The Exchange: Minimum Wage, Ho-Chunk Inc, and more

Feb 16, 2017

Coming up on this edition of The Exchange . . .. legislation at the statehouse has been moving fast, cutting budgets, cutting ties and possibly dismantling state workers collective bargaining system.  House and Senate Democrats are raising concerns about the bill. We’ll also take a look at the opposition to Republican efforts to standardize the minimum wage statewide.  Opponents say that could hurt workers in counties where the wage has already been raised. We talk with Chris Hall, Mathew Ung, Ben Kneopfler, and Dave Drew.

And, we talk with Lance Morgan, CEO and President of Ho-Chunk Inc. His corporation has dramatically changed the lives of those living on the Winnebago Reservation, providing not only a wealth of jobs but also infrastructure designed to cultivate community. He is bringing these same philosophies to downtown Sioux City, where passers by can't help but notice the Ho-Chunk sign at the pinnacle of the skyline, as well as the revitalized buildings between Gordon Drive and 4th. 

We return to the topic of community colleges. A recent study released by the Iowa Department of Education shows that community colleges are actually a bargain.  They give back a high return for the state’s investment.  Jeremy Varner of the Iowa DOE says Iowa’s community colleges collectively contributed $5.4 billion dollars into the state’s economy.

Today’s political scene has become very polarized, with pro-and-anti Trump camps and dramatic legislation on wedge issues such as immigration.  However, Dordt College Professor of History Scott Culpepper says back in colonial days, politics was a rough and tumble occupation, and it was where Ben Franklin thrived. Culpepper will hold a discussion on Franklin this Sunday afternoon at the Betty Strong Encounter Center. Culpepper says Ben Franklin grew up relatively poor and had little formal education, but he was highly intelligent and ambitious and went to work for his brother at his newspaper.

The Iowa Women Lead Change conference is being held at the Sioux City Convention Center.  The conference features motivational speakers and networking to empower women and encourage them to take leadership positions. Briar Cliff Professor of Music Sister Mary Day and Western Iowa Tech Dean of Students Trisha Sutherland,  are involved with the organization and the conference.