CI Workforce Newsletter | May 9, 2024

Posted By: Harold King Workforce News,

The Monthly Workforce Newsletter of the Council of Industry

May 9, 2024

More than 250 Attended Manufacturing Champion Awards Breakfast and Expo
A record crowd attended the April 26th Council of Industry Manufacturing Champions Award Breakfast and Workforce Developers’ Expo at The Villa Venezia in Middletown. Attendees were there to celebrate the work of our three champions: 
Barbara Reer - Assistant Dean for Workforce, Career Development, and Apprenticeship Initiatives at SUNY Ulster.   
Ron Hicks - Dutchess County Assistant County Executive for Strategic Planning and Economic Development.  
Frank Falatyn - President, Fala Technologies and STEPs Industry Pre-apprenticeship – Founder / Executive Director. 
Attendees also visited the Workforce Developers’ Expo featuring 28 exhibitors that included High Schools, Community Colleges, Four Year Colleges, The Department of Labor, County Workforce Boards, and More. The Expo highlights the many programs that support manufacturing workforce development in the region and helps connect them with Council members. WKIP’s Hudson Valley Focus Live with Tom Sipos and ‘Uncle’ Mike Hansen broadcasted live from the event adding the celebration of Hudson Valley Manufacturing.  
The Champions trophies were designed and build by students from Pine Bush High School.
A special thank you to the generous sponsors who helped make the event a tremendous success: JP Morgan Chase, Central Hudson, Rhinebeck Bank, Allendale Machinery, Ulster Savings Bank, Ashworth Creative, PKF O’Connor Davies, and Hudson Valley Investment Advisors with Orange Bank & Trust.  
Summer Session of the Certificate In Manufacturing Leadership Program Has Been Scheduled - Registration Now Open
The Spring Session of the Council of Industry’s Certificate in Manufacturing Leadership program filled to capacity and left a handful of members asking if the Council would consider adding another in-person session. We have now made plans to hold the program on dates from July through October in Fishkill. (A remote version of the program is planned to start in November.) 
  • Fundamentals of Leadership (2 sessions)  - July 17 & 24
  • Problem Solving & Decision Making - August 7
  • Effective Business Communication - August 21
  • Risk Management Environmental Health & Safety Essential  - September 11
  • Making a Profit in Manufacturing - September 18
  • Human Resources Management Issues - October 2
  • Best Practices & Continuous Improvement  - October 9
  • Positive Discipline & Motivation - October 16
To register or learn more about the Summer session click here
A remote learning session of the Certificate in Manufacturing Leadership program is slated for the Fall.
To reserve your spot(s) in the late Fall Session email Johnnieanne Hansen.
Council of Industry’s Collaborative Recruiting Program Now “Hudson Valley Manufacturing Career Hub” 
In 2018, in response to our member’s need to recruit qualified candidates, The Council of Industry launched the Collaborative Recruiting Initiative (CRI). The CRI utilized the iCIMS Applicant Tracking System (ATS) platform as well and the jobs board to create a single place where member manufacturers could post jobs and track candidates. The CRI created an economy of scale that made access to these services accessible and affordable and for many members this is still the case as the platform continues to add value to their recruiting strategies. 
In the ensuing 6 years, however, while technology and the labor market have evolved, so has the CRI. In 2024, the CRI and the jobs posted on have become a focal point for Hudson valley manufacturing workforce development, providing not only a place to find and fill jobs in the manufacturing sector, but also a place to find information about career opportunities, apprenticeships, internships, wages, training opportunities and more. In short it has become a “hub” for Hudson Valley Manufacturing Careers.  
To embrace this evolution, we are rebranding the CRI to the “Hudson Valley Manufacturing Career Hub.” Key to the success of “the Hub” will be a critical mass of jobs on the site. With that goal in mind we will be offering a entry level subscription where members will have unlimited job postings for manufacturing jobs, internships, and apprenticeships, access to searchable resumes, digital marketing and community outreach to promote your opportunities, wide dissemination of job postings to 100+ popular job boards and more – all for $295.  
And - until May 15th – we will post your jobs for free!  
To learn more and post your job(s) – contact Johnnieanne Hansen
Electro-Mechanical Technician Trade Among the Most Popular MIAP Apprentice Trades
Automated equipment is becoming increasingly present on factory floors across the region. Operating and maintaining that equipment is essential for those factory floors to operate effectively and efficiently. That is why the new Mechatronics Lab at Dutchess Community College’s Fishkill campus is so important and popular. And that is why so many Council members are using the Electro-Mechanical Technician Trade to develop skilled workers.  
Electro-mechanical and mechatronics technologists and technicians combine knowledge of mechanical technology with knowledge of electrical and electronic circuitry. They operate, test, and maintain unmanned, automated, robotic, or electromechanical equipment. 
Work Processes (Skills learned on the Job) Approximate Hours for Electro-Mechanical Technician: 
  • Safety and Workplace Orientation: 250 hours 
  • Mechanical Repair: 2,000 hours 
  • Electrical Repair: 950 hours 
  • Electronic Repair: 1,900 hours 
  • Preventative Maintenance : 2,750 hours 
  • Miscellaneous: 150 hours 
  • Total Hours: 8,000 
Minimum of 144 Hours of Related Instruction (Classroom Learning) Required for Each Apprentice for Each Year: 
  • Safety & Health 
  • Engineering Drawings 
  • Mathematics 
  • Trade Theory and Science 
  • Computer Fundamentals 
  • Welding (if performed on-the-job) 
  • Working on High-Voltage Manufacturing Equipment 
  • Interpersonal Communications: oral and written 
  • Sexual Harassment Prevention 
If you want to know more about this trade and if it might be right you’re your company contact Johnnieanne Hansen 
High Schools Partner to Host Corrugated Boat Competition - Marlboro & Valley Central High Schools Compete
The pool at Marlboro High School will be the site of the first ever Mid-Hudson Corrugated Boat Race May 31, 11:25 – 2:25. Teams from Marlboro, Valley Central and Goshen High schools will design and build boats to compete in a variety of categories including a slalom course, drag race and maximum boat capacity. Teachers Tom Fassell (Marlboro), Nick Longo (Valley Central) and Dillon Johnson (Goshen) partnered to create the inaugural event. 
Middletown’s President Container Group had donated corrugated board, box cutters, and safety equipment to the schools. The schools still need tape (Duct Tape, HVAC Tape, Roofing Tape, Gorilla Tape, Packing Tape, and Any waterproof tape that can adhere to corrugated material.) If you have tape to donate contact Tom Fassell. Council members are invited to join the fun (wear a bathing suit if you want to test one of the boats.)

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 to the Manufacturing Career Hub 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: Internship - Design / Product Engineer
Education: Bachelor of Science – Integrated Product Design (Anticipated 2025)
Level: Entry-Level 
Summary: This candidate is an anticipated Product Design graduate for May 2025. As a highly recommended referral, this candidate is looking for an internship to apply their knowledge and to grow within. Completing a list of private / school projects in the realm of design along with an internship under their belt has created a well-rounded soon-to-be graduate. If you are looking for a product or design engineer intern with this skillset, please feel free to reach out.
Position Interest: Internship – Environmental Science
Education: Bachelor of Science – Environmental Science (Anticipated 2026)
Level: Entry-Level 
Summary: This candidate is an Environmental Science student approaching graduation in May 2026, actively pursuing an internship opportunity in a field related to Environmental Science. Actively involved in community-led groups such as Zero Hour, focusing on environmental solutions to local challenges. With many accomplishments in the field of academics, this candidate currently resides in Newburgh, NY. They are readily available for a summer internship and are flexible with commuting arrangements. Please feel free to reach out if you have an opportunity available to them.
Position Interest: Maintenance / Engineering
Education: RMO License (2015 – 2016) & Air Conditioning, Refrigeration, and Heating (April 2011)
Level: Mid-level 
Summary: This seasoned candidate brings a wealth of experience and proficiency in maintenance and engineering roles, focusing on HVAC, plumbing, basic maintenance, and appliance repair. With a robust background as a Union Service Technician, Building Engineer, and Warehouse Employee, they possess a diverse skill set and a proven track record in delivering exceptional service. With many roles in the realm of maintenance and service technician make them a valuable asset for any organization. Currently based in Cortlandt Manor, NY, they offer versatility and dedication to their craft. Currently looking at opportunities in the Hudson Valley, please feel free to reach out.
Position Interest: Internship – Design / Manufacturing Engineer
Education: Bachelor of Science – Mechanical Engineering (Anticipated 2027)
Level: Entry-level 
Summary: This candidate is a prospective Mechanical Engineering graduate, aiming for an entry-level internship in Design or Manufacturing Engineering. They possess a skill set that includes proficiency in Solidworks, Autodesk Inventory, maintenance tasks, assembly operations, and safety protocols. Beyond academics, they have held leadership positions such as President of the University of Buffalo Running Club and Captain of both the Marlboro Football and Track & Field teams. Additionally, they were a member of the National Honor Society from 2021 to 2023, indicating a commitment to academic excellence and community involvement Residing in Marlboro, NY, they are available for a summer internship and are willing to commute. Please feel free to reach out.
Position Interest: Internship – Design / Manufacturing Engineer
Education: Bachelor of Science – Mechanical Engineering (Anticipated 2025)
Level: Entry-level 
Summary: This candidate is a Mechanical Engineering student nearing graduation in May 2025, actively pursuing an internship opportunity in either Design or Manufacturing Engineering at the entry-level. Their expertise spans various software tools including Microsoft Office, MATLAB, and CAD platforms like Solidworks and Fusion 360. Residing in Chester, NY, they are readily available for a summer internship and are flexible with commuting arrangements. With a blend of academic excellence, practical skills, and leadership experience, they present a compelling profile for a role in design or manufacturing engineering.
For information on advertising in this and other CI publications contact Harold King (

News for HR and Workforce Professionals

May is Mental Health Awareness Month - It’s Okay to Not Be Okay 
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, a good reminder to focus on the importance of mental health and its impact on our well-being. Mental health conditions can affect anyone, regardless of gender, age, race, ethnicity, or income level. Recent data helps underscore that our nation is facing an unprecedented mental health crisis among people of all ages and backgrounds, including young children and older adults. To put this into perspective, if you were standing in a room full of people, at least one out of every five of those people likely experienced anxiety, depression, or other mental health conditions in the last year. 
The more we talk about mental health together, the more normalized these conversations become – ultimately empowering people to seek the help they need. And fortunately, more people are now talking about and prioritizing their mental health, just as they would their physical health. They are also embracing self-care to improve overall well-being. This is critical because when you take care of your mental health, your physical and emotional health also improves, and you’re more likely to learn and work productively, and effectively cope with life stressors. However, self-care looks different for everyone. Exercise, sleep, and a balanced diet might be the strategy for some, while others might benefit from joining a support group, or seeing a mental health professional. It’s important to identify what works best for you. 
All Hands Memo: Why Activism at Work Could Get You Fired 
In April, Google fired 50 staffers after protests over its contracts with Israel. As employers worry that campus activism could spread to the workplace, Forbes spoke with legal experts about the protections employees have—and don’t have—when it comes to speaking out at work. The Google case is the latest to raise a host of questions about the rights U.S. workers have when it comes to activism on the job—and the challenges companies could face if unrest on college campuses spreads into workplaces. “This is a fraught issue,” says Mark Hanna, a Washington, D.C.-based labor and employment lawyer who represents workers. “There are too many ways where employers and employees are going to fall into traps by either clamping down too hard, or risking their job by being too expressive. Everybody should be careful here.” 
Google’s case has grabbed numerous headlines, but workplace activism has been growing for years as more CEOs have taken on social and political issues—whether publicly opposing bills that limit transgender rights or pledging billions to racial justice causes—and as employees are increasingly encouraged, in the fashionable parlance of many managers, to “bring their whole selves to work.” In a highly-charged presidential election year, as workers have more tools to criticize their employer on social media and as younger generations increasingly expect workplaces to line up with their personal or political values, the environment is ripe for more activism to find its way into the office. 
Employees are Your Biggest Cybersecurity Threat  
Verizon this week released its 2024 Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR), based on analysis of over 30,000 incidents (compromised security), over 10,000 of which resulted in data breaches, that took place between November 1, 2022, and October 31, 2023. According to the DBIR, the number of data breaches last year involving a human element is the same number reported last year, 68%. The problem hasn’t gotten worse but it hasn’t gotten any better, either. 
Social engineering represents the second-most-common cause of cybersecurity breaches suffered by DBIR respondents in 2023, underneath system intrusions. The phishing problem, tricking people into clicking links that lead them to malicious websites and opening doors for malware to infect a system, continues to grow. According to the report, 31% of social engineering-based incidents involve phishing, and the average amount of time it takes for someone to fall for a phishing email is less than 60 seconds. To put it another way, if people spent more than a mere minute wondering why they’re being asked and by whom to click a link, fewer people might fall for it. 
EEOC Issues Guidance on Workplace Harassment  
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently published its final Enforcement Guidance on Harassment in the Workplace. The EEOC also issued supplemental documents with the guidance, including a Summary of Key Provisions document, Questions and Answers for Employees, and a Small Business Fact Sheet. Overall, the guidance represents the most up-to-date insight into the EEOC’s legal positions for what constitutes prohibited harassment. Several portions of the guidance bring the EEOC’s guidance in line with judicial opinions from the last twenty years, while others signal a more aggressive interpretation. Here are the key takeaways: 
  • The guidance replaces the existing EEOC’s enforcement guidance on harassment. 
  • Guidance includes 70+ examples of harassment issues. 
  • The guidance reflects increased protections for LGBTQ+ workers, a broadened definition of covered “medical conditions” in the context of pregnancy, and clarification on the expression of sincerely held religious beliefs. 
  • The guidance offers recommendations for employers’ harassment training and policies; employers in states with mandated sexual harassment training should consider potential overlap with EEOC recommendations.  
Sweeping FTC Noncompete Rule: ‘More Questions Than Answers’  
The Federal Trade Commission recently announced a sweeping rule to ban noncompete agreements for all U.S. employees, with limited exceptions. This unprecedented move could reshape how HR leaders approach hiring and talent management processes. In short, the FTC voted 3-2 along party lines last week that noncompetes are “an unfair method of competition” and, therefore, a violation of Section 5 of the FTC Act. The measure is scheduled to take effect this summer.  
Already, the rule is being challenged in two courts in Texas and one in Pennsylvania, with the FTC’s authority and the scope of the rule being questioned. In one of the Texas cases, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other plaintiffs are requesting a stay or injunction until the case is litigated, which will “almost certainly” delay implementation, says Kevin Roberts, a labor and employment attorney at Barnes & Thornburg. Given that uncertainty, Roberts says employers will largely respond to the new rule in a number of ways. “They can wait and see what happens with the legal challenges, rewrite contracts to remove noncompetes or sit on the fence by retaining noncompetes only for high-level executives,” he says.  
Acting Labor Sec. Defends Status, Rules at Tense Hearing  
The head of the Labor Department attempted to defend controversial rules governing retirement advice and independent contractors before an at-times hostile congressional panel, arguing that those rules and other items on the department’s agenda are important protections for investors and workers. Acting Secretary Julie Su appeared Wednesday for a lengthy hearing of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, where she faced a friendly reception from Democrats on the panel but pointed criticism of the department’s policies—and her unconfirmed appointment status from committee Republicans. 
Su, who was previously deputy labor secretary, was tapped for the top job after Secretary Marty Walsh stepped down to head the NHL Player Association. Her nomination was advanced by the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee but was unable to muster the votes to pass the full Senate, so she remained acting secretary. In 2022, Su was confirmed as deputy labor secretary in a close vote. It is possible that actions taken by the Department of Labor while Su is leading it will be deemed illegal.  
How HR Leaders Can Navigate Politics, Work in a Divisive Election Year
Despite the divisive political climate, the survey of 1,000 full-time American workers by HRIS provider HiBob, titled Sociopolitics in the U.S. Workplace, found that the current political discourse poses a reduced risk to retention compared to previous years. Approximately 60% of respondents said they would not leave a company solely due to its opposing political stance, marking a significant rise from 46% in 2023, which researchers said could be influenced by layoffs and a more competitive job market. 
However, they caution HR to continue to be proactive. Particularly, they write, that when disruptive political issues seep into the workplace, they can also impact areas like talent acquisition, culture, and engagement. For example, 44% of workers said they would be dissuaded from accepting a job offer if the company held opposing political views, an increase from 39% in 2023. Recognizing that political conversations will inevitably arise in the workplace in the coming months it’s important for company leaders and HR teams to provide resources to support employees when divisive issues arise. This can include conducting anonymous surveys, establishing employee resource groups, or offering extra flexibility like remote work options during elections or other tense times. 
Conference Board Survey: Overall Job Satisfaction Ticked Up, but Worker Contentment Dropped for Wages and Work-Life Balance 
When asked how they feel overall about their jobs, most U.S. workers are positive, with 62.7% saying they are satisfied, according to new survey data from the Conference Board, a business-research group. That is the highest job-satisfaction rating since the survey began in 1987. Dig deeper, though, and that figure might have plateaued, the researchers said, along with a widening gap in job satisfaction between men and women. Nearly 65% of men say they are happy with their jobs compared with 60% of women. The largest gaps in satisfaction between men and women were related to financial benefits of work, such as wages, benefits, and bonuses. 
Despite overall satisfaction ticking higher in the past year, drops were recorded in all 26 specific categories that workers were asked about—from wages to work-life balance. Those declines indicate that overall job satisfaction is at risk despite the record overall job-satisfaction rating. “We’ve never had a year where we’ve had that paradox,” Allan Schweyer, a principal researcher at the Conference Board, said. 
Someone Old, Someone New: Build Generational Interaction at Work 
Today’s workplaces are more generationally diverse than ever before, with five distinct cohorts represented. However, the emergence of generational echo chambers is preventing businesses from capitalizing on the diversity of thought that is present within their workforces. Recent research from LinkedIn found that only one in five members of Generation Z (those aged under 27) have spoken to someone over the age of 50 at work in the past year, while 44% of over-55s have avoided conversations with the youngest generation. 
This lack of intergenerational interaction poses a risk for businesses, according to LinkedIn’s UK country manager Janine Chamberlin. “This will result in a loss of knowledge that exists among the eldest workers and reduces the number of opportunities for the youngest to learn.” While this issue is most acute between Gen X and Gen Z, the same patterns can be seen in other age groups, with 17% of people admitting that they did not know how to approach colleagues who were not of a similar age to themselves. By limiting their interactions with people outside of their own age group, workers are restricting their exposure to different perspectives, exacerbating skills gaps and hampering productivity. 
What Employers can Expect from 2024 Graduates
Graduation season is here again, meaning the latest set of graduates is gearing up to join the workforce. These graduates are seeking jobs at employers that align with their beliefs and values, provide career growth opportunities, and have solid reputations – just like their older Gen Z counterparts. But with a few twists. For instance, they are prioritizing stability over anything else, they’re resisting the former flashy allure of big tech companies, and considering lower-paying government jobs more, according to data from employment sites Monster, Handshake, and workforce intelligence platform Revelio Labs.  
“This class in particular has experienced instability in the last four years,” said Christine Cruzvergara, chief education strategy officer at Handshake. “This is the class that has their first year of college disrupted and they had to figure out how to adjust. It’s not surprising how important stability is for them in their next chapter.” They want to ensure that they have that level of stability in whatever way makes the most sense to them. According to Handshake, while 67% of 2024 graduates are confident they can find a job that builds their career, more than half are concerned about covering basic expenses. 
iCIMS April Labor Market Insights – Activity Remains Strong 
Employer and candidate activity remained strong in March according to iCIMS platform data with slight upticks in application and openings. Slow and steady just might be a sign of optimism on both sides of the hiring coin as we move through the second quarter. Here are some of the key findings: 
  • Applications and openings came in slightly ahead of March 2023 levels. 
  • Applicants per opening across industries continued to grow in March. 
  • Transportation applications have jumped 45% since March of 2023 by tech jobs are losing their luster – at least in the retail sector.  
Learn more about the Council of Industry’s Manufacturing Career Hub  

HR Briefs

Manufacturing Matters Podcast

In this episode, we sit down with John Fong, Plant Superintendent at President Container Group. John takes us behind the scenes of President Container Group, shedding light on the intricate process of corrugated box manufacturing and the diverse range of products they create, from display boxes to agricultural packaging. We explore the company's customer base, which spans from apple farmers to major corporations, highlighting their commitment to serving a wide array of clients. John also dives into President Container Group's initiatives beyond manufacturing, including their philanthropic arm, PCG Cares, which donates corrugated products to those in need.
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