Tag: 110916

Hawkeye Open House to Explore Apprenticeships

 Hawkeye Community College will host an open house exploring apprenticeship opportunities Tuesday, November 15, from 11:30 AM-1 PM in Buchanan Hall 121 on Hawkeye’s Main Campus, 1501 East Orange Road, Waterloo.
Historically, apprenticeship programs began in construction and skilled trades, but now there are apprenticeships in more than 1,000 occupations, including healthcare, advanced manufacturing, and transportation. The open house will explore successful apprenticeship programs and provide information about creating new apprenticeships, including funding available. Studies show apprenticeships provide good return on investment for workers and employers. Apprentices earn more upon program completion and 90 percent of completers enter and sustain employment.
Featured presenters include Josh Billings, Level 4 HVAC apprentice employed by Independence Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling: John Johnson, apprenticeship program workforce development specialist, IowaWORKS Cedar Valley; Rachel Faust, apprentice sponsor, RainSOFT of Northeast Iowa; Rhonda Hall, business services representative, IowaWORKS Cedar Valley; and Jerry Orr, Hawkeye’s trade and industry coordinator.
There is no cost to attend and a free lunch is provided. RSVP at www.hawkeyecollege.edu/go/explore-apprenticeships or by calling 319-296-4223. The open house is held in conjunction with National Apprenticeship Week.

Meditations – November 9, 2016

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By Christopher Simon
The Power of Posture
“If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all.” ~ Isaiah 7:9 NIV
The Harvard social psychologist Amy Cuddy has done a variety of interesting studies on the power of posture. Her research demonstrates that standing tall and engaging in various “power poses” can actually improve our performance. It won’t endow you with knowledge you don’t already have or allow you to have superhuman strengths, but standing like a superhero will allow you to make the most of your inherent abilities and knowledge.
One of the interesting things to come out of her research is the finding that you can do these
“power poses”in private for relatively short periods of time (as little as one or two minutes) and see improvements in your performance. The standard power pose is simply standing tall, putting your hands on your hips (arms akimbo), pulling your shoulders back (to thrust out your chest), and holding your head up. Pretty easy to do, and we are also warned that “powerless poses,” such as being hunched over and dropping your head can lead to poorer performances.
Let’s face it, when we look and feel confident, we are more likely to perform well, and God wants us to do and be well. So stand up tall and hold your head high. You can do it!


Cedar Falls Cover Crop Field Day is Nov. 17

 Iowa Learning Farms, in partnership with Dry Run Creek Watershed and Practical Farmers of Iowa, will host a cover crop field day Thursday, Nov. 17. The 12-2 PM field day near Cedar Falls is free and open to the public. It includes a complimentary lunch.
Attendees will hear from Black Hawk County farmer Ted Hamer and landowner John Miller about working together to protect the soil though the use of cover crops, strip-till corn and no-till soybeans. Since 1983, Hamer has been using conservation tillage to help reduce input costs in his operation. For the last three years, Hamer has seeded a variety of cover crops on 120 acres, including cereal rye, radish, hairy vetch and rapeseed. Field day attendees will have the opportunity to visit the nearby field seeded with winter wheat this fall.
Also speaking at the field day is Justin Meissen with Tallgrass Prairie Center who is working with Hamer and Miller to add a prairie strip next spring. He will discuss the process of incorporating prairie into row crop production. Stefan Gailans of Practical Farmers of Iowa will share on-farm cover crop research updates and recommendations. Dry Run Creek Watershed Coordinator Josh Balk will provide a project update and upcoming opportunities to participate.
The field day will begin with lunch at Barn Happy, 11310 University Ave, Cedar Falls. From Highway 20, take Exit 220 toward Cedar Falls. Turn north onto Grundy Road for 1 mile and keep right to continue on University Ave for 2.3 miles. The destination will be on the north side of the road. Weather permitting, the program will take place in the nearby cover crop field.
The workshop is free and open to the public, but reservations are suggested to ensure adequate space and food. Contact Liz Juchems at 515-294-5429 or email ilf@iastate.edu.

Practical Money Matters – November 9, 2016

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 By Nathaniel Sillin
How a Little Work Could Lead to Over $1,000 in Savings
How long would it take you to earn an extra $1,000? Contrary to what spam and internet ads tell us, after taking taxes and deductions into account, it’s not an easy task. But you might be able to save over a thousand dollars with a little work. The key is to decrease or eliminate unnecessary recurring expenses.
You can use the savings to build up an emergency fund or invest them for important long-term goals, such as travel or retirement. Additionally, a savings safety cushion can help keep an unexpected setback from ballooning into a financial crisis, such as a broken down car or the loss of a job leading to debt.
First, identify savings opportunities. You may want to start by connecting your bank and credit card accounts to budgeting software, or uploading previous months’ statements and categorize purchases. You’ll get a quick snapshot of your finances, which can help you identify savings opportunities and get a sense of how much money is on the line.
Cancel services and regularly negotiate rates – save over $100 a month. “Cord cutting” is a popular and simple way to save money. Rather than pay for cable or satellite TV, you might choose to cancel your service and opt for lower-cost entertainment options. If you don’t want to eliminate services entirely, you could try to negotiate rates with your cable or internet providers. A successful call could lower your bill by $20 a month or more, saving you a couple hundred dollars a year. A few tips: ask for the cancellation department and request the business match a competitor’s lower price or give you the current promotional rate. Don’t be afraid to try again if you’re not successful – it can take several attempts to connect with a representative who will work with you.
Avoid bank fees – save over $10 a month. Occasionally paying to withdraw money from an ATM or paying fees for a low-balance checking account might not seem like a big deal, but the money adds up. Two ATM fees and a checking-account fee could cost you over $10. Some accounts waive fees as long as you maintain a minimum balance, and there often isn’t an ATM fee for withdrawing money from an in-network ATM or getting cash back when making a purchase. There can be advantages and disadvantages to any account, read the terms of your checking and saving account agreements to understand when, and why, you may need to pay a fee.
Shop for insurance discounts – you might be able to save over 20 percent on your premiums each month. Use online comparison tools to quickly and easily get quotes on auto, renters, homeowners and other types of insurance. Compare the rates, coverage and insurance companies to see if switching makes sense for you. Ask your agent about potential savings if you decide to stick with your current insurer. You might be eligible for discounts you aren’t receiving because the information on file doesn’t reflect your current situation. If not, there are usually discounts for simple purchases, such as a fire extinguisher for your home or an anti-theft device for your car.
Buy products that more than pay for themselves – save hundreds each year. Sometimes you need to spend money to save money. Buying a coffee maker for your home is the cliché example, but that doesn’t mean it’s without merit. Purchasing a water pitcher with a filter rather than bottled water can also lead to immediate savings.
Other purchases are long-term investments. It might take months to break even after buying LED bulbs or upgrading your appliances to energy-efficient models, but after that you could save money on your utility bill each month.
Bottom line. Start your savings effort as soon as possible and you can build your emergency fund, a safety net that can help you avoid stressing about potential financial setbacks. Add it all up and in the end you could find that just a bit of effort leads to over $1,000 in annual savings. It’s a great start.


Donna Weltzin – 80

The children of Donna Jean Weltzin invite you to help them celebrate her turning 80 years young. An Open House in her honor will be held on Sunday, November 13th from 1:30-3:30 PM at the La Porte City Community Center, 300 1st Street, La Porte City.
No gifts, please.


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