By DOUG WILSON
Herald-Whig Senior Writer
Klingner and Associates P.C. has bought a state-of-the-art 3-D surveying and scanning device.
Klingner's director of surveying, Steve Mock, said industry equipment has evolved from simple transits with 100-foot steel tapes to highly efficient, laser-scanning systems. The Trimble TX5 Laser Scanning System will continue that evolution. The scanner processes and analyzes large datasets in a quick, accurate and efficient procedure.
With an easy push of a button, technicians can set scanning parameters and monitor the scanner as it surveys from floor to ceiling, then in a 360-degree circle around itself. The scanner has the capacity to quickly capture millions of 3D data points within industry standard formats, which is most valuable when measuring stockpile volumes, surveying underground storage facilities and doing topographic surveys. Mock said the scanner also speeds many tasks compared with previous collection methods, reducing costs.
The 3D data is compatible with leading computer-aided drafting software.
Multiple departments at Klingner and Associates will use the technology. Dave Metzger, chief architect for the firm's architectural division of Metzger Johnson Architects in Burlington, Iowa, sees opportunities to collect 3D building data from building facades and difficult-to-access areas of building interiors to speed renovation designs.
The Quincy Area Safety Council selected Prince-Agri to receive the Safe Employer 2012 Award, presented to an employer who recognizes people as its greatest asset and understands the importance and value of keeping its employees safe.
Criteria used in the evaluation process include:
º Open communication with employees regarding safety.
º Employee engagement in safety procedures.
º Programs that promote safety at work and at home.
º Creation of a positive and safe working environment.
A full review of the Prince-Agri safety program can be seen online at www.qasc.org under the "Community Safety" link.
The Keokuk Area Chamber of Commerce and the Keokuk Economic Development Corp. have scheduled a morning and afternoon session of base work skills assessment leading to the National Career Readiness Certificate.
As a service to job-seekers who are interested, a mini-job fair will be held from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 6, at the Keokuk campus of Southeastern Community College. A dozen area employers will be represented at the job fair.
William Stuflick, director of the Regional Workforce Development office, said the NCRC assessment is "an industry-recognized, portable, evidence-based credential that certifies essential skills needed for workplace success. Individuals can earn the NCRC by taking three WorkKeys assessments: applied mathematics, locating Information, and reading for information.
Two three-hour assessment sessions have been scheduled during the Feb. 6 mini-job fair. The first session will be from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. and the second from 1 to 4:30 p.m. Those who want to take part must register for one of the sessions by calling the Keokuk Area Chamber of Commerce at (319) 524-5055. Seating is limited, and applicants should call early.
The assessments will be free for Iowa residents and will cost $48 for people from Missouri and Illinois.
USDA Rural Development has grants available in Iowa for very low-income elderly homeowners to make home repairs to correct or remove existing health, safety, sanitary and accessibility issues.
Grants up to $7,500 are available to eligible households. The program is for homeowners living in communities of fewer than 20,000 people.
To be eligible for a grant, applicants must own a home, be 62 or older, meet appropriate citizenship status, have no excess assets or the ability to afford a loan, and must have appropriate legal capacity.
A home repair loan program also is available to qualified very low-income households in an amount up to $20,000 payable over 20 years at a 1 percent annual interest rate. Applicants do not need to be 62 to qualify for the loan program but must meet all other eligibility requirements and have a household budget that supports the loan payment.
Examples of home repairs covered by the grants include siding replacement, installation of new windows and furnace, roof shingle repair, health or safety hazard removal, and city water or sewer services connections.
For more information, contact the Quincy Rural Development office at (217) 224-9307, ext. 4, or visit www.rurdev.usda.gov/IL
A poll by the World Economic Forum was edging toward optimism this month. The international Economic Confidence Index rose to 0.43 from 0.38 on a scale from 0 to 1. Improvements in North America buoyed the hopes of several economic experts taking the survey. ... The Consumer Price Index rose only 1.7 percent in 2012, representing a low inflation rate. The CPI rose 3 percent in 2011. ... The Standard & Poor's 500 began last week at a multiyear high and had analysts talking about a new record high in the near future. ... The IRS reports that last year's average income tax refund was about $2,700. That equates to more than four weeks of take-home pay for about two-thirds of American workers. ... China's gross domestic product grew by 7.8 percent in 2012, breaking the three-decade record of annual GDP growth averaging about 10 percent. The world's second-largest economy reported 7.9 percent growth in the fourth quarter. ... India has hiked its import duties on gold to 6 percent from 4 percent. A year ago, the nation doubled the duties to 4 percent from 2 percent. The nation's goal is to dampen demand for gold and reduce the country's trade deficit.
Americans spent an average of 10.14 percent of before-tax income on food in 2011 and 13.02 percent on transportation, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Those are among the lowest costs in developed nations.
A national survey by LearnVest and Chase Blueprint indicates that 26 percent of U.S. workers between the ages of 25 and 32 have $5,000 or less in retirement accounts. The median amount was $12,000.
Corn and soybean prices could be 10 to 15 percent lower by this fall, according to Federal Reserve estimates. Those price forecasts hinge on average rainfall for the Midwest after last year's drought.
"When you look at it, stocks have had an incredible run these past four years, but compared with 12 years ago, it doesn't look so good. The crater we fell into during the financial crisis has been repaired due in part to the Fed's willingness to flood the system with liquidity."
-- Jay Mueller, senior portfolio manager at Wells Capital Management, in a Financial Times story about market attitudes and the national debt ceiling