Posted by & filed under Legislative.

It’s no surprise that Connecticut’s budget crisis dominated the legislative session. With the Legislature focused on negotiating a plan to reduce the projected $933 million deficit for fiscal year 2017, most of the issues impacting businesses were ignored and died before the end of session. One of those issues was a bill establishing a state-run retirement program. The Lumber Dealers Association of Connecticut along with the business community opposed this legislation. LDAC met with legislators on lobby day about this legislation, issued a formal memorandum in opposition, and sent an action alert to all members asking them to contact the Governor. Unfortunately, our efforts were unsuccessful, as the state-run retirement bill passed in the final days of the legislative session, after a narrow vote in the House and a tie-breaking vote in the Senate.

The bill creates the Connecticut Retirement Security Authority (CRSA), a quasi-state-agency that will establish a retirement program for private-sector employees. The CRSA will be run by a nine-member board, which is appointed by the house, senate, and Governor. The appointments to the board are required to be made by July 31. Once the board has been established, they will create the Connecticut Retirement Security Program, which will contract with financial institutions to oversee the individual Roth IRA’s. The bill authorizes the CRSA to assess administrative fees on the program participants to help defray the costs of the program. Most likely, those fees will not be in addition to the participant’s contribution but just taken out of it.

Not later than January 1, 2018, qualified employers that do not currently offer a retirement program to their employees, must provide notice about the retirement program. The legislation defines a qualified employer as a private sector employer that employs five people or more whom are paid at least $5,000 in wages in the preceding calendar year. The notice to employees about the program must be provided each year.

After 60 days of providing the notice, the employer must enroll each of its employees into the program at either the contribution the employee selects or at least three percent of the employee’s wages. The legislation requires that employees are automatically enrolled in the program by the employer. Employees are eligible for the retirement program after they have worked for a minimum of 120 days and are at least 19 years old. If the employee does not want to be enrolled, they are required to affirmatively opt-out by electing a contribution level of zero. Because the retirement program consists of individual Roth IRA’s, the contributions are after tax, meaning employees should expect at least a three percent reduction in their wages if they do not opt out of the program.

Once the legislation is signed by the Governor and the State establishes the CRSA, NRLA will know exactly what employers need to do to comply and will issue a memorandum to LDAC members. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at aennis@nrla.org or 518.880.6350.

Posted by & filed under Legislative.

The Connecticut legislature passed H. 5237, which would “Ban the Box” on initial employment applications. The Governor has not yet signed the bill, but is expected too. Once the bill is signed, the law will become effective Jan. 1, 2017. Below is a summary of what is included in the law and when employers can ask an applicant about previous criminal convictions.

 

Intent of “Ban the Box”

Legislation concerning “Ban the Box” is a national movement that has gained a lot of momentum. The concept is that there are many qualified applicants that are not being considered for employment due to a past history of criminal convictions. There is a belief that this has become a major barrier to those rehabilitated and released from finding gainful employment and reasserting themselves back into society.

 

On many job applications there is a box that states “please check if you have been convicted of a crime”. H. 5237 and other “Ban the Box” bills seek to remove that question from the initial application only. “Ban the Box” is not meant to stop employers from learning of past criminal convictions or allowing those with past convictions to hide them from employers. The intent is solely to allow a broader picture of the candidate to be formed before the stigma of a past criminal conviction is added to the evaluation process.

 

When Can an Employer Ask About Criminal Convictions?

The bill prohibits employers from asking about the applicant’s prior arrests, criminal charges, or convictions on an initial application unless the employer is required to under state or federal law or the applicant is applying for a position where they must obtain a security bond.

 

If the application contains any question concerning criminal history, there needs to be a notice in clear and conspicuous language that the applicant is not required to disclose their criminal history, including arrests, criminal charges, convictions, or pardons.

 

Furthermore, the portion of the application that contains information regarding the criminal history record can only be made available to members of the personnel department, the person in charge of employment, and the individuals interviewing the applicant.

 

Can an Employer Deny Employment Because of Criminal Convictions?

No employer can deny employment to an applicant solely on the basis that the applicant had a prior arrest, criminal charge or conviction, pardon from conviction, or a certificate of rehabilitation. No employer can discriminate against an employee solely on their criminal history.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact NRLA’s government affairs department at 800.292.6752 or e-mail govtaffairs@nrla.org.

Posted by & filed under Webinar.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

with Matt Gambino

Matt Gambino Training

 

It is no longer enough to give the stock definition of your company, product, or service. Given that

today’s buyer does the lion’s share of research well in advance of meeting with you, you should assume

his or her mind is at least partway made up already.  In this session, you’ll learn surprisingly easy ways to

make meaningful connections and communicate value when the homework’s been done and your

prospect is buying on price.

 

TARGET AUDIENCE & LEVEL: Intermediate/Advanced Content and Sales/Sales Managers

Webinar Information

Posted by & filed under Webinar.

Wednesday, March 22, 2016

with Jason Thacker

Howe Lumber Company, Inc.

 

This session will consider the growing market of home automation technology, how to embrace it, how to control it with devices (smartphones) and most importantly how to sell and support it.

The vendors that are leading the way with this technology are anxious to partner up with independent lumber yards and installation professionals to meet the end user expectations.

  • Where to find products and vendors to partner with that will suit your needs.
  • Starting small and growing business and margins.
  • What connectivity is available within exiting products lines.
  • Training sales people and finding installation options.

 

TARGET AUDIENCE & LEVEL:

Webinar Information

Posted by & filed under Webinar.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

with Matt Gambino

Matt Gambino Training

 

Many salespeople present solutions like it’s an M. Night Shyamalan movie: They save the ‘a-ha!’ moment until the very end, as if we’re sitting on the edge of our seats waiting for the big payoff. This pedestrian approach just doesn’t cut it anymore. Using Matt Gambino’s proven Finish It First™ method as the foundation, this session teaches you how make sales presentations that help your buyers visualize themselves meeting their needs from the very first moment. You’ll see how to capture and hold attention, handle challenging objections, inspire positive participation, and much more. By the end of the session, you will have created your own roadmap for giving a rock-solid, substantive presentation of your company’s product or service.

 

TARGET AUDIENCE & LEVEL: Intermediate/Advanced Content and Sales/Sales Managers

Webinar Information

Posted by & filed under Legislative.

The LDAC Annual lobby day on Thursday, March 31, 2016, at the State House in Hartford, Conn. LDAC’s lobby day is held in conjunction with the Home Builders & Remodelers Association of Connecticut’s day at the Capitol. This is a great opportunity to advocate for the industry and support your customers – the home builders and remodelers!

 

On behalf of the LDAC legislative committee, I urge you or another representative from your company to attend. Registration and breakfast with the home builders will begin at 7:45 a.m. with issue briefings and appointments to follow. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me at aennis@nrla.org or 518.880.6350. We hope to see you in Hartford!

Posted by & filed under Webinar.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016:

with Rick Grandenetti

Succeed Inside The Box

 

Participants will learn crucial steps to altering their organizational culture which will lead to increased customers, increased profits, lower attrition rates and higher profitability.  Participants will also learn how to lead through the culture change in their organization.

 

TARGET AUDIENCE & LEVEL: Managers/Supervisors & Owners

Webinar Information

Posted by & filed under Events.

The Intermediate course is aimed at industry people that have 5 to 10 years of building industry related experience. The intermediate course continues building on the Basic/Beginner course and introduces more complex projects to estimate such as multi-story residences and multi-family structures. Cut roofs with over framing in addition to truss roofs, intersecting roofs, hip roofs as well as and jack & cripple rafters are also covered.

Course Overview:

An Intermediate to construction drawings and developing an estimate or takeoff

Learning Objectives:

  • Develop an operational understanding of drawings and their use
  • Learn to read and interpret the drawings
  • Explore how to use floor plans, elevations, sections and details to figure out a project’s material needs
  • Consider the characteristics of good estimates including consistency and documentation
  • Learn how to create an accurate estimate and the keys to success
  • Develop efficient estimating skills and understand best practices
  • Examine how to avoid the common pitfalls in estimating and quantity takeoffs

All attendees leave with:

A comprehensive workbook with course handouts that include templates, checklists, formulas, estimating forms, construction details, conversion factors, shortcut tables to determine sell lengths, sample house plans with a sample estimate, and an architectural scale.

When:

March 16, 2016

Time: 8:00am – 4:00pm

Location:

Acadia Insurance Company

500 Enterprise Dr., Ste. 2A

Rocky Hill, CT 06067

Breakfast & Lunch included

 

Assessment:

BPR Assessment Intermediate

Registration:

LDAC Blueprint Intermediate

Posted by & filed under Events.

The Basic/Beginner course is geared toward participants who have little or no LBM industry related experience. Basic blueprint reading skills covered will be include; developing an operational understanding of floor plans, elevations, sections and details, as well as the interpretation of construction drawings to develop building material takeoffs.

This Basic/Beginner course is a good foundational course that offers a methodology with templates and checklists to develop a comprehensive estimating procedure including processes that participants can bring back with them to their yard. In addition to building an estimating framework, this course offers hands-on practice of the techniques learned to do takeoffs for smaller projects. Decks, garages, and single story residences with simple roofs are the hands-on practice exercises used for this class. Prerequisites for this course are some basic building knowledge especially rough framing carpentry. Some basic proficiency in computational math using a calculator (+,-, X, / and square root.) as well as an understanding of dimensions and scaling for measurement.

Who should attend:

The Basic/Beginner course is for participants with little or no experience with drawings and takeoffs that want to learn the fundamentals of blueprint reading and estimating material takeoffs.

Course Overview:

An Introduction to construction drawings and developing an estimate or takeoff

Learning Objectives:

  • Develop an operational understanding of drawings and their use
  • Learn to read and interpret the drawings
  • Explore how to use floor plans, elevations, sections and details to figure out a project’s material needs
  • Consider the characteristics of good estimates including consistency and documentation
  • Learn how to create an accurate estimate and the keys to success
  • Develop efficient estimating skills and understand best practices
  • Examine how to avoid the common pitfalls in estimating and quantity takeoffs

All attendees leave with:

A comprehensive workbook with course handouts that include templates, checklists, formulas, estimating forms, construction details, conversion factors, shortcut tables to determine sell lengths, sample house plans with a sample estimate, and an architectural scale.

When:

March 14 & 15, 2016

Time: 8:00am – 4:00pm

Breakfast & Lunch included

Where:

Acadia Insurance Company

500 Enterprise Dr., Ste. 2A

Rocky Hill, CT 06067

Assessment Forms:

BPR Assessment Tool Basic_Beginner

Registration Forms:

LDAC Blueprint Beginner