Breaking Down the Latest Union Numbers

wNationally, union membership did not change from 2014 to 2015 – remaining at 11.1% of wage and salary workers. In Indiana, membership declined from 10.7% to 10% over that same time period.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released updated union data. Five states had union membership below 5%: South Carolina (2.1%), North Carolina (3.0%), Utah (3.9%), Georgia (4.0%) and Texas (4.5%). Two states – New York (24.7%) and Hawaii (20.4%) – topped 20%. Nearly half of the 14.8 million union members lived in seven states: California (2.5 million), New York (2.0 million), Illinois (800,000), Pennsylvania (700,000) and Michigan, Ohio and New Jersey (600,000 each).

Other findings include:

  • Public-sector union rates (35.2%) were five times higher than that of private sector workers (6.7%).
  • Within the public sector, the union membership rate was highest for local government (41.3%). In the private sector, industries with high unionization rates included utilities (21.4%), transportation and warehousing (18.9%), educational services (13.7%), telecommunications (13.3%) and construction (13.2%).
  • By age, highest union membership rates were among older workers – 14.3% for ages 55 to 64 and 13.6% for ages 45 to 54.

See more information.

Calling All Hackers

19114293Hacking is coming to the Indiana Statehouse – and that’s a good thing.

Developers, coders and designers are invited to participate in #INCapitolHack, the first installment in the 2016 Indiana Hack Series, on February 26-27. State government agencies are welcoming experts to “hack for the greater good.”

A full timeline, additional information and registration are available online.

Need Some Money to Grow Your Business? Comcast Can Help

comcast inInnovative Indiana start-ups and entrepreneurs are encouraged to check out the third annual Innovations 4 Entrepreneurs competition sponsored by Comcast Business.

Current and aspiring business owners can enter the competition for a chance to win up to $30,000 and participate in a day of mentoring with teams of business experts that will provide advice on how to implement their plan.

Based on a 250-word essay submission, applicants will answer the question: How could your business use technology to help enhance your business?

Rusty Dewitt, Indiana’s director of business services, says, “I get to work with our small business customers, and see the impact they have on the Hoosier economy. Hoosiers are innovators, hard workers, and incredibly industrious. That’s exactly what is taken into account when we decide which entrepreneurs get this award.”

Entries will be judged and two winners will be selected in each of the 15 Comcast Business regions: one winner for start-up companies (in business two years or less) and one winner for entrepreneurs (in business for more than two years). The 30 regional winners will each earn $10,000 in cash.

From the regional winners, six grand prize winners will be selected – three start-ups and three entrepreneurs – who will earn an additional $20,000 in cash, plus a trip to Philadelphia to spend a day attending group sessions with industry experts.

Visit Comcast Business Community for full program details. Entries are due by March 12.

IMS Offers New Club Seating Option

CALL TO ACTION EVENT TAG/NAME OF EVENT

The 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 is bringing many changes to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS). That includes the first new seating option at IMS in more than a decade – the Hulman Terrace Club.

A special informational meeting regarding this new premium seating opportunity will take place 5-7 p.m. on February 25. Those interested in learning more should RSVP by February 22 to Jake Brown at jbrown(at)brickyard(dot)com) or (317) 492-8739.

The new club is part of a three-year IMS upgrade known as Project 100. Among the amenities of the Hulman Terrace Club, located on the outside of the front straightaway past the exit of Turn 4:

  • Access for 14 days throughout five 2016 racing events
  • Pit and garage credentials
  • Event car ride
  • Business networking event
  • Premium concession options

Indiana INTERNnet IMPACT Awards Celebrate the Best in Internships

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Indiana INTERNnet, the statewide resource for internship opportunities managed by the Indiana Chamber, has helped connect students and employers across the state since 2001. Today, the organization honored excellence among interns, employers and career development professionals at the 10th annual IMPACT Awards Luncheon, sponsored by Ivy Tech Community College.

The theme for the luncheon was “Homegrown: Cultivating Local Talent,” and Angie Hicks, namesake and face of Angie’s List, delivered the keynote address focusing on the abundance of opportunities for young professionals to succeed in Indiana. Hicks, a Fort Wayne native, credits an internship with Bill Oesterle as the stepping stone that led to her success at Angie’s List. She so impressed Oesterle as an intern that he asked her to join him in co-founding Angie’s List in 1995. Today, the company serves more than 3 million paid households, delivering an e-commerce marketplace as well as reliable consumer reviews covering everything from home improvement to health care.

“Experiential learning is a key piece of Indiana’s workforce development plans, and Angie Hicks is a shining example of why that is,” said Indiana INTERNnet Executive Director Janet Boston.

“The IMPACT Awards showcases some of Indiana’s best and brightest and fuels our optimism for the state’s future. Internships are making a difference in our young professionals’ skill levels, and often, these opportunities are leading to full-time jobs either with the intern employer or another Indiana employer. Everyone, including the state as a whole, benefits from meaningful internships.”

The IMPACT Award winners:
Paige Carroll (Baldwin & Lyons, Inc.; Ball State University) – College Intern of the Year
Salvador Espinoza (Group Dekko, Inc.; East Noble High School) – High School Intern of the Year
Scott Bachman (Baldwin & Lyons, Inc.) – Non-traditional Intern of the Year
Brandi Gilbert (Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis) – Career Development Professional of the Year
netlogx, LLC – Employer of the Year (For-Profit)
IU Health (North and Saxony hospitals) and St. Vincent (Carmel and Fishers hospitals) – Employers of the Year (Nonprofit)
Gerry Dick of Inside INdiana Business was the emcee for the event, and Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann provided closing remarks. The celebration took place at the Ivy Tech Corporate College and Culinary Center in Indianapolis.

For more information about the Indiana INTERNnet program, visit www.IndianaINTERN.net or call the hotline at 317-264-6852.

College/University Intern of the Year
When Paige Carroll began her insurance operations internship with Baldwin & Lyons, Inc. (B&L), she had no prior insurance knowledge. She was responsible, however, for a task of great strategic importance to the company that specializes in marketing and underwriting insurance for the transportation industry.

In a short amount of time, Carroll learned the process from the ground up. Details of the project shifted several times as the departments that requested it made changes, and Carroll easily adapted to the new needs. She even trained and supervised an intern from another department to ensure project completion.

“Paige exemplified Baldwin & Lyons’ values of excellence, innovation and teamwork,” boasts Valerie Wilson, corporate communications manager and chief of staff of B&L. “She truly immersed herself in this experience and, as a result, indicated she is now interested in obtaining her Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designation and producer’s license so she can continue to thrive in the insurance industry.”

High School Intern of the Year
You could say Salvador Espinoza is a “serial intern” with Group Dekko, Inc.

He began his tenure with the company in 2013 as one of the students from East Noble High School to participate in the pilot of the Explore program. Explore is a paid summer internship experience in which high school students rotate through a set of manufacturing careers during a six-week period to see where their skills and interests align. Since then, he has completed five internships with Group Dekko and served as a mentor to other students in the program.

“Group Dekko is privileged to be a part of this young man’s life,” remarks Cynthia Nesbitt, training and development specialist at Group Dekko. “To see how he has grown over the years has been exciting and we look forward to the day he becomes a leader of our company.”

Non-traditional Intern of the Year
On his first day at Baldwin & Lyons, Inc. (B&L), Scott Bachman noted in his work plan – “I am ready to jump into new and ongoing projects in order to learn as much as possible.”

This declaration was put to the test when, six weeks into his internship, he was tapped to fill in for a manager on a number of projects until a replacement could be hired. One project was a strategic company initiative with a budget exceeding $1 million.

Thanks to Bachman’s work, the project didn’t miss a beat, and he ensured the transition to a new project manager was seamless. As a result, he saved B&L an estimated $10,000 in potential temporary consultant fees.

Bachman accepted a full-time position as a project coordinator following the completion of his internship, and Valerie Wilson, corporate communications manager and chief of staff, says B&L is “excited to use his skill and ingenuity to better the PMO.”

Career Development Professional of the Year
Eight years ago, Brandi Gilbert set out to develop an internship program that would help undergraduate students gain professional experience while exploring career options. The result was the IUPUI Life-Health Sciences Internship (LHSI) Program, which has employed more than 350 interns since beginning in 2007.

The LHSI program continues to grow from the initial group of less than 20 students to the latest class of more than 70. It is one of the largest undergraduate internship programs on the IUPUI campus, offering sophomore and junior students a year-long paid internship with faculty mentors in the life and health sciences. The goal is to develop each intern’s transferable professional skills.

“Brandi always has the best interests of her students at heart,” declares Kamilah Walters, senior ambassador for the LHSI program.

Employer of the Year (For-profit)
The netlogx, LLC internship program is a balance of practical work experience, networking opportunities and professional development activities – with mentoring at the center of it all.

Interns take part in the netlogx Mentor Program designed to provide information, encouragement and support to help them succeed. Interns are immediately integrated into the work environment, working side-by-side with seasoned employees on a variety of tasks and owning at least one project.

“My time at netlogx helped me grow both in my professional career and my development as a human being,” recognizes Joe Harrison, 2015 summer intern. “I was awarded opportunities that helped further myself along the path to success and that have taught the importance of being a kind and personable individual on top of being intellectual and professional. These are skills that I will cherish moving forward in my career.”

Employers of the Year (Non-profit)
Noblesville High School (NHS) is one of the most recognized institutions in the state for forging business-education partnerships to benefit their students. The program it administers with Indiana University Health North and Saxony hospitals and St. Vincent Carmel and Fishers hospitals is a productive model thanks to the dedication of the hospital professionals.

The three-way partnership began with NHS approaching Melinda Wirstiuk, volunteer coordinator with St. Vincent, to explore internship possibilities at the Fishers location. The result was a system in which students rotated through different hospital departments, gaining exposure to various health care careers. Students have had the opportunities to observe surgeries, shadow nurse practitioners, meet with doctors and more.

Continued growth led NHS to approach St. Vincent Carmel and IU Health. The North and Saxony locations enthusiastically came on board, and now students in the program spend one semester with St. Vincent and one semester with IU Health.

Award Nominees:

Interns
• Emily Atkinson, IUPUI Life-Health Sciences Internship Program
• Scott Bachman, Baldwin & Lyons, Inc.
• Lillian Bailey, National Association of Commissions for Women
• Casey Bauchle, IUPUI Life-Health Sciences Internship Program
• Ricardo Bedon, Lake City Bank
• Emily Bell, Parkview Health
• Thomas Cantrell, Modern Woodmen of America
• Paige Carroll, Baldwin & Lyons, Inc.
• Angelique Cassell, REGIONAL Federal Credit Union
• Becca Christensen, Baldwin & Lyons, Inc.
• Karoline Coryea, Wayne County Area Chamber of Commerce
• Cory DeWitt, Ontario Systems
• Salvador Espinoza, Group Dekko
• Rashell Garretson, Indiana University School of Medicine
• Ashley Griffith, IU Health
• Jenna Harden, Children’s Bureau, Inc.
• Shaun Heinzelman, Somerset CPAs and Advisors
• Rachel Jones, Appriss, Inc.
• Harsimranjot Kaur, Indiana University Public Policy Institute
• Chelsea Kulesa, Ontario Systems
• Brandon Nettrouer, Gibson
• Emma Nicoson, Kleinfeld Bridal
• Sara Omohundro, Valeo Financial Advisor
• Ryan Palmore, Indiana Commission for Higher Education
• Sarah Pelko, Crossroads of America Council, BSA
• Addie Pike, Ontario Systems
• Sarah Post, IUPUI Office of Student Employment
• Nicole Quint, IUPUI Life-Health Sciences Internship Program
• Cydney Ringlespaugh, Baldwin & Lyons, Inc.
• Haley Rivera, Brickyard Pediatrics
• Katy Robinson, Wayne County Area Chamber of Commerce
• Ashley Shuler, The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
• Rachel Slauter, Jasper Foundation, Inc.
• Thomas Smith, RL Turner Corporation
• Carianne Sobey, Ambassador Enterprises
• Benjamin Verdi, Indiana Department of Workforce Development
• Gabe Vervynckt, Marshall County Community Foundation, Inc.
• Rex Waldo, Ontario Systems
• Greg Warren, Baldwin & Lyons, Inc.
• Davieon White, Anderson Innovation Center
• Siara Wolf, ProCourse Fiduciary Advisors, LLC

Career Development Professionals
• Liz Ferris, Indiana University East
• Brandi Gilbert, IUPUI Life-Health Sciences Internship Program

Employers
• Ambassador Enterprises
• International Medical Group
• IU Health (North and Saxony hospitals) & St. Vincent (Carmel and Fishers hospitals)
• IUPUI Life-Health Sciences Internship Program
• Lincoln Financial Group
• Margaret Mary Health
• netlogx, LLC
• Roche Diagnostics
• Salesforce
• TransWorks
• Wabash National Corporation

Indiana Ranked Top 10 in Retirement Plan Participation

19159583The Pew Trusts recently issued a report showing Indiana has the seventh best participation among employees eligible for employer-sponsored plans of 50 states. Indiana is also in the top twenty in providing access to plans by employers.

Comparatively, Hoosiers are near the top in participation but there is still room to go. In Indiana, 63% of workers have access to an employer-sponsored retirement plan and of these employees, only 57% participate.

Thirty-seven percent of employees in Indiana do not have access to a retirement plan. If you, as an employer, don’t offer a retirement plan, 100% of your employees may have to rely on social security for their sole retirement benefit.

In 2015, the average social security benefit for all retired workers in the United States was $15,936 per year. If the 43% of your employees who are not participating in the retirement plan are planning on being supported solely by social security in retirement, they would be living on less than minimum wage.

If employees cannot retire because of lack of savings and instead continue working, what are the long term costs to employers? Some things to consider might be higher wage costs, higher medical and long term disability costs, to name a few. A recent report from Mercer says, “If 4% of your population is retirement eligible and half of those people choose to delay retirement, 10% of your employee population would experience promotion blockage.” This suggests that for each workers delay in retirement can insight five or more promotion delays.

As Hoosier employers, here is what you can do to improve retirement savings:

  • If you do not have a plan, consider sponsoring a plan.
  • If you do have a plan, encourage participation and realistic savings rates. You can do this by implementing changes in the administration of your plan to automate participation and deferral increases, essentially putting these choices on autopilot for your employees.

Great job, Indiana on being one of the leaders in the country with retirement plan participation. Now is the time to get to work on helping more employees save for retirement. – Indiana a State that Works.

Douglas G. Prince is CEO and a principal at ProCourse Fiduciary Advisors, LLC.

Paving the Way for Good Roads

PollQuestion

We’ve got a new poll question (top right) asking about a strategy to pay for long-term infrastructure funding. The current House Republican plan calls for a modest gasoline tax increase and higher cigarette taxes (that would go toward Medicaid spending, with sales tax funds currently used in that area shifting to transportation).

More details on the legislation: HB 1001

The most recent poll asked for your top legislative priority. Civil rights expansion (36%) topped the list, followed by increased transportation funding (28%) and education testing reform (16%).

Bicentennial Internship Immerses Student in State’s Future Visioning

andreAndré Zhang Sonera is serving as a Bicentennial Visioning Liaison with the Office of Indiana Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann. The Visioning Project is a Bicentennial legacy project focusing on Indiana’s future. The project brought together thought leaders throughout the state to identify “big ideas” for Indiana’s future, which will be compiled into a book that’s expected to be completed this summer.

Indiana INTERNnet: What have you been responsible for during your internship with the Indiana Bicentennial Visioning Project?

André Zhang Sonera: “As a Bicentennial Scholar, my role on this project is coordinating the logistics of each (visioning) session. My job requires me to look at the big picture and make sure that all the knots are in place and ready to go for the event. From coordinating the venue to making sure that everything is running smoothly and efficiently for our experts – logistics are an essential component to the success of our sessions.”

IIN: Describe how this internship is helping you grow as a young professional toward your career goals.

AZS: “This internship has provided me the unique experience to gain in-depth knowledge about our state. It is not every day that you have the opportunity to meet and learn from the brightest Hoosier minds as they share their passion and vision for a better Indiana.

“This experience has also helped me develop insight into how the government works at the state level, nurturing my passion for public service and sparking an interest for a career in government.”

IIN: What have you learned so far about Indiana? Has anything surprised you?

AZS: “Each session is focused on important topics that shape the future of our state. Thanks to the research and data presented by Dr. Breanca Merritt from the IU Public Policy Institute at the beginning of the (first) session, I now have a better understanding of the current and future state of Indiana regarding a variety of important topics.

“But my favorite part is hearing the innovative ideas of our experts as they gather together to envision the future of Indiana. At the end of each session, I have a sense of belonging and pride of being an ‘honorary’ Hoosier.

“I definitely would encourage other students (K-12 and college) to get involved with their towns and counties and partake in this unique experience. It is not every day that we get to celebrate our state’s Bicentennial, and it is an incredible opportunity to contribute a legacy for future generations.”

See the in the January/February 2016 edition of BizVoice magazine.

Health Means Business for Indiana’s Economy

tom hironsThe improvement in Indiana’s economic environment is an outstanding success story. The series of top 10 business climate rankings from respected national sources is a tribute to the work of many throughout our state.

The same broad-based, dedicated effort is required in one very important area in which the state is not faring well in national comparisons. And if we don’t finally make some significant advances, those sought-after employers and their talented employees might not find Indiana to be such a great place to work and live.

The inferior health of our workforce – and overall population – is no secret. In the 2015 Report Card measuring progress on the Indiana Chamber’s Indiana Vision 2025 plan, two rankings stood out in a negative manner: 39th in adult smoking rate (despite a four percentage point improvement from the prior measurement) and 42nd in adult obesity.

In the most recent America’s Health Rankings from the United Health Foundation, Indiana’s behaviors (physical activity in addition to smoking and obesity) and outcomes (diabetes, cardiovascular deaths and cancer deaths) fare no better.

Health Means Business. That is a statement and the title of an upcoming event intended to promote business-led community health initiatives. As the Wellness Council of Indiana has been advocating, a healthier Indiana is vital in recruiting and retaining employees, reducing health care costs, limiting absenteeism and increasing productivity.

Details are coming soon on a new Indiana Healthy Community Initiative – modeled after the Wellness Council’s AchieveWELL process for employers – that will allow towns/cities/counties to lead collaborative efforts to improve the health of their citizens.

Indiana is one of 10 stops on a national Health Means Business tour. The Indiana Chamber Foundation is partnering with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for the February 5 event. We see this as just one of many steps to putting Indiana on a healthier road and keeping our state among the nation’s business leaders.

Tom Hirons, president and CEO of Hirons, is the 2016 Indiana Chamber of Commerce chairman of the board.

Cook: Governors’ Races Unique, More Difficult to Handicap than Federal Races

Cook_CharlieCharlie Cook is editor and publisher of the Cook Political Report and a political analyst for National Journal magazine. Cook is considered one of the nation’s leading authorities on American politics, and The New York Times has called him “one of the best political handicappers in the nation.”

Cook will be the keynote speaker at the Indiana Chamber’s 2016 Legislative Dinner on February 9. (Get your tickets now!) I recently spoke with Cook for an evaluation of this very turbulent time in American politics.

Below is my final question (see his other responses about political surprises, Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, and America’s infatuation with presidential politics) :

Indiana is already gearing up for the 2016 gubernatorial race – a rematch from 2012. Gov. Pence has been under heat on some social issues, and lately for the state’s stance on accepting refugees. John Gregg’s supporters have seen these as benefits to their chances. What do you expect in this race, and do you think Pence could be vulnerable?

Cook: I tend to delegate governors’ races to our senior editor Jennifer Duffy, so I’m not doing deep dives into these races. But I’ll say that Indiana went through a period where Democrats were very competitive and did well – like Evan Bayh, and Obama carried it in 2008.

But in 2012, Indiana wasn’t even in the top 10 to 12 competitive races presidentially. While governors’ races tend to be more independent of national politics and less straight party than Senate and House races, I think Indiana has reverted more to type and back into the pretty Republican column. It doesn’t mean a Republican governor is unbeatable and a race can get relatively close, but for a Democrat to get over the finish line, that’s awfully hard in Indiana.

It’s one thing to cover Senate and House races from Washington, but governors’ races have their own unique sets of issues and rhythms, so it’s hard for anyone from out of state to understand it.