DePaul Industries Blog

Heat Safety at Work a Priority During West Coast Heat Wave

June 25, 2015

Workplace heat safetyCities around the west are bracing for a heat wave, with many expected to reach temperatures in the triple digits this weekend. Our locations in Portland, Salem, Eugene and Hermiston, Oregon, and Boise, Idaho, will likely see record highs just a few days after the first official day of summer.

Outside workers, and those working in hot indoor environments, are especially susceptible to heat illness, and heat safety should be top of mind for employers and employees while these high temperatures continue. OSHA highlights three key, easy-to-remember factors in preventing heat illness:

Staying hydrated is key to staying safe. Drinking lots of water (OSHA recommends every 15 minutes) helps the body replenish all of the fluids lost to sweat. Staying nourished with regular meals and snacks is also important, and those doing very hard labor may drink a sports drink in addition to water to replace fluids and electrolytes.

Taking breaks to sit down in the shade helps the body cool down. Consider changing your break policy, or instituting different work/rest schedules, during periods of extreme heat so employees have more frequent breaks, and/or of a longer duration.

Breaks and meals should be taken out of the sun whenever possible. An area that is covered, or preferably indoors with a fan or air conditioning, provides some much-needed reprieve and a chance for workers to cool down. Make sure to have water available in this area, as well.

Proper clothing and sun protection (such as hats and sunscreen) are also important factors. Employees and supervisors should be very familiar with the signs and symptoms of heat-related illness, and know who to call in case of an emergency (some companies contract with AMR or another company for mobile health care services).

Making sure your employees are knowledgeable about heat safety is key to helping them stay safe through this heat wave and the rest of the summer. OSHA offers dozens of printable flyers, posters and other tools (many available in Spanish and other languages) to help educate employees about this vitally important topic, including:
Protecting Workers from Heat Illness Flyer
Worksite Training Poster
Using the Heat Index: A Guide for Employers

Have more tips for heat safety at work? Leave them in the comments below!


New Survey: Americans With Disabilities Striving to Work

June 16, 2015

KFSurvey15_BannerThe Kessler Foundation‘s recently-released 2015 National Employment & Disability Survey confirms that most people with disabilities want to work, and are overcoming barriers to succeed in the workplace.

The survey of more than 3,000 American adults with disabilities was conducted by the University of New Hampshire. For the purposes of this survey, disability was defined as experiencing a difficulty in one or more of the following areas: hearing; vision; upper limb movement and manipulation; lower limb mobility; and cognition. Nearly 65% of respondents reported multiple disabilities.

Some compelling highlights from the survey include:

Almost 70% of respondents were striving to work (working, actively preparing to work, pursuing training, getting help preparing a resume, etc.).
The most common workplace accommodation was a flexible schedule, such as flexible start and end times, working from home, and taking more breaks. Many employers today offer flexible working hours to all employees, regardless of whether they have a disability.
The greatest barrier to job searching was lack of education or training.

DePaul Industries has been employing people with disabilities since 1971, and every day we see the benefits of hiring employees with disabilities. DePaul Industries has adopted a broader definition of disability than the one in this study, to include any condition that has a negative impact on major life functions, negatively impacts the ability to be employed, and is permanent.

Employers should hire a person with disability for the same reason they’d hire any employee: because they’re the right fit for the job. People with disabilities also contribute to your workforce’s diversity, bringing adaptability, creativity and unique perspectives. And in today’s very competitive employment market, with baby boomers retiring and a talent shortage on the horizon, people with disabilities are candidates who are often overlooked, but can be a major asset to your team.


Employees at DePaul Industries’ Hayden Island packaging facility package hazelnuts in June 2014.

DePaul Packaging Wins New Exporter Award

May 22, 2015

DePaul Packaging New Exporter Award - 2015 Celebrate TradeWe are honored that DePaul Packaging was recognized for its international trade leadership with the New Exporter award, presented by the Oregon Consular Corps and others at the Celebrate Trade Gala in Portland May 18.

According to the Oregon Consular Corps:

The New Exporter award recognizes a Portland metropolitan area company that has been trading internationally for two years or less on May 1, 2015. Judges considered entrepreneurial aptitude, commercial acumen, vision, ambition, and drive to build a successful international enterprise. The successful nominee has been chosen for being able to find and develop new growth opportunities abroad that have resulted in increased sales, profit, market share, head count or geographical expansion.

By the end of our fiscal year (June 30, 2015), we expect DePaul Packaging’s nut and dried fruit exports to reach $3 million in revenue. Our owned brands, Lost Coast Snacks and Juniper Naturals, are gaining traction in China, and we are working to expand our product line to include infant formula and begin exporting to other countries. All of these export activities directly support our mission by providing employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

The annual gala, part of World Trade Week, recognized the significant contribution Oregon’s private sector companies and nonprofits make to the region’s economic vitality and quality of life. The evening included keynote speeches by Oregon Governor Kate Brown and Portland Mayor Charlie Hales. It also raised funds for the Oregon Consular Corps Scholarship Program, which provides scholarships to students at Oregon universities for study abroad.

Hosts of the evening included
Business Oregon, the City of Portland, Greater Portland Inc., Oregon Department of Agriculture, Pacific Northwest International Trade Association, Portland Business Alliance, Portland Development Commission, the Port of Portland, Travel Oregon and the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The Gala, held at the Portland Art Museum, featured videos of each award winner. You can watch the DePaul Packaging video, featuring DePaul Industries President & CEO Travis Pearson and footage from our Hayden Island packaging facility, below.

Hiring this Spring? You’re Not Alone

April 15, 2015

SpringHiringTrendsThe overall outlook for the job market in the second quarter can be summed up in one word: hiring.

March’s employment report was a letdown, with just 126,000 jobs created, the weakest month for job creation in over a year. Economists were concerned about this setback after sustained growth in the job market since the end of the recession. But other indicators suggest that hiring will pick up this spring. Job openings rose 3.4 percent to 5.1 million in February, according to the Labor Department, and it’s a positive sign that businesses have open positions to fill. Layoffs have also decreased and fewer Americans are filing for unemployment.

CareerBuilder’s Q2 2015 U.S. Job Forecast surveyed 2,175 hiring managers and human resources professionals, who had big plans for hiring this spring. Highlights include:

32% of employers plan to add full-time, permanent employees.
37% plan to hire temporary or contract employees this quarter, up from 33% in 2014.
31% expect to transition some of their temporary or contract employees into permanent team members, also a marked improvement year-over-year.

With this uptick in hiring, employers will have considerable competition for qualified candidates, and positions remaining open for longer periods. Dice Hiring Indicators reported that the average time to fill a position was 26.8 working days in February, the highest level since they’ve tracked this figure. Having an open position for more than a calendar month means a considerable loss of productivity, and pressure on staff members to temporarily take on additional duties.

If you’re looking to hire, especially in industries that see seasonal upticks in spring or if you need a high volume of employees, you’ll want to start early and plan ahead. Enlisting the services of a staffing agency is a great option. Spring is typically very busy for temporary staffing, and in our headquarter city of Portland, Oregon, we’ve seen demand start to pick up even earlier than usual this year.

Are you ramping up hiring this spring? Leave a comment below!

3 Industries Staffing Up This Spring

March 31, 2015

DePaulIndustriesSpringStaffingManufacturingConstructionAgricultureSpring is officially here. Whether snow is still falling in your area of the country or the daffodils are in full bloom, a seasonal pick-up in business has started for many industries. We’re seeing lots of hiring activity in manufacturing, construction and agriculture. If you’re in one of these industries, take note, and start planning now for your staffing needs this spring and summer.


Many industrial companies are ramping up to increase production for spring and summer, especially for companies catering to home and garden and outdoor recreation. They need all sorts of employees, from production workers to shipping/receiving clerks to QA specialists. And when producing more product, they’re hiring staff at distribution centers, as well as CDL drivers, who are already in short supply.

Waiting until the last minute to hire can set production back, and having your employees work overtime has many hidden costs.

The winter rains and snows are coming to a close (we hope), which means shovels in the ground and lots of activity on both residential and commercial buildings. According to the Bureau of Labor Services, construction hiring in April, May and June is double that in December. And with road construction ramping up in cities and rural areas, flaggers are also in high demand.

Whether you need general laborers, skilled tradespeople or security officers at your construction site, getting all hands on deck before crunch time will help avoid project delays.

Depending on where you are in the country, it’s time to get the fields prepared for summer, or your growing season has already started. You’ll likely need help, whether with planting, harvesting, processing, retail sales or office employees.

Rather than waiting until the last minute, when it can be especially challenging to find the folks you need in less-populated areas like Hermiston, Oregon, forecasting staffing needs early will cement an on-time, efficient and productive harvest season.


Do you run a business in one of these industries, and think you’ll need extra help this spring or summer? Don’t delay in contacting a staffing agency. Qualified candidates are in short supply, so getting started today will ensure that your busy season runs smoothly.

Contact DePaul Industries for spring staffing in Portland, Salem, Hermiston, OR; Baltimore, MD; Boise, ID; Sierra Vista, nV


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