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Poll results: Up in smoke?

BY HBSDealer Staff

The list of states that have passed laws decriminalizing certain marijuana possession offenses is growing. And the newly elected New Jersey governor campaigned in the direction of legalization.

As the movement grows, the construction industry cringes, or at least some of the construction industry. Concern over the mental state of employees handling heavy equipment on the job site, many believe, can be a big problem in states that allow marijuana.

Still, almost as many readers had a positive reaction as a negative reaction to the growing movement of decriminalization.

Specifically, HBSDealer asked: “As more states  consier decriminalization or legalization of marijuana, what’s your reaction?” Here are the responses:

• 46% “Negative. Marijuana and construction do not mix.”
• 45% “Positive. Legalize it, and gain much needed tax revenue.”
• 9% “Neutral. It’s not an issue on my day-to-day radar.”

Some 150 people responded. The poll is still open. Cast your vote here. Or, tell us what you think here.

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In Orlando, a Spirit of Life kick off

BY Ken Clark

It was a busy year for fundraising for City of Hope in the hardware and homebuilding industry. And it’s about to get busier.

The traditional City of Hope Spirit of Life Award Reception will attract industry executives from around the country to Orlando, Fla., Jan. 8, on the eve of the International Builders’ Show. The Golf and Gala event will celebrate a year in which $3 million was raised for the Duarte, Calif.-based world-famous cancer research and treatment center.

According to Matt Dodd, senior executive director of corporate philanthropy for City of Hope, “The Spirit of Life Golf and Gala in January are the kick off events for each fundraising year,” he said. “For the 2018 City of Hope fundraising campaign honoring Behr Process Corp. and Jeff Filley, we have the goal to raise $3.5 million.”

Raising millions of dollars to fight diseases including but not limited to cancer is par for the course for the hardware and homebuilding industry. In the past 35 years, some $155 million has been raised for City of Hope, as the Spirit of Life award recognized many of the biggest names in home improvement.

Last year, the recognition went to the family ownership of the Atlanta-based Quikrete Cos.—Jack, Dennis and Jim Winchester. 

Quikrete and the 2018 Spirit of Life honoree – Behr Process Corp. and Jeff Filley – join a long list of influential industry executives who led the fundraising charge  for the year. On the list are Bernie Marcus (1986); Maggie Hardy Magerko (2006), and Robert Strickland and Leonard Herring (1983).

The hardware and homebuilding industry has several events planned for rest of the year, including some new ones – such as a fundraising Day at the Races at Santa Anita Park in Southern California.

“We hope over the course of the year, we’ll be able to add a handful of more new events and/or fundraising programs,” Dodd said. The Spirit of Life event sets the tone for the year. “If all continues to go well, $700,000 will be raised from the Spirit of Life Golf and Gala.”

 

 

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Eye on Retail: Walmart to allow access to wages before pay day

BY Marianne Wilson

The nation’s largest private employer on Wednesday unveiled financial wellness tools for its employees created in collaboration with two Silicon Valley start-ups.

The centerpiece of Walmart’s new offering is on-demand access to earned wages, which will allow its 1.4 million-strong U.S. workforce to draw on their salary ahead of payday. Instead of waiting two weeks between paychecks, Walmart employees can now use the “Instapay” feature on an app to access a portion of wages for hours they have already worked. The goal is to help workers avoid costly payday loans and other debt traps.

Walmart’s new financial program was created in collaboration with financial technology startups Even and PayActiv. Associates will access Instapay and other tools through the Even app, which securely connects to an associate’s checking account, prepaid account or Walmart Associate Paycard, and links to Walmart’s payroll systems.

“Every American worker faces unexpected and stressful between-paychecks expenses,” said Safwan Shah, founder and CEO of PayActiv, whose financial wellness platform allows employees to get on-demand access to earned but unpaid wages. “With on-demand access to earned wages, Walmart associates will be able to save more, avoid the financial traps that reduce their take-home pay, and get a level of stability that few service sector employers provide.”

The Even app can also help Walmart employees manage their finances by pinpointing the exact amount they can safely spend before their next paycheck. Walmart will cover the entire cost of Even’s automated financial management tool for both hourly and salaried associates, and will ensure associates can use Instapay up to eight times per year for free. Should associates need to use the Instapay feature more frequently, Walmart will subsidize the additional subscription required to do so.

The financial management and Instapay features will be available to all Walmart, Sam’s Club and Walmart eCommerce associates.

“Traditional approaches to workforce well-being often focus solely on physical health, but we know from listening to our associates that financial well-being is just as important,” said Jacqui Canney, Walmart’s chief people officer. “We’re investing to give our people financial tools that help provide more stability in their lives, which we believe will empower them to be all they can be when they are at work serving our customers.”

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