February 26, 2006

Today's Aging Workforce

February 21st, 2006: Our speaker, Tim Wollerman from the AARP, addressed the critical topic of the aging workforce and its impact on all of us. Whether we are an employee, employer, or a consumer of goods and services, this phenomenon, and how it is handled, will affect all of us. Our speaker shared many insights into the changing to an older workforce and challenged employers to develop an innovative strategy to ensure their company succeeds.

According to Wollerman, the aging of the workforce cannot be ignored. Today's older worker is as significant factor in the workforce. That will only increase as time progresses. Currently one half of the entire US workforce is between the ages of 42 to 60. A half of all Federal Government workers are eligible for retirement in the next 5 years with a potential of a 10% turnover just from retirement. Surprisingly over 60% of today's employers do not account for an aging workforce and 80% do not specifically appeal to or address the concern of mature workers.

Corporations are concerned about the aging of the workforce. Concerns include "rising healthcare cost," "inadequate knowledge transfer," "wrong new talent to replace old," and "the legal ramification of hiring employees back after retirement." This represents significant factors an organization must address to cope with the upcoming shortage of workers.

Baby-boomers, as they reach retirement age, are likely to associate retirement with something far beyond the traditional concept of retirement. Seventy percent say they will work well into their retirement age. Some even say they will never retire. The reasons baby-boomers' cite for staying in the workforce, in order of importance, are salary, healthcare, and meaningful work.

Mr. Wollerman's presentation was a great preview of what he will share at the Charleston Rotary Leaders Forum, "The Senior Aging Economy: The Double-Edged Sword" on Wednesday. His insight helped us all see the issues we are facing. He challenged everyone to be proactive, address the concerns, and most importantly tap the potential of the "50+" workforce.

Presented by Wayne Outlaw

February 16, 2006

Carolinks/Safeports: The Key to Improving Logistics through The Port of

February 14th, 2006: Today, Lucy Duncan-Scheman spoke to Rotarians about her private company Carolinks (also known as Safeports) of which she is President and Chief Executive Officer and how it will positively impact the Port of Charleston. Carolinks is poised to capture a large share of the Asian shipping market by building the first automated intermodal rail yard in the United States to be located here in Charleston. This innovative approach to the offloading and shipping of cargo containers will significantly improve the speed with which containers move through the Port of Charleston thus making our port the location of choice. Ms. Duncan-Scheman is a native Charlestonian having grown up on Sullivans Island. During her career she worked for a number of leading Information Technology companies opening new markets in locations all over the world. She became an expert in taking on major projects until they reached successful conclusions.

Our speaker built her company by combining her expertise in management information systems, "mission critical" project management, and her knowledge of worldwide shipping logistics especially as it relates to the Port of Charleston. She used this expertise to address what she considers to be a significant need in this country. That is, the increasing need to speed the offloading, handling and delivery of shipping container cargo through ports in this country and moreover, to do so in a cost-effective and secure way.

The United States has outsourced much of our manufacturing capabilities and in doing so is now importing more and more goods from all over the world, especially Asia. Ms. Duncan-Scheman offered Hong Kong as an example. Hong Kong is now the third largest port in Asia and currently ships about 18 million TEU's (container units) of cargo space per year. In four years that number will be 31 million TEU's. The west coast ports are currently log jammed which makes delivering cargo to the east coast more attractive.

Additionally, sailing to the east coast from Asia takes one day less than to the west coast. Our speaker clearly stated that the Port of Charleston needs to capture and own this potential market and will do so through her company.

When Carolinks is fully functional they will be able to unload the containers from a cargo ship, screen each one for potential hazards, place each on a pre-designated rail line, and launch it toward its destination within 24 hours.

Carolinks/Safeports is a job issue as well as a maritime security issue, an economic issue, and an environmental issue. The potential to benefit the city of Charleston and the state of South Carolina through improved safety and speed of handling through the Port of Charleston is going to be exciting to watch.

Reported by Helen Harloe, Keyway Committee

February 11, 2006

Charleston to Become World Center to Correct Birth Marks

February 7th, 2006: Dr. Marcelo Hochman, a native of Venezuela who received his medical education to become a facial plastic surgeon at Stanford University, has founded the Hermangiona Foundation in conjunction with MUSC. His organization specializes in vascular birth marks, malformations and port wine stains. These abnormalities occur in 1 out of every 10 children, with 400,000 new cases each year.

There currently exists a big gap between what physicians counsel families and what is actually available to treat these conditions. Even though the cases range from small to extreme, the general advice has been to "wait, it will go away". Instead in many cases the condition grows worse, though some stains do fade. This is more than an appearance concern for the child's self esteem in involved. It affects personality as the child is continually singled out as being different, thus the child has an improper perception of self.

Treatment takes place by laser, medicine and general surgery or a combination of two or three procedures. In the cases of large growths, which are in reality solid tumors, surgery is done in stages to minimize the healing. Usually skin graphs are avoided.

The mission of the Hermangiona Foundation is to give treatment to children who cannot afford or do not have access to care, and to educate the public at large on the potential treatment of these conditions.

The vision of the foundation is to make Charleston a national and world impact center for treatment so as to have a direct positive effect on the lives of children and their families. Also the foundation seeks to have a direct effect on the medical management of these abnormalities.

The foundation is dedicated to minimizing its overhead. Currently just 3% of its funding goes into management. They have just one employee who serves as executive director. Dr. Hochman receives no fee for his services.

The broad goals of the foundation are to change the way the medical community addresses the problem, help affected children better face the world, and to change the world-one face at a time. The foundation hopes to involve Rotary International in finding a cure and help physicians treat patients around the world. A cure can come within the next ten years.

Reported by Fred Sales, Keyway Committee

February 2, 2006

High Technology Challenge comes to South Carolina

January 31st, 2006: Fred Hume, Director of Economic Development Partnership, highlighted his challenging talk by stating "Hydrogen and Fuel Cells have real potential in the State of South Carolina." The Center for Hydrogen Research in Aiken is a new 60,000 sq. ft. laboratory especially designed for hydrogen research and has space available for scientists and entrepreneurs who are ready to join the effort. The time for hydrogen is now, because:

1. Fossil fuel is limited. The supply is unstable. The nation imports 60% of its fuel, and is on the way to the 70% mark. Two thirds of the fuel is used for transportation.
2. Urban polution is caused by fossil fuels.
3.Climate change is being affected by the burning.

Hydrogen is the most serious contender as a replacement and should be in place by the end of the next 20 to 30 years. South Carolina has the potential to secure a significant part of the hydrogen market because:

1. The Savannah River Site has 50 years of experience with hydrogen research including production and storage capability.
2. 40,000 jobs are possible with a 10 billion dollar research budget expected to be spent by the Federal government in the next 20 years.

Looming on the horizon are the Hypercar and on site Hydrogen generators to supply all of the power needs for a hospital, for example, with no dependence on wiring to the site which can be shut down by storms, hurricanes, accidents, etc.

Unfortunately, up to this time there has not been a coordinated effort in the state to make use of our experience and assets and set out to be the nations' research center we can be. It will be necessary to seek congressional support to coordinate innovation, finance, human resources, infrastructure and facilities, and marketing. Some meetings have been held but a master plan must be put in place to leverage our assets among many agencies. The goal is to make South Carolina the hydrogen capital of the nation, if not the world.

Reported by Fred Sales, Keyway Committee