On-the-Job Training Program a tool to connect employers, workers

Guest column By SUSAN SMALL Employment. It’s the age-old adage: Unemployed are looking for a job, underemployed are searching for a better job, and companies are on a quest for qualified employees. As the Washington County (Md.) Business Development staff is out in the community, workforce efforts are often a hot topic. Whether we find ourselves in the position as the employee or employer, we may often become stuck at a crossroads asking questions such as, “Which candidate is the best hire?” “Where can I find a job?” “Where can I find training to work at a different job?” For […]

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A good economy and the role of higher ed

The U.S. economy continues to grow at a healthy rate, and in the first half of 2018, hiring has been better than expected. The growth in the economy has been mainly fueled by job gains in retail, professional and business services, manufacturing, and in health care and social assistance.  In the last seven months, U.S. employers added an average of 215,000 jobs a month to payrolls compared to an average of 184,000 added during the same period of 2017. In July, manufacturing added 37,000 jobs, with most of the gain in the durable goods industries. Overall, manufacturing has added 327,000 […]

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Applying management science in succession planning

Experienced managers know that building, retaining and leading your team well is an important prerequisite of reaching an organization’s objectives. After hiring and firing employees myself, I find it appropriate to share what advice the business academics are giving. There is a whole discipline of human resource management dedicated for such thoughts. However this time, I took a look elsewhere for more accurate advice — namely to the quantitative discipline of management science. We know that there are no easy answers. In management, we are always forced to make trade-offs to seek a balance. Real business management is more like […]

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When it comes to etiquette, at least remember the coffee

If you’re a coffee drinker, you know. The clock hits 2 p.m., and you’re dragging. You need the caffeine from the blessed bean, lest you lose any momentum you have left to complete your work. Mug in hand, you drag yourself to the coffeemaker. The pot is empty. Someone — and you don’t know exactly who — but someone took the last ounces of wakeup juice from the carafe and did not have the common courtesy to make another pot for those who would be needing a cup of Joe later in the day. Etiquette would dictate that if you […]

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Bottom lines: Our views on recent news

Here are our bottom-line views on a few items of note in the Crossroads Business Journal area: • Congratulations to River Riders Family Adventure Resort of Harpers Ferry, W.Va., which was recently honored with the George E. Vickers Business Award by the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce. • People in Pennsylvania are taking a good approach to spread the word about the significant economic impact military installations have on local communities and the Commonwealth as a whole. If faced with another round of base realignments or closures, it will be crucial to demonstrate not only the economic impact, but more […]

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Bottom lines: Our views on recent news

Here are our bottom-line views on a few items of note in the Crossroads Business Journal area: • Welcome to Rockwool (North America), which officially broke ground recently on its second stone wool insulation manufacturing facility in the United States. The new $150 million plant is being built in Ranson, W.Va. • Also welcome to Ring Container Technologies, which recently held a grand opening ceremony for its new facility near Hagers- town, Md. The company makes plastic containers. • Good luck to WVU Medicine Berkeley Medical Center in Martinsburg, W.Va., which has closed two deals to buy about 75 acres off Tavern Road […]

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Are you a manager or a leader?

There was a time when shift managers in a 20th century factory didn’t need leadership to achieve the weekly production goals. His or her job was to organize the work, assign the right people to the necessary tasks, coordinate the results, and ensure the job got done. The focus was on efficiency. In the today’s economy, management and leadership are not easily separated. In fact, successful organizations create environments that cultivate leadership in managers at every level. Today’s employees look to their managers not just to assign them a task, but to define the purpose of the activity. Managers still […]

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Business schools engage business community

Sustaining current economic growth requires fulfilling businesses’ demands for a highly skilled workforce. Higher education, particularly public colleges and universities, has a huge role in fulfilling the need for a highly skilled labor force. Historically, institutions of higher learning have been instrumental to economic growth and development because of their research and discovery; their ability to prepare students for the future workforce; to serve communities; and to provide overall economic impact. Despite colleges’ and universities’ commitment to economic growth and development, there have been concerns over student readiness to meet the future needs of industries. Businesses also have realized that […]

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Coolsen: Business should jump in sooner on social media

In the new reality of social media, almost all of our relationships (both personal and professional) now take shape and develop, at least in part, in a virtual and public space.  And, even if you are in the subset of people who choose not to participate in any sort of social media, your relationships can still be affected by your choice not to participate online. (For example, a friend of mine once told me that he rarely keeps in touch with anyone that is not on Facebook.) For better or worse, social media has now replaced a good portion of […]

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Bass: Is it possible that both workers, employers have gaps to fill?

When we discuss the workforce gap, we are usually discussing the skills that industry needs versus the skills candidates have. If you are an employer facing this gap, you may want to consider your options for closing the gap by moving toward the other side. Let’s consider the case of a real person as he began entering the workforce recently. “Ralph” is attending community college part time. He worked one summer in an assembly plant, then one month in a fulfillment/distribution center. The initial job was interesting at first, but without a team to assist him, the tasks were too […]

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