Business & Economy
Inquirehire Offers Pre-Employment Social Media Screening Services to Employers PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Helen Funkhouser   
Monday, 19 March 2012 07:17
Inquirehire is pleased to announce an important new social media screening service that will help
employers acquire valuable public information about employment candidates.

Traditional background checks protect employers by revealing an applicant’s past behavior. Social
media screening provides additional protection by revealing an applicant’s current behavior. The
Inquirehire social media screen can identify several areas of concern for employers including violent
activity, illegal activity, racism/intolerance, and sexually explicit material. Social media screening is
offered in 3 levels to suit each employer’s specific needs; basic, comprehensive, and executive.

The Inquirehire social media screening service utilizes advanced technology to search more than 200
websites for information based on each employer’s specific criteria. A trained analyst then reviews all
material for job relevance before finalizing the report, which normally takes 48 hours to complete.

Studies indicate that many employers already conduct their own social media checks on employment
candidates. But the use of internal resources puts the employer at risk because they cannot “unsee”
protected class information. The Inquirehire social media screening service redacts protected class
information so the employer is protected. This service has been reviewed by the Federal Trade
Commission and has been certified to be compliant with the FCRA and Title VII.

“At Inquirehire, we help employers optimize every hiring decision”, says Jim Sweeney, President of
Inquirehire. “Social media screening provides valuable public information in a fully compliant manner,
and that helps employers make better hiring decisions.”

About Inquirehire

Inquirehire is headquartered in Davenport, Iowa and operates nationally. Inquirehire provides
talent acquisition systems, applicant screening and evaluation services, and on-boarding
systems. All Inquirehire solutions are integrated, web-based, and fully configurable to meet
the needs of organizations of all sizes and types. For more information about Inquirehire, visit
www.inquirehire.com.

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Governor Quinn Pursues Economic Development Opportunities in Canada PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Annie Thompson   
Wednesday, 14 March 2012 13:31

First Visit by Governor in 15 Years Will Help Promote
Illinois Trade, Business and Tourism

 

TORONTO – March 5, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn is in Canada today on an economic development visit where he is promoting Illinois’ trade and business opportunities, as well as tourism and life sciences industries. This is the first trade-oriented visit by an Illinois governor to Canada in over a decade and builds upon Governor Quinn’s commitment to strengthening relationships with Illinois’ key trading partners.

 

“Illinois has always been a global business leader, and through our aggressive efforts to increase exports, attract international visitors and develop innovative new partnerships in growing and emerging fields,” Governor Quinn said. “This visit is an opportunity for us to further promote Illinois on a global stage, work toward our goal of doubling Illinois exports by 2014 and create economic opportunities for the future.”

 

Governor Quinn opened the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association (CRFA) trade show, the leading foodservices and hospitality event in Canada. The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) and the Illinois Department of Agricultural administered federal funding and technical support to 10 Illinois companies with exhibits at the show. The funding comes from a $1.26 million State Trade Export & Promotion (STEP) grant through the U.S. Small Business Administration. The show will help those companies increase their exports and global reach. A list of the 10 Illinois exhibitors is attached.

 

Canada is Illinois’ largest export market, receiving more than $19.17 billion of Illinois exports in 2011, a 28 percent increase over 2010. Illinois exported more than $1.18 billion in agricultural, food and related products to Canada in 2011. Canada is Illinois’' fourth largest market for foreign direct investment and Illinois' top market for international visitors. More than 150 Canadian firms are located in Illinois that employ nearly 36,837 Illinois residents.

 

Governor Quinn also met with key members of the life sciences and bio-energy communities at a meeting hosted by MaRS (medical and related sciences) Innovation and MaRS Discovery District at the MaRS Center. The Governor discussed opportunities for collaboration in emerging biotech fields and highlighted the importance of Canadian participation in the BIO International Conventions that Chicago will host in 2013 and 2016. More than 900 Canadian biotech professionals attended BIO 2010 in Chicago - the largest delegation of any of the 61 countries attending the convention.

 

Illinois ranks first in the Midwest and eighth nationally in terms of high-tech jobs, according to Tech America’s Cyberstates 2011 Report. After setting records for attendance in 2006 and 2010, Illinois will again host the BIO International Convention in 2013 and 2016. The success of BIO 2010, along with other key initiatives recently implemented in Illinois - the Illinois Angel Investment Tax Credit, Illinois R&D Tax Credit extension, and Illinois Innovation Council - earned Governor Quinn the title of 2011 BIO “Governor of the Year.”

 

While in Canada, Governor Quinn continued his efforts to increase tourism by promoting Illinois as a top destination for business and leisure travel during the “Visit Illinois” tourism luncheon held in Toronto. Governor Quinn was joined by Illinois Office of Tourism Deputy Director Jan Kostner to highlight the state’s attractions, travel destinations and access to transportation to encourage more Canadian business and leisure travel to Illinois and Chicago. More than 100 Canadian travel executives, tour operators and travel writers attended the luncheon, along with members of the Executive Committee of the Discover America Canada Committee, U.S. Ambassador David Jacobson, and U.S. Consul General Kevin Johnson.

 

Illinois welcomed more than 1.1 million international visitors in 2010, maintaining Illinois’ rank as the 7th most popular U.S. state for international visitors. In 2010, Canada was Illinois’ top market for international visitors followed by the United Kingdom, Mexico, Germany and Japan. Canadians made 452,000 visits to Illinois last year, which contributed $227 million to the state’s economy.

 

More information about Illinois trade and business opportunities can be found on the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s website at www.illinoisbiz.biz.

 

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Staking New Ground – Construction Supply Company Finds Quick Road To Success PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Cameron Clement   
Wednesday, 14 March 2012 13:17
Innovation in Niche Market Leads to Rapid Start-up and Expansion Right off the Bat.

BlackBat Trueline Stakes started as a business idea involving the supply of wooden survey stakes for the construction industry including oil and gas, pipeline and highway rights-of-way, and infrastructure renewal projects.  This led to a new business model, which has found rapid acceptance and quick growth.

In 2009, BlackBat Stakes’ co-founder Bob Reeves presented Howard Bagby with an opportunity to establish a survey stake company. Howard, who has 30 years experience in the oil and gas business, was familiar with the need of this product, considering how much survey work is done before drilling projects start.

“I recognized that there was a need for high quality wooden stakes for our surveyors to use, and Bob’s plan would do something about it,” Bagby said. After speaking further with Reeves, Bagby discovered the stakes were from multiple sources that were inconsistent and consequently the quality was often below standards. “The quality varied so much that often an area had to be re-surveyed or would take too long to get right simply due to undependability and breakage of the stakes,” Babgy said. “This made Reeves’ proposal very interesting.”

Reeves’ idea was simple: “If we put a better survey stake in the market, we could save a lot of time and money in the cost of a project.”

In 2010, they bought a small Alma, Ark.-based regional stake maker and invested in new technologies that allow the company to produce a high volume of high-quality stakes that lead the industry in low breakage rates and durability. “We were very fortunate in the beginning. Once we got our manufacturing process worked out with our new designs, our volume and consistency was much better than we ever expected,” Howard said.

As BlackBat began introducing its stakes, made of pine or hardwood, to the market in February 2011, growth was immediate.  Orders increased every month.  Customers love the smooth finish on the stakes, making them easy to write on. The stakes’ consistent quality and straightness ensure survey projects are more efficient and accurate.

While BlackBat is excited about the rapid growth they are presently experiencing, the company also is staking its claim in the future. “We would like to see our company and its processes grow nationally.  It will be very easy for us to replicate this manufacturing process in other states. Wherever high quality wood products are sold we want to be there, and we want our name to be recognized,” said Reeves, now General Manager at BlackBat.

 
Gas Prices and Domestic Energy Production PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Grassley Press   
Wednesday, 14 March 2012 13:01

Friday, March 2, 2012

 

During his weekly video address, Senator Chuck Grassley discusses the need to increase production of domestic energy to help lower gas prices and create jobs.  Along with other senators, he’s urging President Obama to examine his policies that contribute to higher gas prices, including restricting access to federal lands and permitting delays, regulatory threats to refiners, and his Keystone XL pipeline decision.

 

 

Click here for audio.

 

Here is text of the address:

 

Along with other senators, I wrote to President Obama this week asking him to examine his policies that contribute to rising gas prices -- such as:

  • restricting access to federal lands and permitting delays,
  • regulatory threats to refiners,
  • and his Keystone XL pipeline decision.

 

A lot of factors impact the price of oil – including OPEC decisions and Mideast turmoil -- but the Obama Administration has made things worse.  By limiting domestic energy production, we have less supply and higher prices.

 

Last year, consumers spent a greater percentage of household income on gasoline than any other year since 1981.

  • Paying $4 or more for gas acts like a hidden tax on individuals and families.
  • Rising energy prices also get in the way of job creation by raising costs of doing business for employers.

 

Americans need a comprehensive approach that:

  • ramps up domestic production of traditional energy,
  • allows the expansion of alternative and renewable energy sources,
  • and encourages conservation.

 

Greater domestic energy production would increase supply and help to lower prices, and it would create American jobs.

 

 

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Governor Quinn Announces Illinois Among Top 10 States for Corporate Locations in National Survey PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Annie Thompson   
Wednesday, 14 March 2012 07:54

Illinois Gains Over Last Year’s Ranking

 

CHICAGO – March 1, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today announced that the state of Illinois and Chicago have been named among the top 10 locations for new and expanded corporate facilities. Illinois ranked seventh among states, an improvement over last year’s eighth place ranking, and Chicago second in the metropolitan areas category in the annual analysis by Site Selection magazine, one of the nation’s premier corporate real estate and economic development publications.

 

“We are committed to creating jobs and working hard to make Illinois an even more attractive place to do business not only in the Midwest, but globally,” Governor Quinn said. “We have an aggressive long-term strategy for bringing quality jobs to Illinois, which includes innovation, exports and foreign investment, business-friendly legislation, and addressing infrastructure needs. We will continue to do everything we can to further our economic growth and create jobs in Illinois.”

 

In 2011, Illinois had 216 corporate facilities locate or expand in the state. Illinois joins Ohio, Texas, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Georgia on the list of the top ten states with the most locations and expansions. With 167 projects, the Chicago-Naperville-Joliet metro area ranked second on the list of cities in the tier one, top ten metropolitan areas list. Illinois companies that have relocated or seen significant expansions this year include Ford, Motorola Mobility, Continental, FedEx, Chrysler and Mitsubishi, among others.

 

“We are pleased that Illinois has again been named to Site Selection’s top 10 list for new and expanded corporate facilities,” said Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) Director Warren Ribley. “Illinois is one of the top business destinations in the nation for good reason, and we will continue to direct our efforts toward attracting and keeping investment in the state, creating jobs for the future and strengthening our economy.”

 

The Governor’s Cup analyses, issued by Site Selection magazine, are regarded by corporate real estate analysts as “the industry scoreboard.” Site Selection is the senior publication in the corporate real estate and economic development field and the official publication of the Industrial Asset Management Council (IAMC, at www.iamc.org). The magazine’s circulation base consists of 44,000 executives involved in corporate site selection decisions, most at the CEO/President/COO level.

 

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