Business & Economy
Braley to Attend Harkin Retirement Security Event PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Amanda Bowman   
Wednesday, 29 August 2012 15:54

Braley will be the special guest and panelist 

Dubuque, IA – Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) will join Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) on Thursday for a discussion with Iowans on the retirement crisis. Following the event, the pair will travel to Independence where they will enjoy coffee at Em’s Coffee Company, a local business whose owner, Emilea Hillman, testified at a Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions subcommittee hearing on disabilities.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

 

2:00 PM CDT      Retirement Security Event with Sen. Harkin 

Hawkeye Community College

Tama Hall, Room 107A

1501 E Orange Road

Waterloo

 

4:00 PM CDT             Em’s Coffee Company

324 First Street East

Independence

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Braley Discusses Small Business Advancements with Iowa Entrepreneurs PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Amanda Bowman   
Tuesday, 28 August 2012 15:24

Congressman Braley toured Dubuque and Cedar Falls businesses

Dubuque, IA – Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) this week toured two small businesses that were assisted by Small Business Development Centers (SBDC’s) in Eastern Iowa. Braley introduced the Main Street Stabilization Act in Congress that helps fifteen Iowa SBDC’s provide customized, free and confidential business advice to any small business. Braley also introduced the Support our Startups Act that increases tax deductions available for new startup companies.

“These thriving small businesses are a great way to see important funding at the SBDC and local level making a difference,” said Braley. “I have worked hard to ensure that small businesses in Iowa get the assistance they need to succeed. Far Reach and Dubuque Power Equipment, which both received advice from the SBDC, are two great examples of people getting the right information from good resources. I will do everything I can so that the Small Business Administration and SBDC are properly funded and can assist more Iowans to create successful businesses in the future.”

Yesterday, Braley toured Dubuque Power Equipment, a shop owned by Karen Ohnesorge. Ohnesorge took a class from Terry Sullivan, director of the SBDC in Eastern Iowa, where she learned a great deal about starting a business, the risks involved, and ways the Small Business Administration could help her achieve her goals. Braley spoke with her about the course, and improvements she would like to see in the program.

Today, Braley toured Far Reach, a local web start-up whose employees were assisted by the UNI Innovation Incubator and the SBDC. After touring the facility, Braley spoke with employees Kate Washut and Chris Rous to discuss how the SBDC helped their company, and how it, and other state and government programs could help small businesses in the future.

 

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The ‘Moneyball’ Approach to Business Hiring PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Tuesday, 28 August 2012 15:01
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 Vetoes SB 1849 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Illinois Revenue and Jobs Alliance   
Tuesday, 28 August 2012 15:00
OFFICIAL STATMENT FROM THE ILLINOIS REVENUE AND JOBS ALLIANCE:

We missed an opportunity today to add 20,000 new jobs and generate more than $1 billion in one-time licensing fees and more than $200 million in new annual revenue. Despite efforts that would have satisfied the Governor's call for tighter restrictions and additional oversight, fiscal relief for the state has now been further delayed. Our leaders in Springfield are committed to getting us back onto steady financial footing and providing more economic opportunity to Illinois residents. We're confident that they will do what is necessary so the state can benefit from sorely needed jobs and revenue.

Former State Representative Bill Black, Chairman, The Illinois Revenue and Jobs Alliance


 
Need Work? Tech Companies are Hiring PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Tuesday, 28 August 2012 14:11
Business Offers Insights for Future IT Job Candidates

“Do what you love” has been the advice embedded in American commencement speeches for decades. Now, however, it’s “do STEM’’ -- Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

“We have the brains, we have the educational capability and I’m pretty sure students want a job when they graduate high school and college. We do not have to go overseas to find our talent,” says decorated Army Ranger and entrepreneur Matthew Brosious, co-founder of FreightCenter.com. The third-party logistics company and freight software technology provider does for freight shipping what Expedia does for travel.

Brosious’ company is hiring and, for students and people interested in new careers, what it’s seeking in job candidates offers valuable insights.

“A formal STEM education is not necessarily crucial to obtaining a job in a STEM career,” says Doug Walls, FreightCenter.com’s chief information officer. Walls initially started as the company’s IT administrator and after seven years is now CIO. According to Walls:

• Often times, the best developers are the ones who have a natural aptitude and an ability to comprehend emerging technologies.

• Web development and IT offer stable careers with plenty of opportunity for placement straight out of college.

• Web technology is increasingly going more mobile as users access the Internet via smart phones and tablets, so it’s important to continue to learn about new techniques to reach this group of users.

• Following development or IT blogs and news is an excellent way to stay ahead in a progressive field.

• Having a well-designed and developed personal site offers employers like us an insight into your skill level and allows us to determine how job seekers apply the knowledge they’ve learned in school or on the job.

Located in Florida’s Tampa Bay area, Freightcenter.com does well attracting qualified professionals, Brosious says. But job creators in other parts of the country may not be so lucky.

National statistics reveal a gap between STEM jobs and potential employees that will only grow wider if trends continue unchanged:

• Only about 6 percent of U.S. graduates leave college with a STEM-based degree, compared to 28 percent in Germany, 37 percent in South Korea and 47 percent in China, according to National Center for Education Statistics.

• STEM jobs are projected to grow twice as quickly as jobs in other fields in the next five years, according to the U.S. Bureau of Statistics.

• Eighty percent of jobs in the next decade will require significant technical skills.

• Of the 20 fastest growing occupations projected in 2014, 15 will require considerable science and/or mathematics preparation, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Brosious says getting young people interested in following a STEM track of education will require changes in the classroom beginning at an early age.

“Only one in five college students feel that their grade-school education prepared them very well for their STEM college courses,” he says, citing a recently published survey by Microsoft.

That study also indicates students who pursue STEM degrees do so because they’re inspired by a class or a teacher. And 16 percent more males than females are interested in those fields thanks to video games and clubs.

About FreightCenter.com

FreightCenter.com is a third-party freight logistics company that uses web-based tools to help businesses and individuals with their shipping needs. It has garnered numerous awards, including Best Companies to Work For (2011, Florida Trend); Service Industry of the Year (2010, Pasco Economic Development Council) and Top 10 Websites (2010, BtoB marketing news magazine.) Matthew Brosious and his father, James, co-founded American Freight Cos. – the parent company of www.FreightCenter.com – in 1998 to facilitate freight shipping for household, business and enterprise shippers. The service enables customers to compare carriers’ rates, book LTL, truckload and specialized freight transportation and track shipments online.

 
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