Staying Safe While Cleaning Up After a Hurricane

With the names Harvey, Irma, and Maria still fresh in our minds, Hurricane Nate is now threatening Louisiana, Alabama, and the Florida Panhandle. In a previous article, we discussed general safety after a hurricane or natural disaster. However, after the immediate aftermath of the storm, comes the clean up. Here are a few tips on staying safe while cleaning up from a natural disaster:

 

  1. Be Aware of Electrical Hazards: After a storm it may take several days (or weeks) for electric companies to rebuild. There will be downed power lines that can pose a threat especially if near standing flood waters.
  2. Be Aware of Floodwaters: Floodwaters bring with them multiple dangers. They can hide large debris and can also be filled with infection causing bacteria. Avoid standing water and walking through flooding as much as possible.
  3. Be Aware of Generators: If the power is out after a disaster, many buildings will be utilizing generators for electricity. Generators produce deadly carbon monoxide. They should only be operated outside.

Taking Breaks For Worker Wellbeing

Although there is no federal law requiring employers to offer breaks (these rules are decided at the state level), encouraging employees to take breaks has strong benefits such as:

  1. Increased productivity: Studies have shown that even a 5 minute break is enough to increase concentration. Breaks can also help prevent a worker from getting board which can also increase productivity.

2. Less injuries: A tired worker is more likely to get hurt while on the job. Allowing adequate               rest can help minimize workplace injuries.

3. Happier employees: Employees who receive regular breaks are more likely to be happier at             their job and are less likely to get burned out.

3 Reasons for an Employee Referral Program

Quality employees are the backbone of a successful business. Sometimes, companies may find it difficult and expensive to recruit employees. An employee referral program is something almost all companies should implement and here are 3 reasons why:

 

  • Reduced Costs: The costs of implementing an employee referral program are typically lower than standard recruiting costs. Having current employees talking up your company to their friends and finding people who could be a good fit is worth the cost of the program.

 

  •  Improved Quality of Hire: Although it might not always work out this way, typically a current employee will only refer someone that they think will be a quality employee and a good cultural fit at the company. If a referred candidate is hired, they will likely already know people at the company and be able to fit right into the workplace culture.

 

  • Builds Engagement: Employees that are talking about their workplace to their friends, are building an attachment to their company. Having an employee referral program can make employees feel like they have a bigger role in the future of the company.

Department of Labor will not Defend Overtime Rule

On November 22, 2016 a federal court temporarily blocked the proposed overtime rule that would have raised the salary threshold for exempt employees. Under these new rules, the overtime exemption for salary would have risen significantly from $23,660 to potentially as high as $50,440. Click here to read our previous blog about the proposed rule.

Now the Department of Labor (DOL) has decided it will not defend the overtime law that many claimed was too drastic for many employers to cope with.

Instead, the DOL has submitted a Request for Information. An RFI is an optional step that government agencies can take to gain public input as to whether a new law or a change in a law is necessary.  The DOL will likely begin a new lawmaking process and draft a new overtime law with a lower salary threshold.

Higher Quest Foundation Spotlight: Interview

As we gear up for 14ers for the famished, we sat down with one of the founders of the Higher Quest Foundation, Rick Hermanns, to discuss his vision for the foundation.

What First Inspired you to found the Higher Quest Foundation?

I believe we have a Biblical mandate to help those less fortunate. We have been blessed as a company, and the foundation is one of our ways to assist veterans and the hungry.

What makes fish farming different than just giving people money to buy food?

Teaching people to fish farm solves the ongoing problem of hunger rather than treating the immediate symptom.

What makes fish farming a sustainable way to support overseas charities?

It is hard for people to financially support a cause year after year. Supporting the building of a fish farm allows for the donor’s gift to keep on giving for potentially years and years.

What are some long term goals of the Higher Quest Foundation?

Generally we would like to be able to do more to ensure veterans be given job on a domestic level. Internationally, we want to continue building fish farms globally and are currently working on setting up a new training center overseas so we can further expand our reach. We are also seeking to discover cost effective ways of storing food in areas prone to famine. In some places, it is estimated that more than 1/3 of all food is spoiled or wasted.

What can someone in the US do to support the Higher Quest Foundation and it’s goal of ending world hunger in a sustainable way?

There are several ways to get involved:

  • You could become a volunteer to be trained and set a fish farm up.
  • You could identify a potential partner for us to build a fish farm with or for
  • Tell your friends about the potential of fish farming to increase awareness
  • Cash donations are always welcome

Trojan Labor Scholarship Recipient

The 2017-2018 Trojan Labor Scholarship recipient at Palm Beach Atlantic University is Richard Santos.

Richard Santos is a rising Junior from Pembroke Pines, FL.  He is a pre-Pharmacy major.  Richard serves as a regular volunteer in our Rosemary Village after school program.  The Rosemary Village after school program is located in an economically impoverished and under served community in the Tamarind area of West Palm Beach, FL.

In addition to the  time he spends off campus tutoring children, Richard also serves on campus in the Impact Leadership Program.  Richard believes that “love should be the driving force behind all service.”  After he graduates, Richard plans to enter pharmacy school.

American Hero Award Recipients 2017

Each year, Trojan Labor, Acrux Staffing, and the Higher Quest Foundation host the American Hero Awards. The ceremony recognizes two American service men or women who have gone above the call of duty in service to their country.

We are pleased to announce this year’s Ultimate Hero Award Recipient: Pfc. Cody James Patterson.

To read more about this year’s Ultimate Hero click here.

This year’s American Hero Award Recipient is Staff Sergeant Jeffery M. Dawson.

To read his story click here.

 

American Hero Award Recipient 2017: Staff Sergeant Jeffrey Dawson

The 2017 American Hero Award recipient is Staff Sergeant Jeffrey Dawson. He graduated from Mt. Vernon High School in Fortville, Indiana.

On February 17th, 2015, Dawson was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the nation’s second highest award for valor. He earned this award while deployed to Afghanistan with the 28th EOD Company (Airborne).

During a mission, a fleeing enemy insurgent detonated an explosive killing himself and the team’s

dog.

Soon after, Dawson realized that there were IED’s surrounding him and his team.

According to the Army news website: “Despite being wounded by two separate explosions, Dawson halted the mission, disarmed the improvised explosive devices and aided in the evacuation of dead and wounded Soldiers. Navigating the chaotic situation in limited visibility for more than two hours, Dawson exposed himself to grave danger while locating three confirmed pressure plate IEDs and an additional six suspected devices, the award citation stated.”

Dawson’s other awards and recognition’s include:

Combat Action Badge, Senior Explosive Ordnance Disposal Badge, Parachutists Badge,Distinguished Service Cross, Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Iraq Campaign Ribbon with one campaign star, Afghanistan Campaign Ribbon with 2 campaign stars, Valorous Unit Award, and Meritorious Unit Citation.

Staff Sergeant Jeffrey Dawson went above the call of duty and is truly deserving of the 2017 American Hero Award.

Here We Grow Again!

It is officially spring! Springtime is a season of new life and of growth. In the spirit of the season, Trojan Labor is very pleased to announce several new offices opening in the coming months. We know that opening in these new communities will allow us to continue to be “the right people at the right time” for our customers. Be sure to be on the lookout for more information on these new offices which will be announced on this blog as well as on the official Trojan Labor Facebook page. Here is a list of the upcoming offices:

-Melbourne, FL:  March 27th

-San Antonio, TX: April 3rd

-Des Moines, IA: April 3rd

-Tarpon Springs, FL: Coming Soon!

-Stuart, FL: Coming Soon!

Higher Quest Foundation Update: Honduras Project

The Higher Quest Foundation (sponsored by Trojan Labor) builds fish farms in developing countries and trains the local staff in their operation and maintenance. For one of their projects they partnered with Global Brigades to build a farm in Honduras. So far the farm has been a huge success and harvested it’s first crop of fish late last summer. Here are some of the latest picture updates of the project: