CI Workforce Newsletter | June 1, 2023

Posted By: Taylor Dowd (deleted) Newsletters, Workforce News,

Expo Brings Together the Region’s Manufacturing Workforce Developers 

On May 18th, in conjunction with the Council of Industry’s Manufacturing Champions Breakfast, the second annual HV MFG Workforce Expo took place with 24 exhibitors and more than 200 attendees.  The Expo is part of the Council of Industry’s ongoing mission to develop a regional strategy to build a skilled manufacturing workforce. Exhibitors included Community Colleges, BOCES, high schools, nonprofits, recruiters, economic development and county partners all of whom are actively training the current manufacturing workforce and developing the skilled pipeline necessary for manufacturers' future success. 


“I am very pleased that so many of our partners were able to participate,” said Johnnieanne Hansen, Council of Industry’s Vice President of Operations and Workforce Development. “The truth is we have many terrific workforce resources in Hudson Valley – schools and other organizations doing great work.  The Expo provides an opportunity to highlight those efforts and to strengthen connections and help to build capacity.”  


Thank you Expo Participants!  


Access Supports for Living 

Allendale Machinery 

Bantam Tools 

Council of Industry 

Dutchess BOCES 

Dutchess Community College 

Dutchess County Workforce Investment Board 

Ellenville PTECH 

Ethan Allen Workforce Solutions 

Here's Help Staffing & Recruiting 

Ulster BOCES 

Hudson Valley Pathways Academy 

Mount Academy 

Orange County Community College SUNY Orange 

Pine Bush Central School District 

Rockland Community College 

Saugerties Central School District 

STEPS Pre-Apprentice Program 

SUNY Ulster 


Ulster County Workforce Development Board & Employment & Training Office 


Westchester Community College 

Women in Manufacturing 


alliantgroup Briefs Council Members on Tax Credit Opportunities.  

Former NY Congressman Rick Lazio, a longtime advocate for small manufacturers, delivered this update on the latest legislative and regulatory updates on available credits for small busiensees with an emphasis on manufacturers. Mr. Lazio, now with the alliantgroup, focused un the unfolding debt ceiling negotiatins, the disappointing changes to the R&D tax credits and the potential opportunities with eh Employee Retention credit (ERC).  Many firms have yet to maximize their use of these credits.  

An associate member of the Council of Industry, the alliantgroup, has a team of former policymakers and IRS commissioners on staff, giving special insights when it comes to understanding and optimizing tax credits.  


Welcome New Apprentices!  

Zach R.– CNC Machinist, Elna Magnetics 


Congratulations Apprentice Graduates!  

Jarred B. – CNC Machinist, Sono-Tek 



AI is Changing HR Departments – Let Us Count the Ways 

The majority of HR leaders nowadays use AI across a wide range of tasks, like employee records management, payroll, recruitment, onboarding and performance management. In the future, AI may be able to hire and fire employees, as well as perform more complex tasks like answering HR-related employee queries and communicating salary details. Despite the benefits, some risks are also involved when incorporating AI in HR, such as the limitations of AI tools and how prone they are to cyberattacks. 

Progress in artificial intelligence (AI) technology has remade the human resources (HR) department, enabling HR professionals to leverage machine learning and algorithms to streamline their work processes, reduce their biases, and enhance their analysis and decision-making. However, current limitations and vulnerabilities have given some organizations pause when it comes to adopting AI for additional use cases. This article discusses some of the ways AI is changing HR, considerations when adopting it and how far the trend may go. 


Mental Health Stigma in the Workplace Persists 

According to an analysis by the National Center for Health Statistics, 27% reported having symptoms of an anxiety disorder or depression in the past two years. Prior to COVID, that rate was 10.8%. Employers are stepping up to meet these concerns. In a recent Harris poll, 23% of workers reported that their employer has brought on new mental health services. This same poll found that 67% of employees say that the mental health services offered by employers are beneficial. 

However, there is a catch—the continuing effect of the stigma of mental health. A recent survey by JobSage found that three out of five employees don’t feel comfortable discussing their mental health at work. Additionally, 50% are not truthful about taking a mental health day. Why? Many view this as a personal issue and feel revealing mental health issues poses a professional risk, so they opt to just request a less-specific “sick day.” 


When Employees' Personal Values Clash With Work Practice  

From brands to service lines, the names we choose carry meaning and bring value. I was reminded of the power of choosing the right name when our human resources team recently made the strategic decision to drop the “HR” moniker and become "people and culture," a choice more businesses are making. The name change was a part of a larger transformation of HR that we made, but it is indicative of where we are headed as a company. Once the change was announced, the questions started: “Does the name really matter?” “Can it have a measurable impact?” “Is it worth the effort?” Yes. Yes. And yes again. 

Every person inside a business interacts with HR in ways that are critical to their satisfaction, safety and success. Despite that reach, HR teams are not always aligned strategically with business goals. That divide can eventually turn into material losses. When HR teams do not understand the work and expectations that shape the employee experience, they lack the insight needed to create programs and processes that effectively support and retain talent. 


10 Questions About Your Organization’s COVID-19 Response 

Now that the emergency phase of COVID-19 has come to an end, organizations should take the opportunity to review “lessons learned” from their response to the pandemic. What procedures worked well? What didn’t work? What should you do differently next time (because there will be a next time)? 

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) recommends regular reviews of emergency response plans to support organizational resiliency. Ask these 10 questions about your organization’s response to COVID-19. If there are areas that need improvement, initiate actions, assign ownership and incorporate updates into your organization’s “pandemic preparedness plan” for use in future health emergencies. 


Pay Transparency Laws: What Small Businesses Need to Know 

Eight states have adopted pay transparency laws, including California and New York, with New York’s set to take effect September 1 for employers with four or more employees. It's prudent to take inventory of your internal pay structure before posting any salary information to avoid conflict with current employees. However, this process doesn't have to be complicated, says Jim Emanuel, a human resources knowledge advisor at the Society for Human Resource Management. 

While pay transparency can help businesses move toward pay equity, it also raises concerns for some small businesses — which often pay less than larger corporations — that they won't be able to attract good employees. Jen L'Estrange, founder and managing director of Red Clover, a human resources management consulting firm, noted that job candidates are often more responsive to how companies talk about money than the money itself. And when it comes to employee retention at smaller companies, it's more often a result of recognition and the ability to learn and grow, she said. Similarly, Emanuel recommends leveraging intangibles, such as engagement and connection, that often get lost at large corporations. 


Age, Experience Matter in Cost of Workplace Injuries 

After examining more than 1.2 million worker compensation claims from 2016 to 2020, a new study from The Travelers Companies, Inc. shows that an employee’s time spent in a particular role and their age were driving factors in injury frequency and cost of claims, respectively. Employees in their first year on a job, regardless of their age or industry experience, represented more than one-third (34%) of all claims and accounted for nearly 7 million missed workdays due to injury. Though they were injured less often than most other age groups, employees ages 60 and older had higher average costs per claim, totaling nearly 15% more than employees between the ages of 35 and 49 and approximately 140% more than those ages 18 to 24. 

“The data clearly highlights two populations to watch when it comes to workplace injuries: new and aging employees,” said Rich Ives, vice president of Business Insurance Claim, Travelers, in a statement. “As employers navigate turnover and a multigenerational workforce, it’s important that they stay aware of the risks that come with changing worker demographics so they can help keep employees safe and businesses running.” 


Creating a Welcoming Workplace for Non-Native Speakers – 9 Tips 

Manufacturers face challenges finding, attracting, and retaining good workers who are non-native English speakers and from different cultural backgrounds. The primary reason is a lack of ability to communicate effectively in both directions. The communication barrier appears to be very large, when in actuality it is a small accommodation in exchange for access to the workforce. What is often perceived as quiet disinterest by non-English-speaking team members is a defense mechanism to avoid drawing attention to what the person considers a weakness. Many really good workers originate from places where diversity is punished, and certain groups of people are openly diminished. 

When a company makes a sincere and deliberate effort to communicate and welcome team members who do not speak English, the relief felt by those affected is enormous. Communicating in other languages is a small investment with an immediate and big return. That investment is pales in comparison to the benefit a trusted team offers. 


After High School Years Interrupted by COVID, Students Calculate the Cost of College Differently 

For this year’s high school seniors, the COVID-19 pandemic started in the spring of their ninth-grade year. That means it was the meat in the sandwich of their high school education, and it’s affected their thinking about college and whether it’s worth the return on investment. With a hot job market, more are deciding not to pursue higher education. This spring, there were 14.2 million undergraduates in the U.S., which is about 9% fewer than were enrolled in spring 2019, according to research out this week from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. 

For some individual schools, that change is tangible. At Niagara Falls High School in western New York, the senior class is usually between 400 to 500 kids. In 2019, nearly three-quarters of them planned to go to college. Last year, that dropped to around half. “They want to be on their own. They want to pay their own bills,” said Marc Daul, who counsels students as a postsecondary success coordinator at the school.  


The ‘Big Stay’: More Workers Are Hunkering Down And Staying In Their Current Jobs 

Fewer people are quitting their jobs in 2023, which signifies that the United States is phasing out of its Great Resignation era. According to the ADP Research Institute, the rate of Americans quitting their jobs is down by 5% from this time last year. Job openings in the U.S. have also fallen 20% from 2022. "The Big Quit of 2022 could be easing into the Big Stay of 2023," wrote Nela Richardson, ADP chief economist, in her research institute data summary. 

The "Big Stay" is a term used to describe the trend of workers hunkering down and remaining in their current jobs for more extended periods of time. This trend contrasts the Great Resignation, which saw a record number of workers—4 million each month—quitting their jobs in 2021 for better pay and benefits, work flexibility, an enhanced work-life balance and career advancement. 


iCIMS March Labor Market Insights and Council of Industry Job Board Data 

Despite recent news headlines, hiring activity remained fairly strong in April, with openings and hirings at the same level as they were at the start of last year, when the hiring floodgates were wide open. The same cannot be said for the state of hiring for HR roles, which has plummeted since April of last year. Those roles are disproportionately affected by the spate of layoffs in the last six months, with hiring down 57% since last January. When hiring freezes begin to lift, who will be there to fill all those new roles?  

This month they look at some of the findings in the eighth annual “Class Of” report, which digs into what employers need to know about how new grads are approaching today’s job market. One item in the report worth noting is that recent grads are applying for entry level positions at a much higher rate then pervious classes – covering their bases so to speak,