April 20, 2014

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Ohio manufacturing jobs increase by 16,700 in January PDF Print E-mail


Staff Writer


OHIO — Ohio’s manufacturing sector is gaining strength after suffering the worst economic decline since the depression era of the late 1920s by adding 54,000 jobs in the state over the past four years. According to state employment statistics, it is the best gain in the past 20 years in such an economic period.

The U.S. Department of Labor reported that Ohio had the second-biggest job gains of any state in January, adding 16,700 positions. At that time, the number of manufacturing jobs in Ohio was 668,600 and the number of manufacturing workers nationwide was 12.1 million

The Current Employment Statistics Survey released by U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on March 7 reports that nationally, employment in manufacturing changed very little with 6,000 jobs added in February.

The January state employment report released recently showed 23 states reporting more hiring for that month, while 27 said that the number of jobs fell; Ohio ranked behind Texas, which added 33,900 positions.

Over the past 7 months, the industry has added 83,000 jobs.

In Ohio, the sectors that added the most jobs included construction, manufacturing and professional and business services.

Ohio’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for that month was 6.9 percent, down from 7.1 percent in December. The national jobless rate was 6.6 percent in January.

U.S. Bank’s regional investment director Jim Russell recently spoke at the Ohio Bankers League’s annual economic summit and said Ohio is going to be in the epicenter of something pretty good. Optimism stems from trends developing in the manufacturing sector which includes:

• New energy sources which will allow production of less expensive supplies of natural gas;

• Higher wages and concerns about quality which have prompted employers to move jobs back into the U.S.;

• The U.S. uses technology in manufacturing that is superior to that in other countries, and;

• Manufacturers are spurring job creation and improving on stability and efficiency by keeping suppliers close.

President of the Ohio Manufacturers Association Eric Burkland said manufacturers responded to the weakened economy by investing in technology and product development. He said coming out of the last recession — when all the cuts were made in budgets and head counts — companies were very cautious about hiring. Burkland said that caution has been replaced by confidence due to Ohio’s competitive markets and companies are now hiring.

Manufacturing employment is important to Ohio because it makes up a greater share of the state’s economy than the nation’s and the jobs tend to provide higher pay.

Russell said 17 percent of Ohio’s economy is powered by manufacturing, compared with 12.5 percent of the U.S. economy and 12.8 percent of the state’s workforce is in manufacturing, the sixth most in the nation.

Operations Manager for Samuel, Son & Co.’s plant in Heath, Jim Waterman, said the steel-band manufacturer has been expanding due to the high demand for their products, especially in the energy, automotive and pipeline industries.

He said during the height of the recession, the company cut about 90 percent of its workers and now the plant has 105 workers, more than before the recession.

In 1979 the state peaked at 19.4 million manufacturing jobs, which decreased to 1 million in the year 2000.

Dammeyer named to Western Southern Life’s Gold Medallion Club PDF Print E-mail

Carolyn Dammeyer, a sales representative and financial advisor in the Western Southern Life’s Celina office has been named to the Gold Medallion Club. Membership in the club is based on outstanding sales production, business persistency, meeting strict ethical and production requirements and upholding the heritage of conducting business with the highest level of integrity.

Dammeyer will attend the Leaders Sales Meeting in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Hibner becomes registered architect PDF Print E-mail

Garmann/Miller & Associates, Inc., in Minster is pleased to announce that Matt Hibner has received his Architectural Registration for the State of Ohio and is now a licensed architect.

His steps to becoming a registered architect included receiving a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from Ball State University and Master of Architecture from Miami University. He then completed the Intern Development Program (IDP) under the supervision of licensed architects, logging more than 5,600 hours in training involving all aspects of architectural practice. The final step of the registration process was successfully passing the seven divisions of the Architectural Registration Exam.

Hibner is a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and became a LEED Accredited Professional (LEED AP) through the US Green Building Council in 2006. He has also been approved for certification through the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), allowing him to obtain reciprocal registrations in other states. He is registered in Indiana as well.

The Coldwater native now lives in Minster and has been with Garmann/Miller since March 2012.

Garmann/Miller’s staff of 36 employees includes registered architects, landscape architects, designers, professional engineers, construction administrators and administrative personnel serving public and private clients throughout Ohio.

2.7 million Ohioans report work place tech difficulties PDF Print E-mail


COLUMBUS – According to Connect Ohio’s recently published report, Training Ohio’s Workforce—Bringing Digital Skills to the Workplace, more than 2.7 million working-age Ohio adults say they would have difficulty completing computer-related tasks required by most employers, while two-thirds of Ohio businesses (67%) use broadband and need employees who can use it effectively.

Nationally, 70% of businesses consider it “important” or “very important” for employees to have some Internet skills. Many Ohio adults lack the digital skills that employers are seeking — one in eight Ohio households that do not subscribe to broadband cite a lack of digital literacy skills as a main reason for not subscribing.

“In Columbus, we don’t have a problem creating jobs. We have a problem filling jobs,” said Mayor Michael B. Coleman. “We must train our people to give them skills that will allow them to participate in our economic success.”

Of the 7.2 million Ohio adults below retirement age, 38% say they would have difficulty completing at least one of the following tasks: creating or editing a spreadsheet (33%); going online using a mobile device (14%); using word processing software (13%); and sending or receiving an e-mail (7%) without assistance. That represents more than 2.7 million working-age Ohio adults who would have difficulty in performing at least one of these tasks.

“Providing Ohioans with basic digital literacy training and connecting them to the Internet delivers the opportunity needed to bridge the ‘digital divide’ and allows for Ohioans to compete on a national and global level,” said Stu Johnson, executive director of Connect Ohio. “Technical skills in the workplace have already become a requirement and the trend towards a virtual workplace has taken off and will only continue to grow. The proper technical skills can provide anyone, regardless of location, a wealth of endless career opportunities.”

Additional key findings from this report include:

· Nationally, 70% of businesses consider it “important” or “very important” for employees to have some Internet related skills, yet 40% report that they have a difficult time finding employees with the necessary technical skills.

· Many Ohio adults lack the digital skills that employers are seeking — one in eight Ohio households that do not subscribe to broadband cite a lack of digital literacy skills as their main reasons for not subscribing.

· More than 2.7 million working-age Ohio adults would have difficulty completing computer-related tasks that many employers require.

· One in three working-age Ohio adults (33% of adults age 18-64) say it would be “difficult” or “very difficult” for them to use a computer to create or edit a spreadsheet without assistance from someone else.

Post words. Achieve big. Build success. Day-by-Day. PDF Print E-mail

Last year I posted four words on my bathroom mirror: FINISH, WRITE, SHAPE, and YES.

My results?

• I finished the 21.5 Unbreakable Laws of Selling.

• I wrote 1,000 words a week and documented hundreds of ideas.

• My shape is still plus 20 pounds, so that word will remain this year.

• I maintained my YES! Attitude, but seeing the word every morning and evening in my bathroom mirror helped.

Not bad achievement results – but still being 20 pounds overweight shows a flaw in my self-discipline. Not good.

Based on last year’s success, this year I decided to create two four-word categories. One for achievement and one for improvement. Not “goals” in the sense that you may be thinking about. Rather, intentions that I consciously and subconsciously work on every day to build success all year long.

By posting the words on my bathroom mirror, I consciously see them each day, and subconsciously think about them and act on them regularly. Because they’re right in front of me every morning and every evening, they are inescapable mental confrontations. Oh, and the process works!

After I explain each word I have selected for this year, I’ll provide a lesson you can incorporate as you select your word(s). The lesson is the motive behind the word so you can use the same principle as you generate your words.

On the achievement side of life, my four words are: ADVISOR – DIGITAL – POWER – TIME

ADVISOR – I launched the Gitomer Certified Advisor program in the fall of 2013. Instant success. I’ve certified more than 100 advisors. They’re independent businesspeople who are now marketing their sales and personal development services using my intellectual property, both online and in the classroom. In 2014 I will intensify the program and the process until there are 500 certified advisors globally.

LESSON: Once you have a successful idea, program, game plan, or process – strengthen it. Pick an achievement target, and figure out what you have to do weekly to make it a reality. What’s one word that describes your biggest achievement target?

DIGITAL – Convert all paper, CD, and DVD to digital. Create financial and distribution opportunities ONLY available to digital information dissemination. The world is not quite ready for all digital, but I will be.

LESSON: Don’t stay attached to old technology or products even though they have brought success and profit in the past. Companies like Yellow Pages, Blackberry, and AOL have buried themselves by not advancing soon enough. Companies like Amazon, Zappos, and Apple have marched to the head of the class by innovating BEFORE the market did, and they set the standard for others to follow. When someone says, “It’s just like an iPad” – what they’re really saying is, “iPad set the standard.” I want someone to say, “I’m just like Gitomer.” What’s one word to describe the standard you are trying to set?

POWER – This year I intend to capitalize on the convergent power of reputation, brand, intellectual property, and online distribution. Content is more than king. It is desired and bought by those in need. And with online, on-demand video, concentration on marketing and distribution are on the top of my list.

LESSON: Your experience has given you both success and expertise. What expertise and success can you combine to give you a market-dominant opportunity? What’s one word that describes what you’re trying to capitalize on?

TIME – My most precious resource – and yours! This year I intend to take control of it and make it my own. Not manage it, rather allocate it to things I WANT to do, rather than things I HAVE to do. I want to write, speak, travel, learn, read, and have meaningful family time. It’s the subtle difference between “spending” time and “investing” time. I have written about time allocation before, now it’s a matter of taking ownership of it.

LESSON: Wasted time is at the top of lost resources for most people. Don’t let that be you. In 1889, Orison Swett Marden wrote, “Do not realize the immense value of utilizing spare minutes.” What’s a word that offers you greater investment in your most precious, non-recoverable resource?

Hopefully the words I have chosen and the lessons I have provided will inspire you to write and define your words for the year. Interestingly, you most likely know in your mind what they are, but have yet to bring them to the visual surface as Post-it Notes on your bathroom mirror.

On the improvement side of life, my four words are: INSTAGRAM – BLOG – SHAPE – BEST

Next week!

Building your professional brand PDF Print E-mail

(BPT) - Personal branding is an elusive topic to most people, yet it is important for career success. Wise professionals with career success know it can mean the difference between landing that dream job and never getting noticed.

So what do you think of when you hear the word “professional brand?” Simply stated, a brand is a promise of the value you’ll deliver. “You may think you don’t need a brand, but the reality is that you already have one,” says Jana Fallon, vice president, Executive Development for Prudential Financial. “By managing that professional reputation you already have, you increase your chances of being known for qualities that can land your dream job or get you noticed by a company you have always wanted to work. If you do start actively managing your brand, you can find real power in knowing and sharing what your unique differentiators are.”

Fallon recommends five specific actions you can take today to improve your brand reputation.


B = Build

Build your brand by first defining what you want that brand to be. To make this simpler, it should include no more than three or four characteristics that describe what you offer or aspire to offer. It is good to be aspirational but it also must be realistic. If you are having trouble getting started, begin by asking people you trust what they immediately associate with you. Ask for honest feedback and listen to what you hear.


R = Reflect

Reflect on your strengths and liabilities frequently. What is the unique value that you have to offer and what do you aspire to be? Think about your strengths and what you do really well. What do you want to be known for in business? What differentiates you? Use those reflections to establish your unique brand. Perhaps you want to be known as a very curious, engaged consultant. Or perhaps your unique brand is one of intelligence, candor and strong ethics.


A = Actions speak

In order to sustain your brand, you have to act accordingly. Your behaviors and the decisions you make daily impact your brand. Be bold in defining your brand and then have the courage to live up to that brand promise. If you are finding it challenging to start living your brand, find someone that has a style, behavior or an approach that you admire. Emulate what works. Try it yourself and see if it feels right for you. Experiment until you find your own authentic behavior.


N = Network nonstop

To get others to recognize your brand, you have to market yourself. This clearly takes time and effort, but it can be done effectively if you follow these key steps. To share your brand, network in the organization you work in, outside work with other professional contacts and in your community. Make yourself visible to those that can influence your career.

The key to a successful professional brand is having strong “word-of-mouth marketing” from friends, coworkers, customers and other contacts. Having a strong brand means finding ways to network and manage what those contacts know and then say to others about your capabilities.


D = Decide today

“Decide to make managing your professional brand a priority,” Fallon says. “Carve out time each week to fine tune and evolve your defined brand. Make time to reflect and try out new behaviors and to expand your network. There is real power in knowing where you are focused and letting others know for what you aspire to be known.”

Three big ways small-business owners can save on taxes PDF Print E-mail

(BPT) - If you own a-small business, every dollar matters — especially when it comes to taxes. Whether your business-is a partnership or corporation, Uncle Sam offers some sizeable deductions to-lower your liability, allowing you to put those dollars toward capital and-employees.

Easy-to-use-tax preparation solutions have become-an increasingly popular way for small-business owners to-navigate-deductions and-tax law changes. The programs ask simple questions about business income and expenses to help maximize your deductions. Solutions, such as the value leader-TaxACT, allow you to use their online solutions for free and only require payment when you're ready to file.

TaxACT-spokesperson Jessi-Dolmage-shares three ways to-reduce your small-business taxes.


Tip 1:-Buy to save


Whenever buying new equipment, technology, software or even furniture for your business, save those receipts-and keep detailed records that include purchase price and date placed into service. You should be able to substantiate any expenses you-claim-on your tax return.

The 2013 Section 179 deduction limit for new and used assets purchased-is-$500,000. However, your business must be profitable in order to receive this benefit in 2013. In 2014, the dollar limit drops to $25,000 unless Congress extends this tax break.

Bonus depreciation of 50 percent of the cost of new items expires at the end of 2013. Depreciation-can be claimed whether or not your business is profitable.


Tip 2:-Tis always

the season for giving


Company donations of money, supplies and property are all deductible expenses. So are-bonuses-(and-associated-payroll taxes)-awarded to your employees, partners and-officers. If your business is an S Corporation, keep a close eye on officer compensation to-ensure-you-meet-IRS requirements-and-thus avoid penalties.

Give yourself the gift of education.-Take a class or seminar or attend a convention that helps you maintain or improve skills required for your business.

Tip-3:-Business is



If you use your home for your business, you may be able to deduct mortgage interest, insurance, utilities, repairs and depreciation.

Corporations and partnerships can also deduct actual expenses for non-personal uses of your personal vehicle, as well as reimbursements to employees for business use of their personal vehicles. Actual expenses may include costs for fuel, maintenance and parking fees. Your detailed mileage records should include date, total miles, tolls, parking and purpose of trip. You can also deduct vehicle depreciation and loan interest.


The bottom line-


Small-business owners have year-round opportunities to cut their taxes, Dolmage recommends doing a dry run of your taxes with an online or download solution like TaxACT before you actually file to identify potential savings. Answer simple questions about your expenses and revenues, and the program will do the rest so you can see how moving revenue and expenses forward or back may change your taxes.

To make tax time easier, TaxACT also offers a free mobile app for organizing your tax documents throughout the year.-Take a picture of-receipts, statements and tax forms-with-TaxACT-DocVault, then save up to 3 GB of digital images on TaxACT's secure servers. At tax time, import images into-TaxACT-to save with your 1040, 1065, 1120 or 1120S tax return.

Get more business tax tips at-www.irs.gov and learn more about TaxACT-Small Business solutions and TaxACT-DocVault-at-www.taxact.com.

More options than ever for families needing elder care PDF Print E-mail

(BPT) - More Americans than ever before are now older than 65, and in just four more decades, for the first time in history, there will be more seniors in the U.S. than people younger than 18, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Given those numbers, is it any surprise that many families wrestle with decisions for how to take care of aging parents, grandparents and other loved ones?

“Deciding how to take care of an aging loved one can be a challenging, emotionally wrenching experience,” says Danielle Russell, vice president of operations and business development for Assisted Transition, a network of independent consultants that help families find elder care. “The good news is that as the population of elders has expanded, so have elder care options.”

Just 20 years ago, families might have had to choose between putting a parent in a nursing home or having one younger family member quit a job to stay home and care for the parent. Today, options abound and it’s important to know what’s available before making such an important decision.

Russell offers some background on seven of the top types of senior care:


* Assisted living communities - Seniors who require assistance with daily activities such as dressing, eating or bathing may still wish to live as independently as possible. Assisted living communities strive to provide an appropriate level of care while allowing residents to maintain as much independence as possible. Seniors who are no longer able to live completely independently, but who do not need nursing home, Alzheimer’s or dementia care, may find this type of arrangement works for them.


* Respite/short-term care - This type of care provides short-term breaks for families that may need elder care for a short time - a few hours, a day or a weekend, for example. Options can include an in-home skilled health assistant, an adult day program outside the home, or residential respite care facility.


* Independent living communities - In these residential communities, seniors can live by themselves with minimal assistance for certain tasks and needs. Elders with mild mobility issues or forgetfulness might do well in this type of environment.


* Rehabilitation centers - A senior recovering from a minor health issue may require extra care and therapy to regain the ability to live independently. Rehabilitation centers provide care as well as occupational, physical or speech therapy.


* Dementia care - Dementia is a progressive disorder that weakens memory, impairs judgment and diminishes mental abilities. Elders experiencing dementia may need an increasing level of care. Dementia care can occur inside the home or in a care facility.


* Alzheimer’s communities - A progressive, incurable cognitive disorder, Alzheimer’s affects memory and mental abilities. Patients usually require a high level of care with everyday tasks, but may be in physically good health. Alzheimer’s communities specialize in caring for patients who require this high level of care.


* Skilled nursing homes - Licensed by the state in which they operate, skilled nursing homes provide the highest level of medical care outside a hospital. These round-the-clock residential facilities care for patients who require a high level of care, such as those who are bed-ridden or suffer from chronic health issues that require 24-hour access to medical aid.


Even the most diligent families may have difficulty sorting through all the elder care options and decisions they face during the stress-filled process of choosing care. Many seek advice and expert assistance, such as from Assisted Transition, that can help ensure their loved ones receive the best possible care for his or her needs. The organization offers information, resources and free placement services to families looking for senior care and housing options. Assisted Transition provides referrals to assisted living facilities, nursing homes, residential care homes, senior housing and other industry resources. To find a consultant near you, visit www.assistedtransition.com.

By 2060, more than one in five Americans will be 65 or older, according to U.S. Census projections. As the population continues to gray, more families will need help in caring for aging loved ones - and in finding care arrangements that are right for their family.

Small business owners: Your reputation may be at risk because of outdated technology PDF Print E-mail

(BPT) - Smart business owners know how important it is to preserve their company’s reputation, but many may not realize the extent to which their current and potential customers care about the technology they use.

According to a recent survey, more than two-thirds of consumers think the use of modern technology is critical to the success of a business. Convenience and better customer service are among top reasons tech matters to consumers who do business with small companies, and when implemented, modern technology significantly increases the likelihood of creating repeat customers.

In the absence of modern technology, nine out of 10 surveyed said they would - or would consider - taking business elsewhere. This makes the choices small businesses make when it comes to identifying and upgrading outdated technology critical to keeping customers happy and even more important for taking control of their future success.


What qualifies as “outdated?”


More than half of consumers consider five- to 10-year-old operating systems and desktop computers outdated. That means that small businesses still running the 12-year-old Windows XP operating system fall into the category of “outdated” in consumers’ minds.

But there are more than just reputational considerations for businesses still using an outdated operating system. After April 8, businesses running Windows XP will no longer receive security updates or technical support for the system, meaning their systems may become more vulnerable to security threats.


Modern technology options abound


The good news is that businesses in need of a technology facelift have a whole new world of devices and capabilities at their fingertips. For example, an array of Windows 8-enabled devices have become available in the last year, such as affordable tablets, laptops and other form factors that offer mobility and productivity at the same time. In addition, cloud technology has given small businesses access to the same powerful technology larger companies use, but in an affordable and manageable pricing structure.

Many small businesses are using cloud technology to reach new customers and enable employees to collaborate from separate locations. OnPoint CFO & Controller Services, which provides outsourced accounting and finance services to companies, is using the cloud-based productivity service Office 365 to enable its employees to collaborate with one another and their clients while working from home offices.

“Standing still is falling behind,” says Brian Clark, OnPoint CFO co-founder, president and CEO. “Either you implement new technologies or you risk getting passed by your competitors.”

Modern technology can help small businesses not only get more done, but reach more customers and retain them too. To learn more about modern technology for small businesses, download a free e-guide at www.microsoftbusinesshub.com/G2MeGuide.

Altenbach joins Garmann/Miller PDF Print E-mail

John Altenbach recently joined Garmann/Miller & Associates as a network designer.

He received an Associate of Applied Science degree in Networking and in Network Security from James A. Rhodes State College in 2006. He has 12 years of experience in the networking and information systems field.

The Lima native is working toward obtaining a BICSI (Building Industry Consulting Services International) RCDD® (Registered Communications Distribution Designer) certification.

Garmann/Miller’s staff of 36 employees includes registered architects, landscape architects, designers, professional engineers, construction administrators and administrative personnel serving public and private clients throughout Ohio.


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