National Conference on Career Pathways Coming to Indy

pathway confPostsecondary Pathways has been a multi-year series of regional events connecting educators and businesses throughout the state. BizVoice magazine featured a 2015 stop in Batesville and a March-April 2016 update on recent programs.

The topic is also prominent at the national level, with the National Career Pathways Network (NCPN) bringing its annual conference to Indianapolis and the JW Marriott in October. NCPN assists educators and employers involved in the advancement of career pathways, career and technical education, and related education reform initiatives.

The conference takes place October 5-7. Pre-conference workshops, nationally-known keynote speakers and more than 130 breakout sessions are featured. More than 1,200 participants are expected.



FBD to Host M&A Event

FBDLogo_DarkBlue_RGBIf mergers and acquisitions (M&A) are your game, Faegre Baker Daniels has an event you won’t want to miss.

The firm will conduct its third annual Indianapolis M&A conference on June 11 at the JW Marriott. The half-day event, with a post-reception, has featured powerful speaker lineups in its first two years.

Specific agenda topics will be released in April. Additional details are available.


The 2013 Best Places to Work in Indiana Are …

We're in the process of putting the finishing touches on the Best Places to Work issue of BizVoice magazine. What can I tell you that won't spoil the secret of where the 100 companies on the list are ranked in each of the four categories?

  • The 100 companies are a record, topping the 70 honored in each of the last two years. There's room for plenty more. If you apply and meet the Best Companies Group criteria in your benefit offerings — and more importantly in the eyes of your employees — you can join the fun
  • There are four categories, based on number of U.S. employees, in 2013 (and in ensuing years)

But you knew that already. What will you be able to read in this BizVoice?

  • Info about all 100 winners
  • In-depth profiles of the top three in each category
  • Columns from five honorees on what it means to be a Best Place to Work and how their organization has benefitted from previous recognition
  • Employees from 10 more businesses on the list, telling what they enjoy most about coming to work every day and which company perk is their favorite
  • A roundtable discussion with four companies that did not make the list in 2012
  • How some try to deal with "turning off the technology" and creating an even stronger work-life balance
  • Summary results from both the employer questionnaire and employee survey

For the rest, you will have to wait for the May 2 awards dinner at the JW Marriott, when 1,200 friends join us for a true Indiana business celebration. BizVoice will be online late that evening with the print edition on the way to your mailbox.

And if you're wondering why your company wasn't included — it probably didn't apply. The applications for 2014 begin in August. Learn more.

Terry Bradshaw Coming to Indy; Talks New Labor Deal

Being the sports nut that I am, it was pretty cool to interview NFL legend Terry Bradshaw last Friday for the Chamber’s BizVoice® magazine. The four-time Super Bowl champion quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers and current Fox NFL broadcaster  is the featured speaker at our 2011 awards dinner this fall.

The excitement over the Super Bowl coming to Indianapolis should be building come November 17 when Bradshaw takes the stage at the JW Marriott. He said to expect some good stories, reflection and humor in his speech entitled, “Why Not Your Best.”

Thankfully, today it now seems assured we will have a football season. When I spoke with Bradshaw, he didn’t hold back on his feelings regarding the labor negotiations between the players and owners, the general public’s perception of it and how things used to be:

“To a fan, it’s greed vs. greed, but I’ve wanted to tell the fan this for years, for decades: The players were held in bondage. They were like Exodus in the Bible. The Israelites wanted out and the pharaoh wouldn’t let them go, and finally Moses came and performed his miracles and set his people free. That’s kind of what happened with the players. We didn’t have the freedom to move from team to team, we didn’t know what players were making, and we didn’t know what the teams were making and whether or not that little $40,000 check I got at the end of the year should have been making $400,000 or $500,000. The (first) CBA (collective bargaining agreement) forced them to open up the books.

Like any worker out there, if you’ve got a four- or five-year contract and it expires, and some other organization says ‘We want you to come over to our place,’ the Indiana Chamber of Commerce doesn’t have the right to say, ‘Wait a minute, we have a right of first refusal.’ You take the best offer and you part company. It’s all about money; always is. If somebody offers you twice what you make now, you’re leaving. This is the American way; it’s capitalism at its best.

The players only get roughly two negotiation periods in a football career, because the average life is only four years, I think. I’m definitely more inclined to support the players in this.

When it’s all said and done, the players are still going to be taken care of. The older people (retired players) are going to be taken care of; the pensions are going to be taken care of. There’s a lot of great things. And that’s why the CBA is taking so long. I do not blame the players for taking their time as I would insist they do, to make sure. Because it’s 10 years before they can come back and revisit. ‘Well, you didn’t talk about the helmet issue,’ … then it’s too late.”

FINCH Soars: Economy Puts Up Little Fight for Indy Constructor

These days there are plenty of reminders of the economic downturn. This past weekend, while driving through Pendleton, I saw this sign in a small shop advertising its going-out-of-business sale:  “We fought the economy, and the economy won.”

Thankfully, that’s not the whole story in Indiana. Plenty of Hoosier businesses continue to grow and prosper. I offer the story of FINCH Constructors, an Indianapolis-based company that without any magic anti-recession potion (no, I don’t know where you can buy such a concoction) is experiencing positive growth.

“We stayed the course by taking care of our core customer base and understanding what our job is and what our goal is,” explains president and CEO Robert Finch. Top projects for FINCH Constructors right now include work at Eli Lilly (a FINCH customer since 1993) and at the downtown JW Marriott, which will open in 2011.

Finch says the family-owned and operated company continuously adds talent and technology so it can keep up with the clients it serves. Still, Finch goes back to the backbone of the company: strong relationships with core customers. 

“They believe in us and they’ve given us the opportunity to serve them. Since we understand their facilities and the systems, we owe it to them to be around at the end of today and tomorrow and the next day,” Finch shares.

So here’s to one of many Indiana companies that took on the economy and won.