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Tag Archives: talent

5 on Friday: Fuel for Thought November 3, 2017

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

Fuel for Thought What's Steve Dust Reading this Week? November 3, 2017






One: Cedar Valley in Top 100 Places to Start a Biz

The website How to Start an LLC has ranked U.S. metros where it’s easiest to start a business, according to their matrix. The criteria, plus the entire list, is available at this link.

Top Cities to Start a Business, How to Start an LLC, 2017

Two: Your Comment Needed — Future Ready Iowa

I recently linked the Future Ready Iowa Alliance board’s website in this space. The recommendations to achieve 70 percent of the Iowa workforce holding post-secondary credentials are listed there. Your comments are needed. Are the goals on the right track?

Comment on the page at this link: Future Ready Iowa Alliance Final Recommendations

Three: Iowa’s Leading Indicators

The Iowa Department of Revenue publishes a monthly report. Spoiler alert for September: Industrials are good, Ag, not so good.

Iowa Leading Indicators Index September 2017 Report, Iowa Department of Revenue, September 2017

Four: Which Cities Are Attracting Tech Talent?

We’re learning how to attract talented people, as well as businesses to the Cedar Valley. This is an article that features some attributes of (much larger) places where tech-specific talent is willing to go. It’s a slide show, see button at top of web site.

5 U.S. Cities Luring Tech Talent Away From Silicon Valley, Entrepreneur, October 31, 2017

Five: What is a Smart City?

And in the vein of “what does it take,” the talent equation fundamentally depends on quality of place. This is a long think piece by someone paid to think about how to connect a complex system – a city – to meaningful data and information. The role of data, ignored as a frill by many, is essential to the city’s ability to thrive as a service deliverer and keeper of place. For those who volunteer countless hours over many years to improve their cities, and those in city government in any way, this is a good article to crunch through.

The Search for a Theory of Cities, Colin Harrison, Meeting of the Minds, November 2, 2017

Five on Friday: Fuel for Thought

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

You’re changing the way you want to engage with your peers and neighbors, and we must shift with you. During the last week or so, I’ve focused on looking into the changing nature of the work the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber does for you. We have to reflect the conditions in your market and be cognizant of the influences on your business or institution and your customers. Your input on how we execute on these shifts is imperative.

One and Two good documents that summarize current thinking in our industry at the national level.

One: What’s Influencing the Future of Chambers

Horizon Initiative: Chambers 2025 — Eight Influences Shaping the Next Decade for Chambers of Commerce

This links to a summary document from the Spring 2015 issue of Chamber Executive magazine. For more detail, follow the included link to a website with more detail. Eight influences:

  • Belonging and Gathering
  • Communications and Technology
  • Scarcity and Abundance
  • Global Impacts
  • Population Shift
  • Political and Social Fragmentation
  • Resource Alignment
  • Catalytic Leadership

Two: What’s Influencing the Future of Economic Development

Looking Around the Corner: The Future of Economic Development

From the International Economic Development Council, this report examines the emergence of trends and how these can potentially change the economic development industry. Four themes:

  • Demographics
  • Climate change
  • Shifting global roles
  • Technology expansion

Three: Retaining Students is Imperative

Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay

The link above goes to a recent Vox article on a similar topic, regarding why people leave, stay in or return to hometowns of all sizes and the impact of leaving — or not– on the individual, not the town.

I included the article to encourage your consideration relative the strategies to first, retain students as they move through and emerge from Phase 1 higher education or training, and second, encourage former resident young professionals to return. We should recognize, strategically, that the influences and trends discussed in the article will have an impact on our results – and should impact thinking on both timing and description of benefits and opportunities for those coming back to the Cedar Valley.

Four: Millennials Want CEOs to Speak Publically on Social Issues

Millennials Really Want CEOs to Mount their Soap Boxes

The millennials want CEOs to speak up publicly, whether those business leaders like it or not.

There’s a lot to consider in what’s going on and being brought to our attention in the media right now. Here’s a recent article from Chief Executive on the expectations of one market and staff demographic segment for business leaders and owners to speak publicly on issues traditionally not addressed in business communications.

Five: Deere Third-Quarter Earnings

Deere Announces Third-Quarter Earnings of $642 Million

This is a link to the August 18 news release announcing Deere & Company’s third quarter results. Because the information is important to what’s happening in the Cedar Valley, I study these documents and various sources of third-party analysis to get a feel for the sales trends and expectations in the Agriculture and Turf part of the Equipment division.

Amanda Goodman Joins KWWL Family

Amanda Goodman will join Ron Steele next month as co-anchor of the KWWL News at Five, Six and Ten.

A native of Pennsylvania, Goodman has worked as a reporter and anchor for more than 10 years at stations in Texas and North Carolina. She also served as a journalism instructor at West Texas A&M University.

As an anchor and mother, Amanda is very much in tune with issues facing both parents and children. Her AnchorMOM blog, along with numerous stories she has produced over the past few years, focused on important matters for both groups. Goodman’s most significant effort has been “The Bully Project,” a social media- fueled initiative that gave voice to the victims, and held accountable those responsible. “Giving kids who are bullied a voice is the number one priority for me. No child should ever be afraid to ride a school bus, go to school or go out on the playground.”

Goodman looks forward to bringing her passion for news to the Midwest. “I’m incredibly excited to come to Eastern Iowa and be a part of a station and region with such rich history,” said Goodman. “I have been nothing but impressed by the quality and caliber of the people in this organization.”

“It’s not an easy position to fill,” said Dan Schillinger, KWWL News Director. “But Amanda has the skills and the qualities we look for in a lead anchor. Her style and stories fit well with what we do here.”

A mother of two, Amanda and her husband enjoy spending their free time playing sports in the backyard and coming together on Sunday for special family meals.  An avid football fan, Goodman closely follows Notre Dame and the Philadelphia Eagles. “Both of my children were baptized wearing Fighting Irish booties. I look forward to having debates with Mark Schnackenberg about his Steelers.”

“Amanda is an excellent fit for our viewers.” Said Jim McKernan, V.P. and General Manager at KWWL. “She has a solid journalistic background and a level of dedication to causes that matter to so many in our viewing area.”

“As a mom, I have a “vision” of the ideal place my children would grow up in.” Goodman added. “I never truly thought it existed until coming to Eastern Iowa. The moment I stepped off the plane, it felt like home.”

Goodman begins at KWWL on July 8, and will take her place on the anchor desk on July 31.

QNI is a privately held family owned company with roots in the newspaper business dating back to 1835.  Quincy Newspapers, Inc. was formed in 1926 with the merger of The Quincy Herald and The Quincy Whig-Journal.

The company owns and operates NBC affiliates in Quincy and Rockford Illinois, Waterloo and Sioux City, Iowa, Rochester, Minnesota and Bluefield, West Virginia. QNI also operates ABC affiliates in Madison, La Crosse, Eau Claire, Wausau and Eagle River, Wisconsin and a FOX affiliate in South Bend, Indiana.  QNI operates another FOX affiliate in Rochester, Minnesota under a shared services agreement.  QNI also owns and operates an AM-FM radio combination in Quincy and daily/Sunday newspapers in Quincy, Illinois and Newton, New Jersey.

Hawkeye Community College and Target to Host 2,000 Students for STEM Career Fair

September 19, 2012
CONTACT:  Kathy Flynn 319-296-4218


Eighth grades students from all over the Cedar Valley are invited to attend this two-day event with their school districts to learn about the top careers in science, technology, engineering, and math. 


WATERLOO—On Thursday and Friday, September 27 and 28, nearly 2,000 local eighth grade students will arrive on the Hawkeye Community College campus to learn about in-demand careers in the Cedar Valley.  Target, a sponsor of the event for the past four years, will also be providing hundreds of volunteer hours working with the students, teachers, and businesses at the event.  This career fair is set to take place in Grundy Hall on the Hawkeye Community College campus, located at 1501 East Orange Road.

More than twenty presentations will be held as part of this event.  Students will get the opportunity to sample virtual reality technology, hear about a “day in the life” of area professionals, and learn what skills are needed to get hired in today’s high-tech economy.  Students have the opportunity to choose their sessions from a list of opportunities and customize their experience on campus.  Area educators love the fair, because it provides additional information to help students write their “I Have a Plan” career plan, a requirement of all eighth graders in Iowa preparing for high school.

Industries represented at the event include engineering, finance, healthcare, manufacturing, and product development.  School districts who will take part in the event include Waterloo, Cedar Falls, Cedar Valley Catholic schools, and a number of school districts from across Eastern Iowa.

Hawkeye Community College faculty and staff are playing a big part in the event, featuring their most popular programs, providing logistical support, and assisting the presenters in helping to design their activities.  The career fair will begin at 8:30 a.m. and the festivities will be complete by 3:00 p.m. each day.

If more information is needed, please contact Jill Dobson at Hawkeye Community College:   jill.dobson@hawkeyecollege.edu or by phone: 319-240-5494.


Note:  Hawkeye Community College’s main campus is located near the southeast edge of Waterloo, Iowa. There are currently more than 5,900 students attending classes.


Be part of something greater - The Cedar Valley of Iowa

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