CI Workforce Newsletter | January 4, 2024

Posted By: Harold King Workforce News,

The Monthly Workforce Newsletter of the Council of Industry

January 4, 2023

2024 Manufacturing Champion Nominations Open 
The Council of Industry's Manufacturing Champions Award is presented annually to individuals and/or organizations that “Through vision, dedication and tireless involvement have worked to overcome some of the many obstacles faced by manufacturers in the Hudson Valley and in so doing they have made it possible for manufacturers and their employees to prosper.” This year’s awards will be presented at the Champion's Breakfast and Workforce Developers Expo April 26th at The Villa in Middletown.   
Past Champions include owners of manufacturing businesses, key employees, teachers and educators, economic development leaders, educational institutions, economic development organizations elected officials and agencies supporting the manufacturing workforce pipeline. Follow the link below for a list of past champions. 
Called Upon to Take on More Workforce Development Tasks, the State’s Community Colleges Seek Additional Funds 
New York State’s Community Colleges have long been on the front lines of workforce development – partnering with industry sectors to develop and maintain education and training programs to fill critical jobs. From Island to Buffalo and the North Country to the Southern Tier Community Colleges educate and train the nurses, technicians, mechanics, chefs, and more – that industries need. Today that role is more vital than ever as we continue to struggle to close the skills gap and build effective workforce pipelines. Many may be surprised to know that total tax-supported funding for community colleges is nearly four times less than the State’s four-year colleges. And while enrollment has shrunk across almost every sector of SUNY higher education institutions, four-year campus State funding increased by 41% while Community College funding decreased by almost 5%. This drop in funding does not seem to align with New York’s economic and workforce development agenda.  
Recently the New York Community College Trustees (NYCCT) and the New York Community College Association of Presidents (NYCCAP), announced the “Empire State Community College Workforce Guarantee” and its related funding request of an additional $97 million dollars (beyond the baseline floor budget) to provide a more equitable funding structure for SUNY’s community colleges. The Trustees and College Presidents argue that this funding is necessary if the colleges are going to continue to meet the workforce needs of the state and provide quality programs and services to students, workers and industry.  
Registration Open for Spring 2024 (In Person) Certificate in Manufacturing Leadership Program 
For more than 26 years, the Council of Industry’s Certificate in Manufacturing Leadership program has offered attendees a range of leadership skills through a series of concentrated courses. Participants who complete the required courses are presented with the Certificate in Manufacturing Leadership by the Council of Industry. All classes will be held at DCC Fishkill from 8:30 – 4:00.  
  • Fundamentals of Leadership – February 28 & March 6th 
  • Problem Solving & Decision Making – March 19 or 20 (To be confirmed) 
  • Environmental Health & Safety Essential – April 3 
  • Effective Business Communication – April 17 
  • Human Resources Management Issues – May 8 
  • Making a Profit in Manufacturing – May 22 
  • Best Practices & Continuous Improvement – June 5 
  • Positive Discipline & Motivation – June 11 
SUNY Orange Teams With Pine Bush High School and Haas to Offer Machine Operator Certification 
SUNY Orange is partnering with Pine Bush High School, The Council of Industry and Allendale Machinery Systems to deliver entry level machine operator training. This cohort will take place from February 26, 2024 - March 22, 2024 M-TH, 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM, at the Gene Haas Machining Center at Pine Bush High School. The cost of the program is $3,697 though some individuals will be eligible for scholarships.  
The Manufacturing Machine Operator (HAAS) Program is strategically designed by SUNY Orange and partners so students can complete a series of courses in as little as 4 weeks with convenient hours. Covering fundamental topics such as shop math, assembly, maintenance, machining, inspection, and more, this industry-driven certification demonstrates that the individual has basic knowledge of manufacturing. The credential is designed for incumbent workers new to manufacturing or those seeking to enter the field.   
Candidate Profiles
Periodically the Council of Industry will share profiles of individuals who have applied for, or expressed an interest in, a job in Hudson Valley manufacturing.
Subscribers of the Collaborative Recruiting Initiative can view candidate resumes and contact information by searching the candidate ID number in iCIMS platform.
Other Council members can contact Johnnieanne Hansen directly for additional candidate details or to learn more about the recruiting initiative.
Position Interest: Sales, Non-Profit, Human Resources, Customer Service
Education: Master’s Degree – Global Studies Bachelor of Arts – International & Comparative Politics
Level: Entry-level 
Summary: This candidate is authorized to live and work in the USA without sponsorship and comes highly recommended by the Founder of the Afghan Circle of the Hudson Valley. The Afghan Circle is a group dedicated to assisting recent refugees in finding meaningful employment in the Hudson Valley. The candidate holds both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in Global Studies & International Politics, showcasing a strong academic background. With a focus on administrative and research roles, this individual has demonstrated their aptitude through various internships, research assignments, and volunteer work conducted in both Afghanistan and New York. Currently seeking employment opportunities in the Hudson Valley area, particularly within the non-profit, human resources, or customer service sectors. If you have relevant openings, please feel free to contact the candidate directly or reach out to us here at the Council. Letters of recommendation from the Afghan Circle are available upon request.
Position Interest: Mateial Handler, Warehouse, Machine Operator
Education: High school
Level: Mid-level 
Summary: This candidate is looking to expand their skillset in the manufacturing industry. With roughly 4 years of experience in a variety of roles, their experience includes material handling, chemical use, operator, and warehouse work. With a variety of positions under their belt, this candidate is extremely adaptive, able to fill a multitude of different roles within an organization.
Looking for something to display their skillset while growing within the company makes this individual highly desirable.
Position Interest: HR, Office Administration including Internships
Education: BS Psychology with a concentration in Industrial Organization
Level: Enrty level 
Summary: This bilingual (Spanish) candidate is a recent college graduate, looking to explore employment opportunities within the HR realm. Eager to begin their journey with entry level positions or internships within Human Resources, or administration this candidate has recently received their bachelor’s in psychology concentrating in Industrial Organization from SUNY New Paltz. Adept at Data management and computer literacy, this is an excellent candidate to interview for any entry level or internship opportunities involving human resources, benefits administration or general administration. Greater Westchester area preferred.
Position Interest: Apprenticeship - Production/Manufacturing
Education: Associates Degree - Electrical Engineering
Level: Entry level 
Summary: This candidate is an intelligent , eager and looking to expand their knowledge within the field of manufacturing. They are seeking an apprenticeship or entry level role within the manufacturing sector to learn & develop their skills. Highly motivated, adaptive, and willing to learn... if these are the qualities your business values, then please do not hesitate to reach out.
The Certificate in Manufacturing Leadership 
Begins Feburay 28th
Give Your Front-Line Supervisors the Skills They Need to Succeed
For information on advertising in this and other CI publications contact Harold King (

News for HR and Workforce Professionals

More Zoomers, Fewer Boomers – Workplace Trends for 2024 
Gen Z, or Zoomers is poised to overtake Baby Boomers in the full-time workforce by early 2024 – a shift that has been long coming. Boomers were the largest generation in the full-time workforce from the late 1970s until late 2011. Gen X had a brief period of generational workforce dominance from 2012 to 2018, when Millennials overtook them. Millennials and Gen X still outnumber Gen Z, and Millennials are poised to dominate the workforce for many years to come. By our estimates, Gen Z won’t outnumber Millennials in the workforce until sometime in the early 2040s. 
Other trends include Sticky Wages; Challenges for Middle Managers; Layoff Worries and AI Backlash. The coming year will still represent a pivotal moment of cultural change that U.S. companies cannot ignore as Gen Z workers – who care deeply about community connections, about having their voices heard in the workplace, about transparent and responsive leadership, and about diversity and inclusion – make up a rapidly growing share of the workforce. 
Base Pay and Beyond - Workforce Strategies in Manufacturing 
How can manufacturers retain their best talent and control the cost of continually finding and onboarding new workers? There are a range of priorities to balance for today’s workforce, and some might be different from a manufacturer’s traditional considerations. “There's definitely an issue with wage compression,” said Grant Thornton Manufacturing Industry Managing Director Joe Ranzau. “When a plant is offering hot work in a difficult environment all day, and someone can make $21 an hour at a Box Store, it’s compelling to look at that option.  
“Manufacturers can also face high turnover within the first 30 days,” Ranzau said. “So, if we do find someone, how are we adequately preparing them for the reality of the manufacturing environment? How are we showing them what their job's going to be day-to-day, so that they're not surprised — and, as we onboard them, they feel confident, engaged and that they have a path to grow within the company?” It’s also important that manufacturers highlight the value employees are adding, giving them pride in what they are producing. If your people are helping to make the world’s best security systems or appliances, help them remember that. 
What Strategic HR Looks Like  
What factors separate a compliance-based HR function from one that operates more strategically? New research highlights changing priorities and practices that set strategic HR functions apart from others. A significant differentiator is how HR purchases, deploys and governs new technologies. Rather than simply seeking new efficiencies or improved regulatory compliance, strategic HR groups view use of tools like sophisticated analytics software or generative artificial intelligence as a way to help their organizations make smarter talent decisions that drive competitive advantage. 
According to the recently released Sapient Insights Group's 2023-2024 HR Systems Survey, strategic HR functions also distinguish themselves by taking a rigorous approach to change management, deciding who "owns" HR technology in their organizations and ensuring ethical use of AI tools. On the other hand, compliance-based HR functions are reactive to events, while strategic groups proactively tie decisions and actions to overarching business goals, seeking to operate as partners rather than support staff. Here are four main findings from the Sapient Insights Group study that highlight differences between the two types of HR functions.  
DOL Rule Would Promote Apprenticeships, Tighten Program Labor Standards 
The U.S. Department of Labor proposed a rule Dec. 14 that seeks to modernize the registered apprenticeship program. The rule intends to strengthen labor standards and worker protections as well as better promote apprenticeship pathways, among other things. The rule also includes a program called the “registered career and technical education apprenticeship” that is designed to make it “more seamless” for full-time high school and community college students to enroll in the apprenticeship system. 
The 776 page rule would require that apprenticeship programs provide at least 2,000 hours of on-the-job training. Employers would have to provide “accessible” and “equitable” facilities for all workers—e.g. Companies would also have to provide apprentices with the same “allowances, rights, and protections” as regular employees, including family leave and retirement benefits. The rule would let the department dissolve programs accused by unions of misconduct or found to be non-compliant with minor government regulations and DEI benchmarks. 
The NYSDOL’s Proposed Regulations Increasing the Exempt Salary Levels Have Been Adopted as Final Regulations 
On Dec. 27, 2023, the New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) published a Notice of Adoption of its proposed regulations in the State Register, which means the minimum weekly salary to qualify for the executive and administrative exemptions will officially increase effective Jan. 1, 2024. The NYSDOL did not make any changes to its proposed regulations, so the following increases will occur: 
Effective on Jan. 1, 2024 – $1,200 in downstate New York and $1,124.20 in upstate New York; 
Effective on Jan. 1, 2025 – $1,237.50 in downstate New York and $1,161.65 in upstate New York; 
Effective on Jan. 1, 2026 – $1,275 in downstate New York and $1,199.10 in upstate New York. 
There is no minimum weekly salary under New York law to qualify for the professional exemption. However, with a few exceptions (such as for teachers, doctors and lawyers), employers still must comply with the federal minimum weekly salary in order to classify employees as exempt under the professional exemption. The federal minimum weekly salary is currently $684, but the U.S. Department of Labor has issued proposed regulations to increase that amount. 
Podcast: It’s Time to Talk to Your Team About Mental Health
The business world is beginning to recognize the importance of mental health. That’s why writer, entrepreneur, and podcast host Morra Aarons-Mele says that the more we understand and talk about our own mental health, the better we are as managers and colleagues. In this episode, you’ll get tips on how to work with—and through—your anxiety. If you’re a senior leader or a human resources professional, you’ll also learn ways to help your organization prioritize employees’ mental health.
This is the final episode in a special series highlighting the four best leadership episodes of 2023, curated from across Harvard Business Review’s podcasts. HBR On Leadership curates the best case studies and conversations with the world’s top business and management experts, to help you unlock the best in those around you. New episodes every week.
Long COVID, Chronic Conditions Double Absence Rate 
The prevalence of long COVID has had a profound impact on disability claims, work absences, and healthcare expenses. According to a recent analysis of workforce absences in the Journal of Public Economics, around 500,000 individuals in the US were removed from the workforce due to COVID-related illnesses between March 2020 and June 2022. Long COVID has had a significant impact on disability claims, duration, and costs. According to IBI’s Benchmarking Portal data, long COVID had 4,442 STD claims in 2021. The industries that report the highest STD claims are manufacturing (13,671 claims) and services (11,860 claims), followed by the finance, insurance, & real estate sector with 5,534 claims. 
Long COVID has a much higher number of calendar days lost per STD claim at 90 days, compared with COVID-19 claims (22 days). Notably, 16% of these STD claims transitioned into LTD claims, resulting in 5,427 cases of long COVID LTD claims. These LTD claims had significantly higher payments, averaging $9,307 per closed claim. Importantly, 35% of individuals with LTD claims successfully returned to work within two years. 
Report: 50% of Manufacturers Plan to Increase Their Overall Employment in the Next 12 Months  
The Manufacturers’ Association has released the results of its 2023 Annual Manufacturing Wage & Salary report. The data was compiled in the summer and fall of 2023 when the Manufacturers’ Association surveyed 100 employers in the southcentral Pennsylvania region. The organization compiled data on wages, salaries, labor market conditions, compensation practices and more. The report revealed a host of interesting findings, especially concerning the continued need for skilled workers to meet growing demands and replace retiring workers. Key finding of the survey include: 
50% of manufacturers plant to increase employment over the next year, down from 64% in 2022  
84% of respondents are having trouble filling open positions with qualified workers  
52% of those surveyed have changed recruiting practices  
Companies are struggling most to hire machinists, toolmakers, and maintenance workers  
Turnover rates for hourly workers decreased 2% from 2022 levels  
Rich-World Labor Markets Will Remain Strong in 2024 
After the lifting of lockdowns in 2021, rich-world labor markets roared back to life faster than anyone had expected. In 2022 and 2023 they continued to strengthen, as consumers, flush with government stimulus payments and accumulated savings, and looking to make up for lost time, splurged on labor-intensive services. Total demand for labor across the rich world quickly outpaced the available supply of workers. The unemployment rate, at less than 5%, is at historical lows. 
In 2024, expect rich-world labor markets to remain strong for several reasons. Demand and supply remain so out of whack that it would probably take a deep recession to truly damage jobs markets. Companies will also be more inclined to hoard workers, scarred by pandemic-era struggles to rehire those they let go during lockdowns. And as baby-boomers retire, the available pool of labor is shrinking fast. Whatever happens in 2024, finding a job will rarely have been so easy. 
iCIMS December Labor Market Insights – No Big Surprises in the Final Look at 2023 
The November numbers are in, and maybe the biggest surprise is that despite all the worrying and speculation, there are no big surprises. The labor market remains strong as we head toward the end of the year. Here are some of December’s top findings:  
Applications dropped over the last three months, but overall, volume is still up almost 30% from the start of last year. 
Job seekers want full-time jobs, with applications for these roles increasing 16% year over year while part-time jobs saw only a tiny application growth of 1%.  
Now is the time to apply for 6-figure jobs. Openings for these positions have stayed steady in the last 3 months while application volume has dropped.  
What were some of 2023’s most (and least) in-demand jobs? Openings for healthcare roles saw some of the biggest growth year over year, while openings for software developers and retail salespeople declined. 

HR Briefs

Manufacturing Matters Podcast

In this podcast episode, Thomas shares his teaching philosophy, emphasizing the importance of learning through doing and embracing failure as part of the process. In his class, students are given the endpoints and are encouraged to find their own path, fostering autonomy and critical thinking skills. With a focus on personalized learning, Tom discusses the flexibility of the program, accommodating students with different career goals, whether they aspire to be professional engineers or seek immediate employment after high school.
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