Calling All Manufacturers to Learn About Apprentice Program

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Apprenticeship Works is the National Advanced Manufacturing Apprenticeship Program at the Robert C. Byrd Institute for Advanced Flexible Manufacturing at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia. The goal: make apprenticeships more accessible and affordable for employers to help reduce skills gaps.

This national effort is funded by a $4.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor.

Two information sessions on the program will take place Wednesday, April 13 at the Vincennes University Aviation Technology Campus (2175 Hoffman Road in Indianapolis). Non-food manufacturers will meet at 9:00 a.m. that day, followed by food manufacturers at 10:30.

Registration is limited. Contact Rick May (email: Richard.may@indy.gov; phone: 317-327-3701) of the Department of Metropolitan Development – City of Indianapolis for more information or to register.

How to Extend Your Tax Filing Deadline

19159583The April 18 deadline to file your individual income taxes is right around the corner. If you’ve waited to file, there’s no need to panic. The Indiana Department of Revenue offers resources to help Indiana taxpayers.

If you can’t complete your tax return by the deadline, you can complete an extension of time to file form with either the IRS or the Indiana Department of Revenue. Filing either extension will give you until Nov. 14, 2016 to file your tax return.

Although the extension provides an extension of time to file, you are still responsible for paying any tax owed by April 18, 2016.

If you don’t have a federal extension, you can file for an Indiana extension by following these three steps below:

  1. Download Form IT-9 and mail it to the Indiana Department of Revenue. It must be postmarked by April 18, 2016. This form is available online.
  2. Determine if you owe Indiana taxes. You should pay at least 90 percent of the tax due when you submit the extension. Pay as much as you can to avoid penalty and interest.
  3. If you file and pay the remaining balance by the extension date (Nov. 14, 2016), there will be no penalty.

If you need last-minute assistance or have questions about your return, please contact the department at (317) 232-2240. Spanish support is available.

Start the 10-Digit Dialing Now!

The bad (or more accurately slightly inconvenient) news is that those in the 317 area code are soon going to have to dial three more numbers. The very good news is that consumers are not required to change their existing numbers.

To ease the inconvenience, the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission and the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor urge callers to start their 10-digit dialing practices now. The new process will become mandatory on September 17 of this year.

The new 463 area code will be implemented in an overlay with the existing 317 area code. A similar 812/930 overlay took place in Southern Indiana last year. The change is necessitated by the projected exhaustion of 317 number combinations later this year.

This IURC/OUCC release has all the details.

Protect Your Identity this Tax Season

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It’s tax season! As you prepare to file your taxes, remember to store your personal information such as W-2 forms, bank account summaries and other tax-related documents in secure locations. This time of year, identity thieves are especially prominent and out to steal real taxpayer identities and file fraudulent tax returns to request and steal the victims’ refunds.

Since its inception in 2014, the Indiana Department of Revenue’s Identity Protection Program has identified and stopped more than $100 million in fraudulent refund attempts and helped thousands of legitimate taxpayers realize their identities have been stolen. This year, the department again will be implementing the Identity Protection Program to protect Hoosier taxpayer identities and refunds. This program will look similar to the security measures implemented last year, including the Identity Confirmation Quiz, a two-minute quiz asking some taxpayers to confirm their identities.

Those selected to complete the Identity Confirmation Quiz will receive a letter from the department. The Identity Confirmation Quiz is taken on a secure web site or over the phone and contains four short questions, which only the person asked to complete the quiz would be able to answer.

Through the Identity Protection Program, the department aims to protect taxpayers’ identities and potential refunds and the state of Indiana from potential refund fraud.

For more information about the Identity Protection Program and tips for protecting your tax refund and identity, visit the department’s Stop ID Theft web site.

Rolex Rises in Reputation Rankings

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Rolex, The Walt Disney Company and Google top Reputation Institute’s 2016 Global RepTrak 100, the world’s largest annual survey of corporate reputations. The RepTrak System measures the general public’s perception of the world’s top companies on the seven key rational dimensions of reputation: products and services, innovation, workplace, governance, citizenship, leadership and performance.

An “excellent” reputation is represented by an overall RepTrak Pulse score of 80 or higher. A RepTrak Pulse score of 70-79 is considered “strong,” while 60-69 is “average.” None of the companies in the Top 100 scored below 67.

“The Global RepTrak 100 shows that to be a winner in the global market, companies need to deliver on all seven dimensions of reputation,” said Kasper Ulf Nielsen, executive partner at Reputation Institute, in a news release. “The top three companies all demonstrated strong or excellent scores in each dimension, which means that consumers are more likely to buy and recommend their products and services.”

One notable absence from the RepTrak 100 is German automaker Volkswagen, whose reputation dropped by 13.7 points globally in the wake of an emissions scandal. VW earned a strong RepTrak Pulse score of 75 in 2015, good enough for 14th place on the Global RepTrak 100 that year, but dropped to an average RepTrak Pulse score of 61.3 in 2016, falling to 123rd position.

Across the seven dimensions of reputation, VW saw an average drop of 10.9 points, with the biggest drops in governance, citizenship and leadership. VW also saw a drop across all supportive behaviors, which underscores the impact of a company’s reputation on the business.

The top 10 companies in this year’s rankings are:

  1. Rolex
  2. The Walt Disney Company
  3. Google
  4. BMW Group
  5. Daimler
  6. LEGO Group
  7. Microsoft
  8. Canon
  9. Sony
  10. Apple

Consumers identified Rolex as the global leader in products and services, while Apple remains the global leader in innovation and leadership. Google earned top marks on performance and workplace, with The Walt Disney Company perceived as best in citizenship and governance.

Out of the 100 companies that made the list, only six companies managed to make their way into the top 10 across the majority of the markets. Rolex, which occupied the fourth spot in 2014 and 2015 but jumped to first place overall in 2016, ranks in the top 10 across 11 markets – the most out of all companies.

Microsoft returned to the top 10 in 2016 after a one-year absence, replacing Intel, which slipped to 11th place. Though it remains in the top 10, Apple slid from 7th place since 2014.

Download the complete list of Top 100 Reputable Companies.

Fill Your Employment Needs at Veteran Career Fair

side profile of man saluting the American flag

The Operation Hire a Hoosier Vet career fair is coming to the Indiana State Fairgrounds on April 20. The event, in its 10th year, is the largest career fair in the Midwest focused on veterans, service members and their families.

More than 500 job seekers and up to 200 actively hiring employers are expected to participate. This is an excellent opportunity for employers to try and meet their workforce needs with talented Indiana veterans.

The fair takes place from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the Agriculture/Horticulture Building. A separate job preparedness workshop is scheduled for 5-8 p.m. on April 13. Additional information and registration is available at www.ohhv.org.

CVC Celebrates Special Anniversary

Today marks 35 years of business storytelling for CVC Communications. The Fort Wayne-headquartered company has pioneered the application of communications technology, from video production to webinars and now custom, self-paced eLearning.

“Big birthdays often cause companies to reflect on milestones in their histories,” says CEO Marilyn Moran-Townsend. “We’ve chosen to instead focus on an interactive timeline filled with gratitude for our clients, our team, and the events that have made us stronger and more optimistic than ever about today and tomorrow.”

Moran-Townsend has served in a variety of volunteer leadership roles with the Indiana Chamber and other organization at all levels. She was named the 2001 Indiana Chamber Business Leader of the Year, among numerous honors.

Explore CVC’s 35 Years of Gratitude.

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Walker Words to Remember

walkerWhen it comes to employee loyalty and its impacts, the Walker consulting firm is king. I had the opportunity recently to talk to the second-generation leader of that company, now chairman emeritus Frank Walker, who was an early pioneer in the areas of corporate social responsibility, business ethics and more.

You can read more from Walker in the March-April BizVoice magazine (on p. 56). But here’s a bonus insight on the employer-employee relationship: and never totally shutting doors with prized team members

“Several people have been credited with this line,” Walker says: ‘You need to train your people so they have the skills to leave you, but treat them so well they don’t want to.’

Walker adds: “We have lots of people who left us and come back. We have some we have to say, ‘They’re growing faster than we are right now and we can’t hold them back.’ But it’s 10 years later and Brenda has the skills, she’d love to come back, we have a spot for her now.

“They become a fantastic resource. Other people are saying, ‘I don’t know about this place.’ They (the returning employee) can say, ‘I’ve been over on the other side; let me tell you something that goes on here that doesn’t happen there.’ “

Promise Receives Extra Boost

promise inCreating a college-going culture is the primary theme of the Wabash County Promise Initiative and the growing Promise Indiana network. Now, Wabash County students in grades four through eight are receiving additional financial assistance as the result of a $430,000 grant from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.

The Promise program allows parents to create a 529 college savings account for their children when they register for school. The new grant permits elementary and middle school students to earn additional funding for their accounts through academic accomplishments, family savings and postsecondary planning.

The work that started in Wabash County is earning national and international attention. The Indiana Chamber was pleased to help spread the word through its Indiana Vision 2025 regional forums in 2015 and additional outlets. Learn more:

Tax Credits Available for Hiring Veterans

37738634Veterans, National Guard Members and Reservists remain key assets in helping meet workforce needs.

A free publication for employers, prepared for the Center for America, provides clear and concise understanding along with step-by-step guidance on four new federal tax credit programs: Returning Heroes; Wounded Warrior; Activated Military Reservist Credit for Small Businesses; and the Federal Empowerment Zone Employment Credit.

The guide includes links to the required Internal Revenue Service and Department of Labor forms employers need to submit. It features key eligibility and filing details, with guidance on eligibility and the specific steps to take to claim the credits.

American Jobs for America’s Heroes is a nonprofit campaign sponsored by Phillips 66 and foundations to encourage employers to post full-time jobs for veterans, National Guard members and Reservists. Access the guide and additional information.