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Manufacturing Roundtable Preview News Coverage

Wes Beham interviewed on Conklin & Company Gilmore Jasion Mahler's Wes Beham appeared on 13abc's Conklin & Company to discuss the Firm's upcoming roundtable events addressing the ongoing manufacturing workforce shortage in our region and across the country. Wes, who is a part of GJM's Manufacturing Specialist Team, was joined by Penta Career Center Superintendent Ron Matter in the conversation with the show's host Lee Conklin. Matter is one of the panelists for the GJM events on Thursday, May 25 in Maumee and Findlay. The events are open to financial executives within manufacturing businesses. Gilmore Jasion Mahler works with manufacturing businesses across the region that have been struggling with the skilled labor shortage for years. The goal of the events is to help provide manufacturers with actionable takeaways. Learn about our Manufacturing Specialist Team.

Area Students, Manufacturers and Educators Gather to Address Workforce Shortage

Too many job openings and not enough people to fill them: Perhaps the number one challenge facing manufacturers across northwest Ohio and the country. Public accounting firm Gilmore Jasion Mahler works with many clients in the manufacturing space and is bringing them and other manufacturers together with educators, students, parents and other officials to discuss ways to work together to overcome these challenges. 

“Help Wanted: Getting Students and Manufacturers to Speak the Same Language” is an interactive panel discussion scheduled for Thursday, May 25th in both Maumee and Findlay. The events are from 11:30 am-1 pm at Findlay Country Club at 1500 Country Club Drive in Findlay and from 3-5 pm the same day at Brandywine Country Club at 6904 Salisbury Road in Maumee.

“We know that the lack of young people pursuing the skilled trades has strained area manufacturers for many years,” says CPA Charlie Heid, who leads Gilmore Jasion Mahler’s Manufacturing Specialist Group. “We hear from our manufacturing clients this is perhaps the biggest challenge they continue to face. We also know we can’t solve this in an afternoon, but we’re hoping to move the needle and offer some valuable takeaways and action items for our attendees.”

The moderated panel discussions will include Toledo Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Romules Durant, Penta Career Center Superintendent Ron Matter, Pam Hamlin, Career Tech coordinator at Millstream Career Center in Findlay, and others committed to addressing the lack of a skilled labor workforce. Young people and their parents will also be part of the panel discussions. The events are open to financial executives from area manufacturing & distribution businesses and their HR representatives. Some business executives from the construction industry will also attend, as many of them face the same workforce shortage challenge. Other special guests at the Findlay and Maumee events will include:

Manufacturers and area educators know all too well that they face a number of challenges in connecting young people with careers in manufacturing. Most agree there are many contributing factors, including the nature of the current generation.

Workforce shortage 13abc Conklin & Co.“Many students lack the mind-set to want to work hard,” says Millstream Career Center’s Pam Hamlin. “We also face a negative perception of what manufacturing looks like. We are trying to expose students and provide them with the opportunity they have in front of them.”

Penta Career Center Superintendent Ron Matter joined GJM Partner Wes Beham for an appearance on 13abc's Conklin & Co. with Lee Conklin to discuss the upcoming roundtable events. Matter is very vocal about his distaste of the current narrative. He agrees we need to change the conversation when it comes to young people pursuing vocational education.

"For too many young people the only message they hear in the media, from their peers, from their parents, from their counselors and teachers, and from political leaders is that a four-year degree is the only path to success," says Matter. "At Penta Career Center and across this region we know that this message could not be further from the truth. I believe training beyond high school can and should look different for all adults - depending upon what it is they want to do and what is the training/education needed to get there."

Laurie Zydonik leads a nonprofit in Findlay called Raise the Bar which has taken the lead on workforce issues in Findlay and Hancock County. Zydonik says the organization is looking at the short term and long term in regard to the need for stronger “soft skills” in young people. They’re working to implement “The Leader in Me” program in Hancock County schools which is based on Franklin Covey’s “7 Habits of Highly Effective People.”

“This is a large scale project based on the long-term benefit of empowering and developing youth from an early age,” says Zydonik. “If we can provide the foundation of learning so they are prepared to research, explore and experiment with what they are passionate about, the skills they have become accustomed to (and are now habits) will naturally enhance their growth instead of impeding it. For example: If you have spoken in public since you were in kindergarten, speaking in a meeting at work is not scary, it just feels normal.”

There is no cost to attend the GJM Manufacturing & Distribution Financial Executive Roundtable events. The Findlay event includes lunch. The Maumee event includes an optional social hour from 5-6 pm. Manufacturing financial executives and their HR representatives can RSVP via email for either roundtable event to info@gjmltd.com. Please specify which event you’ll be attending.

Gilmore Jasion Mahler (GJM) established the Manufacturing & Distribution Financial Executive Roundtable series after learning that area manufacturers needed a way to come together to share their challenges and successes. The events are held three times a year. Previous roundtable topics have included the economic outlook, company culture, employee engagement and the state of Ohio manufacturing.

Established in 1996, Gilmore Jasion Mahler, LTD is the largest public accounting firm in the region, with offices in Maumee and Findlay. Locally owned, GJM offers comprehensive financial services including assurance, business advisory, tax, risk advisory and healthcare management. GJM’s professionals specialize in industries including construction & real estate, healthcare, manufacturing & distribution and utilities.

Honoring Healthcare Heroes

Healthcare Heroes 2017Gilmore Jasion Mahler is once again proud to sponsor the Hospital Council of Northwest Ohio's Healthcare Heroes program, scheduled for June 27. Of the dozens of candidates, five will be chosen to receive the honor. To see a list of this year's candidates, learn more about the program or make reservations, visit the Hospital Council of Northwest Ohio's website. Gilmore Jasion Mahler has expertise in healthcare, working with many physicians and other healthcare professionals and entities across the region. Meet our Healthcare Specialist Group.

Your Construction Business and Rising Healthcare Costs: A Case Study and Priority Checklist for CFOs

Construction healthcare costs OCP Toledo Hospital InteriorIf you’re the chief financial officer for a construction company, you probably think every day about how you can work to keep healthcare costs down for your business, while ensuring that your people get the quality care they need.

The Trump administration is working on changing much of the Affordable Care Act, but many uncertainties remain on what healthcare may look like for many Americans. The changes are sure to have an impact on your construction business, and your people. But you can’t do anything about that right now. Let’s focus on what you do have control over.

Pamela Hepburn is a Vice President with OCP Contractors in Holland, Ohio, the largest interior contractor in the state of Ohio. In business for almost 50 years, OCP installs steel framing and drywall for commercial projects from hospitals, to universities to office buildings. This picture shows their interior work at ProMedica Toledo Hospital. The company has locations in Toledo, Cleveland and Columbus. 

With a union workforce out on job sites across the state, Hepburn says most of their people are covered by the union’s healthcare plan, but OCP does have a group of about 55 staff across three offices insured through their own insurance plan. She says the company recently switched healthcare providers to avoid a 40% increase in costs. Their new plan reflects a 20% increase. Amid rising costs, many construction companies have moved to captive (or self-insured) health insurance. OCP has not made that move.

“The shift to captive health insurance is certainly a trend we’ve seen with many of our clients in the construction industry,” says Gilmore Jasion Mahler CPA Bob Bobek. Bobek leads GJM’s Construction & Real Estate Specialist Group. “Each business is different. It’s a very individual decision, much like choosing your own personal health insurance, but for an entire business.”

Aside from costs associated with the company’s insurance plan, Hepburn recognizes that there are opportunities for healthcare cost savings by investing in the health of OCP’s workforce. She says the industry is known for “not great health habits in general,” from smoking to drinking to weight issues and of course the risk for injury either on or off the job. There’s a well-known high rate of suicide within the industry as well. Pam says OCP works to find ways to encourage healthy living for all their people. One success they’ve had is a walking challenge held between all three OCP offices. Each office was considered a team in the challenge. They’d post weekly updates and track their progress on a map with push pins. A trophy was awarded at the end of the challenge, which she says was fun and got their office staff up and moving.

It’s no secret that a safer workplace equals less injuries, which is the goal for the health and well-being of your people as well as the bottom line for your business. Pam says OCP makes safety initiatives a priority. “Tool box talks” happen weekly on various safety issues. “The foreman and other supervisors will walk jobs and look for safety issues all the time,” she says. “They’ll track them, run a report per construction project and company-wide and then put together safety updates for our people.”

Drug testing is just a part of doing business as well. Pam says OCP does drug tests at the point of hire and randomly. The company has awareness training as well, regarding fitness for work, tackling everything from drug and alcohol use to sleepiness, which she says can all be deadly dangers on a job site.

Pam’s role as Vice President and CFO has also led to her involvement with the Northwest Ohio Chapter of the Construction Financial Management Agency (CFMA), where she has a chance to connect with other construction industry CFOs and professionals on healthcare costs and other issues. She says it is an invaluable opportunity to follow emerging industry trends, share challenges and best practices as well as hear from guest speakers on varying topics.

“Always learning…” she says. “CFMA brings experts in on various topics and we’re able to get job specific information on a regular basis.”   

So, where does your attention need to be when it comes to keeping healthcare costs in check? Our case study on OCP leaves us with this mini checklist:

  • Invest in the health of your people
  • Empower your employees to actively improve their health
  • Make safety a priority
  • Keep learning

There’s no question that the healthcare needs of the construction workforce are significant. There are a lot of very serious issues to address. “Yes, we need to work to keep our healthcare costs in check,” says Pam, “But we know in the end what’s equally important is that we have healthy, happy people.”

Gilmore Jasion Mahler works with many construction companies across the region, offering guidance and advisory services from tax strategy to risk advisory. Our quarterly newsletter On-Site also tackles many financial challenges specific to the construction industry. Sign up now to receive On-Site and stay informed on the issues impacting your business.

Toledo to Host CFMA 2017 Buckeye Regional Conference

CFMA 2017 Buckeye Regional Conference One Seagate BuildingFinancial executives from construction companies across several states will converge on Toledo this coming September for the 2017 Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA) Buckeye Regional Conference featuring presentations on top issues affecting the industry as well as impactful speakers.  

Randy Oostra, CEO of ProMedica will welcome attendees and discuss the impact of ProMedica’s move downtown to the revitalization of the city. Conference attendees will also hear from one of Toledo’s best known sports personalities. Day one keynote speaker will be Major League Baseball’s World Series baseball manager Jim Leyland. Harvin Moore, a national speaker on business ethics will be the day two keynote speaker, sharing his passionate story with the group.

The planning committee chose session topics for the conference based on high interest presentations at the National CFMA Conference. Buckeye Conference panel presentations will address timely issues including:

  • Cyber security
  • Employee engagement to reduce healthcare costs
  • How to improve contract profitability

The two-day event will take place Wednesday, September 27 and Thursday, September 28 in downtown Toledo along the Maumee River as the city sees growth and revitalization efforts increasing in the wake of ProMedica’s decision to relocate.

“We wanted to showcase the changes in downtown Toledo, so we’re holding the conference in the auditorium of One Seagate, using the newly opened and remodeled riverfront Renaissance Hotel for lodging,” says Gilmore Jasion Mahler’s Bob Bobek, chairman of the conference planning committee. “We’re also showcasing our world renowned Toledo Museum of Art with a free dinner and museum tour for conference attendees.”

The Regional Buckeye Conference was started by the combined efforts of the CFMA Cincinnati Chapter and CFMA Northwest Ohio Chapter. It is held every two years, with Toledo hosting every fourth year. The two chapters have a friendly ongoing competition to try to make the conference bigger and better each time they host. CFMA Buckeye Chapters include: Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Planning committee members for this year’s event include many active members of the CFMA Northwest Ohio Chapter including Pam Hepburn with OCP Contractors, Terry Moore of Miller Brothers Construction, Terri Goins with Spieker Company, Tom Walsh of Art Iron, Jim Lortie from USI Insurance Services, Ken Schreder from E.S. Wagner Co. and Matthew Harper of Eastman & Smith, along with Gilmore Jasion Mahler’s Bob Bobek.

Bobek leads Gilmore Jasion Mahler’s Construction & Real Estate team. A partner with Gilmore Jasion Mahler, he works with many clients within the contruction industry and is actively involved with industry advocacy groups on a local and national level.

Interested in attending the CFMA 2017 Buckeye Regional Conference? Access the conference schedule, hotel reservation information and other details here. We’ll see you in September!