Legislative News
Certified Candidate List Published -- Not Without Protests
Secretary of State Paul Pate published the certified candidate list on Wednesday. However, before the candidates could be certified, some had to overcome petition objections. Two high-profile candidates were not certified to be on the primary ballot. Former Speaker of the House Ron Corbett fell eight valid signatures short of qualifying for the Republican primary ballot as a viable candidate for Governor. Theresa Greenfield, the national Democrats choice in the 3rd Congressional District to take on incumbent Congressman David Young, failed to make the ballot due to her campaign manager's forgery of signatures on her initial petition. Both candidates did not make the ballot.  However, several other candidates did qualify for the primary election on June 5, 2018. You can see the full list here . Keep reading.

Budget and Tax Reform Remain
The Legislature is still working to set the budget for fiscal year 2019, which will begin on July 1, 2018. The budget is expected to be more than $7 billion. As legislators develop the budget, expect to see most of the dollars spent on education and human services. ABI will be watching budgets for policy language, as well as any changes to programs members take advantage of, such as the skilled worker and job creation fund. ABI also closely reviews the Economic Development/Iowa Workforce Development budget to ensure monies in the unemployment trust fund are not spent in a manner that jeopardizes the trust fund. Once the budget targets are developed and published, it will give those at the Capitol a better idea of what type of tax reform is possible. The Legislature's adjournment goal is April 17, or the 100th day, and when the per diem ends.
 
Legislature Takes Action on Pro-business Bills
As the 12th week of the legislative session comes to a close, several bills ABI has been tracking continue to move through the legislative process. You have read about many of the bills in past editions of the Voice of Iowa Business newsletter. ABI will provide members with resources to educate employees about the importance of voting in the primary and general elections.  Keep reading  for more information on alcohol testing, association health plans, agency authorization and other key bills  that moved this week at the Capitol. 

Iowa Receives Federal Funding to Grow Registered Apprenticeships
The state of Iowa has been awarded $1 million by the Department of Labor to expand registered apprenticeship programs. This is the second round of funding that Iowa has received from the RegisteredUSA State Expansion Grants program. Iowa received $1.8 million from the program in November 2016. The funding coincides with the Legislature's recent passage of the Future Ready Iowa Act, which seeks to upskill Iowa's workforce by encouraging businesses to create more apprenticeship programs. Iowa is seen as a leader among states when it comes to apprenticeships, and Gov. Reynolds was appointed by Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta to serve on President Trump's Taskforce of Apprenticeship Expansion last year.
 
Iowa's Unemployment Rate Remains Low
The unemployment rate for the state of Iowa continues to remain among the lowest in the nation at 2.9 percent for the month of February. The strong number comes in tandem with the fact that job growth in finance and manufacturing is robust. The nationwide unemployment rate for the month of February was 4.1 percent. The Future Ready Iowa Act, which has passed the Legislature and is sure to be signed by Gov. Reynolds, will be key in helping to maintain Iowa's low unemployment rate, as the legislation provides greater economic and educational opportunities for Iowans.
 
Federal Spotlight: Trump Administration Imposes Tariffs on China
President Trump signed a memorandum last week that would impose tariffs on many products the United States imports from China. The measure implements duties up to $60 billion on the world's second largest economic power. The directive comes as the Trump administration has accused China of stealing U.S. intellectual property and committing unfair trade practices.  The office of U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer will publish a list of targeted products within the next two weeks, and then there will be a 30-day public comment period.  China is likely to retaliate by targeting U.S. agricultural products. Keep reading.
From the Desk of...
Put The Customer Back In Your Mission
 


Andrea Olson, CEO 
A mission statement is a funny thing. They often sound wonky, cheesy, hokey, and even comical. Here are just a few real world examples:

"Our worldwide operations are aligned around a global strategy called the Plan to Win, which center on an exceptional customer experience--People, Products, Place, Price and Promotion." (McDonald's)

"To help make every brand more inspiring, and the world more intelligent." (Avery Labels)

"Our mission is to operate the best specialty retail business in America, regardless of the product we sell. To say that our mission exists independent of the product we sell is to demean the importance and the distinction of being booksellers." (Barnes & Noble, 2013)

"[To be] the leader in entertainment & hospitality--a diverse collection of extraordinary people, distinctive brands and best in class destinations." (MGM Resorts)

Or what about this:  "It is our mission to continue to authoritatively provide access to diverse services to stay relevant in tomorrow's world." This last one was created by the Mission Statement Generator, which recombines nouns, verbs, and adjectives into prototypical mission statements that are delightfully sprinkled with meaningless corporate-speak.

So why do organizations spend so much time and effort on creating a mission statement that is often meaningless, non-distinctive, and frequently unknown or unhelpful to their employees? Even more importantly, each of these examples (and countless others) are all internally-focused. Nothing about the customer is discussed, barring a few that add "our customers" or "pleasing customers." Keep reading.
Top News
Employers Encouraged to Share Safe at Home Program with Employees
In recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month this April, the Iowa Secretary of State's Office is raising awareness for a resource available to Iowans who are survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, stalking or trafficking.  The Safe at Home program provides a legal substitute address, mail forwarding and confidential absentee voting for participants. It allows them to live an active life without having their actual address listed on public records.  Please consider sharing this information with your employees. You may plant a seed that eventually allows someone to leave an abusive relationship, or to pass along details to a friend or family member in need. You may even save a life. View the  outreach toolkit for companies.

Elevate Advanced Manufacturing to Host Parents & Students Night in Fairfield and Urbandale

Each night includes an overview of employment in the manufacturing industry and current trends by IowaWORKS, manufacturing career demonstrations, facility tours, college planning and career opportunities in the manufacturing industry through a local community college, and pizza and drink. Email Alexandra Monaghan to register to attend.


Risk Response Seminar for Community Banks on April 24
SHAZAM and Community Bankers of Iowa (CBI) will host a "Risk, Response, Reputation" seminar on April 24, 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., at ABI's office in Des Moines. Learn best practices for enhancing your cybersecurity, limiting physical threats, responding to a crisis and formulating a comprehensive discussion to further protect your institution. Registration is $175 for CBI members and $225 for non-members.  View the agenda and register.

HK Payroll Services Acquires Kabel Business Services 
HK Payroll Services, Inc. (HKP), a full-service workforce management firm headquartered in Dubuque, has acquired Kabel Business Services in Des Moines as a human capital management affiliate. Natalie Hoffmann, president of HKP, stated, "The affiliation of our two firms allows us to expand our human capital management solutions to each of our client bases, while maintaining our current brand identities. HKP now offers our clients flexible benefits, and Kabel now offers employment tax credits." Read the news release .

BerganKDV Presents "Listen-Learn-Lead" Thought-leadership Webinar Series
BerganKDV, in partnership with the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance, will present "Listen-Learn-Lead," a thought-leadership webinar series developed to help hone your skills to improve your company's bottom line. Topics will range from understanding how to successfully launch a business to how to prepare for the next generation of leaders. The five, 45-minute webinars are free and will include an opportunity to ask questions. The first live event will be April 17. See the full list of webinars.

Rick Tollakson Wins National Planning Advocacy Award
ABI board member Rick Tollakson,  president and CEO of Hubbell Realty Co., has won a national planning advocacy award for his efforts to improve central Iowa's waterways.  Read the Des Moines Register article .
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