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Showing posts from May, 2010

"Everything is bigger in Texas"

Do you know if this is true or just a "tall tale?"
Like most truisms, as a native Texan I can tell you it depends on what you are talking (bragging) about.
I can say without hesitation one thing that just got bigger in Texas, Spectrum's sales force.

Statistics tell us that K-12 enrolment has been steadily increasing despite a lagging economy.



Texas’ public school enrollment increased by 20.1 percent over a 10-year period, despite enrollment declines in eight of the state’s 20 regions.
Enrollment in the public schools reached 4,749,571 by the 2008-2009 school year, which is an addition of 795,137 students over the past decade. On average, the state added 1.9 percent more students each year, according to a recently released report called Enrollment in Texas Public Schools 2008-2009, published by the Texas Education Agency’s Division of Accountability Research.

To support this growth Spectrum Industries has recruited two local representatives.







South Central Texas will be represent…

Happy 118th Birthday Sierra Club!

Spectrum Industries, Inc. would like to congratulate the Sierra Club on 118 years of environmental service and education. When famed conservationist and preservationist John Muir successfully campaigned to expand the Yosemite National Park in 1890, he set his sights higher to protect the Sierra Nevada. That progression has continued to this very day, and 1,300,000 members extend sustainability efforts throughout the United States.

One part of the Sierra Club Mission Statement especially rings true for Spectrum: To practice and promote the responsible use of the earth's ecosystems and resources. We have always taken the role of stewards of our environment very seriously. It’s not a fluke that we received the U. S. General Services Administration’s prestigious Evergreen Award. Spectrum prevents waste by recovering and recycling materials instead of releasing them into the environment. Our products are designed and manufactured intelligently with our customers’ health in mind. We take…

Is “Disability” Just an Ableist Word?

Most of those that carry on in daily activities without using an aide have a skewed vision of those that use aids to walk, see, hear, eat, etc. We call them “disabled”. And what does that conjure in the mind? Someone who can’t do something.

Could I dunk a basketball like LeBron James? On a 10’ rim, no way. A torn left ACL and a torn right Achilles & the ensuing operations have limited those types of abilities. Give me an 8’ rim, however, and I’ll at least give you a good show. And that’s precisely it. Give those that use aides of whatever type their “8’ rim”, and they can do whatever the pros do, and in many cases, do it better.


We haven’t lost track of that here at Spectrum. We have a respectable history of working with the Stout Vocational Rehabilitation Institute to produce innovations that level the playing field. Our latest collaboration: a workstation for those with physical limitations. It is aimed at those pursuing math and science careers, but is capable of so much more. Pl…

The Perfect Laptop Cart for the iPad!

Everyone knows that the iPad is a hot item, and if you are fortunate enough to secure this technology for your classroom (Some people are having a hard time securing just one of them for their home), you certainly want to protect them and treat them with care!

Technology Director Terry Wynn from the Unified School District #218 in Elkhart, Kansas was kind enough to show us just how well the Spectrum Industries’ LT15 goes with the iPad. Newly reinforced outlets are dedicated for each unit, and each iPad rests horizontally on a tray that smoothly slides in and out, providing a completely user-friendly environment to store and charge iPads. And talking about smooth, the LT15 comes standard with 5” balloon wheels to ensure safe transport – you even have the choice of 4 swivel wheels or 2 rigid/2 swivel wheels at no extra cost. The comparison of balloon wheels to plastic casters is like night and day!


Really - Would you put iPads in a box with cheap casters? Imagine the wear and tear from pu…

TEAM

Some goals in life seem as thought they can be reached without help from others. Sometimes this appears to be true, but if you look deeper you will see that all worthwile goals are supported by a team.
Are you a team player?

Excerpt from
Pulling Together....The 10 Rules for High Performance Teams,
by John Murphy


At the center of every high performance team is a common purpose - a mission that rises above and beyond each of the individual team members. To be successful, the team's interests and needs come first. This requires "we-opic" vision ("What's in it for we?"), a challenging step up from the common "me-opic" mind-set.

Effective team players understand that personal issues and personality differences are secondary to team demands. This does not mean abandoning who you are or giving up your individuality. On the contrary, it means sharing your unique strengths and differences to move the team forward. It is this "we-opic" focus and vision …

How Can Wellness Help Your Workplace?

Did you know that Wednesday May 19th is National Employee Health & Fitness Day? Founded in 1989 by the National Association for Health & Fitness, NEHF is a national health observance, created to promote the benefits of physical activity for individuals through their work site health promotion activities.

For our part, Spectrum Industries employees will have 4 different slots available for “power” walks (degree of power up to the individual…), and Spectrum management will provide water to quench thirsts.
With a great program in place, your organization can experience better overall health and productivity.

Benefits For Employers:
Enhanced employee productivity
Improved health care costs management
Decreased rates of illness and injuries
Reduced employee absenteeism
Develops employee leadership skills

Benefits For Employees:
Lower levels of stress
Increased well-being, self-image and self-esteem
Improved physical fitness
Increased stamina
Potential weight reduction

Taking care of yourself …

Spectrum Industries Named 2010 Business of the Year Chippewa County

“We guarantee complete customer satisfaction.” -David Hancock, Spectrum Industries President/CEO

Complete customer satisfaction, community involvement, and innovation employees are a couple key dynamics that contributed to Spectrum Industries recent achievement. Yesterday, Thursday, May 13, the Chippewa County Economic Development Corporation (CCEDC) announced its 2010 Business' of the Year, and Spectrum Industries was named the 2010 Business of the Year Chippewa County (Quadrant 3 for Chippewa Falls location).

Since April 1968, Spectrum Industries has been providing high-quality furniture and product solutions to businesses and educational institutions; in 2009, over 1,700 different products were manufactured and shipped from the Chippewa Falls-based facility.

As many educational institutions and businesses have downsized during the recent economic downturn, Spectrum sees the current marketplace as recovering. Spectrum strives to strategically plan ahead for future changes and oppor…

Spectrum's vLT - The Ultimate Value in Laptop Carts

The end of the school year is looming. The cheap laptop cart in your department is falling apart, and you'd like to get another with the meager amount left over in the budget. But do you really want another junky laptop cart?

Please do your faculty and your students a favor and take a look at Spectrum Industries' vLT line of laptop carts. With our latest line of laptop carts, we have focused on the basics that our loyal customers enjoy most: laptop security and superior mobility at value pricing.The panels and doors are made from 16 gauge steel, and the wheels are 5" soft-ride balloon wheels. With double-bolt locks and a manageable footprint, we have designed and delivered the security and mobility that our customers wanted most in a laptop cart.


Of course, we didn't necessarily stop there. Like all of our laptop carts, we added a 1" high pressure laminated worksurface. As such, the vLT doesn't look like just another metal box with wheels that happens to hold l…

Not Every Box Comes With a Warranty...

Have you heard about the 'suspicious' package left outside a Florida Church?

That's right a couple days ago a cardboard box was left outside the Seminole County Church in Florida; the note on the 40-pound bundle said, simply, "For Pastor Nick."

In the old days, someone would have taken it inside and opened it. However, a church member who found the package on the doorstep thought the corrugated box secured with duct tape might be dangerous.

So he took the 'suspicious' box to a nearby fire station to have it checked out. The Seminole County Sheriff's Office bomb squad couldn't figure out what was inside even after the box was X-rayed.

So, deputies blew it up...

The Result
More than $2,500 in paper money was turned into confetti! That's right this 'suspicious' box was meant to be an anonymous donation to the Seminole County Church.

Fortunately, the church won't be out any money, though, because the U.S. Treasury will replaced damaged paper …

Solving School Challenges In a More Collaborative Way - 'Crowdsourcing'

Feds turn to ‘crowdsourcing’ for educational innovation

Education technology advocates hope that a new national online community will inspire entrepreneurs and educators to team up in developing and funding innovative solutions to some of education’s most persistent challenges.

The Open Innovation Portal, launched by the U.S. Education Department (ED) with help from IBM’s cloud-computing solutions and Spencer Trask Collaborative Innovations (STCI), aims to address educational challenges ranging from high school dropout rates to low reading, math, and science scores.

The initiative is part of a new White House effort to encourage innovative collaboration across all industry sectors. To do this, federal officials are turning to a process known as “crowdsourcing,” in which officials tap the collective wisdom of a large group of people through the power of the Internet, to inspire new practices and creative solutions to systemic problems.

President Obama recently challenged cabinet officers t…

National Nurses Week: "Caring Today for a Healthier Tomorrow"

Here at Spectrum Industries we are committed to "making a difference to the circle-of-care" by manufacturing product that support stationary and mobile technology used within the health care industry.

Since we are embarking on National Nurses Week (May 6 through 12), it only makes sense to thank our nurses, and all health care professional, for their dedication to medicine.

Often described as an art and a science, nursing is a profession that embraces dedicated people with varied interests, strengths and passions because of the many opportunities the profession offers. Nurses work in emergency rooms, school based clinics, and homeless shelters, to name a few; and they have many roles – from staff nurse to educator to nurse practitioner and nurse researcher – and serve all of them with passion for the profession and with a strong commitment to patient safety.
This year’s theme for National Nurses Week is “Caring Today for a Healthier Tomorrow.”

For more information on Spectrum&…

Magical Mushrooms (It's Not What You're Thinking)

Ingenuity and environment are two things Spectrum Industries takes very seriously.
Environmental Sustainability directs our every-day activities, and ingenuity keeps us connected to our customers.

The story below is from the Eco Salon website. It is American ingenuity at its best.







As a cook and someone fairly knowledgeable about nutrition, I know mushrooms are delicious and that they may have amazing healing powers.

But mushrooms have other powers – perhaps even magical enough to heal our environment. They can turn the gunky, thick, toxic oil from an environmental disaster into perfectly good soil.

In the aftermath of the Cosco Busan oil spill in San Francisco Bay last November, woven mats of human hair were used to absorb the oil from the beaches. Oyster mushrooms were layered between the oil-soaked mats and allowed to work their magic.

In just 12 weeks, the mushrooms consumed the oil and the hair, turning the whole mess into soil. When you think about the fact that the hair waste from sal…

It's Teacher Appreciation Week!

Did you know that every year the National PTA sets aside the first week in May to celebrate the amazing contributions of teachers around the country?

That's right, this year Teacher Appreciation Week is this week, May 3rd-7th. This is the perfect time for Administrators, Academic Advisors, students, parents and community members to show their teachers just how important they are to the success of the school.

Here are 8 tips for celebrating teachers during Teacher Appreciation Week or anytime throughout the year.

1. Hold a Teacher Appreciation breakfast or luncheon. During the event, hand out teacher awards. "Most likely to..." awards are an excellent addition because it is easy to include everyone in the celebration. Find free certificates at Certificate Street.

2. Organize student's sports team to play against teacher volunteer teams in front of the whole school. Bands, choirs, and cheerleaders can perform special routines celebrating teachers.

3. Display teacher apprec…

Securing Your School from the Inside Out

Let’s face it: The threats to your schools’ security—both physical and electronic—are getting more and more sophisticated. And the best tool for protecting your schools against these threats, according to experts, might surprise you: a robust, IP-based network.

It goes without saying that a well-designed and well-secured network can help keep data thieves from targeting your schools. But a robust network also is an advantage as video surveillance cameras, alarm systems, emergency-alert systems, and other security tools become converged on a single IP-based network.

Using a single communications infrastructure, you can remotely manage and control all the security tools you have at your disposal, quickly and easily. That means you can be more proactive in preventing an attack—and more effective in responding if one should occur.

Although a robust IP-based network may be the most efficient way to protect your school, there are additional ways to be proactive about protecting your electroni…