Engaged Electorate is Key to Pro-jobs Environment

September 10, 2021 | Iowa's Ongoing Manufacturing Workforce Shortage JD Davis, Vice President of Public Policy, ABI,

This edition of Business Record Iowa comes on the heels of the ABI Board of Directors meeting held on September 9. The meeting was the first for new board members, but the last step in the ABI policy development process. The board has the responsibility to approve the 2022 policy positions and priorities for the association. This year, when you include all members of the ABI Board of Directors, Hundreds of employees of dozens of member companies have participated at some stage in the process. This reflects strong participation by the ABI membership and includes a cross-section of members from every industry.

When we look back at the ABI policies and priorities from recent years, the main goal has been workforce. Whether its child care, workforce housing or state funding to help young and adult students get the training they need to be qualified for the jobs of tomorrow, ABI has been at the front of those efforts.

ABI is also on the front lines when legislative and regulatory proposals threaten certainty and stability for employers and employees. We spend a lot of time educating legislators and regulators about the impact of certain proposals. And, thanks to the support and expertise of members, we have had success.

One key piece to a pro-jobs environment is an engaged electorate. Iowa has some of the highest rates of voter participation in the country as 76 percent of registered voters participated in the 2020 election. But we can do even better, especially in off-year elections and when there isn’t a national candidate on the ballot. To vote, you need to be registered. This year, as in past years, ABI is participating in Employee Voter Registration Week. The goal is to increase the number of registered eligible private sector voters across the country. The initiative does not tell employees how to vote or who to vote for; instead it provides information to help employers encourage voter registration. In a BIPAC survey, 96% of employee respondents from a company with a sustained engagement program voted early or on Election Day. I hope you will encourage your employees to get registered to vote or update their voter registration during Employee Voter Registration Week 2021, September 27 – October 1. If you don’t have something planned yet, it’s not too late. You can find all kinds of information online at www.employeesvote. com. Please contact me if you want to learn more. With more employers participating, we can ensure more individuals are voting in the elections, whether it’s for the local school board, Iowa Legislature, Congress or the Presidency.