September 19, 2019
Employee Voter Registration Week Begins Monday
Next week is Employee Voter Registration Week! ABI is once again a  2019 partner , and we are grateful to our friends at BIPAC who lead the initiative in getting the word out about the importance of voting. EVRW is a great chance for you to engage your member companies and employees in getting registered and ready to vote in the 2019 local and school board elections and early 2020 presidential primaries. If you aren't a partner yet, there's still time! If you haven’t planned anything yet, there’s still time to send a message to employees and members about the importance of getting registered to vote.  Click here  for more resources. 
ABI Policy Staff Joins Legislators and Commissioners on Tour
This week, the ABI public policy staff was on the road learning more about ABI member companies and the people they employ around the state. Nicole Crain and Brad Hartkopf had the opportunity to tour the Tyson Foods pork processing plant in Perry. The policy team heard from the Tyson team in Perry and learned about the plant’s history and its economic footprint. They also had conversations with Reps. Sorensen and Mitchell and Sens. Shipley and Behn, as well as plant team members. Read more .

Federal Spotlight: USMCA Response from Congresswoman Axne
Last Friday, ABI received a  response  from Congresswoman Axne on the  letter  79 organizations sent to the Iowa Congressional delegation encouraging ratification of the agreement this year. In the letter, Congresswoman Axne stated she is happy where the agreement is from an agriculture and manufacturing perspective, and that she has spoken to Speaker Pelosi and expressed urgency in passing USMCA for Iowans. ABI remains hopeful an agreement can be reached in the remaining working days of 2019. 

Civil Rights Commissioner Requests Review of Standard for Damages
The Iowa Civil Rights Commission will review jury verdicts from employment discrimination cases and commission administrative awards at the next meeting. According to the summary put together by the Legal Services Division of the non-partisan Legislative Services Agency, during the Civil Rights Commission meeting, Commissioner Kooiker “requested to add a review of the commission’s standard for damage awards to the next meeting’s agenda, citing a 2018 award that he believed was too low. He stated he wanted staff to be more aggressive in awards, but not to swing too far in the other direction.” Review the  full summary  of the meeting. ABI is concerned about the comments and will provide any additional updates to the Employment and Workforce Committee. 

Workforce Development Proposes Rules to Overpayments, Vacation and Pension
Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) has filed notices of intended action on three rules that pertain to ABI members.  ARC 4647C  changes procedures for IWD to collect and recover overpayment balances from claimants. The new procedures allow claimants to pay by credit card and also changes the second notice from another billing statement to a demand letter.  ARC 4648C  rescinds language regarding the role of an administrative law judge when determining a disqualification of benefits related to failure to report at a workforce development center as directed. Read more .

Feedback Sought on Recruitment of Puerto Rican Workers
The ABI public policy team–and some ABI members–have been contacted by businesses and elected officials in Mt. Pleasant on a workforce issue: recruiting workers from Puerto Rico to move to Iowa. We have been asked to provide feedback about whether your company currently recruits workers from Puerto Rico, and if not, would you be interested in learning more about efforts that are currently taking place in Iowa. Second, if you do recruit workers from Puerto Rico, what wrap-around services have you provided to the individuals and what have you seen that works. Please provide any feedback to  Nicole  or  Brad  by Sep. 27.

American Workforce Advisory Board Makes Recommendations
President Trump’s American Workforce Advisory Board proposed important recommendations when it comes to growing jobs and providing more opportunities for Americans. Gov. Reynolds, who sits on the board and serves on multiple subcommittees, was in Washington D.C. this week for the third meeting of the group. The board proposed a private-sector marketing campaign, digital resume workshops and a more integrated sharing of workforce-related data between the state and federal government. Read more .

Federal Spotlight: Ex-Im Bank Letter
ABI, along with more than 200 other organizations, signed on to a letter addressed to the U.S. House and Senate urging swift and robust re-authorization of the Export-Import Bank. The charter for the bank is set to expire on Sept. 30. The credit agency plays a key role for several industries, including manufacturers, as it acts as a vital lender for U.S. exporters. Along with re-authorization, the letter requests fixes are made regarding quorum issues within the agency. According to the  letter , since 2000 the Ex-Im Bank has facilitated nearly $450 billion in exports from thousands of U.S. companies and supported at least 2.5 million American jobs.
Leadership Iowa Program Participants Selected, Locations Announced
Forty leaders from across Iowa have been selected as members of the 2019-20 class of Leadership Iowa, the premier issues-awareness program of the ABI Foundation. (See the full list of participants .) The eight-month program is designed to foster a passion for civic and statewide engagement in current and emerging leaders.

The 2019-20 class will travel to communities throughout the state for a series of two-day sessions from October through June. Each session provides participants with an in-depth, first-hand look at an important issue facing our state by way of discussions with subject-matter experts, interactive experiences, industry tours and more.

Session locations and topics change annually. This year, the class will visit Perry, Iowa Falls, Fort Dodge, Des Moines, Muscatine, Glenwood, Council Bluffs and Waverly. Read the full news release .
Register Now: Manufacturing Technology Roadshow
ABI and CIRAS are partnering to help Iowa manufacturers see firsthand how new digital technologies can change your manufacturing floor today. Join us on a two-day bus trip to Minneapolis on November 12-13 to see leading-edge technologies in action.

Visits will include:

This event is designed specifically for manufacturing leaders in the roles of CEO, operations, plant manager, engineers or others considering manufacturing automation. Register now .
Full Reimbursement to Become a Certified Energy Manager (CEM) in Iowa
Adam Hammes
Executive Director
Iowa Sustainable Business Forum
Chad Kloberdanz
Owner, Kloberdanz Consulting
President, AEE – Iowa Chapter

It is difficult to overestimate the concrete economic value that implementing energy management systems within any business can provide. But to do so takes qualified professionals with experience and training. Luckily, the Iowa Sustainable Business Forum (ISBF) is able to reimburse Iowa professionals who want to earn their Certified Energy Manager (CEM) or Energy Manager in Training (EMIT) designations in 2019. Read more .
Focus OneSource to Host Medicare Basics Seminar
What does Medicare cover and not cover? What is the difference between Medicare Supplemental and Medicare Advantage? If you are 64 or are approaching retirement, you're encouraged to attend this free event. Join Focus OneSource on September 24, 5-6 p.m., at the Focus OneSource Training Facility, 2929 Westown Parkway, in West Des Moines. Register now for this overview of Medicare.

Waterloo Man Works His Way from Custodian to Tyson Plant Manager
From the September issue of Cedar Valley Business Monthly, a publication of The Courier : "On a recent summer day, Tom Hart walked through the halls of the Tyson Foods plant in Waterloo, greeting employees as he passed. A Waterloo native, Hart is now the plant manager at the complex in his hometown after years of working in the business..." Read the full article .

Winnebago Industries to Acquire Premium RV Manufacturer Newmar
Winnebago Industries, Inc., a leading outdoor lifestyle product manufacturer, announced Monday that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Newmar Corporation, a leading manufacturer of Class A and Super C motorized recreation vehicles for total consideration valued at approximately $344 million, based on the closing price of Winnebago Industries stock on Sept. 13, 2019. Read the full news release .