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5 on Friday: Fuel for Thought February 2, 2018

by Steve Dust, CEO, Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber

Fuel for Thought What's Steve Dust reading this week? February 2, 2018, 5 on Friday

5 on Friday is a two-way street: please send me recommendations on books, reports, articles, blogs, videos, or anything you’re reading or watching that impacts business and the economy.

ONE: Did that Chicken Ever Cluck? Rib Have a Rib in it? Ribeye Have a Bone in It?

This week, Tyson Ventures announced an investment in Memphis Meats, a leader in the development of cultured meats from animal cells. Tyson’s unit joins Cargill, Bill Gates, Richard Branson, and others investing to explore new ways of filling the growing global demand for protein. This is a disruptor/game changer for the commodity ag and food industry that can have implications for the Cedar Valley and Iowa.

Tyson Foods Invests in Cultured Meat with Stake in Memphis Meats, GlobeNewswire, Seeking Alpha, January 29, 2018

TWO: The New Healthcare Model?

This week, Berkshire Hathaway Inc., JPMorgan Chase, and Amazon announced they would combine efforts to address satisfaction and cost in health care service delivery for their 1 million (plus or minus) employees. (Berkshire Hathaway’s local connections include MidAmerican Energy is part of Berkshire Hathaway Energy; part ownership in The Courier’s parent company, Lee Enterprises; and Wells Fargo.) The blog post link below is a combination of the joint announcement. Most of you have likely read about this with great interest, and the author’s realistic observations and projections of the potential disruption caused by an “Amazon Health Marketplace.” Here’s another big move to watch that could have real strategic impact on the Cedar Valley. There’s a lot of skepticism on the street about their ability to address such as big issue with a relatively small number of employees. That assumes it doesn’t launch into a new into Amazon Heath. That’s when it gets interesting for everyone in healthcare.

Amazon Health, Ben Thompson, Stratechery, January 31, 2018

Artificial Intelligence: Fact and Fantasy

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that I was reading Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence by Max Tegmark. It’s about what AI is, generally, and its implications for business and society. That pushed some button and ever since, I’ve been reading the quality info I can find on AI. Here are three items I want to pass along.

THREE: AI Changes Work

My suggestion is to pay a lot more attention to the Three Actions for Shaping the Future than the Five Schools stuff. The action items are more relevant to you and me today as we all figure out the pace and applicability of the early generations of AI.

How Will AI Change Work? Here Are 5 Schools of Thought, Mark Knickrehm, Harvard Business Review, January 25, 2018

FOUR: McKinsey Says AI Study/Tracking is a Time Critical Imperative

This is a very good exam of the impact on various industry sectors. Consumers seem to benefit first, and the real opportunity, to me, appears in the hardware and solutions delivery. Viva la consultants!

Artificial intelligence: The time to act is now, Gaurav Batra, Andrea Queirolo, and Nick Santhanam, McKinsey&Company, January 2018

FIVE: AI Policy

So, what are the policy implications of all this to the economy and the labor force? We’re still arguing about how to keep access to broadband, and how to distribute it. Who’s ready to talk about policy of AI? I’ve found Information Tech and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) – specifically, its president, Rob Atkinson — a very good voice in and on policy for technology topics. Here’s Rob’s recent thoughts on the implications of AI to the labor force and the economy, generally. His good advice: “take a deep breath and calm down” regarding AI’s impact on employment and humanity. Good advice.

Economic and Labor Force Implications of Artificial Intelligence, by Robert D. Atkinson, Information Technology & Innovation Foundation (ITIF), January 25, 2018


Multi-Million Dollar Federal Grant to Support Iowa’s Community Colleges and Job Training Efforts

WATERLOO—An innovative plan developed by Iowa’s community colleges to train thousands of workers in high-demand fields is being recognized today with a $15 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor.

A consortium, consisting of all 15 community colleges in Iowa jointly applied for funding to build training capacity in the areas of Information Technology, Healthcare, Utilities, and Manufacturing – also known as the “IHUM” Network.  Grant funds will be used statewide to create more than 45 additional training certificates in the IHUM targeted areas.

“The 15 members of the Iowa community college consortium are honored to be named as recipients for this federal grant.  This truly was a collaborative effort and we would like to acknowledge our business partners – as well as our state and federal officials for their full support of this statewide workforce initiative. The focus of this initiative is to connect people to jobs and ultimately to expand our skilled workforce,” said Dr. Linda Allen, president of Hawkeye Community College. Hawkeye had an opportunity to lead the consortium of 15 Iowa community colleges to develop and submit this proposal. The College will use its portion of the grant funding to expand its credit and non-credit Industrial Maintenance program offerings.

The IHUM consortium project was one of 71 awarded nationwide under this year’s Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grants.  Created in 2009, this is the fourth and final round of TAACCCT grants.  The awards are used to support community colleges in developing partnerships with employers to educate and train individuals for in-demand jobs.  The IHUM consortium project award is believed to be the largest TAACCCT grant awarded to the state of Iowa from the U.S. Department of Labor.

Through this project, Iowa’s community colleges will be aligning the state’s Information Technology, Healthcare, Utilities, and Manufacturing training programs with industry recognized credentials – such as those contained in the National Association of Manufacturer’s endorsed Skills Certification System.  The programs will assist a number of workers including those that are TAA-eligible, veterans, and other adult workers in need of training.

In addition, the IHUM consortium project will incorporate evidence-based strategies taken from a review of best practices from previously-funded TAACCCT projects.  Those strategies include comprehensive career pathways, use of simulation and technology, intensive student support services, and statewide data related to employment opportunities.

The project was supported by more than 30 businesses and business associations in Iowa.  The funding will be allocated over a four-year time period beginning on October 1, 2014.

Additional information on the TAACCCT grant program and the awarded funds is available in the White House news release: www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/09/29/fact-sheet-vice-president-biden-announces-recipients-450-million-job-dri.


Iowa Health System Changing Name to UnityPoint Health

Waterloo, IA—Iowa Health System (IHS), the nation’s fifth largest non-denominational health system, is now UnityPoint Health (www.unitypoint.org). The new name reflects the way its hospitals, physicians and home care entities are transforming health care delivery through patient-centered coordinated care. The new system name also includes the former Iowa Health Physicians & Clinics (now UnityPoint Clinic), and Iowa Health Home Care (now UnityPoint at Home and UnityPoint Hospice.) In the Cedar Valley, UnityPoint Health includes Allen Hospital in Waterloo, UnityPoint Clinic sites, and Unity Point at Home. It also includes Allen College, Allen Foundation, Community Memorial Hospital in Sumner and Grundy County Memorial Hospital in Grundy Center. The new system name and brand logo were unveiled today. The system name change marks the move from a hospital-centered health care process to one that addresses the total care of all patients, in clinics and hospitals and at home. The move to a physician-led organization focusing on patient care coordination is ongoing. The change to become UnityPoint Health follows several years of innovation and discussions among the organization’s regions, board of directors, physician leadership and management teams regarding health care changes and how to best position the organization for the future. The strategic plan of UnityPoint Health is focused on a new care coordination model, expansion and organizational growth at the system and local level. There will be no change in management, structure or staff involved in this brand change. UnityPoint Health employs more than 24,000 individuals throughout Iowa and Illinois, and each region will maintain its existing leadership and local boards of directors. UnityPoint Health is one of the nation’s most integrated health systems. It includes more than 900 physicians and providers working in more than 280 UnityPoint Clinics; 29 hospitals in metropolitan and rural communities; and home care services. UnityPoint Health includes eight regions named for the largest city within each region, including Des Moines, IA; Cedar Rapids, IA; Dubuque, IA; Fort Dodge, IA; Peoria, IL; the Quad Cities; Sioux City, IA; and Waterloo, IA. ###

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The Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber is a regional economic community development corporation working to increase economic vitality and wealth in the Waterloo / Cedar Falls area and surrounding economic region. The Alliance & Chamber has approximately 800 members that represents over 40,000 employees