Amy Black 2016-06-07 01:56:01
ASA Tackles Industry Workforce Need The Expanding Role of Women in Industry Last year, the ASA Education Foundation sponsored a workforce study to get the facts on the realities of our aging workforce and the challenges ahead. I don't think anyone was surprised to find out the industry is in desperate need of qualified employees in order to sustain business going forward. But to see the stats in black and white is surely a wakeup call for all of us. Here's what we learned: 200,000 - The current total employee count in the PHCP and industrial PVF industry. 50,000 - 25% of the current PHCP/PVF workforce will exit the industry in the next 10 years 100,000 - A staggering 50% will leave in the next 20 years. 8,000 - Less than 4% of our current workforce is under the age of 24. 50,000 - Only 25% of the current PHCP/ PVF industry workforce is women, yet the total available workforce consists of more than 50% women. That's the bad news. Here's the good news. The American Supply Association is working on many levels to help attract new and younger employees into this industry. Through a massive career initiative, ASA is reaching out to high schools, technical schools, colleges and military veterans to market, inform and attract new workers into our industry. And with a specific focus on capturing the attention of women, ASA formed the ASA Women in Industry Division about three years ago. As the fastest-growing division within the association, we've certainly struck a chord within the industry. Today's PHCP and industrial PVF industry not only is expanding at a rapid rate, it also is becoming more dynamic every day. ASA has represented an industry traditionally dominated by men, but we now are seeing more women entering our workforce and moving into leadership roles within the industry. Women leaders have blazed the trail for many more currently rising through the ranks of industry firms and ASA WII is here to support them on all levels. As a progressive trade group, ASA sees tremendous value in the expanded roles women are occupying. Collaboratively, we must ensure the path progresses and benefits our industry and member companies' profitability and performance. ASA WII will help to foster this growing employee base with a focus on how ASA can empower women and provide them with the opportunity to connect - through education, information and engagement. The division offers many opportunities throughout the year to network and learn. Held at the end of April, the annual ASA Women in Industry Spring Conference certainly is the highlight of the year. Just last month, 130 women from locations throughout North America came together to hear from accomplished and powerful women who offered their insight and vision to help boost confidence and the ability to succeed. Additionally, the division offers educational webinars and informational articles throughout the year on topics top-of-mind to the women in our industry. It also holds an annual networking reception in conjunction with ASA's annual NETWORK event every fall. As a way to stay connected to the new and younger generation of workers, the division provides promotional videos for the prospective workforce and its presence on social media helps to further connect and communicate our mission. A new Mentor Match program was just rolled out (see sidebar) to connect women early in their careers or those new to the industry with seasoned veterans to help navigate the day-to-day issues and concentrate on career development. We're also excited to announce a new initiative that you will hear more about in the coming year - a partnership with industrial distribution colleges to not only encourage more women to enter into the programs, but also to connect them with our member companies for employment. "Bringing women in our industry together, facilitating connection with other women to foster professional and personal growth and increasing visibility of women in our industry, which will support attracting women to seek careers in our industry, will benefit everyone in our industry," ASA Executive Vice President Michael Adelizzi said. "Over the coming years, as this group grows, ASA hopes WII will help women to connect with each other with the goal to increase involvement, visibility and broaden networking of women in the channel." But don't take it from us. Here is what members of the division are saying: "Women in Industry has been an incredible tool for my career these past three years." "WII is providing the professional connections and development opportunities that our up-and-coming female business leaders need to be successful in their careers." "I think this organization is such a benefit to all involved. Thank-you for always changing, updating and creating these resources and programs to suit our needs!" "Love the group and glad to see it is growing." "This was a very positive and meaningful experience. I was fortunate enough to bring some colleagues so that we can continue the conversation among ourselves until the next opportunity to network arises." "Being a woman in a male-dominated industry can be a little intimidating. It has been great to network with other women who are dealing with the same workplace challenges and share ideas on how to move forward." "Knowing that our work will help to attract more women into our industry is the ultimate reward." Be a part of the future of the industry. For more information on the division, or to join, visit www.asa.net/women-in-industry. Mentor Match The ASA Women in Industry Division is furthering networking and learning opportunities by facilitating informal mentoring partnerships for members. The division has helped to connect women throughout the country to help inspire them in their careers and pass on their knowledge. Rolled out at the recent ASA Women in Industry Spring Conference, more than 20 mentor matches were made to help with professional development. Dress for Success The ASA Women in Industry Division is proud to partner with Dress for Success, an international not-for-profit organization that promotes the economic independence of women by providing professional attire, a network of support and the career development tools to help women thrive in work and life. At this year's Spring Conference, women brought items to donate and also gave monetarily to the organization. The drive was a huge success and we will continue to forge our partnership with Dress for Success going forward! COURAGE: Continuing Onward Under Rigourous And Grinding Experiences By: Mike Staver, CEO - The Staver Group Judy House, the best boss I ever reported to, used to say to me, "Mike, the higher you move in an organization the less freedom you have." In any endeavor where you have people looking to you for leadership, they are watching you and waiting to see how you will respond to each situation you face. I work with organizations every day and encourage them to live and work courageously. In these turbulent times, it is critical that there be models in organizations for how to live and work in the culture. Courage is not just about living boldly - it's about the ability and willingness to take a stand and live that stand in the choices you make. If the people who work with you were given truth serum and asked to write down the three words that best describe the experience of working with you, what would those three words be? This month's tips are about how to demonstrate that courage and then hold others accountable for living and working courageously in the culture you call work. Courageous leadership: Stays focused on the desirable results and is unwavering in pursuing it. Removes the obstacles that stand in the way of achieving the result. Acts decisively and takes responsibility for the choices that they make. Avoids excuses and the people that make them. Listens openly and non-judgmentally. Here are action steps: First, clarify expectations in your mind. Communicate expectations that may be ambiguous. Collaborate in setting specific and measurable performance standards. Follow-up to hold people accountable. Mike Staver is the author of Leadership Isn't for Cowards (June 2012, ISBN: 978-1-118-17683-2, $24.95) and will be providing a General Session presentation on this topic on Thursday, Sept. 29 at NETWORK2016 at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. Go to http://www.mikestaver.com/author/ for more information on Mr. Staver and to www.asa.net/NETWORK2016 for full program details and registration information. Disposers - Suitable for Septic Systems? - YES! By Carol Baricovich, Director - Global Brand Communications and Government Relations, Marketing/Business Development - InSinkErator OVERVIEW Food waste disposers are installed in more than 60 million homes in the U.S. Most homes are connected to centralized sewage collection and treatment systems, but many use an onsite sewage treatment system, known as a septic system. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates 20% of U.S.¹ homes are on septic systems and 10-20% fail every year.² These failures potentially threaten public health and groundwater quality, so the EPA, local authorities having jurisdiction, and other organizations offer advice to prevent failures. This advice includes cautioning homeowners about using food waste disposers, some suggesting that homeowners eliminate or limit the use of a disposer.³ According to one report, no single organization collects data to evaluate the extent of failures. Based on information available from the National Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association and the National Environmental Services Center at West Virginia University, no data exists implicating food waste disposers for septic system failure... BACKGROUND Septic systems are essentially comprised of two components installed in series - 1) a solids holding tank and 2) a drain field. As wastewater flows into the tank, solid and particulate matter settles out, and the remaining water and soluble organic material flows into the drain field where it slowly leaches into the groundwater through perforated piping spread over a large area. About half the organic material remains in the solids holding tank where it continues to break down, but eventually the solids must be removed by a pumper. The wastewater entering the drain field flows over biofilms growing on the surface of the pipes and undergoes biological decomposition. Septic systems may fail for various reasons. The main culprit is improper design and maintenance. Some systems go without maintenance until it is too late and needs to be overhauled. If septic systems are properly designed and maintained, will food waste disposers overload the tank or drain field? According to the 2013 U.S. American Housing Survey, six million homes on septic systems have a food waste disposer in the kitchen. More than five million of these disposers were manufactured by InSinkErator (based on internal estimates) and no homeowner has lodged a complaint or claim that their disposer caused a septic system failure. No data exists to support the notion that disposer use leads to increased maintenance and septic system failure. ORGANIC LOAD Disposer use does add organic material to wastewater. This incremental amount is best measured as Total Suspended Solids (TSS) and Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD). Table 2 quantifies the concentration BOD and TSS of septic tank effluent which enters the drain field. It shows the incremental load of BOD and TSS from disposers is nominal, with or without an effluent filter. DEGRADATION OF ORGANIC MATTER Officials are concerned that food waste does not break down in the tank. However, food waste is readily converted to methane during anaerobic digestion with sewage solids at wastewater treatment plants. Septic tanks are unheated and unmixed anaerobic digesters. Even though septic tanks are slightly cooler than anaerobic digesters,5 decomposition of organic matter still occurs, just at a slightly slower rate. STATE REGULATIONS FOR FOOD WASTE DISPOSERS Only 12 states require designs for septic systems to include the additional loading from kitchen appliances. California Building Standards dictate systems be designed to accommodate solids loading from disposals, but do not specify the incremental requirement. Some states (CT, KY, NE and RI) specify increasing tank size while others (GA, IL, ME, MA and MN) specify increasing the tank volume from 30-200%. In New York state, the health department stipulates increasing the capacity to that of an additional bedroom. IN CONCLUSION Given that state requirements for increased tank volume and drain field size are at least as much as the incremental loading quantified by wastewater professionals, it is reasonable to state that as long as a septic system is properly designed, sized and maintained, the use of a disposer is appropriate for a septic system. ¹ American Housing Survey. 2013. Http://www.Census.gov/programs-surveys/ahs/data/2013/ ahs-2013-summary-tables/national-summaryreport- and-tables---ahs-2013.html. ² http://water.epa.gov/infrastructure/septic/ ³ http://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015 - 06/documents/septicsmart-week-flyer091113.pdf .. Wood, Yvonne A. and Brad D. Lee. "Septic System Failure." Http://www.ucanr.org/ sites/ceinyo-mono/files/111944.pdf. Accessed 2/9/2016. 5 Crites, Ron and George Tchobanoglous. 1998. "Small and Decentralized Wastewater Management Systems." WCB/McGraw-Hill. P. 314. ASA on the Road for Annual Blitz The American Supply Association's staff recently divided into four teams for its fifth-annual member and prospect blitz. The teams visited member and new member prospect companies throughout the Midwest, Great Lakes and Ohio River Valley. Each team met with the leaders of distributor and manufacturing companies for in-depth conversations about the benefits that ASA offers and to help them understand how to best leverage the association's programs and services. This road trip is a great opportunity to see exactly what each member does on a day-to-day basis and how they differentiate themselves from the competition. INNOVATION CORNER JUNE, 2016 You're In The Business Of Change Think! Think Hard! How are your customers changing? How about your markets? Your competitors? Your Employees? And even your suppliers? Shifts are happening all around us. Disruptive technology is changing how we sell, market, communicate and more. Our customers' requirements and expectations are changing rapidly. Competition - everyone continues to get better. Alternative channels provide customers with many different ways to buy the exact same widget. Margins continue to be squeezed - ours and our suppliers. It all suggests … if you're not in the business of changing your companie's nature and form - you're falling behind! You Can Do This Review these shifts (and come up with a list of your own) and determine if the rate of change and innovation in your organization is keeping up. If not, begin today.
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