ORBIS Holds Signing Event
Caty Shoemaker, seated at center, signs her employment contract as an intern at ORBIS in Urbana. Seated at left is her manager, Laura Reed, materials manager, and seated at right is Shoemaker’s fiancé, Sam McGill. Standing from left are Dan Szklany, ORBIS plant manager; Maegan O’Connor, human resources representative; Tom Walker, scheduler; Sharon Cook, buyer/planner; Shelley Fuller, plant scheduler; Julie McGill, Sam McGill’s mother; Judy and Rodney McGill, McGill’s aunt and uncle; Cindy and Perry Shoemaker, Shoemaker’s parents; Jill O’Neal, Caty Shoemaker’s sister; Dean Ortlieb, Urbana fire chief and a cousin of the Shoemaker family; Karen Chuvalas of Urbana University; Ashley Cook, business liaison of the Champaign Economic Partnership (CEP); and CEP Director Marcia Bailey.
The Orbis manufacturing facility in Urbana held a May 10 signing ceremony for an Urbana University senior who has begun a scheduling and purchasing internship at the company, which makes reusable plastic containers, pallets, dunnage and bulk systems for industrial customers.
Caty Shoemaker, a West Liberty-Salem High School graduate who will graduate in December from Urbana University, was joined for the signing ceremony by ORBIS leaders, representatives of the university and Champaign Economic Partnership (CEP), and family members, including her sister Jill O’Neal, a former member of the ORBIS team and now human resources operations manager at Weidmann Electrical Technology in Urbana and a member of the CEP Board.
The ceremony, patterned after signing ceremonies that colleges conduct for new student athletes, was coordinated with ORBIS by Ashley Cook, business liaison of the CEP.
Shoemaker is majoring in strategic management and minoring in accounting and marketing at Urbana University, a branch campus of Franklin University.
Karen Chuvalas, business development manager of the university’s UrbanaWORKS program, said that Christopher Washington, executive vice president and CEO of the university, is developing relationships with local companies to establish internships and co-ops. He wants all students to complete an internship or co-op before graduating.
Bundy Baking Solutions held a signing ceremony a week before for three local students who have joined their workforce.
Urbana joins the neighboring cities of Springfield, Bellefontaine, Marysville, London, Sidney, Piqua and Troy in being named a Tree City USA for 2018. As part of this nationwide program, Ohioans last year planted more than 24,000 trees, pruned more than 77,000 trees, volunteered more than 42,000 hours in their urban forestry programs and invested a combined total of more than $40 million toward urban forestry efforts.
Trees provide multiple benefits to a community when properly planted and maintained. They help to improve the visual appeal of a neighborhood, increase property values, reduce home cooling costs, remove air pollutants, and provide wildlife habitat, among many other benefits.
Urbana’s Shade Tree Commission is comprised of the following members who serve in an advisory and supporting role to city staff in the city’s urban forest management efforts: Jim Lemon, Ward Lutz, Earl Cottrill, John Kussman, Colin Stein and Doug Crabill. In 2018, members of the commission volunteered in excess of 115 hours.
Currently, the seat representing the 1st ward on the commission is vacant. Residents interested in being appointed can contact Mayor Bill Bean or their city council representative.
The Arbor Day observance and celebration for 2019 will be held this month at the new Urbana Elementary School campus.
UFD Classification Improves
Insurance premiums may be lowered in Urbana for local businesses
Going into January, the fire division’s classification was a four within the city and a nine for areas covered by the division and outside the city limits. The PPC rating system grades fire departments from 1 to 10. Class 1 represents an exemplary fire suppression program and Class 10 indicates that the area’s fire suppression program does not meet ISO’s minimum criteria. The four main components of the PCC rating system are fire flows, emergency communications, water supply and fire department capabilities. Prior to this year, it was difficult for areas without hydrants to receive below a nine since water supply accounts for 40% of the overall grade.
On April 22, ISO released the results from the survey completed by the division in January. The fire division received a Class 3 rating within the city and a Class 3X rating outside the city. The “X” after the three is a new classification that ISO believes has a better predictive value for insurers in evaluating both commercial and residential property. Urbana Fire Chief Dean Ortlieb said he believes that since both classifications are lower there is a likelihood that commercial and residential properties will have lower insurance premiums in the coming years.
Ortlieb credited Mayor Bill Bean, Director of Administration Kerry Brugger and city council for supporting the fire division and creating a road map to success. He said former Fire Chief Mark Keller and his staff deserve all the credit for putting systems in place and recording the data based off the previous PPC report. He also credited Water Superintendent Joe Sampson and his staff in working with ISO personnel.
“When I came to Urbana, I was impressed with the working relationship with the fire division and water department,” Ortlieb said. “This relationship has directly helped our community in fighting fires and saving lives. It now might also have the benefit of having lower insurance premiums for our community.
“When we started this process in January we broke down each part of the scoring system and made sure we had the data to support it,” he said. “I was pleased when we received the results, but not completely satisfied. I think we can do better. Although the fire division received high scores in five of the nine rating categories, we lost several points in the other categories by not having enough personnel for proper deployment and manning of equipment. If we can increase these numbers it is possible to even go lower in the classification ranking. We are still digesting all the numbers and developing processes within our control to improve on our next score. It is my hope that in time that we might even be able to make some changes to improve on the deployment and manning of equipment.”
Brock Bennett recently graduated from Ohio-Hi Point and will become a TIG welder at Shaffer Manufacturing, a division of Bundy Baking Solutions. Brock said he did a three-month internship with Shaffer over his summer break. He learned about the opportunity when his class took a field trip there and performed some welding practice. He will become a full-time welder, which aligns with his career ambitions. He said that after a year he may attend the Hobart Institute of Welding Technology to increase his fabrication skills.
His sister, Lexis, found out about the internship opportunity as a graphic designer in Bundy’s marketing department through her faculty advisor at Clark State University. She has been working for Bundy’s almost a year and said she enjoys it and anticipated being offered a job. She graduated May 4.
“The environment is very relaxed,” she said. “They offer great benefits. Everyone is very nice, very polite. It’s unlike anywhere I’ve worked. Everybody is just amazing here.”
Whitt will soon graduate from Graham High School, after which she will become a press operator for American Pan. She said she discovered the opportunity when Bundy’s human resources representative, Nancee Starkey, visited her career connections class. Whitt was impressed by the opportunities for advancement and said she is planning to stay with the company while completing a degree part time at Sinclair Community College.
Business Liaison Ashley Cook said that the Champaign Economic Partnership’s Manufacturing Council worked closely with Bundy Baking Solutions to build a partnership that markets job opportunities to area students.