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Daily Briefing -208

Cuomo Outlines COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution in New York State

New York State is set to receive 170,000 doses of the initial Pfizer vaccine, as soon as this weekend. Nationwide, six million doses are set to be distributed within days.  The Mid-Hudson Region is slated to receive 19,200 doses.

Nursing home staff and nursing home residents will be the first to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, along with “high risk” hospital workers, which include those who work in the ICU, emergency room, or in pulmonary care. Rules have been established as to who gets the vaccine first in hospitals, and those rules have been sent to the hospitals. The hospitals will choose who will get the vaccine first, based on the high-risk guidelines.

Read more about the distribution protocol at Local Syracuse


COVID and Cluster ‘Surge & Flex’ Update

Governor Cuomo held a remote press briefing yesterday morning providing an overview of New York’s COVID-19 tracking data from Monday, December 7th.  The State’s focus has shifted from positivity rates to regional hospitalization rates.  “Hospitals are going to have to be extraordinarily flexible and nimble to handle the additional case load. Not only will they have to work as a system and balance caseload among their hospitals, but they also need to be prepared to shift patients before they’re admitted, to other hospitals that have a greater capacity,” Governor Cuomo said.

If statewide and regional hospitalization rates do not stabilize indoor dining would be banned in New York City and capacity would be reduced from 50% to 25% for the rest of the state. 

Hospitalization tracking data for the Mid-Hudson region and the rest of the State are below.  (The State is no longer focused on positivity rates, instead it is closely monitoring hospitalizations and ICU capacity)

  • Hospitalizations Statewide
    • Patients Currently in Hospital in Region   =  4993
    • COVID Hospitalizations as Percent of Region Population =  .003%
    • Percent of Hospital Beds Available in Region  = 22%
  • Hospitalizations Mid-Hudson Region: 
    • Patients Currently in Hospital in Region   =  666
    • COVID Hospitalizations as Percent of Region Population =  .003%
    • Percent of Hospital Beds Available in Region  = 25%
  • ICU Beds Statewide
    • Total ICU Beds   =  5975
    • Occupied ICU Beds =  3928
    • Percent of ICU Beds Available  = 36%
  • ICU Beds Mid-Hudson Region: 
    • Total ICU Beds   =  747
    • Occupied ICU Beds =  378
    • Percent of ICU Beds Available  = 48%
  • Transmission Rate (R0): 1.18
  • Statewide Positivity Rate: 5.44%

Here are some useful websites:


White House Return to Stimulus Talks Boosts Chance of Deal

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin made a surprise re-entry into talks on a 2020 pandemic-relief package with a $916 billion proposal that opened a potential new path to a year-end deal despite objections from Democrats over elements of the plan.

After largely leaving the task to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell since Election Day, Mnuchin pitched a $916 billion stimulus plan to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a Tuesday afternoon telephone call, more than a week after she and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer retreated from their previous insistence on a $2.4 trillion bill.

Read more at Bloomberg


Latest Polling in Georgia Senate Runoff Elections – Both Democrats Own Slight Leads

No candidate in either of Georgia’s Senate races won a majority of the vote on Nov. 3, triggering a runoff for both seats, with the top two candidates in each race facing off.  With less than four weeks remaining until the January 5th election the latest polling show very tight races with Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock holding slim leads over their Republican opponents David Purdue and Kelly Loeffler.

Control of the Senate now hinges on the outcome of these two races.

See the polling at 538


Job Openings in U.S. Unexpectedly Rose to a Three-Month High – Mfg Among the Growing Sectors

U.S. job openings unexpectedly rose in October to a level that’s consistent with a gradual improvement in the labor market as employers seek to adjust headcounts against a backdrop of changing demand and coronavirus infection dynamics.  One measure of hiring—the share of LinkedIn members who added a new employer to their profiles, indexed to the monthly average in 2015-2016—rose 0.8% in November, compared with October. The index jumped 18.1% from September to October.

Year on year the number of job openings in October (not seasonally adjusted) decreased to 7.1 million (-596,000) reflecting the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the labor market. Job openings decreased in a number of industries with the largest decreases in retail trade, accommodation and food services, and finance and insurance. Only nondurable goods manufacturing and durable goods manufacturing had increases in job openings.

Read more at Livemint


Deloitte CFO Survey:  Vaccines Make for Optimism 

The percentage of CFOs rating the North American economy as “good” or “very good” rose to 18% in the latest survey from 7% a quarter earlier. That puts North America ahead of Europe, where only 5% of respondents rate the current economy as “good” or “very good,” but well behind China, where 47% see it as “good” or “very good.”

Looking a year out, a full 59% of CFOs expect the U.S. economy to be better. A majority (58%) expect the S&P 500 will be higher by the end of next year, and a similar majority (60%) believe the ten-year bond yield will stay below 2%.

Read more at Deloitte


US Steel to Acquire Big River Steel Entirely for $774 Million

U.S. Steel Corporation announced December 8 that it would purchase the remaining equity of Big River Steel Co. for $774 million in cash after ending November 2020 with about $2.9 billion in liquidity, $1.7 billion in cash. David B. Burritt, CEO of U.S. Steel, called the purchase “the cornerstone of our ‘Best of Both’ strategy.”

The deal, which is set to close in the first quarter of 2021, will combine U.S. Steel’s blast furnaces and steel intellectual properties with Big River Steel’s modern electric arc furnace (EAF) technologies and “mini mill” operations into the same company. U.S. Steel, in a statement, said this would expand U.S. Steel’s talent pool and make the overall company more competitive.

Read more at IndustryWeek


Respirators, Wearables, Social Distancing – A Look at The Top 10 Trends in EHS in 2020

As 2020 comes to a close, we look back on a year that we won’t soon forget (and will likely feel the reverberations of for years to come). Here are the top 10 issues impacting safety professionals in 2020, as reported in our print magazine, on our website, in one of our digital products, or on one of our social media channels. Our thanks to EHS Today’s editorial staff and all others who contributed to our coverage throughout the year.

Read more at EHS Today


FuzeHub Webinar: Experts from RIT, Cornell and RPI Discuss COVID-Impacted Manufacturing – Today at 11:00

COVID has altered the way many manufacturers do business. Whether that means changing materials to accommodate supply issues, redesigning product, or reusing and remanufacturing components to meet demand; the pandemic has forced organizations to innovate or fail.

Learn from our panel of industry experts how manufacturers have adapted to this chaotic new landscape during the next virtual workshop in the Manufacturing Reimagined series “Crisis Workarounds: Alternate Materials, Product Redesign & Remanufacturing.”

Learn more and register


Manufacturers Push for Tax Deduction Extension

The NAM is calling for Congress to temporarily extend a COVID-19 tax relief provision that would support manufacturers impacted by the pandemic.

Currently, the maximum deduction for interest on business loans is limited to 30% of earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA). When COVID-19 hit, however, many businesses saw their earnings fall, which also caused their allowable business interest deduction to decrease, even as firms were forced to take out loans to stay afloat. To support these businesses, Congress increased the allowable business interest deduction from 30% to 50% of EBITDA in the bipartisan CARES Act

 

read more »

Daily Briefing -197

COVID and Cluster Update 

Governor Cuomo held a press briefing yesterday afternoon providing an overview of New York’s COVID-19 tracking data from Saturday, November 21st and reminding New Yorkers that as Thanksgiving and the holidays approach, “we must wash our hands, wear our masks and avoid gatherings to keep the infection rate down.” 

Tracking data for the Clusters and the rest of the State are below. 

  • Clusters: 4.39%
  • Rockland Red zone: 3.39%
  • Westchester yellow-zones (Peekskill  7.15, Ossining 10.22, Tarrytown 8.27, Yonkers 4.11 New Rochelle 5.68, Port Chester 7.59)
  • Orange Yellow Zones – (Newburgh 7.89, Middletown 5.41)
  • Statewide: 2.74%
  • Statewide excluding clusters: 2.29%
  • Statewide hospitalizations: 2562 (502 in ICU) 
  • Transmission Rate (R0): 1.25

Here are some useful websites:


Pfizer, BioNTech Submit Formal Application to FDA to Authorize Covid-19 Vaccine

The drug maker Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech applied on Friday to the Food and Drug Administration for an emergency use authorization for their Covid-19 vaccine, a watershed moment in the effort to curb the global pandemic.

Hours later, the FDA announced that a panel of outside experts, the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee or VRBPAC, will meet Dec. 10 to review the data and advise the agency on whether to approve the emergency use request and what conditions, if any, to put on the vaccine’s use.  It is widely expected that the FDA will then issue an emergency use authorization for the two-dose vaccine, which has been shown to be highly effective in preventing Covid infections. Officials have said they hope to begin vaccination of health workers — who will be at the front of the line for the limited first doses — in some locations within days of the authorization.  It it unlikely to be authorized for use in children under the age of 12, for instance, because it hasn’t yet been tested in pre-teens.

Read more at StatNews


SUNY Chancellor Says COVID-19 Under Control

SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras said Friday afternoon, during a visit to the SUNY New Paltz campus, out of 140,000 students tested within the two weeks before the break, there were approximately 850 positive cases and a 0.5 percent positivity rate out of 510,000 tests conducted since mandatory testing began at the beginning of the semester.

According to both Malatras and SUNY New Paltz President Donald Christian, students have been extremely cooperative and responsible about testing. Upstate Medical School is currently one of 150 areas in the world being used in Pfizer’s vaccine clinical trials. Malatras said the majority of those volunteers are SUNY students.

Read more at Mid-Hudson News


DiNapoli: State Tax Revenues Down $3 Billion Through October

State tax revenues through October totaled $43.8 billion, $3 billion lower than the same period in the previous fiscal year, according to the monthly State Cash Report released Saturday by New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.  

DiNapoli noted that spending from State Operating Funds, which pays for the state’s day-to-day operations as well as certain local assistance, through the first seven months of the fiscal year was $49.9 billion, or $6.1 billion lower than a year earlier. This is due to several factors including an increase in federal Medicaid reimbursements and according to the state Division of the Budget (DOB), withholding of $2.6 billion, including $2.4 billion in local assistance payments, through September.  Total tax receipts in October of $4.3 billion were $432.9 million below DOB’s projection in its FY 2021 Mid-Year Update, issued Oct. 30, but $320.1 million higher than DOB’s projection in its First Quarter Update issued in August. 

Read more at the Controller’s website


Jobless Claims Pick Up Amid Labor Market Struggles

Jobless claims totaled 742,000 for the week, the Labor Department reported Thursday. That total also represented an acceleration from the previous week’s 709,000 and a continuation of the job market struggles since the coronavirus pandemic hit in early March.

The week-over-week increase was the first after four straight weeks of decline. Even with the increase for the most recent period, the four-week moving average, which smooths volatility in the numbers, decreased 13,750 to 742,00.

Read more at CNBC


Hudson Valley Employment Data

For the 12-month period ending October 2020, private sector job count in the Hudson Valley fell by 78,400, or 9.6 percent, to 742,500.  The October 2020 year-over-year job losses in our region continue to reflect the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.  At 742,500, private sector job count has reached its lowest October level since 2010.  Meanwhile, the month-over month change – a gain of 13,800, reflects the reopening of the economy.  The historical average over-the-month change between September and October is a gain of 5,000.

Manufacturing employment stands at 39,500 (3,800 fewer than a year ago but 200 more than last month.

Labor Market Profile (Hudson Valley) OCT 2020


US Chamber: 7 Resources for PPP Loan Forgiveness Help (The 8th is the Council’s December 7 Webinar with JGS)

The federal government created the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), part of the CARES Act, in March 2020 to provide businesses affected by COVID-19 with a lifeline. The PPP offered loans to companies that could be forgiven later if the right circumstances were met, including using the funds to maintain employee salaries and hire back workers.

While forgiveness was an attractive attribute for PPP loans, the actual process of obtaining forgiveness can be challenging for business owners. Forgiveness requires that businesses do many calculations, provide documentation, fill out forms and other time-consuming tasks.


Existing Home Sales Surge

According to the National Association of Realtors, existing home sales increased 4.3% in October over September, reaching a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.85 million. That benchmark represented the highest level since February of 2006.

Prices have also shown a significant increase due to low interest rates that have helped boost demand. According to the NAR, the median existing home price rose 15.5% from the prior year to a record $313,000.  The price increase also stems from a limited supply. The NAR recorded 1.42 million homes for sale at the end of October—a decrease of 2.7% from September and 19.8% from October 2019.

Read more at Reuters


New-Home Construction Surges 

U.S. builders started construction on homes at a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 1.53 million in October, representing a 4.9% increase from the previous month’s figure, the U.S. Census Bureau reported Wednesday. Permitting for new homes occurred at a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 1.545 million in October, unchanged from September.

Read more at MarketWatch


Lumber Prices Rise Again, Defying the Normal Seasonal Slowdown

Lumber prices are making an unusual late-season climb, thanks to builder-friendly autumn weather and suppliers stocking up for what they expect to be another big year for home construction.  Wood inventories are thin throughout the lumber supply chain, while demand from builders and home remodelers remains strong.

Lumber futures have shot up 24% so far in November, closing Thursday at $616.90 per thousand board feet. That’s a lot lower than the record $1,000 hit this summer during America’s pandemic-induced lumber binge. But it is nearly 90% more than the typical price for boards delivered in January.

Read more at the WSJ


IRS Issues Guidance Denying Tax Deductions for PPP Loans

Bond Schoeneck & King Attorney Raymond Reichert writes that the IRS has released guidance on the deductibility of payments for otherwise deductible expenses using funds from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). “The guidance, although not unexpected, is not taxpayer friendly.”

Revenue Ruling 2020-27 describes two situations. In situation 1, the taxpayer incurred eligible expenses for which a PPP loan was obtained. In November, the taxpayer applied for loan forgiveness under Section 1106 of the CARES Act. In situation 2, the taxpayer paid the same types of eligible expenses as those paid in situation 1. However, in situation 2, the taxpayer did not apply for forgiveness of the PPP loan before the end of 2020. However, in situation 2 the taxpayer intends to apply for forgiveness in 2021.

Read more at BSK


 

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Daily Briefing – 139

Cuomo Executive Order Directs Development of  Covid and Flu Testing and Reporting

The Among other thins related to the election, the Executive Order directs the Commissioner of Health to develop by emergency regulations, comprehensive statewide protocols for the timely testing and reporting of all COVID-19 and Influenza cases to continue to ensure, as flu season approaches, the State has the most accurate data to evaluate the number of positive cases and to best ensure timely contact tracing efforts are implemented in all regions. 

Sunday the Governor issued a press release detailing New York’s COVID-19 tracking data from Saturday, August 29th. New York’s rate of positive tests was below one percent for the 23rd straight day. Of the 100,022 test results reported to the State (a single day record), 0.69% (698) were positive. Total hospitalizations dropped to 429, the lowest since March 16th; and intubations dropped to 47, the lowest since March 14th.


Updated Supplemental Education Guidance

The New York State Department of Health has released supplemental guidance documents for pre-K to grade 12 schools and higher education institutions. Please find the supplemental guidance documents at the links below.  the supplemental guidelines primarily deal with communication with the public of the district’s plan including how it will implement remote learning, and Covid testing and contact tracing procedures.

Supplement to the Interim Guidance for In-Person Instruction at Pre-K to Grade 12


Other Countries Show that Schools Need Not Be Pandemic Hot Spots

How much of a risk is opening schools during the pandemic? Experience from a number of countries is starting to shed some light.

For the children themselves, covid-19 is not a big threat. They usually have mild symptoms or none at all. Among children with symptoms, only 0.1% of those younger than ten and 0.3% of those aged between ten and 19 end up in hospital, a study from Britain shows. For school-aged children, a covid-19 infection is less deadly than most flu infections.

Read more at The Economist


Johns Hopkins: US Falls Out of the Global Top 10 Per Capita Daily Incidence

The US CDC removed its previous COVID-19 reporting page and transitioned to its COVID Data Tracker dashboard. The dashboard provides links to a variety of data, including incidence and mortality, laboratory testing, community impact (eg, mobility), and high-risk populations (eg, healthcare workers, incarcerated populations). Some of the data is available at the state and county level directly through the dashboard. The dashboard added a 7-day moving average for daily deaths, and it once again reports COVID-19 data from New York City and New York state separately.

The CDC reported 5.80 million total cases (46,393 new) and 178,998 deaths (1,239 new). In total, 19 states (no change) are reporting more than 100,000 cases.

Read more at Johns Hopkins


CI/HRP Webinar: Technological Solutions to Keep Your People Safe and Your Factories Running Was Held Last Week

In the continuing efforts to keep your people safe and your factories running efficiently, we  are often looking to technology for solutions. On Friday August 28th CI and our Associate Member HRP Associates presented a webinar on the latest innovation and safety technologies to prevent the spread of COVID 19. The presentation was made by Shaun Malin, Regional Manager for HRP and covered topics including: C-19 Preparedness, Prevention, Response Plans – Mitigation Technologies including UV Lighting, Thermal Screenings, HVAC considerations, Long efficacy Disinfectants, Rapid Antibody Test Kits/Viral Testing.


COVID-19 Telecommuting and the Fair Labor Standards Act

Council Associate member and friend Ethan Allen Personnel Group provides some guidance on applying FLSA standards to telecommuting workers.  Many employers have increased the amount of teleworking for employees, including many roles that ordinarily would not telework. As the COVID-19 health crisis has progressed, employers have continued to extend their teleworking policies while other employers are gearing up to reopen offices. With these ongoing health risks, it is important for employers to review their teleworking policies and practices to ensure that they are appropriately compensating employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) as well as any applicable state and local laws.

Ethan Allen HR Newsletter Employment Advisory 8.31.20


Your Employee Refuses to Wear Masks — Now What?

For companies that have already returned to their offices, there have been tensions between workers about mask protocol. At the same time, it’s clearly important for employers to keep the workplace safe by enforcing CDC guidelines, which include wearing a mask. 

To do this, it’s important to understand what’s going on psychologically when employees don’t wear masks. Once you’re able to understand this, you can then adopt an approach that can get reluctant employees to observe safety guidelines.

Read more at Talent Management


FuzeHub Webinar: Funding Opportunities for COVID-Impacted Manufacturers

September 3, 2020, 11 AM – 12 PM EST

This Manufacturing Reimagined webinar will discuss important funding opportunities and assistance FuzeHub and other New York MEP partners can provide to offset project costs associated with COVID recovery initiatives.  The Manufacturing Reimagined program was developed to offer training, resource partnering, and $170,000 in funding (maximum $10,000 per project).

Join this informative webinar to learn about:

  • How the Manufacturing Reimagined program helps manufacturers respond to the COVID-related issues
  • What project funding opportunities are associated with the program
  • How to get a free customized Resources Report, partner with NYSTAR Innovation Assets, and other eligibility requirements
  • Details of the application and award processes
  • Hear from other New York MEP centers that have additional COVID recovery funding opportunities and programs

Click here to register


U.S. Consumer Spending Rose More Slowly in July

U.S. consumers boosted their spending in July, but more slowly than in prior months as new coronavirus infections rose and the expiration of enhanced unemployment checks loomed.  “Spending numbers have come back more than the economy as a whole, with the help of a lot of fiscal support,” said Jim O’Sullivan, an economist at TD Securities. “The question going forward is as fiscal support wanes, to what extent will it weaken.”

Personal-consumption expenditures, a measure of household spending on everything from haircuts to new cars, increased a seasonally adjusted 1.9% in July from the prior month, the Commerce Department said Friday.

Read more at the WSJ


 

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Daily Update – 100

NYC Phase Three Today (July 6th) 

The New York City region is expected to begin phase three next week; however, the Governor announced this week that indoor dining in New York City will be delayed until factors change and it is deemed safe. In all other regions of the state, limited indoor dining is still allowed.

The only NYC specific phase three guidelines that have been released to date are for personal care.  

They are here


Mid-Hudson Phase Four Tomorrow (July 7th)

The Mid-Hudson region will open to phase four tomorrow. Unlike previous phases, the Governor has said that phase four is fluid in what industries are included and what timelines those industries will follow. At this time, phase four industries include higher education, low risk indoor and outdoor arts and entertainment, media production, and professional sports without fans.

Phase four industry guidelines for these industries can be found here.


Remain Diligent! – Ulster County Spike in Coronavirus Cases linked to Four Clusters Including A Manufacturer

Three “significant” potential coronavirus clusters, and a fourth of less concern, were discovered in Ulster County on Friday, July 3, when test results indicated 25 new cases of COVID-19 and an infection rate of 3.09 percent, County Executive Pat Ryan said.

Ryan said the resurgence appears to have originated at graduation parties and among migrant workers at an apple orchard in southeastern Ulster, at a manufacturing facility in the “Kingston area” and among inmates at two state prison facilities in southern Ulster.  Before identifying the town, businesses and farms involved, Ryan said “we want to make sure we have all of the details.

Read more at the Daily Freeman


SUNY New Paltz Announced It’s Reopening Plan – Other Colleges Expected to Follow This Week

In related news SUNY New Paltz announced it’s reopening plan.  It will include limited in person classes and no mid-semester break. The college will prioritize face-to-face instruction with reduced density for select laboratory studio, clinical and equipment-essential course, as well as some general education and gateway courses to majors with appropriate social distancing.

A majority of the fall semester courses will be taught remotely. Finals will be online after Thanksgiving and dorm and classroom capacity will by reduced.

A summary of  the New Paltz Forward Plan can be found here.


BSK Videos on PPP and Travel Restrictions Available for Viewing

Council Associate Member and friend Bond Scheneck and King has posted two short videos to provide additional information and answer frequently asked questions:

  • Business attorney Kate Chmielowiec discusses the known ramifications of applying for Paycheck Protection Program loan forgiveness before the full, 24-week covered period ends: Click here to view.
  • Labor attorneys Jessica Moller and Theresa Rusnak tackle some questions about New York’s new travel advisory: Click here to view.

The full presentation covered these topics:

  • PPP Update
  • Travel Advisory Executive Order
  • Update From Albany

Click here to view the webinar in its entirety or to register for upcoming Tuesday presentations.


CBO Sees Double-Digit Jobless Rate Through 2020, GDP to Shrink 5.9%

The CBO estimates the jobless rate will end the year at 10.5%, lower than its earlier forecast of 11.5%. Nevertheless, it is likely to remain above the pre-coronavirus pandemic level of about 3.5% through the end of the decade. The Labor Department on Thursday reported the rate fell to 11.1% in June from 13.3% in May.

Gross domestic product, the broadest measure of economic output, is expected to grow rapidly in the second half of 2020 as social-distancing measures are lifted and trillions of dollars in stimulus spending takes effect. But that won’t be enough to overcome the impact of widespread business closures earlier in the year. Output in the fourth quarter of 2020 will be 5.9% lower than a year earlier, the agency said, worse than the 5.6% drop it projected in May. Though the economy is likely to grow 4.8% next year, it won’t return to its pre-pandemic size until mid-2022, it said.

Read more at the WSJ


Sanitizing and Disinfecting Your Business During the Pandemic

Opening and operating a business during this pandemic presents problems few have been trained to address. The goal of our businesses is to earn a profit while keeping our employees and customers safe. Local, state and federal public health authorities have issued guidance that covers almost every conceivable situation. All include sanitizing and disinfecting the workplace and providing for frequent hand washing (sometimes called “hand hygiene”).

Few of the guidance documents tell you how to select or use disinfecting chemicals and methods. Few discuss the regulatory framework you must abide by. This article attempts to fill-in that gap.

Read More at EHS Today

Visit our Resources Guide for Member Firms that Provide Cleaning to CDC Guidelines


China’s Economy Regains Strength After Strict Coronavirus Measures

A private gauge of China’s service-sector activity, released Friday, surged in June to its highest level in more than a decade, as the easing of virus-control measures in most parts of the country drove consumer demand. The Caixin China services purchasing managers index jumped to 58.4 in June from 55.0 in May, Caixin Media Co. and research firm IHS Markit said Friday.

June’s reading came in far above the 50 mark that separates expansion from contraction, signaling rapid month-over-month recovery. While China’s economy is quickly picking up steam, the actual level of activity remains far below pre-virus levels.

Read more at the WSJ


The Economist: Covid-19 is Here to Stay. People Will Have to Adapt

The world is not experiencing a second wave: it never got over the first. 

The worst is to come. Based on research in 84 countries, a team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology reckons that, for each recorded case, 12 go unrecorded and that for every two covid-19 deaths counted, a third is misattributed to other causes. Without a medical breakthrough, it says, the total number of cases will climb to 200m-600m by spring 2021. At that point, between 1.4m and 3.7m people will have died. Even then, well over 90% of the world’s population will still be vulnerable to infection—more if immunity turns out to be transient.

Read more at the Economist


 

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Daily Update – 90

Executive Order Gives Ramps Up Enforcement of Social Distancing, Other Safety Protocols

In an effort to encourage compliance with State guidelines, the Governor announced that he will be issuing an Executive Order today to strengthen State enforcement of reopening rules and guideline violations. The Executive Order will empower the State Liquor Authority (SLA) to immediately suspend or revoke the liquor licenses from bars and restaurants that do not enforce social distancing protocols. Businesses could also face an immediate shutdown order for not following guidelines. Restaurants and bars will also be responsible for managing social distancing guidelines on the sidewalks immediately in front of their business.

New York City is on track to enter phase two on Monday (6/22). The global health experts the State uses to determine reopening eligibility are reviewing New York City data, but the Governor said businesses should plan on entering phase two on Monday. A definitive answer will be given during tomorrow’s briefing. 

New York City specific guidelines for these industries can be found here.

Read the press release


Hudson Valley Region Private Sector Job Count Down 20.1 Percent in May

For the 12-month period ending May 2020, the private sector job count in the Hudson Valley fell by 165,400, or 20.1 percent, to 656,400.  Losses occurred in leisure and hospitality (-58,700), trade, transportation and utilities (-34,200), educational and health services (-18,400), professional and business services (-16,900), other services (-16,400), natural resources, mining and construction (-12,300), manufacturing (-6,700), financial activities (-1,100), and information (-700).

The May 2020 over-the-year job losses continues to reflect the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. At 656,400, private sector job count has reached its lowest May level since 1995.

Within the region, the Orange-Rockland-Westchester labor market area’s private employment sector declined the fastest year-over-year, down 21.1 percent.  They were followed by the Dutchess-Putnam MSA (-18.4 percent), the Kingston MSA (-16.1 percent), and Sullivan County (-12.1 percent).

See the Labor Market Profile Hudson Valley – MAY 2020


PPP Interim Final Rule (IFR)

In addition to the new loan forgiveness applications, late Tuesday afternoon, June 16, 2020, the SBA issued its nineteenth Interim Final Rule relating to the Paycheck Protection Program which is set to be officially published on June 19, 2020. This IFR serves to amend previously-issued IFRs and clarifies the effect of the changes in PPP loan forgiveness eligibility created by the Flexibility Act, which was passed on June 5, 2020, and has been a source of many questions in the days that followed.

Tuesday’s IFR also clarified the amount of owner compensation that would be forgivable under the Flexibility Act. Previously ‒ despite being able to borrow 2.5 months (10 weeks) of 2019 net income ‒ the amount of owner’s compensation that would be forgivable was limited to 8 weeks’ worth of 2019 net profit (up to $15,385) for an 8-week covered period.

Read more from Associate Member PKF O’Connor Davies


Back to Work” A Complementary Legal Seminar Provided by Greenwald Doherty LLC

  • Monday, June 22, 2020, 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm
  • Where: Zoom Network Webinar
  • Cost: No Fee for Members

Joel Greenwald, a labor attorney and partner in the Firm Greenwald Doherty, LLC joins The Council of Industry to discuss the legal issues related to your employees returning to work including:

  • How do you avoid discrimination and wrongful death claims?
  • What legal issues and safety concerns are confronting you now as you bring employees back?
  • Can, or should, you be taking employees’ temperatures and/or requiring COVID-19 testing?
  • What staffing levels do you need to be at for potential PPP loan forgiveness?
  • How should you handle continued staff reductions?
  • What will businesses need to do to accommodate disabled employees?

Register Here


Guidelines for Colleges And Universities to Open in the Fall

Yesterday the State issued guidelines for colleges and universities to allow some residential and face-to-face programming for the fall semester. The Governor stressed that more data is needed between now and September to make a definitive determination, however, they want to make sure colleges and universities start to prepare their plans. The State is asking institutions to develop reopening plans that attest to meeting the guidelines, which must be filed with the State. These plans should consider strategies for reopening, monitoring, containment, and shutdowns.

New York State Insurance Fund Has Useful COVID-19 Safety Guide & Video

The phased-in reopening of the New York economy is well underway and NYSIF has provided a COVID-19 Safety Guide for New York Businesses that provides the guidance you need to reopen and remain open. It includes comprehensive industry-specific guidelines for construction, manufacturing, home healthcare, retail, clerical/office, restaurant/bar and personal care. 

Read the Guide

They also invite you to check view “Before You Reopen: A COVID-19 Safety Guide for New York Businesses video.”


Webinar Recording Now Available: Dealing with Supply Chain Disruption – Strategies to Help Your Firm Manage Risk and Maintain Operational Flexibility in Your Supply Chain.

The Council of Industry hosted a webinar on Wednesday, June 10th Featuring Clarkson University’s Dr. Dennis Yu, Associate Professor of Operations & Information Systems and Associate Dean of Graduate Programs & Research, And John Mead, VP at Totalogistix.

They discussed strategies to help your firm manage risk and maintain operational flexibility in your supply chain.

Watch it here


National Safety Council: Employers Must Prioritize Mental Health as Traditional Operations Resume

The National Safety Council is urging employers to protect employee mental health as workplaces reopen and be mindful that they may see a spike in substance abuse. The council encourages employers to create a culture of safety around mental health and offers recommendations for worker resources and supervisor training.

The pandemic has heightened the risk of mental health distress by destabilizing workers’ finances, jobs and child care arrangements, NSC said. Furthermore, the social isolation necessitated by COVID-19 can lead to substance use disorders, with those who previously experienced such disorders “even more vulnerable due to decreased accessibility to treatment, recovery supports and harm reduction services.”

Read more at HR Dive


Workforce Development Institute (WDI) Providing Grants to Mid-Hudson Manufacturers

Our good freinds and partners at WDI continue to offer funding to our members.  Through a unique grants program, WDI makes investments that lead to workforce development and economic growth. This program is an “interactive” one, where WDI Regional Directors work directly with a business, union, or other entity to understand the issue at hand, and then help develop a response.

In 2019, WDI funded a total of 316 projects that are projected to impact 12,622 workers across New York State. 

Want to know more? Contact Mary Jane Bertram, Regional Director 


 

read more »

Daily Update – 88

Testing and Accelerated Reopening

New York State has now performed over 3,000,000 COVID-19 tests, including both diagnostic and antibody tests. According to the State’s “Results By Region Dashboard” all regions are continuing to show a low number of positive cases. Yesterday, all regions were at or below a 1.4% positive rate. A six-week, 12,000 random sample antibody test study has been completed.  It found that 13.4% of the general population tested positive for antibodies. Most regions of the State increased slightly in percent positive from a previous antibody study. A few regions showed a slight decrease in percent positives.

The State is again accelerating certain activities as the public health metrics being tracked are continuing to trend in a positive direction while reopening. Starting today, the State will now allow hospitals to accept visitors at their discretion. Starting Friday, group homes certified by the NYS Office for People with Disabilities may begin visitations at their discretion. 

See the Results by Region Dashboard


Tennis Anyone?

The U.S. Open will take place in Queens, New York without fans from Aug. 31 to Sept. 13. The State is working with the U.S. Tennis Association to take extraordinary precautions to protect players and staff, including robust testing, additional cleaning, extra locker room space, and dedicated housing & transportation.

The Capital region is cleared to enter phase three today (6/17). The Capital region includes Albany, Columbia, Greene, Saratoga, Schenectady, Rensselaer, Warren, and Washington counties.  Our Mid-Hudson Region is slated for phase three next Tuesday (6/23) Phase three industries include restricted indoor and outdoor dining at food service establishments and personal care services.

Phase three guidelines for these industries can be found here. 

Read the Governor’s press release


SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Advance Program Is Reopened to All Eligible Small Businesses and Non-Profits Impacted by COVID-19 Pandemic

To further meet the needs of U.S. small businesses and non-profits, the U.S. Small Business Administration reopened the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance program portal to all eligible applicants experiencing economic impacts due to COVID-19 today.

SBA’s EIDL program offers long-term, low interest assistance for a small business or non-profit.  These loans can provide vital economic support to help alleviate temporary loss of revenue.  EIDL assistance can be used to cover payroll and inventory, pay debt or fund other expenses.  Additionally, the EIDL Advance will provide up to $10,000 ($1,000 per employee) of emergency economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing temporary difficulties, and these emergency grants do not have to be repaid.

Learn more and apply


Liberty Street Economics: Finally, Some Signs of Improvement in the Regional Economy

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s June business surveys show some signs of improvement in the regional economy. Following two months of unprecedented decline due to the coronavirus pandemic, indicators of business activity point to a slower pace of contraction in the service sector and signs of a rebound in the manufacturing sector. Even more encouraging, as the regional economy has begun to reopen, many businesses have started to recall workers who were laid off or put on furlough since the start of the pandemic. Some have even hired new workers. Moreover, businesses expect to recall even more workers over the next month. Looking ahead, firms have become increasingly optimistic that conditions will improve in the coming months.

Read more at the NY Fed


IRS Provides Guidance On Employer Leave-Based Donation Programs That Aid Victims Of The COVID-19 Pandemic

Bruce H. Schwartz of Council Associate Member and Friend Jackson Lewis writes on IRS Notice 2020-46 that addresses the tax treatment of employees who elect to have their employers donate sick, vacation or personal leave as cash payments to charitable organizations that provide relief to victims of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Notice provides that the donated leave should be not be treated as W-2 wages to the donating employees.  The donated leave should not be included in Box 1 [wages subject to income tax], Box 3 [wages subject to Social Security tax] or Box 5 [wages subject to Medicare tax] of the Form W-2.  But employees may not claim a charitable contribution deduction for the value of the donated leave.

Read more at Jackson Lewis


CDC Issues Guidelines to Manage An Outbreak in the Workplace

With COVID-19 cases spiking, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released recommendations for companies that test employees for COVID-19 as part of their disease control measures. The document outlines potential testing strategies in the event of a confirmed COVID-19 case in the workplace, including organizing employees by risk categories, contact tracing to help identify possible spread, taking action in the event of multiple positive cases and recommendations on when exposed employees can return to work. The CDC also indicates that testing strategies should only be used if the testing results will lead to specific actions.

You can read the recommendations here.


DHS Extends Form I-9 Requirement Flexibility

In May, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced an extension of the flexibility in complying with requirements related to Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, due to COVID-19. This temporary guidance was set to expire June 18. Because of ongoing precautions related to COVID-19, DHS has extended this policy for an additional 30 days.

This provision only applies to employers and workplaces that are operating remotely. See the original news release for more information on how to obtain, remotely inspect, and retain copies of the identity and employment eligibility documents to complete Section 2 of Form I-9.

See the original news release


Main Street Lending Program Registration Now Open

The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston has now opened lender registration for the Main Street Lending Program, which will provide loans to businesses with up to 15,000 employees or $5 billion in annual revenues. After registering with the Fed, lenders will be able to make loans ranging in size from $250,000 to $300 million to businesses impacted by COVID-19. The Fed is encouraging lenders to begin lending to eligible borrowers “immediately.”

You can find more information here


 

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Daily Update 86

Cuomo: Phased Reopening is Working

The governor announced that 3 more regions should enter phase 3 this coming week. He added that New York is progressing through the phased reopening without spiking infection rates unlike other states that have seen their infections rates increase since reopening. Nearly half of the states have reported an increasing number of COVID-19 cases and fourteen states have seen an increase of over 25% in the last week. New York has experienced a continued steady downward trend in new infections. The Governor said the State will continue a smart and disciplined re-opening to avoid a spike in new COVID-19 cases that other states who have re-opened too quickly are experiencing.

Read Saturday’s press release


Stock Futures Tumble on Virus Fears, Chinese Economic Data

Market participants continued to eye coronavirus cases across the country for signs of resurgences. New cases in the densely populated state of Florida grew faster than the past week’s average as of Sunday’s tally, according to Bloomberg data, and Washington State Department of Health issued a report warning of state-wide increases in the virus.

Meanwhile, White House economic director Larry Kudlow during CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday downplayed economic concerns posed by potential new waves of the coronavirus, saying, “There’s a very good chance you are going to get the V-shaped recovery,” and asserting growth would pick back up in the second half of the year. The remarks contrasted with some of the more cautionary outlooks from officials including Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, who last week underscored the ongoing uncertainty created by the pandemic.

Kudlow also said the current $600-per-week unemployment payment paid out to some Americans who had lost their jobs during the pandemic as part of Washington’s sweeping coronavirus relief plan would end on schedule at the end of July, calling the program “a disincentive” for people to return to work.

Read more at Yahoo Finance


DiNapoli: A Look at New York’s Economy

“The current public health and economic crisis we are facing as a state, nation and world is something we have never dealt with before and it will continue to impact our state and local finances for the foreseeable future. Now more than ever we need partnership and communication between all levels of government. I renew my call for the federal government to provide financial assistance to the states and communities hit hard by COVID-19.

Despite the grim outlook, I remain optimistic for our future. We are New York Tough and I believe our resilience, as a state and nation, will pull us through these challenging times.”

A Look at New ‘s Economy from the Comptroller 0613 2020


PPP Flexibility Act – Interim Final Rules Provide Some Clarification, but Leave Important Questions Unanswered

Joshua Steele, attorney with our friends and Associate Members Harris Beach, writes that “the most significant element of the June 11 Interim Final Rules is the clarification it provides on the PPPFA’s requirement that borrowers must spend 60 percent of the PPP loan on covered payroll costs.  Originally, the April 2, 2020 Interim Final Rules indicated that 75 percent of the forgiveness amount of a PPP loan must be attributable to covered payroll costs.  In application, this meant that a borrower that failed to spend at least 75 percent of the loan amount on covered payroll cost would receive a reduced amount of forgiveness.  While the PPPFA lowered that percentage to 60 percent, it also included language indicating that: (1) the 60 percent requirement is based on the total loan amount, not the eligible forgiveness amount; and (2) failing to meet this 60 percent threshold would preclude a borrower from receiving any forgiveness, as opposed to simply resulting in a decrease in forgiveness.”

Read more at Harris Beach


Auto Makers’ Reopening Complicated by Worker Absences Amid Covid Cases

Auto makers are grappling with absent U.S. factory workers and Covid-19 cases at their reopened plants, complicating the companies’ efforts to recoup production lost to the pandemic.

The impact on output has been minimal as many plants aren’t yet operating at full capacity, the companies said. Still, the challenges have required auto makers to adjust shifts and add temporary workers. Such moves highlight the complexities businesses face upon reopening as they look to insulate their workplaces from potential outbreaks while restoring moneymaking operations after weeks of lockdown.

Read more at the WSJ


Best Practices from Ford’s Return to Work Handbook

Having a playbook is always the best strategy, so when Ford Motor Co. had to tackle reopening manufacturing plants they developed a very detailed playbook. The 64-page book, “Manufacturing Return to Work Playbook,” covers an expansive list of topics providing very specific instructions and documentation on how to keep workers safe.

 The workbook is also being given to Fords’ suppliers, business partners and third parties to ensure they are aware of the company’s health and safety practices when onsite at Ford facilities or interacting with Ford personnel. The company considers the playbook a working document that will change to reflect both regulatory guidance and industry practices as they evolve. 

Read the article at IndustryWeek

Read the playbook


A To-Do List for Restarting—and Rethinking—Plants Post COVID-19

While some global strategic consulting experts have already begun offering high-level suggestions on how industrials can operate in a post COVID-19 world, more hands-on advice is available, offering a realistic to-do list to run plants to their fullest potential under the conditions of less-available manpower.

However, being realistic does not mean avoiding the unique opportunity to challenge presuppositions on how plants are operated into the future. In the long run, 2020 presents a golden opportunity to come out of our cocoons and try an approach that is dramatically different in order to adequately navigate uncertain times.

Read more at IndustryWeek


CDC Guidance: Considerations for Events and Gatherings

The CDC has released guidance on large community gatherings and events. As some communities in the United States begin to plan and hold events and gatherings, the CDC offers considerations for enhancing protection of individuals and communities and preventing spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The advice is practical for anyone who is even planning a graduation or family birthday.

Event planners and officials can determine, in collaboration with state and local health officials, whether and how to implement these considerations, making adjustments to meet the unique needs and circumstances of the local community. Because COVID-19 virus circulation varies in communities, these considerations are meant to supplement—not replace—any state, local, territorial, or tribal health and safety laws, rules, and regulations with which gatherings must comply. Organizers should continue to assess, based on current conditions, whether to postpone, cancel, or significantly reduce the number of attendees for gatherings.

The guidance can be found here


Deeper Dive: the Economist on The Future of Cities Focusing On NYC and How the Virus Wears Down the Body (Podcast)

Workers and firms have continued to pile into cities like New York, even as travel and telecommuting have become easier, because there is so much to be gained by proximity to other human beings, especially when it comes to the “knowledge economy” reliant on highly skilled, highly educated and highly productive workers.

Read more at The Economist

Slavea Chankova and Kenneth Cukier investigate the ways in which SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes covid-19, wears the body down. Apart from pneumonia, there are other facets to the disease that are less understood such as damage to the kidneys, blood vessels and heart. And, how does covid-19 continue to harm the body—and patients’ mental health— in the long term? Runtime: 26 min.

Listen at the Economist


 

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COVID 19 Update 83

State Launching New Dashboard to Display Daily Test Results for Each Region and County

The dashboard will show on a daily basis how many tests have been administered and how many tests were positive as a raw number and a percentage. Currently, all regions are showing low positive rates.

In the Mid-Hudson region, there were 73 new positive cases and 0 hospital deaths yesterday. There are currently 274 hospitalizations in the region.

The Governor said that if rates spike in a region, that will be cause for concern. Currently, the State is providing coronavirus tracking information via the Regional UnPause Dashboard, the Early Warning Dashboard, and the Department of Health’s COVID-19 Tracker.

Read the press release 


Congress Acts to Bring More Flexibility to Paycheck Protection Program -More Detail from Harris Beach

SBA and the Department of the Treasury are expected to issue Frequently Asked Questions and interim final rules to implement and clarify the provisions of the PPPFA and its impact on the inconsistent portions of prior interim final rules and guidance, as well as to address numerous outstanding issues and questions pertaining to the PPP and loan forgiveness that were not addressed by the PPPFA. 

Here is what we know 


Pandemic Blamed for Decline in Machine Tool Orders

US orders for metal-cutting, metal-forming and metal-fabricating equipment fell 26.3% month-to-month in April and were down 37.8% from a year earlier, according to a report by the Association for Manufacturing Technology. The coronavirus pandemic was cited for the decline, which was the largest month-over-month drop in a decade.

 Read more at American Machinist


The French Government Unveiled a €15bn ($17bn) Rescue Plan for its Aerospace Industry

The Industry employs some 300,000 people and has been severely affected by the pandemic. The package includes loan guarantees and measures to protect jobs, as well as loans already promised to Air France. Meanwhile Hong Kong’s government will take a 6% stake in Cathay Pacific as part of a $5bn rescue package.

Read more at the Financial Times


Childcare Available for Parents Returning to Work in Putnam

Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell said Monday that several daycare centers and family day care providers are open and that slots are available.

Parents seeking childcare for their kids as they go back to work should contact the Dutchess/Putnam Care Council. The phone number of the Carmel office is 845-808-1659 while the Poughkeepsie office number is 845-473-4141.

Learn more at at www.childcaredutchess.org 


Defense Production Act Loan Application Process Now Open

Back in mid-May, President Trump issued an executive order that provides the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation with the authority to issue loans under the Defense Production Act in order to re-shore domestic production of strategic resources needed to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak and to strengthen any relevant domestic supply chains. This week, the DFC announced it is now accepting applications for these loans.

You can learn more about your potential eligibility for these loans and apply here


NAM Liability Reform Campaign Expands

As the Manufacturers’ Center for Legal Action continues to expand our growing campaign for COVID-19 liability protections, I joined Mike Ralston, president of the Iowa Association of Business and Industry, in calling on the Iowa legislature and federal leaders to enact the type of targeted protections that manufacturers need.

You can read more here


Moving from Just in Time to Just in Case

In pursuit of ever-greater efficiency, many businesses de-emphasized supply chain flexibility and resilience. Today’s situation calls for rebalancing priorities. Consider for a moment the farms growing food for commercial users here or in China. Pre Covid-19, these farms were highly efficient and offered products at the lowest possible cost. Today the commercial market has been decimated, and farmers are forced to dump strawberries or cull herds, financial victims of unanticipated change. To withstand a crisis, or better yet to come out of it stronger, balance the low cost and efficiency of the JIT model with the need to be nimble and agile in reacting to market changes.

IndustryWeek offers some components of a “Just in Case” supply chain

Attend today’s Council of Industry supply chain strategies webinar


 

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COVID 19 Update 82

Mid-Hudson Enters Phase Two Day Today, Statewide Testing Will Increase

Today is the day for Phase two!  Phase two industries include offices, real estate, essential and phase two in-store retail, vehicle sales and rentals, retail rental, repair and cleaning, hair salons and barbershops, and commercial building management.  It is important that all phase two businesses to read and affirm the detailed guidelines for your sector.

Guidance for these industries can be found here.

Reminder – even if you have been open as “essential” all through the pandemic you still must have a reopening plan and certify with the the state.

 VIEW SUMMARY GUIDELINES
 READ AND AFFIRM DETAILED GUIDELINES
 PRINT BUSINESS SAFETY PLAN TEMPLATE

The State performed 58,054 tests yesterday which resulted in 702 positives cases (1.2%). The State is consistently performing 58,000 or more tests per day and the positive results per day have been below 1.6% for the last four days. Just a few weeks ago New York City was finding 59% of tests returning positive results. The Governor said that with this progress he is confident in reopening New York City. In order to track the spread of the virus, the State is launching an initiative to increase testing and build more test sites. The State will conduct 35,000 tests per day in New York City alone. Anyone who has attended a protest recently should get tested. The State is also focusing on the most impacted zip codes in the City where infection rates are unusually high.

Read the press release


Trump Signs Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act

In a rare display of bipartisanship, on June 5, 2020, President Trump signed into law the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act (PPPFA) in an attempt to address many concerns expressed by the small business community around the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) aimed at providing COVID-19 relief.

On May 27, 2020, the House passed the PPPFA by 417-1 and the Senate approved it by unanimous consent on June 3. The new law addresses flaws in the original PPP program created under the CARES Act.

Read what you need to know in Forbes


Monday Economic Report

Manufacturers added 250k jobs in May.  Other data point to recovery but how fast and how far remains uncertain.

Monday Economic Report 2020-0608


Recession in U.S. Began in February

The U.S. economy entered a recession in February, the group that dates business cycles said Monday, ending the longest American economic expansion on record. Monthly economic activity “reached a clear peak” in February, marking the end of the 128-month expansion that began in June 2009, said the Business Cycle Dating Committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research. It was the longest expansion in records back to 1854.

Read more at the WSJ


World Bank Forecasts World Economy will Shrink by 5.2%

The World Bank predicted that the global economy will shrink by 5.2% this year because of the covid-19 pandemic. Output will fall most in rich countries, by 7%, whereas that of poor countries will decline by around 2.5%. The bank warned that the figures could be even worse if lockdown measures are not lifted by the second half of the year.

Over the longer horizon, the deep recessions triggered by the pandemic are expected to leave lasting scars through lower investment, an erosion of human capital through lost work and schooling, and fragmentation of global trade and supply linkages.

Read the press release and report


How Is COVID-19 Impacting Your Community? The Federal Reserve Wants to Hear From You

In April, the Federal Reserve System conducted a survey to better understand the range of challenges facing under-resourced and low-income communities as an effect of COVID-19. The findings are available in Perspectives from Main Street: The Impact of COVID-19 on Communities and the Entities Serving Them and helped us understand how the pandemic is impacting organizations, like yours, supporting community needs. 

The Fed is committed to fielding this survey every eight weeks to report on how the effects of COVID-19 are changing within communities over time. Please take this survey today. The survey should take about 10 minutes to complete.

Take the Survey


Sourcing Delays Hamper Electronics Manufacturers

The electronics industry is grappling with coronavirus-related component shortages and delays, which are keeping leading manufacturers from launching products, according to a study by Dimensional Research and Supplyframe. The findings emphasize the need for supply chain resilience and “enabling effective collaboration across sourcing, engineering, and manufacturing,” Supplyframe CEO Steve Flagg said.

Read the full story at Supply Chain Quarterly

Learn more and/or attend the Council of Industry’s Strategic Supply Chain Seminar


Review of OSHA Guidance

The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) continues to provide guidance to assist employees and employers with maintaining safe and healthy working conditions during the coronavirus pandemic.  This guidance will be particularly useful as states continue to re-open.  We have collected below a list of existing documents, both general and industry-specific, for your use.

Both OSHA and CDC regularly update their webpages with reopening guidance relevant to the business community.  We encourage you to regularly check for updated guidance at:

In addition to the general guidance above, OSHA frequently issues specific guidance tailored to specific industries.  To date, OSHA has released specific guidance for the following industries relevant to Council Members:


read more »

COVID 19 Update 67

Governor Cuomo Urges New Yorkers to Contact the State if They Observe Businesses Not Adhering to Social Distancing Guidelines

In his press conference today Governor Cuomo urged all New Yorkers to contact State officials if they observe businesses not following social distancing guidelines and procedures.  The Governor also announced a “hot line” for employees to call if thier believe their employer is not following PPE, hygiene and social distancing guidelines.

Our understanding is that all enforcement of reopening protocol violations will complaint driven. 

The Governor also announced that the contact tracing program will call individuals or businesses who may have come into contact with an individual who tested positive. The caller ID will be listed as “NYS Contact Tracing.” 

Read the Governor’s press release


Jobless Claims Total 2.4 Million, Still Extremely Elevated But Declining 

The level of continuing claims painted a clearer picture of how unemployment is persisting even as states are increasingly taking steps to bring their economies back on line. The total for the week ending May 9 was 25.07 million, an increase of 2.52 million from the previous week.

The four-week moving average also increased sharply, jumping by 2.3 million to just above 22 million.

Read more at CNBC


NYS Loses More Than 1.7 Million Private Sector Jobs In April

According to the preliminary results from the U.S. Department of Labor’s business and household surveys for April 2020, the number of private sector jobs in New York State decreased over the month by 1,764,600, or 21.4 percent, to 6,467,600. This was the state’s largest monthly employment drop on record. Just under one-third of the monthly jobs decline occurred in leisure and hospitality (-577,700), mostly in accommodation and food services (-471,400). 

In April 2020, New York State’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased from 4.1% to 14.5%. This change (+10.4 percentage points) was the state’s largest recorded monthly increase since current record keeping began in 1976. In addition, the number of unemployed New York State residents increased by 931,600, while the labor force dropped by 307,600 – both monthly records.

In the Hudson Valley Region the private sector job count fell by 183,700, or 22.5 percent, to 631,700.  Losses were greatest in leisure and hospitality (-55,600), trade, transportation and utilities (-41,100), educational and health services (-21,300), natural resources, mining and construction (-19,600), other services (-19,100), professional and business services (-16,200), manufacturing (-7,800), and financial activities (-2,700).

See the Labor Market Profile 


Net Operating Loss Relief

Under current law, these losses can only be used to offset up to 80% of taxable income in future years. However, the CARES Act, approved by overwhelming bipartisan majorities in both the House and Senate, allowed companies with losses from 2018, 2019 and 2020 to carry these losses back for the five previous years and have the losses offset up to 100% of taxable income, providing critical liquidity through tax refunds.

The HEROES Act passed by the House would partially roll back this relief by limiting the number of carry back years from five to two and limiting the amount of relief for pass-throughs.

Read More


Senators Propose Skills Training Tax Credit

“Under the bill, people who lose their jobs in 2020 due to the pandemic would be eligible to receive a fully refundable tax credit of up to $4,000 to cover the cost of training expenses incurred through the end of 2021. The credit could be used to offset the cost, on a dollar-for-dollar basis, of skills training programs such as apprenticeships, certificate programs and two- and four-year educational programs. Distance-learning costs are also eligible to be offset by the credit.”

Read more at the Hill


Business Activity in Europe Recovered Slightly in May

After hitting record lows the month before the IHS Markit’s flash purchasing managers’ index, a leading indicator of economic activity, rose to 30.5 from 13.6 in April. Anything less than 50 indicates a contraction. The survey showed that the German economy has been hit less and recovered more quickly than its European peers.

Read more in the WSJ


NAM, Business Groups Call for Structural Improvements to the Paycheck Protection Program.

The group is asking Congress to extend the eight-week loan forgiveness period, overrule the Small Business Administration’s so-called 75%/25% requirement for the use of PPP funds and extend the June 30 safe harbor for remedying payroll or headcount reductions.

You can read the NAM letter here


Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Has Adopted Revised Policies for Enforcing OSHA’s Coronavirus Requirements 

Throughout the course of the pandemic, understanding about the transmission and prevention of infection has improved. The government and the private sector have taken rapid and evolving measures to slow the virus’s spread, protect employees, and adapt to new ways of doing business.

Now, as states begin reopening their economies, OSHA has issued two revised enforcement policies to ensure employers are taking action to protect their employees.

Read the guidelines


 

read more »

COVID 19 Update 57

Cuomo to Meet with County Executives Today to Discuss Reopening

In Sunday’s press conference the Governor announced that he will be meeting with County Executives today (Monday) to discuss reopening and says several regions should be eligible to do so after May 15. A region’s ability to re-open is based upon two main factors:

  • Data indicates the Spread of the virus is under control
  • Region has its operation in place- hospital capacity, testing tracing isolating, compliance function

The Manufacturing Alliance and New York State Business Council have submitted a reopening plan template to New York Forward for review and approval.  that document can be used by manufacturers as a guide to reopening, or the case of essential businesses that are open to continuing operations.  We hope to have approval of the document by Monday.

See a draft of the document (yesterday’s link was incorrect, it has been fixed.)

Visit the New York Forward Page


Some Manufacturers that Furloughed Employees During Lockdowns  Say Plants Won’t Reopen

The closures suggest that a growing share of the record job losses in recent weeks won’t be temporary, said Gabriel Ehrlich, an economic forecaster at the University of Michigan. The more that job losses turn from temporary to permanent, he said, the harder the hit to consumer spending and every company that relies on it—including manufacturers.

Layoffs have already wiped away nearly a decade of employment gains at U.S. manufacturers. Factories added 1.4 million workers from 2010 through the end of last year, employing a total of 12.9 million people in December. The manufacturing workforce has since dropped to 11.5 million, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said Friday, including 1.3 million jobs lost in April alone, though this also includes temporary layoffs.

Read more at the WSJ


Durable-goods manufacturing hit hardest by coronavirus

Manufacturing shed 1.3 million jobs last month as the country overall saw net unemployment go up by more than 7 million. More than 900,000 of those manufacturing jobs were in durable goods, led by motor vehicles and parts.

Read the full story at IndustryWeek 


EEOC Updates its “Return to Work” Guidance to Address COVID-19 and Accommodations for “High-Risk” Employees

In the guidance released on Thursday, the EEOC clarified that “the ADA does not allow the employer to exclude the employee – or take any other adverse action – solely because the employee has a disability that the CDC identifies as potentially placing him at ‘higher risk for severe illness’ if he gets COVID-19.”  Council friend and associate member Harris Beach attorneys Daniel J. Moore, Daniel J. Palermo write the EEOC explained that employees with underlying medical conditions cannot be excluded “unless the employee’s disability poses a ‘direct threat’ to his health that cannot be eliminated or reduced by reasonable accommodation.” 

A “direct threat” cannot be established based solely on an employee having a condition included on the CDC’s list.  Instead, the ADA requires an individualized assessment of risk factors based on reasonable medical judgment about the employee’s disability.  This analysis should assess individual factors related to the employee’s condition, as well as external factors like the severity of the pandemic in a particular area and the likelihood of the employee being exposed at the worksite.

Read more at Harris Beach


Trump and Chip Makers Including Intel Seek Semiconductor Self-Sufficiency

The Trump administration and semiconductor companies are looking to jump-start development of new chip factories in the U.S. as concern grows about reliance on Asia as a source of critical technology.

A new crop of cutting-edge chip factories in the U.S. would reshape the industry and mark a U-turn after decades of expansion into Asia by many American companies eager to reap investment incentives and take part in a robust regional supply chain.

Read more in the WSJ


 

Heavy-Equipment Makers Keep Going with Union Backing

Caterpillar and John Deere continued to manufacture heavy equipment while other companies’ factories were shuttered by getting buy-in from unions and agreeing to safety policies with more benefits for workers. The manufacturers have offered paid sick leave while requiring temperature checks and restricting outsider access.

Read more at Reuters


Speeding Up Science During the Pandemic

It is a testament to the machinery of science that so much has been learned about covid-19 so rapidly. Since January the number of publications has been doubling every 14 days, reaching 1,363 in the past week alone. They have covered everything from the genetics of the virus that causes the disease to computer models of its spread and the scope for vaccines and treatments.

What explains the speed? Much as in other areas of life, covid-19 has burnt away encrusted traditions. Scientific journals have done their best to assess and publish research in days rather than their customary months or years. But a bigger factor behind the breakneck pace of publication is the willingness of biomedical scientists to bypass journals altogether and share their work quickly in the form of preprints—research manuscripts that are posted freely online and which have not been peer-reviewed.

Read more at the Economist


 

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COVID 19 Update 56

Cuomo: “No Deviation” From Reopening Plan

In answer to a question from a reporter at Friday’s press conference at Marist College, Governor Cuomo said he does not expect to see any deviations from his reopening plan. He indicated that he will not allow additional industries to reopen in earlier phases than already detailed, and the plan that is laid out in New York Forward was final.  the Manufacturing Alliance and New York State Busienss Council have submitted a reopening plan template to New York Forward for review and approval.  that document can be used by manufacturers as a guide to reopening, or the case of essential businesses that are open to continuing operations.  We hope to have approval of the document by Monday.

See a draft of the document

Visit the New York Forward Page


Recording of Thursday’s Reopening Webinar presented by Emergency One is Available Online

Much of what is required in the guidelines was covered in the Council of Industry’s Webinar Thursday presented by EmergencyOne and is available on our COVID-19 Resource Page.

The recording of the webinar is here.


IRS Listens to Manufacturers, Protects Tax Credit Eligibility

The IRS has listened to manufacturers’ concerns and reversed its wrongly issued guidance that would have prevented employers that provide health care benefits for furloughed workers from qualifying for the employee retention tax credit. This is an important development that your NAM advocated.

The updated IRS FAQs on the tax credit are available here


New Council of Industry Podcast:  Mike Oates, President of the Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation

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. Our podcast is one of those resources and part of those efforts.

In this episode Harold King from the Council of Industry interviews Mike Oates, President and CEO of the Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation (HVEDC).  Harold and Mike talk about HVEDC’s response the COVID 19 outbreak in the region. They also talk about the impact of the virus and the government lockdown on the regional economy as well as opportunities to grow and strengthen manufacturing post COVID.

Listen Here


Volatile Prices, Disappearing Masks: Inside the Chaotic Gray Market for Coronavirus Gear

The demand for protective gear will increase as states reopen their economies and businesses. By week’s end, 43 states will be doing that at least partially. With little gear coming from the U.S. government, states, hospitals, law enforcement and companies will heighten their hunt to protect employees. The gray market is where many will continue to turn for the goods—mostly made in China—forcing brokers, states and others to reinvent a supply chain on the fly.

Read more in the WSJ


Economy Lost 20.5 Million Jobs in April

The unemployment rate hit 14.7%,.  April’s unemployment rate topped the post-[World War II] record 10.8% but was short of the Great Depression high estimated at 24.9%. The financial crisis peak was 10% in October 2009.

NAM Chief Economist Chad Moutray notes that the manufacturing sector lost 1,330,000 jobs last month.

Read More at CNBC 


Back to Back Council of Industry Webinars Presented by JGS CPAs: 

Payroll Protection Program Loan Forgiveness, Wednesday, May 13, 2020 at 1 pm

Jason T. Giordano, CPA, CVA, MST, managing partner of JGS, CPA will explain the loan forgiveness rules associated with the Paycheck Protection Program

In this webinar we will offer a detailed discussion of the loan forgiveness rules within the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), one of the most highlighted areas of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The PPP offers financial relief to small businesses through the Small Business Administration (SBA) 7(a) loans. This discussion will include an in depth look at the loan forgiveness rules related to these new loans. Commonly asked questions will be discussed, along with the identification of areas where guidance may still be needed.

Register Here

Tax Credits and Relief Associated with COVID-19, Wednesday, May 13, 2020 at 2 pm

Join Domenick Del Rosso, CPA, MST, partner at JGS, CPA as he explains the tax credits and relief associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

In response to emerging and unprecedented financial devastation from COVID-19 on March 27, 2020, Congress passed broad economic relief for individuals, tax-exempts organizations and corporations. The CARES Act includes a myriad of tax provisions targeting individuals, corporations, and tax-exempt entities. In this webinar we will discuss certain tax relief under the Act as it pertains to businesses and corporations.

Register Here


Survey: HR Skeptical of Permanent Work-From-Home Shift

The percentage of employers using remote work for salaried employees increased 61 percentage points since the start of 2020, but almost all HR professionals expect work to revert to the office after the coronavirus pandemic subsides, according to a survey by the Society for Human Resource Management and Oxford Economics. The survey reflects responses from mid-April.

Read the full story at SHRM 


Didn’t Get the PPP? Think About the Employee Retention Credit

By far, the most discussed aspect of the CARES Act has been the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. And with good reason. The PPP loans provide a powerful benefit of up to 2.5 times monthly payroll costs, and the possibility that the entire loan will be forgiven. Sandy Weinberg, and Christopher Migliaccio, from PKF O’Conner Davies write that the Employee Retention Credit (ERC), also introduced under the CARES Act, has received comparatively less press. This was understandable as the Act explicitly states that a business could not obtain both and the ERC, limited to $5,000 per employee, is almost certainly a smaller benefit than the PPP loan.

Read more at PKF O’Conner Davies


Dutchess IDA Looks To Help County Manufacturers Expand Capacity to Produce PPE

The Dutchess County Industrial Development Agency (IDA) will vote to establish a no-fee, fast tracked, COVID-19 Sales and Use Tax Relief Program to help local manufacturers expand capacity and produce much needed personal protection equipment in Dutchess County. The Dutchess County IDA and LDC will meet on Wednesday, May 13 at 8:00 a.m. to consider resolution.


 

 

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COVID 19 Update 54

Governor Cuomo Enlists Former Google CEO to Head Commission to ‘Reimagine’ the State after COVID-19

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday he has enlisted Eric Schmidt, former chief executive of Google Inc. and Novell Inc., to head a blue-ribbon commission tasked with “reimagining” New York state in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Cuomo has been pushing for the state to consider using the crisis to make changes and improvements to how it handles such issues as public health care, education and housing at his daily press briefings on the virus. 

Cuomo said Michael Dowling, chief executive of nonprofit health-care network Northwell Health, will take on the task of improving health services in the state. On Tuesday, Cuomo said the state will work with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to “reimagine education.”

Read more at Marketwatch


 

Proposed NYS Bill Would Create an Occupational Disease Presumption for Employees That Have Contracted COVID-19.

S.8266 (Ramos)/A.10401 (Simotas) – would amend New York State’s Workers’ Compensation Law to create an occupational disease presumption for employees that have contracted COVID-19. The New York Comp Insurance Rating Board has issued an analysis projecting the cost impact on the state’s workers compensation system to be as high as $31 billion, compared to current annual compensation system cost of approximately $8.7 billion. “The categories of workers identified in the proposal that are eligible to make a claim based upon exposure is broad and encompasses much, if not all, of the State’s public and private sector workforce. Further, by predicating compensability upon exposure instead of illness, the proposal makes most, if not all workers, eligible for benefits without testing positive for the illness.”

Read more at the Rating Board Analysis


CI Partner MACNY Featured in WSJ Article: Safety Policies Keep Upstate N.Y. Factories Humming

General Electric, Indium and other manufacturers in upstate New York have stayed open as essential businesses and largely kept their workers safe with proper equipment and protocols. Eighty percent of Manufacturers Association of Central New York companies are operating, with an average capacity of 75%, according to a survey.

The MACNY Survey mirrors ones conducted by the Council of Industry and the BNMA. 

Read More at the WSJ


Automakers Restarting Manufacturing Plants

Fiat Chrysler is looking to reopen its manufacturing plants starting May 18, says CEO Mike Manley, pending government restrictions, such as Michigan’s, which is set to expire May 15. Other automakers such as Ford and GM also expected to open later this month after discussions with the United Auto Workers union about safety measures. Kia, Hyundai and BMW opened some southern US plants on Monday, while Toyota is planning a May 11 restart.

Read the full story at the Associated Press


China’s Exports Unexpectedly Rose in April

The Caixin/Markit services Purchasing Managers’ Index for April came in at 44.4, Reuters reported Thursday, off the 50-level that separates growth from contraction on a monthly basis. China also reported Thursday that its dollar-denominated exports rose but imports fell in April as movement restrictions to curb the coronavirus outbreak were eased. 

“Goods exports were much better than expected in April,” economists at Oxford Economics wrote in a note. Still, they warned: “We think the pick-up in exports is temporary and export momentum will fall in the coming months.”

Read More at CNBC


Virtual Forum with NAM CEO Jay Timmons and Rep. Virginia Foxx

You are invited to join the NAM Labor and Employment Policy Committee for a virtual forum on small business and COVID-19, including Q&A with Congresswoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC). Rep. Foxx is the Republican leader of the House Education and Labor Committee which oversees all of the nation’s workplace and employment laws including OSHA, EEOC, NLRB, DOL and workforce development. NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons will open the forum and update participants on the NAM’s American Renewal Action Plan.

Rep. Foxx will provide an update on the latest Congressional activity in response to COVID-19 and will answer pressing questions from small and medium-sized manufacturers.

Register here


When Not Working Is More Profitable Than Working

Businesses getting ready to reopen are contacting furloughed and temporarily laid off employees to discuss bringing them back to work. Instead of enthusiasm, however, some employers are meeting reluctance. Not working has become more profitable than working. 

Our friends at Greenwald Doherty offer some tips to deal with this challenge. 

When Not Working Is More Profitable Than Working – Greenwald Doherty


Slide Deck from Yesterday’s Getting Back to Work Webinar Available 

The slides from the terrific presentation by EmergencyOne are avialable on the Council of Industry COVID 19 Resource Page.  The recording of the webinar will be available tomorrow (5/8).

They are also here: Return to Work Protocols and Best Practices from Emergency One 5/6/2020


Back to Back Council of Industry Webinars Presented by JGS CPAs: 

Payroll Protection Program Loan Forgiveness, Wednesday, May 13, 2020 at 1 pm

Jason T. Giordano, CPA, CVA, MST, managing partner of JGS, CPA will explain the loan forgiveness rules associated with the Paycheck Protection Program

In this webinar we will offer a detailed discussion of the loan forgiveness rules within the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), one of the most highlighted areas of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The PPP offers financial relief to small businesses through the Small Business Administration (SBA) 7(a) loans. This discussion will include an in depth look at the loan forgiveness rules related to these new loans. Commonly asked questions will be discussed, along with the identification of areas where guidance may still be needed.

Register Here

Tax Credits and Relief Associated with COVID-19, Wednesday, May 13, 2020 at 2 pm

Join Domenick Del Rosso, CPA, MST, partner at JGS, CPA as he explains the tax credits and relief associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

In response to emerging and unprecedented financial devastation from COVID-19 on March 27, 2020, Congress passed broad economic relief for individuals, tax-exempts organizations and corporations. The CARES Act includes a myriad of tax provisions targeting individuals, corporations, and tax-exempt entities. In this webinar we will discuss certain tax relief under the Act as it pertains to businesses and corporations.

Register Here

read more »

The 2020 Manufacturing Champions Announced

Owlies

The Council of Industry is proud to announce the 2020 Manufacturing Champions. These are individuals and an organization, who through vision, dedication, hard work, and tireless involvement have helped to overcome some of the many obstacles faced by manufacturers in the Hudson Valley community and in so doing they have made it possible for manufacturers and their employees to prosper. This year’s honorees are:

Private Sector Champion: John Waldron,  IBM System Supply Chain- Poughkeepsie Manufacturing Plant Manager
John Waldron’s career at IBM has spanned over 35 years. His experience within the Supply Chain consists of several roles, including leading Planning, New Product Development, Supply Assurance, and Marketing Brand Advocates. This served as a foundation for his current role as Plant Manager for IBM’s flagship product, the System-Z Mainframe. His impact for IBM’s financial success is significant, but equally as important, the influence on the employees and teams he manages is even more substantial. John has developed active recruiting relationships with Dutchess Community College to connect students with IBM Blue Collar initiatives, resulting in many graduates starting an exciting career at IBM. He cultivates and participates in the local P-Tech programs in Newburgh and Kingston. He takes time to visit the classroom to share perspectives. In addition to his career, John maintains a strong desire for developing a sense of community. A major focus of his time at work consists of stimulating employee engagement. He does this by encouraging a ‘friends and family’ culture, where the organization builds relationships, but also focus on community-related objectives.

Public Sector Champion: Lieutenant Governor Hochul
Lt. Governor Hochul is Chair of the State’s 10 Regional Economic Development Councils that are transforming the state’s economy by building upon regional strengths through long-term strategic plans. The Councils include leaders from academia, business, labor and not-for-profits and, to date, have invested over $6.1 billion into more than 7,300 projects across the State. The Lieutenant Governor also chairs the State Workforce Investment Board, addressing a major concern of manufacturers – the lack of skilled workers.

Organization Champion: Crystal Run Village Inc. (CRVI)
Crystal Run Village Inc. (CRVI) connects disabled people that want to learn and work with manufacturers that need committed and engaged employees. CRVI is a non-profit organization that raises, manages and distributes funds for the purpose of improving the lives of individuals with developmental and other disabilities. CRVI is committed to providing services for the integration and empowerment of people with disabilities. Their goal is to become the provider of choice for people who need our services and the employer of choice for those who want to work with the people they support. In addition to residential services, the agency offers Vocational and Skill Development Programs, Service Coordination, Respite House and Community Habilitation. As part of the Vocational and Skills Development Program, CRVI has been able to connect disabled individuals with manufacturing companies,

Educator Champion: Dr. Charles Khoury, Superintendent, Ulster BOCES
Dr. Khoury is a passionate advocate for career and technical education and for fostering innovation in education. In addition to his role as Chief Executive Officer, he is the New York State Education Commissioner’s representative in the field, the major liaison between local districts and the State Education Department, as well as the spokesperson for regional education issues. Working closely with his administrative team, including Dr. Jonah Schenker, Deputy Superintendent, and Allison Dodd, Assistant Superintendent for Administration, Dr. Khoury oversees collaborative opportunities for districts to increase their capacity, provide support, and create possibilities for students to meet the changing requirements for graduation.

The Manufacturing Champion Awards Breakfast is tentatively scheduled for Friday, May 22, 2020, from 7:30 am – 9:30 am at The Powelton Club in Newburgh, NY. In light of current circumstances, we will keep you informed as the date approaches if we need to cancel or alter the format. You can view past Manufacturing Champions here.

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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.

read more »

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/

read more »

Successful CI Luncheon & Expo Features Speaker Jason Bram from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York

The Council of Industry held its Annual Luncheon & Member/ Associate Member Expo on Friday, November 15th at the Grandview in Poughkeepsie. This year’s keynote speaker was Jason Bram, a Research Officer in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Regional Analysis Function. He discussed employment data and the economic outlook for manufacturers in the Hudson Valley and beyond. The Certificate in Manufacturing Leadership was also awarded to 21 individuals for completing the Council’s supervisory training program.

This year the  3rd year scholars from The Hudson Valley Pathways Academy took on the Luncheon check-in table as a challenge project. They worked out the name tag set up and check-in procedures and manned those stations fro the event. They also provided assistance to expo participants. This year’s Expo was the largest ever with 30 Council of Industry member and associate member booths. There was a variety of displays, from safety equipment to banking and insurance, to a robotic arm that played tic-tac-toe and much more. The Expo offered companies the opportunity to display their products and services to the over 300 luncheon attendees. 

A highlight of the Luncheon is the awarding of the Certificates in Manufacturing Leadership. This year we presented 21 individuals from 10 companies with certificates of completion. We also debuted the latest CI Video – Women in Manufacturing, see it here.

Jason Bram, Research Officer, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York was the keynote speaker and provided his insight into the emerging economic trends. His presentation focused on employment in the region and local economies, trends in manufacturing employment and insights from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s business surveys. Bram explained how employment data point to fairly robust growth in Orange and Rockland
counties while Ulster & Dutchess counties lag. He also explained that the recent business surveys point to increasing weakness in both the
region’s manufacturing and service sectors with some businesses indicating adverse effects from trade restrictions and rising minimum wages. He included many graphs to illustrate his statistics.

This event is made possible by the generous support of our sponsors and we would like to thank them.

We would like to thank our major sponsor:

and our supporting sponsors:

                                

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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

read more »

Educators Tour Westchester Manufacturers Magnetic Analysis Corp and Safe Flight

Educators visit MAC

Pictured above: Educators tour Magnetic Analysis Corporation in Elmsford, NY.

Last week the Council of Industry, as part of its ongoing efforts to develop a skilled workforce for Hudson Valley Manufacturers, organized a tour for educators of Westchester County manufacturers.  Partnering with The Workforce Development Institute, Westchester Community College, Southern Westchester BOCES, New York State Senator Shelley Mayer, and Westchester County, we chartered a Coach bus and brought 34 administrators, guidance counselors and teachers to see firsthand the careers and career pathways available to their students in manufacturing.

The tour began at Westchester Community College with a presentation covering both credit and non-credit programs available at the college that teach the skillsets for many of these career pathways. Dean Raymond Houston of Westchester Community College’s School of Mathematics, Science, and Engineering, and Tom Curanovic, Curriculum Chair of Mechanical & Civil Technology at WCC, led a tour of the advanced manufacturing center. This included a CAD lab, a CNC lab (with machines donated by Council of Industry member Fryer Machine,) and the electronics lab, along with a description of the training students receive in these classrooms. There was also some discussion from manufacturers taking part in the tour of the jobs and skills they are looking for when hiring and how the training provided by the college and through apprenticeship programs is beneficial.

After the WCC presentation and tour, the group boarded the bus and set off to their first stop, Safe Flight Instrument Corporation, right next to the Westchester County Airport in White Plains. Safe Flight is a leader in aviation safety and flight performance systems.  The company was founded in 1946 and pioneered the development of Stall Warning and Angle of Attack, Automatic Throttle Systems, Wind Shear Warning, and many other innovations in aircraft instrumentation, flight performance, and control systems for fixed and rotary winged aircraft. As part of the tour, the educators learned more about the company’s history and philosophy. We met with the head of Engineering and learned about the numerous patents the company holds as well as how they test their products right here in Westchester. The tour of the production floor was fascinating for the educators, as they were able to see the CNC machines and machine shop, quality assurance testing, and electronics assembly in action and learn more about the types of jobs that are available in this company and what training is necessary to get started here and the opportunities for growth within the company. Then it was back on the bus and off to our next manufacturer. During the drive, Justin Lukach, President of Mircomold Products in Yonkers, talked about his company, how he got into manufacturing, and some innovative ideas they are trying out at Micromold to increase employee engagement.

After a short ride over to Elmsford, the group disembarked on the tour’s next stop, Magnetic Analysis Corporation, where they manufacture instruments, systems and solutions for nondestructive testing to inspect flaws and defects in tube and pipe, bar, rod, wire, cable, billets, and parts. Their products and testing instruments are used in countless countries and territories, in plants and mills where wire, tubing, bars, and metal parts roll through automatic inspection systems without missing a beat. Here we learned about the history of MAC and why their testing equipment is so important and what skills and background they look for when hiring employees. Greg Gionta, MAC Plant Manager, was also a WCC alumna and a great source of information on the career opportunities available to young people interested in working with their hands.  On the tour, we were treated to a CNC demonstration and watched as parts were readied for assembly in a machine worth over $400,000 headed to the oil and gas industry. Then it was back on the bus and we were off to the next stop, a Con Edison station in Rye.

At our last stop, Con Edison, the group learned about the jobs available in the Energy field and the growth opportunities available depending on your education and training. We heard from several current Con Ed employees about their career paths and how they got where they are today. They emphasized the importance of safety in their field and at Con Edison.

The bus ride back to the Community College featured Evangelo Micas, Assistant Principal for Southern Westchester BOCES, who discussed the programs open to high school students to get started on the path to manufacturing and energy careers. The educators came on the tour hoping to find out more about options for students that may, or may not be, college-bound and they came away with new connections to schools, companies and organizations in their community that are eager to find those same kids and expose them to rewarding career pathways in industry. This event was made possible by funding from The Workforce Development Institute. The Council of Industry looks forward to building these relationships to help develop the manufacturing workforce of the future.

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Parking Permit and Agenda for Lower Hudson Valley Advanced Manufacturing and Energy Bus Tour for Educators

Link to Parking Permit for the Lower Hudson Valley Advanced Manufacturing and Energy Bus Tour for Educators on Tuesday, October 29th

Link to Map of Westchester Community College Campus

You should arrive between 7 – 7:15 am to check-in and enjoy a light breakfast before we begin our event.  You may park in Lot 11 and go to the Gateway Center for check-in, marked on the attached map. Below is a general agenda for the day. You should have received a pre-event survey via email, please complete this as it will help us in preparing future events. We plan to return by 2:30 pm to Lot 11. Please bring a photo ID, it may be required to enter certain facilities. There will be some walking involved, please dress appropriately.

In case of last minute directions or schedule changes or if you have any questions, call me at (845) 565-1355, this number will ring on my cell phone the day of the event.

Directions to Westchester Community College, 75 Grasslands Road, Valhalla, NY 10595
Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/FyHQe6K4mcWyBbX7A

 

Agenda

  • 7:00 – 7:15 Check-in at WCC
  • 7:15 – 8:15 WCC Presentation & Tour of Adv. Mfg. Lab

o 7:15 – 7:35 Welcome and Overview of Westchester Community College Programs

o 7:35 – 8:15 Tour of Advanced Manufacturing and Energy Labs

  • 8:30 – 8:50 drive to Safe Flight Instrument Corporation, White Plains (14 -24 min est.)

o Speaker: Raymond Houston, Dean of School of Mathematics, Science, and Engineering at Westchester Community College

  • 9:00 – 10:00 Tour Safe Flight Instrument Corporation – White Plains
  • 10:15 – 10:35 Drive to Magnetic Analysis Corp. (14 -22 mins)

o Speaker: Justin Lukach, President of Micromold Products Inc. (Yonkers)

  • 10:50 – 11:50 Presentation & Tour Magnetic Analysis Corp. – Elmsford
  • 12:05 – 12:35 Drive to Con Ed – Rye (18- 28 mins)

o Lunch

o Speaker: Johnnieanne Hansen, Vice President of Operations and Workforce Development – Council of Industry

  • 12:50 – 1:50 Presentation and Virtual Tour, Con Edison – Rye
  • 2:00 – 2:30 Drive to WCC (20 -30 mins)

o Speaker: Evangelo Michas, Assistant Principal Center for Career Services– Southern Westchester BOCES

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Jason Bram from NY Federal Reserve to Speak at CI Luncheon & Expo on 11/15

The Council of Industry will hold its Annual Luncheon & Member/ Associate Member Expo on Friday, November 15th at the Grandview in Poughkeepsie. This year’s keynote speaker will be Jason Bram, a Research Officer in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Regional Analysis Function. He will discuss the economic outlook for manufacturers in the Hudson Valley and beyond. The Certificate in Manufacturing Leadership will also be award to 29 individuals for completing the supervisory training program.

28 Council of Industry members and associate members will have booths in the Expo, which opens the event at 11:30 am. The Expo offers companies the opportunity to display their products and services to the over 300 expected attendees. 

Jason Bram, Research Officer, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York will provide his insight into the emerging economic trends. His research and analysis focus on the U.S. economy, with a primary emphasis on the Federal Reserve’s Second District, which includes New York State. Bram produces the regional Beige Book reports and uses monthly business surveys to monitor and analyze current and emerging economic trends. He has also published studies on some key sectors of the local economy, conducted ongoing research on commuting patterns, and researched the role of consumer confidence in the U.S. economy.

A highlight of the Luncheon is the awarding of the Certificates in Manufacturing Leadership. This year we have 29 individuals from 12 companies that have completed the Leadership Program. We invite our members to celebrate their achievements.

Seats are available for $60 per person or $540 for a table of ten. Registration is available on our website or follow this link. This event is made possible by our generous sponsors. Sponsorship opportunities are still available – click here for details.

We would like to thank our major sponsor:

and our supporting sponsors:

                                

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October is Manufacturing Month

Students at Mfg Day

October is Manufacturing Month and we want you to be a part of the festivities. Our members are invited to host a table at the Pine Bush High School Advanced Manufacturing / STEAM Career Night on October 2. MFG Day is October 4, and there is still time to set up a tour of your facility and we would love to help. Westchester Community College, The Workforce Development Institute, and The Council of Industry are holding a manufacturing bus tour for educators in Westchester County to raise awareness of the career pathways available in manufacturing on October 29th. 

PineBush High School Advanced Manufacturing / STEAM Careers Night – 10/2

Held in conjunction with their annual open house, this event will feature a presentation and panel discussion on STEAM careers and advanced manufacturing and offer tours of Pine Bush’s Innovation Center and Fabrication Labs for Pine Bush students and parents. Manufacturers and local business are encouraged to participate in the Business and Career Showcase. If you are interested and would like a table at the event click here. There will also be tours of the PBHS Engineering, Robotics, STEAM Labs. 

MFG Day  – Host a Facility Tour – 10/4

This day has been designed to expand knowledge about, and improve general public perception of manufacturing careers and manufacturing’s value to the U.S. economy. Manufacturing Day is for students, parents, educators, media, customers, suppliers and the community at large. This year MFG Day is October 4th. The Council of Industry will be broadcasting the Hudson Valley Live radio show on WKIP from Selux Corp. in Highland, NY that morning to start the day. We have had several companies register both public and private events already.

A big part of the day will be tours and visits to manufacturers, big and small, across the country. We encourage you to participate by hosting a tour of your facility. We can help connect you to a local school and register your event on the National Association of Manufacturer’s MFG Day website: https://www.mfgday.com/ Tours don’t have to take place on Oct. 4th, you can pick a day that works best for your company. 

If you would like us to help organize your event, let us know and we will give you a call or you can register online: If you would like to organize a tour click here

Educator/ Advanced Manufacturing Bus Tour of Westchester – 10/29

Advanced Manufacturing and technical careers are thriving in Westchester County and the Hudson Valley. Rewarding careers can be launched with everything from a high school diploma to a Ph.D.  The Educator Advanced Manufacturing Tour invites high school teachers, guidance counselors and administrators to learn first-hand about the types of companies and career paths open right here in Westchester County.

The event will start with a light breakfast at WCC and tour of the college’s advanced manufacturing labs. There will be a presentation on manufacturing and applied engineering technology career pathways, certifications, degrees and workforce programs available. We will then board a charter bus and travel to a local Con Edison worksite to learn about technical career pathways in the utility industry. After that, we will get back on the bus and visit two local manufacturing facilities for tours and presentations on their companies and advanced manufacturing career pathways, including those open through the New York State Apprenticeship Program.

 

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A Beautiful Day for Golf

The weather was perfect this year for the Council of Industry annual Golf Outing. The event hosted 90 golfers from manufacturing companies and their associates at the beautiful historic Powelton Club in Newburgh. The event featured a lunch sponsored by Viking Industries and Cocktails followed by a light dinner sponsored by Packaging Technologies & Inspection (PTI).
This year there was a new option, we offered a scramble game for those who didn’t want the pressure of playing their own ball or preferred to avoid the ‘yellow ball’ stress. Of course, best-ball and yellow ball were also still options as well. Prizes for the games were made possible by the following sponsors: Closest to Pin – Pratt Whitney; Longest Drive – Elna Magnetics; Best Ball – Allendale Machinery, Yellow Ball – Package Pavement Co.

Participants received golf shirts with the CI logo donated by Direct Energy and there was a Hole-in-One, that a couple of people came close to winning, sponsored by Belfor Property Restoration. We would also like to thank all of our tee sponsors: Pratt Whitney; The Chazen Companies; Bleakley Platt & Schmidt, LLP; President Container Group; E.A. Morse; Bell Flavors & Fragrances; Barton and Loguidice, D.P.C.; Schatz Bearing Corp.; Orange Bank & Trust Company; Pawling Engineered Products; Central Hudson; Ethan Allen Workforce Solutions; Metallized Carbon Corp.; Harris Beach PLLC; Eastern Alloys, Inc.; JGS CPAs; TD Bank; and Ulster Savings Bank.

Winners of the best ball contest were: Mark Kastner, The Chazen Companies; Tom Gaffney, AFF Flanders; Ron Aberizk, Direct Energy Business; Al Lussier, Direct Energy Business. Winners of the yellow ball competition were: John Rickert, Craig Busby, JP Cheneski, and Chuck DelPriore of Pawling Engineered Products. Winners of the scramble were: Dylan Dembeck, Tom Weddell, Jarred Kaufman, Steven Drobysh from the Ulster Savings Bank foursome. Other winners were – woman’s longest drive: Stephanie Melick, Elna Magnetics; men’s longest drive: John Evans, Belfor Property Restoration; women’s Closest to the pin: Alicia Zito, Bell Flavors & Fragrances, Inc.

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Join Us for a Day of Golf at the Powelton Club

CI Golf Outing

The Council of Industry Golf Outing is right around the corner. We invite our members and associate members to join us at the historic Powelton Club in Newburgh, NY on Monday, August 26, for a fun-filled day of golf. The $195 fee ($695 per foursome) includes lunch, golf, cart, cocktails, hors-d’oeuvres, dinner, prizes and giveaways. Dinner only option for non-golfers is $65 per person.

The Powelton is a beautiful course conveniently located just off Route 9W in Newburgh, NY. Last year’s event drew over 70 golfers from manufacturing firms throughout the Hudson Valley. Registration and lunch will begin at 11:30 followed by a shotgun start at 12:30. There is a Best Ball competition and the ever-popular Yellow Ball. This year we will be offering a scramble option as well which may be more fun for less experienced golfers. Proper golf attire is required at the Powelton and game rules will be provided at the start of the event. Cocktails and a light dinner will follow at approximately 5:00 p.m.

Register online at https://www.councilofindustry.org/event-seminar/golf-outing/ or email Alison Butler abutler@councilofindustry.org or call (845) 565-1355.

Please consider becoming a sponsor of this event. Sponsors help make the CI Golf Outing possible and one of the most enjoyable of the golfing season. Show your support the Council of Industry and Hudson Valley manufacturing by becoming a sponsor.

We would like to thank the following:

Lunch Sponsor– Thank you Viking Industries
Cocktail Sponsor– $2,500 (includes a foursome) still available
Hole In One– Thank you Belfor Property Restoration
Shirt Sponsor– Thank you Direct Energy 
Best Ball Prize Sponsor– Thank you Allendale Machinery 
Yellow Ball Prize Sponsor– Thank you Package Pavement Company
Scramble Prize Sponsor– $800 still available
Closest to the Pin Prize Sponsor– Thank you Pratt & Whitney Advanced Coating Technologies 
Longest Drive Prize Sponsor– Thank you Elna Magnetics   
Tee Sign– $275 still available
Thank you  Tee Sponsors -The Chazen Companies, Pratt & Whitney Advanced Coating Technologies, Bleakley Platt & Schmidt, LLP,  President Container Group, E.A. Morse, Bell Flavors & Fragrances, Barton & Loguidice, Schatz Bearing Company, Orange Bank & Trust Company, Pawling Engineered Products, Central Hudson, Ethan Allen Workforce Solutions, Metallized Carbon Corp.

 

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