January 2016: Economically Speaking

A healthy community: our best investment

Ian Grant WEBWhen asked what surprised him most about humankind, accomplished writer and world traveler James L. Lachard expressed concern that “[people] lose their health to make money and then lose their money to restore health.” [Read more…]

October 2015: Economically Speaking

Hiring veterans: A positive impact

By Ray E. Moore III

While most veterans are highly competent, confident and agile, transitioning from an active duty service member to a veteran has major life-changing implications. Studies demonstrate that the transition to civilian life is the single hardest transition a veteran will make.

After years of intense specialized training and education, technical skills development, developmental leadership and management and organizational loyalty, every veteran is faced with the same question: “what do I want to do with the rest of my life”?

The majority of veterans are concerned with finding a rewarding career after their selfless service to our nation while attempting to translate and convey their military skills and training to civilian skills and related education. Veterans have made a commitment to serving our country; now they are looking to enter the civilian workforce and make a commitment to private-sector employers.

Two questions business owners and executives alike should ask: How can our organization assist veterans in finding a rewarding career? How can we capitalize on the education and skillsets veterans bring to the workforce? Below I will highlight some of these skillsets and traits.

Leadership — Taught through multi-level tiered classroom instruction, mentorship and years of hands-on experience to become personally and professionally competent leaders with the candid ability to guide and direct appropriate resources to accomplish tasks, mentor and counsel lower-level employees and possess a unique degree of adaptability. Composed, confident, resilient, interpersonal tact, sound judgement, sriven, two-way communication.

Accountability — Effective utilization of available resources and equipment, strategic planning, the employment of resources, organizing and simultaneously directing and controlling complex multiple tasking’s.

Teamwork — The core of military performance is teamwork. Veterans have had to work effectively together as a unit, with people from diverse backgrounds, viewpoints, agendas, positions of authority and skillsets. Veterans exemplify teamwork and know that teamwork is a key ingredient to accomplishing strategic goals and objectives.

Dependability — Veterans report early for work, ready to work, maintain detailed calendars, arrive early for meetings, work until tasks are accomplished, rarely use sick-time and they can be relied upon to perform their assigned duties with minimal supervision.

Trainability / Adaptability — Recently separated veterans were contributing members of a highly-trained, highly-skilled modern workforce that can train, perform, and sustain in any global environment. Active duty service members regardless of the branch train on a daily basis to learn new skillsets.

Gen. George Washington said: “When we assumed the soldier, we did not lay aside the citizen.” As a result of being a Soldier, Sailor, Airman, or Marine our nation has highly skilled unemployed veterans — citizens — with experience in information technology, logistics, communications, accounting, human resources, management, security, science, medical, project management, contract management, finance, health management, command and control and more.

Incentives to Hire Veterans

The VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011, enacted Nov. 21, 2011, provides an expanded Work Opportunity Tax Credit to businesses that hire eligible unemployed veterans and for the first time also makes the credit available to certain tax-exempt organizations. The credit can be as high as $9,600 per veteran for for-profit employers or up to $6,240 for tax-exempt organizations. The amount of credit depends on a number of factors, including the length of the veteran’s unemployment before hire, hours a veteran works, and the amount of first-year wages paid. Employers who hire veterans with service-related disabilities may be eligible for the maximum credit.

Finally, hundreds of studies and anecdotal evidence directly support the advantages, positive impact, and value veteran service members bring to the civilian workforce. Veterans are agile, multi-skilled women and men who have strong moral character, broad knowledge, and keen intellect.

Hire a veteran today to improve a lifeline and positively impact your bottom line.

Ray E. Moore III is a project management officer for the North Country Initiative at the Fort Drum Rehional Health Planning Organization. He is a retired Army 1st Sergeant and Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt.

September 2015: Economically Speaking

DANC at 30: Strengthening our area

Columnist Michelle Capone

Columnist Michelle Capone

The Development Authority of the North Country was created in 1985 under Article 8, Title 29 of the Public Authorities Law to provide infrastructure, services and economic development in Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties. It is a self-supporting public benefit corporation overseen by a 13-member board of directors. This is its 30th year of operations. [Read more…]

August 2015: Economically Speaking

Building our best health workforce

Columnist Tracy Leonard

Columnist Tracy Leonard

The current emphasis of health care transformation focuses on the politics, benefits, challenges and costs of health care reform. One of the biggest areas of change involves the health care workforce, where employment is growing and work roles are evolving due to a combination of things such as the Affordable Care Act, the economy, provider shortages, retirements, an aging population that needs more and different kinds of care and market and regulatory pressures related to cost and quality of care, as well the new models of person-centered care. [Read more…]

June 2015: Economically Speaking

Embrace change as an opportunity

Columnist Tracy Leonard

Columnist Tracy Leonard

There is nothing more constant than change. It is happening all around us, every day, all of the time. Yet, why do so many people fear change? When things take us out of our comfort zone, we may feel uncomfortable or have difficulty adjusting. Our options are to embrace it as an opportunity or to resist it out of fear. [Read more…]

May 2015: Economically Speaking

North country is poised for growth

Columnist Michelle Capone

Columnist Michelle Capone

The north country is home to many successful businesses, and each day new businesses are born. They are born at the dinner table or in the college lab or on the back of a napkin. Several programs and services are available to assist start-up or existing businesses. [Read more…]

April 2015: Economically Speaking

Health care IT improves outcomes

Columnist Corey Zeigler

Columnist Corey Zeigler

As health care consumers, we are all concerned with the cost, quality and access to care. But business owners have additional concerns regarding employee satisfaction, retention, health and productivity. [Read more…]

March 2015: Economically Speaking

Commit to new ideas to prosper

Columnist Tom Sullivan

Columnist Tom Sullivan

In today’s world we hear and see the words economic development used in so many ways that it creates a plethora of different expectations. As communities, we are all trying to improve our financial outlook in order that we may, hopefully, pay less in taxes. [Read more…]

February 2015: Economically Speaking

Make sense of health care reform

Columnist, Brian Marcolini

Columnist, Brian Marcolini

Health care reform comes in many different shapes and sizes. More than ever before, individuals are debating how to transform, what programs to be part of and with whom to partner. Nationally, people debate all varieties of reform, when in reality there are pros and cons to each option. [Read more…]

Destination marketing grows visits

Gary DeYoung

Gary DeYoung

Northern New Yorkers traveling outside the region are often surprised to discover that many people have never heard of the 1000 Islands. But, that’s not uncommon for tourism destinations that are regionally popular. As a Wisconsin native, I’d never heard of the Muskokas before moving to the Canadian border. Likewise, few people in the 1000 Islands seem to know about Door County, Wis., which is one of the most popular vacation regions in the Midwest.
These experiences illustrate that establishing a tourism “brand” that has broad reach is a challenge that requires significant resources, persistence and a focus on telling the brand’s story to out-of-area audiences. Even well-established tourism destinations have to work hard to keep their brand visible in primary markets and expand awareness in secondary markets. [Read more…]