Council of Industry November 2 Workforce Newsletter

Posted By: Taylor Dowd (deleted) Newsletters, Workforce News,
The Monthly Workforce Newsletter of the Council of Industry
November 2, 2023
HV Mfg Fall 2023 Now Online and On its Way to Your Mailbox 
We are pleased to present the Fall 2023 edition of HV MFG., the magazine by, for, and about Hudson Valley Manufacturing. Thanks to Ad Essentials and Maar Printing for helping us design and print HV Mfg! 
In this issue: 
Company Profile: Balchem Products is revolutionizing food and nutrition. 
Leader profile: Kelly Lyndgaard and the women from Unshattered. 
Workforce: The changing demographics of the Hudson Valley and its impact on the workforce. 
Technology & Innovation: The future of Artificial Intelligence in manufacturing. 
What are We Reading?: Leaders share what's in their queue. 
Cybersecurity:How CISA can help your company beat the hackers. 
Workforce Development: Area high schools are partnering with industry to build the manufacturing workforce pipeline. 
News Briefs: Industry, regulatory and legislative updates. 
Resource Guide: A list of legislative representatives and organizations that support Hudson Valley manufacturers. 
Advertisers: The supporters that make HV Mfg Possible. 
If you like the Magazine and want to Support Hudson Valley Manufacturing and the Council of Industry please consider an ad in the Spring 2024 edition.  
Annual Luncheon & Expo November 17th – FBI Cybersecurity Expert to Keynote, Leadership Certificate Recipients Recognized
The Council of Industry’s Annual Luncheon & Member Expo will be held on Friday, November 17th at the Grandview in Poughkeepsie, NY. The Event will open with the Member Expo beginning at 11:15. The Luncheon program begins around noon with the presentation of Manufacturing Leadership Certificates to more than 40 individuals who have completed the program since last year’s event.  
Lunch and a Keynote address from Michael Pollice Special Agent Strategic Partnership & Domestic Security Alliance Council (DSAC) Coordinator. DSAC is a public-private partnership offered by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Office of Private Sector and the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis that enhances communication and promotes the timely and effective exchange of security and intelligence information between the federal government and the private sector. 
A wide range of sponsorships are available to support the event and the Council of industry – Sponsorship information is available here, or you can email Harold King.  
Thank you to all our sponsors to date:  
JP Morgan Chase, M&T Bank, Viking Industries, Allendale Machinery, Ashworth Creative, Affinity Group, Elna Magnetics, Fair Rite Products, Ametek Rotron, Onsemi, Lakeland Bank, Central Hudson, Ulster Savings Bank, WDI-The Workforce Development Institute.
SUNY Ulster Advanced Manufacturing Program Builds Momentum  
For more than a decade, SUNY Ulster has been building its programs in advanced manufacturing. Today, its program includes courses that teach new technologies, such as 3D printing as well as foundational courses like Fundamentals of Metrology Concepts. Courses can be stacked into microcredentials, certificates, or degrees. The community college also packages their offerings to support pre-apprentice programs and related instruction for apprentices.  
Most recently, the college added an Advanced Manufacturing Associate in Occupational Studies (AOS) degree to its offerings. This degree program provides students with the skills for a career centered on precision metal, composite and plastic fabrication. This academic program is primarily designed for those who wish to enter the workforce immediately following graduation. The community college works closely with local industry to ensure the curriculum is relevant and students will find employment upon graduation. 
24 Individuals from 9 Manufacturers Receive RIT Yellow Belt Certificate Through Council-Sponsored Course 
A full house participated in the Council of Industry’s Yellow Belt course held in partnership with New York State, Dutchess Community College, SUNY Orange, and RIT. 24 Individuals received the Yellow Belt Credential presented by RIT at the conclusion of the 3-day course. Yellow belt is an approach to process improvement that merges the complementary concepts and tools from both Six Sigma and Lean approaches. Participants learned to identify opportunities within their respective work areas and ways to improve those areas utilizing taught problem-solving tools.  
Attendees were introduced to the Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control improvement process and some of the tools associated with each stage. The following topics were also taught: 
5-S and Visual Controls 
Team Building 
Resistance to Change 
Problem Solving Process 
Statistical Thinking 
At the end of the session, teams presented their identified work area opportunity and suggested solutions to fellow participants and visitors from their companies and other guests. The presentations were very impressive with nearly all the groups intending to begin implementing solutions as soon as possible.  
The Council is considering another offering of Yellow Belt in 2024 – email Johnnieanne Hansen to preregister. 
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: Test/Design Technician 
Education: Master of Science – Electrical & Computer Engineering 
Bachelor of Technology – Electrical & Electronics Engineering
Level: Entry-level 
Summary: This candidate is recently recieved their master’s in electrical and computer engineering from SUNY New Paltz. They come heavily credited from past work experience in the electrical engineering field, within a handful of internships in testing, design, and research. 
They are looking for work after their anticipated graduation date in May 2023. If you are interested in speaking with the candidate for potential roles upon graduation, please feel free to reach out. 
Position Interest: Warehouse, Apprenticeship, Entry Level Manufacturing Roles 
Education: Certificate - Lean Manufacturing
Level: Mid-level 
Summary: This individual is incredibly eager to begin a career, specifically in manufacturing. Actively searching for apprenticeship opportunities to better their skills, this candidate is incredibly driven. 
Possessing a basic understanding of warehouse systems and procedures paired with experience in food safety / preparation. Experienced in not just following but understanding rules & procedures helps make this candidate stand out.  
If you are looking for an eager candidate to add to your workforce. Please do not hesitate to reach out. 
Position Interest: Design, Quality, Electro-Mechanical
Education: Mid-Senior
Level: Mid-senior level 
Summary: This candidate is a seasoned professional in the manufacturing and assembly industry with 15 years of hands-on experience and a strong understanding of the industry. This expertise has been honed through hands-on experience in a variety of fields such as Assembly, Quality Control, Electromechanical and Machining. 
Apprenticeship Spotlight  
Welcome, New Apprentices!  
Anthony P. – Toolmaker, Ditron, Inc 
Need to Upskill Your Workforce?
The MIAP Apprentice Program Can Help.
CNC Machinist, Toolmaker Quality Assurance Auditor, Industrial Manufacturing Technician, Maintenance Mechanic and Electro-Mechanical Trades are all available.
For information on advertising in this and other CI publications contact Harold King (
News for HR and Workforce Professionals
Could AI Make Work More Human? 
Zach Kass, a tech futurist who has advised major companies and governments and served as head of go-to-market at ChatGPT parent OpenAI, says we’re just scratching the surface of AI’s capabilities, and the rapid advances we’ve seen will likely continue. Still, we shouldn’t be afraid of a future in which AI is ubiquitous. Jobs will change significantly, Kass says, conceding that will be difficult for many people, but work will be improved in the long run. 
“The nature of work and the definition of work is going to change, and my advice to most people is to not anchor their identities to their jobs,” Kass said. “I don’t think that we’re going to see net job reduction. More likely, what we’re going to see is a new type of job emerge, and I don’t know what exactly it will be like, but I think it will be far more human in many respects and far less computational.” 
Turning Shop-Floor Workers into Leaders Takes Patience, Coaching and Mentoring 
In this tight labor market, workforce development is required of every company. But how do you develop your team? Patience, coaching and mentoring are especially important. Let’s look at all three in action.  
Patience involves not making snap judgments about your employees, but rather taking the time to observe and understand them, and realize that there are underlying factors contributing to a person’s readiness to learn and take on new tasks.  
Coaching is the step before mentoring that involves providing step-by-step instruction to your team members, followed one-on-one training with repetition for learnings to become second nature. Think of this as the basics. The coach is building a foundation, teaching the team members how to learn. 
Mentoring is the act of advising someone on a more long-term basis. A mentor provides advice or counsel but not specific instruction. The mentee takes in the advice and decides on their course of action. 
Read more at IndustryWeek 
EEOC Unveils Strategic Plan 
A newly re-energized Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is stepping up its efforts to make sure employers adhere to federal laws that aim to prevent discrimination based on race, ethnicity, religion, gender, age and disability. Details of what it intends to do were outlined in the commission’s five-year Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP). Proposed publicly last January, it was released in final form on Sept. 21. Given the Biden administration’s ongoing emphasis on aggressively addressing issues involving both what it sees to be systemic and individual instances of discrimination, employers should continue to keep an eye out for recent and future developments involving issues that could embroil them in enforcement actions that can be as serious as it is unexpected. 
The SEP identifies six subject matter priorities, and employers can expect the EEOC to conduct a more aggressive enforcement agenda with respect to each of them, the attorneys stress. They are: Eliminating barriers in recruitment and hiring, Protecting vulnerable workers from underserved communities, Addressing selected emerging and development issues, Advancing equal pay for all workers, Preserving access to the legal system, Preventing and remedying systemic harassment.  
Chronic Conditions: The Top Reason for Rising Health Care Costs in the U.S. 
Inflation. Delayed care. Chronic conditions. Pharmaceutical prices. These and other factors will continue to push upward the cost of providing health coverage to employees in 2024 by an estimated 7%. A new report from the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans confirms other estimates in that range. The foundation’s estimate is based on a survey of 171 employers that offer health coverage. The median cost increase has been creeping higher since the pandemic, from 4.4% in 2022 to the 7% predicted for next year.  
In this survey, respondents were asked to cite the primary reasons that will contribute to the increase. The top four responses are: Utilization due to chronic health conditions (22%, up from last year) Catastrophic claims (19%, same as last year) Specialty/costly prescription drugs/cell and gene therapy (16%, up from last year) Medical provider costs (14%, up from last year) Respondents generally shrugged off the pandemic hangover caused by delayed care. Only 4% cited that as the primary reason for cost increases. Last year, 12% pointed to an increase in utilization due to delayed preventive/elective care as a major inflating factor. 
Want Better Results? Focus on Creating Happiness 
Happiness. It can feel like a buzzword sometimes when discussing the importance of team engagement and employee retention, two crucial aspects of owning a business or leading a team. We know that happy employees are more likely to be committed to their work, contribute their ideas and have a positive impact on others, resulting in greater innovation and customer satisfaction. However, happiness is not about small employee perks or “fun” workplace additions such as ping-pong tables or catered meals. Happiness—a state of emotional well-being, either in the moment or overall—is more foundational to our experience as human beings. 
So, how do you measure happiness? You don’t measure it. You experience it. You help create the conditions that result in it. How can you tell if your employees are happy? They may not articulate it directly, but you can see it in their engagement, in their excitement to get to work, in the innovative solutions they develop and in being a part of the process of bringing the team’s goals to life. If they’re happy, it isn’t something you have to ask them; it’s something you can see and feel as long as you are part of the process of involving yourself in the work, too. 
Fired for Not Returning to the Office, Employee Sues Electric Boat, Alleging ADA Discrimination  
A disabled employee was allegedly fired after he was unable to comply with the company’s post-COVID-19 return to the office. Enfield, Conn. resident Zacchery Belval, the plaintiff, alleged Electric Boat Corp., the defendant, discriminated against him when it did not provide him with reasonable accommodations. The plaintiff claimed the company violated the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act. Belval has several health issues, including a heart defect, abnormal arrangement of organs, no spleen, an impaired circulatory system, high blood pressure and severe anxiety, the complaint claimed. 
“The defendant offered to allow the plaintiff to work from home one or two days a week,” the complaint claimed. “This was an insufficient accommodation that would have placed the plaintiff at substantial risk of contracting COVID-19 and other infections.” Belval was placed on extended leave of absence, and on April 14, 2023, the plaintiff contacted the defendant’s Occupational Health Center “to reiterate his request that he be reasonably accommodated by being permitted to work from home,” the complaint said. The defendant denied the request, and gave an alternative accommodation of working onsite two days a week and from home three days, which was “contrary to the recommendations of the plaintiff’s medical treaters,” the complaint said. The case is slated to be heard in Federal Court in 2024. 
ACT Reports Test Scores at 30 Year Low 
High school students' scores on the ACT college admissions test have dropped to their lowest in more than three decades, showing a lack of student preparedness for college-level coursework, according to the nonprofit organization that administers the test. Scores have been falling for six consecutive years, but the trend accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic. Students in the class of 2023 whose scores were reported Wednesday were in their first year of high school when the virus reached the U.S. 
The average ACT composite score for U.S. students was 19.5 out of 36. Last year, the average score was 19.8. The average scores in reading, science and math all were below benchmarks. The ACT says students must reach to have a high probability of success in first-year college courses. The average score in English was just above the benchmark but still declined compared to last year. Many universities have made standardized admissions tests optional amid criticism that they favor the wealthy and put low-income students at a disadvantage. Some including the University of California system do not consider ACT or SAT scores even if submitted. 
Pay Hikes in 2024: What Do Employers Have on the Horizon? 
A report out this week from found that 18% of companies surveyed had not yet decided if they were going to give raises next year, and 8% won’t. While three-quarters plan to raise some salaries, at half of those companies, the raises will go to 50% or less of employees, according to a survey of 600 business leaders. Stacie Haller, chief career advisor at, told HRE that leadership universally understands that today’s employees expect yearly raises—and without them, productivity and retention will both take a hit. She suggests that companies considering restricting raises in 2024 may strategically be giving turnover a nudge—to avoid layoffs but still reduce headcount and costs in the ongoing uncertain economy. 
Performance-based raises are the most common type of salary hike (82%) leaders are planning for 2024, although more than two-thirds of respondents say their organizations will offer cost-of-living adjustments. However, how employers assess that rate varies. For instance, the most common (32%) cost-of-living raise will be 3%, although 28% will set it at 4% and 27% at 5% or more. Twelve percent will give adjustments of 2% or less. 
iCIMS October Labor Market Insights – “Manufacturing Applications Drop Across the Board in Wake of UAW Strike”
While employer activity has remained steady throughout 2023, hires and job openings took a slight dip last month. This might be the end-of-summer slowdown that we’ve seen before. This activity mirrors the job market at the same time last year. However, last year, employer and applicant activity remained on a steady downhill through the end of 2022. We’re watching this closely to see if it’s the beginning of the end for this year’s strong labor market or if employers are just taking a brief pause before ramping up for the holidays 
In the week following the United Auto Workers going on strike, applications for manufacturing roles dropped by almost 10%. Are instability and bad press pushing job seekers toward different careers? This aligns with data in our Class of 2023 Report where52% of new grads said they wouldn’t apply to a company that had recently announced layoffs. 
HR Briefs
Manufacturing Matters Podcast
In this podcast episode, Harold King, President of the Council of Industry, and Barbara Reer, SUNY Ulster Assistant Dean, discuss how SUNY Ulster is tailoring educational programs to meet the evolving needs of local manufacturers and their workforce, with a focus on their Associate of Occupational Studies program and efforts to address the skills gap and adapt to changing workforce development needs.
Council of Industry |
Council of Industry | 263 Route 17K, Suite 106, Newburgh, NY 12550
Unsubscribe {recipient's email}
Update Profile | Constant Contact Data Notice
Sent by powered by
Trusted Email from Constant Contact - Try it FREE today.