In this Edition... The Spirit of Competition!

In honor of the Fourth of July, the All-Star celebration in Kansas City, and the start of the 2012 Olympics, this issue highlights different aspects of competition and those who exemplify it in Labor.

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Mid-America Labor Management Conference's Keynote Speaker Draws Crowd and Connection

A Salute to the Military Spouse

The Mid America Labor Management Conference (MALMC) aims to bring together leaders from both labor and management to provide opportunities to build relationships, networks, and new skills. Through subjects like employment law changes, workers’ compensation, joint labor management pension issues, economic development tools, and many others, MALMC builds leadership amongst our workforce.

Enter Coach Gary Pinkel, University of Missouri Head Football Coach. Pinkel has led his Tigers to seven straight bowl games, eight overall, including last year’s win over North Carolina in the Independence Bowl. Under Coach Pinkel, the Tigers are one of six teams to post at least eight wins in the last six seasons. This is truly a testament to the type of leadership that Pinkel has provided for his players and will continue to provide as the Tigers move into a new conference, the Southeastern Conference (SEC).

“From the custodians to food service to athletic trainers, everyone has a role to play and they need to feel like part of the team if the team is going to win,” says Pinkel.

Pinkel was born and raised in Akron, Ohio. He is no stranger to the ways of labor. His father was a long time employee of General Tire, based in Akron. Through his father, Pinkel witnessed the hard work and dedication of an employee and how that has a positive impact on the longevity of a successful business.

As the keynote speaker, Coach Pinkel shared his insight on leadership and management. Year after year, he has been able to lead a diverse group of young men to work for a common goal. Labor and Management leaders quickly made the connection between the challenges of running a successful business and building a successful sports team.

"Coach Pinkel really built up the momentum for the conference and provided a lot of great advice that can be used for any organization or business," says Larry Rebman, Director of the Missouri Department of Labor.

For more about MALMC and other guest speakers, visit our website.

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The Legacy Continues

Apprenticeship Program Impacts Missouri Workers

Since 1897, automobile production has been the backbone of Missouri’s economy. With the collapse of the economy, the automobile industry fell. Because sales decreased, plants throughout the nation began to close. It wasn’t long before plants in our own backyard began to cut jobs and, ultimately, shut down.

In 2009, 112 years after production started, the fight to keep the auto industry in our state began. Knowing that automobiles were going to be produced somewhere, Missouri leaders and workers joined forces to ensure that the "somewhere" continues to be in Missouri. Through legislation from our leaders and countless labor hours from a workforce that is second to none, Missouri ensured that auto companies stayed committed to the state.

Ford initially announced it was going to invest $400 million but quickly upped the total investment to $1.1 billion for the Claycomo Plant. A couple of weeks later, GM announced that it was going to invest $380 million dollars in a new plant addition in Wentzville.

Not only will the impact be felt upon new hires at each plant, the ripple will spread across the industry to suppliers and manufacturers of other goods that will be used in the production of the automobiles. As Governor Jay Nixon said about Missouri, “We get up earlier, we stay later, and we compete.”

For the latest information on the auto industry in Missouri, watch our videos at Missouri Auto Industry: The Legacy Continues, check the Labor Department on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter @MOLabor.

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A SHARP Victory!

Child Labor: For Fair Purposes

For more than two years, Diesel Exchange, Inc., in Springfield, has been reaping the benefits of being one of the 37 exclusive members of the Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP).  Along with lower insurance rates and reduced out-of-pocket expenses, workplace-related injuries have decreased. These are true rewards to both the 56 employees and the diesel engine remanufacturer.

“Being a member of SHARP does give Diesel Exchange a competitive edge,” said Steve Nelson, Training Supervisor at Diesel Exchange. “SHARP makes our employees more aware of their environment and, in turn, they become more efficient.”

Not only does SHARP set your business apart from others, but you will become the model for others to follow. SHARP employers can receive a one to three-year exemption from Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) general inspections, as well as, lowered costs. The exemplary program is available for small business employers with 250 employers or less who participate in the Missouri On-Site Safety and Health Consultation Program.

With increased efforts to raise safety standards in businesses across the board, today’s employees recognize a safe working environment and show appreciation to companies that make a commitment to safety by becoming more productive. SHARP is a victory for both the company and the employee. Check out Labor’s SHARP site to learn more about the program and membership requirements.

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