Business & Economy
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.”

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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 www.illinoisbiz.biz.

 

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Iowa is a Right To Work State but still bailing out UAW PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Corrine Williams   
Friday, 15 June 2012 08:16
thought you might find this particularly interesting as Iowa is a Right To Work State. Senior Policy Analyst in Labor Economics James Sherk has just published  a piece on the bailout being for the United Auto Workers (23 billion worth).

The U.S. government will lose about $23 billion on the 2008-2009 bailout of General Motors and Chrysler. President Obama emphatically defends his decision to subsidize the automakers, arguing it was necessary to prevent massive job losses. But, even accepting this premise, the government could have executed the bailout with no net cost to taxpayers. It could have—had the Administration required the United Auto Workers (UAW) to accept standard bankruptcy concessions instead of granting the union preferential treatment. The extra UAW subsidies cost $26.5 billion—more than the entire foreign aid budget in 2011. The Administration did not need to lose money to keep GM and Chrysler operating. The Detroit auto bailout was, in fact, a UAW bailout….read more


Corrine Williams
Midwestern Regional Media Associate
The Heritage Foundation
214 Massachusetts Avenue, NE
Washington, DC 20002
305-479-5683
heritage.org


The Heritage Foundation’s 2012 Federal Budget in Pictures
The newly redesigned Federal Budget in Pictures presents complex policy trends in a series of simple, full-color infographics.
Check it out today.

The Heritage Foundation is committed to building an America where freedom, opportunity, prosperity, and civil soci

 
Odd-Job Expert Offers Tips for Economic Survival PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Friday, 15 June 2012 08:13
‘Queen of the Random Job’ Going Strong after 13 Years

Most adults of a certain age believe they’ve had some colorful jobs. Chances are likely, however, that Bethany Mooradian has them beat.

“I began finding random jobs after receiving my degree in puppetry because I realized that most puppeteers don’t make that much money,” says Mooradian, author of I Got Scammed So You Don’t Have To (www.QueenOfTheRandomJob.com), a how-to book for finding legit work in an economy of scammers. “At one point, I was even Ronald McDonald’s bodyguard.”

Beginning in 1999, in order to make ends meet while pursuing her artistic passions, she looked for odd jobs. It wasn’t long before the search for and execution of odd jobs became a lifestyle. She gave so much advice to her friends on how not to be scammed, that she decided to write a book about it.

Mooradian came up with an acronym to help as a general outline to avoid scams: SCRAM. S = scrutinize the source; C = check for affiliate links and fees; R = research the heck out of every detail; A = ask for more information; M = mouse over images and links to see what website you end on before you click.

“I was scammed in a work-at-home gig from a magazine ad when I was young and naïve,” she says. “It was before the internet was widely used, so it wasn’t as easy to check it out, and I hadn’t yet developed my SCRAM method.”

While the odd, random job or source of supplemental income usually does not replace the income of a fulltime job, there are several ways of making money people often overlook, or simply don’t know about.

Mooradian emphasizes that anyone can find extra ways to earn income from what they already know how to do, “No one ever goes to college to learn how to ‘work at home.’ It’s simply a matter of taking your skill set and translating that into a home-office or flexible work environment instead of a 9-5 job.”  Here are five income opportunities most people are not aware of.

• Being a Virtual Assistant: If you have computer and internet skills, you can work as a VA doing general secretarial work, or processing orders for large-name corporations at home. Many companies are seeing the benefit of “homesourcing” instead of “outsourcing” because overhead is reduced, and customers get to speak to local operators who understand the language and culture.

• Merchandising: Have you ever walked up to someone shelving products in a store to ask for help and they reply, “I’m sorry, I don’t work here?” Those are merchandisers. They’re hired to set up displays, check prices on items, and shelve products like magazines, food items, and greeting cards. Merchandisers have specific locations to service, but with fairly flexible hours.

• Landlord (rent that extra space!): Many people own property because they want their personal freedom. But for those who’ve fallen on hard financial times, like millions of Americans, finding a good, trustworthy person to rent your extra room, a storage space, garage, or a parking space is a great option.

• Mystery shopper: Mooradian has created a video and book training course on this topic titled “The Mystery Shopper Training Program,” which can be found on her website, as well as through Amazon.com and local bookstores. Mystery shoppers are paid to surreptitiously check out the behavior of employees in retail shops, bars, restaurants, apartment buildings, car dealerships, banks, and even on cruise ships and travel resorts.

• Use your talent: You don’t have to have movie-star aspirations to get work as an extra in movies, television shows or industrial/training films. Many times you can call up your local film board to find casting directors in the area to get on their “extra” list. Voiceover work can also be done from the comfort of your home if you have a powerful enough microphone, and you can also be a “standardized patient” acting out diseases to help medical students with their board exams.

“The internet is full of information, but finding useful leads for jobs or making extra money can be like searching for a needle in the proverbial haystack, which is why I provide over 300 legitimate companies, ideas, and resources for money-seekers,” she says.

About Bethany Mooradian

For 13 years Bethany Mooradian has lived the random-job lifestyle, including everything from being a puppeteer, dog walker and art gallery owner to actor, sexual health resource clinic advisor and parade float fabricator to elderly caregiver, phone book deliverer, mystery shopper, virtual assistant and more. The “Queen of the Random Job” has written books, created training programs, and teaches classes in both Seattle and online to assist others looking for ways to make ends meet.

 
Club for Growth To Track Spending Cut Votes With New Scorecard PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Barney Keller   
Thursday, 14 June 2012 07:48
Club for Growth President Chris Chocola: “It is good news that Congress is finally talking about spending cuts, but our review of voting records show that we have a long way to go if we’re going to achieve smaller government.” 

Washington, DC – The Club for Growth today launched a new Spending Cut Scorecard designed for members of the public and Club Members to track how members of the House of Representatives are voting on amendments to cut spending from the FY13 appropriations bills. In the past, the Club for Growth tracked amendments to cut earmarks from appropriations bills, but recently noticed that many House members who ran on promises to cut spending have abandoned their pledges to do so.

The Club will include clean spending cut amendments and will update the Spending Cut Scorecard following the passage of every appropriations bill. To view the new Spending Cut Scorecard, click here: www.ClubForGrowth.org/SpendingCutScorecard

Thus far, interesting statistics from the Spending Cut Scorecard include:

  • 20 members of the House have voted for every amendment to cut spending. All are Republicans.
  • 50 members of the House have voted against every amendment to cut spending. 49 are Democrats. One is a Republican (Bonner).
  • The average Republican voted for spending cuts 59% of the time.  Republican Freshman are only slightly better at 60%.
  • The average Democrat voted for spending cuts 6% of the time.
  • The nine Republicans, including four freshmen, who have least often voted to cut spending are: Bonner 0%, Meehan 4%, LaTourette 4%, Bass 4%, Simpson 4%, Lucas 4%, King, P. 4%, Grimm 4%, and Dold 4%
  • The eight Democrats who have most often voted to cut spending are: Matheson 32%, Rush 31%, Kucinich 30%, Polis 28%, Cooper 20%, McIntyre 17%, Velazquez 17%, and Honda 17%

“It is good news that Congress is finally talking about spending cuts, but our review of voting records show that we have a long way to go if we’re going to achieve smaller government,” said Club for Growth President Chris Chocola. “It’s important that Americans hold their members of Congress accountable for their votes and the Club for Growth intends to continue to make it easy for them to do so.”

“The Club continues to be disappointed, in particular, by the big spenders in the Republican Party. With a $16 trillion debt, voting to keep discretionary spending in appropriations bills is simply kicking hard choices into the future and passing the buck to future generations. House Leadership is clearly not pushing its conference to vote for spending cuts offered on the floor,” added Chocola.

The Club for Growth is the nation’s leading group promoting economic freedom through legislative involvement, issue advocacy, research, and education.

The Club’s website can be found at http://www.clubforgrowth.org/

 
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