Business & Economy
Iowa receives A for manufacturing PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Marc Ransford   
Tuesday, 19 June 2012 12:57
Manufacturing nationally enjoyed a robust year as growth in many sectors accelerated from the already strong manufacturing recovery of 2010-11. But the impact varies from state to state, says a report from Ball State University, depending on several factors.

The 2012 Manufacturing and Logistics Report Card, an in-depth analysis from Ball State's Center for Business and Economic Research, grades all 50 states, on how they handled those factors.

Iowa named received the following grades:
Manufacturing: A
Logistics: B
Human Capital: B
Worker Benefit Costs: C
Tax Climate: D-
Expected Liability Gap: B-
Global Reach: C
Sector Diversification: C-
Productivity and Innovation: C

CBER director Michael Hicks says manufacturing roared back in many states in the last year, but he anticipates a slow down as worker productivity gains outstrip demand.

"In the short run, the trend will be exacerbated by the very high probability of a U.S. recession in 2012-13," Hicks says. "The rapidly slowing European, Chinese, Indian and Brazilian economies will place heavy pressure on firms to maintain their exports. A marked decline in U.S. exports is already in progress, and alone will deepen a slowdown already being felt across much of the country. The uncertainty surrounding financial markets will be with us for many months, depressing investment and new hiring. "

CBER prepared the report at the request of Conexus Indiana, the state's advanced manufacturing initiative. It is available at <> .

At the top of the class with A's were Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Kansas and Iowa. At the bottom, with F's were Alaska, Hawaii, New Mexico and Nevada.

New to the report this year is an analysis of an expected liability gap. State and local governments throughout the U.S. purchase bonds for infrastructure improvement and provide pensions and health care for workers. Typically a dedicated revenue stream pays for these bonds from local or state finances. Pension obligations are typically funded in an actuarially evaluated fund.

Hicks says many states have failed to provide a direct funding stream to bond obligations or to fully fund pension plans, which leads to unfunded bond and pension liabilities. These unfunded liabilities represent an expected state fiscal liability gap, which is a good indicator of the direction of future taxes and public services.

To measure the expected liability gap, the report includes data on unfunded liability per capita and percentage of GDP, average benefits, and bond rankings.

For more information, contact Hicks at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it <mailto: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >  or 765-716-3625.

Insurance agencies recognized by Grinnell Mutual PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Mallory Bradshaw   
Monday, 18 June 2012 14:40

Beert-McCoy Insurance Agency receives recognition from Grinnell Mutual

Beert-McCoy Insurance Agency of Eldridge, Iowa, is the recipient of an Award of Excellence from Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company of Grinnell, Iowa.  This award recognizes 15 years of outstanding achievement in the insurance profession and superior performance for Grinnell Mutual.

Receiving the award are Robin Beert, Bill McCoy, Sandra Peitersen, and Trudy Beert.

Arp Insurance recognized by Grinnell Mutual

Brent Arp of Arp Insurance of Walcott, Iowa, was presented with an Award of Excellence from Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company of Grinnell, Iowa.  This award recognizes five years of outstanding achievement in the insurance profession and superior performance for Grinnell Mutual.

For more information please contact:

Brent Arp
Arp Insurance
Phone: 563-284-6244
E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company, in business since 1909, provides reinsurance for farm mutual insurance companies and property and casualty insurance products for homeowners, farmowners and businessowners through more than 1,600 independent agents in 12 Midwestern states. Grinnell Mutual is the largest primary reinsurer of farm mutual companies in North America.


Halting deportations, issuing work permits PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Grassley Press   
Friday, 15 June 2012 12:23
Friday, June 15, 2012

Senator Chuck Grassley, Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, issued the following comment about the President’s announcement that the administration will halt deportation and allow the issuance of work permits to those in the country illegally.

“The President's action is an affront to the process of representative government by circumventing Congress and with a directive he may not have the authority to execute.  The President once denied that he had the legal authority to do this, and Congress was assured more than once that the administration would consider individuals for this sort of deferred status on a case-by-case basis only, and that there was no plan to implement a broad-based program.   It seems the President has put election-year politics above responsible policies.  On top of providing amnesty to those under 30 years old, the administration now will be granting work authorizations to illegal immigrants at the same time young Americans face record-high unemployment rates.  Americans also deserve to know how this amnesty program for hundreds of thousands of people will be funded, and whether resources for border security and enforcement will be diverted.  Congress has the authority to write immigration laws, and with this order the President is disregarding the voice of the people through their elected representatives in Congress.”


Governor Quinn, Senator Durbin Announce Nearly $15 Million in Federal Workforce Innovation Grants PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Leslie Wertheimer   
Friday, 15 June 2012 09:57

Illinois agencies garner nearly $12 million to support innovative workforce development efforts

CHICAGO – June 14, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn and U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that Illinois received nearly $15 million in federal Workforce Innovation Funds from the U.S. Department of Labor. The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), in partnership with the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) and the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB), received nearly $12 million to implement their innovative workforce development initiatives and the Chicago Workforce Investment Council received $3 million. The funds are part of $146.9 million in Workforce Innovation Fund grants to develop and expand innovative strategies to help Americans return to work. Maintaining a top-notch workforce is critical to ensuring that Illinois remains attractive to growing businesses.

“Putting people back to work is our top priority in Illinois,” Governor Quinn said. “This federal support will bolster our efforts to prepare workers for the changing workplace and continue to ensure Illinois has the strongest workforce in the nation.”

The Workforce Innovation Funds the state applied for are used to deliver workforce services more efficiently, facilitate cooperation across programs and funding streams, and focus on partnerships with specific employers or industry sectors to develop programs that reflect current and future skill needs. DCEO received the $11,999,985 grant for its innovative Illinois Pathways Initiative, which helps to scale regional industry partnerships to the needs of both employers as well as the most vulnerable populations served through the public workforce investment system, including low-income adults and long-term unemployed workers.

“Throughout Illinois, workforce development facilities work with local community colleges to help determined workers learn the skills they need to find employment in their community,” U.S. Senator Dick Durbin said.  “Today’s federal funding will allow these facilities to continue to create and expand innovative and regional solutions to fill critical job openings at growing Illinois businesses.”

The Illinois Pathways Initiative will use today’s grant funds to implement state economic development, workforce development and education policies to establish and support regional public-private partnerships throughout the state, with the initial project focus on the manufacturing sector. Illinois agency partners will work with employers to define career pathways for regional workforces, build regional workforce pipelines and help workers combine basic academic and technical skills to prepare them for immediate entry into skilled employment with industry-recognized credentials. It also will incorporate education systems to help workers along their career path and obtain work-based training, and provide individualized transition and support services.

“Illinois workers and businesses will benefit from the support our programs have received today, and we will continue working each day to ensure our workforce is well-equipped to navigate this economy,” IDES Director Jay Rowell said. “This grant validates our innovative workforce development efforts to leverage industry partnerships to help meet employer needs while expanding opportunities for workers.”


Governor Quinn Announces New Jobs From Opening of North Bay Produce, Inc. Warehouse in Illinois PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Leslie Wertheimer   
Friday, 15 June 2012 09:43

Global Distribution Company Chooses Illinois for Expansion; Will Create Approximately 90 Jobs

MASCOUTAH, Ill. – June 14, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today joined executives from North Bay Produce, Inc. in opening the international company’s new refrigerated warehouse at MidAmerica Airport in Mascoutah. As part of Governor Quinn’s commitment to boosting Illinois’ economy, the company announced it will create 10-15 permanent and 80 seasonal jobs once the facility is fully operational.

According to the Illinois Department of Employment Security, May was the ninth straight month of declining unemployment in Illinois.

“North Bay’s decision to locate its global distribution facility at MidAmerica Airport reinforces the Metro East’s role as a key transportation hub to the world,” Governor Quinn said. “Our goal is to make Illinois the inland port of the nation, and we remain committed to ensuring the Metro East continues to play a vital role in our economic growth.”

The company’s expansion to MidAmerica Airport is a key step in its plans to open the Asian trade lane that is integral to the company’s future growth. The fresh produce marketing and distribution company will serve as the new anchor tenant for the airport’s international trade route linking the Americas with Asia. The new $5.7 million, 36,448-square-foot facility can hold 1,317,600 pounds of product, which arrive from all over the world year round.

“With this new state-of-the-art facility, the international reach this site brings to the business model, and the opportunity to be in this great Midwest area, I know we found in MidAmerica Airport the best new home for our expansion,” noted Mark Girardin, president of North Bay Produce. “This new location will allow our quality product to maintain the freshest, quickest-to-market character at a great value, and we’re excited to get our operations here up and running.”

North Bay Produce, Inc. is an international, grower-owned, year-round, fresh produce marketing and distribution cooperative, headquartered in Traverse City, Michigan.  The company’s 25 stockholders are located in the United States, Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico and Peru. Its multi-year search for an additional central United States location with great logistics ingredients led North Bay to MidAmerica Airport.

Under Governor Quinn's leadership, DCEO has worked diligently to identify and aggressively court companies like North Bay Produce that are looking to expand their global reach. Governor Quinn has long supported MidAmerica’s efforts to build a large cargo hub at the airport, with MidAmerica’s director accompanying the Governor on his trade mission to China last year. Illinois ranks first in the Midwest for trade and as a destination for foreign investment. The Governor will continue to build on this success by 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



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