Have you recently lost your job or are you just looking for a different scenery? Kansas is wonderful state to live in, matter of fact Phillips County is a fabulous place to locate! Wondering what incentives we have for you? Let me briefly share with you! 1) ROZ-Rural Opportunity Zones are 50 counties that have been authorized to offer one or both of the following financial incentives to new full-time residents: Kansas income tax waivers for up to five years and Student loan repayments up to $15,000. Doesn’t that sound great! Well of course it does! http://www.kansascommerce.com/index.aspx?nid=320 This link will give you more information about ROZ and what it has to offer! Or contact the Phillips County Economic Development Office at 785.543.5809 or by email: email@example.com We would love to help! I’m sure you’re wondering what other reasons there are for moving to this county!? Honestly I just wanted to you about ROZ! So go to the link and check it out! If you’re wondering what you’ll do for work check this website out www.discoverpced.com and click Employment! We update our county’s job openings weekly! Thanks for reading!
Developing our future workforce in areas that are needed for our regional and economic support is VERY important. I continue to hear from some of our local business leaders and residents about the need to have training in classes in high school or apprenticeship programs for our students. The reasoning behind why such skills of yesterday are in DIRE short supply can be associated to: school budgeting cuts or restrictions in the ‘arts and vo-tech’ areas, federal mandates on schools to push one style of curriculum – steering our kids toward a degree field, less encouragement toward students following desiring these fields, or other reasons which are so numerous it would take another page to get them all down. The fact remains, there is a big push to get our students to higher degree fields in college — now more than ever.
OK. With that being said, please don’t misinterpret my intentions as being against our kids pursuing higher education. That is definately NOT the case, but we need to ENSURE that our kids are 1) given all the options as to ALL employment fields/options and benefits to working in that field, 2) encouraged to take apprenticeship training throughout their high school years in order to provide a guaranteed source of employment immediately out of school, and 3) are recognized for their innovation and committment in blue collar trades as well as those seeking a higher degree at a college or university.
I have been working with several local busiensses wanting to expand or start new ancillary businesses over the last few years. This is one major reason why PCED has been at career fairs over the last few years marketing our area businesses and job opportunities. Workforce development issues, once again, is a trend experienced by many firms over the years. Where are all the skilled workers? We are losing our pool of workers with technical skills. Fewer high schools offer trades courses, fewer kids grow up learning mechanical skills at home or on the farm. It is because of these challenges, the Rural Opportunity Zone legislation was passed as an incentive to our rural communities. It was a tool to help recruit more workforce into the areas to accomodate the growth trend of our western Kansas businesses.
Current reports show that some of the most in demand careers now and in the future do not require a four year degree, but training from technical schools/community colleges, or on the job training. Trade skills in fields such as welding, machining, electronics, drafting/autoCAD, etc. are in demand and will continue to be so in the future. There is also a shortage in CDL drivers in many areas, and the recent oil boom in the Midwest is only growing the demand. With some proactive changes and financial investment to our local schools vocational-technical programs, these learned trades could: 1) have more students working right out of high school, 2) create more business expansion of existing businesses, 3) keep more residents in our rural areas, and 4) strengthen our local economies.
A number of organizations are looking at this issue and how to get people interested in working in careers in skilled trades: economic developers, workforce specialists, schools, manufacturers, etc. There are a number of resources available to assist people looking to change careers. But the first step is educating our youth and residents that there are good careers in manufacturing, and growing opportunities across the country. Not every child is suited to go to college. Nationally, the percentage of students that enroll in a four-year college and don’t finish is around 45%. Imagine the savings if those students were directed to different career paths, with shorter training requirements and considerably less expense. We need to keep this in mind as we look to the future and decide where we want to be, and what we want to be doing.
Jeff Hofaker, PCED executive director
…With thanks to Aaron White (ECC Director) with some format insights
July Labor Report Shows Positive Long-Term Trends
|TOPEKA, Kan. – In the July Labor Report, private sector employment and nonfarm jobs both showed increases since one year ago with significant increases in some industries.
Kansas gained 22,100 private sector jobs since July 2011, a 2 percent increase. Nonfarm employment grew by 19,100 jobs since one year ago, a 1.4 percent gain.
Compared to June 2012, the private sector increased by 2,600 jobs, or 0.2 percent. Nonfarm employment decreased by 16,900 jobs since one month ago, a 1.2 percent decrease mostly caused by a seasonal decline in government jobs at educational institutions.
“Private sector job growth is the encouraging note in this report. Contraction of the labor force and its impact on the unemployment rate is worthy of our attention,” stated Secretary of Labor Karin Brownlee.
Seven of the 11 major industries reported job gains since July 2011. Healthcare and social assistance gained 5,300 jobs, a 3.2 percent increase, while heavy and civil engineering construction increased by 2,500 jobs, a 24.3 percent growth.
Six of the 11 major industries saw gains from one month ago. Professional and business services grew by 2,200 jobs, a 1.4 percent increase. Construction added 1,900 jobs, a 3.4 percent gain.
“In July, the size of the labor force contracted by more than 6,100 people. Nearly all of these people came from the ranks of the employed to no longer being part of the labor force,” Tyler Tenbrink, Labor Economist, said. “This is a trend that surfaced early in 2012 and has persisted. The major age group contributing to this trend is the group of workers age 55 and over.”
Many of the above workers leaving the labor force gave the answer that “they do not want a job now” when surveyed. This decline in the civilian labor force affected the unemployment rate.
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Kansas was 6.3 percent, down from 6.7 percent one year ago and up from 6.1 percent in June 2012. The non-adjusted unemployment rate was 6.7 percent, down from 7 percent in July 2011 and up from 6.2 percent one month ago.
The August 2012 Labor Report will be released on September 21, 2012. For more information, visit www.dol.ks.govFollow KansasDOL on Twitter and Facebook.http://www.dol.ks.gov/LMIS/NewsRelease/pr1207/pr1207.aspx
Phillips County E-Community has had some great success collaborating with multiple development organizations to help with financing new, succession and existing business projects with their Entrepreneurship Community Partnership loan. Over a period of a year, between June 2011 and 2012, a cumulative total of $130,878 E-community loan funds were used to help six businesses in the Phillips County area. These e-community dollars through the Phillips County E-Community loan program were used in conjunction with six (6) other financing avenues with corresponding matched funds: Phillips County Economic Development – Entrepreneurial Business and Enhancement ‘grant’ program ($131,953), NetWork Kansas – StartUp Kansas loan program ($112,369), Kansas Capital Multiplier Loan program ($15,000), Private Venture funding ($100,000), Local Bank loan financing ($263,600) and Business owner’s private funds invested ($127,000). The total cumulative cost for all the projects amounted to $880,800. These projects created ten (10) new jobs and helped preserve fifteen (15) existing jobs in the county during this same time frame. For a county with only 5650 residents, having 25 jobs (workers) positively impacted in the community shows the beneficial and cooperative points for the E-community program. Erik Pedersen, Network Kansas director, stated: “It is very exciting to see the creative and collaborative way the Phillips County Entrepreneurship (E-) Community team is working to provide financing which is enabling local businesses to start and expand. The jobs created and preserved will have a tremendous impact in Phillips County”.
Do you have problems with your old HVAC system keeping up with the heat and afraid you do not have enough money or credit to get a new economical and efficient system. Well, this proctive program through Midwest Energy may be something to look into. It covers more things than just HVAC systems — but that seems to be the most common use for it. This program started out as a program for residential homes and last year was expanded to include business establishments. It is a great way to update your systems and set up the loan through the utility company through your existing billing. They first will conduct an energy audit to give you and them some guideance as to what can or cannot be done through their program. There are guidelines and it does not fit EVERY situation, BUT it is definately a great program (tool) that can be used to upgrade your business as well as home.
If you are utilizing this program to make renovations/updates to a business and other improvements are going to be made, then this program can be used in conjunction with the overall improvement project to count toward your matching funds needed for the EBEP program. If you have questions, contact our office at 785-543-5809
Jeff Hofaker – PCED director – 7-18-2012
Foursquare.com is becoming very popular in the mobile app world. Checking into different places such as; work, a restaurant, a rodeo, a mall, or even the grocery store is just fun! There are plenty of places out there that you can check into and if not just add it!
Depending on how many times you check into a place in one day, or 5 or 6 different places in one day, you earn a badge! Each badge means something different! I checked into to work twice this week, and I am now Mayor of “Phillips County Economic Development Office”
I don’t know all the ins and outs yet, but I am learning! It’s quite fun!
Also an incentive on being a business on foursquare is this you can advertise certain promotions with the app. Like The Third Street Bakery in downtown Phillipsburg, KS does this : If you check into the Bakery 5 times in 7 days, you can get a FREE shake or malt! How neat is that! Go in Monday-Friday for breakfast or dinner and bam you’re a winner!
Foursquare is neat! Check it out sometime! You never know you might find yourself checking in!
Tips for Facebook & Website:
-Engage your Audience on Facebook
- Provide Tips
- Useful Information
- Contests (through an application-3rd party)
- Photo or video contest
- Ask Questions
-Add your website address in the About section (first thing) on the Left Sidebar
- Website address will be seen more
- Have good content on your website that will make visitors want to come back
- Blog: Helpful Information – Answer questions, Give tips
- Post your blog link on your Facebook page each time you blog
- Give Resources – Helpful information
- Frequently asked questions
- Special Articles
- Examples of your work
- Free services
- Advertise on Facebook: Can reach target markets based on key words (age, gender, location, etc)
-Measure your traffic on your website: Analyze the data to see what works
- Google Analytics
- Create a Landing Page on your Facebook page through a Facebook Application – will help capture leads
- Landing Page: First page non-subscribers will see
- Facebook Application Example: Lujure
- Try to get email addresses
- Provide an incentive to giving their email: Freebies, Rewards
-Establish a deeper relationship with your fans through email
- Have fans subscribe to your newsletter: provide incentive
- Announce your product, service, expertise
- Give useful information (not just a sale)
Have you ever thought about what kind of difference it would make if more people purchased “Made in America” products? ABC news did a story on one contractor who built a house of all “Made in America” products. The statistics of jobs created across the nation by buying more “Made in America” products is phenomenal. Watch this short story to see the effects of buying products Made in America!
If you want the list the video talked about or want to support the cause here is a link to the list of companies who are making goods across many industries. Made in America Company List
Eleven business owners and community leaders from Phillips County attended the 2011 Summit Business Conference in Boulder, CO. I feel very privileged to be one of the eleven to attend this conference! Jon Schallert, founder of Destination University, organized the conference and hand-picked nine world-class authors and experts to present to small business owners and community leaders. Everyone who attended gained useful, practical, and valuable information to make their business better (no matter what kind business it was). All of the speakers were energetic, passionate, very informative, and excellent. It was most certainly a fun and educational experience to have all of these experts in one place presenting to small business owners in North America. I will share information from each presenter in future blogs.
The first presenter to get the conference kicked off was Michael Kerr presenting “Putting Humor to Work”. He was absolutely hilarious, enthusiastic, upbeat, and made you feel very energized and excited.
Here is some information Michael Kerr’s gave in his presentation at the Summit Business Conference to help you energize and excite employees to become more productive with the end result of making your business more successful. To learn more about motivating and inspiring employees visit Michael Kerr’s website: http://www.mikekerr.com/
Michael Kerr tells us a way to release stress could be to tap into our own since of humor. A work culture that creates fun and humor will reduce turnover, increase productivity, create a good work environment, and be more successful. When people are having fun they will like their job more resulting in being more productive for their employer. Business owners and managers need to strive to create a work environment that they would want to recommend to their children or best friends.
Providing humor does not mean you have to be comedians, but rather using what works for your organization to balance stress. To add humor to the work place and lighten the atmosphere, organizations can have a funny: bulletin board, signs, mascots, humor first aid kit, rituals, and traditions. Happy STAFF makes HAPPY Customers.
Michael Kerr gives the 3 R’s:
Relax: Humor helps people relax. It may help one to relax mentally and physically. When people are relaxed and enjoying work that attitude catches on and lowers tension.
Reward: Rewarding employees shows that you appreciate the work they do. You may have to turn bad situations into good situations. One example: a business is by train tracks which makes it really noisy and shakes the office when a train goes by. Instead of complaining about this nuisance, the business provides chocolate to their employees when a train goes by. By doing this the business has turned the bad situation into a good one and boosts morale.
Reframing Challenges: Stress is in the eye of the beholder. No matter what’s going on, you have 100% control of how you react. It is human nature to have negative thinking instead of positive thinking. However, negative thinking never produces success. It takes a lot of positive thoughts to reverse the effects of negative thoughts.
Michael Kerr’s Books: Inspiring Workplaces – Creating the Kind of Workplace Where Everyone Wants to Work and Putting Humor to Work.