Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Perspectives From Jack Schultz

Manufacturing Rebounding - Jobs Back to USA Largely unnoticed by the national media is the dramatic rebound taking place in the manufacturing sector, a favorite of Agracel. We've liked it since starting the company because of the way that gains in productivity get translated into higher wages that result in improving economic results for the Agurbs. In the last six months we've detected a trend in manufacturers moving production back from overseas plants. While the move back is as yet just a trickle, we expect it to pick up in intensity over the next several years. Since January, manufacturing jobs have represented 126,000 of the 982,000 (with 411,000 of those being temporary Census workers) total jobs added in the economy. While this rebound is still small in comparison to the 2.2 million jobs lost in the manufacturing sector since the recession started in 2008, again, it is a trend that is only beginning and will hopefully continue to pick up momentum. And, those gains in productivity? For the first quarter of 2010, non-farm productivity increased at a 2.8% annual rate, up 6.1% versus a year ago. This year-to-year increase represents the fastest increase in almost 50 years. Another reason we focus on manufacturing is due to the number of secondary jobs it supports, or the employment multiplier effect. Employment multipliers measure how job creation or destruction in a particular industry translates into wider employment changes throughout the economy. The employment multiplier in the manufacturing industry is much higher than in the rest of the economy. According to one study from the Economic Policy Institute, each 100 jobs in manufacturing supports 291 jobs elsewhere in the economy. In the business services sector, that multiplier is 100 to 154, and in retail trade, it is 100 to 88. We will continue to center our efforts on the manufacturing arena. All indications are that it is on an upward trend. Stay tuned! Sources:, Economic Policy Institute, First Trust Advisors L.P.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Rick Stephens-Founder of Horizon Hobbies

After an early career in educational publishing, Rick entered the hobby industry in 1980 working for a company that sold high end hobby products to U.S. retailers. He worked there for five years, learning the hobby industry while helping that company grow to become one of the largest distributors in North America. In 1985 the company was sold and soon after, Rick left to start Horizon Hobby, Inc. He and 3 other industry veterans started Horizon from the basement of Rick’s home. Today Horizon is a world leader in the design, manufacture, marketing, and distribution of hobby products. Major categories of product include radio control airplanes, helicopters, cars, trucks, and boats; model railroad equipment; plastic model kits; and general hobby items. Horizon has developed many of its own brands over the years including JR, Spektrum, Team Losi, Hangar 9, EFlite, Evolution, Saito, Hobbyzone, ParkZone and many others. Horizon sells to 2500 retailers in North America and 700 in Europe as well as consumers via the internet, and has distributors throughout the rest of the world. The company employs 650 people and has facilities in Champaign, IL; Ontario, CA; Harlow, England; Elmshorn, Germany; and Paris, France. Stephens’ passion for excellence in both corporate and non-profit environments and desire to teach leaders to become better leaders have been driving forces in his life for many years. Rick and Jeanene have been married for 38 years and have 3 married daughters and 5 grandchildren. He enjoys leading small group Bible studies, traveling, golfing, hiking, snowboarding and motorcycling. To Watch my interview with Rick CLICK HERE

Thursday, July 8, 2010

A Man for All Seasons- Dr. Thomas Ramage, President of Parkland College

Tom Ramage joined Parkland College in July of 1998 as Chair of the newly created Distance & Virtual Learning Department, responsible for developing and administering Parkland’s online course delivery systems and policies.

In 2001, he was named Associate Vice President for Academic Services and later, Information Services.

In July of 2003, Tom was named Vice President and Chief Academic Officer.

He received his Masters Degree in Education and Human Development with a specialization in Educational Technology Leadership from The George Washington University in 1998, and a Doctorate in Education with a specialization in Instructional Technology and Distance Education from Nova Southeastern University. His research focused on cost-efficiency and return on investment of online programs.

Since June of 2007, Tom served as the Interim President of Parkland College. The Board of Trustees appointed Dr. Ramage as Parkland’s 5th President in January, 2008.

He serves on the following boards: United Way Board, University of Illinois Employee Credit Union Board, and Champaign County Chamber of Commerce. To watch my interview with Dr Tom Ramage CLICK HERE