgage loans. Triumph Community Bank is a subsidiary of Triumph Bancorp, Inc. a financial holding company headquartered in Dallas, Texas, with interests in commercial and community banking. For more information, visit



This press release may contain forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause Triumph Bancorp Inc.'s or THE National Bank’s actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any expected future results, performance or achievements. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made and neither Triumph Bancorp Inc. nor THE National Bank assumes any duty to update forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements about the benefits of the proposed name change discussed herein and the company's plans, objectives, expectations and intentions and other statements that are not historical facts. The following factors, among others, could cause actual results to differ from those set forth in the forward-looking statements: (i) the possibility that the benefits of the contemplated name change are not realized and (ii) diversion of management time on issues related to the contemplated name change.




Blind United States Navy Veteran Receives Certification as Administrator PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Hilary Snyder   
Friday, 06 June 2014 14:35

Against All Odds Determined Disabled Veteran Completes Training to Become First Blind Administrator, Giving Hope to New Recruits

Washington, DC, June 6, 2014 – The Veterans Workshop is proud to announce the successful Administrator Certification of Blind American Veteran Richard Holleman, USS Navy, 1980-1984. Working closely with David Butcher of the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation; Holleman was determined to find employment and enroll in a training program offered through the Veterans Workshop that teaches blind veterans a new skill.

“Mr. Butcher told me about the Veterans Workshop program,” stated Holleman, “being able to take the classes virtually on-line in the company of other Veterans was a perfect fit for me.”  Richard Holleman, who is blind, faced many challenges to finding fulltime work.  “I investigated a lot of programs and researched other opportunities before landing on the Veterans Workshop Administrator certification class. The guidance and camaraderie from my fellow Veterans was amazing, and helped me succeed.”

“The mission of the Veterans Workshop is to open doors for disabled veterans not close them,” states Hilary Snyder, US Marine and Veterans Workshop program manager.  “Our main objective is to provide opportunities and find corporate partners who share our vision, like to deliver results. The Veterans Workshop training program would not be a success without the support of our technical partners like!”

Throughout the 10 week training, Richard Holleman was amazed by the skills he gained.  He became proficient in, Microsoft Word, Adobe, Pardot automated marketing and utilized the tools available in Google+.  Holleman added, “The training was extremely beneficial and I would highly recommend it to any Veteran!”

About Veterans Workshop: The Veterans Workshop (VW) is a 501(c)(3) veteran operated non-profit organization. The organization’s innovative online job training program through the Veterans Vocational Technical Institute are designed specifically to meet the needs of disabled veterans. The organization also raises funds for service and rehabilitation work in connection with the US Department of Veterans Affairs and other corporate technology partners.  Learn more at

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