CI News

Inspirational Female Leadership in the Hudson Valley

As we celebrate Women’s History Month, we reflect on inspirational leaders who have had an impact right here in the Hudson Valley. HV MFG sat down with Gretchen Zierick who is the president and CEO of Zierick Manufacturing Corporation. Click the article to read more. 

read more »

The Council of Industry’s Collaborative Recruiting Program Is Helping Hudson Valley Manufacturers Find the Talent they Need

“In my previous positions as a recruiter and corporate trainer I had done some research into Applicant Tracking Systems. It occurred to me that the Council could purchase a subscription and make the service available to participating members.”  Hansen said.  “Hiring managers get a system where they can post jobs, sort and track candidates and get other resources and support throughout the hiring process. Posted jobs are distributed to over 100 job boards like: Indeed, Hotjobs, Monster, Zip Recruiter, LinkedIn and Glassdoor.”

read more »

How Do Vacation and Sick Leave Buy-Back Programs Affect the Calculation of the Regular Rate for Overtime Purposes?

The U.S. Department of Labor takes the position that under the Fair Labor Standards Act, paid out vacation time does not become part of the regular rate, but paid out sick time does. Under 29 C.F.R. 778.219(a), if an employee “is entitled to a certain sum as holiday or vacation pay, whether he works or not, and receives pay at his customary rate (or higher) in addition for each hour that he works on the holiday or vacation day, the certain sum allocable to holiday or vacation pay is still to be excluded from the regular rate.” Despite this regulation applying to vacation and holiday time buy-back pay, the USDOL takes an opposite view regarding sick leave buy-backs. In 2009, the USDOL released an opinion letter explaining that it viewed sick time buy-back pay as a non-discretionary bonus because of its link to attendance. According to the USDOL, sick leave buy-backs encourage employees “not to use or abuse sick leave, resulting in reduced absenteeism.” Therefore, like attendance bonuses, sick leave buy-back pay must be treated as a non-discretionary bonus and must be included in the regular rate.

read more »

New York City and State Expand Protections for Transgender, Non-Binary, Gender Non-Conforming Workers

Protections for transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming employees in New York have been given a boost. Significant changes to the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) will expand the scope of prohibited discriminatory conduct. Additionally, New York State has enacted the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA), which went into effect on February 25, 2019.

read more »

NLRB Eases Burden of Demonstrating Independent Contractor Status by Overruling Prior Decision

On January 25, 2019, the National Labor Relations Board issued a decision clarifying the test for determining whether workers are independent contractors or employees. In SuperShuttle DFW, Inc., the Board reversed its 2014 decision in FedEx Home Delivery where it revised the traditional common-law test for determining whether workers are employees or independent contractors. Prior to 2014, the test analyzed whether common-law factors set forth by the Supreme Court showed that the workers had significant entrepreneurial opportunity for gain or loss.

read more »

New York Labor Department No Longer Pursuing Call-In Pay Regulations

After a round of revisions that included several exemptions to the regulations, the NYSDOL has decided to allow the proposed regulations to expire. This development is a relief for employers who would have lost flexibility in scheduling employees and responding to customers’ needs. The proposal also could have had the effect of restricting employers’ willingness to grant employees’ requests for modifications to their schedules or shifts, as doing so might also trigger penalties to employees asked to cover such shifts. The NYSDOL will leave employee scheduling to be determined by employees and employers, at least for now.

read more »

The Magic Question for a Motivating Manufacturing Work Environment

The question you may be asking is “how do you create that engaged workforce that contributes ideas to the company and is motivated beyond the job they’re being paid for?”

Surprisingly, the answer is simple.

You ask.

By asking you give your people the one thing that they, and most human beings crave more than anything, even more than more money in their paycheck.

Autonomy!

read more »

The Blue-Collar Drought

Many people believed that robots and machines would one day take over blue-collar jobs, however, it’s actually resulted in the exact opposite. Artificial intelligence, robotics and the internet have only created more jobs. Find out the causes behind the ongoing blue-collar drought and the initiatives being put in place to combat it. 

read more »

A Family Business Sweeting Up the Hudson Valley and Beyond

Have you ever thought about the manufacturing that went into that scoop of mint chocolate chip ice cream you had after dinner? Star Kay White Inc. is a family owned business that has been making flavoring materials for various food and beverage products since 1890. Read more about them inside.  

read more »

Six Sigma Gives Way to Rendanheyi at GE Appliances

“Chinese Appliance giant Haier (who acquired GE Appliances in 2016) is working to eliminate the sluggish bureaucracy that comes with size. They are employing a management philosophy they call “rendanheyi,” which translates loosely to “employees and customers become one.” An interesting article in Bloomberg talks about the acquisition and introduces us the what rendanheyi is and how it works.”

read more »

Dark Skies – Why is it important and what can you do about it

Light pollution disrupts the world’s ecosystem. According to darksky.org, “Scientific evidence suggests that artificial light at night has negative and deadly effects on many creatures including amphibians, birds, mammals, insects and plants” This includes people, negatively affecting human health, increasing risks for obesity, depression, sleep disorders, diabetes, breast cancer and more. It is also estimated that 30% of all outdoor lighting in the US is wasted or unnecessary, this equals $3.3 billion dollars in wasted energy. New technology can help to conserve this energy and reduce the wasted light.

read more »

SUNY New Paltz Advanced Manufacturing Center receives Central Hudson Development Grant

Earlier this month Central Hudson awarded the Hudson Valley Advanced Manufacturing Center at SUNY New Paltz a $200,000 Wired Innovation Centers grant to enhance the Center’s 3D metal printing capabilities. Learn more in this post. 

read more »

Future plant design links data, operations

Read about how some manufacturers plan to update their facilities and increase digitalization to increase productivity and production quality, provide better work conditions and improve their bottom line in this article from Plantengineering.com 

read more »

Elements of an Effective Internship

The first month of Spring Semester has flown by and college students are beginning to think about summer internship opportunities. Learn more about how to create a successful and mutually beneficial internship experience in this post!

read more »

Elements of an Effective Internship

College students understand the value of interning and getting real-world experience to put on their resumes, but a good internship should be mutually beneficial. Developing a successful internship might seem challenging but there are several best practices that can help guide employers through the process. Find out some best practices for running a summer internship.

read more »

Council Will Use its Collaborative Recruiting Program to Help you Recruit The Best Summer Intern Talent

We know that providing internships is one of the best recruitment strategies a company can have.  It opens a channel from a school to your company, serves as a “get to know you” period where both parties get a chance to see if there is a good fit, while at the same time enables you to get some needed work done at your business. Find out what the Council of Industry is doing to help you recruit interns for this summer.

read more »

New York Legislative Update — 2019 Starts With a Roar

The New York State Legislature gaveled in for the 2019-2020 Legislative Session on January 9, 2019, with Democrats in control of all three chambers of New York State government for the first time since the 2008-2009 session. As expected, the Democrats are flexing their muscles and progressive legislation traditionally stalled in a Republican-controlled Senate has been given new life. For example, two long-stalled progressive pieces of legislation, Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA) and the Child Victims Act (discussed below), were quickly passed by the Legislature.

read more »

OSHA Update: Changes to Injury and Illness Reporting Requirements

Under the final rule issued January 25, permanently removing the requirement for employers to electronically submit Forms 300 and 301, establishments with 250 or more employees are still required to maintain OSHA Forms 300, 300A, and 301 on-site, and OSHA states that it will continue to obtain these records as needed during inspections and enforcement actions. These establishments also are still required to submit reports after severe injuries and to electronically submit to OSHA information from their Form 300A. The final rule also adds a new requirement that covered employers must submit their Employer Identification Number (“EIN”) electronically together with their annual injury and illness data submission.

read more »

Manufacturing Alliance to Focus on Workforce and Taxes this Legislative Session

The New York State Manufacturing Alliance, of which the Council of Industry is a founding partner, is focusing on two issues of vital importance to manufacturing businesses across the Hudson Valley and the State – Workforce Development and Taxes. Learn more about how we're advocating for continued support in this post. 

read more »

Manufacturing Alliance to Focus on Workforce and Taxes this Legislative Session

The New York State Manufacturing Alliance, of which the Council of Industry is a founding partner, is focusing on two issues of vital importance to manufacturing businesses across the Hudson Valley and the State – Workforce Development and Taxes.

On the Workforce development front, we are advocating for continued support of the P-TECH program, Career and Technical Education programs, and community colleges. Of particular importance to the Alliance is the expansion of the hugely successful Manufacturers Intermediary Apprenticeship Program (MIAP).

read more »

State of The State Health-care Roundup

Cuomo has said he supports single-payer at the federal level, but thinks a state-only plan – conservatively estimated to require a $139 billion tax hike – is not practical. Also notably missing from his spending plan was any reform of the notoriously dysfunctional $1.1 billion Indigent Care Pool, which theoretically compensates hospitals for charity care but distributes the money with little rhyme or reason. The health-related proposals the governor did include in his budget were relatively small-bore, such as requiring certain insurers to cover in vitro fertilization, bolstering an existing mandate for coverage of birth control and reinforcing and expanding the state laws that legalize abortion. Meanwhile, his administration’s efforts to control Medicaid costs – a success story in his early years as governor – show signs of falling apart.

read more »