December 20, 2014

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Survey helps manufacturers place workers according to skill level PDF Print E-mail


Business Journal Writer


In 2013, the West Central Ohio Manufacturing Consortium (WCOMC) - including Rhodes State College and the Northwest Ohio Manufacturing Extension Partnership - conducted a regional survey of manufacturers, which gave a snapshot of manufacturers’ skill and education requirements, skill gaps and hiring projections.

The survey included 52 companies representing 56 facilities in 12 counties of West Central Ohio. The manufacturers employ over 18,000 and combine for $11 billion in annual sales.

The survey identified detailed skill sets, educational requirements and employment needs for replacement and incumbent workers and consisted of 154 questions on skills and education requirements that were needed within the industry as it prepares a competent workforce.

The 2013 Survey found problems at the Basic skill level including the “soft” skills of punctuality, completing tasks on time, following directions and procedures and internal written and verbal communications.

Problems in Computerized Numeric Control (CNC) and Programable Logic Control (PLC) interfacing and programming; evaluating and managing personnel; working with word processing, spreadsheet, database software; team leadership; and the facilitation of team meetings appeared in the Intermediate skill level.

At the Advanced skill level, the survey indicated issues with external verbal and written communication; maintaining buget control; performing cost-benefit analysis; diagnosing malfunctions; troubleshooting and repairing equipment; computer networking and programming.

Specific findings of the 2013 survey included:

• The percentage of Advanced skilled workers increased from 17 percent in 2007 to 21 percent in 2013;

• The percentage of Basic skilled workers in the 2004 survey (50 percent) were much lower than in 2007 (64 percent) and 2013 (63 percent); · Average starting wage at Basic skill level is $1 per hour higher than in 2007, but the average wage declined from 2007 by 50 cents per hour;

• Largest increase in number of skills “preferred” or “required” were reported at Basic level;

• Percentage of manufacturers planning to hire increased in all three skill levels and the total number of projected hirings were lower than in 2007, and;

• Difficulty in finding Basic skilled workers showed largest increase among manufacturers surveyed; and

• Percentage of interest in co-ops and internships doubled from 2007 survey.

The 2009 survey focused on developing a skilled workforce specifically for process operations.

In 2007, the survey indicated Basic, Intermediate and Advanced skill levels were trending and the challenge for manufacturers was to continue promoting future workers up a career pathway.

Survey results in 2004 showed that manufacturers in the region needed to employ workers with high-technology skills who were able to work in an advanced manufacturing environment in order to compete nationally and globally.

Cotterman & Company to Celebrate 35th Anniversary PDF Print E-mail

In the year 2013 Cotterman & Company will celebrate its 35th anniversary of roofing excellence.
Cotterman & Company has been a pioneer in the commercial roofing industry since 1978. Family-owned and operated for two generations, the company installed and warranted more than 30,000,000 square feet of roofing.

In the early years, the company had employed just a hand full of employees and serviced the Shelby/Auglaize County region. Currently, they have over 75 employees servicing the entire state of Ohio as well as eastern Indiana. The majority of their projects are located between Findlay, Dayton, and Columbus corridor.
The second generation Andy and Mike Cotterman acquired full ownership in 2009 from Max R. Cotterman, their father and founder. The company has continued substantial growth since the transaction. “We continue to operate under the core principles Max practiced. I believe this directly impacts our quality level of installations, which has lead to our success in the roofing industry. In addition to that, the hard work and dedication of the individual team members culminates, creating a winning recipe,” says Mike Cotterman. 

Credit Managers’ Index Rebounds to December’s Level of 54.9 PDF Print E-mail

The National Association of Credit Management’s economic report for February 2013 depicts a stalled economy. Political and economic concerns appear to weigh more heavily on the manufacturing sector, while data from the service sector shows progress.

Columbia, Maryland: February 28, 2013—The National Association of Credit Management’s (NACM’s) Credit Managers’ Index (CMI) for February is exactly the same as it was in December—54.9. This is just slightly better than it was in January when the index fell to 54.6.

For all intents and purposes, the readings suggest that the economy has stalled. The interesting movements are in the individual factors where there is actually some better news overall. The favorable factor index is up to just below where it was in November, at 59. This is a slight improvement from January, and the gains occurred in important factors.??Sales jumped, taking the reading back to last year’s levels.

Findlay’s Tall Timbers Distribution Center Incoporated expands into Middletown PDF Print E-mail

Findlay’s Tall Timbers Distribution Center Incorporated (FTTDC) has contracted with an industry leading metal food and beverage container manufacturer with several locations around the country. In an announcement today by Charles Bills, president of Findlay’s Tall Timbers Distribution Center Inc., and affiliates, Bills said “This facility, located at 1225 Logistics Way, Middletown Ohio will enable us to service our customers in the greater Cincinnati area.”

James Zuehlke is the Manager of the facility, and the telephone number is (513)-539-7001.

FTTDC is headquartered in Findlay, Ohio, and is one of the largest privately held logistics companies in the Midwest. It provides innovative warehousing, distribution, and transportation services.

FTTDC operates approximately 6.5 million square feet of warehouse space in 24 locations in Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, New York, Wisconsin, Kentucky and Georgia.
FTTDC also operates Foreign Trade Zone #151 in Findlay, Ohio and Foreign Trade Zone #29 site 10 in Louisville, Kentucky.  The Transportation Group operates its own fleet of trucks, Doing Business As Ohio Logistics Transportation. The Documents Storage Company has a major warehouse in Findlay and delivers the most complete records management and document destruction services in its marketing area.

For more information, visit the web site at

Construction materials prices increase 1.3 percent in February PDF Print E-mail

“Leading nonresidential construction indicators generally have turned positive and the associated increase in demand for materials appears to be driving prices higher.” —ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu.
The nation’s construction material prices rose 1.3 percent in February—marking the sharpest increase in 22 months, according to the March 14 Producer Price Index (PPI) report by the U.S. Department of Labor. Overall, construction materials prices remain 2 percent higher than one year ago. Nonresidential construction materials prices rose 1.4 percent last month, and are up 1 percent on a year-over-year basis.

Softwood lumber prices increased 2 percent last month and are up 27 percent compared to February 2012. Prices of concrete products rose 0.4 percent in February and are up 2.3 percent from one year ago. Plumbing fixtures and fitting prices were up 0.3 percent last month and are 1.7 percent higher than the same time last year. Prepared asphalt, tar roofing and siding product prices fell 1.5 percent, though prices remained 7.2 percent higher than a year ago.

Is it time to find elder care for your aging parent? PDF Print E-mail

For some, holiday gatherings deliver an unwanted gift: the realization that an aging relative is losing the ability to live independently. When far-flung families come together to celebrate, adult children can be alarmed to discover that mom is forgetting more than she used to, dad is leaving the house in disarray, or auntie is now trembling and shuffling when she walks. No wonder inquiries about elder care services, including nursing homes and assisted living, peak annually just after the winter holidays.

The time has come to begin looking into options for long-term care.

“It’s definitely something that we see every year,” said Amy Goyer, AARP’s family expert. “People start doing their homework right after the holidays.”
Goyer encourages families to avoid jumping to the conclusion that a residential institution like an assisted-living facility is necessary. “Some people have a knee-jerk reaction,” she said.

But a stack of unopened mail could be just a sign of holiday stress, she said, rather than a symptom of inability to care for oneself with proper support. If a loved one is having trouble paying his bills on time, he might just need someone to handle his finances. If he has trouble getting in and out of the bathtub, families should consider having a walk-in shower built; if he isn’t eating right, they should consider Meals on Wheels; if the house is messy, they could have a housekeeper visit every week.

Senior care industry analysis 2013 - cost & trends PDF Print E-mail

Senior Care Industry in 2013 at a Glance
Thanks to the aging of the baby boomer generation born in the late 1940s and 1950s, the American population is getting older. Between 2010 and 2050, the senior population will swell dramatically. As the boomer population reaches age 65, the senior population is projected to reach 88.5 million – well over twice the number of seniors in 2000 and twenty percent of the total population of the United States. 8,000 people will turn 65 every day in 2011.  This increasing elderly population has and will necessitate more senior healthcare. In fact, in the late 2000s, there were more than 17,000 providers of home healthcare to 7.6 million people, servicing anything from temporarily illness, to disabilities, to terminal illness. This is a substantial increase from the mere 1,100 providers in place in 1963. The combined annual revenue for these providers is $57.6 billion, up from 38.3 billion in 2003.

Industry Background
Senior care as an industry picked up steam in the 1960s and 1970s with government activity such Medicare and the advent of the National Institute on Aging, as well as longer life expectancy, which led to more older Americans needing care. In 1965, Medicare provided the elderly with federal money for home care. In 1973, government home health care funding was expanded to benefit younger people as well. And since its enactment, Medicare has been far and away the largest single source of revenue in home health care services, accounting for 37 percent of the total. The rest is accounted for by way of private insurance and out of pocket costs, which made up 22 percent, nineteen percent from medicaid and twenty percent paid for by money from local governments.  By the end of the 2000s, a majority of home health care agencies were for-profit companies, reaching 57 percent of overall home health care agencies, and up from just six percent in 1980, when most agencies were not-for-profit or government-run entities. The industry as a whole employs 900,000 people.  Because of its importance in the industry, the policies of medicare have been closely linked to the industry’s growth over time. Certain changes in the 1980s halted expansion of the industry, as did changes in the 1990s under the Balanced Budget Act. But each time, the industry rebounded relatively shortly after. Additionally, the industry is quite fragmented. The fifty largest companies control less than 25 percent of the total revenue.

Mercer County and Grand Lake Joint Township hospitals join HIE West Central Ohio wired through CliniSync PDF Print E-mail

Both sides of the Grand Lake in West Central Ohio now have hospitals wired to electronically transmit health records and information throughout the region and state.
Mercer County Community Hospital in Coldwater and Grand Lake Health System’s Joint Township District Memorial Hospital in St. Marys now are “live” on the statewide health information exchange – CliniSync.

They join other members of the West Central Health Information Exchange in committing to the regional and statewide sharing of electronic health records to improve patient care, including St. Rita’s Medical Center in Lima and Van Wert County Hospital in Van Wert. Lima Memorial Hospital also joined and is in the implementation stages.

Physicians in the area are directly receiving lab reports, test results and medical documents from the hospitals to their offices, making the sharing of information quicker and easier than traditional paper records. This is the first step in a growing process that will allow hospitals, physicians, labs and others involved in a patient’s care to exchange patient health information, no matter where they are located.

QUOTE: George C. Boyles, Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer. “Through the participation in the statewide HIE program, medical care providers will be able to access specific patient information to allow for enhanced and efficient patient treatment care.”

National Health Care Decisions Day is April 16 PDF Print E-mail

National Health Care Decisions Day will be celebrated across the country on April 16 to inspire, educate & empower providers and the public about the importance of advance care planning. National Health Care Decisions Day is an initiative to encourage patients to express their wishes regarding health care and for providers and facilities to respect those wishes, whatever they may be.

Advance directives are documents that patients complete to direct their medical care when they are unable to communicate their own wishes due to a medical condition. In Ohio, do not resuscitate orders, living wills, organ donation and durable powers of attorney are advance directives that are authorized by state law.

Many Ohio organizations, including hospitals, will recognize National Health Care Decision day with educational seminars and informational sessions to ensure adults’ decision-making power over their own lives.  Hospitals can lead by example by encouraging everyone in their facility to execute their own advance directives before April 16, so they will be in the best position to help others. This is a great opportunity to spread the word and highlight existing resources on advance directives.

Manufacturing activity gains steam in March PDF Print E-mail

U.S. manufacturing growth quickened in March and the pace of hiring increased, suggesting the sector will contribute to stronger overall U.S. growth in the first quarter, an industry survey showed on Thursday.

Financial data firm Markit said its “flash,” or preliminary U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index increased to 54.9 this month from 54.3 in February.
A reading above 50 indicates expansion.

Manufacturers stepped up hiring this month, driving the employment sub-index to 54.6 from 53.5 and rounding out the best three-month stretch for hiring in the sector since early last year, according to Markit chief economist Chris Williamson.
“With manufacturing a reliable bellwether of the rest of the economy, gross domestic product will have risen at a much improved rate” over the first three months of 2013, he said.

The U.S. economy grew at a 0.1% rate in the fourth quarter of 2012, but economists are forecasting a first-quarter growth rate of about 2%.
The manufacturing output index eased to 56.8 in March from 57.3 the prior month, but the pace of incoming orders from domestic customers increased, while overseas demand grew slightly after contracting in February.

The “flash” reading is based on replies from about 85% of the U.S. manufacturers surveyed. Markit’s final reading will be released on the first business day of the following month.


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