Nationally, 400 Chambers & Associations Support the Protecting Workplace Advancement and Opportunity Act
Posted on | May 2, 2016 | No Comments
Last week, the Tempe Chamber joined nearly 400 chambers and associations across the country to support the Protecting Workplace Advancement and Opportunity Act (S. 2707/H.R. 4773), seeking to overturn the Department of Labor’s proposed overtime rule for exempt employees.
April 25, 2016
TO THE MEMBERS OF THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS:
As representatives of all types of employers throughout the country, we urge you to cosponsor the Protecting Workplace Advancement and Opportunity Act (S. 2707/H.R. 4773) introduced on March 17 by Senators Scott and Alexander, and Representatives Walberg and Kline. This bill would prevent the Department of Labor’s disastrous overtime regulation from taking effect and would direct the Secretary of Labor to conduct a more detailed economic analysis to determine the impact on an array of employers before proposing a new rule.
Last July, the Department of Labor proposed a dramatic change to the regulations that determine whether a “white collar” employee (executive, administrative, or professional) is eligible to be paid overtime for any hours worked beyond 40 per week. Currently, if these employees are performing the “primary duties” of their classification and paid a salary more than $23,660 annually ($455/week), they are classified as exempt from being paid overtime. The new proposal would increase that salary to $50,440 annually ($970/week), and increase it annually.
If implemented, this higher salary will mean many employers will have to either increase their employees’ salaries to keep them exempt, or reclassify them as hourly employees and possibly pay them overtime. For many of our large and small employers, this regulation could mean a disastrous financial hit, or reduce the ability of many businesses to serve their customers. Read more
Posted on | April 29, 2016 | No Comments
Due to all of the budget action last week, there was little bill movement. With the budget expected to have been finished Friday evening, the remaining bills will be completed this week.
Senator Debbie Lesko (R-Peoria) and the solar industry announced that they will both withdraw their respective ballot efforts on net metering policy. Former Corporation Commissioner Kris Mayes was leading the charge for “Yes on AZ Solar”, a measure to freeze net metering policies in place for the next six years. In response, Lesko and the utility community began working on a proposal to compete on the ballot. It certainly looked like a contentious battle was brewing when Governor Ducey and his staff stepped in to negotiate an agreement between the utilities and solar industry to begin settlement talks. APS spokesman Hal Pittman said, “We’re open to engaging in constructive dialogue with SolarCity that benefits all Arizonans. Our goal, as we’ve stated, has always been to ensure fair energy policy for the state at affordable pricing for all of our customers, and sustainable solar for the long term.”
HCR2014 (minimum wage), a Republican-supported measure to increase the state’s minimum wage, passed out of the Senate Thursday with a vote of 20-9 and was sent to the House for approval. If approved by Arizona voters in November, employers would have to pay at least $9.50 per hour by 2020 and would preclude the cities from requiring a higher wage. It would also change provisions from a 2006 ballot measure that said that tipped workers can be paid $3 less than the minimum wage to say that they may be paid 65% of the minimum wage. Some Democrats have pointed out that this could lead to a decrease from what they are currently paid. “HCR 2014 takes into account the business owners’ perspective, providing employers predictability and certainty to be successful,” said Senator Yee (R-Phoenix) in support of the measure.
Arizona Legislature Update: Net Metering Proposed, Supreme Court Upholds District Maps, Prop 123 Up for Vote
Posted on | April 26, 2016 | No Comments
The East Valley Chambers of Commerce Alliance, of which the Tempe Chamber is a member, released a legislative update for April 2016.
This week in Arizona we are still waiting for the Legislature to introduce a budget. Though the session is supposed to run 100 days, Friday was day 103. There has been very little movement on the remaining bills and the Governor has not signed nor vetoed any others. Rumors are circulating that a budget may be introduced on Monday or Tuesday.
A ballot initiative that would freeze net metering policies in place for the next six years has been brought forward by former Corporation Commissioner Kris Mayes. “Yes on AZ Solar” would make utilities to pay solar users the full retail rate for excess energy and prohibit the utility from instituting demand charges to pay for their fixed costs. SolarCity has given $3 million to the IE backing the measure, Energy Choice for America, which is chaired by Mayes. APS and the utilities will be opposing the measure. “This is a ridiculous attempt by California billionaires to get richer by forcing higher energy costs on Arizona consumers. It works against Arizona families and is detrimental to sustainable solar in Arizona,” APS spokesman Jim McDonald said. The measure will require about 225,000 signatures by early July in order to qualify for the ballot.
While Commissioner Andy Tobin has shared decidedly neutral thoughts on the proposal, Commissioner Doug Little has come out opposed. He called the measure a one-size-fits all approach that would tie the hands of the Commission. “To me, to actually preserve a company’s business model in the Constitution of the State of Arizona is absolutely unprecedented. This is not about solar. It’s not about green. It’s not about anything like that. What this is about is the solar companies in California protecting their business model,” said Little. Read more
Posted on | April 20, 2016 | No Comments
by Margo Brown, Productivity Coach and Professional Organizer with Wave Productivity
Vision boards are an amazing way to visualize your future. It is a pictorial view of your goals and dreams.
But there has to be some action around the pictures or they become just that–pictures. A vision board is a visual starting point to where you want to be and go. What can you do with your vision board so you can be successful?
One of the most important questions you can ask yourself is–what is my next action. What do you need to do to take this (whatever the picture is) forward. Write down what you would need to do to be successful. I’ve shared my vision board as the image for this blog. You’ll notice in the left hand side is a picture of someone running.
My goal is to exercise at least once a week at the gym and to walk at least 5 miles per week with my dogs. The picture is there to remind me when I’m not exercising. It’s there to motivate me when I don’t want to jump up and down in my Zumba class or walk the dogs on a cold night. It reminds me that I have to get my sneakers on and get moving. Read more
Posted on | April 5, 2016 | No Comments
The East Valley Chambers of Commerce Alliance was part of a stakeholder meeting at the Capitol this week to discuss the concept of “Prosperity Districts”. The idea is to create a designated area governed by market forces and rule of law but free from an unspecified number of local, state, and federal regulations. The strike-all amendment to HB 2647 containing the concept language is not supposed to move forward this year but lays the groundwork for an interesting discussion over the interim.
Transportation Revenue Study Committee Moves Forward
While the Governor’s Office is requesting to legislative leaders that no bill be sent to the Governor’s Desk until the budget is signed, the Transportation Revenue Study Committee moved through the Republican and Democrat Caucuses last week. The bill, sponsored by Senator Bob Worsley (R- Mesa), establishes a surface transportation task force – a 2015 priority of the EVCCA.
Posted on | March 30, 2016 | No Comments
The Tempe Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce three finalists for the 21st annual Business Woman of the Year award. The recipient will be announced at the Women in Business Conference on May 25.
The award recognizes an individual’s excellence in their chosen field and demonstrated leadership within the community. The award honors those who serve as a positive role model to others and are active in community and Tempe Chamber programs.
The finalists for the 21st annual Business Woman of the Year award are:
Tracy Bullock is the President of Bullock Training & Development. After spending 30 years managing strategic development for Procter & Gamble, she now helps individuals develop themselves personally, so they can grow professionally, and in all areas of their life. Bullock serves as the facilitator for the Tempe Chamber Women in Business Mentoring Program, is past chair of the Business Development Council, and a member of the Coffee Connections Leads Groups.
Denise Hart is the Vice President of Marketing for Vestar, overseeing commercial real estate properties across the country, including Tempe Marketplace. Hart has a passion to serve as a leader for young women through mentoring and coaching, giving more than expected, never forgetting where she came from, inspiring others to be more than they thought they could be, and to live a balanced life. She is a member of Tempe Leadership Class XXXI and has served on the Tempe Tourism Office Board of Directors in various roles since 2003.
Dawn Hocking is the Director of Development for The Centers for Habilitation (TCH). Having worked for the organization for more than 25 years, she has dedicated her life to the Tempe community and looks for opportunities daily to make a difference in the lives of others. Hocking serves on the Tempe Chamber Board of Directors and Executive Committee, is past chair of the Women in Business Council, is an alum of Tempe Leadership, and mentors in our Women in Business Mentoring Program.
The recipient will be announced at the Women in Business Conference on May 25 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Phoenix – Tempe.
Last year’s recipient was Jodi Polanski of Lost Our Home Pet Rescue.
Please call (480) 967-7891 or click here for details or tickets. For additional details or to request an interview with any of the finalists, please contact Meghan Dorn at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted on | March 21, 2016 | No Comments
The Tempe Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce six finalists for the prestigious Business Excellence Awards. The recipients will be announced at the Tempe Chamber of Commerce Annual Luncheon on June 16.
The awards promote the advancement of responsible business leadership in the community and publicly recognize local businesses demonstrating a passion for excellence. The awards honor companies for success in business growth, employee development, community involvement and customer service.
The awards will be presented in two categories for Small and Large Business of the Year.
The finalists for the Business Excellence Award in the Small Business of the Year Category are:
ARCpoint Labs is a national leader in the drug testing field. Its three full-service toxicology labs in Tempe also offer alcohol screening, DNA & clinical testing, corporate wellness programs and employment background screening. It is among the fastest growing third party providers in its industry. ARCpoint Labs’ services encompass both on-site and off-site pre-employment, random, post-accident and reasonable suspicion drug testing. In addition, it serves many judicial, athletic, and medical clients along with American Airlines and US Airways.
Bullock Training & Development
Bullock Training & Development specializes in sales, management and leadership training for small- to mid-sized businesses. President Tracy Bullock managed strategic business development for 30 years with Procter & Gamble and now helps businesses owners, CEOs, and top sales people accelerate their competitive advantage in the Arizona market. She was presented a Lifetime Achievement Award, named Top Female Executive, and is noted in Cambridge’s Top 101 Industry Experts for her work.
In the 13 years since its founding, The Dhaba / India Plaza has become a comprehensive destination for Indian food and culture, serving more than one million customers to date. It has earned an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. Its focus on quality, the local community, customer service, music and dining resulted in their being selected as ASU’s only south Asian-approved caterer. Owner Raveen Aurora was selected by the National Restaurant Association as the Face of Diversity in Arizona for his leadership in promoting diversity and inclusion in the community.
The finalists for the Business Excellence Award in the Large Business of the Year Category are:
Caliente Construction was founded in 1991 by Arizona natives Tom and Lorraine Bergman. Over the next decade the company steadily grew, becoming an established presence and developing a strong and diverse customer base throughout the Valley’s private and public business community. After Tom’s death in 2005, Lorraine took over and weathered the real estate recession of the late 2000s. Today, it is an award winning company recently recognized as Arizona’s 28th largest contractor and as the 5th largest woman-owned business in Arizona
Edward Jones is a leader in the financial services industry with more than 7 million clients in North America and Europe. The company is focused on building personalized customer relationships and adheres to a quality-oriented, long-term investment philosophy. Locally, its Tempe campus employs hundreds of workers and conducts broker training and mutual-fund processing. It has 12,500 offices worldwide and is extensively involved with charitable causes including the Valley of the Sun United Way and Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
Tempe Mission Palms Hotel
The Tempe Mission Palms Hotel has been serving the community and its visitors since 1985. It is the #1 rated hotel in Tempe on Tripadvisor.com and received the Four Diamond AAA award for six consecutive years. It employs 200 people and was recently presented with the Conference Center of the Year recognition. It features a rooftop pool, and offers several restaurants including the award winning Mission Grille, Harry’s Place Lounge and poolside Cabana Bar & Grill.
The recipients of the 2016 Business Excellence Awards will be announced and honored at the Tempe Chamber of Commerce Annual Luncheon on June 16 at the Tempe Mission Palms Hotel.
Additional awards to be presented at the event are the Spirit of Tempe and Tempe Leadership’s Outstanding Community Leader.
Posted on | March 21, 2016 | No Comments
Prop 123 is a ballot measure that, if it passes, will settle a years-long lawsuit and put $3.5 billion into Arizona’s K-12 public schools over the next 10 years without raising taxes. Voting takes place on May 17.
The majority of the $3.5 billion funding comes from Arizona’s state land trust fund, an invested account that earns income annually and has nearly doubled in value over the past five years.
Voting YES on Prop 123…
- Injects an additional $3.5 billion into public schools over the next 10 years
- Doesn’t raise taxes
- Protects future generations of students
- Keeps quality teachers in Arizona
Posted on | February 24, 2016 | No Comments
Three recent victories for business were scored recently by the East Valley Chambers of Commerce Alliance, of which the Tempe Chamber is a member. As part or our commitment to the business community and our membership, we regularly advocate for a favorable business climate through interactive public policy engagement. Additionally, we provide ongoing representation in government at local, state and federal levels.
Career & Technical Education Funding Signed Into Law
The Legislature passed and Governor signed SB 1525 this week. The bill reverses, retroactive to July 1, 2016, a 7.5% reduction in funding for Joint Technological Districts and funding for school districts and provide vocational workforce training for future employees. The much-needed bill is estimated to cost the State General Fund approximately $30 million. The East Valley Chambers of Commerce Alliance supported this bill.
Unemployment Insurance Reforms Pass Commerce Committee
One of the East Valley Chambers of Commerce Alliance priorities is limiting the number of appeals in unemployment insurance cases. The House Commerce Committee passed HB 2222 this week. The bill includes a provision that eliminates one of the appeals board steps when a claimant or business applies for a judicial review. The bill continues moving through the legislative process.
Diesel Fuel Tax Increase Stopped
While the bill passed out of committee, the East Valley Chambers of Commerce Alliance successfully beat back HB 2493, an effort to increase the gas tax on all diesel fuel trucks weighing less than 26,000 lbs. The bill would have increased the tax from $.18 per gallon to $.26. Thanks to the Alliance, the bill will not move through the Rules Committee unless turned into a study committee on the issue.
Learn more about how the EVCCA is working on your behalf.
Posted on | February 22, 2016 | No Comments
by Desirae Noonan, Express Employment Professionals
Express Employment Professionals today released new survey results indicating that more than two-thirds of recent college graduates stay at their first career jobs for one year or less.
The findings come from a survey of 134 Express franchisees across the nation. Respondents were asked, “How long does the average recent college graduate stay on their first career job following graduation?” A “recent college graduate” was defined as an individual graduating within the last 18 months.
Three percent said “less than three months,” and 10 percent said “three to six months.” The majority, 58 percent, said “seven months to a year,” while 29 percent said “more than one year.”
In 2014, fewer respondents (23 percent) said “more than one year,” while more (63 percent) said “seven months to one year.”
Full results are below, including results from the 2014 and 2013 surveys.
“Due to the high cost of training, hiring and turnover, keeping our employees engaged and happy is key to getting recent college graduates staying in a job for longer than one year,” said Desirae Noonan, Branch Manager of the Tempe Express office.
The survey of 134 Express Employment Professionals franchisees was conducted in July 2015. Earlier surveys were conducted in 2014 and 2013.
Express Employment Professionals generated $3.02 billion in sales and employed a record 500,002 people in 2015. Its long-term goal is to put a million people to work annually. The Tempe Express office is located at 1342 W. Warner Road Suite 102 and serves the Southeast Valley.
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