Home » NKY Chamber presents virtual Employer Best Practices symposium on March 10

NKY Chamber presents virtual Employer Best Practices symposium on March 10

A pair of national job quality experts, representing MIT Sloan School of Management and the National Fund for Workforce Solutions, will kick off the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce’s third annual Employer Best Practices Symposium on March 10.

The virtual event, titled Be a Destination Employer, will provide attendees an opportunity to learn from national, state, and local business leaders about the competitive advantages of creating superior jobs. The symposium’s morning and afternoon keynote panels and breakout sessions will feature experts on hiring, training, and workforce practices that improve firm competitiveness and job quality, giving businesses the tools to ultimately become a destination employer.

The morning keynote panel, titled The Business Case for Job Quality, will begin at 8 a.m. and feature:

Dr. Thomas Kochan, CoDirector of MIT Sloan Institute for Work and Employment Research at MIT Sloan School of Management

Dr. Thomas Kochan

Kochan’s work focuses on the need for America’s employment policies, institutions, and practices to catch up with a changing workforce and economy. His recent work calls attention to the challenges facing working families in meeting their responsibilities at work, at home, and in their communities.

Janice Urbanik, Senior Director of Innovation and Strategy at the National Fund for Workforce Solutions

Urbanik leverages her past experience as the executive director of Partners for a Competitive Workforce in Cincinnati to help other National Fund sites achieve their full potential. She also facilitates the Employer Roundtable of the Cincinnati Child Poverty Collaborative, where employers learn about the policies and practices that they can implement to improve recruiting, retention and advancement.


Janice Urbanik

Meghan Cummings (moderator), Executive Director of the Women’s Fund of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation

Cummings brings a broad perspective of leadership and tackling complex systems issues through her experience with non-profit organizations, a corporate charity, and a community foundation. She is passionate about addressing poverty and equity issues by igniting public will and inspiring individuals, companies, and foundations to collaborate in new ways.

The event will close with another outstanding keynote panel, titled The Importance of Embedding Inclusive Leadership in Your Organizational Culture. The panel will include:

Kristen Smitherman-Voltaire, Community and Citizenship Manager at Turner Construction
Smitherman-Voltaire manages Turner Construction’s community outreach and economic inclusion efforts. In her role, she applies her unique combination of community engagement, equity and inclusion, and project management experience to cultivate sustainable economic impact for underrepresented businesses and inspire the next generation to imagine themselves in a career in the construction industry.

Scott Koloms

Alieu Nyassi, System Director, Diversity & Inclusion at St. Elizabeth Healthcare A human resources leader with extensive experience in diversity training/management, strategy and change management, labor and employee relations, diversity recruitment, conflict management, career development, coaching, and consulting, Nyassi’s expertise includes employment laws and regulations, team building and implementing workforce development and performance enhancement initiatives.

Scott Koloms, President/CEO at FMS PBC and Founder of Canopy, Koloms is a leader in the good business movement in Kentucky. As President/CEO of FMS PBC, the first certified B-Corporation janitorial service in the world, and founder of Canopy, a nonprofit aiming to make Kentucky first in good business, Scott’s mission is to have a positive impact on people and communities. Scott is a sought-after speaker who inspires audiences to unite with a common purpose of adopting socially conscious business models.

In between the keynote, panels will be 10 outstanding breakout sessions for participants to attend. The breakout sessions will highlight the three categories of the National Fund for Workforce Solutions Job Design Framework: Foundational, Support and Opportunity. The topics will include:

Fixing Pay Inequality … It’s the Right to Do

Speaker: John Hawkins, President, and CEO at MPI Consulting

Employee pay is typically one of the largest expenses on a company’s income statement — and with good reason. Pay drives financial performance, efficiency, and productivity, and helps to attract and retain the best talent. Having a diverse talent pool can significantly improve financial performance. Join us for a discussion on fairness, equity, and respect related to pay.

Transforming the Vicious Cycle of Turnover

Speaker: Meghan Cummings, Executive Director of the Women’s Fund of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation

Employers struggle with the same challenges: attraction, retention, and engagement. This session will cover concrete, actionable recommendations to transform your lower-wage workforce, giving you a competitive advantage in this tight labor market.

Mental Health and Your Workforce

Speaker: Carrie Taylor, Senior Vice President, Employee Health & Benefits at Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC

At such a time of stress, the investments made in your employees’ mental health and well-being can mean the difference between a productive and an unproductive workforce. Join us to learn ways to assist your employees with resources you may already have available.

Cultivate Your Talent Pipeline Today for a Skilled Workforce Tomorrow

Speakers: Lauren Allhands, Center for Employment Training Coordinator at Brighton Center, and Jessica Cleek, Organizational Development Specialist at St. Elizabeth Physicians

Learn how to conquer workforce obstacles including recruiting, retention, and training costs by incentivizing and creating a skilled workforce through internships and collaboration with training providers.

Quality People Practices…It’s a Culture Thing

Speaker: David Fusting, Human Resource Leader at Logan Aluminum

Knowing that together we can be the best, Logan Aluminum values team members through progressive employee benefits and training programs that support employee wellness, growth, and development as well as security in retirement. Learn how Logan employees don’t just work at the company, they are our business partners.

Need a Ride?  Learn How NKCAC Can Provide a Lift

Speaker: Douglas Beard, Director of Community Services at Northern Kentucky Community Action Commission

For many, transportation can be a major barrier to employment. The Northern Kentucky Community Action Commission is removing this obstacle with support from the Boone County Fiscal Court. Learn how NKCAC is facing this challenge head-on and providing a lift to jobs through programs such as LINK VAN and Career Kickstart.

Attracting & Retaining Talent: More Than a Place to Go, Be a Place to Grow

Speaker: Christi Godman, Associate Vice President, Workforce Solutions at Gateway Community & Technical College

In a labor market flooded with competition, employers who invest in their workforce and provide pathways for advancement attract the most motivated and promising candidates.   From apprenticeship tracks to tuition reimbursement and custom training programs, learn about resources available in our community to promote growth and retain talent within your organization.

Engaging Your Workforce: It’s Not About the Pay. Really.

Speaker: Bonnie Curtis, Chief Human Resources Officer at Castellini

Learn about the employee engagement journey at Castellini. Bonnie Curtis leads HR for a mid-sized privately held company in a low-wage industry. She has worked for three years to improve engagement through communication, training, careers, and recognition for the entire workforce.

The Importance of Culture and Employee Morale

Speaker: Erin Young, Human Resources Consultant at VonLehman CPA and Advisory Firm

When was the last time you checked in on your employees? Not on their work product, but on them as an employee? Do they have the technology needed? Do you have remote culture boosters in place? Do you offer flexible work arrangements? In this session hear from Erin Young, HR Consultant with VonLehman CPA & Advisory Firm, where she will discuss the importance of remote culture and improving employee morale.

Hiring? Veterans in Transition and their Spouses are Looking for Good Companies with Good Jobs

Speaker: Lauren Kovaleski, Transition Manager at USO Pathfinder Transition Program, Fort Campbell

The USO Pathfinder Transition Program extends the USO experience to active duty, U.S. Army Reserve, National Guard, and military spouses by offering professional development services throughout the duration of the service member’s or military spouse’s career, as well as when they transition out of the military and settle into their new communities. Join this session to learn how to be the employer of choice and how to connect directly with this highly skilled talent pipeline.

The Employer Best Practices Symposium is ideal for small business owners, operations and human resource professionals, and C-suite leaders from all types of organizations. SHRM and HRCI credits are available for attendees.

Click here to register or learn more.