NORTH HAVEN – Aspiring emergency medical technicians are invited to enroll in a course at Gateway Community College that will place them on the path to becoming EMTs by this summer, according to the college. The intensive 17-week course begins February 21 and will be held at Gateway’s North Haven campus, 88 Bassett Road, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6 to 10 p.m. There also will be three required Saturday sessions. The cost, $1,295, may be paid in monthly installments. The class is limited to 20 students. To register or for more information call 203-285-2309.

 

HARTFORD — It’s a way to improve productivity and allows motivated workers to share in a company’s bottom-line result: increased profits.

 

But don’t call it profit sharing. The correct term for this financial incentive is “gainsharing,” and on February 24 the Connecticut Business & Industry Association (CBIA) will present a seminar for manufacturers looking to learn more about the concept.

 

“Most companies currently are struggling with motivating employees,” says Philip Montgomery, CBIA’s director of compensation services, who notes that during a recession worker morale often takes a downturn. “The biggest advantage with a successful gainsharing program is that it hopefully engages each and every employee.”

 

The idea behind gainsharing is that workers are steered to alter their workplace performance and habits in a way that positively impacts operations and productivity. The resulting improvements then translate into measurable improvement in financial performance. The worker is rewarded by sharing in those gains.

 

“The need to reward employees without drastically increasing a company’s overhead has been of great concern for employers for the past five to ten years,” explains Montgomery. With gainsharing, “individuals are engaged in a company’s success, and they’re able to maintain that motivation.”

 

Gainsharing is different than profit sharing in that gainsharing is driven by productivity while profit sharing is a function of revenues and overhead and the spread between the two, notes Vince Bovino, principal consultant and founder of Bovino Consulting Group.

 

In addition, “Profit-sharing doesn’t change employee behavior,” says Bovino, the presenter for the CBIA event. His firm has designed and implemented gainsharing plans at 250 companies in the U.S., Canada, South America and Asia.

 

“A reward opportunity on a monthly basis will change an employee’s behavior,” says Bovino, who adds that gainsharing helps a company benefit from the “full value” of its workforce, even during a poor economy. “The process works in good [economic] times and in bad times,” he says.

The seminar, entitled “Productivity & Quality Gainsharing,” will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (registration begins 8 a.m.) at CBIA, 350 Church St., Hartford. Cost is $149 for CBIA members, $179 for nonmembers. To learn more phone 860-244-1900.

 

MIDDLETOWN — Increasing a small business’ international exports can lead to more job creation at home, according to state governmental officials. For that reason, Secretary of the State Denise Merrill and U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney (D-2) are touting the launch this year of a series of webinars intended to take businesses through the steps needed to break into overseas export markets. The sessions are sponsored by the U.S. Commerce Department’s Export Assistance Center, located in Middletown. Each monthly session lasts between 60 and 90 minutes. The next session, scheduled for February 16, will focus on proper customs documentation. To register, visit export.gov/connecticut. For more information phone 860-509-6255.

 

BRIDGEPORT — An independent law firm will conduct a review of and examine Bridgeport’s adherence to its minority-contracting ordinance, Mayor Bill Finch has announced. The Crumbie Law Group, LLC, was retained by the city to evaluate an examination launched by the mayor’s office and conducted by the local Labor Relations office and police department. The Hartford law firm, itself a state certified Minority Business Enterprise, has significant experience conducting federal and state criminal investigations. At the conclusion of its review of Bridgeport’s MBE contracting, Crumbie is expected to make policy and enforcement recommendations to the city.

 

WETHERSFIELD — Connecticut manufacturing companies that received a portion of the $1.3 million in U.S. Department of Labor grant funds for incumbent worker training are reminded that they have until June 30 to apply the resources. Grants were administered in the state by the state’s Department of Labor through its Early Warning Demonstration Program. Funds are intended to avert job losses by retraining current workers in skills commensurate with changing company needs. In addition to training completion, all funds to businesses must be used by June 30. For questions contact 860-263-6588.

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Barack Obama recently announced his intention to implement tax incentives for companies that return outsourced jobs to the United States. Simultaneously, he‘ll push to eliminate tax breaks for businesses that relocate jobs overseas, the president noted in a statement released by the White House on January 11. The announcement was among prepared remarks Obama made that day to business leaders participating in a White House “Insourcing American Jobs Forum.” The President told the group his goal is to double U.S. goods and services exports by the year 2014. “I do not want America to be a nation known for financial speculation and outsourcing and racking up debt buying stuff from other nations,” he said. “I want us to be known for making and selling products all over the world stamped with three proud words: ‘Made in America.’”

HARTFORD — Connecticut companies with fewer than 100 employees are eligible for lines of credit and low-interest loans of up to $500,000 through the state Department of Economic & Community Development’s Small Business Assistance Revolving Loan Program. The business must be headquartered in Connecticut, up to date with state and local taxes, and have been in operation for at least a year. Both commercial and not-for-profit enterprises are eligible. Funds may be used for a variety of business-enhancing purposes, among them equipment purchase, site improvements and research and development. For more information phone 860-270-8215.