Table Manners & Tips For Business Dining

It’s common for mothers with small children to drop their corporate jobs to have more time at home with the kids. But many aren’t content to stop working altogether. Instead they find or create employment with a narrower scope that lets them keep their hand in the "real world" while earning a little extra dough. With the idea, of course, that they will have more control over their time.

Pat Tanner did that, but things didn’t work out exactly as she had planned. She left her job as a corporate trainer when her two daughters were very young because it required her to travel regularly, often for five days at a time. "I decided I wanted to stay home and do something that would give me more control," she says.

But her idea for a new vocation did not yield a lot of free time. "Foolishly I said I had always enjoyed cooking and giving parties," she remembers, so she decided to become a caterer.

Her career eventually circled through catering, writing about food, and then back to training. Among her food-related work, she now gives seminars on business dining and entertaining clients at home. She presents "Mastering the Art of Business Dining" at Mercer County Community College, on Thursday, August 10, at 9 a.m. Cost: $79, includes continental breakfast and lunch. For more information, call 609-586-9446 or E-mail ComEd@mccc.edu.

Soon after leaving the corporate world, Tanner started a catering company, Doorstep Dinners, for Yuppies who didn’t have time to fix their own meals. She rented the local Elks club kitchen and made from-scratch individually packaged meals, which she delivered frozen, in microwavable and oven safe containers.

Then things got out of hand. Some people who had bought her frozen dinners asked: "Can you do party catering?" She tried it and found it was more lucrative than making single-portion healthful meals, which turned out to be very time intensive. But party catering also meant no control, requiring work on holidays and weekends. "It was the opposite of what my goals were," says Tanner.

But another opportunity was at hand through a friend who had also been a corporate trainer. Tanner had also catered a party or two for her. One day they ran into each other at the Whole Earth supermarket, and she told Tanner that she had become lifestyle editor for the Princeton Packet, and then she added, "While meditating last Saturday, your name floated into my mind." Why? The Packet had a food column every other Tuesday, and the newspaper was looking for an alternate voice.

"I laughed," said Tanner, who was a little surprised at the offer, since she had never done any writing. Her friend told her to go home and think about it. "I took out a legal pad," she says, "and in 20 minutes had two pages of ideas – things I’d love to write about." So she decided to do it, as long as they knew they were getting a novice.

That novice writer soon had a healthy freelance writing career. Within several years she was writing food and travel articles for newspapers and magazines throughout the state, including the New York Times, the Star-Ledger, the Trenton Times, New Jersey Countryside, New Jersey Monthly – as well as U.S. 1 Newspaper, where she writes restaurant round-ups and food trend articles. She is also the restaurant critic for New Jersey Life magazine, and for six years she hosted Dining Today, a live, weekly radio show on food and dining in central New Jersey, which was broadcast on WHWH.

Tanner, who not so long ago was preparing dinners for busy professionals with no time to cook, went on to become a founding member of the Central New Jersey Chapter of Slow Food – a group promoting nutritious, natural food that is the antithesis of fast food.

One thing led to another in a career begun in the aisles of Whole Foods, and two years ago it brought Tanner full circle when she got a call from an executive who was both a big fan of her show and the director of training for a major financial institution in the area. "He asked if I was interested in putting together a presentation for their financial analysts who handle private portfolios for very affluent people." The workshop was to be called "Dining with Affluent Clients."

This new offer was perfect, bringing together her two otherwise disparate careers – training and food.

Tanner loves giving the workshop and finds it different every time, depending on the group. But for almost everyone the subject has some value. "Sitting down, having a meal, breaking bread," says Tanner, "whether in a business or personal context, can move along a relationship more than anything else."

Tanner offers a number of suggestions about business dining, useful both to bosses who are crafting sophisticated business deals and to the administrative assistants often asked to make restaurant reservations:

Choosing a restaurant. "This is the key to the whole evening and experience," says Tanner. "You really want to pick a place with your guest in mind more than yourself." Finding the right place requires using what you know and sometimes doing a little sleuthing.

In choosing a restaurant, it is critical to determine first whether your guest is a "foodcentric" or just someone who enjoys a good meal and fine wine, but whose social life doesn’t revolve around food. Real "foodies" will talk about food, restaurants they have gone to, their latest restaurant finds, and the newest celebrity chef, and they probably watch food TV and read magazines like Gourmet.

For a foodie, you may want to look to the newest exotic cuisine, say from the Phillipines or a new region in India. A nonfoodie may be more likely to appreciate the best Italian or steak restaurant in the vicinity.

If you don’t have a sense of which camp your prospective clients fall into, Tanner suggests a few questions to ferret out their alliances: "You grew up in Cincinnati. My sister is going to school there. Can you give me the names of three restaurants?" or "Where did you eat at Disney World?" or "Hey, I just heard you were in Houston on business; did you find a good restaurant? I have some business there next month."

If they respond that in Houston they stayed in the hotel working every night and got room service, she says, you have a clue. If they tell you that they read up on the Houston restaurants beforehand and ended up at its best barbecue spot, that’s another clue. Sometimes you just have to listen carefully: If you have heard them talk about cooking or having their own wine cellars, you know it was a foodie speaking.

Extending the invitation. Although it depends on your relationship with your clients, Tanner recommends having in mind at least one place and a backup. "Let your guests know that you’ve given some thought to what would appeal to them," she advises. Either suggest a specific place or give a couple of choices. Tanner thinks it’s okay to extend the invitation by phone or E-mail, but that you should always send a followup note confirming details.

Ordering wine. Tanner sees many people who are insecure about ordering wine. "It doesn’t matter where you are along the spectrum, you never know everything." But, she adds, "you shouldn’t feel you have to." So what’s the best approach to take if you have to order wine for a group?

"You don’t want to fake it," she says, "because anyone who knows anything will figure it out." First of all, know that the sommelier and the chef have put together a wine list from the universe of all possible wines for a good reason: because the list matches what food they offer, how much they charge, and what makes their food look good. Enlist the waiter or the sommelier as your ally, saying, "We’re going to start with crab cakes and Caesar salad – what do you recommend?"

If you have a limited expense account and can’t order any wine you’d like, Tanner offers a trick for conveying how much you can spend without saying, "I can’t spend more than $40."

If you are sitting with the wine list in front of you in a good restaurant (which is where you should be if you’re trying to impress your client), the person waiting to take your order should be knowledgeable about the wines on the wine list. Tanner suggests saying, "I was thinking about something like this," and then pointing to a price. "They will know what you are telling them," she says.

Eating by the rules. Not even the most highly successful financial advisors know which fork to use or the correct wineglass. Tanner offers a simple rule for remembering which bread and butter plate to dip into: In a formal place setting, the forks and napkin are on the left. Forks are for handling solid food, whereas the spoons on the right are for liquids, often in the form of soup. "Bread is a solid," she says, "so you follow the fork up to the bread plate."

Paying the bill and tipping. The moment when the bill is brought to the table can be awkward, and you’re in trouble if your guest picks it up. Tanner has a number of opinions about handling this tense moment: "You should always immediately pick it up; it should barely land on the table. If the guest wants to pay, say: `Absolutely not.’"

In some cultures, however, it is a point of honor to put up a fight to pay, but still, as the host, you should always pick up the tab. "If they insist," she says, "tell them: `You can get it next time,’ but if it is a client of yours, you shouldn’t let that happen either."

You can by-pass all of this messiness by keeping the bill off the table. You can either arrange to have the meal charged to the house account beforehand, or toward the end of the meal you can excuse yourself for a moment and present your credit card.

Tipping. Tanner is firmly in the 20 percent camp. "Years ago, it was 15 percent for good or adequate service," she says. "Now 20 percent is the new 15 percent." And there’s a good reason: "Twenty percent is what people who appreciate good service give. It shows that you know good service, and you know that when you come back you will get the best service that the place has to offer." If you entertain regularly, she advises that you create a stable of restaurants where they know that you tip well.

Tanner also cautions that bad service – like 45 minutes between courses – is usually the fault of the kitchen, and she advises that you not take it out on the servers, who usually work hard.

Sometimes Tanner encounters a question she has never heard before, and she may ask participants to help her out – as she did recently when someone at the a recent session of her "entertaining at home" workshop asked what you do about someone giving a blessing. That’s a toughy. The consensus solution was to give the guest the option by saying, "Would someone like to give a short blessing?" The goal here is to finesse the situation by trying to keep it so short that it is not too specific.

Tanner believes that her foodie career has direct connections to her childhood experiences. She grew up in Newark in an Italian-American family where her father was second-generation, with parents from Sicily. Her mother grew up on a farm in upstate New York. The sixth of seven kids, Tanner says, "I grew up in a very food-oriented family. Our happiest moments almost all revolved around food."

Tanner’s bachelor’s degree from Newark State College (now Kean University) was in elementary education, and she came to central Jersey to work in product development and training for Kepner-Tregoe in Skillman. She has two daughters in their 20s.

Tanner’s father worked for Anheuser Busch, near Newark Airport, as a bottler on the bottling line, and her mom stayed home with the kids. Tanner remembers fondly the racially and ethnically diverse neighborhood in the central ward of Newark where she grew up, concluding, "I couldn’t imagine a better place to grow up to be a food writer."

– Michele Alperin

Pharmaceutical Employment Rebounds

New Jersey is home to more pharmaceutical companies than any other state in the country. In fact, New Jersey has more pharmaceutical companies than any country in the world. The pharmaceutical and medical technology industry is a major factor in the state’s economy. The Healthcare Institute of New Jersey has commissioned a study to take a detailed look at the economic impact that the industry has on the state.

Bob Franks, former U.S. Representative and Senate candidate and current president of the Healthcare Institute of New Jersey, discusses the results of the report at the Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce luncheon on Thursday, August 10, at 11:30 a.m. at the Marriott at Princeton Forrestal Center. Cost: $40. Call 609-924-1776.

The Healthcare Institute of New Jersey is a trade association of 24 pharmaceutical and medical technology companies with a "significant presence in the state," says Franks, "including all of the larger companies such as Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer, including 11 companies with global or North American headquarters here in New Jersey."

The study only details members of the Healthcare Institute. It does not include any bio-tech companies, which have their own trade association, or pharmaceutical and medical technology companies in the state which do not belong to the Healthcare Institute. This means the impact of the industry is actually greater than this study shows, says Franks.

This is the 10th year for the report, which was compiled by Deloitte. Some of the most significant numbers are:

Employees. The companies surveyed had 60,5056 employees in 2005, a "marginal" increase of about 300 employees over 2004. But Franks is "delighted" with the number, he says, because it is the first increase in employee roles since 2002, when there were approximately 69,000 full-time employees in large New Jersey pharmaceutical companies.

"I’m happy to see that the hemorrhage has ended. I anticipate that this is a beginning of a recovery for the industry," he says.

Payroll. The aggregate employee payroll exceeded $7 billion last year. The average salary paid was $93,948. "No other industry in New Jersey has an average salary as high as this industry," says Franks. In fact, even though the number of jobs is smaller than in 2002, the aggregate payroll is larger.

Research. In 2006 the industry spent $7.5 billion in New Jersey in research and development of new products. This is another new record for spending, says Franks.

Third party vendors. Contracts for third party vendors were $4.16 billion last year. This includes spending for all types of support areas, including legal, accounting, labeling and packaging, food service, maintenance, and landscaping work.

Spin-off jobs. The pharmaceutical industry was responsible for creating 101,500 additional jobs created throughout the state.

Capital expenditures. The industry put $2.2 billion into capital expenditures last year, double the amount spent in 2004, says Franks. This includes "rehabilitating old buildings and building new ones. This is an industry that needs to attract the best and the brightest, and in order to do that the facilities must be the best."

Philanthropy. The companies in the association spent $4.6 billion on philanthropy throughout the world in 2005. The amount includes both product donations and direct financial assistance, says Franks, and again, this number is higher than the amount spent in 2004. "Much of that was spent on relief for the tsunami victims in Asia and for the hurricane victims on the Gulf Coast," says Franks. Out of that amount, $152 million was spent on philanthropy in the state of New Jersey.

In all, he says, the total economic impact of the top 20 pharmaceutical and medical technology companies to the state of New Jersey was $27 billion in 2005, up from $22 billion in 2004.

But the numbers only tell part of the story, he says. "For nearly a century New Jersey has had the moniker of the `medicine chest of the world.’ Half of the medicines in the world are made by New Jersey based companies. That has led to a concentration of more scientists per square mile in New Jersey than in any other state, or any other country in the world."

Employing so many highly skilled people has had an impact on the wage structure of New Jersey, which has one of the highest per capita incomes in the country.

"This is an industry where there is enormous competition, where innovation is the life blood. To be successful a company must have an aggressive research program and a solid pipeline of products," says Franks. This need has become ever more challenging, he adds, and a variety of concerns need to be addressed if New Jersey is to continue as the leader in the industry.

"I am very concerned about the tax climate in this state," says Franks. "A trifecta of taxes" is making it ever more difficult for corporations to work in New Jersey. "The personal income tax of over eight percent is one of the highest in the nation," he says, "and it’s not just homeowners who pay property taxes. Corporations pay them, too." In addition, corporate business taxes in New Jersey are also some of the highest in the nation.

The tax situation "sends a chilling signal to investors and entrepreneurs," says Franks, and if it continues he predicts that the state will lose stature as a location for new business. Bristol-Myers Squibb has announced that it is opening a new facility out of state, and Novartis recently chose Cambridge, Massachusetts, not New Jersey, for its new World Genomics Center, he points out.

The choice of Cambridge came as no surprise to Franks. That area, along with San Diego and Research Triangle in North Carolina, "has a wonderful synergy of elements that New Jersey doesn’t have," he says. And although tax rates are also high in both California and Massachusetts, the "cooperative, non-competitive" atmosphere fostered by higher education, life science, and other medical resources in those areas make them attractive to the pharmaceutical and medical technologies industries.

"New Jersey has historically had a weaker higher education system," which has often had "no desire to collaborate," he says. On the bright side, Franks adds, "I see that starting to change in New Jersey."

That is good news. With the high-paying jobs it generates, the business it gives to its myriad sub-contractors, and the contributions it makes to scores of charities of all kinds, the pharmaceutical industry is a sector that the Garden State would do well to cultivate.

– Karen Hodges Miller

Planning Essential For Business Success

`More people plan for a vacation than plan their life goals or their business goals," says Milton Paris, sales coach and business management and marketing consultant. Without a plan for your business, you don’t know where you are going or what to prioritize, says Paris, whose consulting business, Paradigm Associates, is located at 27 Cranshaw Court in Monroe Township.

Paris speaks on "Strategic Thinking and Business Planning" at the next Business Institute Seminar sponsored by the Mercer Regional Chamber of Commerce, on Tuesday, August 15, at 8 a.m., at the chamber office at 1A Quakerbridge Plaza Drive, Suite 2, Mercerville. Cost: $30. Call 609-689-9960.

Paris has been a business consultant for over 40 years, working with companies in both the United States and in Europe. He also hosts a live radio show, "Getting Ahead in Business," on Saturdays at 9:30 a.m. on WCTC.

"There’s no such thing as can not do," says Paris. "A person or a business needs a plan, a vision. Then they need to develop goals to reach that vision – three month, nine month, one year, five year goals. But even as they work to achieve those goals they will run into obstacles along the way."

Paris likens reaching goals to piloting an airplane. "If I want to fly from Newark to Chicago the closest route is straight west, but if there is heavy rain in the way, I may have to fly south, then head west to avoid the bad weather." Planning for a business is similar, he says. "You want to eliminate going through the middle of the obstacles." Avoiding many of those obstacles, just as an airplane pilot avoids bad weather, is often smarter and easier.

Paris says that there are many facets to setting goals, and to helping others reach their goals. His "Development Process" is based on the premise that to improve results and achieve goals we must first learn new patterns of work and behavior.

"But before we consistently behave differently, we must adjust our attitudes and think about, and see things, differently," says Paris. This difference is the distinction between training and development. "Training, or education, involves the dissemination of information in order to teach a new skill or provide an intellectual understanding," he says. "Development is getting people to use their skills, abilities, and training more effectively."

One of the best ways to help people use their training is to go out on the job with them, he says. "I don’t just talk about sales processes. I go out with the sales people, live what they do, then talk with them about it."

In other words, "you cannot simply teach someone to become an excellent executive, manager, or customer service provider, but you can direct that person in the development of attitudes and behaviors that will improve their skills," says Paris.

Another method Parish uses is the "Paradigm Premise." This, he explains, means "developing the attitudes (the want to) plus the skills (the how to) plus the goals focus (the what and why) to equal positive behavior change."

The "Paradigm Premise" leads to his "Success Formula," which he defines as, improved results, both personal and organizational. "Decide what improved results you want to achieve in your organization and how they will be tracked and measured," he says. Then develop a plan specifically geared toward achieving those goals and results. Goals that are both organizational and personal, he says, "create a double win for both the organization and the people in it."

There are several steps to achieving the goals and results you want, says Paris:

Create a vision. Deciding on your goals is the first step in achieving them, he says. Without a vision, an idea of where you want to go and what you want to achieve, no company or individual will grow beyond where they currently are and what they are currently doing.

"When you come to a fork in the road you can’t go both ways. You must go one way or the other," he says. Knowing what goals you want to achieve, what your vision is, will help you to decide which fork to take.

Develop a strategic plan. This plan should include goals for three months, nine months, one year, and five years. This is the broad outline of how to achieve your vision.

Convert to a business plan. While the strategic plan outlines broad goals, a business plan will give specifics on how to achieve these goals.

Define, execute, and implement. It is necessary for everyone in your organization to understand the goals and work toward implementing them, says Paris. Without cooperation from everyone involved, your plan will go nowhere.

"It is like the spokes of a bicycle. If one spoke breaks the whole bicycle stops. Each one has to be working. Everybody in your organization must be aware of the vision. Knowledge is not power. Applied knowledge is power."

Evaluate and improve. Your goals and your plan must be constantly evaluated to make sure that the goals are still relevant and that the plan is working. Improving and changing the plan is often necessary as changes are made in the organization and its goals.

Maintain a positive outlook at all costs. Paris says that everyone in your organization must have a positive attitude about the goals that have been set. In fact, he believes that having a positive attitude every day is very important to success.

Toward that end, he offers this surprising advice: "When you get up in the morning don’t turn on the radio or listen to the news as you drive to work. It is very depressing. Don’t listen to the news in the morning for a positive attitude."

Another important trait for achieving your goals is passion, says Paris. "If you have a printing business, you want to be the most respected printing business in your region. If you are a doctor, you want to be the leading family practice. Be the best. The best way to achieve your goals is to have passion for what you do."

– Karen Hodges Miller

Low-Cost Help For Business Planning

Creating a business plan is an essential first step in launching a successful company. It is also one of the most daunting tasks for entrepreneurs. Low cost help is available from teams of advanced MBA candidates at Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Rothman Institute of Entrepreneurship. These teams will work with new entrepreneurs and with those on the verge of launching – or expanding – a business.

To date, 150 business plans have been developed for New Jersey for-profit ventures and for non-profits.

In order to participate businesses should fall into one of three categories: entrepreneurial start-up situations in early stage expansion; mature companies entering new markets or restructuring; or non-profits seeking to increase outreach.

The advanced MBA teams work under the close supervision and mentoring of seasoned business planning experts. Interested ventures should anticipate spending a considerable amount of time working with their MBA teams as an extension of their company’s own management team. The application and pre-screening process is free. When a company is chosen for the program, there is a $150 fee for the semester-long consultation to offset market research and business plan printing costs.

The first step in the process is contacting professor Steven Fulda at the Rothman Institute at 973-443-8842 or smfulda@cs.com.

SCORE Counselors Seek Volunteers

Since Princeton area SCORE, the service corps of retired executives, started counseling business owners at the Princeton library, the chapter has enjoyed a significant increase in the number of small businesses it helps, and now needs more volunteers. During the past year SCORE counseled 1,200 clients – a 40 percent increase over the prior year and an 80 percent increase over two years ago. The seasoned executives now offer counsel four days each week at the library.

SCORE in Princeton is made up of 25 mostly retired small business owners and executives. They provide confidential, no fee, counseling to individuals who are either considering starting a business or are already in business. Clients include high technology companies, business and consumer service companies, and retail.

Princeton SCORE needs more volunteers for its counseling work. Small business owners and executives with the time available find SCORE counseling challenging, rewarding, and an excellent use of the skills learned in their careers. There are approximately 10,000 SCORE volunteers in the U.S.

The time demands are not great – a counselor should be prepared to counsel in two sessions each month. A session usually includes three one-hour sessions with three individuals. The typical SCORE volunteer spends seven to ten hours a month on his or her SCORE activity. SCORE volunteers can specify which days and times each month are convenient for them.

Princeton SCORE is especially interested in recruiting women, minorities, and small business owners with retail experience.

Anyone interested in volunteering for Princeton SCORE should contact Lou DeLauro at 609-737-7824 or call the SCORE office at 609-393-0505. Individuals who want counseling with SCORE should call 609-393-0505 to schedule a session at the Princeton Library, Hamilton Library, Small Business Development Center in Trenton, or Middlesex Chamber of Commerce Building.

Building Project Seeks Sponsors

Bruenig Avenue Park in Trenton has been selected as the beneficiary of the seventh annual "Build Day" community action project coordinated by the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties, New Jersey Chapter (NJ-NAIOP). The trade association currently is seeking sponsors for the ambitious plan to build a playground at the park during a one-day effort tentatively scheduled for early October.

With the support of members and friends, NJ-NAIOP Build Day has contributed more than three-quarters of a million dollars in cash and in-kind services, along with thousands of volunteer man-hours, to New Jersey cities. The project has established a successful track record of developing plans and designs to build and refurbish playgrounds in urban areas, including Asbury Park, Elizabeth, Harrison, Newark, Paterson, and Perth Amboy.

"This year’s project is surrounded with a particular sense of excitement because it will take place in our state capital," committee co-chair Russell Tepper of Matrix Development Group said in a prepared statement. "We hope to build on the momentum generated by last year’s successful Build Day in Newark to further our commitment to providing urban neighborhoods with safer and better places to live, work, and play."

Trenton Mayor Douglas Palmer has pledged city resources for site preparation, fundraising, security, and other logistics involved with Build Day. Schoor DePalma is serving as NJ-NAIOP’s designer and project manager, and Trees For Trenton has been selected as the project’s charitable partner.

"We are looking for corporate sponsor commitments from within and outside our membership," committee co-chair David Houston Jr. of Colliers Houston & Company said in a prepared statement. "New Jersey companies and their employees can volunteer time, materials and services for the project as well." Sponsor names will be displayed prominently on a plaque at the playground site, on promotional materials, and on NJ-NAIOP’s website. For more information, call 732-729-9900.

Grants Awarded

The Connor P. Casey Foundation for Autism (CPCFA) has presented the Eden Family of Services with a check for $25,000 from its fourth annual Blarney Benefit fundraiser. The money will be used to provide scholarships for children under the age of three who have been diagnosed with autism to receive additional early intervention therapy through Wawa House, a division Eden. Over the past four years, CPCFA has donated $100,000 toward Wawa House scholarships.

United Way of Greater Mercer County (UWGMC) had received a grant award of $339,000 from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). This grant will support community impact work in a number of different areas, including preparing children for success in school, housing and feeding families in need, enabling older adults and those with disabilities to live more independently, and helping those most in need gain better access to quality health care.

This partnership grant funding enables UWGMC to fund more critical services in Mercer County, such as the Mobile Medical Van of St. Francis Medical Center, which provides health screenings, immunizations, medication, health education, and referral services to indigent and working poor people in their own neighborhoods. In addition, UWGMC is helping to fill the transportation gap by providing scholarships for free rides for low-income seniors and people with disabilities through the Greater Mercer ITN (Independent Transportation Network), a program of the Greater Mercer Transportation Management Association.

By focusing on the underlying causes of problems and engaging the community to work together on creating lasting changes that prevent those problems from happening in the first place, UWGMC is able to get results that no single organization can accomplish alone. The ongoing partnership between UWGMC and RWJF is a good example of how resources can be leveraged to produce greater impact in local communities.

UWGMC leverages contributions in several ways:

Through its annual drives.

Through staff leadership on various community groups that address critical issues like gangs, literacy, and transportation for seniors.

Through its management of county contracts, including emergency assistance and childcare vouchers.

Through its Gifts-in-Kind and First Book programs, which deliver free, in-kind clothing and books to families and children most in need.

Immigration Policy Training Funded

In the midst of one of the biggest changes in immigration policy in nearly a century, the Employers Association of New Jersey (EANJ) has been awarded a grant by the U.S. Department of Justice to provide training to employers on how to comply with federal immigration laws and regulations.

The training comes at a time when the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will be accessing data from the Social Security Administration (SSA) in order to find undocumented workers and to investigate employers that are violating immigration rules. SSA sent out 128,000 letters to employers in 2005 informing them of mismatched social security numbers.

It is estimated that there are 12 million unauthorized workers in the United States and about 1.3 million in New Jersey alone.

Both houses of Congress have passed versions of an immigration reform law and President Bush has indicated that he would sign a law that requires more enforcement but that grants some form of work authorization to undocumented workers who pass a reference check. Each version mandates that employers verify work authorization electronically. Currently employers are required to accept documentation from new hires but need not verify the authenticity of the documents that are presented. Reforms have taken aim at identity fraud and have increased penalties on workers and employers alike.

Under the federal grant, EANJ will provide three or four regional training sessions with live instruction. Employers will also be able to access online training from EANJ’s website, which will also provide a free database of best practices and frequently asked questions.

Employers from New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Delaware will be able to attend. The website will reach employers anywhere in the country.

The training will explain the complexities of the immigration law impractical ways and focus on voluntary compliance.

EANJ is the only employers group in the country to receive such a grant this year. It received a similar grant in 2001. For more information contact John Sarno at john@eanj.org.

Corporate Angels

Erik Sendel, Fred Dillmore, and Ken Holt of Deloitte’s office on College Road were among seven Deloitte volunteers who introduced the Junior Achievement "Economics for Success" curriculum to 12 classes of seventh and eighth graders at Asbury Park Middle School, in Asbury Park. They spent a morning at the school in May.

Junior Achievement runs progams in schools in a number of area towns, including Ewing, Hamilton, Hightstown, Plainsboro, Princeton, and Trenton. For more information, call Mukti Patel at 609-419-0404, ext. 102.

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