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Tri-County Business Journal 11630 Chillicothe Road, Suite 110 Chesterland, OH 44026


DO NOT DELAY Deliver by July 12, 2011


21


CELEBRATING YEARS


INSIDE PRSRT STD


U.S. POSTAGE PAID


Sandusky, OH Permit No. 10


OPINION: HEALTH INSURANCE RATE HIKES HIT HARD, PG 4 July/August 2011


FOCUS EDUCATION & TRAINING


WITH A DISMAL JOB MARKET AND UNEMPLOYMENT RATES, COMPANIES IN NORTHEAST OHIO AND NATIONWIDE TURN THEIR FOCUS TO


EMPLOYEE TRAINING 10 I


by Kay Bryson


n an effort to turn around the country’s dismal job market, President Obama recently an- nounced a program to train 10,000 engineers every year through a public-private partner- ship. The national unemployment rate hovering around 9.1 percent is an unacceptable level to the president, who is banking on accelerated employee training as one way to- ward solving the problem. § “Today, the single-most serious economic problem we face


is getting people back to work,’’ the president says. “We stabilized the economy, we prevented a financial meltdown, and an economy that was shrinking is now growing ... but I’m still not satisfied. I will not be satisfied until everyone who wants a good job that offers some security has a good job that offers security.’’ § The president’s policy recognizes that employee train- ing is essential to small business health and long-term economic growth. It’s a con- cept that successful businesses adopt as an investment in their company’s future, rather than thinking of it as an expensive, but optional, cost of doing business.


See TRAINING page 6 INSIDE


2. Awards & Honors 3. Be There, Do That 4-5. Opinion 8-10. Business Briefs 10.Movers & Shakers 11. Business Profile 12. Focus: Human Resources » 12. Focus: Lake County


WWW.TRICOUNTYBUSINESSJOURNAL.COM Stewart


Unsdorfer of Central Heat- ing and Air Conditioning in Richmond Heights.


PHOTO


COURTESY OF POLLACK STUDIO


Customer service leads to growth for Unsdorfer


by Maria Shine Stewart T


he local economy has been as cold as a Northeast Ohio winter for some time, but business has been hot the past three years for


Stewart Unsdorfer. Owner of Central Heating and Air Con-


ditioning in Richmond Heights, Unsdorfer attributes part of his business success to taking the reins back from a sales repre- sentative after revenue plummeted when the economy took a nosedive. As a result, business has grown to the


point that 235 furnaces and 220 air condi- tioners were installed in the past year. This


has been despite the economic downturn and accompanying home foreclosures with decreased demand for heating and air conditioning sales and service. In such homes, equipment has been


neglected. As a result, furnaces and air conditioners that are underused or poorly maintained may become damaged due to rust and excess humidity. This sad picture can be reversed, how-


ever, as houses are brought back to life. “We’re getting calls from investors who are rehabbing houses,” Unsdorfer says. Despite his recent success with resi-


dential customers, Unsdorfer has started building a commercial client base. Lake Metroparks is a newer client, with a proj- ect completed in recent months.


See HOT SPOT, page 3


5 Find the right space. Select a training location that’s conducive to learning. Choose an environment that’s quiet and roomy enough to spread out mate- rials. Make sure the space is equipped with a computer and projector, so you can present a visually stimulat- ing training session.


4 Choose quality instruc- tors and materials.Who you select to conduct the training will make a major difference in the success of your efforts, whether it’s a professional educator or simply a knowledgeable staff member. Having the right training materials is also important.


See top 3 tips inside, page 6


John Carroll University offers incubator businesses room to grow and creative outlets,page 7


PROJECT TO BRING 1,200 JOBS, $50 MILLION PER YEAR AND TALL GRASS TO OHIO page 3


Business owners need training, too, and Lakeland Community College is helping out,page 7


FOCUS EASTERN CUYAHOGA


A local hot spot in a chilly economy


Five challenges managers and supervisors face, plus practical ways you can deal,page 7


8 Promote a culture of learning. In today’s fast- paced economy, if a busi- ness isn’t learning, it’s going to fall behind. Communicate your expectations that all employees should take the necessary steps to hone their skills and stay on top of their professions or fields of work.


7 Get management on board.Once you have de- veloped a prioritized list of training topics that address key needs within your com- pany, you need to convince management to rally behind the initiative.


6 Start out small. Before rolling out your training program to the masses, rehearse with a small group of users and gather their feedback. This sort of informal benchmarking ex- poses weaknesses in your training plans and helps you fine-tune.


Tips to launching your employee training program


10Stress training as an investment. The reason training often is considered optional is because it is thought of as an expense rather than an investment. While it can be costly up front, it's a long-term invest- ment in the development of human resources.


9 Determine your needs. As you probably don’t have unlimited time or funds to execute an employee train- ing program, you should de- cide early on what the focus of your training program should be. Repeat this process as your business needs change.


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