The Arrowhead Park Association Member of the Month for January 2019 is The Employers’ Association located at 1787 Indian Wood Circle. The EA was started 69 years ago as a non-profit resource for area businesses. In 1950, during an industrial boom following WWII, large Toledo companies, including Dana, OI, and Toledo Scale, combined efforts to create the EA as a resource for the manufacturing industry, with a special focus on compiling wage and salary info. This information was not readily available, but with membership in The Employers’ Association, companies had access to local wage and salary data plus assistance with human resource policies and issues.
Today, The EA is still delivering industry-leading HR solutions to the area, opening their services to all types of businesses in the 1990’s. The non-profit is governed by a 16-person voluntary board made up of representatives of member companies, including HR VPs and Directors, CEOs, attorneys and CPA’s. Two-thirds of members are now outside of manufacturing, including companies from financial and professional services, health care, education and government and not-for-profits. Currently the association has over 650 members in Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan, many for over 20 years. Member businesses range from two-person companies to corporations with thousands of employees. The average member has between 20 and 250 employees and is privately-held or an autonomous branch.
The most commonly used benefit of membership is the HR Hotline. This unlimited service takes calls about any HR related issue including policy creation, hiring, training, and compensation questions. It also assists clients working through problems like a bad hire or fire, referring to outside legal help if needed. This feedback is essential to small or one-person HR staffs, but also appreciated and utilized by many large companies.
EA Membership dues also provide access to a workplace wellness program through Medical Mutual of Ohio for companies with 50-500 employees. This popular service, along with the wage and data survey results, is used by many members.
Members can take part in EA’s supervisory skills training series held at the EA offices and at other locations throughout NW Ohio and SW Michigan. Often the training is used to help new and newly-promoted employees transition to leadership positions. HR Skills development training is also offered, including the sessions on HR legal compliance, trends, and performance management.
A relatively new offering for membership is on-site HR support services, including short-term staffing to fill gaps in the HR department, and sometimes includes assisting in the recruiting and training of a new HR employee. Custom training programs in human resources management, leadership, company culture and supervisor skills can be arranged on-site at the members’ offices.
Since 1997 the EA has been led by the charismatic Jack Hollister. When he left a manufacturing company to begin with The EA, he thought it would only be for a couple years. Twenty-one years later, he still finds the business fascinating. Moving beyond the original purpose (wage data and compliance support), the EA is focusing on a holistic approach to help members thrive. The purpose of the organization has evolved to partnering with members to build great company cultures. “You have to understand all the factors involved in company culture,” says Hollister. “People, customers, vision, mission and values. The EA wants to take a bigger role in supporting member efforts to create healthy business cultures utilizing a variety of initiatives including executive coaching.” In the long run, The EA also hopes to provide information and resources to help their members find additional talent, as well as to retain them. “I feel we play an important role in the community,” continues Hollister. “It’s a bit of a jungle out there. We’d like to help companies navigate through it.”
The EA has been in Arrowhead Park for 7 years. They love it here. “It’s the best place for us,” says Hollister, “with access to all the Northwest Ohio crossroads, and busy, but not crazy, traffic.” He also enjoys being able to help several Arrowhead Park EA members. If you are interested in learning more about The EA, contact Jack Hollister or Sarah Beddoes at 419-893-3000. They will help you find out how The EA can be a benefit to your company.