A new online "talent hub" aimed at selling the region's quality of life and recruiting those from outside the region to move (or move back) is now live. 
Developed by ICR Iowa, the regional joint venture tasked with business and talent attraction, the new ICR Iowa Talent Hub features a wealth of regional information, including lists of popular events and attractions; the various "neighborhoods" making up the region, including smaller communities like the Amanas and Robins; links to area job boards and select job postings; and information on local education initiatives and programs, such as DeltaV Code School through NewBoCo and the Jacobsen Institute for Youth Entrepreneurship at the University of Iowa.
"The thought was, instead of going out and meeting people outside of the region and talking jobs, we're going to go out and talk about quality of life - the short commutes, Iowa nice, those kinds of things," said Tim Carty, director of talent attraction with ICR Iowa. "It's about getting them [prospective recruits] interested, so we can say 'If the right opportunity would arise, would you consider moving back?'"
Those interested in learning more and being matched with an available job opportunity can click on a button labeled "I'm Sold! Recruit Me" to be personally contacted by Mr. Carty. Users also have an option to "Recruit Someone I Miss," which will result in a personalized email sent to someone who might have once lived in state with an invitation to consider the region again.
Much like initiatives like the Iowan Project from the Technology Association of Iowa, the new Talent Hub aims to put a "more personal touch" on the process of attracting workers who might have a tie to the region, but aren't yet sold on coming back. It is expected to dovetail with other personalized initiatives, such as the soon-to-relaunch Wingman project, which paired new Corridor residents with seasoned "connectors" who can help ease the transition to a new place. That program is expected to relaunch at the beginning of next year after a brief dormant period, Mr. Carty said.
"Who doesn't like a personal contact," he added. "It's flattering when someone calls and says, 'We'd think you'd be great for this job.'"
With the Talent Hub not yet a week old, Mr. Carty said ICR Iowa hopes that employers will share the site with any potential candidates, as well as those who may not be a good fit for a specific job but may still be interested in the region. The organization will regularly review metrics generated by the site, in terms of recruitment contacts and hires, with the hope of continually refining its sales pitch.
"We're going to track everything. We want to know how many applicants we're getting through the talent hub, how many diverse applicants we receive," he said, adding that "We're relying on employers to let us know we got this person through you guys - not for credit, but so we can tell it's working."
The site was developed by de Novo Marketing of Cedar Rapids, with additional guidance provided by Robyn Hepker, of Benson & Hepker Design of Iowa City.
CCBJ Cybersecurity Breakfast: Best practices are rippling out 

TrueNorth's Matt Evans, speaking at the CBJ Cyber Security Breakfast on Sept. 5.
There's a big difference in the sophistication of different organizations in their approach to data protection, prompting one audience question at the CBJ's recent Cyber Security Breakfast: "So who's doing it right?"
Matt Evans, a principal and practice leader at TrueNorth Companies in Cedar Rapids, said that the health care and financial services industries were early adopters of cybersecurity plans and procedures, "so they're doing it right."
The organizations that are doing it right also go beyond technological defenses such as firewalls and strong data encryption, according to Mr. Evans, and incorporate comprehensive employee training and employee awareness programs.
"A lot of companies are starting to segment their data. Their key information is on one network; their email system is on another network. They only open up their network to vendors for a specific period of time when they need access, then close it down again."
As the threat becomes more apparent, Mr. Evans said more sectors of the business world are
coming around to defend against it.
Manufacturing "is really starting to come together" around cybersecurity, Mr. Evans said, particularly as big first-tier manufacturers strive to avoid business interruption and breaches by requiring their upstream suppliers to protect their data more carefully.
Read more cybersecurity takeaways from the experts featured at the CBJ's Sept. 5 breakfast in this week's print or digital editions.
Para3Survey: Technology helps employers address health care costs
Many U.S. employers are adopting new technology-enabled tools and solutions to address the root causes of the high cost of health care, without cutting benefits or increasing the financial burden on employees, according to a national survey of employer-sponsored plans by Mercer.
Correspondingly, the survey found that for 2019, fewer than half of the responding employers (44 percent) said they will be passing costs along to their employees in the form of higher cost-sharing or reduced benefits, Joe Gardyasz of the Des Moines Business Record reports.
Based on the first 1,566 responses to the Mercer National Survey of Employer-Sponsored Health Plans, Mercer projects that health benefit costs per employee will rise by 4.1 percent on average in 2019.
Technology has enabled companies to zero in on specific health problems. For instance, the survey of nearly 2,400 employers found that more than half (58 percent) of midsize and large employers with 500 or more employees now offer one or more "point solutions" - high-tech, high-touch programs designed to help members with specific health issues ranging from insomnia to infertility.
Also, technology helps improve accessibility. Eighteen percent of midsize and large employers said they make all or most of their benefit offerings accessible to employees on a single, fully integrated platform, and another 19 percent said they are working toward full integration.
Additionally, technology is making it easier to mine data for actionable insights. More than three-quarters (77 percent) of employers with 500 or more employees use a data warehouse or get the data they need from plan vendors to inform their health plan strategy. But some of these employers (16 percent) are further ahead, using predictive analytics to identify future opportunities to improve health plan performance - or even health outcomes.
"Employers have realized that it's up to them to solve the problems of high cost, inconsistent quality and low satisfaction that plague the U.S. health care system," said Renya Spak, leader of Mercer's Center for Health Innovation. "Without question, technology is going to be part of just about every meaningful solution."
If you've been thinking about attending the CBJ's Manufacturing Conference, but aren't sure what to expect, we tossed a few questions to CBJ Events & Social Media Marketing Manager Ashley Levitt, who helped organize this year's event. She offered up some insight into the planning and structure of this year's conference, along with her pick for must-see session:
What's the theme this year?
In planning this year's conference, we were fortunate to have a committee of local manufacturing experts who met with us regularly to share their business interests and challenges. Three basic themes emerged from those sessions, which we've turned into this year's breakout tracks: Leadership, Workforce, and Technology & Operations. Each one features several sessions built specifically around that topic, led by regional experts from Tim Guenther, CEO of Clickstop, to Vince Ellison, market leader with BerganKDV.
Who are you most excited to see?
There are so many strong sessions on the schedule this year, but I'm especially excited to hear from John Brandt, CEO of The MPI Group, who will be our morning keynote. His firm has done extensive research on the Internet of Things (IoT), and John will explore how its use, or lack thereof, can affect operational excellence in manufacturing. It's a topic that might surprise some people - most of us probably think of IoT in terms of our thermostat or our TVs, rather than advanced manufacturing - but I think it will be an eye-opener for attendees (and not just because it's the first session of the day).
Who should attend?
We've intentionally organized this year's conference to address specific challenges faced by different professionals in the manufacturing chain. For example, we know that attracting and retaining talent is a huge problem in the industry right now, so our Workforce track offers employee retention and recruitment solutions for HR professionals, as well as a discussion on untapped individuals ready to enter the manufacturing workforce.
Our Leadership track has sessions for the CEOs and middle managers on employee engagement and effective strategic plan development, while the Technology & Operations track is really geared toward safety managers and CIOs. Sessions there include machine monitoring, making the most of your data, and ways you can predict and prevent safety risks.
What about the next generation in manufacturing?
One thing that's unique about this conference is that we invite 25 high school guidance counselors from across the Corridor. It's an opportunity for them to learn more about the industry and meet the manufacturers so they can take that information back to their students and the students' parents. Who knows better than guidance counselors which students might be best-suited for a career in manufacturing? This collaboration can help set students on the path to their future career and keep them in our region.
How can I attend?
You can register on our website, www.corridorbusiness.com/events/ . Tickets are $95 through Sept. 21. Breakfast and lunch is included.
Para5Regents approve fully online Tippie MBA program
The Iowa Board of Regents has approved a proposal by the University of Iowa's Tippie College of Business to add a fully online professional MBA program beginning next fall.
The college plans to ramp up the program over a three-year period to offer about 54 online sections. The program is expected to provide an option for students unable to access the university's part-time MBA classes offered at its satellite locations, including in the Quad Cities and Des Moines. It will feature high-quality video, real-time synchronous segments with real-time exchanges, and the ability for teams to jump online together to discuss projects and collaborate.
"The faculty is really excited about the new format," David Frasier, associate dean of MBA programs and an adjunct lecturer at the UI, recently told the CBJ. "The general reaction is positive and even [the few faculty hold-outs] are overcoming some of their hesitancy and getting excited about how to develop this new curriculum."
Tippie announced a year ago that it would phase out its full-time MBA program by May 2019, which the college said would enable it to increase investments in part-time MBA programs that serve working professionals.
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stockCorridor Stocks

AEGON AEG 6.09 0.03 0.50%
Alliant Energy LNT 43.84 -0.15 -0.34%
Deere & Company DE 149.07 0.03 0.02%
Dow Jones ^DJI 26,246.96 184.84 0.71%
General Mills GIS 44.14 -3.63 -7.60%
GoDaddy Inc. GDDY 82.29 0.89 1.09%
Great Western Bank GWB 43.00 0.09 0.21%
Heartland Express HTLD 20.38 0.09 0.44%
KemPharm KMPH 4.97 0.12 2.58%
Marsh & McLennan MMC 83.16 -3.47 -4.01%
MidWestOne MOFG 34.55 -0.18 -0.52%
Pearson PSO 11.01 0.06 0.50%
Pepsico PEP 113.98 -1.42 -1.23%
Principal Financial PFG 57.72 0.77 1.35%
QCR Holdings QCRH 42.40 -0.10 -0.24%
Rockwell Collins COL 140.92 1.32 0.95%
S&P 500 ^GSPC 2,904.31 15.51 0.54%
Tanger Factory SKT 23.04 -0.05 -0.22%
Procter & Gamble PG 84.00 -0.25 -0.30%
United Fire Group UFCS 50.95 0.16 0.32%
U.S. Bank USB 54.16 0.03 0.06%
Wells Fargo WFC 54.49 0.18 0.33%
West Bank WTBA 23.60 0.05 0.21%
Whirlpool WHR 122.10 -0.97 -0.79%
Short-Term Event Planner
Sept. 19
1 Million Cups, by 1MC, 9-10 a.m., Geonetric, 415 12th Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids and MERGE, 136 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City. Join for community connections, startup pitches and free coffee. The September theme for Cedar Rapids' meeting is the city of Marion. Free. For more information, visit facebook.com/1MCICR.
Sept. 20
BizMix: VanDerGinst Law, by Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance, 4-6 p.m., 1400 Inspiration Place SW, Cedar Rapids. BizMix brings together area professionals for an evening of casual networking over complimentary hors d'oeuvres and cocktails and is hosted by a different member business each month. Free.
Sept. 24
Coralville Roundtable, by Iowa City Area Chamber of Commerce, noon-1 p.m., Hy-Vee Market Grille, Lantern Park Plaza, 1914 Eighth St., Coralville. Roundtables are social lunches over the noon hour. All are invited to network and keep up-to-date with chamber and community events. Free for members. Call the chamber at (319) 337-9637 if interested and not a member.
Food and Beverage Forum , by Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance, 3-4:30 p.m., WineStyles, 4201 42nd St. NE, Ste. 170, Cedar Rapids. This wine tasting geared toward food and beverage professionals will feature Sam Hanna of the Loyal Customers Club about ways to market to customers. M eet with other hospitality professionals to discuss products, challenges, events, and ideas that drive innovation. Free. To register, visit bit.ly/2xbZ2aq.
Headlines from CBS2/FOX 28 
These news items are provided by CBS2/FOX 28 
Around 2,600 customers are without power in Eastern Iowa after a strong line of storms moved through the area. Alliant Energy reports that 1,790 customers in Washington County near Kalona are without power. Their website says they expect power to be restored by 7 p.m. MidAmerican Energy's outage website says around 976 customers are without power in Iowa City. An estimation of when power will be back was not available on their website. Storms that moved through the area brought reported 40-50 mph wind gusts.

Until Sept. 21, Linn County 4-H & Extension and Outreach is collecting donations for their current project: "Thank a Farmer, Fill Their Bucket" Campaign. They have a goal of filling 100 five-gallon buckets for our local farmers to thank them for the tireless and sometimes thankless work they do. The buckets will include safety items, including face masks and earplugs, granola bars, stress relief materials, and a couple of fun items. Each bucket costs $20 to sponsor. To sponsor a bucket, visit this site.
T hese news items are provided by CBS2/FOX 28 
CBS2 Chief Meteorologist Terry Swails' Weather First Forecast
A disturbance rolled into Eastern Iowa this morning and triggered showers and thunderstorms across the area. The front will begin to lift back to the north on Wednesday. Additional chances of showers and thunderstorms will exist, however the timing and placement depend on where the boundary ultimately lays out which is uncertain at this time. Most of Thursday looks to be dry before a stronger wave pushes the front southeast through the entire area Thursday night leading to the best chance for most areas to see showers and thunderstorms.