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COVID 19 Update 20.1

McKinsey: Manufacturers Can Follow 5 Stages to Handle the Pandemic

Automakers and other manufacturers should follow the process of resolve, resilience, return, re-imagination and reform, according to this McKinsey analysis. “In addition to dealing with the significant societal changes coming in the next few months, industrial companies may want to consider strategies for addressing some of the persistent issues affecting the sector to avoid the next crisis,” the authors write.

Read the Full Story at McKinsey

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From Today’s Webinar and ESD – Updates Related to the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

  • EIDL Applications– the EIDL application process has been simplified and a new application portal is live on the SBA website right now: sba.gov/disaster. Businesses that successfully submitted an application or uploaded documents late last week via the temporary document upload portal do not have to take additional action as their applications have been received for processing. Anyone that was unable to complete an application on the prior application portal AND/OR did not upload their application to the document upload portal, should restart their application via the new portal.
  • EIDL Advances­- also available now are advances of up to $10,000 on EIDL loans. The form is part of the new EIDL application process above. If approved, these funds can be used for payroll and other operating expenses and will be forgiven. All applicants who successfully submitted an application prior to yesterday received an email notifying them of this.

This Advance may be available even if your EIDL application was declined or is still pending, and will be forgiven.

Small Business Development Centers can help you navigate the system and complete the application. Find your nearest SBDC here 

If you wish to apply for the Advance on your EIDL, please visit www.SBA.gov/Disaster as soon as possible to fill out a new, streamlined application. In order to qualify for the Advance, you need to submit this new application even if you previously submitted an EIDL application. Applying for the Advance will not impact the status or slow your existing application.

Paycheck Protection Program/Stimulus questions:

  • PPP and stimulus related changes will be available in the coming days as SBA completes the rulemaking process, updates procedures/systems, and then onboards lenders. You should complete the EIDL application in the interim. Businesses may benefit from both, so long as they don’t use them for the same purposes/time periods. No duplication of the use of proceeds, in other words.

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Employers Seek Clarity for H-1B Compliance During COVID-19

Employers of H-1B workers are subject to U.S. Department of Labor regulations designed to protect the jobs of U.S. workers. Those regulations require that the H-1B worker perform his or her duties at one or more specific locations at which he or she must be paid at least the same wages as other similarly qualified U.S. workers. In addition, H-1B workers go out of status if their employment is terminated for any reason, subject to grace periods of between 10 and 60 days.

Read More at Our Friend and Associate Member Harris Beach 

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Survey Reveals Top Employer Concerns During COVID-19

Trying to decide whether to pay employees during absences related to COVID-19, was a top concern ( 89%) of respondents to a survey conducted by Littler, an employment law practice.

The report, COVID-19 Flash Survey Report was completed by more than 900 employers based in North America and with operations around the world.  

Read More at Industry Week

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COVID 19 Update 17

President Trump uses Defense Production Act to Require GM to Make Ventilators

President Trump on Friday used the Defense Production Act to compel General Motors to produce ventilators to combat the coronavirus after days of hesitating to use the powers in the law.

The president in a statement said the federal government had abandoned negotiations with the automaker on ventilator production, complaining that the automaker was “wasting time.”

“Our negotiations with GM regarding its ability to supply ventilators have been productive, but our fight against the virus is too urgent to allow the give-and-take of the contracting process to continue to run its normal course,” Trump said.

Read the Story at The Hill

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CI Podcast – the Week that Was

As the COVID 19 crises unfolds the Council of Industry is using all its resources to keep its members up to date with the latest information and resources to keep their employees safe and their businesses operating. This podcast is one of those resources and part of those efforts.

In this episode Johnnieanne Hansen, Vice President of the Council of Industry and Harold King, President discuss the events of the week of March 21st – 27th surrounding the COVID 19 pandemic, its effect on Hudson Valley manufacturers and their employees, and the Council of Industry’s response.

Listen Here 

Listen the Tuesday’ Episode Featuring Ertel/Alsop President and Council Board Chair George Quigley

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Our Partners at the National Association of Manufacturers are Working at the Federal Level to Support Manufacturing

Essential Business Designations and Credentialing Clarity

The NAM last week called on governors, mayors and other local leaders to give manufacturers essential business designations and credentialing. Yesterday, the NAM sent another letter, with the Business Roundtable and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce joining, that called on the nation’s governors to take a uniform approach to essential business designations. We urged them to adopt the Department of Homeland Security’s Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce. They are also calling for clarity and uniformity regarding documentation or credentialing for workers, businesses and their supply chains. The NAM continues to work with association partners (including the Council of Industry)to ensure you can continue supporting our nation during this critical time.

New York’s “ad hoc” approach to essential manufacturing is causing unnecessary disruptions in national and international supply chains.

EPA Issues COVID-19 Enforcement Discretion Policy

The Environmental Protection Agency announced a temporary enforcement discretion policy due to COVID-19 at the NAM’s request. The EPA’s guidance will help manufacturers navigate this evolving landscape, easing compliance uncertainties while ensuring the health and safety of employees, communities and the environment remain a top priority. Send us details of your reporting and monitoring challenges to ERP@nam.org.

NAM Helps Navigate International Trade and Supply Chain Issues

Also on the priority list, NAM is working to address policy and operational challenges impacting trade and supply chains for critical manufacturing products. The NAM is closely monitoring foreign export restrictions and bans on personal protective equipment, health products and other products during the COVID-19 response. We are identifying these country-specific restrictions for our members and sharing them through a tracking document here while also engaging with key stakeholders in the administration and on Capitol Hill to spur action on addressing priority trade barriers ( you can also email your supply chain challenges to hking@councilofindustry.org and he will for ward to NAM and the Department of Commerce.) Consistent with this, President Trump joined the leaders of other G20 countries with a joint statement pledging global cooperation and stressed the importance of minimizing disruptions to trade and global supply chains.

Contact the NAM’s Trade and Supply Chain team if you have questions about export restrictions or intelligence on new or potential export restrictions being imposed by foreign governments.

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NYS Needs Manufacturers Able to Make Critically Needed COVID-19 Supplies

ESD Has reorganized and prioritized its request for supplies and the new webpage is very helpful for those interested in helping.

New York State appreciates the manufacturers who are ready and able to retool to help in producing critically needed COVID-19 supplies—whether you are already making these supplies or need guidance for adapting to do so. We are also looking for manufacturers who can direct us to sources of these supplies. For manufacturers interested in making these supplies, please first review the detailed information below, including new guidance from the FDA and CDC. For most of the critically needed products, you will likely be required to obtain federal certification to begin manufacturing and sales. This page also details the critical medical supplies and personal protective equipment that are needed. Thank you for your help in this effort.

Visit the Site:

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COVID-19 and OSHA Reporting and Recordkeeping

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COVID 19 Update 16

Manufacturing is Essential

Manufacturers across the Hudson Valley, New York State and the United States are mobilizing to supply desperately needed health care equipment and to keep supplying the essentials for daily life – while at the same time keeping our employees and communities safe. We should all be proud of the efforts we are making to end this pandemic.  But we have much more work to do.

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Key Provisions and FAQs from the CARES Act (Fed Stimulus)

The CARES Act COVID-19 relief bill the Senate passed Tuesday night and which the House is expected to pass it today.  Our partners at NAM secured some key wins in the legislation, including new federal loans and loan guarantees to help businesses get through this difficult time and tax incentives to aid manufacturers, such as a new credit for companies that retain workers during a temporary closure.

Read a summary of key provisions in the bill here and an FAQ document about the bill here.

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FuzeHub Compiles Useful list of Resources for New York’s Manufacturers.

Our friend (and Associate Member) FuzeHub has put together a very useful list of resources for New York State manufacturers coping with the many issues arising from the coronavirus outbreak.

FuzeHub COVID-19 Resources for Manufacturers

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COVID 19 Related Employment Law Issues Web Conference Essential HR Discussion with Greenwald Doherty

When: Monday, March 30, 2020 at 1 pm
Where: Online webinar/conference call
Cost: No fee to participate

contact abutler@councilofindustry.org for more information.

Register here

Through this discussion with three partners at Greenwald Doherty, participants will learn about best practices for managing the workforce, workplace safety and employer options concerning sick time, FMLA PFL, salary reductions and layoffs.

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China Is Open for Business, but the Post-coronavirus Reboot Looks Slow and Rocky

The Wall Street Journal reports that more than two months after imposing quarantines to counter the coronavirus, China is getting back to work. It is a slow and rocky process, one that rests on the world battling back successfully against the pandemic.

With new infections dwindling, factories are restarting, stores are reopening, and people are venturing outdoors. In some ways, China is where the U.S. and Europe hope to be within weeks or months.

Yet many Chinese factories find demand for their products has evaporated. Consumers in China and elsewhere are reluctant to spend over worries about what they have lost and what lies ahead.

Read More (subscription required)

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COVID 19 Update 15.1

New York State Issues FAQs Regarding the New COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave Law

New York State recently published some answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding the COVID-19 paid sick leave law that was enacted last week. The FAQs clarify some aspects of the law that were not clear from the text of the statute and give some insight into the manner in which the law will be interpreted and enforced.

Read the FAQs

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FFCRA Poster Requirement Takes Effect 4/1
Employers should post Prominently.

FFCRA Poster

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SBA Provides Alternative Site for EIDL Applications to be Filed

As the EIDL applications continue to surge, our Office of Disaster Assistance has provided an alternate method for applicants to submit and upload forms while the application portal is down for maintenance.

Here’s the link to the new application page with instructions for uploading documents:  IMPORTANT: You may have to clear your browser cache if you receive an error accessing this page. The page has links to all of the relevant forms, and I’ve also attached them to this message.

SBA Alternative EIDL Application Site Information

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Westchester County Executive George Latimer, Economic Development Director Bridget Gibbons discuss what the County is doing to assist businesses during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Westchester County Executive George Latimer, Economic Development Director Bridget Gibbons discuss what the County is doing to assist businesses during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Posted by Westchester County Government on Wednesday, March 25, 2020

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Cuomo: Uncertain Economy May Lead To Cuts In NYS Budget

WAMC Reports that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, facing a state budget deadline in less than a week, is out with a new proposal to try to cope as the state faces a multibillion dollar budget gap, and much uncertainty with much of the economy shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Cuomo says he wants to try something that’s never been done before. He wants to pass the budget by April 1, then update the state spending plan quarterly. He would revise the amounts paid out to school districts, local governments, health care providers and all others who depend on state funding, based on how much money the state actually has collected from revenues.

Read or Listen Here:

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COVID 19 Update 15

Fed chairman Jerome Powell: ‘There’s nothing fundamentally wrong with our economy’

Joining TODAY for a rare and exclusive live interview, Jerome Powell, chairman of the Federal Reserve, acknowledges that “we may very well be in a recession, but I would point to the difference between this and a normal recession.” He says “there is nothing fundamentally wrong with our economy” and that the Fed will “aggressively and forthrightly” replace normal lending channels for businesses that have temporarily closed due to the pandemic. He says “there can also be a good rebound” and that the Fed is working to “ensure that it is as vigorous as possible,” adding that “the virus is going to dictate the timetable.”

Watch the 12 minute interview

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COVID-19 to hit state budget hard

The state was facing a $7 billion deficit going into the 2020-2021 budget, which is due next week, but with the coronavirus here, the financial shortfall is expected to be even greater.

State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, in Kingston on Wednesday, said he expects the short-term state budget dilemma to be more troublesome.

“By April 1st we have to come up with a spending plan for the coming year. That’s a very tall order for the legislature and the governor. These numbers are all speculative, but we have to assume in the short run it’s a worst-case scenario,” he said.

DiNapoli said hopefully by this time next year the state will have rebounded, but for now, we will see “severe economic damage.”

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$2 trillion Emergency Aid Package to Pump Billions into New York Economy

The $2 trillion package agreed upon by the Senate will allocate an initial $40 billion to New York State including funds that will go directly to residents, others to business and still other money for hospitals. The Bill is expected to be approved by the House on Friday Morning and signed into law by President Trump Friday afternoon.

Read More

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Labor Department Employee Paid Sick Leave Resources

As part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division has announced the FFCRA’s paid leave mandates will go into effect on April 1, 2020, for companies with fewer than 500 employees. They have also shared fact sheets for how this will affect employees, how it will affect employers and a helpful FAQ sheet for employers. The DOL has also requested that the public submit questions, concerns and recommendations for the implementation of the FFCRA. The NAM plans to submit recommendations, and we encourage you to provide feedback to help shape our suggestions.

This will be one of several COVID 19 Labor related subjects covered in our Webinar with Greenwald Doherty Monday March 31, at 1:00)

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COVID 19 Related Employment Law Issues Web Conference Essential HR Discussion with Greenwald Doherty

  • When: Monday, March 30, 2020 at 1 pm
  • Where: Online webinar/conference call
  • Cost: No fee to participate

Upon Registering your confirmation email will include phone and login information. If you do not receive a confirmation email please contact abutler@councilofindustry.org for the information.

Register here

 Manufacturers are have a great deal to consider as they deal with providing benefits to their employees during the COVID 19 pandemic. This web conference is designed to help answer many of the questions you have regarding state and federal regulations and the labor and employment laws covering the management of benefits during this crisis. Through this discussion with three partners at Greenwald Doherty, participants will learn about best practices for managing the workforce, workplace safety and employer options concerning sick time, FMLA PFL, salary reductions and layoffs.

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COVID 19 Update 14.1

Deal Reached on $2T Coronavirus Stimulus: What It Includes for SMBs

The economic impact of COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus, prompted the Senate and the Trump administration to release a $2 trillion stimulus package intended to bolster businesses and individuals, as many Americans remain out of work because of the pandemic.

What’s in the coronavirus stimulus plan for small businesses?

Read More at Business News Daily

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SBA Offers Disaster Assistance to New York Small Businesses Economically Impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to New York small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza announced today. SBA acted under its own authority, as provided by the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act that was recently signed by the President, to declare a disaster following a request received from Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on March 17, 2020.

NY_16346 EIDL Fact Sheet

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Business Council of New York State Offers an Excellent Explanation of State and Federal Leave Laws

We thank them for sharing!

Business Council of NY Guidance on Leave Laws

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Ventilator Manufacturers Need More Components

Companies such as Royal Philips want to make more ventilators to meet demand caused by the coronavirus pandemic, but they lack enough circuit boards and other parts to do so. US manufacturer Calumet Electronics has gotten orders for tens of thousands of the boards.

Read the Full Story at BNN 

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COVID 19 Update 14

Updated ESD Guidance on Essential Business

Empire State Development wants to reinforce several key messages:

·    If your business function is listed as essential, then there is nothing else you need to do. You do not need to contact ESD for affirmative documentation or email confirmation and, due to volume, ESD will be unable to formally confirm to essential businesses that they are, in fact, essential. Given that you are already essential, you will not receive any further communication from ESD.

·    With respect to business or entities that operate or provide both essential and non-essential services, supplies or support, only those lines and/or business operations that are necessary to support the essential services, supplies, or support are exempt from the restriction. (Our understanding remains that if your operation is going to great lengths to keep employees safe and distanced “business operations that are necessary to support the essential services, supplies, or support” will be broadly interpreted.)

ESD Updated Guidance on Essential Businesses 2020 0324

ESD Essential Business FAQs

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White House, Senate Reach Deal on $2 Trillion Stimulus Package

The Hill Reports that the deal includes $500 billion for a major corporate liquidity program through the Federal Reserve, $367 billion for a small business loan program, $100 billion for hospitals and $150 billion for state and local governments.

It will also give a one-time check of $1,200 to Americans who make up to $75,000. Individuals with no or little tax liability would receive the same amount, unlike the initial GOP proposal that would have given them a minimum of $600.

Read More

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Employment Law Issues: The Council of Industry is Teaming Up With Greenwald Doherty, LLP For An Essential HR Discussion Led by Joel Greenwald

Monday, March 30, 1 pm  Online Web Conference – Audio Only

Register Here

Or email abutler@councilofindustry.org

 

We are living in interesting times, with, it seems, daily changes and challenges for employers under the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses are trying to do more with less—or are shuttering altogether where restrictions have been imposed on their operations. Many employment laws are implicated in the down-sizing, right-sizing, furloughing and laying off being contemplated and implemented. Wage and hour laws, lay-off notice laws, discrimination laws and others can impact employer actions. While trying to act swiftly to preserve business operations, employers need to be sure to comply with the various applicable laws.

Visit Greenwald Doherty’s blog Employment Law and the Current COVID-19 Crisis for additional information.

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Ulster County Businesses Are invited to Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan & the Office of Economic Development’s Zoom Webinar: March 26, 2020 at 12PM

Please join Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan and representatives from the departments of Economic Development, Tourism and Employment & Training on Thursday, March 26 at 12 PM via Zoom Webinar!
Zoom Registration

Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan will give you the latest updates and you will have a chance to ask your business questions to people who can provide you with answers. Information about essential businesses, Unemployment Insurance, possible grant and loan support are among the topics being covered. To ask a question in advance please email: oed@co.ulster.ny.us

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Federal Updates

Labor Department Asks for Input on Paid Leave Implementation

The U.S. Department of Labor will be hosting an online dialogue to provide employers and employees with an opportunity to offer their perspectives as the department develops compliance assistance materials related to the implementation of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. As a reminder, the FFCRA requires all employers with fewer than 500 employees to offer up to 12 weeks of paid leave for absences related to COVID-19. The deadline for submissions is Sunday, March 29. You can provide input here.

Overview of Small Business Administration Loan Program

The Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides targeted, low-interest loans to small businesses that have been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Read the NAM’s overview of the SBA loan process and other programs to aid in businesses’ response to the COVID-19 crisis here.

Overview of Financial Regulators’ Response to COVID-19

Federal financial regulators have taken aggressive steps to respond to the COVID-19 crisis, designed to free up capital and liquidity for small businesses across the country. The NAM has prepared an overview of these programs and regulatory changes as a resource for our members. Read the overview here.

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COVID 19 Update 13.1

Negotiators Near Accord on U.S. Stimulus Package to Combat Coronavirus

An estimated $2 trillion in funds would help buffer the American economy from the consequences of the pandemic.

The Wall Street Journal is Reports that lawmakers, administration officials, and aides said issues surrounding $500 billion in industry assistance loans and expanded unemployment insurance had largely been resolved, leaving a narrow set of unresolved items left to agree to.

The Senate could move to quickly vote on the package later in the day, if an agreement is reached.

 “I believe we’re on the 5-yard line,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) said on the Senate floor. “I hope today is the day this body will get it done.”

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CI Podcast – George Quigley, President of the Ertel Alsop and Chairman of the Council of Industry Board of Directors on keeping employees safe and operations open during the COVID 19 Pandemic

Listen here

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Coronavirus Triggers Hiring Surge at Some Firms

Some businesses are gaining customers because of the coronavirus pandemic and are recruiting thousands of workers to meet demand. These companies include supermarkets, pharmacies, takeout restaurants, delivery companies and medical-equipment manufacturers.

Read More at CNN 

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Manufacturers, Distributors Shift Focus to Hospitals

Cleaning and health care distributors and manufacturers are prioritizing getting their products to hospitals and similar facilities ahead of other customers. Custom manufacturer and 3D printer Proto Labs is also focusing on “projects which are needed to equip our medical system to treat patients with COVID-19,” a company spokeswoman says.

This is also the Case with Council Member Belfor Property Restoration who is focusing all its efforts to support healthcare facilities and first responders. 

Read More at Digital Commerce 360

 

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COVID 19 Update 12.1

Update on NYS Request for Critical Supplies

The Council of Industry has received many offers from members offering to help with the manufacture of medical and PPE supplies.

ESD is looking primarily for:

  • Companies With an existing supply for FDA or other industry-approved/standard personal protection equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers (N95 masks, gowns, etc.)
  • Companies with an existing supply of FDA approved ventilators
  • Companies who already have or can secure on their own FDA or other industry-approved PPE specs and can begin producing this ASAP.
  • Companies who already have or can secure FDA-approved ventilator specs and begin production

If  you can provide any of the above (only if you can provide any of the above) contact ESD

General offers from companies are appreciated by ESD. However, they are swamped and they would like the Council of Industry to sort and organize them to make it easier to prioritize them.  We will be taking the offers to date and placing them in a spreadsheet provided by ESD.  We will do the same for any new offers you send us.

If you would like to make a General Offer please email Johnnieanne Hansen

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Our Good Friends at the Construction Contractors Association Compiled this Comprehensive list of Government Resources Related to Coronavirus and Its Impacts

Government Coronavirus Resources

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DHS announces flexibility in requirements related to Form I-9 compliance

Due to precautions being implemented by employers and employees related to physical proximity associated with COVID-19, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced today that it will exercise discretion to defer the physical presence requirements associated with Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) under Section 274A of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Employers with employees taking physical proximity precautions due to COVID-19 will not be required to review the employee’s identity and employment authorization documents in the employee’s physical presence.

Read More

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NAM/ SHRM Present COVID 19 Webinar

On Wednesday, March 25th at 11:00am EST, SHRM will be holding a joint presentation with the National Association of Manufacturers: “COVID-19 & Manufacturing Operations: Immediate Best Practices. Learn about the steps manufacturers are taking to attempt to limit the spread of COVID-19.”

Register now.

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Six Economic Consequences of COVID-19

The economic and social impacts of COVID-19 are widespread and profound, so much so that it will take a long time to catalogue and assess them in detail. But a number of things with important economic consequences are coming into focus, starting with the fact that near-total shutdowns are compounding overall economic damage. They need to be more targeted.

Read the ITIF Commentary

 

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COVID 19 Update 12

NYS Department of Labor Shared Work Program

Many Council members are familiar with New York State’s Department of Labor’s Shared Work Program, having accessed it in the past.  Shared Work helps businesses manage business cycles and seasonal adjustments. Shared Work lets businesses keep trained staff and avoid layoffs. Employees can receive partial unemployment insurance benefits while working reduced hours. Full-time, part-time and seasonal employees are eligible.

More information can be found on this program here, including an example and step-by-step instructions:

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New York Small Businesses are Eligible for SBA Disaster Loans

Small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, and most private not-for-profits in all Mid-Hudson counties are now eligible to apply for SBA economic injury disaster loans (EIDL).

The SBA can provide up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses that could have been met had the disaster not occurred. Your loan amount will be based on your actual economic injury and your company’s financial needs. The interest rate on EIDLs will not exceed 4 percent per year. The term of these loans will not exceed 30 years. The repayment term will be determined by your ability to repay the loan.

More information on the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans can be found here:

Some key resources:

SBA Disaster Loan Application:

If you have questions, you can reach out directly to the SBA at 1-800-659-2955 or disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

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COVID-19: Employee Benefits Consideration

Associate Member Bond Schoeneck and King (BSK) offer this benefits guide for employers

The swift impact of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in New York and across the country has forced employers to evaluate the impact of the virus on their workforces. This information memo addresses some of the more important employee benefit plan issues for employers to consider in connection with COVID-19.

Read More

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NAM Monday Economic Report for March 23, 2020

Weekly initial unemployment claims jumped from 211,000 to 281,000, the highest level since September 2017. This figure will spike dramatically this week, likely approaching 1 million, with more businesses being forced to close or reduce activity and both firms and consumers pulling back on spending outside of the home. The data released last week foreshadowed the economic damage that will likely emerge over the coming weeks.

NAM Monday Economic Report 2020-0323

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COVID 19 Update 7.1

Cuomo: “no business can have more than 50 percent of their workforce report to work” Does This Include Manufacturing? We want to know too.

Update:

Latest Guidance includes the following language “Exceptions Made for Essential Services — Including Shipping Industry, Warehouses, Grocery and Food Production, Pharmacies, Media, Banks and Related Financial Institutions, and Businesses Essential to Supply Chain”

Still seeking further clarification.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday a statewide mandate that no business can have more than 50 percent of their workforce report to work outside of their home.

During a news conference in Albany, Gov. Cuomo said some of the exemptions to this mandate will be food services and food delivery services, pharmacies, health care organizations, and shipping companies. A full list of essential services will be released soon. 

5:00 p.m. Still no update from the Governor’s office –

We are making the case that you are not only essential but that your facilities are already in keeping with the intent of the order by maintaining adequate space for workers to keep social distance.

While we continue to make the case for manufacturers to be exempt I suggest you begin planning to operate at 50% staffing.  Ideas to get there….

  • Expand the number of people working from home.
  • Multiple shifts (if your headcount is 100 and you can get 20 working from home and then do 2 shifts of 50 during the day you have met the requirements.

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Meet Jacob: Apprentice at Elna Magnetics

 

Jacob has been working at Elna Magnetics for the past 7 months as a Machinist. Elna Magnetics is a custom machine shop producing specialized ferrite cores; they provide custom machining services as well as authorized distribution of an extensive range of magnetic products. They provide their customers with both standard and custom solutions for power, signal, suppression and RFID applications. Jacob’s role as machinist is integral in ensuring accuracy, and when serving the industrial, medical, military and aerospace industries that exactness is incredibly important. He’s responsible for setting up each machine to specific specs and grinding the stones down to precise thousands of an inch to get the desired electrical readings.

Jacob grew up in Saugerties, NY and jumped into the manufacturing industry after graduating from high school. He started his career at Simulaids, a local manufacturer that produces healthcare training aids such as CPR manikins, patient simulators and trauma moulage products. Jacob spent a year at Simulaids exploring several different departments. He gained experience using heat sealers, large machines that use radio frequencies to seal materials together, he was also exposed to CNC machining and programing, and spent some time working in the foam room which ensures that the manikins are the correct texture, consistency and weight. During his time there Jacob got experience in a lot of different areas of the industry and discovered that he most enjoyed the time he spent working with CNC machines.

Before working at Simulaids Jacob was unsure about his career. However, after spending several years working in manufacturing and seeing firsthand the opportunities to learn and advance, Jacob told us that he plans to stay in the industry. He is currently an Industrial Manufacturing Technician (IMT) Apprentice at Elna where he’s further developing his skills and gaining a more well rounded understanding of manufacturing. The IMT apprenticeship is an entry level program for individuals just starting out in the industry and its often used as a stepping stone to the other trades: Machinist (CNC), Toolmaker, Maintenance Mechanic, Quality Assurance and Electro-Mechanical Technician. Jacob told us that he hopes to transition into the CNC Machinist trade after completing his current apprenticeship.

Jacob shared with us that he’s learned a lot so far during his time at Elna and the apprentice program has been instrumental in expanding that knowledge even further. He first learned about the program from his boss Jimmy Ferarro who recommended that he join. “I wanted to take on more responsibility in my career and the apprentice program seemed like a great opportunity to learn more and potentially put myself onto a better career trajectory” said Jacob.

Apprentices that are enrolled in the Council of Industry’s NYS Registered Apprentice Program are required to complete a combination of on-the-job training with a skilled mentor, and related instruction courses that teach the more fundamental aspects of the trade. Jacob told us that he’s found the related instruction courses especially helpful. So far he’s taken Manufacturing Math Fundamentals and Introduction to Mechanical Properties through Tooling-U, an online learning platform designed for the manufacturing industry. He told us that he’s been able to proactively apply the knowledge he’s gained from those courses in his day-to-day responsibilities at Elna. He said, “Through the testing in Tooling-U I definitely have a better understanding of the industry and my current role.”

Jacob also plans to take advantage of the related instruction courses offered through SUNY Ulster. Through the SUNY Apprenticeship Grant, SUNY Ulster allows registered apprentices to take up to $5,000 worth of trade-related classes for free. Many apprentices have taken advantage of this program by enrolling in their Advanced Manufacturing Program, and Jacob hopes to do the same. 

You can learn more about Elna Magnetics in the latest issue of HV Mfg Magazine HERE and on the Council of Industry Podcast HERE.

If you are a manufacturing employer or a potential apprentice click here for more information or contact Johnnieanne Hansen at (845) 565-1355 or jhansen@councilofindustry.org to discuss details, requirements and potential opportunities.

 

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FIRST Robotics Will Hold a Regional Competition at Rockland Community College

 

Imagine a competition where of teams excited, technology-driven high school students compete head to head with robots they have designed, built and programmed themselves. Imagine hundreds of such teams competing in the Hudson Valley over a single weekend for the chance to advance to compete in front of 70,000 people in April at the FIRST Championship in Houston and again in May in Detroit. You don’t have to imagine it – it is real and will happen March 19 -20, 2020 at the Rockland Community College Athletic Center and you can be a part of it. Click here for event information.

FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) was founded by inventor Dean Kamen in 1989 and is the world’s leading youth serving nonprofit advancing science, technology, engineering, and math. This program inspires students in grades K -12 worldwide while teaching leadership by engaging them in hands-on robotics challenges. FIRST LEGO League Jr. is for grade K-4, FIRST LEGO League is Grades 4- 8, and FIRST Tech Challenge covers grades 7 -12, while the FIRST Robotics Competition is grade 9 -12.

The program is supported by corporations, educational and professional institutions and individuals who provide mentorship time and talent, equipment, and funding. Participation in FIRST is proven to encourage students to pursue education and careers in STEM-related fields. They develop self-confidence in STEM and real-world skills that can lead to careers in STEM related fields and more. High school participants are also eligible to apply for more than $80 million in scholarships to participating colleges and universities.

Working with professional Mentors participants design and build a robot, and compete in high-intensity events that reward the effectiveness of each robot, the power of team strategy and collaboration, and the determination of students. The competition teams create powerful mentoring relationships between the students and professional mentors, many of which are engineers and other professionals. The event starts with a Kickoff event that unveils a new, exciting, and challenging game. From the Kickoff, teams have limited time to build and program a robot to compete in the game using a kit of parts provided by FIRST and a standard set of rules. This year’s theme focuses on renewable sources of energy and is titled INFINITE RECHARGE.

Perhaps the program has achieved such amazing results because FIRST is known for Gracious Professionalism and Coopertition. If you haven’t heard these terms before – “Gracious Professionalism is a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community. With Gracious Professionalism, fierce competition and mutual gain are not separate notions. Gracious professionals learn and compete like crazy, but treat one another with respect and kindness in the process.” And at FIRST, Coopertition is “displaying unqualified kindness and respect in the face of fierce competition.” Coopertition is founded on the concept and a philosophy that teams can and should help and cooperate with each other even as they compete. Coopertition involves learning from teammates. It is teaching teammates. It is learning from Mentors. And it is managing and being managed. Coopertition means competing always, but assisting and enabling others when you can.

Last year nearly 100,000 high school students on 3,940 FIRST Robotics Competition teams took part in 100 district events, 11 District Championships, and 62 Regional Events (in the U.S., Australia, Canada, Israel, Mexico, and Turkey), and the FIRST Championship. Teams are comprised of professional mentors and 10 or more student members in grades 9-12. In addition, each FIRST team has one or more sponsors. Those sponsors include companies, universities, or professional organizations that donate their time, talent, funds, equipment, and much more to the team effort.

FIRST is a volunteer driven organization with more than 255,000 volunteer roles filled in the 2017-18 season. There are several FIRST programs in the Hudson Valley and opportunities for anyone reading this to become a volunteer. Many of the technical roles may require some experience and training but there are opportunities for safety advisors, field set-up, field re-set and similar tasks that can be a good fit for a first-time technical volunteer. Interested volunteers can visit the FIRST Inspires website HERE for more information about how to become a mentor, coach, or event volunteer.

Your company can also support the Regional Competition by participating in the College and Career Fair planned for the first day of the competition, March 19, 2020.  Your participation will highlight the many career options open to these highly motivated students in manufacturing.

For more information visit the FIRST Inspire website HERE.

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Wage and Benefit Survey 2019 Executive Summery

Twenty-three companies reported data to the 2019 Wage and Benefit Survey conducted by Marist College’s Bureau of Economic Research and School of Management, and, sponsored by the Council of Industry of Southeastern New York and Ethan Allen Workforce Solutions. Highlights of information collected include the following points:

  • In 2019, 12 companies reported wage increases that averaged 2.9% for the management group, 10 companies reported wage increases that averaged 3.0% for the professional group, 12 companies reported wage increases that averaged 3.1% for the administrative/clerical group, 11 reported wage increases that averaged 2.9% for the technical group, 14 companies reported increases averaging 3.1% for the manufacturing/production group, and 11 companies reported increases averaging 3.1% for the sales group. These were in line with the pay increases observed nationally which came in at 3.2%.
  • For 2020, companies reporting planned increases of 3.2% for the management group, 3.0% for the professional group, 2.9% for the administrative/clerical group, 2.9% for the technical group, and 3.1% for the manufacturing/production group and 3.1% for the sales group. Nationally, pay increases for 2018 are projected to be 3.2% to 3.3%.

Sixty-five percent of the participating companies report that they plan on adding employees in 2020 compared to seventy-two percent reporting planned increases in last year’s survey. No survey respondents indicated they had any plans of reducing their workforce in 2020.

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FIRST Robotics Will Hold a Regional Competition at Rockland Community College

Imagine a competition where teams excited, technology-driven high school students compete head to head with robots they have designed, built and programmed themselves. Imagine hundreds of such teams competing in the Hudson Valley over a single weekend for the chance to advance to compete in front of 70,000 people in April at the FIRST Championship in Houston and again in May in Detroit. You don’t have to imagine it – it is real and will happen March 19 -20, 2020 at the Rockland Community College Athletic Center and you can be a part of it. Click here for event information.

FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) was founded by inventor Dean Kamen in 1989 and is the world’s leading youth serving nonprofit advancing science, technology, engineering, and math. This program inspires students in grades K -12 worldwide while teaching leadership by engaging them in hands-on robotics challenges. FIRST LEGO League Jr. is for grade K-4, FIRST LEGO League is Grades 4- 8, and FIRST Tech Challenge covers grades 7 -12, while the FIRST Robotics Competition is grade 9 -12.

The program is supported by corporations, educational and professional institutions and individuals who provide mentorship time and talent, equipment, and funding. Participation in FIRST is proven to encourage students to pursue education and careers in STEM-related fields. They develop self-confidence in STEM and real-world skills that can lead to careers in STEM related fields and more. High school participants are also eligible to apply for more than $80 million in scholarships to participating colleges and universities.

Working with professional Mentors participants design and build a robot, and compete in high-intensity events that reward the effectiveness of each robot, the power of team strategy and collaboration, and the determination of students. The competition teams create powerful mentoring relationships between the students and professional mentors, many of which are engineers and other professionals. The event starts with a Kickoff event that unveils a new, exciting, and challenging game. From the Kickoff, teams have limited time to build and program a robot to compete in the game using a kit of parts provided by FIRST and a standard set of rules. This year’s theme focuses on renewable sources of energy and is titled INFINITE RECHARGE.

Perhaps the program has achieved such amazing results because FIRST is known for Gracious Professionalism and Coopertition. If you haven’t heard these terms before – “Gracious Professionalism is a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community. With Gracious Professionalism, fierce competition and mutual gain are not separate notions. Gracious professionals learn and compete like crazy, but treat one another with respect and kindness in the process.” And at FIRST, Coopertition is “displaying unqualified kindness and respect in the face of fierce competition.” Coopertition is founded on the concept and a philosophy that teams can and should help and cooperate with each other even as they compete. Coopertition involves learning from teammates. It is teaching teammates. It is learning from Mentors. And it is managing and being managed. Coopertition means competing always, but assisting and enabling others when you can.

Last year nearly 100,000 high school students on 3,940 FIRST Robotics Competition teams took part in 100 district events, 11 District Championships, and 62 Regional Events (in the U.S., Australia, Canada, Israel, Mexico, and Turkey), and the FIRST Championship. Teams are comprised of professional mentors and 10 or more student members in grades 9-12. In addition, each FIRST team has one or more sponsors. Those sponsors include companies, universities, or professional organizations that donate their time, talent, funds, equipment, and much more to the team effort.

FIRST is a volunteer driven organization with more than 255,000 volunteer roles filled in the 2017-18 season. There are several FIRST programs in the Hudson Valley and opportunities for anyone reading this to become a volunteer. Many of the technical roles may require some experience and training but there are opportunities for safety advisors, field set-up, field re-set and similar tasks that can be a good fit for a first-time technical volunteer. Interested volunteers can visit the FIRST Inspires website at http://www.firstinspires.org/ways-to-help/volunteer for more information about how to become a mentor, coach, or event volunteer.

Your company can also support the Regional Competition by participating in the College and Career Fair planned for the first day of the competition, March 19, 2020.  Your participation will highlight the many career options open to these highly motivated students in manufacturing.

For more information visit the FIRST Inspire website https://www.firstinspires.org/

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Presentations from the Lower Hudson Valley Adv. Mfg & Energy Bus Tour for Educators

Below are links to PDF versions of the presentations from the Lower Hudson Valley Advanced Manufacturing & Energy Bus Tour for Educators

Westchester Community College Presentation

Safe Flight Business Presentation

Safe Flight Engineering Presentation

Magnetic Analysis Corp Presentation

Con Edison Entry Level Opportunities School Presentation

Southern Westchester BOCES Presentation

PDFs of the handouts from the event

Employment Guide for Advanced Manufacturing in New York’s Lower Hudson Valley

Advanced Manufacturing in New York’s Lower Hudson Valley

Energy & Utility Employment in New York’s Lower Hudson Valley

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Meet Vince – Apprentice at Usheco, Inc.

Vince and Alethea Shuman at Usheco, Inc. 

Meet Vince – a Plastics Injection Molder Apprentice at Usheco, and the first apprentice in the Council of Industry’s Apprentice Program to be registered under this trade. He has many roles including Injection Molder, Operator (CNC & Thermoforming) and Technician. Vince has years of experience in the manufacturing industry and has worked at Usheco for a little over a year running his own department consisting of 6 injection molding machines that he operates daily. Usheco is a manufacturer of custom molded plastic parts. Through the process of injection molding, thermoforming, line bending and CNC routing, Usheco provides a wide variety of parts to customers in various industries including medical, aeronautic and gaming.

Vince was born and raised in the Hudson Valley and jumped directly into the workforce after graduating from Kingston High School. Growing up in a hands-on family that fixed things themselves, Vince told us that he’s always been mechanically inclined. Recognizing that aptitude early on allowed him to take some auto-mechanic courses through the local BOCES program while still in High School. The class taught Vince how to rebuild alternators, do small engine repairs and even install breaks. This valuable experience helped him secure his first job in manufacturing after graduation.

He started out in an entry level position as a Stacker for a local manufacturer. He used this opportunity to get his foot in the door and wisely spent his time cross training in different departments whenever possible. He quickly transitioned from stacking products onto pallets into a Roll Tender position and eventually into the Second Pressman role. This experience kick started his career and he’s remained in the manufacturing industry ever since.  

After years of experience working in every role from Stacker, to Head of Operations and everything in between, Vince has seen many different aspects of manufacturing. He describes himself as an, “experienced assembly technician and manufacturing production operator with skills in quality assurance, soldering, machine operation, excursion and injection molding processes and setup.” However, Vince told us that Usheco has given him the opportunity to learn new skillsets and he loves the challenge. He spent a few months training with an experienced supervisor who helped him catch onto the trade quickly. Since then, he told us that the apprentice program has been instrumental in continuing to improve and expand his knowledge further.

Vince told us he excitedly joined the Council of Industry’s Apprentice Program earlier this year because, “it gives me the opportunity to learn new things at a pace that works for me.” Apprentices are required to complete a combination of both on-the-job (OTJ) training and related instruction (RI) courses. OTJ is automatically earned every day while Vince is at work and learning new skills of the trade, and he takes RI courses through his free subscription to Tooling-U, an online learning platform designed specifically for the manufacturing industry.

“We are happy to have Vince working as a NYS registered apprentice and even more excited that he is on the Injection Molder Apprenticeship track, which was introduced at the request of Usheco for Vince’s position here!” Said Alethea Shuman, VP of Sales and Engineering at Usheco. “Vince joined the team just over a year ago with a background in manufacturing and has taken on the challenge of learning a new manufacturing process, industry and machinery with a positive perspective that is contagious!  It is rare to see Vince without a smile on his face and we are proud to have him as an integral part of our team.”

So far Vince has found the Tooling-U courses to be an important aspect of the program that has allowed him to gain a deeper understanding of the trade. “I’ve been able to apply the knowledge I’ve gained from Tooling-U courses in my day-to-day work, and it helps me complete my tasks more efficiently” said Vince. He’s also taking advantage of the SUNY Apprenticeship Grant, which allows registered apprentices to take up to $5,000 worth of trade-related classes for free. Next month Vince is registered for a Blueprint Reading course at SUNY Ulster where he will learn how to identify essential details and interpret the dimensions and tolerances on blueprints.

Vince is fully committed to the program and the opportunity to gain more knowledge an experience. “This apprenticeship makes me a more valuable employee at Usheco by continuing to teach me new skills,” said Vince. “It’s an all-around great program to be a part of.”

If you are a manufacturing employer or a potential apprentice click here for more information or contact Johnnieanne Hansen at (845) 565-1355 or jhansen@councilofindustry.org to discuss details, requirements and potential opportunities.

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Meet Barbara Reer – Director of Professional Technology Programs at SUNY Ulster

 

Meet Barbara Reer, the Director of Professional Technology Programs in SUNY Ulster’s Continuing and Professional Education Department. Reer has been instrumental in leading SUNY Ulster’s Advanced Manufacturing Program, which helps educate students at all levels about the many opportunities for success available in the manufacturing industry. They offer a wide range of courses taken by apprentices, pre-apprentices, current employees in the industry looking to update or gain new skills, and even interested individuals who have no previous experience in manufacturing.

Reer’s role also goes beyond Advanced Manufacturing to include the Building Science, Web Development and Clean Tech programs. She writes grants, programs courses, seeks funding and works directly with students to build career pathways by assessing their performance in the programs and helping them find job leads. Reer herself has an Engineering degree and was part of the first graduating class with women in engineering at Western New England University. She later went on to work in manufacturing, gaining firsthand experience that she uses to help her students today.

“What I enjoy the most about this job is working with the students and helping them face their challenges.” Said Reer. “Sometimes we get students who tried college a long time ago and it didn’t work out for them, but now they’re coming back and discovering that with the right career pathway they can succeed.” SUNY Ulster offers both credit and non-credit courses to help meet the needs of all their students. Credit bearing courses help students work towards a degree or micro-credential. Non-credit courses provide no physical certification but help build knowledge and improve skills.

Reer told us that its often rewarding to see students transition from one program to the other. She’s seeing a spike in the amount of young people interested in manufacturing and recently helped a student working towards his Associate’s degree in Sound Engineering transition into the Manufacturing Certificate Program. His decision to switch was largely motivated by the steady, well-paying career opportunities available for CNC Machinists. He’ll compete his degree by taking manufacturing related courses as electives and start the Manufacturing Certificate Program the following semester.

Reer also works with local employers and educates them about the opportunities available to train their current workforce. She provides them with information about courses and even helps secure funding when necessary. To help with the cost SUNY Ulster applied for and received the SUNY Apprenticeship Grant, which gives registered apprentices the opportunity to take up to $5,000 worth of trade-related courses for free. They also received funding for the Pre-Apprentice Program, which will pay for $500 worth of courses for students in entry level positions who aren’t yet at the apprentice level.

The biggest hesitation and challenge that Reer sees employers and students facing is finding the time to take advantage of these training opportunities. Attending classes after work can lead to very long days that some students either can’t or don’t want to commit to, and employers often prefer that they don’t take classes during work hours. This is an obstacle that they’re still working on solving, but Reer told us that in an effort to help she actively goes out into the community and establishes relationships with manufacturers to work on developing programs that better fit their needs.

However, Reer told us that when students and employers are committed to the process there is a tremendous opportunity for growth. She shared with us that about 6 years ago SUNY Ulster had a Guaranteed Jobs Program to help build a pool of qualified and skilled workers for manufacturers in the area. They had a student who enrolled in the program and went on to work for Fair-Rite Products as a Welder. He recently returned to SUNY Ulster looking to upgrade his skills and learn more about CNC machining. “It’s so good to see that 6 years ago he took an entry level course with us and now he’s coming back for additional training so he can move up the career ladder at his company.” Said Reer.

As for the future of workforce training, Reer told us that SUNY Ulster is partnering with The Arc in an attempt to duplicate a program being offered in California that helps train students with intellectual and developmental disabilities for manufacturing jobs. This is all part of SUNY Ulster’s plan to reach deeper into the community and build the manufacturing workforce needed in the Hudson Valley. The college is also embracing applied learning initiatives and shifting towards a more hands-on approach to teaching.

If you’re interested in learning more about SUNY Ulster’s Advanced Manufacturing Programs you can contact Barbara Reer at reerb@sunyulster.edu or (845) 802-7171. There are still seats available for an upcoming CNC Programming course starting mid-October and a Blueprint Reading course coming up in November. Please reach out for more information about course descriptions, times and locations.

 

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The Council of Industry offers a variety of resources to help strengthen the Hudson Valley’s manufacturing workforce.

A NYS Registered Apprentice Program helps manufacturers build their workforce from within. The program has two basic elements. The first, On-the-Job Training (OJT), consists of a journey-level, craft person capable and willing to share their experience with an apprentice, in a hands-on manner. The second, Related Instruction (RI), consists of learning more theoretical or knowledge-based aspects of a craft. Currently available trades include: CNC Machinist, Electro-Mechanical Technician, Maintenance Mechanic, Quality Assurance Auditor, Toolmaker and Industrial Manufacturing Technician (IMT). 

The Council of Industry also offers a Collaborative Recruiting Initiative to help members attract the qualified candidates they need to fill their job openings. Participating companies post their job opportunities on our manufacturing-specific job board: HVMfgJobs.com to attract individuals with the skills and aptitude needed to succeed.

For more information about these resources please contact Johnnieanne Hansen at jhansen@councilofindustry.org or (845) 565-1355.

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Episode 2: Pine Bush High School, Integrating Education and Career Readiness at the Highest Level

 

The Council of Industry recently launched a podcast! In this episode Harold King from the Council of Industry interviews Aaron Hopmayer, Principal of Pine Bush High School.

Episode 2:Pine Bush High School, Integrating Education and Career Readiness at the Highest Level

Aaron Hopmayer, affectionately known as “HOP” talked about Pine Bush High School’s success in integrating STEAM into all disciplines and the booming enrollment in their summer enrichment academies (including their newest summer academy for Advanced Manufacturing).

You can learn more about Pine Bush’s Summer Enrichment Academies here:
STEM Academy
Advanced Manufacturing Academy

Hop shares his experience overcoming obstacles, building engagement and generally doing whatever it takes because “its good for kids”. Pine Bush High School will also be hosting an Advanced Manufacturing and STEAM Careers Night on October 2nd from 5pm – 8:30pm designed for students with interests ranging from entry level positions to Engineers. All are welcome for an opportunity to meet with local manufacturers, colleges and trade schools. There will also be a chance to tour Pine Bush High School’s Innovation Center and Fabrication Labs.

For more information on Pine Bush High School’s 2019 Manufacturing Day contact Aaron Hopmayer at: (845) 744-2031 ext. 3601

Aaron Hopmayer was also featured as the Leadership Profile in the Spring 2018 issue of HV Mfg Magazine

For more Council of Industry podcasts follow our SoundCloud station here.

You can also listen to Episode 1: MPI, At the intersection of manufacturing, innovation and family business here. In this episode Harold King and Johnnieanne Hansen from the Council of Industry interview Bruce and Aaron Phipps of Poughkeepsie based manufacturing company, MPI. Bruce and Aaron Phipps talk about what its like to grow up in a family owned business and now work together as contemporaries tackling the challenges and celebrating the successes with their MPI family.

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Meet Sonja Brown – Regional Director at the Workforce Development Institute (WDI)

Sonja Brown and Harold King at the 2019 Manufacturing Champions Award Breakfast 

Sonja Brown is the Regional Director at the Workforce Development Institute (WDI) in the lower Hudson Valley: Westchester and Putnam county. She works directly with employers in the area by “listening to their challenges and finding innovative solutions to help the business get through their struggles.” Whether it’s a non-profit, union, business, government or education provider, Sonja does her part to help them all.

WDI is a statewide non-profit organization with a range of tools – including ground level information, workforce expertise, and funding – to facilitate projects that build skills and strengthen employers’ ability to hire and promote workers. This often fills gaps not covered by other organizations and is accomplished through partnerships and collaborations.

Sonja has always had a passion for helping others. Before becoming a Regional Director at WDI she owned her own business, which used State and Federal funds to help students and their families in Westchester get through difficult times. Sonja recognized that there are many barriers to learning that school districts can’t solve on their own. They need additional support to provide students with the education they deserve. She worked with families who were struggling to the pay rent, feed their children or find stable jobs and helped give them the resources, services and support they needed for their children to succeed at school.

Sonja told us that the experience she gained helping these families prepared her for her job today at WDI. “You see the challenge, you find the solution and you form good networks and partnerships to provide the best support for the problem.” Throughout her time at WDI Sonja has worked with several members of the Council of Industry to help solve their workforce challenges. She told us that most manufacturers come to WDI needing assistance with training employees and updating equipment.

After years of use equipment gets worn down or outdated causing companies to lose their competitive edge, and updating old equipment or purchasing new state of the art machines can be a costly endeavor. Sonja has helped a handful of manufacturers get that updated equipment without messing up their budget, and in some cases the company is even able to bring on more employees as a result. “It’s a win for everyone.” Said Sonja. “WDI wins, the employers win, the employees win and even the individuals looking to get hired win.”

WDI also offers training for current employees and for individuals who are looking to enter the industry. As the manufacturing workforce continues to change and the need for skilled employees grows, Sonja has provided manufacturers with the financial help needed to develop their workforce. Mandated certifications can popup at difficult times but WDI is available to help. Sonja also told us that in the case that WDI’s funding is insufficient for the employers needs she does the necessary research to find additional funding mechanisms to cover the remaining cost.

Sonja shared with us that the application process is so simple even she struggled to believe it when she first started. The entire application is under 6 pages long and it’s all about your company, what you need the money for and your projections on how it will impact the business. A Regional Director, like Sonja, works along side you to fill out the application and in under a week you will know if you’ve been approved. “We know that these employers don’t need help tomorrow, they need help today,” said Sonja, which is why WDI has worked hard to simplify the entire process.

Sonja’s hard work and dedication has been a huge help to the Council of Industry and many of its members. Earlier this year the Council of Industry recognized WDI by awarding them with the Supporting Organization Award at the 2019 Manufacturing Champion Awards Breakfast. WDI was selected because of the significant role that Sonja and Mary Jane Bertram, Regional Director of the Upper Hudson Valley, have played in helping our members address their workforce opportunities and challenges.

If you’re interested in speaking with Sonja about how she can help you, you can contact her at sbrown@wdiny.org. If you’re located in Sullivan, Orange, Ulster, Dutchess, Columbia or Rockland county you can reach Mary Jane at mjbertram@wdiny.org for more information. To learn more about Mary Jane you can read her spotlight article here.

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Check Out the New CI Podcast and Meet Manufacturers, Educators and Influencers from around the Hudson Valley

 

In an effort to expand our reach and spread the word about manufacturing in the region, The Council of Industry is launching a podcast. We’ve been working behind the scenes to bring our members and the community an inside look into the people of Hudson Valley manufacturing.

The podcast space has grown expansively in the US with over 40% increase in awareness since 2017. According to Edison Research, 62 million Americans have listened to podcasts in the past week.

Our mission is to support our members and promote their success.  One important way we do that is to help people get to know all about manufacturing in the Hudson Valley; the companies, the products, the technologies, and the people – as well as its economic importance to the region.  As technology evolves, opportunities to communicate that message change. In the 1930s, we introduced the CI newsletter, followed by www.councilofindustry.org in 1991, and the introduction of HV MFG, The Council of Industry’s Magazine, in 2013. Over the last few years, we added a K-12 outreach resource www.gomakeit.org, expanded our YouTube Channel and formed a 501(c)3, (Hudson Valley Manufacturing Workforce Center); simultaneously weaving our message with the purpose of increasing awareness and promoting the success of our members.

The staff at CI already get to talk to fascinating, impactful people daily – now we can share those stories. Adding the podcast medium will help us broaden our reach and help us share insights, best practices and hopefully some laughs, with a wider audience.  Perhaps the podcast will help bring the already supportive manufacturing community even closer together.

Here’s a Taste of What’s to Come:

Episode 1Bruce and Aaron Phipps, MPI
Aaron and Bruce share details about what it is like to grow up in a family-owned business and now work together as contemporaries tackling the challenges and celebrating the successes with their MPI family. Aaron is heavily involved at SUNY New Paltz on their advisory board and mentoring interns. They speak about the importance of engagement at that level, training and building the next generation of workforce. Aaron and Bruce are fun to talk to and we’re thankful they agreed to be our tester podcast.

Listen to Episode 1: MPI, At the intersection of manufacturing, innovation and family business 

Episode 2: Aaron Hopmayer, Principal, Pine Bush High School
Aaron Hopmayer, affectionately known as “HOP” is top-notch. We talked with Aaron and Kenny Marshall about their success in integrating STEAM into all disciplines, the booming enrollment in their summer enrichment academies (including their newest summer academy for Advanced Manufacturing). Hop shares his experience overcoming obstacles, building engagement and generally doing whatever it takes because “its good for kids”.  Big shout out to Kenny Marshall, STEAM Coach for helping us work through the podcast flow and his patience for working with Harold and me, amateurs that we are. Kenny is a transformational teacher and coach; he was also one of our 2018 Manufacturing Champions. I have a feeling we haven’t seen the last of Kenny in our podcast world.

Episode 3: Julian Stauffer, PTI
We truly enjoyed talking with Julian. He talked about his family history and the changes in leadership over the last several decades. He shared some insight about the importance of an adaptable, diverse workplace and what’s ahead for this growing company in Westchester. Julian and his brother Oliver are gracious hosts and the epitome of leadership in advanced manufacturing. We barely scratched the surface in this podcast, I look forward to chatting with Julian, and Oliver again in the near future.

Episode 4: Joe & Jimmy Ferrara and Stephanie Melick, ELNA Magnetics
Not only were we able to chat with Joe, Jimmy and Steph in episode 4, they are also going to be featured in our upcoming edition of HV Mfg. Magazine. We laughed a little too much while preparing for this podcast and then worked out our jitters together. We talked about the culture at Elna, their efforts to tackle workforce development challenges and the future of the business. This was a fun conversation – hopefully, some of the content actually makes it to the ‘podcast’.

Still to come:

Jenny Clark, Global Foundries
Gretchen Zierick, Zierick’s 100-year anniversary
Meaghan Taylor, Regional Director, Empire State Development

This podcast launches in conjunction with other CI activities including our latest video featuring an Electro-Mechanical Technician Apprentice, Forrest (sponsored by Tompkins Mahopac Bank) and the upcoming edition of the HV Mfg Magazine due out in October.

We are always looking for great content; if you are interested in joining us for a podcast episode or know someone who is particularly interesting, please reach out to jhansen@councilofindustry.org.

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Manual Tools to High Tech CNC Machines: The Future of Manufacturing

For decades, the Hudson Valley has been the center of manufacturing innovation from small family owned companies to large corporations. With increasing demand and pressure from global competitors, companies big and small are looking for ways to create high quality products in the most efficient ways possible.

In order to understand how rapid, the technological growth has been, HV MFG sat down with Allendale Machinery Systems to discuss the advancements within the manufacturing sector. The McGill Family is comprised of three generations Tom, Marty, and Neil who helped build the company to the success story it is today. Tom was stationed in Japan after WWII as part of the rebuilding process.

After his service, Tom decided to pursue a degree in International Relations at Georgetown University. However, he quickly realized foreign service was not what he wanted to do. Thanks to a few connections in Japan, Tom was able to get a job selling Japanese manufacturing equipment in the US. Tom explains that during the time, many manufacturing companies were not fond of buying foreign made machines. However, the low price and high quality compared to similar American made machines, won over customers. With his success, Tom decided to start his own company in 1981, which is when Allendale Machinery Systems came to life.

During this time, Tom had met Gene Haas who was building machine tools. Tom had advised Gene on the importance of focusing on quality and features, something he learned while working for the Japanese company. Eventually, Allendale Machinery Systems began selling Haas equipment exclusively. The business began to grow within the family as Marty joined the company in 1987 after realizing college was not for him.

Today, Marty serves as Vice President and is responsible for selling Haas machines to various locations. In addition to that, Marty also informs his customers on the capabilities of the new machining equipment on the market today. This allows his customers to decide if they want to purchase a new machine entirely or upgrade an existing one. Lately, Marty and his team have been working with the Council of Industry to provide more educational resources to machinists and encourage young professionals to join the trade.

Providing workforce training has been a critical goal of both Allendale Machinery and Council of Industry. Neil, the third member of the family-owned business and Director of Operations at the company, explained the successful business growth to HV MFG. Neil began working at Allendale Machinery in 2006, after graduating from college. He started making inside sales and learning his customer base; finding out their needs and challenges. Neil took the information he gathered over time and implemented a business strategy focused at delivering customers requests. Those efforts have paid off as Allendale now employs 45 employees working at their headquarters and satellite offices. Allendale Machinery has developed such a successful reputation, that their client base now exceeds 800 active customers.

Allendale Machinery has proved that a successful business is dependent on delivering and exceeding the expectations of your clients. Additionally, Allendale knows that the future of the industry is dependent on educating the next generation about manufacturing and the knowledge needed to run these high-tech machining tools.

 

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Tompkins Mahopac Bank Creates Scholarship to Support Students Passionate About Manufacturing

From left to right: Diana L. Pollard (executive director of the Dutchess Community College Foundation), Olti Begaj (scholarship recipient) and Amy Greiner (vice president, commercial lending at Tompkins Mahopac Bank)

Deeply rooted in manufacturing and innovation, the Hudson Valley has seen significant advancement in this industry over the years, including local companies developing crucial smart phone technology and other cutting-edge digital assets. With so much growth and development, Tompkins Mahopac Bank realizes the importance of training, attracting and retaining top talent to fill the growing need for manufacturing jobs and to incentivize people to build lives in the Hudson Valley. To paraphrase the famous Field of Dreams quote, “If you build it, they will come.” If the talent is here, the businesses who depend on this talent are more likely to stay and grow. The more businesses that stay, the stronger the county is as a whole.

To help address the critical need for workforce development in the communities it serves, Tompkins created the Make and Accelerate Scholarship to support Hudson Valley students who demonstrate exceptional talent, drive and a love for manufacturing. The scholarship, in its second year, is now awarded by the Dutchess Community College and Westchester Community College foundations to outstanding students in their technical programs and covers $1,000 of tuition fees. This year’s Dutchess Community College (DCC) recipient, Olti Begaj, is an aspiring electrical technician who is on track to graduate with his associate’s degree in May 2020.

“The [Make and Accelerate] Scholarship has paid for my tuition expense, allowing me to focus on my academic pursuits,” said Begaj. “Without [Tompkins Mahopac Bank’s] donation, I wouldn’t be able to achieve the grades necessary to fulfill my professional ambition of becoming an electrical technician.”

At the beginning of this initiative, Tompkins partnered with the Council of Industry on a workforce development initiative called “Go Make It,” a program that encourages people to pursue manufacturing careers in the Hudson Valley. Through the Go Make It video series, Tompkins helps tell the story of young people starting out in their careers. Additionally, the bank partnered with the Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum and generously invested $20,000 in its plans to expand the Poughkeepsie campus to encourage children to explore STEM careers and the manufacturing space.

As a community bank, part of Tompkins’ purpose is to help communities thrive and grow. One way it accomplishes this, is by leveraging its influence and resources to safeguard customers and create stability for the future. The Hudson Valley is a thriving community to live and work in, and Tompkins has stepped up to ensure that young people see the area’s potential and opportunities for long-term careers. With a goal of igniting and inspiring young people to pursue careers in manufacturing, Tompkins Mahopac Bank’s investment in education and experiential learning is building the pipeline of innovative talent for many years to come.

If you’d like to learn more about Tompkins Mahopac Bank or find out how you can be involved visit www.mahopacbank.com. 

About Tompkins Mahopac Bank:

Tompkins Mahopac Bank, part of Tompkins Financial Corporation, has personalized service, local decision-making and a broad range of services for consumers and businesses. Wealth management services are provided through the offices of Tompkins Financial Advisors. Whether you prefer branch or remote mobile banking, we provide the breadth of services and local decision-making to make what’s possible a reality. Locally Focused. A World of Possibilities. More information is available at www.mahopacbank.com.

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Cambridge Security Seals Get Recognized for an Innovative Design

Cambridge Security Seals is a national leader in specialized seals used for loss prevention and tamper equipment. Located in Pomona New York, this company has built a reputation for product quality and nearly endless options for product customizations; helping match client needs.

Recently, Cambridge Security Seals received a patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for a state-of-the-art tote seal design. While that may not sound exciting at first, this new design allows clients to secure their products while allowing shoppers a user-friendly experience. Little changes in the ergonomics of security/tamper seals can make all the difference when shoppers are looking at a product to purchase. In today’s competitive market, everything counts including tamper equipment that most people overlook but have had a great deal of engineering research go into them.

HV MFG sat down with Elisha Tropper, CEO of Cambridge Security Seals to discuss how his company became one of the fastest growing organizations in the region. Elisha came from a family of entrepreneurs that ran a local business in New York City during the 1940’s. After attending college at Yeshiva University, Elisha began working in the family run business within different departments including operations, sales, marketing, and product management. While he enjoyed the knowledge, he gained about running a company, Elisha knew he wanted to start his own path. He enrolled in classes at Columbia University and received an MBA.

With his family’s support, Elisha took over Prestige Label Company, which made pressure sensitive labels. From there, he gained the experience of taking a run-down business and building it back up to a competitive business model. Eventually, Prestige was sold to one of its customers who was better suited to run the organization.

That’s when Cambridge Security Seals came into the picture. After purchasing their current facility in 2011, Elisha embarked on a journey to revolutionize a business just as he did with Prestige. Knowing how crucial tamper evident labels are to the commerce sector, Elisha went full steam ahead with his ambitious business plan. His hard efforts paid off as today, Cambridge Security Seals runs 10 fully-automated production lines on an impressive 24/7 schedule.

Now Cambridge Security Seals is looking to install their generation 3 production lines which will help fulfill demand orders at a more efficient rate. Looking into the Future, Elisha is looking to acquire new customers and constantly improve their product line to keep up with the demands of their clients. Cambridge Security Seals is a proven example of how ambitious plans and a determined attitude are key factors to building a successful company.

 

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Apprenticeship Obstacles – Build your own workforce

Struggling to find the skilled workforce you need to fill your open positions? The Council of Industry launched a New York State Department of Labor Sponsored Apprentice Program in 2017. Since then we have registered over 50 apprentices from more than 15 companies. There are dozens of reasons to consider joining the program including the opportunity to upscale current employees, attract new talents and offer a New York State credential. Other incentives include free online learning from Tooling-U, $2,000 of New York State Tax Credits per apprentice, the opportunity to take classes at local community colleges for free and the support of Council of Industry staff.

There are currently six registered trades in the Council of Industry’s Registered Apprentice Program:  Machinist (CNC)Electro-Mechanical TechnicianMaintenance MechanicQuality Assurance AuditorToolmaker and Industrial Manufacturing Technician. It typically takes two to four years to complete the program. If you are a manufacturing employer or a potential apprentice click here for more information or contact Johnnieanne Hansen at (845) 565-1355 or jhansen@councilofindustry.org to discuss details, requirements and potential opportunities.

However there are a few obstacles whether they are real or perceived. In this mini-podcast Harold King and Johnnieanne Hansen discuss the obstacles of hiring experienced candidates versus building your workforce internally.

 

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