ABI, Community College Partnership to be Recognized

February 26, 2018

Governor to Highlight WORRC Partnership between ABI, Community Colleges

At a press conference in her formal office in the Statehouse on Wednesday, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds will highlight the new partnership between ABI and Iowa’s community colleges.  Called WORRC (Work-based Opportunity Regional Referral Consortium), the partnership represents a new collaboration between ABI and the colleges.  It was approved by the ABI board of Directors at the January meeting. 

Governor Reynolds will recognize ABI members all across Iowa for their leadership in hiring Iowans, in training Iowans for the jobs of today, for supporting the new Future Ready Iowa recommendations around certification and training, and for innovative collaborations with Iowa’s fine community colleges.  The colleges have been on the front lines with regard to training Iowa’s manufacturing workers. 

ABI Chair David Zrostlik (Stellar Industries, Garner) and other ABI leaders will join the Governor for the press conference, as will officials representing Iowa community colleges.   See this Thursday’s ABI eNewsletter for more information. 

ABI Tax Committee to Review Tax Plans This Morning

Last week, several of us on the ABI staff attended a subcommittee meeting on the Senate tax reform bill.  The subcommittee advanced the bill the and later that day, it passed out of the Senate Ways and Means Committee. 

The bill is comprehensive in scope, with many provisions that ABI staff members have been analyzing.  Your expertise is also vital and in that regard, ABI will host a conference call later this morning to review the legislation.  Your feedback is desired, especially about the impact the legislation might have on your business.  The ABI Tax Committee will meet via teleconference at 10:00 am.  The committee will review both the Governor’s tax plan and the Senate tax plan and will provide feedback to ABI public policy staff.  All ABI members are invited to participate in the call. If you would like to participate, please reply to this message or contact Michelle Vollstedt (mvollstedt@iowaabi.org).     

2018 Iowa Business Day on the Hill March 13

During the first quarter of the year, much of ABI's work focuses on public policy and the Iowa General Assembly.  A few years ago, following on the exploding success of the annual ABI Legislative Briefing and Reception, ABI created the annual ABI Day on the Hill.  The event capitalizes on members’ wishes to get even more involved in ABI’s public policy work.  

This event gives ABI members an opportunity to get the very latest news from the Capitol in the heat of legislative activity.  Members are taken by private coach to the Capitol to meet with and hear from key state officials, legislative leaders, and their legislators.  The event has grown bigger and better each year and this year's event will again be conducted in partnership with the Iowa Chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business, the Iowa Chamber Alliance, and the National Association of Women Business Owners.  

Business Day on the Hill 2018 is being held Tuesday, March 13.  The program begins with registration that morning at the ABI office.  Following a report on legislative news and updates on related issues, and including other information, DOTH participants will head to the Capitol for meetings with legislators.  Register now for this event by clicking on http://www.cvent.com/events/iowa-business-day-on-the-hill-2018/event-summary-9fc214479ee84d7ab2688d8959e27300.aspx.  

By the way, March 13 is also the day of the annual IIPAC Luncheon (please see below for more information) and it is the day of the March meeting of the ABI Board of Directors.  If you are a board member, I hope you will participate in each of these events, but especially the luncheon and board meeting.  Thank you in advance for your participation in these important meetings. 

Senator Feenstra to Keynote IIPAC Luncheon on March 13

Speaking of Business Day on the Hill, that day always features a fundraising luncheon for the Iowa Industry Political Action Committee, ABI's political arm.  It has been announced that the keynote address for that IIPAC Luncheon will be delivered by Senator Randy Feenstra (R-Hull), Chair of the Senate Ways and Means Committee.  

Senator Feenstra is a true friend to business, is one of the top players in the General Assembly, and is one of the leaders of an effort to reform Iowa’s income taxes.  Make your donation of at least $50 and be sure to attend this important event! 

ABI Connecting Statewide Leaders Forum Thursday at Fairfield

The next event in ABI's popular Connecting Statewide Leaders series will be held this Thursday (March 1) in Fairfield.  A high-value panel, a networking luncheon, and manufacturing tours will all be a part of the program, which will be held at the beautiful Fairfield Arts and Convention center in downtown Fairfield.  

For more information and to register, click on http://www.cvent.com/events/connecting-statewide-leaders-fairfield/event-summary-2f962a30907f43e684adcf45ee7d63d6.aspx.  Join fellow ABI members, Leadership Iowa Class members, local business leaders, and others for this event.   

Leadership Iowa Class Heads to Iowa City

Speaking of Fairfield, that city will be the location of the next session of the 2017-2018 Leadership Iowa class.  Some members of the class will convene Wednesday evening. 

The majority of the session will take place Thursday and Friday and will focus on innovation and entrepreneurship.  This group of class members has been another in a string of terrific LI classes.  Look for more information at the board meeting on March 13. 

Amanda Nuzum to leave ABI Foundation

Most of you know Amanda Nuzum, the Development Director for the ABI Foundation.  Amanda joined the staff not quite two years ago, in June of 2016. 

Amanda announced that she will be leaving ABI and will soon become the Chief Development Officer for Des Moines’ Blank Park Zoo.  This is a terrific post and we congratulate Amanda.  Her last day at ABI will be March 9 and we wish her all the best. 

The search for a new ABIF development director begins soon.  We’ll add another great person to the team and I will keep you posted regarding the search.  Watch for more news soon. 

Latest ABI Public Policy Roundtable Friday in Waverly

The next in an ongoing series of legislative roundtables will be held at United Equipment Accessories in Waverly this Friday (March 2).  Senator Craig Johnson and Representative Sandy Salmon will be on hand to discuss issues with ABI members.  Many thanks to former ABI Chair Mark Hanawalt (United Equipment Accessories, Waverly) and his team for hosting this important event.  For more information, click here: http://www.iowaabi.org/events/detail/98-waverly-roundtable-with-senator-craig-johnson-and-representative-sandy-salmon/.  

ABI Board to Meet March 13

Make plans to attend the next meeting of the ABI Board of Directors.  ABI Chair David Zrostlik (Stellar Industries, Garner) and members of the board will next meet on March 13th.  That day will see a full day of ABI meetings and events, as the annual ABI Day on the Hill program and other events will also take place then.  Register for the meeting simply by replying to this memo.  

Annual Conference Registration Now Open

Registration for the 2018 Taking Care of Business Conference opened last Thursday and there was an immediate rush of people registering.  Remember that two hotels, the Coralville Marriott and the Homewood Suites, are already sold-out.  However, plenty of rooms remain at the Radisson and you can find more information here: http://www.iowaabi.org/events/annual-conference/.  

Finalize your plans to join your ABI colleagues in Iowa City-Coralville June 5-7 for what will be the best ABI conference ever.  Go here to register http://www.iowaabi.org/events/annual-conference/.  

Final Week for Elevate Scholarships Applications

ABI’s Elevate Advanced Manufacturing initiative is all about raising the profile of manufacturing jobs, connecting Iowans with training, and then connecting those Iowans with jobs at ABI member companies.  One great component of Elevate is the awarding, each year, of 15 $500 scholarships, one each to Iowa’s 15 community colleges. 

The deadline for application for the 2018 Elevate scholarships is this Friday, March 2nd.  There is plenty of time for you and your employees to complete an application and have nominees considered.  Simply click here to download the scholarship application: https://www.elevateiowa.com/assets/Elevate%202018%20Scholarship%20Application%20(1).pdf.  

Should you have questions or comments, simply reply to this memo and I will send you an information sheet and/or see that you get your questions answered.  Remember to take action this week if you are interested in an Elevate scholarship. 

ABI Drug Testing Seminar on March 22

The biennial ABI Drug testing Seminar will be held on March 22 at ABI.  The program will include the latest information about drug testing programs and the latest information about best practices being utilized by other companies.  Click here for more information and to register: http://www.cvent.com/events/employee-drug-testing-program-signs-symptoms-solutions/event-summary-ae2c7d6158bb4691a442c9f05e7d105e.aspx.    

Charles Sukup Elected to National Academy of Engineering

Former ABI Chair Charles E. Sukup (Sukup Manufacturing Co., Sheffield) has had a long and distinguished career (and it’s not over).  Last week, it was announced that Charles had been elected to the National Academy of Engineering.  Perhaps the highest honor an engineer can receive, the National Academy election is just the latest recognition for Charles.  

Click here for more information about this special honor: https://news.engineering.iastate.edu/2018/02/16/abe-alumnus-charles-sukup-elected-into-the-national-academy-of-engineering/.  Charles will be formally inducted in to NAE this coming September in Washington, DC. Congratulations and very best wishes to Charles Sukup!