Good Workers From Unusual Sources

Transitions: CAI

Corrections or additions?

These articles by Catherine Moscarello were prepared for the

October 11, 2000 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

Solar Business: Home Tour 2000

Cassandra King’s fondest hope is that New Jersey

residents will soon clean up all the pesky smudges and soot that

lingers

around the electric switchplates in their homes and businesses. Those

who maintain that they have found the strongest cleaning solution

for that thankless task won’t even begin to measure up. King is Senior

Program Manager for the New Jersey Office of Sustainable Business

and the dirt she wants to eradicate is the kind that emanates from

non-renewable energy sources (609-633-3674, www.bgnj.org).

"It’s a common fallacy that the public believes electricity is

clean. When people flip the light switch or push the button that

starts

their morning coffee, they don’t think about the big smokestack

spewing

pollution out of a power plant. They just don’t make that

connection."

In an effort to underline that link in the minds of builders,

architects,

and anyone considering building a new home or business, King’s office

will join forces with Fully Integrated Residential Solar Technology

Inc. (FIRST Inc.) in conducting a tour of solar energy businesses

and solar-powered homes on Saturday, October 14, from 10:30 a.m. to

4 p.m. (For directions, information and to register, call

609-633-8465.)

Promising fun, information, and, believe it or not, a free lunch,

the tour itself is free and starts out from WorldWater Corporation

at Pennington Business Park.

Tour-goers will begin with a look at WorldWater, a company that

provides

remote solar electric systems internationally (www.worldwater.com).

Following that, a behind-the-scenes visit to Energy Photovoltaics

Inc. (EPV) gives insight on the research company on Bakers Basin Road

that develops thin film photovoltaic technologies (solar electric

panels, www.epv.net).

Skeptics who doubt the value of renewable energy should prepare

themselves

for a conversion experience at the next stop. Lyle Rawlings,

founder and president of FIRST Inc., will conduct a tour of his

totally

off-grid home built in 1991. Rawlings’ home does not have a hookup

into any commercially produced electric power (U.S. 1, March 16,

1994).

Anyone unable to join the early part of the tour is welcome to begin

with lunch in Rawlings’ Hopewell residence at 12:30 p.m. and continue

with the three remaining passive solar designed homes of Bill

Stansley

and Laura Sanders in East Amwell; Alice Celebre in Ringoes;

and Cynthia and Mark Miller in Solebury, Pennsylvania. All the

stops on the tour were selected not only for their close proximity

but also for their emphasis on the power of one to reverse the

nation’s

current reliance on foreign oil.

While fuel prices climb steadily and predictions for over-the-top

home heating bills looming during the approaching winter, is there

anything individual homeowners can do at this stage to make a

difference?

"Yes," says King, referring to the new program that allows

consumers to shop among competing sources for their electrical energy.

"Every customer who selects `green power’ makes more of a market

for 100 percent renewable energy."

Present day rules for choice do make "green electricity" a

hard market to break into but King says, "For me, it was so

obvious.

Switching to renewable energy is a way for me to choose a better

future

for my child. Using solar energy frees us from dependence on foreign

oil. Our economy is strongly connected to our energy uses and that

places us and our national security at risk. Besides, there are huge

environmental benefits. Consumers switching from fossil fuels could

eliminate one-third of New Jersey’s air pollution."

After graduating from Rutgers University in 1991 with a BA in history,

King worked as a marketing specialist for Emmanuel College in Boston.

She returned to Rutgers for a year and a half of course work in

engineering

and environmental science providing a strong background for her work

as a consultant for GPU Energy in its process of obtaining permits

and designing pollution control equipment. She gained experience with

national energy efficiency and sustainable construction issues at

the Washington, DC-based Building Codes Assistance Project. That,

along with her involvement as a consultant for various real estate

investment and management projects, laid the groundwork for her

present

position working with New Jersey companies to institute sustainable

initiatives and developing policy relating to clean energy, clean

transportation and sustainable building.

Retrofitting an older structure for passive solar collection is

possible

of course, but King agrees that incorporating solar power into the

design of a new home is the best way to go. "When you build a

home that takes advantage of all the possibilities for solar energy,

you are paying, in effect, for all of your electricity usage for the

next 30 years. It is a large investment up front. It’s a commitment.

The good news is that we’re finding that there is an increase in the

global use of solar power. As the technology improves and becomes

even more efficient there is an exponential decrease in the cost of

providing that energy."

— Catherine Moscarello

Top Of Page
Good Workers From Unusual Sources

Advice columnist "Dear Abby" often counsels

readers who are looking for suitable life companions to venture out

of the usual bar scene with its predictable inhabitants and to break

into new territories where people with varying interests are more

likely to congregate. It boils down to lifting your sights from the

same old area where you will find the same sort of public. In the

courting ritual between employer and employee, especially in the

current

tight labor market, companies would do well to follow Dear Abby’s

advice.

"Finding and Keeping Good Workers: Nontraditional sources of

labor"

investigates some tried and true methods employers might try along

with some not-so-obvious but also true ways of searching out the right

employees for the right openings. Jeff Stoller, vice president

for human resource issues at the New Jersey Business & Industry

Association,

will highlight some areas that have been there all along but before

now just have not been targeted in the search for workers. The

program,

sponsored by the Human Resources Management Association, is Monday,

October 16, at 5:30 p.m. at the Yardley Inn. Cost: $35. Call

609-737-0426,

ext. 116.

A graduate of Hamilton College, Stoller earned both an MBA and a

master’s

degree in regional planning at Cornell University. After working on

the staff on both the federal and state levels (at the United States

Senate and the House of Representatives, and in the New York Senate

and State Division of the Budget) Stoller joined NJBIA in 1983.

Representing

more than 16,500 New Jersey employers, NJBIA is the largest state

business lobby in the nation, and Stoller’s main focus there is to

follow legislation and regulations affecting labor issues such as

job training, workers compensation, unemployment insurance, and

workplace

safety (609-393-7707, ext. 209, E-mail: jeffstoller@njbia.org).

Stoller says companies need to ask some critical questions when they

are searching for good employees:

What exactly is the job?

Who can I reach to fill this job?

Who are the people who can do it?

Where can I find them?

What will make the company more attractive to them?

What do I need?

What do I really need?

Starting with the basics, Stoller says that the definition of

a good employee covers two main components: 1.) Trained individuals

with the necessary technical skills to perform the job. 2.) People

who possess fundamental workplace skills such as consistent

attendance,

promptness, self-control and emotional maturity and an ability to

work with others,

So where’s a good place to look? Stoller recommends some close-at-hand

sources for trained and disciplined people.

Retired soldiers. New Jersey is home to a large number

of military personnel, retired military, and reservists who have the

necessary scientific and technical skills along with the discipline

employers are searching for. "They’re trained, they’re

disciplined,

they are still young enough to be willing to embark on a new

career."

Vo-techs and guidance counselors. Another good resource

is the guidance department of local high schools, community colleges

and vo-tech schools. "Sure, workers have come to us out of these

areas before but in a state experiencing its lowest unemployment rate

in 30 years, hiring officers didn’t need to reach out to them in the

past," says Stoller (www.njbia.org).

Retirees are another group that approach the marketplace

with skills and discipline that employers are seeking. "With

retirees,

employers might need to look at the fact that maybe the job

description

doesn’t really require a full-time, year round person," says

Stoller.

By adapting the job to the availability of the applicant, both sides

come out with the factors that create success.

Welfare to workers. Employees can also look to candidates

from welfare to work programs. These individuals receive extensive

training from state and federal entities and are motivated to succeed.

"Companies can help people help themselves by placing them in

that important `first job.’"

Differently abled. Thanks to the initiatives brought about

by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), employers have been

encouraged to reassess their true requirements for jobs.

"Sometimes

finding the best candidate is a simple matter of raising or lowering

a workstation to accommodate a wheelchair. While that process had

already begun, now there is even more reason to pursue those types

of accommodations. Mark Boyd , the new commissioner of labor,

recently went out of his way to highlight the gifts and talents

disabled

people bring to the workplace."

Stay-at-home Moms. The contributions of women in the

workplace

are undisputed over many years but some women may have had career

interruptions and now desire to return to the workforce. Companies

have the opportunity to be creative with scheduling, childcare

options,

and job-sharing to make this return profitable for employer and

employee

alike.

Will the quest for good workers and the challenge of keeping

them be tempered if and when the current economic boom levels out?

Stoller maintains that creative tactics will be around for a long

time to come. "There is an ongoing concern brought on especially

by demographic changes. As older workers of the Baby Boomer generation

retire, will younger workers be able to keep up a new pace? There

is always that pressure in the workforce."

Dear Abby knew it all along. There are still good catches out there.

Maybe employers have been looking in all the wrong places.

— Catherine Moscarello

Top Of Page
Transitions: CAI

Transitions. In the context of atomic energy, transition

signifies an abrupt change in energy. In music, a transition flows

gracefully and weaves connecting sounds between passages. In real

estate, experts who play a part in this process can create either

a harmonious suite or something just short of a nuclear explosion.

A seminar on transition teams, sponsored by the Ewing-based Community

Associations Institute, will examine the roles of the experts in the

transition process (www.caionline.org). Geared to the interests of

residential property managers, builders and developers, service

professionals,

and boards of unit owners, the program will analyze the varying

components

that make up a smooth transition. It will be on Tuesday, October 17,

at 8:30 a.m. at the Woodbridge Sheraton. Cost: $35. Call 609-882-3223.

The Community Association Institute follows up with another workshop

on "Rules Enforcement and Conflict Resolution" on Wednesday,

November 15, at 6:30 p.m. also at the Woodbridge Sheraton. Panelists

are Karyn Kennedy of the Kennedy Law Firm in Montville, Darlene

Rasmussen of Wentworth Property Management in Red Bank, and Susan

Radom of Radom & Wetter in Somerville. Cost: $75. Call

609-882-3223.

New Jersey law mandates that a "transition" must occur when

75 percent of the units in a condominium or town house complex have

been sold. On paper, this process promotes a gradual shift of control

from the developer or builder to the members of the community

association.

Since all the parties concerned know from day one that transition

will happen, the change can be smooth when proper documentation is

maintained and when all the players act in good faith to fulfill all

contractual agreements.

Stark & Stark attorney Thomas Pryor will discuss legal issues

that are essential in any transition (609-896-9060, E-mail:

tpryor@stark-stark.com).

"I look at this gathering as a means for the professionals who

deal with the transition process to come together to openly discuss

their experiences and to serve as a team," he says.

Admitting that some transitions can and do result in lawsuits, Pryor

says that neither side is really "the bad guy." "It all

comes down to a few basics," Pryor says. "Both parties should

come to the process knowing what questions to ask, what documents

are required and with enough professional expertise behind them to

know which analysis of problems is the correct one."

From the auditor’s viewpoint, David Ferullo, of Wiss & Company

LLP in Red Bank, sees transitions as "not too controversial"

(732-747-0500, E-mail: dferullo@wiss.com). "In the years leading

up to the transition, every homeowners’ association has an annual

audit," says Ferullo. "When those financial statements are

properly accounted for, and the funding for future repairs and

replacements

of common elements such as roofing and siding is in the bank, there

is usually no problem. However, it is important to keep personal

issues

out of it and that’s hard to do when it’s your house that has the

crack in it."

Representing the engineer and the developer will be William Pyznar,

Falcon Engineering (908-595-0050), and Francine Chesler, K.

Hovnanian Enterprises (732-225-4001). While neither was available

for comment, Steve Dahl, vice-president and legal counsel at

Hovnanian’s Edison office, offered the developer’s perspective.

"Hovnanian

has an in-house department devoted exclusively to the process of

reaching

transitions and we try to take it one step beyond what’s required.

We encourage homeowners’ associations to hire an engineer. Then tell

us what you think we didn’t do right. At that point we enter into

a dialogue that results in our doing the work or paying the

association

to hire someone to correct the problem," Dahl emphasizes that

the formula for success in a good transition is two-fold. "There

must be good communication and good management."

— Catherine Moscarello


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