• News for News

    Friday, September 14, 2018
    Iowa employer health insurance premiums increased an average of 8.4 percent from 2017 to 2018, according to the 2018 Iowa Employer Benefits Study(c), the 19th study conducted by David P. Lind Benchmark of Clive, an employee benefits research firm. The 8.4 percent increase is an average that factors in employers receiving no change, an increase or decrease in their premiums. During the similar ...read more
    Categories: Economic, News
    Friday, September 14, 2018
    By Colin Van Westen Work ethic is one of things Americans are known for throughout the world and even more so in the Midwest and Iowa. A recent report from financial website WalletHub ranked Iowa as the 14th hardest-working state in America. "Iowa has a reputation for having some of the hardest workers in the nation and that reputation is a positive for the state," Iowa Lakes Corridor CEO and ...read more
    Categories: News, Iowa News
    Friday, September 14, 2018
    ICR Iowa wants to know who’s looking for work and where they’re looking. Later this month, the economic-development organization will mail a survey to employers in its seven-county region to learn how many employees they each have. Once that count is tabulated, a residential telephone survey will conducted to gather details on workforce characteristics such as employment status and ...read more
    Categories: News, Iowa News
    Monday, September 10, 2018
    Happiness comes from a combination of internal and external factors. We can influence it somewhat by approaching situations positively or choosing to spend time with people we love, doing activities we enjoy. One thing that doesn’t drive happiness is money. Happiness only increases with wealth up to an annual income of $75,000. But one thing that can have a big influence on how we feel about ...read more
    Categories: News
    Friday, September 07, 2018
    Christian Lutz of Independence has been recently appointed by Governor Reynolds to serve on the Empowering Rural Iowa Initiative for a 2-year term.  Specifically, he will serve on the Growing Rural Iowa task force.This particular task force is charged with considering ideas, policies, and initiatives designed to encourage and develop the next generation of leadership for rural communities and to ...read more
    Categories: Chamber, News, Iowa News
    Wednesday, August 22, 2018
    The Cedar Rapids Chamber of Commerce, formed in 1918, is marking its 100th year as a promoter of economic and community development. It has had different names over the years and has moved a number of times, but it’s been “pushing” issues for a century. In the years immediately after its formation, the chamber led the successful community effort to have the Lincoln Highway routed through Cedar ...read more
    Categories: News, Iowa News
    Wednesday, August 08, 2018
    In order to bring awareness to the condition of underprivileged children throughout the U.S., WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 24 key measures of neediness. The data set ranges from share of children in households with below-poverty income to child food-insecurity rate to share of maltreated children.  Welfare of Children in Iowa (1=Most; 25=Avg.):  39th– % ...read more
    Categories: News
    Monday, October 30, 2017
    It’s uncertain whether the Trump administration can resolve its negotiating differences with Mexico and Canada in regard to NAFTA. What is becoming clear, though, is that a failure of negotiations and a U.S. attempt to withdraw from the agreement would raise big complications and concerns, including for Midlands agriculture. First, there’s considerable debate over how much legal authority a ...read more
    Categories: News, Political, Economic
    Monday, October 30, 2017
    GrowthZone, provider of ChamberMaster, the market leader of member management software and services, recently announced the winners of its 2017 Chamber Innovation Awards competition.  The competition recognizes innovative programs, events, and ideas that challenge the status quo. Entries were received from a wide array of chamber organizations of all sizes and from across the globe.  The ...read more
    Categories: News, Press Release, Chamber
    Friday, October 27, 2017
    In early October three ICCE members travelled to Washington, DC to attend the Fall Board of Regents meeting for the US Chamber Foundation’s Institute for Organization Management. Institute is the premier nonprofit professional development program for association, chamber, and nonprofit professionals fostering individual growth through interactive learning and networking opportunities. ICCE Chair ...read more
    Categories: Events & Training, News, Human Interest
    Friday, October 27, 2017
    November 2017Instilling a Corporate CultureBob Harris, CAE I suggest that boards adopt a corporate culture to increase their impact and outcomes. Corporate culture can be described as the beliefs and behaviors that determine how volunteers and staff interact and handle decisions. Some nonprofit boards refute the idea of corporate culture. Association executives ask, “Are you suggesting we adopt ...read more
    Categories: News, Chamber, Papers/Research
    Friday, October 20, 2017
    Women make up just 22 percent of CEOs and less than 20 percent of corporate boards of directors. The executive female talent gap is real, and that’s why it’s critical to champion women throughout their careers.   Having more women in leadership helps our economy grow strong and our communities become even more vibrant. In Iowa, we’re fortunate to have a public-private initiative called the ...read more
    Categories: News, Political, Economic
    Friday, October 20, 2017
    As chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, one of the congressional committees investigating Russian interference in last year's election, Charles E. Grassley is in a better position than most other Republicans in Congress to tighten the screws on the Trump administration. So President Trump raised eyebrows when he telephoned the senior senator from Iowa at the end of August. The topic of ...read more
    Categories: Economic, Political, News
    Friday, October 20, 2017
    The National Fund for Workforce Solutions has awarded Central Iowa Works a three-year, $300,000 grant to support efforts in Greater Des Moines to expand opportunities in the retail sector. Greater Des Moines is one of three metro areas, along with Baltimore and Seattle, to receive the grants, which were made possible by a grant to the National Fund by Walmart Stores Inc. The grants will be given ...read more
    Categories: Economic, Human Interest, News, Education
    Friday, October 20, 2017
    Iowa Workforce Development expects to collect $1.6 million in new fees from businesses attempting to shirk their unemployment taxes, Radio Iowa reported. The agency has been authorized by legislators to fine businesses $500 if they fail to properly register as employers, and $200 if they send registration paperwork through the mail instead of filing and paying unemployment taxes ...read more
    Categories: Iowa News, News, Political
    Friday, October 20, 2017
    Gov. Kim Reynolds said Tuesday a set of programs designed to encourage Iowans to pursue education and career training opportunities beyond high school is her "top priority" going into the next legislative session.  Among those programs she's championing is a new scholarship and grant program for Iowans who already have earned at least half the credits necessary for a bachelor's degree in a ...read more
    Categories: Economic, Political, News, Education
    Friday, October 20, 2017
    There is a lot of discussion today about some of the tools states, counties and cities use for economic development. Some of the things I hear are inaccurate. As someone who served on the board of the Tax Research Council from the 1970s through the early 1990s, who served for 10 years on the board of the Iowa Department of Economic Development in the 1990s and who today serves on the board of ...read more
    Categories: Economic, News, Political
    Friday, October 20, 2017
    Did you know the way a community takes care of its elders and the walkability of a small town has direct correlations  to quality of life?  On this episode of Did You Know, we visit with Abbie Gaffey, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Community and Economic Development Specialist.  Abbie shares her expertise in community development along with the findings of a recent rural sociology ...read more
    Categories: News, Human Interest, Community
    Friday, October 20, 2017
    In arguing for a bigger slice of the state’s funding pie, Iowa’s public universities have painted themselves as economic engines that launch companies, create jobs, generate resources for scientific exploration and monetize research. A new Board of Regents report backs that up, showing Iowa companies in the 2017 budget year generated $14.1 million in revenue as a “direct result” of research on ...read more
    Categories: Community, Education, News, Economic
    Thursday, October 12, 2017
    A fifth-grade teacher from Pella has been named the state’s History Teacher of the Year. Rebecca Helland, who teaches at Jefferson Intermediate School, was named by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History after being recommended by an Iowa Department of Education committee. The institute’s mission is to promote the knowledge and understanding of American history through educational ...read more
    Categories: News, Community, Education, Fun Facts, Human Interest
    Wednesday, October 11, 2017
    Clinton County joined an Iowa initiative earlier this year aimed at improving economic and cultural vitality for small towns in the county. The Clinton County Board of Supervisors was approached earlier this year regarding the Keep Iowa Beautiful Home Town Pride Program. The program offers a community coach at a two-thirds time schedule. Participants in the program receive a $60,000 grant from ...read more
    Categories: News, Chamber, Community, Human Interest
    Tuesday, October 10, 2017
    Rural Iowa is struggling. Towns and schools are shrinking. And farming, rural Iowa's historic economic mainstay, is going through a downturn that's likely to continue through next year, economists say. What can Iowa do? Iowans offered some thoughts Thursday during an event sponsored by The Des Moines Register and the Iowa Rural Development Council at the Clay County Fair in Spencer. The ...read more
    Categories: News, Community, Economic, Education, Iowa News
    Tuesday, October 10, 2017
    You may have heard of No Child Left Behind but you need to get familiar with the Every Student Succeeds Act. The new law lets states, not the federal government, set the standards to determine whether your child's school is succeeding or not. On Monday Iowa submitted their plan to the federal government that shows how they intend to implement it. Iowa's plan lays out how it will identify ...read more
    Categories: News, Education, Iowa News, Political
    Thursday, October 05, 2017
    Some Iowa industries — manufacturing in particular — could lose workers if federal protections for immigrants brought to the U.S. as children are removed, state business leaders say. President Donald Trump announced recently he will end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, a program implemented under former President Barack Obama. Under DACA, federal law enforcement officials do ...read more
    Categories: News, Community, Economic
    Wednesday, October 04, 2017
    For weeks, Angela Harrington had been getting the same question: when would the Hotel Grinnell open? That answer is now. In an effort spanning at least 10 years, city leaders and Harrington had been trying to figure out how to open a hotel downtown. After the City Hall moved out, things began to fall into place, including an investor partner and some assistance from a state program. “The ...read more
    Categories: News, Community, Economic, Human Interest, Iowa News
    Wednesday, October 04, 2017
    Like our cellphones, the world is continuously “updating” and advancing further into a more technologically based system. In order to remain up-to-date, Iowa’s STEM advisory council works to connect educators and business leaders across the state to move the state forward through STEM programs. STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) has become extremely important in today’s ...read more
    Categories: Economic, News, Education
    Tuesday, October 03, 2017
    Even as the University of Iowa and Iowa State University look to slow years of record-setting enrollment growth, many of Iowa’s private colleges continue the pursuit for more students — and some in Eastern Iowa are reporting success this fall. Coe College in Cedar Rapids, for one, welcomed 446 new full-time students — the largest incoming class in its history, representing a 6.7 percent jump ...read more
    Categories: News, Community, Education, Iowa News
    Monday, October 02, 2017
    Amazon's announcement last week that it would open a second North American headquarters sparked a national competition among states and cities looking to secure one of the largest economic development projects in history. The new headquarters would not replace the current company base in Seattle. But it promises to deliver as many as 50,000 jobs that on average pay more than $100,000 per year. ...read more
    Categories: News, Economic, Iowa News
    Friday, September 29, 2017
    Driving into the countryside surrounding Washington, it is easy to see this is a community and county that values its agricultural roots. One particularly unique feature that helps highlight those roots is the barn quilt tour of Washington County. A joint project between Iowa State University Extension of Washington County and the Washington Chamber of Commerce, the tour features more than 110 ...read more
    Categories: News, Chamber, Community, Fun Facts, Human Interest, Travel
    Thursday, September 28, 2017
    By Amy Gitchell, ChamberMaster  As humans, there is one thing everyone has in common: the need to communicate. Regardless of who you are, what you do, or where you live, your existence depends on communication.  Master effective verbal and non-verbal communication by keeping the following tips in mind: Don’t rushIt’s important to keep things brief, but not at the expense of getting your ...read more
    Categories: Education, News
    Wednesday, September 27, 2017
    The Iowa Transportation Commission approved grants and loans for three rail development projects at its meeting today. DOT Rail Development Manager Laura Hutzell says a rail project in north Iowa to bring freight service to Clear Lake was awarded a loan of $655,000. “It actually goes from Emory, Iowa to Clear Lake, Iowa. There’s a rail line up there that is doing some rehab. There’s a section ...read more
    Categories: News, Economic, Iowa News
    Wednesday, September 27, 2017
    Omaha, the largest city in Nebraska, sits on the state's eastern border. Head west on I-80 for 45 minutes and you'll hit Lincoln, Nebraska's second largest city. Both cities have burgeoning tech-startup scenes, are raising capital and funding, and are making impressive contributions to the Silicon Prairie as a whole.  But what the two cities haven't figured out yet is how to work together to ...read more
    Categories: News, Community, Economic, Education
    Monday, September 25, 2017
    Five months after Johnson County's first-in-the-state minimum wage increase was nullified by the Iowa Legislature, many employers are still paying higher wages.  Peter Fisher, a researcher at the nonprofit Iowa Policy Project, said there is a combination of reasons leading businesses to continue paying higher wages despite the law change. Those could include the social benefits of publicly ...read more
    Categories: News, Economic, Iowa News