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|Articles - October 2010|
|Tuesday, September 28, 2010|
Rick Dice, the president of PatRick Environmental and president of the board of the National Wildfire Suppression Association, has been in the fire suppression business since 1971, and he counts 2010 among the slowest fire years ever. Dice says most companies saw revenues plunge by more than half this year as federal and state agencies spent about $50 million less on fighting fires in Oregon than in a typical year. Many of those businesses will have a hard time staying in operation, he predicts.
“Businesses are going to suffer big time,” says Dice. “They’re going to have to do a lot of layoffs if they want to survive.”
Dice says he plans to lay off as many as 250 people, the first time he’s had to cut jobs in 20 years. The 2010 season came to a grinding halt for his company in early September, when early rains doused Oregon weeks earlier than usual. “A lot of times our season doesn’t end until Oct. 15 and it starts up in June or even May,” he says. “This year it didn’t start until August and it only lasted two weeks.”
The abrupt end of summer served as the latest dampener for an industry that grew from 62 20-man crews in 1994 to 175 in 2008, with about 4,000 seasonal employees. About two-thirds of the industry is based in Oregon, which led the trend toward privatization by shifting to on-call contract crews in the 1980s. But a less aggressive approach to firefighting on federal lands has cut into revenues, and competition has become fierce.
The lack of fire throughout the West also took its toll on Oregon aviation companies that attack wildfires from above, such as Columbia Helicopters, Evergreen Aviation and Erickson Air-Crane. Even when a serious wildfire broke out in early September in Colorado, Oregon air and ground crews were not called to the scene because plenty of local aircraft and crews were available nearby.
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY CAMILLE GRIGSBY-ROCCA
Can the brave new world of neurotechnology help an OHSU surgeon find a cure for obesity?
Thursday, August 13, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR
Portland-based startup ImpactFlow recently announced a $5.7 million funding round. CEO and co-founder Tyler Foreman talks about matching businesses with nonprofits, his time at Intel and the changing face of philanthropy.
Wednesday, July 15, 2015
We asked readers to weigh in on the fossil fuel-green energy equation.
Thursday, August 20, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER
Ask any college student: Textbook prices have skyrocketed out of control. Online education startup Lumen Learning aims to bring them down to earth.
Friday, July 10, 2015
BY DAN COOK
The Affordable Care Act has triggered a rush on health care plan redesign, a process fraught with hidden costs and consequences.
Wednesday, July 15, 2015
We asked readers how Obamacare has impacted their business.
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY CHRIS NOBLE
Whether you're stepping out to work or onto the track, Pacific Northwest shoe companies have you covered.
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Transforming the culture of Oregon’s educational leadership.
The Board dismissed a petition related to efforts to unionize the Northwestern University football team.
Every once in a while we receive a letter in the (fictional) mailbag that is tough to describe and quite compelling. This week, Isabel, the new HR manager at LabCo (and someone who is new to HR), wants to know whether she may fire the owner’s son for having an Oregon medical marijuana card. In passing, Isabel also makes a number of alarming admissions about her motivation. Here is Isabel’s nerve-racking question and our response to it.
Oregon Sick Leave is here, and changes to the federal white-collar worker regulations are on the way. This workshop will prepare you for both. We invite you to participate in an interactive discussion on how to start planning now for the future impact on your operations and finances.
Presented by OEN + CENTRL + YESpdx.
This Roundtable will cover numerous issues under the employer "shared responsibility" rules of the Affordable Care Act, including how to track the "full-time" status of variable-hour employees, temporary or seasonal employees, and employees who experience a change in status or a break in service. Additionally, we will provide a brief overview of Code sections 6055 and 6056, which require most mid-sized and large employers to submit their first information reports to the IRS in early 2016 regarding the health insurance coverage being offered to employees. We invite you to participate in an interactive discussion on how to prepare for the future impact of the shared responsibility rules on your operations and finances.