Weekly Update: August 10, 2017

$135,750 in Scholarships Awarded Since 2003

We were putting together some historical data for a few legacy donations recently and the numbers are really interesting.  Founded in 2003, the HBAI Educational Corporation has awarded 140 scholarships amounting to $135,750 to students entering the building trades.  Very impressive!  If you would like any assistance in planning your legacy gifts, please contact Jay Iverson.  The upper left photo was one of our first recipients, Michael Kramer from Earling, IA.

Looking for New Employees?

With our full attention focused on workforce development, we’re oftentimes approached by parents and interested skilled trades workers about where they or their offspring should look for a job.  We immediately say “nearly every one of our member companies are looking for workers” – but let’s qualify that a bit.  If you are truly in the market for employees, please email HBAI Executive Officer Jay Iverson if you would like for your name to be offered to these individuals.  We’re talking higher quality, committed, and potentially great employee material.  It happens several times per month and we’re happy to make the introductions.

Home Equity Used for Business Startup

Equity in a home was used as a source of capital to start 284,618 businesses-7.3% of all businesses in the U.S.-according to a new source of data released recently by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The new data source is the Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs, (ASE), which collects economic and demographic information on businesses and business ownership in all major U.S. industries. The ASE collects data on an annual basis for three years beginning with reference year 2014.

The 2014 ASE shows that the industry average use of home equity as start-up capital lands at 7.3%. Six NAICS industries use home equity at higher rates, notably Accommodation and Food Services, Other Services, Retail Trade, and Manufacturing. These industries similarly experience lower rates of profitability, are often not home-based businesses, and on average assemble $50,000 to $99,999 worth of funding as start-up capital.

In short, equity in homes not only plays a significant role in providing capital to start U.S. businesses in general, it is especially important in helping women and racial minorities in the U.S. start new businesses.  Home equity even plays a slightly above-average role in helping African-American business entrepreneurs, even though (as the Census Bureau’s Housing Vacancy Survey shows) African-Americans continue to have below-average rates of home ownership.

Governor’s STEM Advisory Council announces new co-chair

The Iowa Governor’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Advisory Council on Friday announced its new co-chair will be Roger Hargens, President and CEO of Accumold in Ankeny. He will serve in the role alongside Gov. Kim Reynolds.  Hargens will succeed Dr. Chris Nelson, President and CEO of Kemin Industries. Dr. Nelson will complete his two-year term as STEM Council co-chair in August.

“The Governor’s STEM Advisory Council exists to increase student interest and achievement in STEM and inspire Iowa’s next generation of innovators,” Gov. Reynolds said. “STEM ensures our students are well-equipped for the incredible careers waiting for them across our state.

“Roger Hargens embodies the council’s mission,” she continued. “He strives to recruit, employ and cultivate well-prepared Iowans, including launching the Accumold Scholars program in partnership with Des Moines Area Community College and the state of Iowa. His global perspective, workforce expertise and leadership experience will help take STEM to new heights in Iowa.”

Hargens took over as President and CEO of Accumold in 2000.  In 1995, Hargens started his own company, Heartland Machinery and Sales, Inc., and worked as President and CEO.  He began a 17-year career at Iowa Machinery and Supply Company in 1978, serving in a variety of positions including director regional sales manager and vice president of marketing.

“It’s an honor to join Governor Reynolds in co-chairing the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council,” Hargens said. “I am eager to build on the foundation laid by the governor, her three previous co-chairs and the other visionary, dynamic STEM Council members.  “Young Iowans want to be challenged,” Hargens added. “If we don’t recognize their skills and challenge them, somebody somewhere else will.”

In addition to serving as co-chair of the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council, Hargens also serves on the Iowa Innovation Council, the Board of Directors for the Iowa Association of Business and Industry (ABI) and the Des Moines Area Community College Foundation Board. He is also a lifetime member of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers.

Students Gain Experience, Business Finds Employees

Here was a great story from last Monday at WHO-TV 13 in Central Iowa – it’s exactly what we’re working towards.  You’ll have to wait a smidgeon for the commercial and the discussion on increasing tuitions – but that’s connected with the college debt crisis and the good stuff begins at minute one. It’s very interesting and well done.  It starts off:  From the White House to the State Capitol, leaders are trying to fill what are known as the middle skill jobs.

“More than 60% of all Iowa jobs require more than  a high school degree, but no more than a one or two year education.  We call them middle skill jobs.  I call them great jobs,” said DMACC President Rob Denson.

This is Systems Building Week

Building Systems Week is officially August 7-11. This week-long event aims to educate our members and consumers on the advantages of systems-built homes over traditional stick building.  Prefabricated in an efficient, controlled setting, systems-built homes, which include modular, panelized, concrete, log and timber-framed homes, provide home owners a building alternative that often saves time and money.

For home builders, adopting building systems can alleviate many of the concerns facing today’s housing industry, most notably the cost and availability of labor. With the majority of construction taking place at the factory, systems-built homes require fewer man hours to build once they arrive on site.

Systems built homes also score high on the green-building scale as material waste is significantly reduced in the factory and jobsite. Assembly in an enclosed environment allows systems-built homes to fulfill key components of green building certifications, including the ICC/ASHRAE 700 National Green Building Standard.

NAHB Member Advantage Discounts

NAHB Member Advantage gives members an easy way to reduce expenses, maximize profits and increase efficiency. Through agreements with leading national companies, NAHB offers exclusive discounts on a variety of products and services that can benefit your business, employees and family. In the past year, members have saved over $20M through Member Advantage. For the most up-to-date information about which companies are offering discounts as well as detailed information on how to access the savings, please visit www.nahb.org/ma.

Alliant Energy Stakeholder Group Meeting August 24

Alliant Energy is preparing a new energy efficiency plan to be filed with the Iowa Utilities Board on February 1, 2018. They are in the process of working with stakeholder groups throughout the rest of this year on various elements of our energy efficiency plan.

The first collaborative meeting will review our draft Assessment of Potential results as well as focus on the following customer segments and programs:

  • Residential -prescriptive rebates, audits and new home construction programs
  • Non-Residential and Agriculture – prescriptive rebates, custom rebates,  audits and commercial new construction programs
  • Overarching – low income and financing, behavioral and demand response programs

This collaborative meeting will be held Thursday, August 24, 2017 from 9:00 am to 12:30 pm (with registration starting at 8:30 am) at the Iowa Speedway, 3333 Rusty Wallace Drive, Newton, IA 50208.  Directions, maps, parking and lunch options will be emailed closer to the event.

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