Concord’s Jeff Phillips earns school business leaders certification

DUNLAP — Jeff Phillips, director of facilities for Concord Community Schools, recently completed the facilities director certification program through the Indiana Association of School Business Officials.

Phillips was recognized during the regularly scheduled Concord School Board meeting Monday. His certification designation is facilities director. This certification acknowledges Phillips’ experience and knowledge regarding school business management. To complete the certification, Phillips completed 74 hours of instruction.

“Jeff is an outstanding individual who is a credit to the Concord Community Schools and Indiana ASBO,” wrote Indiana ASBO Executive Director Dennis Costerison in a letter to the school district.

Phillips joined Concord Community Schools in July 2010. In late 2019, he was promoted to director of facilities. He has served as an Indiana ASBO member since 2017.

“We thank Jeff for his service to Concord Community Schools and congratulate him on receiving this certification. He is a leader in his field and within our district and we are proud of his accomplishments,” Dr. Denise Seger, Concord’s Interim Superintendent, said.

Small business employment levels flat

CLEVELAND — The CBIZ Small Business Employment Index ended 2019 with a historically uncharacteristic December, documenting a 1.16% decline on a seasonally adjusted basis. Despite record-high sales during the holiday shopping season, small businesses kept employment levels flat. The CBIZ SBEI tracks payroll and hiring trends for over 3,600 companies that have 300 or fewer employees, providing broad insight into small business trends.

“December tends to be a strong month for small business hiring as businesses enjoy increased demand from the holidays. Notably, this was not the case for 2019, as we saw more small businesses choose to keep employment levels flat,” says Philip Noftsinger, executive vice president, CBIZ Inc. “We’ve seen several factors at play here for small businesses, including a lack of access to quality labor and an increasingly competitive labor market.”

The December 2019 ADP and Moody’s employment report painted the hiring landscape in a more positive light, with an increase of 202,000 private sector jobs on a month-over-month, seasonally adjusted basis. Small businesses increased jobs by 69,000, according to the report. The ADP and Moody’s report qualifies small businesses as companies with 49 or fewer employees, while the CBIZ SBEI broadens the definition of small businesses to companies with 300 or fewer employees. For December, over three-quarters (76%) of companies in the SBEI retained or expanded their employment headcount.

Digging deeper into the December data, Financial Services, Non-Profits, Manufacturing and Healthcare all had growth, while hiring declined in Construction, Real Estate, Arts and Entertainment and Wholesale Distribution.

Looking back at the CBIZ SBEI for all of 2019, December tied June for the largest hiring decrease on a seasonally adjusted basis. The largest increase came in August. For 2019 overall, the average seasonally adjusted change increased compared to 2018.

Moving forward, Noftsinger is monitoring the larger economic picture for potential next steps in small business hiring. “In early 2020, we anticipate small businesses will use macro data in making hiring plans,” he adds.

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