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2001 Employer Poster Set - Is Your Business in Compliance?

Your business could be fined from a few hundred to thousands of dollars for not displaying the required Employee Posters.

The Alameda Chamber has the 2001 California Employee Notices available through our office at $18 per set. You will receive up-to-date versions of the 12 required posters printed on two, easy-to-display, 24"x36" sheets. The set also includes the OSHA Log 200.

Employers have the responsibility to display this information where their employees has access to it. Don't risk a large fine, when you can easily meet the requirement for $18.

Stop by the Alameda Chamber office at 1416 Park Avenue between 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday to purchase your set.


From Feb 2001 Chamber Newsletter

Training as an employee retention tool: "The Loyalty Investment"

There is no question about it...the rules of business have changed thanks in part to the advance of technology. But as with any type of advancement, and in this case societal, there are some growing pains along the way. These technological changes have virtually (pardon the pun) revolutionized the working environment of employees as well as the managers responsible for their success. Employees now live in a world full of new acronyms and euphemisms all relayed to them at warp speed.

As a snapshot of this new work environment, a pattern of insecurity has developed. This insecurity is exacerbated by the onslaught of M&A (our first acronym: Mergers & Acquisitions), the dot com cratering (our first euphemism: crashes) and the employment shift of cradle to grave service which, combined, wreak havoc on the longevity of employees.

This shift in corporate culture has, in fact, re-framed the perspective of employees replacing the thought of long-term employment to a du jour outlook. Remember when you looked at a resume and viewed one-year stints or "job hoppers" as being unstable? Now, that same resume is the model employee and long-term employment is viewed as an abnormality.

Despite these notions, however, a balance must be found to nurture this highly prized, invaluable human capital component of an organization. Balance is imperative on a number of levels. For instance, how do you create a future vision and direction without the long-term commitment of key personnel? How do you build creative teams to inspire innovation with unstable (meaning they may be gone tomorrow) team members? These questions, factored together, create the organizational need for training as an employee retention tool. Perhaps it is better to think of this training tool as a loyalty investment.

Studies are beginning to surface regarding what employees' value in a company. Rising to the top of the heap is an organization's willingness to invest in an employees' knowledge base. Once again, training and development is en vogue and this gives cause for celebration.

So, if you are currently faced with double-digit turnover, increased market growth and shareholders clamoring for high returns (or your customers!) where do you begin? Establishing a solid base with your key management personnel is one way to start. Whether you choose to call this Leadership Training or Team-Building, the training journey intersects on the same corporate road. Here are some tips to begin your successful training journey:

* Blueprint your vision. When was the last time you reviewed your Mission, Goals and Strategies? Establishing a clear Vision statement supported by continuously updated Mission, Goals and Strategies are critical to longevity. Including your management team in this process makes certain your vision is evangelized throughout the company.

* Create an environment of success. A survey conducted by the Department of Labor found that organizations which supported risk taking, collaboration, quality and security were peak performers and highly innovative. Thus, creating this environment of success is not a "window dressing" label, but one of survival.

* Develop employee enrichment through reward. Employee recognition is personal and must be celebrated as such. However, designing the correct approach requires a solid corporate culture base, which understands its most valuable asset....its employees!

Investment in training not only enhances your chances of retaining key personnel, it sets the future foundation of success for your company. Remember the words inscribed on the National Archives building: "The heritage of the past is the seed that brings forth the harvest of the future." Here's wishing your firm a successful harvest!

Submitted by: Melissa Mischak, the Chief Solutions Officer for Tsirigo's Orbit providing strategic business development to achieve increased sales, providing communication tools to stamp out consumer confusion, and the Ideashoppe training modules designed for management and project teams. For more info call 510-522-2884 or


The pain isn’t as bad in the East Bay

The downturn in the high-tech economy has so overtaken our news media that a visitor might think that all the high-tech companies in the Bay Area were folding their tents and slinking off into the night. Indeed, who is left? The answer is: most of us!

The East Bay, slow to blossom as a high-tech region, now has a critical mass of technology companies that represents a highly-diversified group, both deep and broad in its tech offerings. Once considered bedroom communities for both Silicon Valley and San Francisco, the East Bay’s technology community has developed in such a way that it is not feeling the pinch of the downturn as painfully as either of those regions.

Why not? What have we done better than those two powerful centers of technology and new business startups? It may be less planning than accident, but happy accident, nonetheless. John Woolard, CEO of Silicon Energy, puts it succinctly, "To start a business in the East Bay you have to have stronger fundamentals because the venture capitalists won’t come here."

Another major reason, according to Junona Jonas, General Manager of Alameda Power & Telecom, is that the neighborhood culture of the East Bay demands that decisions on growth be weighed with consideration for neighborhoods as well as businesses. She says, "Silicon Valley started as an agricultural area, and then technology burst onto the scene. As a single industry grew fast, there was little planning for that kind of growth. In a way, we were lucky, because we didn’t have the pressure to grow: we were the sleepy side of the Bay."

Jonas likens the East Bay technology growth to that of the "Friends of the Forest" model for tree planting: they don’t plant lots of a single variety of tree because it may become susceptible to blight. "There are more varieties of businesses in the East Bay because we weren’t focused on building a single industry here. We now have biomedical, pharmaceutical, genetic research, software development, internet infrastructure, networking, telecommunications and all the professional services that support them."

Woolard says, "I’m from the East Coast, where it’s very conservative. In the Valley they thrive on huge risks. A healthy balance is ideal. The East Bay is an incubator for that kind of balance. We’re far enough removed from the metrics of things like click-through and eyeballs to pay attention to fundamentals: revenue and cash flow."

The reality of the downturn, however, is that it does have an effect. Woolard, whose company recently cancelled its plans for an IPO, says, "This media hype is like a disease that creeps around; the rumors affect everyone." His response to his 195 employees? "We had an all-hands meeting in which we openly shared the financial plan and the budget with the entire company. We’d never done anything like that before, but now everyone understands our goals our objectives and our constraints."

Is the cancelled IPO a disaster? "Not at all. We have choices and options and no pressure at a time when it is basically irrational to go out with an IPO. We’ll follow our plan and grow with our revenues."

Submitted by: Meriby Sweet, CEO, Cynosure: A Business Accelerator, Inc., Chair, Silicon Island Technology Consortium, 2425 Webb Avenue, Suite 200, Alameda, CA 94501 510-522-5800


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