The Top 4 Ways to Avoid Cold and Flu This SeasonCold and Flu Season is officially here, and, unfortunately, cold and flu viruses are extremely contagious. BUT, if you are careful and consistent with your preventative care, you definitely have a good shot at avoiding these illnesses.
- Wash Your Hands and Use Hand Sanitizer — a lot. No matter what line of work you’re in, if you come in contact with people who are contagious, or even objects they may have touched, you have to wash your hands over and over throughout the day. ESPECIALLY if you know you were near someone who is sick. To completely get rid of viruses from your skin, you need to scrub hard for 20 seconds or more. A good way to time yourself is to sing “Happy Birthday” twice while scrubbing the backs of your hands, your palms, between your fingers, and under your nails.When you are not near a sink, rub an alcohol-based hand sanitizer onto your hands.
- Don’t Touch Your Face. Cold and flu viruses enter your body through the eyes, nose, or mouth. Touching your face is a major way children AND adults catch colds. Many people have a habit of touching their hands to their face throughout the day – resting your hand on your chin, rubbing your eyes, or even biting your nails– be very conscious where your hands are and if you have washed them.
- Sanitize your environment. If you’re in an environment where germs could be lurking, which you most likely are, sanitize things that may have been touched already- doorknobs, light switches, faucets, refrigerator handles, keyboards, etc. Some people may think it is hyper-vigilant, but if you really don’t want to catch it – better safe than sorry!
- Keep Up A Healthy Lifestyle To Boost Your Immune System. Get adequate rest, exercise on a regular basis, eat foods that give you energy and make you feel well – especially vegetables and fruits. Watch your alcohol consumption. Heavy alcohol use suppresses the immune system in a variety of ways and dehydrates the body.
Cold & flu season creating staffing challenges for your business? Let Allied help! Contact us today.
With a strengthening economy and low unemployment comes a potential labor crisis.
Companies in Lehigh and Northampton counties are hiring and plan to continue hiring over the next year, but if the problem of finding the skilled workers necessary to fill these positions persists and nobody takes action to address the issue, the region could see a deficit of nearly 10,000 workers over the next decade.
Over the next decade, the number of baby boomers leaving the workforce is 90,665, while the number of incoming workers is 80,673.
That’s according to the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corp., which Thursday afternoon released the final report of a yearlong regional study that polled more than 300 companies in Lehigh and Northampton counties on questions related to skill needs, hiring plans, workforce challenges and other factors.
With Lehigh Valley-specific data in hand, economic development and workforce officials say they are poised to capture a greater understanding of how to find the right people for the right job.
“This data is the first time we’ve had Lehigh Valley specific data,” said Don Cunningham, president and CEO of LVEDC. “It’s really saying the Lehigh Valley is in the category of most of the strong growth regions in the country. Demand for skills is increasing.”
At an event that attracted about 200 people to the Blue Grillhouse event center in Bethlehem Township, officials involved in the Education & Talent Supply Study disclosed the findings from the data they gathered over the year. State grants funded the majority of the study.
The Education & Talent Supply Council formed in 2015 to meet, discuss and work on these labor issues and had participation from local schools and colleges, said Mark Erickson, president of Northampton Community College and chairman of the council.
FIVE TARGETED SECTORS
In 2017, LVEDC and the Workforce Board Lehigh Valley hired MDB Insight, a Toronto consulting firm, to conduct the study that included interviews, focus groups and surveys with businesses from five targeted industry sectors and other stakeholders.
That same year, LVEDC hired Karianne Gelinas for a newly created position, director of talent supply. Gelinas helped to gather the data and worked closely with the council.
The targeted sectors are manufacturing; high-value business services; life sciences; transportation, warehousing, logistics and wholesale; and health care. The data are only from companies in these fields, and the council chose these sectors because they said they demonstrated the greatest employment needs.
“They already employ a large sector of our workforce and they are poised for growth,” Gelinas said.
Having strategies to help these growing employers is critical to the region’s economic health, Gelinas said.
COMMUTING IN AND OUT
The study also used Census Bureau data, which showed there are more Valley residents commuting outside the region to work than there are out-of-area commuters coming into the Valley to work.
Data revealed 91,230 people work in the Valley but live elsewhere, while 186,170 people live and work in the Valley. Furthermore, the data showed 99,138 people live in the Valley and work elsewhere.
“That number used to be way out of balance,” Cunningham said, saying many more residents commuted out of the Valley to work elsewhere. The council would like to broadly identify those 99,138 people leaving the Valley each day to work, their skills and where they are going, he added.
QUALITY WORKERS ARE PARAMOUNT
LVEDC, an organization focused on attracting new companies to the Valley and retaining existing ones, is finding that businesses are increasingly more concerned with the quality of the available workforce than they are location, according to Cunningham.
“The availability of skilled labor and gaps between existing workforce and skills that today’s employers need are critical economic challenges,” he said. “This is not just a Lehigh Valley issue.
“It’s a common concern in growing communities across the United States during a period of rapid technological change and historically low unemployment levels.”
NINE IN 10 TO HIRE
A majority of surveyed employers said they have had difficulties hiring. The study showed 71 percent said their company has experienced challenges in recruiting, hiring or retaining workers over the past year.
The study also showed 91 percent of employers said they have hired workers within the past year, and 89 percent said they plan to hire within the next 12 months.
“The constant that we see across all our clients is, the skills gap affects everyone,” said Susan Larkin, vice president of Allied Personnel Services, a staffing agency in Allentown and presenting event sponsor. “The need for this study is clear.”
Larkin said she has not seen a labor market like this one. Her firm has experienced many different labor markets over the years and is one of the Valley’s largest employers.
Now with the survey complete and the data released, the council will examine 36 recommendations that MDB Insight identified, including nine that LVEDC views as the highest priority for taking immediate action.
These include conducting more tours of local businesses for the community and school officials, developing a more targeted mentorship program and finding out where residents go who leave the region for educational opportunities elsewhere. The full study and recommendations are available at LVEDC’s website.
“We are trying to look forward and put some framework in place,” Cunningham said. “We have to understand it to be smart.”
Source: Lehigh Valley Business
Did you know that today marks the birthday of Bugs Bunny? There’s a lot to learn from this rabbit…
1) Be curious. His “What’s Up Doc” catchphrase teaches us to be inquisitive of others.
2) Be fearless. Bugs was brave, he was never shy, and he was quick to match wits with anyone giving him a hard time.
3) Be a creative problem solver. There was never a pickle Bugs couldn’t find his way out of.
4) Be prepared. Bugs always knew what his pursuer (usually Elmer) was plotting and planned and prepared to remain two steps ahead of him.
Feeling nostalgic for Bugs and his buddies (Elmer, Sylvester, Yosemite Sam, Foghorn Leghorn, Daffy…)? There is no better rabbit hole on YouTube to fall into than Bugs’.
Come and learn about these great long-term job opportunities for experienced forklift operators. Can’t make it to the job fair? Stop by our office at 752 Union Boulevard in Allentown, call us at 610.821.0220, or apply online. Don’t miss this chance to get your foot in the door at one of the Lehigh Valley’s top companies!
One of our favorite things to do during the holidays is giving back to the Lehigh Valley community. It brings us such joy to help those in need of a little extra holiday cheer. This year Allied partnered with Valley Youth House to collect gifts for 12 children and teenagers. We are thrilled to see our lobby filled with presents – one of our largest collections to date!
Allied Personnel Services has again been named Best Employment Agency in the 2017 Morning Call Reader’s Choice awards.
This is the 11th Reader’s Choice win for Allied. Thank you to all of our employees and customers!
Looking for employees? Contact us to learn about our staffing solutions.
A total solar eclipse visible in the United States is rare – and precious, just like your vision.
When the moon crosses in front of the sun on Monday, Aug. 21, skies will darken, stars will twinkle and millions of Americans will be treated to an astronomical show last observed in the U.S. in 1979. The only safe way to look directly at the sun is through special-purpose solar filters, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
These special filters are used in eclipse glasses and hand-held solar viewers. Eclipse glasses are available for purchase at big-box stores, electronics supply outlets and online. Look for glasses that carry this certification insignia: ISO 12312-2.
“The concern over improper viewing of the sun during an eclipse is for the development of ‘eclipse blindness’ or retinal burns,” said associate professor of optometry Dr. Ralph Chou in an article published by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
Chou said children and young adults are most at risk as bright light and radiation from the sun can cause heating and cook the exposed tissue of the eye. The aging process can provide a natural filtering effect in older people and reduce risk of retinal damage.
Set Rules for Your Viewing Party
In Eclipse 101, NASA outlines do’s and don’ts of viewing the eclipse:
- Do not look directly at the sun
- Do not use homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark sunglasses
- Use special-purpose solar filters, such as eclipse glasses or handheld solar viewers, to view the eclipse
- Read and follow filter instructions and supervise children
- In any stage of eclipse, do not look at the sun through a camera, telescope, binoculars or other optical device, and never use solar filters with these devices, as concentrated solar rays will damage them and can cause serious eye injury
- Inspect your solar filter before use; if it is scratched or damaged, discard the filter
- Pinhole projection is a safe way to view the sun in indirect fashion; Exploratorium provides instruction on “How to Build a Sun Viewer” and other methods of safely viewing the sun
Who Will Be Able to See the Eclipse?
Everyone in America will see at least a partial eclipse. Those living inside a 70-mile stretch known as the “path of totality” will see the total eclipse when the moon fully covers the sun.
A downloadable map produced by NASA plots the total eclipse course through 14 states, beginning in Oregon and ending in South Carolina. NASA projects the longest duration of totality will be near Carbondale, IL, where the sun will be completely covered for about 2 minutes and 40 seconds.
Times for partial and total eclipse viewing vary depending on your location. NASA’sinteractive map allows you to click on any point in the U.S. and check peak times for viewing in your area. For example, the eclipse in Carbondale will begin at 11:52 a.m. CDT, with maximum eclipse at 1:21 p.m.
How Often Do Solar (or Lunar) Eclipses Occur?
The range is from two to seven eclipses each year, according to EarthSky.
- One calendar year has a minimum of four eclipses, two solar and two lunar
- The last time there were seven eclipses in a single year was 1982, and the next time will be 2038
- Few people see the shallow solar eclipses that occur regularly in the Arctic and Antarctic regions
After Aug. 21, the next total solar eclipse will be July 2, 2019, in South America.
Allied Personnel Services is a proud member of the National Safety Council.
Allied Personnel Services has been named Best Employment Agency in the 2016 Morning Call Readers’ Choice awards. This marks the 10th win for Allied, confirming our status as the leading staffing company in the Lehigh Valley.
Thank you to all of our clients and employees that voted for us. We are proud of our service to the Lehigh Valley over the last 32 years and look forward to our continued commitment to our community.