Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Consolidated Funding Application (CFA)

Grant Applications
Due 4PM July 31, 2015

ACT NOW to complete your applications for
Workforce Training and Capital Equipment

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo launched Round V of the Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) initiative, officially kicking off the 2015 competition for up to $750 million in state economic development resources.

The Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) opened to applicants on May 1, enabling businesses, municipalities, not-for-profits and the public to begin applying for assistance from dozens of state funding programs, through a single application, for job-creating and community development projects.

Manufacturers typically submit CFA applications for
Workforce Training and Capital Equipment.

Round V of the REDC initiative will award up to
$750 million in state resources.

The 2015 REDC Guidebook and list of available resources will be accessible at: www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov

For applicants, the CFA is available at:

For assistance or additional information please call
Jim Cunningham at 607-725-1225 or jcunningham@amt-mep.org

See this and other newsletter articles at http://amt-mep.org/files/6114/3048/5059/2015-05.pdf

Visit our website at http://www.amt-mep.org

Why Saying This Four-Letter Word Can Transform Your Productivity

A neurochemical shift happens in your brain when you say “done” at the end of even the smallest tasks.

By Lisa Evans

Perfectionists are often reminded that “done is better than perfect.” But it turns out there’s another reason we should all try to create more “done” moments in our workdays.

Saying the word done can help you get more accomplished on your to-do list. “Telling ourselves that we’re done creates not only an emotional reaction but a physiological response as well,” says Leslie Sherlin, a psychologist, neuroperformance specialist, and the cofounder of the brain-training company SenseLabs.

According to Sherlin, when we’re concentrated on a task, the brain’s electrical activity is heightened. But the moment we say we’re done with something, the electrical activity in our brain shifts from being activated and engaged into a more relaxed state. “That relaxed state looks very similar to meditators or individuals who practice mindfulness techniques,” he says.

A neurochemical shift in the brain occurs simultaneously. Serotonin-known as the body’s “feel-good chemical”-is released, creating a sense of calmness and satisfaction. This new relaxed state then allows us to take on the next task and builds our confidence. The more often you complete a task, the more confidence you build to achieve the next item on your to-do list, allowing you to take on even more challenging tasks.

“What we want to do if we want to set ourselves up for increasing productivity is put minor or smaller challenges in front of us so we build up that ‘done’ moment,” says Sherlin.

How to create more opportunities to say “done”:

Break Tasks Into Smaller Chunks
Productivity has a snowball effect. “As you start to take steps and you make a done moment, you’re increasing your confidence and your momentum towards moving forward,” says Sherlin. While a task like “do taxes” may seem overwhelming, breaking it down into various stages that are easy to do-such as gather receipts and bank statements-not only makes the task more manageable but creates more opportunities for you to say “done.”

Work In 10-Minute Segments
Choose a task and set a timer for 10 minutes. Do as much as you can during that time without getting distracted. When the timer goes off, say “done” and then select the next task you need to perform, setting the timer once again.

Visualize Yourself Completing The Task
Imagine yourself completing the task. “Even though we haven’t achieved the step yet, imagining that step having been achieved creates momentum and motivation, which allows us to get there much quicker,” says Sherlin.

Take Microbreaks
Create opportunities to take microbreaks throughout the day. Going for a walk, grabbing a coffee, or calling a family member or friend allows the brain to reset so you can return to the task at hand more energized.


See this and other newsletter articles at http://amt-mep.org/files/6114/3048/5059/2015-05.pdf

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USEPA Grant Now Available

Toxics Reduction and Sustainability
in Southern Tier Manufacturing Industries

AM&T is partnering with the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute (NYSP2I) on a multi-year grant to support toxics reduction and sustainability in manufacturing industries in the Southern Tier region. The goal of the project is to assist companies with identifying and adopting sustainable manufacturing practices and technologies that will result in cost reductions, environmental reductions, efficient utilization of resources and greater competitive positioning in the marketplace.

To learn more about this exciting opportunity,
please come to the project kick-off event on:

June 11, 2015

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Binghamton
225 Water St, Binghamton, NY, 13901
Breakfast included

To register for this event please go to: https://eventbrite.com/event/17011152816/

For more information about this opportunity, please contact Jim Cunningham at 607-774-0022 ext 311 or jcunningham@amt-mep.org

New York State Pollution Prevention Institute’s (NYSP2I’s) mission is to make New York State more sustainable for workers, the public, the environment, and the economy. NYSP2I works with businesses, universities, community organizations and the public, to reduce waste generation, emissions to the environment and toxic chemical use while increasing competitiveness of NYS businesses.
Contact Person: Trish Donohue; 585-475-7869; podasp@rit.edu

Although the information in this document has been funded wholly or in part by the United States Environmental Protection Agency under assistance agreement NE97201911-0 to the Rochester Institute of Technology, it has not gone through the Agency’s publications review process and, therefore, may not necessarily reflect the views of the Agency and no official endorsement should be inferred.

See this and other newsletter articles at http://amt-mep.org/files/6114/3048/5059/2015-05.pdf

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The Leadership Challenge of Our Time

By Art Petty
“Taking control of uncertainty is the fundamental leadership challenge of our time.” Ram Charan in the opening line of his latest book, The Attacker’s Advantage-Turning Uncertainty into Breakthrough Opportunities.
Frankly, this is a remarkable time to be in business and to be serving in a leadership role. The risks, fears of change, possibilities of disruption or the realities of creative destruction and non-destructive creation are all facts of our business lives and they create a remarkable backdrop for us to create…to innovate. But first, we’ve got to fight our natural tendencies when determining how to act in this environment.
Three Nearly Fatal Leadership Mistakes in this Era:
  1. Waiting for Normal to Return. Some leaders imagine a return to an environment that feels more like equilibrium. Newsflash…the new equilibrium is a constant state of disequilibrium. Quit waiting on this friend to return. She’s gone.
  2. Fighting Unseen Dragons. Others have as their sworn duty the need to protect their firm against risks…known and unknown. This fear-driven response to the environment narrows the options and in some cases induces an organization-wide paralysis that nearly certainly leads to decline and death. If you’re not moving, you’re dying.
  3. Striving to Control the Weather. Worse yet, some attempt to impose order on the big forces propelling ever faster change in our world. Whether it’s through traditional approaches to long-term strategic planning (oxymoronic) or expecting the customers and market to bend to the whims of leadership’s wishful thinking, the attempt to impose order on these forces is a lot like expecting you will succeed in making the weather respond to your bidding.
See this and other newsletter articles at http://amt-mep.org/files/6114/3048/5059/2015-05.pdf
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Eight Leadership Qualities Investors Notice

By Annie Pilon In VC & Angel Capital

When trying to get investors for your startup, you need to present a great idea.

But potentially even more important is how you present yourself as a leader.

Martin Zwilling recently wrote about this investing concept for Forbes, saying:

“As an Angel investor in early stage startups, I’ve long noticed my peers’ apparent bias toward the strength and character of the founding entrepreneurs, often overriding a strong solution to a painful problem with a big opportunity. In other words, the entrepreneur quality is more important than the idea.”

The thought behind this is that a great entrepreneur has a better chance of making a decent idea work than a mediocre entrepreneur has of making a great idea work. Whether you believe this thought process is actually true or not, it can certainly have an impact on your odds of finding investors.

And as it turns out, that investing philosophy might actually hold some weight. In his article, Zwilling cited research by leadership consultant Fred Kiel, who found a link between leaders who received high scores for character and the success of their businesses.

Kiel identified eight common traits that CEOs with high character rankings had in common. These are traits you may seek to emulate when trying to attract investors, as well as throughout the process of running a successful business. They include:

High moral principles: Leaders should have integrity, responsibility, forgiveness and compassion.

A worldview of positive beliefs: More effective leaders tend to see and express things in a more positive light than their pessimistic counterparts.

Mental complexity: Those with cognitive complexity tend to notice subtle differences and even challenge their own ideas.

An openness to critical feedback: High scoring leaders tend to seek out and listen to critical feedback from others, which can help them make better business decisions.

An enjoyment of time spent with mentors: Similarly, seeking the advice of one or more mentors can be invaluable even to those at the CEO level.

Self-determination: Leaders with this quality tend to continually work toward improving their skills and thus their business.

An understanding of their life story: Those who have a clear perception of their life story tend to have a better understanding of the events that influence and shape their development.

An acceptance of support from others since childhood: Those who have sought and accepted help from others, including parents, teachers and peers, since childhood are more likely to feel accepted and respected. They are also more likely to be able to pass on those same lessons to others.

See this and other newsletter articles at http://amt-mep.org/files/6114/3048/5059/2015-05.pdf

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Six Successful Innovators and The Lessons We Should Learn From Them

By Patrick Gray for Mobile Platforms

It has been said that the heart and soul of a company is creativity and innovation, and history is littered with high-performing companies that lost their innovative edge, only to fade into irrelevance. Thankfully, history is also full of innovators that we can learn from, and we need not be the next Jobs, Gates, or Disney to apply their lessons to our own companies.

Seeing beyond the ‘possible’ - Walt Disney

On a recent family vacation to Disney World, I was reminded of the grand vision and optimism of Walt Disney, an innovator who’s become somewhat taken for granted as of late. One trip to his theme parks, however, quickly reminds the visitor that this was a man who pushed the limits of entertainment, technology, education, and what was conventionally assumed to be possible. Far beyond cute cartoons, Disney turned a swamp in Florida into a theme park that defied every contemporary notion of what a theme park should be about. Disney said that “it’s kind of fun to do the impossible.” An ability to look beyond convention, critics, and technology is critical for fostering innovation.

Redefining the status quo - Elon Musk

Ask someone to think of an entrenched and immutable industry, and automotive would likely make a list of his or her top ten. With a century of history, entrenched competitors, and a business model that’s changed very little, automotive would seem like the last industry a startup with an unconventional product would attempt to enter. However, Elon Musk and Tesla Motors made a bold entrance into this market with an unconventional product and a business model so different that it’s faced everything from skepticism to legal challenges. Just because a system, process, competitor, or even a whole industry seems monolithic and immune to change doesn’t make it so.

Reinventing yourself - Bill Gates

Bill Gates has a long track record in the technology sector, but he’s also performed a dramatic and equally impressive ‘second act’ as one of the world’s foremost advocates for everything from disease mitigation and elimination to education. While cynics might question Mr. Gates’ motives, he’s applied his wealth, intellect, and business savvy to seemingly intractable problems like eliminating polio and malaria. It’s a bold maneuver that requires diligence and effective planning, but success and expertise in one industry don’t preclude you from applying your talents in an entirely different sphere.

Remember the end user - Steve Jobs

Much has been written about Steve Jobs and his knack for innovation, but one of his less discussed talents was a focus on the user of a product rather than the process or features delivered by the product. Traditional IT has long focused on process and features, but slowly the lessons Jobs pioneered are filtering into other areas. For an innovation to be successful, it must appeal to users who readily see it as superior to the current method for performing an action. Although they may not have articulated it as boldly as Jobs, most innovators innately connect to the consumers of their inventions, taking the extra effort to refine design and aesthetics so that their alternative seems natural and absolutely superior to the end user.

‘Remix’ techniques to innovate - Jessica Jackley and Matt Flannery

Kiva.org’s co-founders took two techniques -- micro-lending and crowd sourcing -- and combined them to create a platform to help alleviate global poverty. Kiva allows the general public to contribute money toward small ‘micro-loans’ provided to people in the developing world to help start or grow a business, and ultimately increase their income. This unconventional application of financial industry techniques to poverty alleviation, combined with a web platform that made it easy for the average person to identify and fund a micro-loan, has created one of the most successful micro-lending platforms. Just because a technology or technique has never been applied to your industry, or was developed with a completely different intent, does not preclude it from being ‘remixed’ and applied to your company.

Exploit your assets - Marc Benioff

Marc Benioff created one of the world’s most successful Software as a Service (SaaS) platforms with the CRM application Salesforce.com. The product revolutionized multiple industries, and redefined how companies use and pay for software. While continuing to improve the Salesforce platform and expanding the product line, Benioff also turned the core supporting architecture of Salesforce into a unique and compelling platform, offering the Salesforce backend to consumers in the form of the Force.com platform. Most businesses and even individuals have ‘lazy assets’ where the hard work of building and funding the asset has been completed, but is not being exploited to its full potential. Everything from decade-old ERP platforms to internal departments can be augmented, repurposed, or resold into interesting and innovative products.

See this and other newsletter articles at http://amt-mep.org/files/6114/3048/5059/2015-05.pdf

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Inspiring Tomorrow’s Manufacturer Today!

Open Your Doors!

Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute (MI) recently completed their fifth U.S. Public Opinion of Manufacturing study.

It shows that there is overwhelming support for manufacturing in principle. And yet, only one out of three parents would encourage their children to pursue manufacturing careers.

Why the gap? Most people simply don’t have much first-hand knowledge of manufacturing.

The Deloitte and MI study shows that those familiar with manufacturing:

Are two times more likely to recommend manufacturing careers

Rank manufacturing in their top three career choices

In other words, one way to start to address the coming workforce shortage is to open your doors to more people — to show them what today’s manufacturing is really like.

So why not show the public how you manufacture? Join us on Manufacturing Day and help us change public perception!

Register your event at: http://www.mfgday.com/user/register

Public Perception Infographic

For a high-level view of the U.S. public’s current perception of manufacturing, take a look at this infographic from Deloitte and MI. It’s a clear at-a-glance presentation of the public’s view of U.S. manufacturing.

Get the Infographic at http://mfgday.us4.list-manage.com/track/click?u=19d45c908645a3a79493161af&id=3507efd6e4&e=da312c8603

The Complete Deloitte & MI Report

For a more in-depth look at U.S. public perception of manufacturing, download the complete 24-page report from Deloitte and MI. It includes an analysis of the current environment and offers strategies for improvement.

Download the study at http://mfgday.us4.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=19d45c908645a3a79493161af&id=e58698b6a6&e=da312c8603

See this and other newsletter articles at http://amt-mep.org/files/6114/3048/5059/2015-05.pdf

Visit our website at http://www.amt-mep.org

Associates’ Corner - Emmy’s Organics, Inc.

Emmy’s Organics, Inc. was started by couple, Ian & Samantha in 2009 in Ian’s mother’s home kitchen in Ithaca, NY. After struggling for many years with digestive problems, Ian had to change his lifestyle at a young age to avoid gluten, dairy and other irritants. His path led him to learn and work with raw, vegan foods in a number of restaurants and caf├ęs. After meeting Samantha, the couple realized that they both shared a similar passion for health and well-being. Samantha grew up as a dancer and a self-proclaimed “health nut.” One night, Ian taught Samantha a macaroon recipe that he had developed many years prior. Seeing how clean the ingredients were and how easy the recipe was to make, sparked a little idea that is now Emmy’s.

Ian and Samantha started small, selling their goods at the Ithaca Farmer’s Market and Greenstar Co-op. People really took to the macaroons and more people started buying them. A trip to NYC and other regional stores invited more retailers onboard. Today, Emmy’s products can be found in thousands of retail locations nationwide and soon, other countries!

Emmy’s is a home grown, family-oriented company, committed to spreading the good word about healthy snacking as well as social and environmental responsibility. Emmy’s B Corp Certification also shows the company’s strong passion for using business as a force for good. Examples of this can be seen in the organic and non-GMO ingredients Emmy’s sources, the way they give back to their community and other causes and the way they treat all people involved with their business. Emmy’s products are made in a wind and solar powered building and much attention is placed on reducing their carbon footprint.

Their commitment can be summarized by three words: INGREDIENTS, TRANSPARENCY, TRUST.

For information, contact: Samantha at 607-319-5113 or visit www.emmysorganics.com

See this and other newsletter articles at http://amt-mep.org/files/6114/3048/5059/2015-05.pdf

Visit our website at http://www.amt-mep.org