Page 1

J une201 6

Financial Wellness for Your Business

Manufacturer & Business Association Endorses SmartDollar for Your Financial Wellness Solution

Introducing SmartDollar! SmartDollar is a step-by-step approach to handling money with the number-one authority in personal finance, Dave Ramsey. More than 2.5 million families have gotten on Dave’s plan and taken control of their money. YOU CAN TOO!

An employee benefit from:

Build Your Way To A Smarter Future SmartDollar will help you assemble a plan for your money by teaching you how to take control of it once and for all. Start telling your money where to go and stop wondering where it went!

Finally, there is a program that can bring financial wellness to every employee in our organization, regardless of their income level or position! — MBA Member



Retirement 1039876



Powered by: Manufacturer & Business Association

The average person pays off $3,300 of debt and saves $5,000 in the first six months! You don’t need a six-figure income to take control of your money; all you need is a plan. More than 2.5 million people just like you have changed their lives forever and stopped the cycle of living paycheck to paycheck.




Paid off $100k in 46 months!

Paid off $48k in 17 months!

Paid off $19k in 12 months!

MBA proudly endorses SmartDollar as the preferred financial wellness solution for your business. As an MBA member, you’ll enjoy special discounts on this life-changing program for your team! Visit our website for more information. For Enrollment Page


Take the first step toward a smarter future! You’ll learn how to... Learn more at




When you don’t have debt, the world is your oyster. Learn how to

Learn how to find the cash you need to retire with dignity and uncover your

Everyone knows they need a plan for their money, but where do you start?







Shaping the Future

Unmatched digital printing and finishing capabilities Printing Concepts with the HP Indigo 5600 Digital Press and the ESKO i-XE 10 Digital Diecutting System can be your supplier for unique shapes and packaging needs. Contact us today to learn about the many advantages and limitless possiblities we can offer.

/PrintingConceptsInc /company/printing-concepts-erie-pa

4982 Pacific Avenue, Erie, PA 16506 814. 833. 8080 | 800.540.7805 Focusing on innovative cross media solutions with an environmentally responsible mindset. World Class Technology, Old-Fashioned Quality and Service.




The Powerful Role of Career and Technical Education




Mercyhurst University President Michael T. Victor is focused on introducing innovative programs that will allow future leaders to adapt to the changing world of business and technology.














INSERT | Training Schedule




Contributing Writers Dan Miller Patrick Haughey Debbie Morton

See the Association’s upcoming computer, HR and professional development courses.



Executive Editor & Senior Writer Karen Torres

The Erie Regional Manufacturer Partnership (ERMP) is mobilizing the community and leading a collaborative approach to align efforts to ensure that manufacturing remains a strong contributor to the regional economy. Hear what the president and chair of ERMP is saying about the progress the group has made and its plans for 2016. George Currie

READ ON THE GO! For the most current Business Magazine updates, visit

Feature Photography iStock Photography R. Frank Photography

Design, Production & Printing Printing Concepts Inc.

Additional Photography Casey Naylon

Advertising Sales David Thornburg 814/833-3200





On the Cover: With President Michael T. Victor at the helm, Mercyhurst University is pioneering programs

Association is dedicated to providing information and services to its members that will assist them in the pursuit of their business and community interests. – Board of Governors


Manufacturer & Business Association 2171 West 38th Street | Erie, Pa. 16508 814/833-3200 or 800/815-2660

© Copyright 2016 by the Manufacturer & Business Association. All rights reserved. Reproduction or use of editorial, pictorial or advertisements created for use in the Business Magazine, in any manner, without written permission from the publisher, is prohibited. Unsolicited manuscripts cannot be returned unless accompanied by a properly addressed envelope bearing sufficient postage. The magazine accepts no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts or artwork. The Business Magazine and Manufacturer & Business Association do not specifically endorse any of the products or practices described in the magazine. The Business Magazine is published monthly by the Manufacturer & Business Association, 2171 West 38th Street, Erie, Pa. 16508. Phone: 814/833-3200 or 800/815-2660.

Why you should make sure your supervisors are trained for their roles in an increasingly complex legal environment and how to best document supervisory actions. Dan Miller


to better respond to the data and technology changes impacting the university, the region and the world. For full story, see page 4.

Mission Statement: The Manufacturer & Business

How absence management helps make up for lost time when it comes to workers’ compensation, disability and leave. Patrick D. Haughey

Guest columnist David C. Kozak, Ph.D., examines the national nominating conventions and American politics at the boiling point. • JUNE 2016


We are Technical Education. Get it all at ECTS!

We are the career and technical education department for 11 Erie County school districts, offering 18 different programs; 12 of which are nationally accredited. ECTS served more than 750 high school students in 2015/16 and recently presented senior awards to over 200 graduates of the class of 2016.

Achieve your goals at RCTC!

We are the providers of industry specific and customized training programs for adults. RCTC offers affordable tuition and convenient class schedules. Choose from a wide variety of classes in automotive, computer, construction, drafting, food safety, HVAC, industrial, insurance, manufacturing, medical, special interest, truck driver and welding. 8500 Oliver Road | Erie, PA 16509 | (814) 464-8600 Erie County Technical School is an Equal Opportunity Educational Institution. The RCTC is a division of the Erie County Technical School, an equal opportunity educational institution.


A Blueprint for Success THE POWERFUL ROLE OF CAREER AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION It’s no secret that many industries in America are feeling the talent crunch. According to a recent survey by the Business Roundtable, 95 percent of American CEOs believe their companies suffer from a skills shortage. In fact, about 60 percent of job openings require basic science, technology, engineering and math literacy, and 42 percent require advanced STEM skills. The skills gap poses serious challenges for America’s businesses and the economy — and a critical reason why career and technical education should be at the forefront.

Experts agree that firms that recruit for manufacturing roles are expected to experience the greatest shortage of unskilled workers.

According to a Skills Gap study by Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute, nearly 3.5 million manufacturing jobs likely need to be filled over the next decade. The skills gap is expected to result in 2 million of those jobs going unfilled. At the same time, many experts agree that growth in technology has been outpacing talent supply, and a shortage of technological, analytical and data-mining skills also have employers scrambling.

Business and industry have long recognized that career and technical education (CTE) can play a critical role in developing the next generation of workers.

A recent study on CTE has found that career and technical education is highly beneficial to not only employers but students, as well.

Overall, students with greater exposure to CTE are more likely to graduate from high school, enroll in a two-year college, be employed and earn higher wages, according to Career and Technical Education in High School: Does it Improve Student Outcomes?, from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. The study also debunks the myth that CTE students don’t attend college. In fact, the study found these students are as likely as their peers to pursue a four-year degree. In terms of high school graduation, CTE gives students a considerable advantage. When compared to students the study deemed similar, CTE students are 21 percent more likely to graduate from high school.

What’s Our Potential?

In this issue of the Business Magazine, we’ll delve into the topic of technical education and the career opportunities that are available in our region. We’ll talk with George Currie from the Erie Regional

Manufacturer Partnership (ERMP) on what ERMP and its supporters are doing to address the skills gap and the issue of workforce development. We’ll also hear from Michael Victor, Mercyhurst University’s 12th president, on how he is helping to usher in a new era of innovative programs that will allow future leaders to adapt to the changing world of business and technology. As a leader in professional development programs for more than 20 years, the Manufacturer & Business Association’s expert trainers also deliver the knowledge and skills you and your organization need to compete. Be sure to check out this month’s Training Schedule for all the latest offerings or visit our website at to learn more.

Prepare Your Workforce Today! • JUNE 2016




President Victor’s Cabinet - Merry Bollheimer, general counsel and vice president for legal affairs; Richard Eplawy, interim vice president for finance; Jeanette Britt, chief information officer; David Dausey, provost and vice president for academic affairs; President Michael Victor; Joseph Howard, vice president for enrollment; Laura Zirkle, vice president for student life; Caleb Pifer, vice president for advancement; and Sister Lisa Mary McCartney, RSM, vice president for mission integration. In recent months, we have witnessed major terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels, deadly flooding in Texas and Oklahoma, mega data breaches in the American health-care industry, and a tanking Chinese stock market.


Michael T. Victor, J.D., LL.D 12th president of Mercyhurst University FAMILY Wife: Craige Pepper Victor Daughters: Sloane Victor; Courtney Victor Russ, her husband Colin, and their daughters, Reagan and Sawyer Stepsons: Wade and Bowman Root ACADEMIA & BUSINESS President, Lake Erie College, Painesville, Ohio (2006-2015) Dean, Walker School of Business, Mercyhurst University (2002-2006) Former CEO, Pyramid Industries CORPORATE and CIVIC SERVICE Co-Chair of Victor Group of Companies, Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership, Rotary Club of Erie, United Way, Holden Arboretum Painesville Area Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year (2012) Lake County Leader of the Year (2011)


JUNE 2016 •

All of these events were preceded by warning signs, signals that would indicate a certain likelihood of occurrence. So, how do you separate the signals from the noise and reach some understanding of what they mean so that we are not continually surprised and, therefore, less competitive, less safe and less secure? At Mercyhurst University’s Ridge College of Intelligence Studies and Applied Sciences, a new intel hybrid is connecting the dots, explains Mercyhurst President Michael Victor, who is dedicating his administration’s support to expanding existing and scripting new “niche programs.”

The Ridge College, Victor notes, takes an interdisciplinary approach in merging the skill sets of the intelligence professional, the mathematics and computer systems expert, and the communications specialist to produce a career professional comfortable in all three domains. The mix of disciplines is in direct response to the extraordinary volume, complexity and variety of data in the world today. There is a compelling need to extract, assimilate and analyze data to assist corporations, government and law enforcement in making critical decisions.

Provost David Dausey (left) talks with President Michael Victor about prioritizing academic initiatives and developing niche programs that will best suit the needs of Mercyhurst students in today’s global marketplace.

As such, Mercyhurst is pioneering programs to make sense of this information avalanche, with everything from baccalaureate and master’s degrees to certificate programs. In fact, going forward means being ever nimble and responsive to the changes impacting the university, the region and the world — and, better yet, anticipating those changes. Victor, who became Mercyhurst’s 12th president on Aug. 1, 2015, is ushering in this new era by applying his background in business as the former chief executive officer of Pyramid Industries and his academic background as the former dean of Mercyhurst’s Walker School of Business and president of Lake Erie College. “It has been said that ‘a modern university has become like a city-state in its scope and complexity’ and, because of that, private education can no longer be business as usual,” he says. “At Mercyhurst, we have put in place a model that demands institutional effectiveness at all levels, in particular, the effective use of data to inform decisions, planning and improvement.” Changing Curriculum For a Changing World Not only is Victor leading the university according to his own successful business model, but he is using his business acumen to influence curriculum development. In the area of graduate education, for instance, Mercyhurst is offering today’s business leaders, and future leaders, an opportunity to adapt to the changing world of business and technology. Case in point: The Ridge College offers two online 12-credit graduate certificates: one in Business Analytics & Intelligence, the other in Applied Intelligence. The programs tackle topics such as: • • • •

Data Analytics for the Private Sector Intelligence & Business Strategy Business Writing & Visual Presentation A choice of business-related electives such as Geospatial Intelligence, Cyber Threat Analysis, Financial Intelligence Analysis, and Advanced Analytic Techniques.

Upon completion, graduates can parlay skills in data extraction, analysis,

Mercyhurst University, 501 E. 38th St., is the Erie region’s first College of Distinction and is ranked No. 41 among U.S. News & World Report’s Best Regional Universities in the North, tying for fifth among the 32 Pennsylvania universities achieving top-tier honors in the North Region. interpretation and presentation to their respective careers. Mastery of these kinds of complex skills also allows businesses to make calculated changes toward gaining an edge over competitors. Mercyhurst offers numerous other graduate certificates intended to elevate one’s career skills and aspirations, among them accounting, higher education administration, human resources and strategy and innovation. For those who have the advantage of time, there’s an assortment of master’s degree programs, including a new MS degree in Data Science. Another popular graduate degree, which resonates with local professionals aspiring to leadership in their respective careers, is Organizational Leadership (OL). In a working world that is fast-paced, complex and globalized, leaders must be more sensitive to the expectations of stakeholders, which is where the OL degree is most valuable. The OL program empowers its students with leadership skills that prepare them to create vision, direction and alignment within an organization to achieve shared objectives. Focused on The Careers of Tomorrow As a teaching university, Mercyhurst is continually mining opportunities for new fields of study at every level. The top majors of today, Victor notes, are not the top majors of five years ago, nor will they be the top majors five years from now.

Beyond the Gates

Technological innovation is changing the way that universities teach and students learn. For academic institutions, charged with equipping graduates to compete in today’s knowledge economy, the possibilities are vast. Distance education, sophisticated learning-management systems, and the opportunity to collaborate with research partners from around the world are just some of the transformational benefits that universities are embracing. Mercyhurst President Michael Victor welcomes the crucial role that intercultural skills and real-world experience increasingly play in the success of the 21st century professional. “An overseas presence will be the norm for the majority of universities in the coming years,” Victor says, noting that Mercyhurst’s innovative Ireland Program is entering its eighth year as a productive venue in which Mercyhurst professors and students undertake semesterlong study in Ireland. Working with government and business partners in Counties Waterford and Cork, as well as with local Irish universities, the program provides future professionals the opportunity not only to experience diverse perspectives but also to be active agents in building global understanding and cooperation, he says. In addition, Mercyhurst’s vibrant study abroad offerings allow professors and students to collaborate, not only in travel and course content, but in engaged, committed conversation and problem-solving in venues ranging from environmental sustainability in Ireland to infectious disease control in Vietnam to politics and race in emerging economies in Africa. Theory and practice come together to foster critical thinking, intercultural awareness, and the commitment to change in the world that is central to the Mercyhurst educational vision and experience. • JUNE 2016


programs at Mercyhurst North East, a residential campus primarily hosting one-year certificate and two-year associate degrees.

Students in the Tom Ridge College of Intelligence Studies and Applied Sciences at Mercyhurst University, the largest program of its kind in academia, develop advanced analytic skills to prepare them for careers in national security, law enforcement and business. This year, Victor oversaw the launch of new undergraduate majors in bioinformatics, physics and environmental science as well as a new graduate program in physician assistant studies. The latter was a direct response to the needs of the region and beyond.

Graduate Degree Programs • Anthropology • Applied Intelligence (Erie campus)

According to a February 2016 Forbes article, physician assistants (PAs) are so in demand to treat the nation’s newly insured patients that they are coming close to primary care physicians as the health professional most in need at U.S. hospitals and health systems. It doesn’t hurt that the mean annual wage for PAs is approximately $99,000. Victor is also responding to demonstrated needs in the health-care field through

Most recently, he presided over the dedication of a new simulation suite housing four high-fidelity simulators for use in maternity and pediatric education of nursing and assorted allied health majors. Knowing that it is becoming increasingly difficult to place students in clinical specialty areas like maternity and pediatrics, Victor says Mercyhurst North East can now augment clinicals with simulated experiences that prepare students to respond to real-life situations. “As innovators, Mercyhurst remains nimble in adapting our curriculum to meet the needs of our students and our region in this ever-changing global environment,” Victor says. “At the same time, we remain true to our liberal arts tradition. Research shows that employers often identify the creative and problem-solving skills traditionally associated with liberal arts majors as the most valuable attributes of new hires. “I guess you could say, ‘We offer the whole package.’ ”

• Applied Intelligence (Online) • Criminal Justice Administration • Data Science • Organizational Leadership • Physician Assistant Studies • Secondary Education: Pedagogy and Practice (Online) • Special Education and Applied Disability Studies Graduate Certificate Programs • Accounting • Applied Behavior Analysis • Applied Intelligence (Online) • Autism Endorsement • Business Analytics and Intelligence (Online) • Criminal Justice Administration • Forensic and Biological Anthropology • Higher Education Administration • Human Resources • Organizational Leadership • Sports Leadership • Strategy and Innovation For more information, visit academics/graduate-programs.


JUNE 2016 •

Mercyhurst North East student Steven Kocher tests his skills in a new high-tech simulation suite for maternity and pediatric education. The new center was made possible by The Orris C. Hirtzel and Beatrice Dewey Hirtzel Memorial Foundation.




An innovative classroom space that leverages advanced technologies to support collaborative learning in a STEAM environment


UTILIZES THE 4 CS OF 21ST CENTURY EDUCATION: • Communication • Collaboration

• Creativity • Critical Thinking


• • • • • • •

interactive screens 2 video walls 20 Lenovo Intel Laptops 5 - MakerBot 3D printers 2 - 3D scanners 3 - CADD stations with i7 Processors Conference ready room with 16 ceiling mics Drone/Lego® Mindstorm Kits


Junior Achievement. Today, achieving even more. She is eager for real world skills. To find out more about the business world, and acquire the knowledge she needs to succeed. Junior Achievement gives volunteers the tools they need to teach young people about money management and how business works. Students get hands on experiences to help prepare them to compete in the workforce. Learn more about the difference your contribution can make at Junior Achievement at 814.898.6385.

Your skills. Their future.


JUNE 2016 •


Why Industry Needs You To Be a Part of the Solution The Erie Regional Manufacturer Partnership (ERMP) is mobilizing the community and leading a collaborative approach among manufacturers, educators, workforce development professionals, and other leaders to align efforts to ensure that manufacturing remains a strong contributor to the regional economy. Here, George Currie, president and chair of ERMP, as well as executive vice president of Erie Press Systems, talks about the progress the group has made and its plans for 2016. The ERMP was formed in 2014 by a group of 20 local manufacturers to help address the need for a skilled workforce and to create opportunities for career pathways in manufacturing. How would you describe the position of the group today in terms of local support? ERMP has an incredible amount of support throughout the Erie community. Not only are 20 manufacturing employers committed to ERMP’s initiatives, but since March over 10 additional partners have pledged support to ERMP. New support consists of educators, nonprofit organizations, additional manufacturers and community leaders. Furthermore, ERMP’s first supporting member meeting had nearly 100 attendees ERMP’s mission — champion manufacturing solutions as it relates to developing a robust pipeline and producing a skilled workforce — has also been supported by the General Electric Foundation, as well as the Erie Community Foundation. How critical is it to have the private sector be a part of the solution to such efforts? As an industry-led partnership, ERMP realizes the need for manufacturers to have a single, common voice to increase public awareness of the career pathway opportunities within the local manufacturing industry. ERMP’s goal is to engage all area stakeholders and to work together as a cohesive group to address workforce issues that cannot be solved individually. You recently announced that the ERMP has begun implementing its 2016 strategic plan, such as forming action

teams for Manufacturing Readiness and Work-Based Learning. What progress has been made so far? ERMP is the industry leader to champion solutions and drive results. The Strategic Action Plan takes into consideration the key messages of collaboration, stakeholder relationships and long-term sustainability. We have identified the initial priorities and action teams as the Manufacturing Readiness Action Team and the WorkBased Learning Action Team. These teams will become the extended infrastructure for the ERMP organization. These initial priorities will maximize the Greater Oh-Penn Manufacturing Apprenticeship Network Grant resources, as we continue to engage all area stakeholders and partners by aligning current efforts to address issues that cannot be solved by ERMP alone. The Work Based Learning Action Team will work with employers and schools to create more opportunities for exposure to industry and simplify and streamline the process of scheduling work-based learning experiences. These experiences include learning opportunities such as on-the-job training, customized job training, co-ops, internships and apprenticeships. They will focus initially on the steps necessary to implement the recently awarded $3 million U.S. Department of Labor American Apprenticeship Initiative Grant, encouraging more manufacturers to adopt or revive apprenticeships.

skills and technical skills necessary to enter into and progress up manufacturing career pathways. This team will identify and execute common processes to recruit and select candidates with the right fit for manufacturing jobs. What are some additional goals for ERMP in the long term? One of ERMP’s top priorities is encouraging manufacturers to adopt or revive apprenticeship programs. The Greater Oh-Penn Manufacturing Apprenticeship Network, of which ERMP is a part, plans to register 300 apprentices over the next five years. Apprenticeships are an “earn and learn” training model that combine hands-on training with related classroom instruction using the highest industry standards. Companies that offer apprenticeship programs can diversify their workforce, improve productivity and profitability, standardize training, reduce turnover and receive tax credits and more. ERMP also has developed goals to expand their outreach and has added an online presence, as well as monthly e-newsletter. In addition, ERMP is developing a social media plan to reach additional target populations. How can a company get more involved with ERMP? Interested companies can visit for more information.

The Manufacturing Readiness Action Team will guide the expansion and implementation of a pre-apprenticeship program designed to provide participants with the employability • JUNE 2016


Manufacturer & Business Association


July August September


New Skills!

Learn it today. Apply it tomorrow! As a leader in professional development and computer training programs for more than 25 years — the Manufacturer & Business Association’s expert trainers deliver the knowledge and skills you need to compete in today’s business world.

ENHANCE Your Career!

Certified Supervisory Skills Series – Erie

Front row, from left: Sara Kitchen, Conor Dawley, Tara McQuaid, Nicole Wells, Cindy Bonniger, Shannon Wohlford and James Baldwin. Second row, from left: Association Training Specialist Lisa DeFilippo, Laura Plasczynski, Bill Kohler, Caren DiSalvo, Amanda Jenco, Christine Richards, Janet Wittmann, Julie Nye, Christine Colao-Nickson and Achievement Center Executive Director Rebecca Brumagin. Back row, from left: Robert Gulick, Bob Kraft, Janice Clark, Heather Salter, Cassie Dundon, Adam Bratton, Kevin Miller, Chris Dundon and Abdul Hakim.

“The management team here at the Achievement Center has just completed the Supervisory Skills training series. This training was a positive step toward helping us to establish more consistent and positive ways to address everyday concerns when managing people. The training topics covered were in line with the issues our management team struggles with and the information provided has given us a host of new tools to use in managing employee situations. We recommend this training to senior leaders who wish to refresh their skills and to new supervisors and managers who want to lead off on the right foot with their direct reports.” — Janice M. Clark, SPHR Director, Human Resources/Safety











Professional Development

Professional Development

Certified Supervisory Skills Series Course I Course V (Meadville)

7/20 and 7/27 7/26 and 8/2

Leadership for Team Leaders Series Course III Course IV

7/6 7/27

Supervisory Safety Series Course I


Food Safety Certification


Forklift: Train the Trainer


Must-Haves of Effective Communication (Warren)


NEW! Event Planning & Fundraising for Nonprofits


NEW! Introduction to Social Media


NEW! Presentation Skills (Half day) 7/29 and 8/5 NEW! Presentation Skills (St. Marys, Half day) 7/19 and 7/22 NEW! Talkin’ ‘Bout My Generation HR Essential Certification Series Interviewing and Hiring

7/19 7/28

Computer Access Level II (Two Days) Excel Level I Excel Level II

7/20 and 7/27 7/6 7/28

“AccuSpec Electronics uses the Manufacturer & Business Association to certify our supervisors because it is a nationally recognized certification program that helps them grow into better leaders.” — Patty Schenker, PHR HR Manager AccuSpec Electronics

“The instructor is willing to answer questions relating to our work problems and helps to solve the issue.” — Mindy McAllister, Accounts Payable Rehrig Pacific Company

Certified Supervisory Skills Series Course II Course V

8/17 and 8/24 8/4 and 8/11

Leadership for Team Leaders Series Course V


Supervisory Safety Series Course II Course III (Grove City)

8/9 8/23

Food Safety Certification


Lean Champion

8/16, 9/13 and 10/11

Six Sigma Green Belt

8/18, 9/15 and 10/13

Must-Haves of Effective Communication


Talkin’ ‘Bout My Generation


Top 10 Essential Skills for Supervisors (St. Marys)


NEW! Effective Workplace Communication


NEW! Measurement System Analysis


PHR/SPHR Study Course (Thursdays) 8/18, 8/25, 9/1, 9/8, 9/15, 9/22, 9/29, 10/6 and 10/13 HR Essential Certification Series Compensation and Benefits 8/18

Computer Access Level I Access Level III Excel Level I Excel Level II Excel Level III Excel Level III QuickBooks Online

8/25 8/11 8/10 8/17 8/3 8/24 8/19

“Environmental Reclamation Services takes pride in the continued education of our employees. In seeking out a program that clearly defines the expectations we have for our supervisors, we looked no further than the Manufacturer & Business Association in Erie, Pa. Their leadership seminars identify and sharpen the skills necessary to produce qualified supervisors while fine-tuning the natural abilities our employees bring to the table.” — Bridget Trojanowski, Human Resource Manager Environmental Reclamation Services











Professional Development

Regional Locations

Certified Supervisory Skills Series Course I Course III

9/13 and 9/20 9/14 and 9/21

Leadership for Team Leaders Series Course I (Corry) Course I Course II (Corry) Course II

9/7 9/8 9/28 9/29

Food Safety Certification


Event Planning & Fundraising for Nonprofits


Introduction to Social Media


Marketing Planning


PR Boot Camp


Presentation Skills (Half day)

9/23 and 9/30

Women in Leadership


NEW! Introduction to Process Capability


HR Essential Certification Series Employment Law


Computer Excel Level I Excel Level I Excel Level II Excel Level III QuickBooks Pro 2015

9/7 9/28 9/14 9/21 9/16

“The training provided by the Manufacturer & Business Association fills a real need for our organization. Our area is fortunate to have a resource like this providing the knowledge and reference materials for the professional development of both up-and-coming and experienced leaders. The soft skills learned in the Leadership program have and will continue to pay dividends to our organization and, most importantly, to our customers. It’s an excellent resource that businesses in the area should take advantage of.” — Ryan Ray, Plant Manager Power Drives, Inc.

All courses are held at the MBA Conference Center in Erie, unless otherwise noted. Butler: Fairfield Inn & Suites 200 Fairfield Lane Clarion: Park Inn by Radisson, Clarion 45 Holiday Inn Road Corry: Higher Education Council 221 North Center Street DuBois: Best Western 82 North Park Place Erie: Manufacturer & Business Association Conference Center 2171 West 38th Street Grove City: Hampton Inn & Suites Holiday Boulevard Hermitage: LindenPointe 3182 Innovation Way Kittanning: Armstrong Educational Trust 81 Glade Drive Meadville: Holiday Inn Express 18240 Conneaut Lake Road Mercer/Grove City: Hampton Inn, Grove City 4 Holiday Boulevard Oil City: Keystone Community Education Council 206 Seneca Street St. Marys: Community Education Council of Elk and Cameron Counties 4 Erie Avenue, Suite 200 Titusville: Towne Square Conference Center 110 West Spring Street Warren: Warren/Forest Higher Ed Council 589 Hospital Drive, Suite F Williamsport: Genetti Hotel 200 W. Fourth Street * Handicap access and parking available at all sites.

Onsite Training Get more flexibility and convenience with our onsite training options ­— one of the most cost-effective choices for group instruction. • Flexible and convenient scheduling • Customized instruction • Eliminate travel expenses

Course Registration Contact Terry Nunez at 814/833-3200, 800/815-2660 or to register or for more information on upcoming courses. Online registration also is available at



Certification & Implementation

Class hours can be applied to satisfy engineering PDH.

LEAN OPERATIONS CHAMPION TRAINING (Three-Day Workshop) Lean is a powerful instrument for improving operations. It enables organizations to service customers in the fastest, most productive manner possible by eliminating non-value added activities. These non-value added activities are known as the Seven Wastes: extra motion, overproduction, unnecessary movement, waiting, inventory, rework and transport. Lean utilizes a methodical set of tools — visual management techniques, pull systems, balanced work, cellular production, work teams and standardization — in order to fight them. From insurance and health care to production and distribution, a diverse group of industries have benefited from these processes, and the results are proven. Benefits of Lean: • Increase speed within your company to serve customers faster • Improve productivity through elimination of non-value added activities • Reduce inventory • Create a visual workplace where everyone knows what needs to be accomplished

Participants will learn the Five Main Tools of Lean: • Learn how to Value Stream Map and identify and quantify waste in your organization • Utilize 5S Visual Management to improve productivity through organization and standardization • Process Flow Map and eliminate non-value added activities • Create a Pull System using Kanban Inventory Control • Streamline work processes using Flow Velocity® analysis and design

DATES: TUESDAYS, AUGUST 16, SEPTEMBER 13 AND OCTOBER 11 TIME: 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. ERIE: MBA Conference Center, 2171 West 38th Street at Pittsburgh Avenue PRICE: $950 Members • $1,200 Nonmembers (lunch is provided)

SIX SIGMA - GREEN BELT CERTIFICATION & IMPLEMENTATION (Three-Day Workshop) Put thousands of dollars back into your business with SIX SIGMA – GREEN BELT Certification and Implementation. If you want your employees to use Six Sigma – Green Belt tools and techniques to solve problems, this workshop is the answer! It makes Six Sigma easy to learn and implement for managers, executives, front-line and technical employees alike. Benefits of Six Sigma: • Dramatically decrease mistakes/defects in processes • Improve customer service quality and consistency • Reduce direct and indirect costs Participants work as a team to solve problems using Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control processes: • Define problems • Direct data-gathering (Measure) phase of the project • Analyze data statistically and graphically • Understand statistical experimentation to Improve processes • Create Control strategies

DATES: THURSDAYS, AUGUST 18, SEPTEMBER 15 AND OCTOBER 13 TIME: 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. ERIE: MBA Conference Center, 2171 West 38th Street at Pittsburgh Avenue PRICE: $950 Members • $1,200 Nonmembers (lunch is provided) Cancellation/No-Show Policy: If notice is 2 weeks or more, a full refund will be made. If notice is less than 2 weeks, or if you do not show up for the scheduled class, no refund will be made. NOTE: You may substitute another individual from your organization at any time and at no cost.

To register, call Terry Nunez at 814/833-3200 or 800/815-2660 or visit


Absence Management Helps Make Up for Lost Time

employee possibly at risk for other healthrelated issues? What about the indirect impact of the injury such as stress or depression? This is a “whole person” approach that looks at all the care provided to an employee and then coordinates that care for the individual by integrating benefits and programs. Health risk factors have consequences and should be addressed proactively. An integrated, total health management approach provides employers with the best strategy to proactively manage its population. One benefit for employer groups in using integrated absence management is that it can keep premiums from escalating. An integrated approach, which can include wellness programs (which are rewarded by the ACA) and things like bringing in lossprevention specialists, can result in premium reductions.

Patrick D. Haughey, is associative vice president, Workers’ Compensation, for UPMC WorkPartners, which is part of the UPMC Insurance Services Division. The UPMC Insurance Services Division offers a full range of insurance programs and products and also includes: UPMC Health Plan, UPMC for Life, UPMC for You, UPMC for Kids, Community Care Behavioral Health, LifeSolutions, EBenefit Solutions, and Askesis Development Group. The impact the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has had on employers continues to evolve, sometimes surprisingly. For example, it may prove that the ACA may well have its greatest impact in the area of workers’ compensation. In fact, the ACA may prove to be the greatest incentive to integrate all forms of disability management that has ever existed. The ACA mandates that employer groups have to provide disability for employees and

organizations that can manage total disability from beginning to end, and those will be ones that can deliver for employer groups in this era. Long-Term Benefits According to a 2013 survey on Absence and Disability Management by Mercer, the direct cost of incidental absence and disability benefits is the equivalent of 4.9 percent of payroll. Mercer estimates that indirect costs (such as replacement labor and lost productivity) are roughly the same, making the total impact of absences at about 8 percent of payroll. Looking at problems in nontraditional ways is essential to integrated absence management. For instance, if someone injures a knee at work and requires extended leave, in many cases that is looked at as an issue for a company’s workers’ compensation program. That means increased focus on the rehabilitation of the knee and on getting the employee back to work. What does not happen is much time considering what may have caused or exacerbated the injury. Is it a weight problem? Is there a chance the injury could recur if the weight problem is not addressed? Is the

An Integrated Approach Here is a good example of how an integrated approach can work. An employee filed a FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act) claim in order to have time to care for her mother. The leave specialist was able to refer her to an employee assistance program (EAP) to help her get daily care for her mother. In talking with the EAP counselor, the woman revealed that she was overwhelmed by the burdens of a job and additional family responsibility. The woman was then enrolled in a coaching program to help her learn how to better manage her time and stress. The net result was an employee who was able to return to work with limited distractions. It’s important to align and integrate workers’ compensation, disability and leave. You also must be able to provide access to medical expertise throughout the life of a claim. Understanding the connections between programs and how each program can impact an employee at a time when assistance is needed most, is critical to a successful integrated absence management strategy. For information about UPMC WorkPartners’ full suite of integrated absence management services, visit products-services/absence-management/. • JUNE 2016


It’s our commitment to you. We strive to achieve the highest level of service day in and day out. That means giving you fast responses, advanced business solutions, and unmatched expertise. The kind of service recognized with National and Northeast Regional Awards by Greenwich Associates. To learn about a bank that combines great business solutions with equally great service, visit




“More Than 69% of our workforce is NOT Engaged”

2016 Gallup Surveys confirm this fact & that more than 16% are actively working AGAINST their employers!!

Please Welcome The Erie Ice House Leadership Program motivates and creates engaged workers! “I start a new job on Monday. So, I thought, ‘I probably don’t need the Ice House Program.’ Well, I am so glad that I decided to check it out. Because of this program, I am going to think about how I’m adding value to my employer and the company every day. I wouldn’t have been thinking that way without this experience!” - Former GE Dislocated Worker

Visit or call 814.490.5295 for more information POWERED BY


JUNE 2016 •


Do Your Supervisors Have Sufficient Training to Fulfill Their Roles? Dan Miller is a partner with the law firm of MacDonald, Illig, Jones & Britton LLP. Miller is chair of the firm’s Labor & Employment practice group. He represents management in collective bargaining, labor relations, employee relations, employment discrimination, unemployment compensation and wage-and-hour case law. Many employers promote their best workers to supervisory positions thinking that these employees will set a good example and hold others to their high standards. However, employers often fail to provide these new supervisors with sufficient training to perform their job. Most forms of legal liability in the employment relationship can be avoided by providing supervisors with training on their role in an increasingly complex legal environment and how to best document supervisory actions. Employment Law Supervisors need to be trained on federal, state and local employment laws that govern the employment relationship. These laws include the At-Will Employment Doctrine, various forms of wrongful discharge causes

of action, as well as discrimination, wageand-hour and safety laws. It is critical that supervisors understand that their role as a supervisor puts them in a unique position to help the employer comply with these complex laws and regulations and to avoid violations. Many times supervisors simply have no familiarity with their obligations to receive and communicate information necessary to comply with the law. Such training should explain that a supervisor’s action or lack of action often creates or avoids liability for the employer. Corrective Action One of the key factors to supervisory training on employment law is to get supervisors to understand effective tools for correcting employee behavior and performance

through corrective action. Supervisors are often reluctant to engage in corrective action with employees since there is a negative impression of discipline. However, most claims can be avoided or defended by supervisors employing fair and consistent practices in managing their employees and utilizing corrective action. Supervisory training should be focused on proper utilization of corrective action and performance reviews to improve behavior and performance and avoid legal liability. Harassment Training A crucial area in supervisor training is to explain the employer’s Harassment Policy and to gain a familiarity with discrimination laws that prohibit harassment. Comprehensive harassment training will sensitize supervisors to not only their role in preventing harassment, but also their role in maintaining a workplace that is free of behavior that can result in such claims. Sometimes supervisors simply do not understand that the behavior they witness every day in the workplace can be evidence in a harassment case. Workers’ Compensation Training One significant expense faced by employers is workers’ compensation costs. Supervisors should be trained in not only identifying unsafe work practices, but also how to remedy those practices and how to investigate and report claims. Supervisors are the eyes and ears of most companies and play a critical role in ensuring a safe workplace. Conclusion Having well-trained supervisors who understand the law, know how to document issues that arise, and know how to use fair and consistent practices will help avoid legal liability and ensure compliance. If you have any questions concerning the contents of this article, or if you are interested in supervisory training, contact Dan Miller at MacDonald, Illig, Jones & Britton LLP at 814/870-7708, or any other member of the MacDonald Illig Labor and Employment Practice Group. • JUNE 2016


BUSINESS BUZZ | WHAT’S NEW CURTZE EITC DONATION BENEFITS CAREER STREET ERIE Career Street, a community service program of the Erie County VocationalTechnical School Foundation, recently received a $5,000 donation from Curtze Food Service as part of the Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program. Curtze, headquartered in Erie, is a full line food service distributor that has been in business for more than 135 years.

Pennsylvania’s EITC program provides tax credits to eligible businesses contributing to educational improvement organizations in order to promote expanded educational opportunities for students.


Printing Concepts and Thomas Lee Printing & Mailing have become one company, headquartered in Printing Concepts’ facilities at 4982 Pacific Avenue in the Grandview Business Park in Erie.

On hand for the check presentation were (from left): Bruce Kern II, president, Curtze Food Service; James Bucksbee, president, Erie County Vocational-Technical School Foundation; Jennifer Pontzer, executive director, Career Street; Christopher Holmberg, director of human resources, Curtze Food Service; and, Scott Kern, vice president and general counsel, Curtze Food Service.


“It has been a welcome addition to our tool design process because it allows us to see how an idea would actually function before advancing too far along the process,” said Jon DeArment, president and chief operating officer of Channellock. For more information,

The announcement was made April 15 to employees of both companies by Michael Martin, president of Printing Concepts, and by Scott Lee, president of Thomas Lee Printing & Mailing.

“To be able to say that our worldfamous pliers are still made in Meadville, Pennsylvania, USA is a source of pride to everyone at Channellock,” said Chairman and CEO Bill DeArment. “Our company was founded in 1886 in northwest Pennsylvania on the principle of making the highest-quality tools, and nothing has changed.”

“Scott will be bringing with him the history of a company that was founded in 1967 by his late father, Thomas Lee,” Martin said. “Several members of the Thomas Lee company will be joining us, bringing with them their knowledge of the print and mail industry. That knowledge and experience shall make Printing Concepts an even stronger company, enhancing our ability to better serve our current and future customers.”

Channellock has long been known for high quality and craftsmanship, and its product line is the preferred choice of professionals and the serious DIYers who want to get the job done. Since its founding as the Champion Bolt & Clipper Co., the company has also led the industry through innovation. In 1932, chief engineer Howard Manning developed and patented the tongue-and-groove plier, dubbed “Channellock” at the time.

Added Martin, “We will continue to invest in emerging technologies and we will continue to invest in this region. We look forward to serving the evolving print and mail needs of our customers well into the future.”

Throughout the years, Channellock Inc. has taken pride in its tradition of innovation. The company has made many improvements in its manufacturing practices, including site-specific laser-heat treating operations for more durable products and the implementation of robotics in the forging, polishing and machining arenas.

Printing Concepts was founded in 1968 and has grown to be one of the largest and most sophisticated providers of printing, fulfillment and direct mail services in the tri-state region.

For more information, visit

Channellock Inc., a family owned and operated plier and hand tool manufacturer, celebrates its 130th anniversary this year.

Other areas of innovation in recent years include 3-D printing, which has allowed Channellock Inc. to develop prototypes for new tools and potential improvements to existing products.


JUNE 2016 •


The Wm. T. Spaeder Company, Inc. in Erie recently garnered national recognition by completing Stage III of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Challenge. According to a statement from David Michaels, assistant secretary for OSHA, the Wm. T. Spaeder Company and its employees have demonstrated a strong commitment to effective occupational safety and health management programs by successfully completing all three stages of the OSHA Challenge. “As our work products and environments change, it is important for us to continue to improve and evolve our safety programs as well,” said Mike Aiello, director of safety at Spaeder. “We are proud of this accomplishment and our role in contributing to the health and safety of our workforce.” Family owned and operated since its founding in 1914, the Wm. T. Spaeder Company is the region’s leading mechanical contractor, serving both residential and commercial customers. For more information, visit

HEINTZELMAN JOINS LORD BOARD OF DIRECTORS LORD Corporation, a global leader in vibration and motion control technologies, sensing systems, adhesives and coatings, announced that Daniel C. Heintzelman has joined its board of directors. Heintzelman recently retired as vice chairman of GE, with responsibility for services and operations. In this role, Heintzelman worked across GE’s industrial businesses to further strengthen the company’s services, advanced manufacturing and product development capabilities. Prior to his role as vice chairman, Heintzelman served as president and CEO of GE Oil & Gas and a GE senior vice president. Heintzelman earned a B.S. in industrial distribution from Clarkson University and currently serves on the university’s Board of Trustees.

FOURTH PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT JOINS TRI-STATE PAIN INSTITUTE The Tri-State Pain Institute recently welcomed physician assistant Angela Dunkle to its staff. Licensed in Pennsylvania, Dunkle has significant experience in pain management. Dunkle most recently worked for Great Lakes Neurosurgery in Erie as well as Pain Management Associates of NWPA. She completed her physician assistant studies at Gannon University. With offices in Erie and Corry, Pennsylvania and Jamestown, New York, Tri-State Pain Institute is the region’s premier pain management center.

SENIOR HELPERS WELCOMES NEW MARKETING DIRECTOR Tony Viglione has been named marketing director at Senior Helpers of Erie. In his new role, Viglione will be responsible for conducting client assessments, providing training


and leading outside marketing and networking efforts.


Before coming to Senior Helpers, Viglione worked for six years as membership and marketing director at Lake Shore Country Club. He has completed the Erie Ambassador Program, is a member of several human service organizations and has coached football for 20 years, the past 10 at his high school alma mater, Cathedral Preparatory School. He is a graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Thomas W. Reams, vice president of C.H. Reams & Associates, Inc., has been appointed to serve on the ERIEBANK Board of Advisors. As an Erie business leader, Reams will apply his expertise in the insurance and financial services industry and provide leadership and guidance as ERIEBANK continues to develop in the Erie region.

ERIE FEDERAL CREDIT UNION APPOINTS CHIEF LENDING OFFICER The Erie Federal Credit Union recently promoted Denise Kaczmarek to chief lending officer (CLO). In her new role, Kaczmarek will be a member of the credit union’s executive team and responsible for consumer lending, mortgage lending, indirect auto lending and lending support operations.

A native of Erie, Reams graduated from Penn State University, earning a bachelor’s degree in accounting in 1998.

QUINN LAW FIRM HIRES TWO ATTORNEYS The Quinn Law Firm announced that Attorneys Darlene M. Vlahos and Melissa L. Larese have joined its legal team. The addition provides the law firm with the opportunity to expand its estate planning, tax planning, estate administration, real estate and corporate law services.

Kaczmarek has been with the credit union for 26 years, serving most recently as vice president of Lending. Along with her current duties, her expanded responsibilities as CLO will be new product development, the development and implementation of consistent organizational policies, underwriting standards and procedures that comply with external regulations.

Vlahos has been practicing law for more than 30 years and is transitioning her practice to The Quinn Law Firm in order to offer her clients the broad array of legal services the firm has available with its 24 attorneys and 23 staff members.


Vlahos previously worked for The Quinn Law Firm from 1984-1988. She also worked at Commercial Intertech in Youngstown, Ohio as a corporate attorney concentrating in the area of employee benefits before returning to Erie and opening her own law firm in 1993. She earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration from Gannon University, a Master of Accounting from Syracuse University and a Master of Taxation and Juris Doctor from the University of Akron.

Elizabeth A. Damm has joined Knox McLaughlin Gornall & Sennett, P.C. as a new associate. Damm, who is licensed in Pennsylvania, New York and Connecticut, will focus her practice on estate planning & administration, business and tax, and elder law.

Larese relocated to Erie in 2012, joining Vlahos’ law practice in 2014. She graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree from Gannon University and received her Juris Doctor from Duquesne University School of Law.

Prior to joining Knox Law, Damm worked at the Greenwich, Connecticut office of a major law firm, where she handled various trust, estate and tax matters. Damm earned her Juris Doctor degree from George Washington University Law School and graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame. • JUNE 2016


e sed with th a le p ry e v been lus “We have Logistics P e th f o s s ne responsive w easy the o h d n a s e tiv ment representa ht manage ig e fr e n li n o eShipPlus se.” tool is to u er lant Manag P i, k s w o h ec — Jeff Orz

+ Do you feel like you are paying more than you

should for transportation and logistics services?

Meet Your Extended Logistics Department by visiting

+ Does your business ship or receive pallet-size or larger “freight” shipments (i.e., less-thantruckload or full truckload)?

+ Is transportation and logistics a major expense item for your business?

+ Are you managing multiple carrier and/or 3PL relationships with limited resources?

+ Do you import or export freight shipments or

would you like to but don’t have the in-house expertise to do so?

A “yes” answer to any of these questions would indicate a possible opportunity to help you save time, money and reallocate personnel to areas where they can add greater value and grow your operation.


National Nominating Conventions 2016: Regional Events, National Turbulence — American Politics at the Boiling Point

David C. Kozak, Ph.D., is distinguished professor of Public Policy at Gannon University in Erie, Pennsylvania. He has attended 10 national nominating conventions and run courses at them — five Democrat and five Republican — and has done commentary for C-SPAN, CNN and Fox News. Presidential politics 2016 has stunned us

a “bounce” so that the party could win

These differences will be in full evidence

all! From the rise of Donald Trump and

the host state’s swing electoral votes.

in Cleveland as Republicans fight over

Jeb Bush’s demise to the Clinton-Sanders rivalry, none could have predicted this turbulence. The “watch words” so far have been fluidity, volatility and “expect the unexpected!” This is truly “no ordinary time!”

control of the party platform and the

An American innovation, both parties

rules governing the convention itself.

have been using conventions since

For Democrats, the fight will be over

the 19th century. History records famous speeches and truly memorable moments. Still important in modern

how to keep Sanders’ supporters and enthusiasm wedded to the party.

times, they constitute the one true

In this year of great turbulence, these

Once delegate selection is over in June,

semblance of a national party system,

conventions will be anything but tranquil.

we turn to a new and uncharted stage

the only time all 50 state parties get

They will be historic and ones for the

for modern times — divisiveness at

together at the same time. Their major

books! Watch and enjoy them, and hope

the national nominating conventions.

contributions to each party remain the

for the best — for the future of both

In the post-1950s, these conclaves that

same: fire up the base and activists,

parties and the republic itself will be

combine ritual, politics and carnival

mend intra-party fences, and serve as a

strongly affected and determined.

have become relatively tranquil and

campaign kickoff rally for the fall.

predictable. There have been no second ballots since 1952 for Democrats and since 1944 for Republicans. Gone are floor fights, drafts, walkouts and uncertainty. Instead, we have had tightly scripted “infomercials” that are political equivalents of boat and auto shows — held primarily to premiere the “new line” to customers and voters alike. That is about to change and right in our own backyards! In 2016, Republicans gather on July 17 in Cleveland and Democrats on July 24 in Philadelphia to adopt rules, platforms and to nominate a ticket. The four-day conventions in Ohio and, then, Pennsylvania show the importance of these two states thought to be “up for grabs.” Each site was chosen in hopes of

The best way to understand a convention is to realize that what we see on TV is only a small part of the action — the podium. But there are also conventions of state delegation meetings, issue caucuses, headquarter hotels, candidate headquarters and, of course, protestors and demonstrations. All are part of the convention experience! Though both parties follow the same pattern of adopting rules, organizing the party, nominating and ratifying, there are huge cultural differences between Republicans and Democrats. Republicans tend to fight over ideology (moderates vs. conservatives vs. Libertarians) and rules. Democrats fight more about how to best mobilize and grow their coalition. • JUNE 2016





Join us for the MBA’s fourth annual Human Resource & Employment Law Conference! Gather with your fellow human resource professionals from a wide variety of industries and businesses for a full day of interactive sessions, thoughtprovoking information and numerous networking opportunities (breakfast and lunch included). Knowledge is power and this one-day conference delivers! Hear from highly acclaimed keynote speakers on leadership issues and people-management strategies that can transform your organization, as well as the latest updates on labor and employment law, and so much more! For more information or to register, call 814/833-3200 or 800/815-2660 or visit

A Commitment to the Community Porreco College offers the Erie region’s best value in higher education. We’re committed to meeting the needs of students, employers and the community by providing affordable, career-ready associate degrees, certificates and training programs. • Porreco Promise grants ensure that area residents can attend college at true community college tuition rates with little or no debt after graduation • Partnerships with area technical schools and local businesses like Penelec and North Coast Flight School help create programs that will provide the Erie region with a skilled workforce for many years to come • Free bus transportation for students on existing EMTA lines • State-of-the-art facilities • Career-ready programs including Aeronautical Science, Applied Technology, Business Administration, Clinical Medical Assistant, Criminal Justice, Preschool Education, Quality Assurance and more

Choose The Community’s College 2951 West 38th Street, Erie, PA | 836-1955


JUNE 2016 •


REPORT: HIRING OUTLOOK FOR RECENT COLLEGE GRADS TO HIT 10-YEAR HIGH A new CareerBuilder survey of employers indicates that 2016 college graduates will enjoy the strongest hiring market in 10 years. That’s great news for graduates who have business, computer and information science, or engineering degrees. Those professions and others that require math, statistics, clinical health and other high-tech training have well-paying openings. But employers and college career officers report a mismatch in the jobs and the skills of job hunters. Some of the mismatch is due to graduates having the “wrong” majors, and some of it is due to perceptions of employability.

Six Sigma:

About 67 percent of employers reached in the survey said they intend to hire new graduates this year (up from 65 percent in 2015), but many expressed concern about graduates’ lack of “realworld learning.”

SO CRITICAL, YET SO MISUNDERSTOOD Popularized by Motorola and GE in the 1990s, Six Sigma is perhaps the most effective problem-solving methodology for improving business performance; yet, in 2016, it is still misunderstood by many. Six Sigma’s rigorous methodology Define-Measure-Analyze-ImproveControl (DMAIC) and many of the Six Sigma “tools” have been broadly adopted. However, at the most fundamental level, Six Sigma uses data and statistical analysis to understand variation in processes. This is the area where I see the biggest gap in understanding. Data Driven Consider how often someone in business is asked “how long” it (a process) will take? The most accurate answer should be how long “on average.” The actual time could be shorter or longer. However, many of our business cultures demand a response that will ensure you seldom exceed the estimate.

A Six Sigma company would say that to be safe 95 percent of the time, the answer would need to be inflated by two standard deviations (a measure of variation) greater than the average. If the process in question has a lot of variability, this inflated time could be significant. Consider the consequences if every process in a value chain inflated their time or cost estimates similarly. This issue applies to all businesses, manufacturing or service, and also to nonprofit and government agencies.

More worrisome than inadequate hands-on experience was some employers’ perceptions that recent graduates lack interpersonal and problemsolving skills. Many survey respondents said they need a mix of technical and broad communication, leadership and teamwork abilities.

EXPERTS: HIGH DEMAND TECH SKILLS REFLECT CHANGING INDUSTRY Students considering a career in technology will face a drastically different set of expectations than their predecessors, according to a report from Computer skills are still important, but in the 21st century, the definition of “tech skills” has been expanded to include salesmanship, fellowship, and leadership, among other soft skills. According to the article, employers now expect tech workers to collaborate with colleagues, mentor newbies, successfully pitch products and services, communicate effectively across social media platforms, among other things.

Consider Certification Do you have any processes that achieve their monthly goal only to be followed by a month when they don’t, and you can’t explain why? Perhaps you need Six Sigma to help you better understand and control variation.

“As our world becomes increasingly digital and companies in all sectors come to realize how important understanding data is to their growth, solving societal problems, and understanding consumers, employers are more and more demanding talent with the ability to apply relevant technology skills,” says Jason Moss, president and co-founder of Metis, which provides data science training.

For more information about the Manufacturer & Business Association’s upcoming Six Sigma Green Belt Certification and Implementation, visit

Electrician Apprentice Program Applications being accepted: July 26 – 30, 2016

Ray Davis

Interested? Email:

is an implementation specialist at the Manufacturer & Business Association and managing partner at Supply Velocity. He has nearly 30 years of experience in executive sales, engineering and operations.

For more information visit: • JUNE 2016



The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not define or explicitly recognize the existence of “interns.” Rather, to avoid the FLSA’s requirements for minimum wage and overtime, the worker must qualify as either a “volunteer” or a “trainee.” Since the concept of “volunteer” does not fit well with the for-profit sector, the Department of Labor (DOL) looks to determine whether an intern in the for-profit sector qualifies as a “trainee” to be exempt from the FLSA’s minimum wage and overtime provisions. For FLSA purposes, internships in the for-profit private sector are most often viewed as employment and, therefore, require payment of minimum wage and overtime. In addition to the DOL criteria, recent court cases have refined a few basic principles with which the DOL criteria are consistent. Here are the three key factors that may support a court’s finding that an intern or other “trainee” is not an employee: 1) The trainee works for his or her own benefit to learn a profession or vocation with adequate supervision and instruction from the company; 2) The company does not derive the primary benefit of the work performed by the intern; and, 3) The trainee does not displace paid employees. If any of the three factors above is missing, the intern is likely to be classified as an employee.


Ask anyone and they will tell you that employee development is an important strategic tool for an organization’s continuing growth, productivity and ability to attract and retain valuable employees. When making career development a priority in your company, communication is key. First, you will want to communicate to employees regarding the company’s commitment to assist employees in achieving their career goals. Next, determine the employee development budget based on skills that are lacking and impact on the bottom line. There are various types of training and resources that companies can use in assisting with career development. Some examples: tuition reimbursement programs, online training, seminars and internships.


JUNE 2016 •

EEOC Guidance and Regulations and Lawsuits! Oh, My! The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has set a fast pace for employers to keep up with in 2016. The year started off with the EEOC issuing draft enforcement guidance on January 21 on retaliation and related issues. While the volume of retaliation claims has steadily increased and now represents close to half of all EEOC charges filed, the EEOC last issued guidance on the topic in 1998. While the EEOC’s enforcement guidance does not carry the same force of law as federal regulations, it does provide important insight into factors the EEOC will consider in investigating retaliation charges. Then, on January 29, the EEOC announced proposed changes to EEO-1 reporting for employers with 100 or more employees that will require employers to include W-2 pay data by race, ethnicity and sex on the annual report. Although the EEOC has downplayed the work necessary to compile this information, these requirements will most likely increase the annual reporting burden on employers. Such changes will require employers to begin submitting the summary pay data in September 2017. Most recently, on March 1, the EEOC filed its first two federal lawsuits challenging sexual orientation discrimination. These are the first sexual orientation discrimination suits that the EEOC has ever filed in federal district court, and they reflect the agency’s continued efforts in pursuing Title VII protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals in the workplace. The suits were filed in Western District of Pennsylvania and in the District of Maryland. Since no federal court of appeals has held that Title VII covers an employee’s sexual orientation, any ruling in favor of the EEOC in these cases will most likely be appealed. While these cases play out, given the number of states or localities that already protect against sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination, and the renewed focus by the EEOC on broadening the scope of Title VII’s protections, employers should review their EEO, anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies and consider covering sexual orientation similarly to other protected categories.

Tammy Lamary-Toman, JD, PHR, SHRM-CP is vice president and employment law counsel at the Manufacturer & Business Association. Contact her at 814/833-3200, 800/8142660 or


The Manufacturer & Business Association (MBA) strives to keep its members informed on the most current business issues affecting employers in the region. For more information about upcoming events, see the Association’s website,

EVENTS ughts on enson, shares his tho sident, James F. Stev nt growth PNC’s new regional pre and strategies for clie tor sec king ban the il Eggs the challenges facing the Association’s Apr ic environment, during in the current econom ter. Cen nce the MBA Confere ‘n’ Issues briefing at

George Currie of the Erie Regional Manufacturer Partnership (ERMP) and Erie Press Systems leads the discussion, during the ERMP’s first General Supporter meeting at the Association’s Conference Center in Erie. To learn more about ERMP and how to get involved, see this month’s Spotlight Q&A on page 3.

Josh Britt of Smar tDollar discu sses the benefits of the financial wellness program during the Association ’s April 13 member briefing. The MBA announced that it is partnering with Ramsey Solutions to provi de Smar tDollar as a new, value -added member service to its more than 4,000 member companies. Smar tDollar is the premier curriculum for teaching financial literacy in a corporate setting. Learn more at /smar tdollar.


Apply today, work tomorrow...

We want to hear from YOU! Now serving Northwest Pennsylvania with 6 locations:



Nursing • Medical • Business • Trades

MEADVILLE Downtown Mall 922 Water St. Meadville, PA 16335 814-337-8670

ERIE 4934 Peach St. Suite 101 Erie PA, 16509 814-868-2333 GIRARD 71 Main St. West Girard, PA 16417 814-774-0997

FRANKLIN/ OIL CITY 4859 US 322 Franklin, PA 16323 814-432-2222

WESLEYVILLE 3326 Buffalo Rd Erie, PA 16510 814-899-9991 CORRY 707 E Columbus Ave. (rte 6 ) Corry, PA 16407 814-964-3144

NORTH EAST 2 East Main St. North East, PA 16428 814-746-5339 BUTLER 266 New Castle Rd. Suite 1 Butler PA 16001 724-841-0600

CALL 1.855.445.3276 TEXT “IGNITE” TO 367847


Apply online today at:



Financial Aid Available for those who qualify. Career Placement Assistance for All Graduates. For consumer info, visit • JUNE 2016



Here’s the plan that employees are choosing more than ever.

Your employees want to know that they and their families have access to the highest quality health care possible. So it’s no surprise that UPMC Health Plan is such a popular choice. By offering guaranteed in-network access to the top-ranked care of UPMC, plus other doctors and hospitals in your community, UPMC Health Plan provides the peace of mind your employees appreciate. Not to mention award-winning customer service, online wellness tools and more. Give your employees the opportunity to choose UPMC Health Plan.

Call for a quote today at 1-814-833-6633.

June 2016 Business Magazine  

Mercyhurst University President Michael T. Victor is focused on introducing innovative programs that will allow future leaders to adapt to t...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you