2019 Economic Forecast
Benchmarking for Excellence
Valley industrial Association
VIA JOB BOARD LAUNCHED
Economic Forecast Highlights
Valley Industrial Association
Keson LLC, &
2019 VIA Board Chairman
Dear Valued Members,
Happy New Year!
It is very humbling to serve as the new Board Chairman of Valley Industrial Association. Organizations don’t survive for 116 years unless they’re doing something right, and we are striving to build upon that legacy with an exceptional 2019. The VIA’s Mission is to bring you value by providing strategic resources, relevant educational programs, and networking/collaboration opportunities that help you meet or exceed your business objectives. Kathy, Sue, Trish and all the directors are very enthusiastic about what we have planned for the year ahead!
First and foremost, we are very excited about the upcoming Benchmarking for Excellence/Spark Awards. The main premise of this endeavor is to provide member companies with tools to assess how you are doing in critical areas of your business: Culture, Operational Excellence, Innovation, Workforce Development, Social Responsibility, and Safety. Once an assessment is made, the VIA provides many forums to share ideas, gain knowledge from experts, and learn best practices from each other. And, finally, we want to celebrate the progress and successes of member companies. This new emphasis allows for continuous growth over short-term and long-term time-lines. Understanding where some companies are succeeding, and others are struggling, allows the VIA to create programming that provides resources in areas of need while creating collaborative opportunities in search of best practices. Plus, the Spark Awards ceremony has quickly become one of the highlights on the VIA calendar. Please join us for a wonderful evening celebrating the good work of VIA member companies on Wednesday March 13.
Furthermore, based on extensive member feedback and input, the 2019 Programming line-up is kicking off and has something for everyone. Some of the highlights include:
· Stepping up to Lead (a great complementary course to 7 Seminars for Supervisors)
· Managing Teams
· Effective Personal Productivity
· Revamped Excellence Forums and Professional Groups for Industrial Executives, Financial Leaders, HR, Women in Manufacturing, Sales and Marketing
If you’ve been on the sidelines for a while, I encourage you and your company to get more involved in the VIA. The more you and your team put into it, the more value you will get out of your membership.
If you are already actively involved in the VIA – Thank You! Thanks for your participation, support, and collaboration. We are a stronger organization when we are engaged and working together.
Wishing all of you a healthy, happy, and prosperous 2019!
Greetings and Happy New Year!
The beginning of a new year is a perfect time to review, renew, and begin again - in many ways! And it's just what we have done here at the VIA.
We want our members to get as much value from our organization as they can! But in order to do that, we need to know how we can help you.
Do you need our shared resources, data, hot-lines and discounts?
Is it education for your team?
Are you looking for business development?
Connections to help you with your workforce challenges?
Do you support our values of supporting local, regional manufacturing?
One way you can help us know your needs is by completing the Benchmarking for Excellence Forms. Surely by now, you have heard of it?
Benchmarking for Excellence:
Deadline is Jan 7th end of day! Are you in?
10 (or 11) Multiple Choice Questions with full detailed answers for you to rank yourself in.
Opportunity to have instant feedback to see how to improve
All companies who complete the 6 will get their ranking within the Association applicants
Top Ranking companies will have a finalist interview for potential Spark Awards Recognition (March 13)
Sign in ... instructions are in the Member Portal
IF YOU DON'T need the results - then just do the surveys anonymously! That way we can add the data, and understand where you might need more support.
The VIA is a non-profit, committed to investing everything we can back into the organization, and always strive to magnify your investment in us. Please consider joining the mission, the parties and the forums. You are missing out on some great opportunities if you don't join us! Best wishes on a great 2019!
7th | Benchmarking for Excellence
17TH | Marketing: Strategy
22ND | Stepping Up to Lead - Week 1
23RD | Workforce Development Forum
25th | Innovation Forum
29th | Stepping Up to Lead - Week 2
30th | Executive Forum
READY to REACH MORE
VIA JOB BOARD/
5th | Stepping Up to Lead - Week 3
12th | Stepping Up to Lead - Week 4
13th | HR: Engagement & Retention Activities
15th | Member Breakfast
19TH | Stepping Up to Lead - Week 5
20TH | OSHA 10/30
21ST | OSHA 10/30
| Women of the VIA: Public Speaking Tips
27TH | OSHA 30
28TH | OSHA 30
by Rod Kelly
Chicago Fed’s William Strauss Expects Continued Economic Growth in 2019
Midwest Manufacturers Showing Strong Performance
NAPERVILLE, Ill., -- For nearly four decades William Strauss has been analyzing and interpreting numbers. Lots and lots of numbers. As a senior economist and economic advisor for the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Strauss looks at data to help forecast how the economy will fare in the future.
Truth be told, Strauss is looking forward to a future that includes more music. “I’ve always been interested in music,” he said prior to giving his keynote at the Valley Industrial Association Economic Forecast breakfast Wednesday. “I just don’t have time, but someday I look forward to picking up an instrument and practicing it.”
Until then, Strauss will continue to work on his computer keyboard to gauge where the economy is heading.
And today it is looking very strong based on economic indicators that are trending above what the Federal Open Market Committee (The Fed) sets as its baseline. One example is the real GDP, which is expected to be about 3 percent growth year over year whereas the trend benchmark is 2.0 percent. The Fed estimates GDP to grow by as much as 2.7 percent in 2019, 2.1 percent in 2020 and 2.0 percent in 2021.
“We are in the second longest expansion ever,” he said. “The economy has seen positive growth for 112 consecutive months, and by next July, if this trend continues, we will have the longest expansion period in history.”
Manufacturing is a big impetus for that growth, particularly in the Midwest. “It will be very difficult to sustain 3 percent growth, but it could happen,” he said. “It will probably have to rely on increased productivity as there just isn’t a workforce to draw from.”
Unemployment is at 3.7 percent, the lowest since December 1969. “We’ve only been below 4 percent unemployment nine times since 1969 and five of those months were in 2018,” said Strauss. The Fed estimates unemployment will hover between 3.4 and 3.6 percent in 2019, 3.4 and 3.8 percent in 2020 and between 3.5 and 4.0 percent in 2021.
Strauss said there are wage pressures as real wages have remained stagnant at about 1 percent when 2 percent inflation is factored in. He said increased productivity in 2019 may be the lynchpin to increase real wages, as much as an additional 1 percentage point. He said the Fed believes inflation will stay at 2 percent through 2021.
Despite tariffs, trade wars, and Ford and GM eliminating passenger car production, “The U.S. is still the strongest economy in the world,” he said.
That is music to our ears.
Roderick Kelly is co-founder of K+L Storytellers, a B2B storytelling and content company for culture-driven organizations and the storytelling agency for the Valley Industrial Association.
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It won’t be long before people start wishing winter is behind them. At Ball Horticultural Co., in West Chicago, that planning is already afoot. It’s the beginning of its busiest season. Trillions (not a typo) of seeds and cuttings are being shipped to growers and distributors around the world.
The third-generation, family-owned company, is a leading producer of ornamental seeds and cuttings in the world. It was founded by George Ball in 1905 in Glen Ellyn and moved to its West Chicago location in the 1920s. The campus is home to more than 400 employees, 10 percent of whom are scientists who work in labs to create new varieties of plants, as well as resistance solutions. Worldwide, Ball employs more than 4,000.
“Ball is a world leader in plant innovation,” said Mike Williams, human resources director with Ball. “Our global family of breeders, research and development teams, seed and vegetative producers, and distribution companies has a strong presence in 18 countries on six continents.”
Williams said the majority of Ball’s seeds and cuttings come from farms throughout South America and other parts of the world. Once they arrive in West Chicago, they are treated, counted, packaged and shipped.
Machine automation counts the seeds, some of which are as tiny as a pin head. Images from two different angles capture and count the “good” seeds as they are dispensed through the machine. The packaging is either in the form of small plastic tubes or in pouches. Orders are filled from around the world, with the U.S. being the biggest ornamental market for Ball. And the company’s busy season is in full swing. “We’re busy year-round, but the five months beginning in November, are even busier,” said Williams.
Ball Horticultural Colors the World
By Roderick Kelly
Talking Supply Chain
Ball sells its seeds and cuttings to greenhouse growers and distributors, which will then sell them to retail garden centers. The typical development cycle for a new plant product is five to seven years, said Williams. “We only focus on ornamental flowers and shrubs, not trees,” he said, during a recent Valley Industrial Association Tuesday Tours series.
Wave Petunias, Cool Wave® Trailing Pansies and Burpee Home Garden plants are a few brands consumers would recognize. All come from Ball.
Ball has five goals:
1. Color the world
2. Create excellence in the world of flowers
3. Always be the first choice of service
4. Improve cost position
5. Grow a green future
A stroll through Ball’s ornamental gardens while talking with our guide breathes life into these goals, and it’s a good lesson to live out our culture rather than relegating these points to a poster in the front lobby wall. Vibrant colors are everywhere. The company’s extensive quality program is central to Ball’s process. People working at Ball talk about plants the way some people talk about their favorite sports team — they are passionate! Being a third-generation story speaks to the company’s strategic acumen. There is no question that Ball is dedicated to the environment. Green IS their future (and ours).
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The HR Hotline was established to provide members with a place to find answers for human resource issues and questions. All VIA members have access to the HR Hotline, Monday to Friday, during regular business hours .
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Stepping up to LEAD
NEW Excellence Forums
Workforce Development Forum
OSHA 10 & 30 Hour
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joiN A COMMITTEE
If environmental issues arise, contact Gerry Trzupek, VIA’s Environmental Partner, at Huff & Huff, Inc. A leading environmental firm since the late 70s, Huff & Huff can answer your questions on a wide-range of topics, such as:
Industrial Wastewater Treatment
Water Quality Assessments; including providing baseline data prior to wastewater projects
Wetlands Characterization and Permitting, including Threatened and Endangered Species Studies
Remediation and Environmental Site Assessments
Hazardous and Solid Waste Management
Air Quality Management
Regulatory Compliance Reporting,
such as Form R, Annual Emission
Reporting, Tier II
Air Permitting, from ROSS sites to
Title V facilities
State and Local Noise Ordinance Issues
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Join us for our Events to network with your peers and potential business connections.
Help with many topics included but not limited to:
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Job Hazard Analysis
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We want to share member company "good news" and ask that you keep us informed so we can do so.
When you've got news or kudos to share, please drop us a note or call our office hotline at 630.892.4228.
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Join our Webinar on Jan 16th at 10am
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As the 10th President of the Valley Industrial Association, Kathy expands on her previous role as Membership Manager to work for the brightest future of the organization, so that the VIA can continue to best serve area manufacturers and the businesses that serve them.
Kathy brings an entrepreneurial spirit to the VIA having 20 years' experience as an upper level sales director for a Chicagoland kitchenware company. Rounding out her sales experience with an MBA from Aurora University in 2017, she has some fresh ideas and enthusiasm for the 116 year-old organization.
Trish Overturf has a long history of working in Special Events. Throughout her career Trish has found work in the production of large scale Professional Sporting Events. For the past 13 years her hunger and drive for events and meeting management came in the form of working in the education management industry. Trish’s 20+ years of skilled Event Production, Public Relations, Marketing, Customer Service, Fundraising and Public Speaking make her a perfect fit as the Program Manager for Valley.
meet the team
deals on new
Bronze Marketing Partner
Platinum Marketing Partners
Sue’s attention to detail and questioning nature has already proven to be of great service to the association. She is your go-to contact for all things VIA, from registering for a program, getting an invoice or collecting data for one of our surveys. Sue has an extensive background ranging from Insurance to Accounting, Business Administration, Sales, and Construction. Sue has a unique viewpoint and operates with a member-centered acumen. No challenge is too large to tackle, making Sue a boon for the VIA.