Hoping to do for local union labor what the popular "Shop Local" campaign has done for small business, a Rock Island-based union is rolling out its own campaign: "Quad-City Built. Quad-City Strong."

Leaders of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local Union 25 say the social media campaign is aimed at educating the public and potential customers about the benefits of hiring local labor.

"When out-of-town workers are routinely used to complete building projects, it hurts our community," said Bill Allison, a business agent for Local 25, Rock Island. He said out-of-town contractors and trades might "pay for a hotel room, or eat out a few times. But when they leave, their wages leave with them."

According to Allison, Local 25 wants to raise awareness among those hiring for Quad-City projects and those who patronize the resulting businesses and buildings about the impact of hiring local labor.

The campaign was produced by Nehlsen Communications, Moline.

With the success of nationwide and local campaigns to urge consumers to Buy Local or Shop Small, he said "More people are now making a conscious effort to support local businesses."

Featured on Local 25's website, the "Quad-City Built. Quad-City Strong." campaign spotlights recent projects that have used local labor. It also notes those that have not.

"All we want is the opportunity to bid the project," Allison said. "More often they will find our contractors are competitive if not the low bidder."

To learn more, visit www.lu25.org.

Illinois ag college honors Wyffels

Robert "Bob" Wyffels, co-owner and vice president of production of Wyffels Hybrids, Geneseo, Illinois, has received the highest alumni honor presented by the University of Illinois College of Agriculture, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, or ACES.

The Award of Merit recognizes Wyffels for his outstanding lifetime professional achievement, exemplary leadership and service in professional and community organizations.

"Under Bob's leadership, the company earned an outstanding reputation for seed quality, plantability and germination standards," said Mitch Heisler, Wyffels marketing manager. "Bob has been the driving force behind this reputation and he and his team take great pride in finding new ways to improve processes ...."

Along with his brother, William "Bill" Wyffels Jr., and members of the family's third generation, Bob Wyffels has helped make Wyffels Hybrids one of the Corn Belt's fastest growing seed companies.

The business was founded by his parents, William Sr. and Alma Wyffels. When their father died unexpectedly in 1974, Bob and Bill took over the leadership of the company, which at the time sold seeds in a handful of Illinois counties. From one full-time employee, they have grown it to 135 full-time employees and more than 250 seasonal employees and continue to expand. They now serve corn growers in Illinois, Iowa, southern Wisconsin, southwest Minnesota, eastern South Dakota and the Ohio River Valley.

Wyffels has served the seed industry through his membership with the American Seed Trade Association and Illinois Seed Trade Association. In the community, he has served on Geneseo Park Board, Henry County Extension Board and Henry County 4-H Board.

He and his wife, Vicky, have two children, Rachel and Jacob, who also are graduates of the College of ACES.

ADM lands on Forbes' Best Employer list

Archer Daniels Midland Co., with operations in Clinton and Camanche, Iowa, has been selected to Forbes 2017 list of America's Best Employers.

The Forbes list, compiled with online statistics provider Statista, surveyed 30,000 American employees at large and mid-sized employers in 25 different industries. The willingness to recommend one's own employer was considered to be the most important dimension of the assessment.

"ADM is proud to be recognized as one of America's top employers and a great place to build a career," said ADM chairman and CEO Juan Luciano. "We are committed to developing talent, encouraging diversity and inclusion throughout our organization, and offering employees the resources and opportunities they need to grow and flourish in their chosen career."

ADM employs nearly 32,000 worldwide, including about 850 in Clinton and Camanche area where its operations include a corn wet mill, a cogeneration power plant, a bio-processing facility, a grain elevator, barge loading operations and a large trucking operation.

Biz Bytes is a weekly column by Quad-City Times reporter Jennifer DeWitt. Contact her at 563-383-2318 or jdewitt@qctimes.com.

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