Iowa Business Council and its members show support and swift passage for USMCA. read more

Republican U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley told Iowa business leaders this week that he supports recruiting more immigrant labor here — as long as he gets oversight measures. 

Arguing they don't have a deep enough talent pool in Iowa, the Iowa Business Council asked Grassley and other members of Congress during meetings Wednesday to support some changes to employment visa rules. 

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The Iowa Business Council called on Congress to proceed with several “thoughtful” immigration changes to help businesses in the state overcome workforce shortages and grow.

The nonpartisan not-for-profit, composed of 23 executives from some of Iowa’s biggest companies, released a list of seven immigration proposals following its third quarter meeting Wednesday.

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The Daily Nonpareil covered our Vision to Vitality event in Council Bluffs on July 30. 

The third Vision for Vitality forum at Iowa Western Community College on Tuesday focused on “Growing the workforce Numbers — Southwest Iowa Regionalism, Recruitment and Diversity Efforts.”

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Georgia Van Gundy talks on Dean and Friends about the upcoming Vision to Vitality event and Future Ready Iowa.  read more

Georgia Van Gundy writes a column about IBC's most recent economic outlook survey. 

As we reflect on state workforce trends and the Iowa Business Council’s (IBC) economic outlook for the year, it’s fair to say while the labor shortage continues to be a priority, the state is in a position of strength.

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Fox News featured two of our members and IBC in a recent story about attracting skilled workers to Iowa, where high-tech companies and startups are starting to grow.

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Mary Andringa writes an opinion piece about how to end Iowa's workforce shortage. 

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Read Dan Houston's opinion piece about our Vision to Vitality event in Mason City and why the state of Iowa needs to focus on collaboration. 

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The IBC's Economic Outlook Survey shares projected trends for the state's economy, which can then be utilized throughout Iowa for business and economic planning purposes. IBC members participate in this survey quarterly.  Check out the full report for the latest anticipated trends in employment, sales, and capital spending. 

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Several IBC members are included on Forbes' Best Employers by State list. 

Silicon Valley startups and established Wall Street stalwarts are often what come to mind as the places where Americans most want to work. But if more than 100 consecutive months of job gains have proven anything, it’s that a wide variety of employers from coast to coast have what it takes to attract and retain top talent.

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Georgia Van Gundy and Debi Durham write an opinion for the Quad City Times. 

A new trade agreement between the United States, Mexico and Canada – known as the USMCA – is critical to the ongoing success of Iowa’s key industries and to overall economic growth across the state. Without this agreement, Iowa’s reputation as a great place to visit, live and work will be in jeopardy.

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Iowa Business Council members reported optimism in the quarterly Economic Outlook Survey, although challenges remain attracting and retaining a quality workforce. read more

Marshalltown has done a lot of work – some it challenging – in nearly 35 years to assimilate the many diverse cultures into its mainstream.


Academicians who have studied Marshalltown’s dramatic change from a predominantly white Caucasian community to one now where Latinos, for example, comprise 30 percent of the population, have used 1985 as a benchmark.

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The IBC's Economic Outlook Survey shares projected trends for the state's economy, which can then be utilized throughout Iowa for business and economic planning purposes. IBC members participate in this survey quarterly.  Check out the full report for the latest anticipated trends in employment, sales, and capital spending. 

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The IBC's Economic Outlook Survey shares projected trends for the state's economy, which can then be utilized throughout Iowa for business and economic planning purposes. IBC members participate in this survey quarterly.  Check out the full report for the latest anticipated trends in employment, sales, and capital spending. 

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In the Iowa Business Council (IBC) quarterly economic outlook survey, members express economic optimism but challenges remain in attracting and retaining a quality workforce. This has been a consistent theme throughout the past year for IBC members, with nearly 70 percent of IBC members citing either engineering, IT or healthcare as key job positions they are unable or struggling to fill within the state.

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Georgia Van Gundy addresses the Cedar Valley Economic Alliance on the 2019 Competitive Dashboard.

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Mike Wells writes an opinion editorial for the Sioux City Journal: 

The time is now: Solving Iowa’s worker shortage must start with partnerships between local communities, leaders and business to attract more individuals to the wonderful state we call home. We know why we cherish this state; let’s show future residents what is possible when they move to Iowa.

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As the largest employer in Waterloo, John Deere Waterloo Works is a member of the Iowa Business Council, which assists some of Iowa’s largest employers in programs to provide work, mentorships and life skills along the way.

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Mary Andringa writes an opinion editorial for the Des Moines Register:

To increase population and diversity, we’re conducting research from around the state and country to evaluate how we can best position Iowa to potential newcomers and potentially implement other states' successful efforts here. 

Over the past quarter century, Iowa has seen many initiatives to grow its population.

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Iowa’s population growth has consistently trailed the national average.  Long-term prosperity will be constrained by a lack of people to fill jobs.  

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Iowa's Competitive Dashboard is the IBC's annual research report that measures how Iowa is competing nationally.  The dashboard provides an overall ranking for five indicators: economic growth; workforce and education; governance; health and wellness; and demographics and diversity. Each indicator consists of five metrics that are averaged to determine Iowa’s overall performance in that category – competitive, average, or poor.

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Georgia Van Gundy writes a quarterly column for the Corridor Business Journal

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IBC members report high hopes for 2019 in the IBC's latest economic outlook survey. This optimism is bolstered by the fact that two thirds of the members anticipate higher sales in the next six months. To support this projected sales growth, 60 percent of respondents expect to add to their workforce, and half project an increase in capital spending. 

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The IBC elected new leadership during the final gathering of its members for the year. Mary Andringa, Vermeer Corporation's chair of the board, will serve as IBC chair alongside new vice chair and president and CEO of Casey's General Stores, Terry Handley.  Both John Sorensen, president of the Iowa Bankers Association, and Georgia Van Gundy, IBC executive director, will continue to serve in their current positions as treasurer and board secretary, respectively.  

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The IBC adopted and announced its 2019 priorities and state legislative agenda following the final gathering of its members for the year. 

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IBC member and Kent Corporation's President & CEO, Gage Kent, has been selected as a 2018 inductee for the Iowa Business Hall of Fame. This well-deserved honor recognizes Kent's outstanding contributions to the development and enhancement of Iowa's business climate.

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The IBC held its third “Vision to Vitality” community forum in Le Mars October 26th at the Wells Enterprises Corporate Office. The free event gave attendees the opportunity to see how Iowa stacks up compared to other states in the IBC’s signature research document, Iowa's Competitive Dashboard, gain insight from Siouxland leaders, learn how the the region is uniting in its efforts to drive economic growth, and discuss potential action items for the community moving forward.

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In partnership with Boone High School, Fareway Stores launched the first registered high school meat cutting apprenticeship in the state, signing its first apprentice to the program on October 24th. This partnership is an example of the innovative ways public and private organizations can work together to prepare Iowans for the future.

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IBC member Hy-Vee was named the 2018 Retailer of the Year by Drug Store News.  This award points to the organization's efforts to innovate and go above and beyond to meet its customers' needs.

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IBC Vice Chair and Vermeer Chair of the Board, Mary Andringa, shared about the important role business plays in investing in the talent pipeline of the future during the Business Record's 90 Ideas in 90 Minutes event. 

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In an op-ed to the Globe Gazette, Bob Ritz, Mercy Health Network CEO, shares how Iowans can work together to addresss the state's workforce challenges. 

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Iowa's economy is at its strongest in 10 years according to the IBC's latest quarterly economic outlook survey. This quarter's index number for capital spending, 70, came in as the highest recorded number for this metric in the past ten years, while the overall index number from the second quarter of this year was the highest overall index number reported in ten years. 

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The Iowa Business Council will hold its third Vision to Vitality community forum in Le Mars, Iowa, on Thursday, October 25, 2018, from 4-5:30 p.m. at the Wells Enterprises Corporate Office Auditorium (1 Blue Bunny Drive, Le Mars, Iowa). This forum will be hosted by IBC Member Wells Enterprises, Inc. Please note the date represents a change from what was initially announced.

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The Iowa Business Council held its second “Vision to Vitality” community forum in Muscatine on September 11, 2018 at The Merrill Hotel and Conference Center. The free event gave attendees the opportunity to gain insight from local leaders, learn how the Greater Muscatine area has been working collaboratively to address its community’s challenges, and discuss potential action items for the community moving forward.

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Principal earned the number one spot on Forbes Best Employers for Women list, beating out 299 other companies. This phenomenal recognition is a testament to the company's commitment to equality and its inclusive company culture.

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IBC member and Kent Corporation Chairman & CEO, Gage Kent, represented Iowa at the White House's "Made in America" event on July 23rd. The event was an opportunity for the Muscatine-based company to showcase the products it makes in the U.S.

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IBC member and Fareway CEO, Reynolds Cramer, hosted the council's first Vision to Vitality community forum in Boone on July 17th to gather feedback from local business owners and community leaders on workforce issues and potential IBC priorities.

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IBC Executive Director, Georgia Van Gundy, discusses ideas on how to bring workers back to small towns in Iowa on "Need to Know with Jeff Angelo." She also shares about the IBC's new series of forums titled Vision to Vitality. These forums aim to start or propel community conversations on local economic growth efforts throughout the state.   

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Iowa Business Council members express continued economic optimism in the IBC’s quarterly economic outlook survey released today, with 90 percent of IBC members anticipating higher sales in the next six months. To support this projected sales growth, two thirds of IBC members expect to add to their workforce, and 60 percent project an increase in capital spending. 

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The Iowa Business Council announced a new series of community forums titled “Vision to Vitality.” The Vision to Vitality forums, which will be held quarterly across the state, will feature the IBC’s executive director Georgia Van Gundy and select IBC member CEOs. The Vision to Vitality forum series will launch July 17, 2018, in Boone, Iowa. The event will take place at DMACC Boone Campus Theatre from 4:00 – 5:30 p.m.

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Vermeer University is an all-encompassing program designed to help retain, promote and educate Vermeer employees. It's a great example of an innovative approach to addressing workforce challenges. 

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Iowa Business Council members are leaders in Iowa and in the U.S.  In fact, seven IBC members were recognized on the 2018 "America's Best Employers" lists released by Forbes.

Congratulations Principal, University of Iowa HealthCare, Hy-Vee, Pella Corporation, Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Wells Enterprises, and Meredith Corporation on this exciting recognition.

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Reynolds Cramer, Fareway CEO, shares how his company & IBC members are preparing Iowans for the careers of tomorrow in an op-ed to the Ames Tribune 

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Vermeer Corporation signs its first student for its welding apprenticeship program through the Pella Career Academy, which is to begin this summer. 

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Iowa's largest employers expect continued growth for the 2018 economy, with 80 percent of the Iowa Business Council members anticipating higher sales in the next six months. To support this projected growth, IBC members expect increases in both capital spending and employment. 

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After unanamiously passing through both the House and the Senate, Gov. Reynolds signed the Future Ready Iowa bill during the Future Ready Iowa Summit on April 3rd.

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In its 2019 edition of Best Graduate Schools, U.S. News and World Report has once again ranked the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine among the nation’s best medical schools. Carver College of Medicine was ranked for both its research and primary care missions—number 21 in primary care and number 32 in research. The research ranking is an improvement from the 2018 ranking of number 35.

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Principal earned spots on both the Working Mother 100 Best Companies and the NAFE Top Companies for Executive Women lists - another great example of an IBC member leading the way.

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Infrastructure, health care, and education lead Iowa to the number 1 spot in the Best States Ranking by U.S. News and World Report. 

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Mike Wells, President & CEO for Wells Enterprises, recently shared some advice on how Iowa can continue to prosper as a state in an op-ed to the Sioux City Journal.  

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Our Executive Director, Georgia Van Gundy, was live on "In the Know with Jeff Angelo" from WHO Radio to discuss the results from the 2018 Iowa's Competitive Dashboard. Check out the broadcast to find out what this year's results mean for Iowa. (Interview starts at 20:40 in the recording).

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Congratulations to two of our members - Deere & Company and Principal - for being named among the World’s Most Ethical Companies by the Ethisphere Institute. The list of awardees was announced mid-February with 35 companies from 23 countries receiving this recognition. We are extremely excited to have two companies from our council recognized in this way. 

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Our very own Executive Director, Georgia Van Gundy, was interviewed on WHO Radio's weekly show, Focus, regarding our latest Economic Outlook Survey. Check out what she had to say about the survey's results and the members' concerns regarding Iowa's workforce. (Interview starts at 12:35 in the recording).

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Iowa's largest companies report a positive outlook for the 2018 economy.  According to the Economic Outlook Survey, a majority of the Iowa Business Council members anticipate an increase in sales, capital spending, and employment during the first half of 2018. 

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In order to sustain and grow business and industry in Iowa, we need workers of all skill levels. So, the Iowa Business Council works to align business and education to create a career ready workforce in Iowa. 

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A strong economic climate drives business decision such as hiring, capital investment, availability of jobs and new initiatives.  For businesses to locate, expand and thrive in Iowa, we must create an economic climate that drives growth.  Our members, through research and thought leadership, identify public policy initiatives that will strengthen our economic climate.  

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Iowa Business Council members pledged to hire 30,000 interns, externs, and apprentices by 2025 as part of the council's support of the Future Ready Iowa Alliance. 

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