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VOL. XXX NO. 12 | DECEMBER 2017

2018

ECONOMIC FORECAST WHY IT TAKES SUPERHERO STRENGTH TO KEEP THE ECONOMY STRONG

SPECIAL SECTION: SEE THE MBA’S NEWEST TRAINING COURSES SPOTLIGHT Q&A: MBA CHAIRMAN LOOKS FORWARD TO NEW YEAR


Judy Rosatti Manufacturer & Business Association EnergyAdvisors Phone: 814/833-3200 or 800/815-2660 jrosatti@mbausa.org


FEATURES FEATURE STORY | WHAT’S INSIDE

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WHAT’S NEXT? Why confidence is key for 2018.

COVER STORY | LOCAL PROFILE

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2018 ECONOMIC FORECAST Economist Ken Louie, Ph.D., director of the Economic Research Institute of Erie, explains why it will take the superhero strength of the U.S. economy to keep the local and regional economy strong.

SPOTLIGHT Q&A | INDUSTRY

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DEPARTMENTS

SPECIAL SECTION

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EVENTS & EXTRAS

BUSINESS BUZZ WHAT’S NEW

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PEOPLE BUZZ

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HR CONNECTION

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LEGAL Q&A

AWARDS AND PROMOTIONS

WORKPLACE TRENDS

GET ANSWERS

EDITORIAL HEALTH MATTERS | RESOURCES

See exclusive photos from the Association’s fifth annual HR & Employment Law Conference and save the date for next year’s event on October 24, 2018!

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Contributing Writers Kim Jacobs Tom Pendleton Angela Zaydon

Feature Photography iStockPhoto.com Additional Photography iStock Photography Christine DeSantis

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What you can and can’t protect with non-disclosure agreements involving confidential information. Tom Pendleton

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

ON THE HILL | LEGISLATION

Advertising Sales David Thornburg 814/833-3200 dthornburg@mbausa.org Design, Production & Printing Printing Concepts Inc. printcon@erie.net

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

Angela Zaydon, the Association’s state government relations representative in Harrisburg, addresses the obscure tax proposal – the virtual financial transactions (VFT) tax – and why it is just plain bad policy.

SPECIAL SECTION | TRAINING CATALOG

On the Cover: Ken Louie, Ph.D., director of the Economic Research Institute of Erie, details the economic outlook for 2018, including the “dynamic duo” - the national and regional economies. For full story, see page 4. Mission Statement: The Manufacturer & Business

How employers and employees can benefit from telehealth. Kim Jacobs

LEGAL BRIEF | SAFEGUARDS

17 Executive Editor Karen Torres ktorres@mbausa.org

Harry Eighmy, chairman of the Association’s Board of Governors and chief operating officer of American Turned Products, shares his outlook for his business, the manufacturing industry and the Association in the year ahead.

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

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

© Copyright 2017 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.

mbabizmag.com • DECEMBER 2017

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FEATURE STORY | WHAT’S INSIDE

What’s Next?

WHY CONFIDENCE IS KEY FOR 2018 Confidence surveys, with information generally released ahead of official statistical data, can indicate changes to the economic outlook as well as turning points in the economic cycle. Confidence among consumers and businesses is yet another driver of growth – and for 2018, experts say, the future is bright.

Consumer confidence, which jumped following the presidential election, has remained high. Business people, for their part, seem confident as well, and seem willing to invest. Moody’s, for one, expects business investment to increase by 4.5 percent in 2018, up from an anticipated 4.07 percent figure for 2017. Optimism about the U.S. economy among business owners and leaders also remains high, according to the PNC Economic Outlook, a biannual telephone survey of small and medium-sized business owners, which began in 2003. Respondents who described their outlook for the U.S. economy as strongly optimistic was reported at 29 percent (down from 40 percent the previous year), balanced by those with a moderately optimistic outlook rising from 48 percent to 58 percent. Just 12 percent of business owners and leaders expressed pessimism, up slightly from an all-time low of 9 percent in the spring.

“Small businesses are a key source of economic activity and employment, and owners’ perceptions can be good indicators of what’s to come,” stated Gus Faucher, chief economist of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc., in a prepared statement. “The overall findings from our survey confirm that the U.S. economic expansion, now more than eight years old and the third-longest in U.S. history, will continue into 2018.” Further solidifying the anticipation of continued growth, more than half of business owners and leaders anticipate increases in sales (54 percent) and profits (51 percent) during the next six months, an increase over fall 2016, but a slight drop from post-election highs reported in spring 2017.

of Erie, about why the national economy will provide superhero strength for hoisting up the local and regional economy in 2018. We’ll also hear from Manufacturer & Business Association (MBA) Board of Governors Chairman Harry Eighmy on his thoughts about the outlook on manufacturing and the Association in the year ahead. December is always a good time to examine your organization’s needs and resources. Take a look at the Association’s new training catalog or visit www.mbausa.org to see how the MBA can help better prepare you and your employees for success in 2018!

In this edition of the Business Magazine, we’ll talk with local economist Ken Louie, Ph.D., director of the Economic Research Institute

PREPARATION TODAY LEADS TO TOMORROW’S SUCCESS

mbabizmag.com • DECEMBER 2017

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COVER STORY | LOCAL PROFILE

2018 ECONOMIC FORECAST WHY IT TAKES SUPERHERO STRENGTH TO KEEP THE ECONOMY STRONG

Just like a page out of a comic book, where Superman or Wonder Woman swoops in to save the day, it appears that kind of superhero strength is needed when it comes to the economic outlook for the state and region. Ken Louie, Ph.D., director of the Economic Research Institute of Erie (ERIE) at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, and an associate professor of Economics at the Black School of Business, points to historical trends, which suggest that the national economy tends to lead the local economy with its upturns and downturns during the business cycle. Robust economic performance at the national level usually has salutary effects on the local economy — a sort of economic “dynamic duo.”

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DECEMBER 2017 • mbabizmag.com

“Perhaps the best metaphor that describes the economic outlook for 2018 as it relates to Erie and Northwest Pennsylvania is a caped crusader to the rescue,” explains Dr. Louie. “Like Superman or any of the other superheroes, the national economy is helping to hoist the local economy and prevent it from sinking into economic recession.” How much punch the national economy has — whether the growth rate will continue to strengthen or begin to moderate — in the new year is being debated. For example, as Dr. Louie points out, the latest forecasts in PNC’s National Economic Outlook suggest that the U.S. economy will continue to strengthen for the rest of this year, with real GDP projected to increase by 2.9 percent in the fourth quarter, before growth slows

down to 2.3 percent in the first quarter of 2018. The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s Survey of Professional Forecasters, the oldest quarterly survey of macroeconomic forecasts in the United States, indicates similar growth rates throughout the rest of this year and into 2018, with real GDP projected to increase by 2.6 percent in the fourth quarter, and 2.4 percent in the first quarter of 2018. Despite these variations, the common consensus — or storyline for 2018 — according to Dr. Louie, is that the U.S. economic growth will average around 2 percent to 2.5 percent between now and 2019. Yet, all eyes should be on three key indicators — economic growth,

The Big Picture

Despite the variation in short-term projections, economic forecasts made on an annual basis are more consistent across forecasting units, as shown in the table below. Here’s what economists are saying about the U.S. economy and how much it is expected to grow: Forecast of Percent Change in U.S. Real GDP PNC’s National Economic Outlook Philadelphia Fed’s Survey of Professional Forecasters Median forecasts by the Fed’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) International Monetary Fund (IMF)

2017 2018 2019 2.2% 2.5% 2.1% 2.2% 2.5% 2.1% 2.4% 2.2%

2.1% 2.0% 2.3% 1.9%


unemployment and other related measures of market performance, and inflation — to see how that Erie and NWPA story unfolds. “Although the national economy has been growing steadily once the recovery from the Great Recession of 2007-2009 gained momentum, Erie’s real GDP actually fell by 1.5 percent in 2016 (the most recent year “for which data are available),” says Dr. Louie. “It will, therefore, be important to watch whether the U.S. economy can sustain its growth trajectory and whether the Erie economy can reverse its recent negative growth.” Economists expect the national employment outlook will continue to be positive, although the actual extent of job growth in 2018 is less certain. According to the government’s official measure of unemployment, the U.S. economy is currently operating at or near full employment, with a seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 4.2 percent in September. In contrast, Erie’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in September was higher at 5.5 percent, although this was down from 7 percent a year ago. “While the reduction in Erie’s unemployment rate over the course of the year is a welcome development, it has mainly been due to a contraction in the size of the local labor force, with fewer people looking for jobs,” says Dr. Louie. “The good news is that, despite recent job losses in the local manufacturing sector, the total number of nonfarm jobs has recently increased slightly.” According to Dr. Louie, this decline reflects the local economy’s continued gradual evolution toward leaner manufacturing and more serviceoriented activities. Yet, the fact that ERIE’s Ken Louie, Ph.D. Erie Leading Index, a set of eight indicators designed to predict turns — either positive or negative — in the Erie economy, decreased by 1 percent in the third quarter also showed the deeper impact that manufacturing has locally. According to Dr. Louie, the drop suggests “the local manufacturing sector continues to have a significant impact on the rest of the local economy.” Still, the local manufacturing sector continues to face additional challenges in 2018. Employment in the manufacturing sector fell by 3.5 percent (700 jobs)

“It will ... be important to watch whether the U.S. economy can sustain its growth trajectory and whether the Erie economy can reverse its recent negative growth.” year-over-year in May and by 2.5 percent (500 jobs) year-over-year in June. The number of manufacturing jobs currently stands at 19,600, which is about 0.5 percent (100 jobs) below where it was a year ago. “In light of these recent manufacturing job losses and corresponding reductions in household disposable income, other sectors of the local economy, such as retail trade, are likely to be challenged by decreases in consumer spending, although the holiday shopping season may provide a brief respite,” says Dr. Louie. “So far, however, the spillover impact has been minimal, with retail trade employment increasing by 2.6 percent (400 jobs) yearover-year in August.” According to economists, one bright spot for manufacturers is the fact that, increasingly, Erie is home to manufacturers in “advanced industries.” These are industries that spend a significant amount on research and development per worker and employ a sizeable proportion of their workforce in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics)-intensive occupations. These industries are typically associated with the technology sector and pay, on average, significantly higher wages. “The expansion of this kind of economic activity has the potential to restore the local manufacturing sector and provide a muchneeded boost to the local economy,” notes Dr. Louie. Again, in the near term, economists expect the retail trade sector is expected to get a boost from the upcoming holiday shopping season. However, the recent manufacturing job losses and associated reductions in disposable income may continue to dampen local retail sales.

There is also another silver lining to consider for the Erie area. “From the investments by Erie Insurance and other organizations in the downtown area, to the new retail merchants at the Millcreek Mall, to continued development of the Bayfront, as well as other parts of the city and county, the northwest PA region can possibly overcome some of the challenges related to the contraction of the manufacturing sector,” says Dr. Louie. “It won’t necessarily be easy, but Erie has a good reputation and historical record for rising to the challenge”. According to Dr. Louie, fiscal, monetary, trade, and regulatory policies at the federal and state level may also have significant impacts on the Erie economy in 2018. “History has taught us that expectations play a powerful role in the economy,” says Dr. Louie. “Even though changes in tax policy haven’t been formally implemented, economic decision makers can often be influenced by expectations of future policy. Hence, business confidence can remain strong if managers and business owners expect to see favorable tax policy changes in the future.”

Erie by the Numbers

Erie’s unemployment rate is higher than that in the state and the nation. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in September was 5.5 percent in Erie, 4.8 percent in Pennsylvania, and 4.2 percent in the United States. Moreover, although total employment increased on a seasonally adjusted basis in Pennsylvania and the nation as a whole between September 2016 and September 2017, it actually fell by 0.5 percent (600 jobs) during the same period in Erie County.

The education and health services sector remains strong. Employment in this sector grew by 2.9 percent (800 jobs) year-overyear in August. With 28,400 jobs as of August, this continues to be the largest sector (by employment) locally. This reflects the local economy’s gradual transition to more service-oriented activities.

On the income front, Erie also compares less favorably. Real per capita income in Erie, currently at $39,159 (measured in 2012 dollars), is only 81 percent of the level for the nation as a whole. And real median household income in 2016 was lower in Erie ($48,964) compared to the state ($56,907) and nation ($59,039).

As the local economy makes this overall transition toward service activities, economists suggest professional and business services are likely to expand as well. Employment in this sector expanded by 2 percent (200 jobs) year-over-year in August and may continue to grow further.

The latest statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau reveal that the poverty rate in 2016 was 15.9 percent in Erie County, 12.9 percent in Pennsylvania, and 12.7 percent in the United States as a whole.

mbabizmag.com • DECEMBER 2017

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“It won’t necessarily be easy, but Erie has a good reputation and historical record for rising to the challenge.” Political Impact

On the local level, experts say the impact of elections will depend on the candidate, but winning candidates, regardless of political affiliation, often feel empowered and emboldened with a “mandate” to confront the many economic challenges the community faces. “To the extent that this ‘mandate’ allows them to implement positive and constructive change to foster greater economic prosperity for the region, it will be for the good of the community,” says Dr. Louie. Many employers shared that sense of “winning” when President Trump was elected in 2016. In fact, PNC’s fall Small Business Survey (October 2017) captured those sentiments with 36 percent of smallbusiness owners saying they expected the policies of the new administration and Congress, in general, to have a positive impact on their business over the next year. One in eight (13 percent) anticipated a negative impact (a small increase over 9

World View

According to Dr. Louie, the potential military conflict with North Korea and a possible trade conflict with China are indeed two of the more pressing concerns for 2018. “Failure to arrive at a resolution to the former crisis will jeopardize human lives, while failure to address the second issue may pose significant economic risk to both countries,” says Dr. Louie. “Neither of these issues will be easy to resolve, but refusing to make an effort towards resolution is not a viable option.” Also making the list of important issues to keep an eye on when it comes to the economy in 2018: • the potential trade conflicts with Canada, Mexico, the European Union, and other parts of the world; • the ongoing debates surrounding the issues of health care, immigration, tax reform and fiscal policy; • strategies for maintaining U.S. industrial and technological leadership

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DECEMBER 2017 • mbabizmag.com

percent in spring, while 40 percent were unsure and 11 percent anticipaed no effect. “Their responses in 2018 will depend on whether the new administration and Congress are able to pass one or more pieces of substantive economic legislation by the end of the year or in the early part of next year,” says Dr. Louie. “If this occurs and the legislation reflects wellconceived attempts to improve economic performance, it will increase the number of positive responses next year. If, on the other hand, gridlock and stalemate persist into the new year, this is likely to produce more pessimistic or negative attitudes regarding the effect of public policies on the respondents’ businesses.” Although the Trump administration is close to completing its first year, Dr. Louie believes it is still too early to gauge its longrun impact on U.S. economic performance. “This is mainly because the administration has thus far been unable to enact any of its major economic policies, including its signature objectives of repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, implementing a massive infrastructure program and overhauling the tax system,” says Dr. Louie. “While some of the administration’s initiatives are now being put forth, such as a tax reform plan and a strategy for the renegotiation of NAFTA, the final results remain unclear. And even if the administration’s policies are enacted, it may take some time for them to have a real impact on the economy.” Dr. Louie points out that, although there have been some tangible and positive economic outcomes since the president took office, including an improved labor market, a robust rate of overall economic growth and a buoyant stock market, it’s difficult to determine how much of this is attributable to the still relatively young administration and how much is attributable to other factors, such as monetary policy or people’s changing expectations of what might eventually happen in terms of actual economic policy. According to Dr. Louie, some interesting indicators that can be used to gauge the administration’s economic impact or influence over the next few years are directly related to the administration’s own goals, namely the efficiency, equity and quality of the nation’s infrastructure, health

care, tax system and immigration policy. However, he says, these indicators are difficult to measure and inevitably involve normative value judgments. Instead, Dr. Louie indicates more easily quantified indicators should be considered, such as a sustained high rate of economic growth, a sustained high rate of job creation accompanied by a low rate of unemployment, a sustained moderate rate of inflation, a manageable annual budget deficit and national debt, a sustainable balance of trade, and a reasonable allocation of resources to education, training, and research that will help to maintain the nation’s leadership in technology and innovation. “These quantifiable indicators are among the most important measures to watch, especially for small and mid-size employers, since the economic impacts reflected by these indicators have the greatest potential to benefit these categories of employers,” says Dr. Louie. If PNC’s fall Small Business Survey is any indication, the outlook among business owners about the U.S. economy remains upbeat. In addition, the outlook for their own businesses was optimistic, with more than half anticipating increases in sales (54 percent) and profits (51 percent) during the next six months, an increase over fall 2016. The share of respondents who described their outlook for the U.S. economy as strongly optimistic was 29 percent, balanced by those with a moderately optimistic outlook rising to 58 percent. Just 12 percent of business owners and leaders expressed pessimism. According to Dr. Louie, ERIE generally agrees with such assessments regarding the U.S. national economy. “These optimistic assessments are consistent with other indicators of U.S. economic performance that reflect market psychology, such as positive consumer sentiment, robust consumer expenditures and the continuing bullish stock market,” he says. “As noted earlier, I think a big reason for this optimism, especially among owners of small and medium-sized businesses, is the expectation that the current administration will enact fiscal and regulatory policies that are not just favorable to the business owners themselves but which are also conducive to economic growth for the economy as a whole… . Optimism about the performance of the national economy is likely to spill over into optimism for the local economy.” To view ERIE’s most current ELI report, visit http://eriedata.bd.psu.edu.


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SPOTLIGHT Q&A | INDUSTRY

MBA Chairman Looks Forward to New Year Although there is no crystal ball to know all the answers, there are some trends that can help indicate what’s in store for 2018. Here, Harry Eighmy, chairman of the Manufacturer & Business Association Board of Governors and chief operating officer of American Turned Products, shares his outlook for his business, the manufacturing industry and the Association in the year ahead.

American Turned Products is a midsize, precision machined components manufacturer with facilities in Erie and Fairview, Pennsylvania. How would you describe the outlook for your company in 2018? Our sales are up 10 percent to 15 percent, and that is a good thing, obviously. We are primarily an automotive manufacturer and a first and second tier supplier. This year, we’ve seen a 5-percent to 10-percent increase in our business, and we’re growing — a sure sign that the automotive industry is here to stay. How would you describe the state of manufacturing in NWPA and Pennsylvania? We’re in an upward tick in terms of innovation and technology, but the main issue is finding good and talented people. The skills gap continues to be an ongoing issue here in Erie, regionally and nationwide. What are some of the opportunities and challenges for these manufacturing firms in the coming year? When you are in a growth spurt, you have the opportunity to invest in new equipment and people. That is one thing that we are doing here at ATP; we are updating our information systems and, this year, we’ve probably spent more money on training than we ever have before. People are the most important asset for any company, and we recognize that.

That said, Erie County can be challenging sometimes in terms of a skilled workforce. Many people presume they have a great skill set, but they’ve only been trained on antiquated equipment. I believe that through the Erie Regional Manufacturer Partnership, efforts like Manufacturing Day and the community college initiative, that we will be able to develop — and retain — a highly skilled workforce for the future. As chairman of the MBA Board of Governors, you play a vital role in the strategic planning for the Association. How would you describe the positioning of the MBA today? I know that from a training perspective, our leadership training is one of the best in the tri-state region. I’ve gone through it myself. We’ve sent people from our own company, and it provides an excellent, hands-on experience and training ground for our new and experienced staff. As for the future, the MBA continues to expand its programs and services, including its professional development, HR and computer offerings, and does a great job of laying a foundation for success. What are some goals for the MBA as we look forward to a new year? I know that we’re continuing to find our niche with our health-care services and increasing our educational outreach through programs, such as Manufacturing

Day. It’s incredible to think that we’ve reached more than 2,000 students each year through the annual MFG Day celebration. It’s really pushed manufacturing into the forefront and in a positive light. In addition to the Association’s many offerings, we will continue to support the annual Roar on the Shore® Bike Week, which is a huge economic driver for our community and many of the businesses that operate here. The MBA is invested in our community. Is there anything you would like to add? Northwest Pennsylvania continues to be a great resource from a manufacturing perspective, and we need to embrace our history and our future. So many of these companies, our MBA members, support or provide services in areas such as metals, painting and/or plating — and all that plays an important role in our economic prosperity. For our business (ATP) alone, we probably support at least 10 to 15 other manufacturing companies that provide other-valued products. The bottom line for 2018 and beyond is that we must have a robust manufacturing sector in order to grow.

mbabizmag.com • DECEMBER 2017

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HEALTH MATTERS | RESOURCES

Telehealth — What’s in it for Employers and Employees?

a smartphone, tablet or computer, and you can access care instantly. • Better health. Because it’s quick, convenient and relatively low cost, employees are more likely to seek medical care when they need it, instead of putting it off until things become more serious — and expensive. • Higher productivity. A visit to the doctor or urgent care center can take half a day or more, which results in significant time away from work — at the expense of productivity. A telemedicine visit takes mere minutes. • Better employee retention. With telemedicine becoming more and more popular, employees are seeing it as a necessary part of their benefits package. If employers don’t cover it, employees will notice.

Kim A. Jacobs is vice president of Strategic Business Development, Consumer Innovation and Commercial Strategy & Performance for UPMC Health Plan, 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 WorkPartners, UPMC for Life, UPMC for You, UPMC for Kids, Community Care Behavioral Health, LifeSolutions, EBenefit Solutions, and Askesis Development Group. Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in the January 2017 Business Magazine and reiterates the increasing importance of online resources to health and wellness. Various forms of telehealth — whereby patients access medical care remotely using telecommunications technology — have been around for years. But, these days, its popularity is accelerating exponentially, and employers need to take note. Here’s more about the state of telehealth and what it means for employers and employees: Why is telehealth’s popularity accelerating exponentially? A big reason for its increasing prevalence is that technology now makes it easier than ever for patients to access care using their smartphones anytime, from anyplace. Another key driver: The health-care industry is now figuring out how to fairly and consistently reimburse providers for the service. Therefore, providers are now incentivized to offer it.

On the payer side, health plans are increasingly supportive of the practice because they see it as value-based care that improves the patient experience, improves health outcomes and is far less costly than ER and urgent care visits, for example. Why should employers want to see telehealth included in their health benefits package? As for employers, the reasons to include telehealth in their health insurance benefits package are numerous and significant. They include: • Improved care. It’s simply another option for employees, especially those who live in rural areas where nearby health-care options are less prevalent. • Lower cost. Surveys show that the average cost of an emergency room visit is $700, with urgent care visits averaging $150. The average cost of a telemedicine visit is $40. • More convenience. Increasingly, telemedicine access is 24/7. All you need is

What is the very latest with telehealth, and what should employers keep an eye on? The technology is going to keep getting better. The interface between patient and provider used to be primarily by email, text or phone. Many telehealth operations are now switching over to real-time, face-to-face video chat. This opens up some amazing possibilities. Now, a doctor can do a skin rash assessment, for example, while you point your smartphone camera to your arm. Or, the doctor can have you say ‘ah’ and look down your throat by way of your laptop camera. Also, in some cases, a telehealth-based provider can now send an instant email to your primary care physician (PCP) about your visit, so your PCP stays in the loop. In other cases, the provider can send a prescription to your local pharmacy for pickup right after your visit. We will see more and more of these advances, and they all have the potential to positively impact employee health and productivity. Given all this, it’s no surprise that the percentage of U.S. large employers that offered a telehealth benefit to their employees rose from 48 percent in 2015 to more than 70 percent in 2016, according to the Wall Street Journal. That percentage is sure to go higher in 2017 and beyond. To learn more about telehealth, visit www.upmchealthplan.com. mbabizmag.com • DECEMBER 2017

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BUSINESS BUZZ | WHAT’S NEW MCDOWELL INNOVATION LEARNING LAB UNVEILED

McDowell High School students in the Millcreek Township School District are taking a leap into the future by utilizing a new program at McDowell High School, the “MILL” (McDowell Innovative Learning Lab). The MILL is best described as a space for students to obtain hands-on experience with new technology, develop new projects, and enhance their creative capacity. The MILL is also designed for students to expand their work on current projects or to facilitate an interest unique to that student. According to the Millcreek Township School District, the notion of innovation and technology parallels the philosophy that guides McDowell’s investment in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Millcreek School District recently unveiled its new McDowell Innovative Learning Lab, which is focused on innovation and technology.

GET YOUR FREE, MBA HR TOOLKIT

Every HR professional needs an HR toolkit! The Manufacturer & Business Association’s new HR toolkit features the key resources provided by the MBA to help ensure your HR department is as dynamic and strong as it should be. Contact the Association’s HR & Legal Services Division today at hrservices@mbausa.org to request your free copy!

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DECEMBER 2017 • mbabizmag.com


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From left: Emily Forish, Erika Berlin, Steve Nichols, Amy Sanfrotello, Kathleen Williams and Dan Bruce, Larson Texts, Inc.


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Professional Development

Certified Supervisory Skills Series Course IV (Meadville) Course III Course II Course I (Warren) Couse V (Meadville)

1/2 and 1/9 1/4 and 1/11 1/10 and 1/17 1/23 and 1/24 1/30 and 2/6

Leadership for Team Leaders Series Course II Course III

1/4 1/25

Food Safety Certification

1/15

Finance for Non-Financial Manager

1/10

Writing to WOW!

1/12

(Half Day, a.m.)

Motivating Employees

(Half Day, a.m.)

1/18

Women in Leadership

1/18

Marketing Planning

1/25

(Half Day, a.m.)

PR Bootcamp ((Half Day, p.m.)

1/25

Customer Service

1/26

Leading Change

(Half Day, a.m.) (Half Day, a.m.)

HR Essentials Level 1: Interviewing & Hiring

(Half Day, a.m.)

HR Advanced FMLA & ADA Compliance (Half Day, a.m.) Handbook Essentials (Half Day, a.m.)

Leadership for Team Leaders Series Course IV

2/15

Food Safety Certification

2/19

Blueprint Reading (4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.) 2/1, 2/6, 2/8, 2/13 and 2/15 Introduction to Social Media (Half Day, a.m.)

2/2

Advanced Social Media and Online Marketing (Half Day, p.m.)

2/2

Influence & Persuasion: Getting Better Results (Half Day, a.m.)

2/9

Having Difficult Conversations (Half Day, a.m.)

2/12

Process Capability (Half Day, a.m.)

2/20 2/22, 3/19 and 4/16

1/31

Lean Operations

2/23, 3/20 and 4/17

Effective Workplace Communications

2/23

1/18

Industrial Forklift: Train the Trainer (Half Day, a.m.)

2/28

HR Essentials Level 1: Compensation & Benefits (Half Day, a.m.)

2/15

1/9 1/11

Computer Excel Level I Excel Level II Excel Level III Word Level I

2/1 and 2/8 2/7 and 2/14 2/13 and 2/14 2/13 and 2/20

Six Sigma

1/29

Coaching for Success!

Certified Supervisory Skills Series Course IV Course III Course II (Warren) Course I

1/16 1/24 1/10 1/30

“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, Power Drives, Inc.

HR Advanced Job Descriptions & Reasonable Accommodations (Half Day, a.m.) Form I-9 Compliance & Onboarding (Half Day, a.m.)

2/6 2/8

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

2/13 2/21 2/28 2/9

“After taking the HR Essential Certification Series at the MBA, I have found that all the information has become very useful in my everyday work environment. Our instructor did an excellent job presenting the information in a way that kept your attention and also taught you what you needed to know.” — Dina Heile, Intellectual Property Services


S

C

H

E

D

U

L

E

March

Training

Professional Development

Regional Locations

Certified Supervisory Skills Course V Course III (Warren) Course IV Course II Course I (St. Marys)

3/1 and 3/8 3/6 and 3/7 3/7 and 3/14 3/13 and 3/20 3/14 and 3/15

Leadership for Team Leaders Series Course V

3/7

Food Safety Certification

3/19

Team Building (Half Day, a.m.)

3/2

Active Shooter & Emergency Planning (Half Day, a.m.)

3/7

Supervisory Safety Series Course I 3/7 Course II 3/21 Developing Website Content Presentation Skills (Half Day, a.m.) Efficient and Organized (Half Day)

3/9 3/9 and 3/16 3/12

Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing (4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.) 3/15, 3/20, 3/22, 3/27 and 3/29 Must-Haves of Effective Communication (Half Day, a.m.) 3/16 Creating and Maximizing E-Newsletters (Half Day, a.m.)) 3/16 Process Failure Modes & Effects Analysis (Half Day, a.m.) 3/20 Women in Leadership

3/23

HR Essentials Level 1: Employment Law – What HR Should Know (Half Day, a.m.)

3/15

HR Advanced Handbook Essentials (Half Day, a.m.) Understanding the Fair Labor Standards Act (Half Day, a.m.)

3/6 3/8

Bradford: Holiday Inn Express 30 Tarport Drive Extension 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, Training & Workforce Development Center 3050 Prosperity Place Kittanning: Armstrong Educational Trust 81 Glade Drive Meadville: Holiday Inn Express 18240 Conneaut Lake Road 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

Computer Word Level II PowerPoint Excel Level I Excel Level II

All courses are held at the MBA Conference Center in Erie, unless otherwise noted.

3/6 3/13 3/21 3/27

* A.M. classes run 8 a.m. to noon, and P.M. classes run 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., unless otherwise noted.

“Whether it is computer classes or professional development courses, the training provided by the MBA has allowed us to provide a cost-effective solution that is critical to our ability to stay competitive.” — Joy Sherry, Ainsworth Pet Nutrition

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 tnunez@mbausa.org to register or for more information on upcoming courses. Online registration also is available at www.mbausa.org.


How How you you need need it.it. When When you you need need it.it. Where Where you you need need it.it.

Considered a leader in professional development and computer training for more than 25 years, the Manufacturer & Business Association offers you the ease and flexibility of onsite training for your group. ONSITE CONVENIENCE: Nothing beats the convenience of training conducted at your facility. Let our expert instructors bring the training you need, when you need it, where you need it. CUSTOMIZED PROGRAMS: From full-day to half-day programs, all of our courses can be tailored to address your organization’s specific needs. FOCUSED INTERACTION: Facilitated by our training specialists, your employees’ experience is further enhanced through group discussion on key topic areas specific to your company’s work environment. For more information about onsite training programs, call 800/815-2660, 814/833-3200 or visit mbausa.org.


LOGISTICS PLUS CEO NAMED TO PITTSBURGH’S ‘SMART 50’ LIST

Logistics Plus Inc., a leading worldwide provider of transportation, logistics and supply chain solutions, recently announced that its founder and CEO, Jim Berlin, has been selected by the judging panel of Smart Business Pittsburgh to be a 2017 Smart 50 Award honoree. The Smart 50 Awards recognize the top executives of the 50 smartest companies in the region for their ability to effectively build and lead successful organizations. All 50 winners were honored at a special celebration on November 9 at The Fairmont Pittsburgh, and featured in a special editorial report in the November edition of Smart Business Pittsburgh. “I never thought anyone would recognize me as being smart — delusional, perhaps, but not smart,” said Jim Berlin, founder and CEO of Logistics Plus. “But I am proud of what we have accomplished here at Logistics Plus and over the past 21 years..” Logistics Plus, headquartered in Erie, Pennsylvania, is a leading worldwide provider of transportation, warehousing, global logistics and supply chain solutions.

PEOPLE BUZZ | AWARDS AND PROMOTIONS

ONEX INC. WELCOMES NEW TEAM MEMBER TO ERIE

NEARHOOF WINS THE 14TH ANNUAL CHANNELLOCK FALCON AWARD

Onex Inc., headquartered in Erie, Pennsylvania, recently announced that Joe Saliba has joined its team as a scientific technician and will be responsible for further development of the Blue Diamond Furnace Division. Onex, Inc. is an industrial furnace and service company that serves the heat intensive manufacturers in the surrounding region.

Tony Nearhoof, an assembly team member and CHANNELLOCK® associate for more than 23 years, has been awarded the company’s 14th annual Falcon Award.

Launched in 2003, CHANNELLOCK, Inc.’s Falcon Program is a multi-faceted initiative designed to reward, encourage and celebrate associates at work, at home and in the community. The Falcon Award is presented to one associate each year who best demonstrates the ideals of the program: speed in action through productivity; far-sightedness and clear vision in making everyday decisions that impact the company’s bottom line; job performance at work; leadership skills through participation in community organizations; and a clear understanding and commitment to CHANNELLOCK Inc.’s “Vision Blue,” which states that “communication, commitment, cooperation and constant improvement yield success.”

Saliba is a graduate of Niagara College’s Mechanical Engineering Technology Program and has been involved in the industrial furnace business for many years. He started his career off with an internship at H&S Heat Treating, Port Robinson, Ontario, Canada and then worked at Can-Eng Furnaces, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada for 15 years. In his most recent role, Saliba was sales manager and utilized many innovative ideas developing unconventional customized solutions for customers. “I am really excited to be part of the team here at Onex,” said Saliba, in a press release. “Our company is founded in service and our reputation for responding quickly to our customers’ needs and staying connected with them has led to very loyal business relationships.

Falcon Award winners are chosen by a voluntary committee of CHANNELLOCK associates from all areas of the company.

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Confidential Information:

What You Can and Should Protect With Non-Disclosure Agreements

LEGAL BRIEF | SAFEGUARDS information may be used, and who is permitted to see the secret information. The information that businesses want to protect may take several forms. Information may be in writing, may be communicated verbally, may be communicated electronically or stored electronically, and information may be observed while a person is visiting the company’s facilities. Each of these types of information should be specified as protected in the non-disclosure agreement. Unfortunately, not all negotiations end with a successful agreement. Sometimes the parties cannot agree on certain terms, and sometimes the potential transaction turns out not to be a good fit for one or both parties. The nondisclosure agreement should require a party receiving confidential information to return it or destroy it at the end of negotiations.

Tom Pendleton is a partner at MacDonald Illig Attorneys and has been representing businesses, nonprofit corporations and individuals in a wide variety of legal matters for nearly 25 years. He concentrates his practice on business matters, including preparing agreements and commercial litigation. When considering what information to protect, businesses often ask whether they have trade secrets. Information that is not a trade secret, however, may still qualify for protection as confidential information. “Confidential information” is defined as, “commercial or financial information that is: 1) privileged or confidential; and 2) the disclosure of which would cause substantial harm to the competitive position of the person or business that owns the information.” In determining whether certain information is confidential, courts examine the efforts taken to maintain its secrecy. In determining whether disclosure of confidential information will cause substantial harm, a person or business needs to show: 1) actual

In addition to protecting information, a non-disclosure agreement may need to include a provision that protects a business from the solicitation of its employees. During negotiations, the party receiving secret information may also come in contact with important employees of the business. The business providing the information will want to consider prohibiting the hiring of its employees for a year or more after the negotiations end.

competition in a market; and 2) a likelihood of substantial injury if the information is disclosed. The person or business must show that harm will occur following the use of confidential information by competitors. In order to protect confidential information (as well as trade secrets), individuals and businesses must use reasonable efforts to maintain the secrecy of the information. Digital information requires encryption and password protection. Physical information requires locked file cabinets and laboratories, disclosure to only those who need to know the information, and possibly a surveillance system. Both digital and physical information should be protected by written non-disclosure agreements. The non-disclosure agreement should be signed before the trade secret and/ or confidential information is provided to someone who does not know it. The circumstances when a non-disclosure agreement should be considered include: 1) before an employee is hired; 2) before an employee is promoted to a new position; 3) during contract negotiations with a customer or vendor; or 4) before a business is bought or sold. Each non-disclosure agreement should be prepared with the circumstances of the particular situation in mind. In general terms, the non-disclosure agreement should identify the trade secrets or confidential information protected, the specific purpose for which the secret

Taking advantage of confidential information presents opportunities and risks for the businesses that own the information. Businesses should take the steps necessary to protect this confidential information in order to maintain and increase its value.

Consider This • Written non-disclosure agreements are essential for protecting information that does not qualify as a trade secret. • Examples of confidential information that might not be a trade secret include customer lists and components of a pricing strategy. • Non-disclosure agreements should specify: 1) the confidential information that is protected by the agreement, 2) the specific purpose for which the information may be used, and 3) who is permitted to see the information. For more information, contact Tom Pendleton at 814/870-7756 or tpendleton@mijb.com. mbabizmag.com • DECEMBER 2017

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Register for Term III classes December 4 – January 5.

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Accelerate your success. RCTC is a leading provider of quality career and technical training programs for adults. We offer a variety of courses, affordable tuition, convenient class schedules and TIA/WIOA approved classes.

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8500 Oliver Road • Erie, PA 16509 The RCTC is a division of the Erie County Technical School, an equal opportunity educational institution.


ON THE HILL | LEGISLATION

Don’t Let The Obscure VFT Tax Sneak Through Angela Zaydon is the Association’s state government relations representative in Harrisburg and is responsible for developing state legislative priorities and strategies; encouraging membership grassroots activities; and lobbying on behalf of a pro-growth, pro-business agenda. She earned her Juris Doctor from Widener University School of Law and political science degree from Canisius College. To discuss any legislative issues or for a legislative or regulatory update, contact her at 814/460-3136 or email azaydon@mbausa.org. This year’s state budget process had more twists and turns than a Waldameer roller coaster. By spending money last fiscal year (roughly $700 million) that never came in, combined with wanting to spend more this fiscal year than is projected to come in, led us to a $2.2 billion budget gap that, as of publication date, has yet to be filled. Most proposals to balance the budget included highly publicized taxes, such as an additional severance tax on natural gas development or a new gross receipts tax on consumers of natural gas — both of which would cost jobs, hurt families and penalize consumers. As detrimental as these tax proposals would be, equally concerning is an

obscure tax that was hastily slid in without many even knowing what it is or what the resulting implications would be. It is called the virtual financial transactions (VFT) tax. Unless you’re in the electric generation industry, most businesses have likely never heard of this tax, but your wallet would feel it if enacted. What is the VFT Tax Proposal? The proposed VFT tax would levy a 5-percent tax on buying and selling wholesale electricity within the 14-state PJM region. PJM is the Valley Forge, Pennsylvania-based regional transmission organization that coordinates movement of wholesale electricity in 13 states (Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia). However, this is not just a tax on electricity generators and traders, but something that could hit all consumers served by the Northeast grid. Businesses are tax conduits, not taxpayers; goods and services include the costs of taxes and regulation. Ultimately, the buyer always pays. Although this is another tax that would be passed down to the consumer, it is a particularly flawed plan as it enacts a 5-percent tax on an industry that sees an average profitability of roughly 2 percent. In fact, firms engaged in electricity virtual transactions in 2016 made an average profit of 1.9 percent on each megawatt purchased. The math is very simple and it doesn’t add up. No industry can sustain a tax that’s higher than its profitability. Instead, companies operating in Pennsylvania

would relocate out of state or exit the market entirely, as many have threatened to do. Unfortunately, as in any industry, when competition wanes, efficiency decreases and prices increase. There is a real economic downside to this virtual tax, and from a legal perspective, the concept is just as flawed. First, states normally can only tax income that is earned in the state. Both the electricity and traders in this case could be outside of Pennsylvania. This presents almost certain litigation. Furthermore, if the VFT were approved, PJM could not legally administer the tax without filing a tariff change, which would require approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Having gone without a quorum for much of the year, FERC is so backed up on cases that It would likely be a few years before the Commission would even get to a ruling on this case. Even when they do have the opportunity to rule on it, federal case law and precedent would not be favorable for the proposed tax as the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly found unconstitutional state laws that interfere with a federal agency’s oversight of regulated markets. Bad Policy There couldn’t be any more indications that this tax is bad policy, plain and simple. Even if it were to pass, there are so many issues with it that it would likely never produce any revenue. While it was not part of the 2017-2018 budget that passed in late October, taxpayers must be prepared to push back on this next year, and our legislators need to realize the VFT tax is a nonstarter and just plain bad policy.

mbabizmag.com • DECEMBER 2017

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Vision plans that make your eyes light up. VBA plans with exclusive rates now available to MBA Members Customize your coverage to be as unique as your eyes with more frame and lens choices, comprehensive eye exams made easy, and a wide provider network. • • •

Rates starting as low as $3.48 for an individual No participation requirements for groups of two or more Plans can be contributory or noncontributory

For more information, contact your broker or the Manufacturer & Business Association at 814-833-3200.

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DECEMBER 2017 • mbabizmag.com


HR CONNECTION | WORKPLACE TRENDS

SURVEY: HIRING EXPECTED TO RISE 19 PERCENT IN 2018

Job hiring will increase 19 percent in 2018 in the United States, helping recent college graduates find employment, according to a recent survey.

Safety First: Why Fall Protection Should Be a Top Priority for Employers Did you know that federal OSHA regulations require some form of fall protection for employees working at heights greater than 4 feet in General Industry (1910) and at heights over 6 feet in Construction (1926)? According to the National Safety Council, fall protection was the most frequently cited OSHA standard in 2016 with over 6,900 workplace violations. This is a serious hazard and can happen anywhere, so it’s critical to control to prevent serious incidents and unnecessary fines that can cost thousands.

According to the Recruiting Trends survey conducted by Michigan State University (MSU), the information services industry will see the biggest increase in hiring in 2018. The survey showed that for bachelor’s degree holders there will be a 15-percent increase in hiring, and for associate’s degree holders a 40-percent increase in hiring. And, those jobs aren’t concentrated on a particular major. Instead, there were more employers saying they were seeking college graduates from any major. Recruiting Trends is the largest annual survey of employers in the U.S. It relies on information from 3,370 employers from every state. The employers represented in the survey plan to hire 74,000 new graduates, according to MSU. The 10 industries that reported the highest yearover-year growth in hiring for bachelor’s degree holders are:

OSHA requires that all fall protection equipment be inspected prior to its use. This includes: • Frays, loose thread, broken strands in lanyards, retractable lanyards, harnesses, lifelines • Rust/ deformation of any metal components • Cuts, burns, heavy discoloration, chemical exposure, excessive heat, paint on fabric, brittle areas • LEGIBLE tags to include manufactured date, weight rating, safety reminders and inspection grids • If there is damage do not use the equipment, destroy it safely by cutting into 12-inch pieces. Never throw away a damaged full harness.

1. Information Services: 60-percent increase 2. Administrative Services: 49-percent increase 3. Wholesale Trade: 46-percent increase 4. Transportation: 32-percent increase 5. Healthcare and Social Assistance: 32-percent increase 6. Professional, Business & Scientific Services: 30-percent increase

Additionally, any equipment exposed to a fall must be taken out of service immediately.

7. Construction: 29-percent increase 8. Nonprofits: 23-percent increase

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards are also frequently referenced when discussing fall protection. Under ANSI Z359-2014 equipment must be inspected by a competent person at intervals of no more than six months and be documented with the harness serial number, date it was put into service, inspection results, user name if assigned and date of inspection. Also, you must comply with all manufacturer instructions regarding the inspection, maintenance and storage of equipment.

9. Agriculture: 21-percent increase 10. Retail Trade: 19-percent increase

It is the employer’s responsibility to have a rescue plan in place to complete a rescue if a fall would occur, as being suspended for 15 minutes or more in a harness can be dangerous. There are also trauma straps, climb out straps, or fall relief straps that allow the worker to stand up in harness after a fall. These are just some basic tips and a quick review to ensure proper Fall Protection to avoid a serious injury and show your compliance during an OSHA visit. To learn more about fall protection and safety, the MBA’s Supervisory Safety Series covers this topic and more. Visit www.mbausa.org for upcoming classes.

Perform a modern-day miracle. Turn your taxes into scholarships. You can get more than 95% back on business taxes for an education donation. For more info: 814/824 -1188 or www.ErieRCD.org/ tuition.htm (click on Business Application)

Greg Safran, ASC is a safety instructor at the Manufacturer & Business Association and is the chief SafT officer and founder of SafT Integration Consulting, LLC. He has more than 20 years of experience in helping employers build safe work environments.

Support Catholic Education in the Diocese of Erie

mbabizmag.com • DECEMBER 2017

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LEGAL Q&A | GET ANSWERS WE HAVE 13 EMPLOYEES. DO WE REALLY NEED AN EMPLOYEE HANDBOOK?

We recommend that you do. The return on investment of the employee handbook is immeasurable; it can provide support in the defense of unemployment claims or lawsuits, minimize decision making in the moment for your workforce, and serve as a valuable resource when guidance is needed. Well-crafted employee handbooks are the foundation for effective HR management and compliance and can be a highly effective way to reduce your organization’s risk for failure to comply with appropriate laws and regulations. A handbook sets expectations by telling your employees what you expect of them and what they can expect of you. It provides general guidelines for employees to operate under, promotes treating employees with fair and consistent practices, and describes employee benefits. Providing a welldeveloped and complete handbook helps your management determine proper steps to take in handling a variety of topics.

WE HAVE A NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES WHO WORK REMOTELY FROM THEIR HOME. DO THEY NEED TO HANG UP WORKPLACE POSTERS IN THEIR HOME OFFICE? Not necessarily. Remote employees should have access to workplace posters, but posters can be delivered electronically. The easiest way to ensure they have access to the relevant federal and state workplace posters is to post them on your organization’s intranet, as well as in your physical facilities. If these are not options, the posters can be emailed to the remote employee. If the remote employee will be checking in at a company location or central office frequently, displaying the posters at that company location will typically meet your obligations.

Must Watch Supreme Court 2017-2018 Term Employment Cases The 2016 Supreme Court term ended in a number of compromise decisions, as the Court worked without a ninth justice for most of the term. But in April, Judge Neil M. Gorsuch was confirmed by the Senate and became the 113th justice of the Supreme Court, making the Court whole again. With nine justices present once again, the 2017-2018 term is shaping up to be an interesting one. Here are a few important employment cases the Court has agreed to hear this term:

CAN MY COMPANY OFFER DIFFERENT BENEFITS TO DIFFERENT EMPLOYEES?

Employers have discretion when designing their benefit plans and can make eligibility distinctions. These differences should only be based on a bona fide employment-based reason and applied to all similarly situated employees. Examples of employment-based reasons include tenure, full- or part-time status, exempt/nonexempt status or geographic location.

• NLRB V. Murphy Oil/Epic Systems Corp v. Lewis. Arguments were held October 2, 2017 on whether arbitration agreements whereby employees agree to use arbitration individually in lieu of bringing class action lawsuits as a group are legal or not. This case started when the Obama Administration’s Justice Department stated arbitration agreements prohibiting class action lawsuits were illegal and against National Labor Relations Act’s protections for concerted activity. Now this position is opposed by the Trump administration’s Justice Department, and they are championing the Federal Arbitration Act’s right to agree to arbitration. The National Labor Relations Board will, at the same time, continue to oppose the right to arbitrate in favor of workers’ concerted activity rights. • Encino Motorcars, LLC v. Navarro, Hector et.al. This case will decide the correct application of Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Department of Labor’s exemption rules. Car salesmen and mechanics are exempt from certain record keeping and overtime requirements of the FLSA. The car dealership argues that these exemptions should also apply to service advisers. • Janus v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Counsel 31. This case will determine whether unions can require public employees to pay a fee to the union for representation purposes even if the worker opts out of the union. This case reviews a 1977 decision where the Supreme Court held that public employees that are represented by a union must at least pay an agency fee for their fair share of the union’s operation expenses. The Supreme Court will look at whether an adjusted fee that attempts to remove the cost of political activities from the union and get the dues to just administrative costs is sufficient to protect the worker’s First Amendment rights.

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DECEMBER 2017 • mbabizmag.com

Tammy Lamary-Toman, JD, PHR, SHRM-CP, is vice president and employment counsel at the Manufacturer & Business Association. Contact her at 814/833-3200, 800/815-2660 or ttoman@mbausa.org.


Erie Headquarters: 2570 West 26th Street Erie, PA 16506 814/835-4351 www.bonnellscollision.com

Bonnell’s Collision Earns Official Certification, Prestigious Top Automaker Recognition Bonnell’s Collision has been officially certified by Assured Performance, a nonprofit consumer advocacy organization for maintaining the right tools, equipment, training and facility necessary to repair the participating automaker brand vehicles, according to the manufacturer’s specifications. In achieving their certification, Bonnell’s Collision is now an integral part of the most advanced repair capable and efficient auto body repair network in the world. Adding to their credentials, Bonnell’s Collision is officially recognized by Assured Performance, FCA, Nissan and Hyundai. To become certified and officially recognized by the various automakers, Bonnell’s Collision passed the rigorous certification process essential to help ensure a proper and safe repair of the new generation of advanced vehicles. Less than 5 percent of body shops across the nation are able to meet the stringent requirements to become officially certified and recognized. The certified network is made up exclusively of best-in-class collision repair businesses that have met or exceeded the stringent

Scott Bonnell is the owner of Bonnell’s Collision.

CO M PAN Y PR O FIL E

requirements of the certification program. According to Bonnell’s Collision Owner Scott Bonnell, “Our business has been built on a foundation of excellence and ethical business practices. We strive to provide the highest quality repair for our customers. Our state-of-the-art facility and certified technicians give us the ability to achieve this certified status.” Highest Standards in the Industry The certification criteria is based upon auto manufacturer requirements. These are critical to ensure the vehicle fit, finish, durability, value and safety following an accident. As new model vehicles are being introduced that use lightweight high-strength materials and advanced technology, a proper repair, according to manufacturer specification, is even more important than ever to ensure the passenger safety and proper performance of the vehicle. Auto manufacturers want to ensure that consumers have the option of certified collision repair wherever they live, work or travel.

“Consumers need the confidence and peace of mind to know their vehicle is repaired by a shop that has what it takes to ensure the vehicle safety. Bonnell’s Collision is officially a Collision Care Provider™,” said Scott Biggs, chief executive officer of Assured Performance Collision Care™. “They represent the standard by which all other body shops are measured.” What is Assured Performance Collision Care™? Assured Performance Collision Care™ is a nonprofit consumer advocacy organization specializing in the automotive collision repair market segment. Assured Performance works with the top automakers to identify, audit and promote collision repair providers that meet best-in-class business standards and the manufacturer’s requirements. Consumers can go to: www.assuredperformance.net or www.autobodylocator.com to find a list of Collision Repair Providers.

mbabizmag.com • DECEMBER 2017

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FORWARD. THINKING. A dedicated banking partner doesn’t just deal with today’s challenges. They also help position you for what’s ahead. At Citizens Commercial Banking, our industry expertise and client-centered approach enable us to bring you the kind of ideas that drive success. And our continued investment in new technologies and capabilities means we can deliver holistic solutions – for today and tomorrow. Let us show you the advantages of working with Citizens Commercial Banking. CONTACT US Ed Kloecker Senior Vice President 814-453-7233

Brandon Exley Vice President 814-566-5388

Susan Ferry Senior Vice President 412-852-1201 © 2017 Citizens Financial Group, Inc. All rights reserved. Citizens Commercial Banking is a brand name of Citizens Bank, N.A. and Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania. Member FDIC. CMAV4086L_515068


EVENTS & EXTRAS | NETWORKING & MORE

Human resource professionals from around the region came together for a full day of thought-provoking presentations and networking opportunities during the Manufacturer & Business Association’s (MBA) fifth annual Human Resources & Employment Law Conference on October 20, 2017 at the Association’s Conference Center in Erie. See all the photos at www.mbausa.org, and save the date for next year’s conference on October 24, 2018! The 2017 conference was made possible thanks to the generous support of its sponsors.

HR professionals were welcomed to this year’s annual HR & Empl oyment Law Conference held on October 20, 2017. Next year’s conference is scheduled for Wedn esday, October 24, 2018.

Katee Van Horn, vice president of Engagement & Inclusion at GoDa ddy, coach and leader, and owner of Bar the Door, LLC, presented on “Emotional Intelligence: Not Just Another HR Buzzword.”

rence. This ered for the fifth annual confe More than 70 participants regist about the e to visit with vendors and learn chanc a got also dees atten year’s n. latest HR resources in the regio

MBA Training Specialist Tracy Daggett, PHR, discussed “Coaching for Success.”

Attorneys Julia Herzing and Robert Zaruta from Knox Law Firm shared some updates on employment law.

with interactive sessions, The conference was jam-packed orking opportunities, as educational information and netw Mobile Unit. well as screenings by the UPMC

Iñigo Sanchez-Cabezudo, director of Global Market for the Society of Human Resource Management, presented on “The Future of HR: Promoting Business Success in a Changing Global Workplace.”

Tammy Achille of Gaudenzia Erie, Inc. was the grand prize winner of the HR & Employment Law Conference gift basket!

mbabizmag.com • DECEMBER 2017

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Main Administrative Offices and Residential Treatment Program 2445 West 34th Street Erie, PA 16506 (814) 835-7602 Website www.SarahReed.org

Specializing in children's mental health, behavioral health and trauma-informed care for over 145 years Sarah A. Reed Children's Center was founded in 1871 in Erie, Pennsylvania, by a group of 30 women interested in helping orphaned and homeless children. Sarah A. Reed was an original member of this group who founded “The Association for Improving the Conditions of the Poor, and a Home for the Friendless.” Miss Reed, affectionately known as "Erie's Grand Old Lady" during the early 1900s, served as President of this organization for 45 years, from 1889 until her death in 1934. Her contributions to the agency were so substantial that in 1935 the Center was renamed in her honor. Erie's Oldest Human Services Agency Sarah A. Reed Children's Center has grown significantly over the years, but the heart of the organization and the mission that Sarah Reed began back in 1871 are still alive and well. The agency is proud to continue in Sarah's footsteps, providing the necessary mental health services and behavioral health programs that help 1,700 children and their families out of crisis each year and onto a healthier, successful future. For example, the agency's Parent-Child Interaction Therapy gives families the guidance and tools they need to successfully parent children who display significantly disruptive or oppositional behaviors. Sarah Reed also offers a wide array of school-based and communitybased educational programs throughout Erie County for students with mental health and behavioral challenges, and its first- class Residential Treatment Program provides 24hour intensive treatment, including: individual, family, and group therapy; art therapy; recreational therapy; medical care and educational programming for children and 

New Residence Hall at 2445 West 34th Street - Erie

James D. Mando is the president and chief executive officer of Sarah A. Reed Children's Center.

adolescents, many of whom have experienced significant trauma.

Sarah A. Reed Children's Center is a respected leader throughout Pennsylvania in the treatment of children with severe emotional, mental health, A Sanctuary®-Certified Organization behavioral health and trauma-related challenges. Sarah A. Reed Children's Center is one of the As it continues to celebrate 145 years of service, few agencies in northwestern Pennsylvania that the agency recognizes the generosity of its is certified in the Sanctuary® Model of trauma- donors, volunteers, staff and the entire Erie informed care. This full-system approach community for the difference they continue to focuses on helping injured children recover from make in the lives of children and families in need. the damaging effects of interpersonal trauma. Because it is a full-system approach, effective implementation of the Sanctuary® Model requires extensive leadership involvement in the process of change, as well as staff and client involvement at every level of the process. Plans for Expansion There is an escalating demand among families in Erie and throughout Pennsylvania for Sarah Reed's programs and services. This year, the agency is excited to expand and meet this growing need.  Plans are underway to build a fifth residence hall on Sarah Reed's main campus, which houses the 24-hour Residential Treatment Program. In 2016, this program served 69 children from across the state, including the Erie, Pittsburgh, Harrisburg and Philadelphia region.  The typical length of stay for each child is 9-12 months, and the new 12bed residence hall will help an additional 20-25 children annually. Sarah Reed will also be transforming the existing athletic field at its Hamilton Campus into the Sanctuary for Integrated Health and Wellness Park. This state-of-the-art park will be accessible to the community and is designed to promote physical health, mindfulness, therapeutic activities and intellectual development.  

New Wellness Park at 2931 Harvard Road - Erie

FAST FACTS: Year Founded: 1871 Children Served Annually: 1,700 Number of Locations: 7 Number of PA Counties Served in 2016: 25 Number of Employees: 320 Programs Available:  *24-Hour Residential Treatment    *Partial and Acute Partial Hospitalization    *Outpatient Therapy and Medication      Management    *Community and School Based Behavioral         Health     *Psychological Assessment    *Alternative Education Programs    *Career Alternative Education Program    *Behavioral Health Rehabilitation Services    *Student Assistance Program (SAP) How Your Support Helps the Children:    *Vital medical and therapeutic support     during crisis situations        *Educational programming    *Sporting and cultural outings in Erie    *Campus improvements    *Summer camp opportunities    *Technology (iPads, SMART Boards, etc.)    *Books, art and recreational supplies


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December 2017 Business Magazine  
December 2017 Business Magazine  

2018 Economic Forecast: Economist Ken Louie, Ph.D., director of the Economic Research Institute of Erie, explains why it will take the super...