Help Us Honor Kay
Honor Kay Neumann-Thomas at Reception on October 1
Kay Neumann-Thomas is retiring September 30 after 20 years with the ABI Foundation. Please join us at a reception to honor Kay on October 1, 4-6 p.m., at the AC Hotel in Des Moines' East Village.  There will be food, beverages (including a Bloody Mary bar, one of Kay's favorites) and lots of good cheer. There will be a program at 4:45 p.m.
Legislative News
Employee Voter Registration Week Starts Monday
September 24th will kick off the fifth annual Employee Voter Registration Week. Businesses and associations from across the country will take part in this initiative to help educate employees on the importance of getting registered to vote. ABI is proud to participate in EVRW and has plenty of tools your business can use to get your employees engaged in the process. Here are three easy ways you can be a part of EVRW 2018:
  1. Sign up to be an EVRW partner.
  2. Make sure your voter registration is current here.
  3. Visit the IAVotes.com Election Center for important voting information.
ABI Participates in Empower Rural Iowa Initiative
Gov. Reynolds announced the creation of the Empower Rural Iowa Initiative in July by executive order, and meetings of the three Empower Rural Iowa task forces have begun. ABI has taken an active role in the task forces and in following the initiative, which is focused on gathering ideas to tackle issues facing rural Iowa.  Last week, Jessica Hyland and Brad Hartkopf attended the Invest Rural Iowa task force meeting in Earlham. A good portion of the meeting was spent hearing from panelists and talking about issues facing housing in rural Iowa. More meetings will be held and recommendations will be released late this fall. We expect the governor and Legislature will consider these recommendations as part of a legislative package in 2019. Keep reading .
 
Future Ready Iowa Summits Set to Begin
A slate of summits designed to address the workforce challenges Iowa faces will begin tomorrow in Muscatine. Future Ready Iowa regional summits will be held across the state over the next two months in several communities. The goal is to devise solutions to workforce issues each particular region may face. Business, education and community leaders will gather together to thoroughly discuss what can be done to solve this pressing issue facing the state. If you are interested in attending, please click here   for more information.
 
ABI Monitors Administrative Rules
In addition to the legislative and political activities of ABI, the public policy team spends hours each month analyzing proposed changes to administrative rules. The last Administrative Rules Review Committee was a relatively quiet meeting; however, there are a few issues on the horizon ABI is watching on behalf of business. The first is the final stage manufacturer rules to implement the legislation that went into effect July 1, 2018. The second deals with the tax reform legislation that passed this legislation session.  Many provisions of the tax legislation do not go into effect until the end of this year or early next year, but the Department of Revenue must work to ensure provisions to implement the legislation are put into rule.  We are working with the Iowa Taxpayers Association and the Iowa Society of CPAs to gather feedback from ABI members and share with the department. For more information about either of these rules, please contact a member of the ABI public policy team.
     
Air Permitting Workgroup to Meet
At the ABI Environment Committee meeting in August, ABI member company Foley & Lardner presented to attendees about innovative permitting approaches to air construction permits in the state of Wisconsin. Several ABI members expressed interest in participating. Even if you aren't on the ABI Environment Committee, but are interested in learning more about streamlining permitting in Iowa and addressing regulatory challenges, you are welcome to join this group. Please contact Nicole Crain for more information or to be added to the list. A conference call will be scheduled at a date to be determined yet this fall.
 
Federal Spotlight: NLRB Offers Updated Ruling on Joint-employment Standard
The National Labor Relations Board announced last week it has issued a proposed rule to make changes to the current definition of the joint-employer standard. Under the rule as put forward, an employer may be found to be a joint-employer of another employer's employees only if it possesses and exercises substantial, direct and immediate control over the essential terms and conditions of employment and has done so in a manner that is not limited and routine. This proposed rule differs from the current interpretation of joint-employer standard, which was greatly expanded by President Obama's NLRB in 2015. If you would like to read the rule or provide a public comment, click here . You can read the NLRB's full press release here . The National Association of Manufacturers sees this new rule as a win for manufacturers. Click here to read their blog post on the issue.
Q4 Survey Results
Survey Results: Confidence is High in Iowa's Economy
Survey results released by ABI on Monday found members are confident about the state's economy.  "Iowa's economy is doing well," said Mike Ralston, ABI president. "Confidence is high and business leaders expect positive trends will continue."  Despite the feelings of certainty, a shortage in skilled labor and rising material costs are top concerns. Read the news release.

Highlights of media coverage:
From the Desk of...
Sustainability Initiatives Hold the Key to Winning the Talent War for Iowa Companies

Adam Hammes
Executive Director, ISBF
President/CEO, ecofluence, Inc.
adam@eco-fluence.com

Since the February release of my new book, Sustainable Business in Iowa, I spent two months driving around the state of Iowa to meet with chambers of commerce representing our 30 largest populated communities. My intent was two-fold: 1) share with them a free copy of the book and the value their business members could receive from joining the Iowa Sustainable Business Forum (ISBF), and 2) ask them to share with me what top issues their Iowa business members were facing.
 
The answer was unanimous: finding good people. Iowa businesses are focused on winning the war for talent. That should come as no surprise to most, but what did surprise me was that it was not always clear to chambers or to their business members what role sustainability initiatives could play in their quest for stronger job applicants. Keep reading.
Top News
Did You Miss This Week's ABI Election Update Newsletter?
ABI's public policy team publishes a weekly election newsletter. It's filled with important information about the election on November 6. The next edition will be sent on Monday. Subscribe to the ABI Election Update newsletter and read last Monday's newsletter.

Fredrikson & Byron to Host Employment Law Seminar on September 27
Fredrikson & Byron will host a half-day employment law seminar on September 27,  1:00- 6:30 p.m., at the Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites in West Des Moines.  Four Fredrikson employment attorneys--Bridget Penick, Emily Pontius, Anne Radolinski and Kendra Simmons--will provide an update on employment law developments, including sessions on: how to prevent workplace harassment, pay equity trends, employee privacy issues and more.  Applications for a variety of professional development credits have been submitted. Learn more and register.

New Grant Funding Available to Grow Registered Apprenticeship Opportunities in Iowa
Iowa Workforce Development was recently awarded an additional $1 million ApprenticeshipUSA State Expansion Grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to strengthen and grow registered apprenticeship opportunities in Iowa. This federal grant is separate from state of Iowa funding for Registered Apprenticeship Programs (15B) and is focused on expanding opportunities in healthcare and advanced manufacturing, the fastest growing and largest employment sectors in the state, as well as increasing the participation of women, youth, minorities, veterans and people with disabilities. Deadline to apply is October 26 at 1 p.m. Learn more.

IEDA to Host Trainings with Export Compliance Expert in November
The Iowa Economic Development Authority will host two separate trainings with export compliance expert Mike Allocca at the FFA Enrichment Center in Ankeny. Export Compliance Training on November 7 will focus on due diligence, denial lists, export documentation, filing of the EEI, NAFTA basics and more. Introduction To HTS/Schedule B Classification on November 8 will discuss Learn General Rules of Interpretation (GRI), Schedule B and HTS Number, CROSS - Customs Ruling Online Search System, roles of customs brokers, freight forwarders and importer/exporter of record. Learn more and register.
Governor's Club Sponsors