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Intern

The primary responsibility of this intern will be to provide assistance and technical, analytic support for projects in the firm’s practice areas.  A successful candidate will have outstanding technical, analytic, and problem-solving skills as well as interpersonal, oral, and written communication skills to work with the firm’s consultants and a diverse group of client organizations.  The position functions in a highly collaborative setting.

Experience

  • Successful work on teams to complete time-sensitive projects
  • Launching and managing a new idea or initiative through all phases
  • B.S. degree or equivalent academic preparation and experience

Knowledge and Skills

  • Outstanding motivation level and goal direction
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including the ability to work with diverse people, organizations, and teams
  • Excellent verbal communication skills
  • Strong writing skills, including the ability to write reports, proposals, and standard business documents
  • Excellent decision-making and problem-solving skills
  • Ability to work on multiple, complex tasks
  • Solid organizational skills
  • Basic understanding of organizational development and business management
  • Personal computer skills with general business software knowledge, including competencies in Microsoft Excel, Access, Word, and PowerPoint
  • Interest in and some knowledge of business development and the sales process
  • Knowledge of research processes
  • Familiarity with quantitative and qualitative research methods

Responsibilities

  • Conduct research to support consulting projects
  • Provide analytic support and counsel to consulting staff for ongoing projects
  • Provide problem-solving, analytic services, and advice to clients and project teams
  • Travel as necessary to complete project assignments

If your qualifications match the above specifications, please forward your résumé with salary requirements via e-mail to ddemarco@hillgroupinc.com.

Part-Time Data Management and Information System Development Analyst

Candidates should have experience in the development and management of databases and information reporting systems as well as the capacity to interface with clients as needed.  If you are interested and meet these qualifications, please consult the following additional specifications for the Data Management and Information System Development Analyst position.

Experience (Preferred)

  • Masters Degree (or candidate) in appropriately related field such as Information Systems, Computer Science, Statistics, or Business Administration; or 3-5 years consulting and project management experience
  • Successful work on teams to complete time-sensitive projects

Knowledge and Skills

  • Expertise in Microsoft Office Applications (especially Access and Excel) and a working knowledge of Microsoft Networking is required
  • Knowledge of VB, VBA, or C++ is preferred, but not required
  • Portfolio of database development and management work
  • Knowledge of statistics is preferred
  • Ability to communicate verbally and interact with consultants and clients
  • Outstanding motivation level and goal direction
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Solid administrative and organizational skills
  • Ability to work with diverse people, organizations, and teams
  • Excellent decision-making and problem-solving skills with ability to work with multiple complex tasks

Responsibilities

  • Design and develop data management and information system tools to provide clients with turn-key data reporting systems
  • Provide analytic support and counsel to consulting staff for ongoing projects
  • Provide problem-solving, analytic services and advice to clients and project teams
  • Occasionally conduct research to support consulting projects

If your qualifications match the above specifications, we would like to hear from you.

Please forward your resume, writing samples and salary requirements via e-mail to: Daniel L. DeMarco, Vice President and General Counsel, ddemarco@hillgroupinc.com

Systems Consultant

This professional-level consultant will be the lead consultant on quantitative analysis consulting projects.  These projects include process optimization modeling, forecasting, risk analysis, and statistical analysis.  This consultant will also be responsible for designing and developing The Hill Group, Inc.’s online, interactive measurement tools.  The successful candidate will also perform support tasks for consultants including database development, knowledge management, application support, and network administration tasks.  A successful candidate will have outstanding technical, analytic, and problem-solving skills as well as interpersonal and communications skills to work with the firm’s consultants and a diverse group of client organizations in a diverse set of industries.  This position reports directly to the President  & CEO.

Experience

  • Masters Degree or 3-5 years consulting and project management experience
  • Successful work on teams to complete time-sensitive projects
  • Attainment of appropriately related education such as a B.S. degree or equivalent in Computer Science, Statistics, or Business Administrations, MS preferred

Knowledge and Skills

  • Complex spreadsheet modeling, including algorithm development, technical implementation and report writing
  • Expertise in Microsoft Office Applications (especially Access and Excel) and a working knowledge of Microsoft Networking is required
  • Knowledge of VB, VBA, or C++ is preferred, but not required
  • Portfolio of interactive web applications preferred
  • Knowledge of statistics is preferred
  • Ability to communicate verbally and interact with consultants and clients
  • Outstanding motivation level and goal direction
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Solid administrative and organizational skills
  • Ability to work with diverse people, organizations, and teams
  • Excellent decision-making and problem-solving skills with ability to work with multiple complex tasks

Responsibilities

  • Design and develop interactive web applications for diagnostic measurement tools
  • Design and develop spreadsheet-based optimization and forecasting applications
  • Provide analytic support and counsel to consulting staff for ongoing projects
  • Provide problem-solving, analytic services and advice to clients and project teams
  • Occasionally conduct research to support consulting projects
  • Pursue and implement high quality professional development and continuing education opportunities

If your qualifications match the above specification, we would like to hear from you.  Please forward your resume, writing samples and salary requirements via e-mail to ddemarco@hillgroupinc.com.

Consultant

This professional-level consulting position is responsible for providing analytic services and counsel to the firm’s clients.  A successful candidate will have outstanding interpersonal and communication skills as well as technical, analytic, and problem-solving skills to work with a diverse group of client organizations in a diverse set of industries.  This position also functions as a high level account executive, actively pursuing business opportunities with Fortune 500 corporations and governments.  The position functions in a high visibility, high contact role.  This position reports to the Vice President, Project Services.

Experience

  • Working with and leading organizations
  • Launching and managing a new idea or initiative in all phases
  • Understanding of organizational development and management
  • Successful work on teams to complete time-sensitive projects
  • Sales of tangible or intangible products or services
  • Attainment of appropriately related education such as a B.S. degree or equivalent academic preparation and experience; an advance degree such as an MBA or MS in Organizational Development, Psychology, or Marketing is preferred

Knowledge and Skills

  • Outstanding motivation level and goal direction
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Solid organizational skills
  • Ability to work with diverse people, organizations and teams
  • Excellent decision-making and problem-solving skills with ability to work with multiple, complex tasks
  • Interest and some knowledge of business development and the sales process
  • Design and implementation of strategic planning systems
  • Thorough understanding of organizational development and business management theories and practice

Responsibilities

  • Provide problem-solving, analytic services, and counsel to clients and project teams
  • Work with project teams to fulfill firm objectives and complete client projects
  • Provide leadership in the development of organizational vision and marketing strategies and tactics for a line of the firm’s business
  • Initiate contacts with prospective corporate and government clients and develop relationships with current prospects and clients
  • Lead sales/marketing efforts for assigned line of business
  • Pursue and implement high quality professional development and continuing education opportunities.

If your qualifications match the above specification, we would like to hear from you.  Please forward your resume, writing samples and salary requirements via e-mail to ddemarco@hillgroupinc.com.

Business Analyst

The primary responsibility of this professional-level analyst will be to provide assistance and technical, analytic support for projects in the firm’s practice areas.  A successful candidate will have outstanding technical, analytic, and problem-solving skills.  The position functions in a highly collaborative role with a diverse group of consultants and client organizations.

Experience

  • Successful work on teams to complete time-sensitive projects
  • Launching and managing a new idea or initiative through all phases
  • Basic quantitative and qualitative analysis and research methods
  • B.S. degree or equivalent academic preparation and experience

Knowledge and Skills

  • Outstanding motivation level and goal direction
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including the ability to work with diverse people, organizations and teams
  • Excellent verbal communication skills
  • Strong writing skills, including the ability to write reports, proposals, and standard business documents
  • Ability to work in collaborative and independent settings
  • Excellent decision-making and problem-solving skills
  • Ability to work on multiple, complex tasks
  • Solid organizational skills
  • Basic understanding of organizational development and business management
  • Personal computer skills with general business software knowledge, including competencies in Microsoft Excel, Access, Word, and PowerPoint
  • Interest in and some knowledge of business development and the sales process
  • Knowledge of research processes
  • Familiarity with quantitative and qualitative research methods

Responsibilities

  • Conduct research to support consulting projects
  • Provide analytic support and counsel to consulting staff for ongoing projects
  • Provide problem-solving, analytic services and advice to clients and project teams
  • Pursue high-quality professional development and continuing education opportunities
  • Travel as necessary to complete project assignments

Brussalis Elected Chairman of Regional Learning Alliance Board

Brussalis2010PortraitSM_005CARNEGIE, Pa. – Chris W. Brussalis, President and CEO of The Hill Group, Inc., was elected Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Regional Learning Alliance (RLA) at the board’s regular meeting on October 21. The RLA is the Greater Pittsburgh region’s premier learning and conference center and the nation’s largest collaborative campus and education facility.

“The RLA is a national model in the delivery of higher education and facilitation of workforce development. Our higher education and corporate partners are advancing innovative approaches to learning and professional development every day, making this campus one of the most exciting places to learn and grow in the world,” said Brussalis. “Our leadership team and highly-skilled staff are committed to providing a premier learning and training environment that enables our partners to stay on the cutting edge of lifelong learning.”

The Regional Learning Alliance was designed to stimulate the economy of Western Pennsylvania and to help build a better workforce. Since opening its doors in 2004, the RLA has offered over 1,500 degree program classes, holds more than 1,500 workforce and professional development events per year, and has hosted 700 of the region’s top companies. With 10 education partners, the RLA is a national leader in lifelong learning.

The RLA offers more than 30 degree programs, from associate to doctoral degrees, provided through partnerships with 9 colleges and universities. The RLA’s progressive approach to meeting the educational, professional, and conference needs of the region earned it the National Gold Award from American Colleges & Universities magazine for the most Innovative Educational Environment.

Located near the crossroads of Interstates 79 and 76 in Cranberry (Butler County) and Marshall (Allegheny County) Townships in western Pennsylvania, the RLA’s LEED certified green building in Cranberry Woods office park offers students the best of a traditional college campus, with the modern amenities of a first-class executive training center. The RLA provides a variety of resources such as a writing and research center, computer labs, vending café, and Virtual Library.

Brussalis has served as President and CEO of The Hill Group, Inc., a national management consulting firm based in Carnegie, Pa., since 1996 and is Adjunct Professor of Management and Policy at the Heinz College of Carnegie Mellon University. In addition to the RLA, Brussalis also serves on the boards of the national ALS Association, American Society for Competitiveness, Phi Delta Theta International Fraternity, CentraComm Communications, Leadership Pittsburgh, and several university advisory boards.

The Hill Group, Inc., founded in 1953, is a premier provider of management counsel, specializing in strategy, operations, and measurement. The Hill Group serves a wide range of private and public sector clients, including large corporations, institutions, nonprofits, and governments. For more information, visit www.hillgroupinc.com.

Hill Group Welcomes New Business Analyst Stephanie Mancine

MancineThumbnail_001The Hill Group, Inc. is pleased to announce that Stephanie Mancine has joined the firm as a business analyst. Mancine will provide support for various consulting projects focused on strategic planning and market research.

Mancine earned her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Allegheny College. Her previous professional experiences include assignments with a Pennsylvania-based lobbying firm, the Office of General Counsel for the Metropolitan Police Department of Washington D.C., BNY Mellon, and the District Attorney of Allegheny County. Her special interests include higher education policy development as well as defense and national security strategy.

In her spare time, Mancine serves as an advisor to the Kappa Nu chapter of Alpha Chi Omega at Carnegie Mellon University and is Vice President of the sorority’s Pittsburgh alumnae chapter. She also volunteers at a local women’s shelter as a volunteer- trained legal advocate.

John Talcott Promoted to Consultant

Talcott2011ThumbnailThe Hill Group, Inc. is pleased to announce that John Talcott has been promoted to consultant. Talcott specializes in strategic planning, business planning, economic impact analysis, and survey design and implementation.

Talcott earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of South Dakota and is currently completing a Masters of Business Administration at University of Pittsburgh Katz Graduate School of Business. Talcott’s experience includes process measurement and improvement, workforce management across the employment life cycle, simulation modeling, and business scenario planning. His special interests include lean management and six sigma solutions to optimize business efficiency and effectiveness.

Prior to joining the firm, Talcott provided personal leadership development, challenge course, and facilitation training to undergraduate students and staff members at the University of Pittsburgh. His civic engagement experiences include volunteering with the housing corporation of a social fraternity and mentoring engaged couples in the local community.

Jordan Pallitto Joins The Consortium for Public Education Board

PallittoThumbnail_2012_001Hill Group consultant Jordan Pallitto has joined the Board of Directors of The Consortium for Public Education. The Consortium is a nonprofit organization working with school districts across western Pennsylvania on initiatives strategically designed to strengthen and broaden school leadership, engage community, and empower students.

Pallitto will complement the existing board by bringing invaluable expertise to bear from his extensive work with nonprofit organizations and educational institutions including public schools, intermediate units, and education advocacy organizations. “I look forward to helping The Consortium continue its tradition of positively impacting education, educators, and students in our region,” said Pallitto.

Pallitto is a Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Organizations (PANO) Standards for Excellence Trained and Approved Consultant. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Allegheny College and a Master of Science degree from the Heinz College at Carnegie Mellon University.

Pallitto also serves on the Board of Directors of the Community Foundation of Westmoreland County (now part of the Pittsburgh Foundation), as Vice President of the Pittsburgh Urban Magnet Project, and on the Robert Morris University Health Services Administration Advisory Board. He is a graduate of Leadership Development Initiative XV, a program of Leadership Pittsburgh, Inc.

DeMarco Elected Chair of CONNECT

DeMarcoThumbnail_002Daniel L. DeMarco, Hill Group Vice President and General Counsel, was elected chair of the Congress of Neighboring Communities (CONNECT). The election was held at the annual meeting of the Congress in June.

CONNECT is an organization that promotes cooperation and collaboration between the City of Pittsburgh and the 37 municipalities that comprise the region’s urban core. It cultivates a forum for new ways to maximize economic prosperity in southwestern Pennsylvania.

“EMS funding will top our priorities during my term,” said DeMarco. “We have done some excellent work in moving this forward for our members. However, we must now put more focus towards completing our long-range plan in order to push this project across the finish line.”

Public transit and water and sewer issues also remain top concerns for CONNECT members. “All of these require long-term assistance, and CONNECT is the perfect vehicle to voice the needs of our region to state and federal government leaders.”

Since 2000, DeMarco has also served as Commissioner of the First Ward of Ross Township (Allegheny County), one of the largest townships in Pennsylvania with over 30,000 residents. DeMarco is a graduate of Allegheny College and Duquesne University School of Law.

In his capacity as Vice President of The Hill Group, DeMarco provides leadership and oversees human resources activities. As General Counsel, Dan advises the firm on legal affairs, provides legal representation, analysis of legal issues, and administers contracts.

The Hill Group, Inc., a national management consulting firm founded in 1953, is a premier provider of management counsel, specializing in strategy, operations, and measurement. The Hill Group serves a wide range of private and public sector clients, including large corporations, institutions, nonprofits, and governments

DeMarco Sworn in for Fourth Term as Ross Township Commissioner

DeMarcoThumbnail_002Dan DeMarco, Vice President and General Counsel of The Hill Group, Inc., was sworn in for his fourth term as Commissioner of the First Ward, Ross Township, in January after winning re-election in November 2011.

DeMarco has served on the Ross Township Board of Commissioners since 2000. Over the course of his 12 years as an elected Ross official, DeMarco served as president of the board of commissioners and chairman and co-chairman of the public safety committee for the Township.  In this role, DeMarco acted as a liaison between the board of commissioners and Ross Township’s police department and its eight volunteer fire departments.

DeMarco is a lifelong resident of Ross Township and is a former volunteer firefighter, having served with the Berkeley Hills Fire Company for 12 years. He is a past president of the Northland Public Library Authority Board of Trustees and is the Northern Basin Chairman of the 3 Rivers Wet Weather Demonstration Program.  He also serves as vice chairman of CONNECT, the Congress of Neighboring Communities.

The Hill Group, Inc. congratulates Dan on his victory and his continued service to the citizens of Ross Township and the Pittsburgh region.

Chris Brussalis Named to National ALS Association Board of Trustees

Brussalis2010PortraitSM_005CARNEGIE, Pa. – The Hill Group, Inc. is pleased to announce that Chris Brussalis, President and CEO of the firm, was appointed to the National Board of Trustees for the ALS Association. The ALS Association is the world leader in the fight to treat, cure, and raise awareness about amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the disease that took Lou Gehrig’s life and then his name.

“I am very eager to begin my work with The ALS Association and to continue honoring the legacy of Lou Gehrig,” said Brussalis.“ As a board member of Phi Delta Theta International Fraternity, I share a connection to The ALS Association through Lou Gehrig, who was a member of our Fraternity’s chapter at Columbia University. The fight against ALS is not just a priority for our Phi Delta Theta family, it’s personal.”

At any given time, 30,000 Americans are fighting ALS, a progressive neurodegenerative disease. Lou Gehrig brought international attention to ALS when he abruptly retired from the New York Yankees in 1939 after his diagnosis with the disease.

Established in 1985, The ALS Association is the only non-profit organization fighting Lou Gehrig’s Disease on every front. By leading the way in global research, providing assistance for people with ALS through a nationwide network of chapters, coordinating multidisciplinary care through certified clinical care centers, and fostering government partnerships, The Association builds hope and enhances quality of life while aggressively searching for new treatments and a cure.

Brussalis has served as President and CEO of The Hill Group, Inc. since 1996 and is Adjunct Professor of Management and Policy at the Heinz College of Carnegie Mellon University. The Hill Group, Inc., a national management consulting firm founded in 1953, is a premier provider of management counsel, specializing in strategy, operations, and measurement. The Hill Group serves a wide range of private and public sector clients, including large corporations, institutions, nonprofits, and governments.

Jordan Pallitto Elected Vice President of Pittsburgh Urban Magnet Project’s Board of Directors

PallittoThumbnail_2012_001Hill Group consultant Jordan Pallitto was elected as vice president of Pittsburgh Urban Magnet Project’s (PUMP) Board of Directors. PUMP provides social and networking opportunities for young and young-thinking adults in their 20s, 30s, and 40s to make Pittsburgh a more dynamic and diverse place to live.

PUMP attracts and mobilizes young professionals, connecting them socially and professionally through civic engagement, professional development, recreation (such as the Pittsburgh Sports League), and social networking.

“PUMP is helping to make Pittsburgh the best location in the county for young and young-thinking people”, says Pallitto. “Its financial flexibility, capacity to grow and inclusive process deliver a variety of results-oriented programs of tangible value to members and the community as a whole.”

Pallitto has been a member of PUMP’s board for two years and also serves on the Board of Directors of the Community Foundation of Westmoreland County (now part of the Pittsburgh Foundation), and is an active volunteer with the Phi Delta Theta fraternity. He is a graduate of Leadership Development Initiative XV, a program of Leadership Pittsburgh, Inc.

Jordan is a Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Organizations (PANO) Standards for Excellence Trained and Approved Consultant. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Allegheny College and a Master of Science degree from the Heinz College at Carnegie Mellon University. Jordan can be reached at jpallitto@hillgroupinc.com.

For more information on PUMP please visit http://www.pump.org.

Hill Group CEO Brussalis weighs in on health law’s impact on business

Court’s decision on health law being closely watched:   click here

Pittsburgh Business Times by Paul J. Gough, Web Producer
Date: Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The drama as the Supreme Court hears arguments about 2010 health care law is being watched carefully in the Pittsburgh region by businesses and others.

Tuesday was a second day of debate about the Affordable Care Act, and in particular the government’s requirement that most people carry some form of insurance and facing a penalty if they don’t. That individual mandate, central to much of the health care law, is being challenged by states and the National Federation of Independent Business that say it’s unconstitutional.

“The impact of this decision will affect everyone’s lives,” said Kevin Shivers, Pennsylvania state director of the NFIB.

NFIB contends that the entire law should be thrown out because the individual mandate is an unprecedented burden to require individuals to enter into costly private contracts for health insurance.

“The intent of this law rests squarely on the individual mandate,” Shivers said. “If it is thrown out, this law can’t survive on the weight of the other legs.”

The Supreme Court’s decision, expected before the end of June, could upend the requirement to obtain insurance that is scheduled to take effect in 2014. It’s unclear what the high court’s decision could do to other aspects of the law that have already taken effect, including the extension of health insurance benefits to stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26 and more insurance options for people with pre-existing conditions.

One Pittsburgh employer, Downtown-based actuarial and retirement plan administrator Dunbar, Bender & Zapf Inc., hasn’t seen much in the way of affects yet from those changes. President Mark Dunbar said that there have been a few employees who have put their children back on their insurance policies, but it hasn’t affected the company’s health care costs so far. As an employer of 53, Dunbar, Bender & Zapf are keeping an eye on what will happen with the health care law, but there’s a more pressing issue in the Pittsburgh region.

“We’re waiting to see what happens (with the Supreme Court),” Dunbar said. “But frankly, in Pittsburgh, the more crucial question is what happens with Highmark Highmark Latest from The Business Journals Follow this company and UPMC UPMC Latest from The Business Journals Follow this company .”

Gov. Tom Corbett brought the two warring sides together for a one-year extension of the contract, but Dunbar said that he’d like to see a longer-term resolution. The company has Highmark insurance.

The uncertainty over the federal healthcare law has been detrimental to businesses in the experience of Chris W. Brussalis, president and CEO of The Hill Group The Hill Group Latest from The Business Journals Follow this company management consultants in Carnegie.

“Business requires stability, particularly with any regulation, so that it can plan and allocate its resources to the benefit of its mission and constituents,” he said. “Employers and healthcare organizations both have been expending considerable resources planning for contingencies in this uncertain healthcare regulatory environment. Those resources could have been allocated to more productive activities and investments.”

Brussalis said that many companies he works with have been waiting to make investments and put into place growth plans based on that uncertainty.

But no matter what happens with the Supreme Court decision on the health care law, Dunbar, Bender & Zapf and another southwestern Pennsylvania employer said that it won’t make a difference: They’ll continue to offer health insurance.

“We consider our employees a valuable asset and provide health care as part of their overall compensation package,” said Samuel A. Bennardo, president of AUMA Actuators Inc. AUMA Actuators Inc. Latest from The Business Journals Follow this company in Canonsburg. “We use UPMC and plan to continue to do so regardless of the outcome of the case before the Supreme Court.”

The Hill Group, Inc. was Commissioned by Energy Innovations Business Council (EIBC) to do a Study on the Impact of Advanced Energy Manufacturing on Michigan’s Economy

Major MI Businesses Unveil Advanced Energy Trade Group, Benchmark Study

LANSING – Michigan companies in the advanced and renewable energy sector today announced the creation of the Energy Innovation Business Council, a new trade group focused on growing Michigan’s advanced energy industry, and unveiled a benchmark study on their sector’s jobs and economic impact.

“EIBC wants to hit the ground running, and we’re excited to highlight the opportunities and jobs in advanced energy manufacturing,” said EIBC President Ed Clemente. “We’re ready to get to work on behalf of an industry that supports more than 20,700 jobs each year. EIBC looks forward to working with all parties to grow this important sector, spark investments and innovation, and create jobs in Michigan.”

To better understand its industry, the EIBC commissioned a study on the impact of advanced energy manufacturing on Michigan’s economy. The “Economic Impact of New Energy Manufacturing in Michigan” report studied real-world data on four sub-sectors at the core of Michigan’s renewable energy sector: wind, solar, biomass and advanced energy storage, including the electric vehicle sector. The findings of the EIBC study, conducted by The Hill Group based in Carnegie, Pa., include:

  • Michigan’s new energy manufacturing sector supports more than 20,700 jobs a year.
    Michigan’s new energy manufacturing industry has an economic impact of $4.9 billion a year.
  • If Michigan’s market share in the new energy sector increased 25 percent, the industry would support nearly 26,000 jobs a year.

“Michigan has an opportunity to deploy our manufacturing and entrepreneurial strengths to build a robust and innovative advanced energy industry right here in the Midwest,” said Roger Cope, chairman of wind turbine manufacturing company Astraeus based in Eaton Rapids. “Advanced Michigan energy is driving technology and development, putting Michiganders back to work and revitalizing Michigan-based manufacturing businesses. Now is the time to step up our game, and that’s EIBC’s goal.”

“Companies like ours and dozens across Michigan have shown that with the right mix of entrepreneurship and pro-active policies, we can revitalize our manufacturing sector and put people back to work,” said Seth Roberts, director of Energy & Climate Change policy for Dow, a leading manufacturer of innovative clean energy technologies, including advanced photovoltaics. “We see firsthand how Michigan manufacturing expertise, technological innovation and existing infrastructure are bringing investments and business to our state. EIBC is a voice for an industry that will be key to Michigan’s economic future.”

“As a voice for advanced energy manufacturing, EIBC is ready to work with all sides to promote strategies that can grow this exciting industry,” said Ann Marie Sastry, co-founder and CEO of Sakti3, an Ann Arbor-based high-tech, advanced automotive battery manufacturing company. “Advanced energy is creating and supporting thousands of jobs in Michigan, including in advanced energy storage and battery technologies. A hundred years ago, Michigan innovation put the world on wheels. Today, Michigan innovation is driving us towards a strong energy future.”

“Our company and many others involved in Michigan’s new energy economy are examples of how good ideas are turned into good businesses every day,” said Paula Wheeler, director of sales and marketing at LED Optical Solutions, a Macomb County company specializing in advanced lighting technology and energy efficiency. “Michigan must sustain this innovation momentum because it’s helping us diversify our manufacturing sector so we can compete in a 21st century global economy.”

“Michigan’s advanced energy and energy efficiency businesses are building our industry from the ground up,” said Dave Simon, president of ilumisys, a Troy-based company focused on next-generation solid-state lighting technology. “These cutting edge energy businesses are being born in basements, garages, research labs, workshops and factories by Michiganders willing to retool, work hard and seize growing opportunities in the advanced energy economy.”

“With its manufacturing prowess, Michigan has an opportunity to position itself as the region of choice for the advanced energy sector, by leveraging an existing core of manufacturers, highly-skilled workforce, and strong industrial supply chains,” said Jordan Pallitto, The Hill Group consultant and an author of the EIBC report. “Development of an agglomeration economy, similar to automobile manufacturing, by leveraging production and intellectual assets could make Michigan the hub of new energy manufacturing. Based on the data, if Michigan’s manufacturers are willing and able to meet market demand, the economic growth described in the EIBC report can become a reality.”

EIBC currently has more than a dozen member companies, ranging from major wind and solar manufacturers to biomass, advanced energy storage and energy efficiency companies, and expects to grow its membership in the near future.

To learn more about EIBC, go to: www.mieibc.org.

To read the full report click here.

The Hill Group, Inc. CEO Examines Role of Community Needs Assessments in Planning and Improvement

Community Needs Assessment Drives Planning and Improvement

Brussalis2010PortraitSM_005Western Pennsylvania Hospital News, Issue 1 2012

The rapid and constant change in healthcare is daunting. Current government regulation and the threat offuture mandates are changing the landscape in policy, economics, and practice. Add this to everyday, fast-paced advances in technology, workforce demands, and dynamic community needs, and healthcare leaders will be pressed to manage and allocate resources like never before.

For healthcare organizations to continue providing high quality services in a cost-efficient manner, it is paramount to follow a rigorous discipline of community needs assessment, strategic planning, and continuous improvement. They provide a guide for any long-term decision-making or dynamic planning process.

Community Needs Assessment

A community needs assessment is a thorough review using research and data-rich analysis to enable healthcare organizations in developing compelling solutions that satisfy community needs, capitalize on market opportunities, and mitigate possible threats. Successfully delivering on mission now and into the future requires an understanding of the community’s needs and projecting what those needs will be in the months and years ahead.

A thorough understanding of community healthcare status and needs is vital. With this information, healthcare providers can compare current community needs with their capacity and ability to deliver to meet them. A community needs assessment should also predict demographic and socioeconomic changes and subsequent healthcare needs of the community. This data is critical to the effectiveness of a strategic planning process. The community needs assessment is primary data to feed into the situational analysis of a healthcare provider’s strategic plan.

Strategic Planning

A strategic planning process typically includes three phases: Situational Analysis, Strategy Development, and Strategy Implementation. Using objective market data and engaging stakeholders throughout the process builds consensus and reliability around long-term direction.

A community needs assessment, identification of external market needs, and an introspection of the organization’s capacity to meet community’s needs feeds into the situational analysis. These critical, first steps enable healthcare organizations to position themselves with greater accuracy during tempestuous times and to capitalize on periods of growth and market opportunity.

An organization’s ability to utilize people, processes, knowledge, and resources to deliver on its mission, to meet community needs, and to fulfill its vision is dependent upon its capacity. Using the community needs assessment and organizational capacity review, the situational analysis culminates with defining a compelling vision that clearly articulates a healthcare organization’s desired future state. It validates core values to drive a common purpose and develops unity behind a single mission to clearly define a reason for existence.

Strategy development utilizes analytical methods to build a plan towards achieving an organization’s vision. It defines organizational direction. This step involves the creation of strategies to capitalize on opportunities while mitigating threats and leveraging organizational infrastructure in the most effective and efficient manner. This results in a number of priorities and strategy alternatives for the organization to consider. The outcome is development and adoption of a specific, forward-looking strategic plan that is in alignment with the organization’s vision and mission.

Strategy implementation sets the stage for continuous improvement. During strategy implementation, tactical plans and methods of evaluation are developed to enable continuous improvement. It requires an action plan with accountability. Successful implementation plans require prioritization of strategic goals and initiatives through short-, mid-, and long-term tactical planning. Without a detailed, realistic implementation plan, a healthcare organization’s strategic plan is merely a paperweight or a shelf ornament – neither of which can help navigate a turbulent economic landscape.

Continuous Improvement

The information collected and analyzed through a systematic evaluation process can be leveraged to identify areas for continuous improvement. To continually improve, an organization must assess how customers value specific elements of their plan against customer perceptions of the organization’s ability to perform or deliver on them.

Evaluation data will reveal the success or failure of a strategy. Even failure is not failure if it is identified early enough to enable improvement. Evaluation and continuous improvement ensure that a bad strategy does not become worse and a good strategy continues to be a success. Continually improving strategy will keep an organization relevant in a changing economy, in both bull and bear markets.

In a cycle when cash is tight, now is the time for organizations to critically assess their market position and performance and to plan accordingly. The dynamic planning process utilizes a number of tools to help organizations survive challenging periods or even help catapult them to the next level. Ultimately, these steps position organizations ahead of the game.

Chris W. Brussalis is President & CEO of The Hill Group, Inc., a national management consulting firm based in Carnegie. He is also Adjunct Professor of Management and Policy at the Heinz College of Carnegie Mellon University.