ABI Pre-Employment Testing Program March 30 - Monday Memo 3/21/22

March 21, 2022

Next Week: Biennial ABI Program on Pre-Employment Testing

The 2022 edition of the biennial ABI Workers Compensation Program will be presented on March 30th at the ABI office in Des Moines.  The seminar will include the latest information on the status of pre-employment testing (such as drug-testing) processes and what they mean for your company.  The program will also include other information, such as best-practice data from other companies.  

There is still time to register.  To do so, please go to this Summary - Pre-employment Seminar (cvent.com).  Your HR, risk management, or other staff members should find real value in the seminar. 

Please Contact Ask Legislators to Oppose Bills Increasing Insurance Costs

Friday afternoon, ABI Vice President Public Policy JD Davis distributed an email message to the members of the ABI Employment and Workforce Committee.  The message provided information about legislative proposals that could significantly increase your health insurance costs. 

The Iowa House and Senate are moving legislation (SF 2231/HF 2384) that would dramatically increase the costs of health insurance plans for ABI companies and their employees.  The legislation changes the role that pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) play in keeping pharmaceutical costs under control.  For many weeks, stakeholders (including health insurance companies, pharmacies and pharmaceutical manufacturers) were negotiating in good faith to find a solution that addressed many concerns pharmacies have with PBMs, while at the same time not increasing the costs of health insurance plans paid by employers and employees.  ABI was supportive of these talks and ABI remained neutral on the bills but those negotiations have failed and ABI is now opposed to the legislation. 

Find more information here – and take action – here: Campaign Detail | Iowa Votes (iavotes.com).  Your direct contact with legislators is crucial at this time.  Thank you for your help! 

Next ABI Legislative Update Friday, April 1

Speaking of the General Assembly, many of you have been participating in the biweekly legislative updates hosted by the ABI public policy team.  These updates give you the very latest information from the Statehouse.  Information about bills, legislative proposals, state actions, and other matters are covered in each Zoom.  Your specific questions about those topics are also very much welcomed. 

The next update will be held Friday, April 1, at 8:00 a.m. and you and your employees are encouraged to participate.  Crunch time at the Capitol is fast-approaching and there will be a lot to cover.  The members-only update is free as a part of your ABI membership, but please register at Legislative Update (Members Only) | Iowa Association of Business and Industry (iowaabi.org)

ABI/CIRAS Iowa Food Manufacturing Industry Seminar to be Held May 4th

You may recall that ABI and CIRAS (the Center for Industrial Research and Service at Iowa State University) had partnered on producing the Iowa Food Manufacturing Industry Overview and Challenges Seminar.  The event was planned for some months ago, but had to be postponed. 

The seminar now has been rescheduled and it will be held on May 4th at ISU in Ames.  Substantive topics such as supply chains and logistics, government regulations, environmental considerations, and much more will be a part of the program. 

One cool aspect of the seminar will be tours of terrific industry facilities on campus.  The Food Polymer Lab, Meat Science Lab, and tours of other cutting-edge facilities will be available.  Watch for more information soon, but for now, mark May 4 on your calendar.

ABI Executive Committee to Meet in Two Weeks; Board Will Meet in May

ABI Chair Jack Hasken (Jackson Mfg., Maquoketa) and members of the association’s Executive Committee will meet by Zoom in a little over two weeks.  The April EC Zoom meeting takes place the morning of April 7 and committee members can expect to see the usual packet of meeting materials in their email in-basket next week. 

As for the ABI Board of Directors, that body will meet again on May 12.  The meeting will be held at the Gateway Hotel and Conference Center in Ames.  Please stay tuned for more information.

ABI Partners on “Educator in the Workplace” Program

The Iowa Intermediary Network has developed a program to help place your local (or maybe not-so-local) educators in your plant or office.  Educators will gain director knowledge and experience on-site at a business that they can take back to their classrooms.  They will be better able to help students know what it take will be successful. 

ABI is pleased to partner with the Network and with the Iowa Business Council on this terrific summer program.  Click here for more information: Educators in the Workplace (iowain.org).  

IEDA Partners with UNI for Fourth Pandemic Survey

The Iowa Economic Development Authority is once again partnering with the University of Northern Iowa to undertake a fourth edition of a survey to assess the current economic conditions and ongoing impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on Iowa’s businesses and nonprofit organizations.  Please click on this link to complete the survey. 

IEDA will again use the information collected through the survey to inform its public policy and programming in response to the ongoing impacts of the pandemic on Iowa businesses and organizations.  The deadline to complete this survey is Friday, April 8, 2022.  Thank you for your participation in this survey, and in the three previous statewide surveys.  That participation was critically important and provided Iowa with vital information and data.  

Nominate Students for Leadership Iowa and Business Horizons

The ABI Foundation will host Leadership Iowa University and Business Horizons this summer.  Your nominations for these two great programs (and for the 2022-2023 session of Leadership Iowa) are strongly desired.  

It’s easy to nominate and you can do so by going to https://www.iowaabi.org/abi-foundation/about/ and clicking on the program links.  Thank you in advance for nominating participants for each of these important programs. 

NAM: War in Ukraine Increases Uncertainty, Further Snarls Supply Chains

Last week’s Global Manufacturing Economic Update, published by the National Association of Manufacturers, documents positive economic activity… and then notes it was recorded BEFORE Russia began its attack on Ukraine.  Now that the war has begun, manufacturers are experiencing greater uncertainty and see increased issues involving broken supply chains.  Read the report for yourself; simply reply to is message and I’ll send it to you at once. 

Fast Company Honors Pella Corporation

This past Friday, Fast Company magazine announced its annual list of Most Innovative Design Companies.  Number 8 on the list is longtime ABI member Pella Corporation

Pella was selected for its Easy Glide operator system and you can read more about the award here: The most innovative design companies of 2022 (fastcompany.com).  Congratulations to everyone at Pella, including ABI Board Member Denny Van Zanten (Pella Corporation, Sioux Center) and former ABI Chair Myron Linn (Pella Corporation – ret., Pella)

Bill Bywater, Dick Smith, and Kathryn Kunert to Celebrate

Former ABI Chair Bill Bywater (Economy Advertising, Iowa City) and former ABI Board Member Dick Smith (Agri-Industrial Plastics, Fairfield) share a birthday.  Bill and Dick celebrate this Wednesday, March 23rd.  Their birthday is followed on Thursday by the birthday of ABI Board Member Kathryn Kunert (MidAmerican Energy Company, Des Moines). Congratulations and happy birthday to Bill, Dick, and Kathryn! 

In other news, Kathryn was the cover star of this week’s Business Record, in an article about the Central Iowa Water Trails Project known as ICON.  Read it here: Home Page - Business Record.  Congratulations, Kathryn! 

Mississippi River Distilling Heads to Downtown Davenport to Open Second Location

ABI member Mississippi River Distilling Company is one of our state’s fastest-growing businesses.  It was exciting to hear of the company’s expansion by the opening of a second location.  This time, in downtown Davenport. 

If you haven’t visited MRDC’s original location along the river in downtown LeClair, you haven’t seen one of Iowa’s most popular distilleries and tourist attractions.  Look for the new location to be just as popular.  Congratulations to ABI Board Member Garrett Burchett (Mississippi River Distilling Company, LeClair) and everyone at MRDC!  Click here for information about the project: MRDC Opening New Downtown Davenport Location - Mississippi River Distilling Company (mrdistilling.com).

Steffi Lee Marries

ABI policy and communications intern Steffi Lee and her fiancé, Lee Dwyer, were married in Des Moines last week.  Steffi is interning at ABI while attending law school at Drake University.  Lee is a commercial aviation pilot and the couple resides in Des Moines.  ABI is happy and excited by this terrific news; congratulations to Steffi and Lee! 

Roger Lande Passes

It was a surprise to pick up yesterday’s newspaper and read that former ABI Chair Roger Lande (Stanley, Lande, and Hunter Law Firm, Muscatine) had passed away.  Roger died on March 17, but boy, he lived a very full life until then.  To the best of my knowledge, Roger was the first attorney in private practice to chair ABI when he did so in 1991.  Read more about Roger here: Roger L. Lande Obituary | Roger L. Lande Obituary | Roger L. Lande Obituary | (wittichfuneralhome.com)

ABI sends our thoughts and prayers to Roger’s family, especially to his widow, Sarah Lande.  Sarah is an exccpeitonal leader in her own right, and an exceptional lady.  We wish her and her children peace and many fond memories.  By the way, a service in honor of Roger will be held in April in Muscatine.  More details can be found by clicking on the link above.