The Bullseye - June 2010

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

In This Issue:
Mortgages In 2010,
Alumni Update,
Keeping Track of Consumer Recalls,
Congratulations to This Month's Winner,
April ISM Report,
Connect with Orion

Mortgages In 2010

Mortgages in 2010While the real estate market appears to be stabilizing, banks are still not quite at ease in lending money for a mortgage. Three years after the collapse of the real estate market, home sales have begun to increase and inventory levels are down. Now, with more affordable prices, tax benefits and low interest rates, buying a home is as attractive as ever. The lower interest rates are expected to continue throughout most of 2010 and will impact the housing industry’s performance. Many housing experts (as consulted by U.S. News and World Report) are saying the following regarding obtaining a mortgage in 2010:

1. Know that the market is still tight. Banks are not readily giving money without down payments and proper documentation.

2. Down payment requirements are higher than they were before the crash. FHA (Federal Housing Administration) loans require 3.5%, and loans outside of FHA will average up to 20% for better interest rates. The lower the down payment, the higher the interest rate.

3. To get the best interest rates, credit scores will need to be at 730 or above. It is important to know your credit score and dispute any unknown marks prior to applying for a mortgage. If applying through FHA, the average credit score hovers around 690.

4. FHA loans are increasing due to stricter lending requirements by banks and other institutions. With this increase, the agency’s finances have deteriorated leading the Obama administration to impose stiffer FHA regulations. These include raising the FICO score minimum, increasing down payment amounts, and charging higher insurance premiums.

5. Interest rates on fixed mortgages should remain relatively low. That being said, people applying for a larger fixed mortgage will find it more difficult to obtain. In addition, if the economic recovery continues, mortgage costs could rise up to 5.75%.

Again, these are the trends that housing experts expect to see throughout 2010. Much of this depends on the economic recovery of both US and world markets.

Alumni Update

Orion International Alumni Update

I was hired by Kyphon, now a division of Medtronic Spinal and Biologics, in March 2007 through Orion International. I graduated from the United States Naval Academy and was active duty for eight years, serving as a Naval Flight Officer.

I have now worked in the healthcare industry as a spine consultant selling medical devices to neurosurgeons, orthopedic spine surgeons, and interventional radiologists for three years. I consult with them during procedures and help provide them with the newest and best technology for treating their patients. When I began, both the healthcare industry and the medical device field were entirely new to me. In addition to the yearlong training program offered by Kyphon, I felt prepared for the job due my military background. One important quality I had taken away from my military experiences was teamwork, the ability to stay focused on the team’s goals and overall mission above my own individual goals.

Medtronic has treated me very well. It’s a solid company with a noble mission. The accomplishment I’m most proud of so far within the company was that I was voted the “most valuable person” on my first district sales team. It was personally rewarding because it helped me recognize that while I had the least sales experience on the team, I was still able to be seen as an asset by my teammates. I discovered that the leadership, teamwork, and mission focus I learned in the military was directly transferable to my civilian job.

 - Brian Schulz, Spine Consultant, Medtronic Spinal and Biologics

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Keeping Track of Consumer Recalls

Keeping Track of Consumer RecallsEach day, there are million of products being produced and distributed by manufacturers across the globe. Shoddy manufacturing, harmful chemicals, hazardous ingredients, food-born parasites and organisms, bacteria, and improper testing are leading to an influx of consumer complaints and company recalls. 2009 saw recalls of baby cribs, automobiles, peanut butter, cell phones, bicycles, stuffed toys, hooded sweatshirts, and the list continues. The recent Toyota crisis has kept “recalls” at the forefront of the daily news and our minds. Keeping track of these recalls can be overwhelming. However, there are several ways that consumers can be notified.

The most up-to-date resource is the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). According to their website, the CPSC is “charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of serious injury or death from thousands of types of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction. The CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical, or mechanical hazard or can injure children.” Their website can be found at Consumers can sign up for e-mail alerts to notify them of the latest safety recalls.

The Food and Drug Administration ( and the Food Safety and Inspection Service ( are the two agencies of the U.S. Government that are responsible for notifying the public of any food-related or medicine recalls. Both of these websites have e-mail notification services for the public.

If a consumer believes that a product they are using might be on a recall list, or if they believe one should be, they should contact the manufacturer promptly and also contact the CPSC. Notifying the manufacturer and the CPSC can literally save lives and can protect innocent people from the tragic consequences of today’s mass product manufacturing.

Congratulations to This Month's Winner

Andrew Luna won the Job Seeker Referral monthly drawing and is the winner of a $50 gift card.  
Ready for your chance to win a $50 gift card? You’ll receive an entry into our monthly drawings for Client and Job Seeker referrals for each referral that you submit – good luck and thank you for the referral!.

April ISM Report

April 2010 ISM ReportThe Manufacturing ISM Report On Business is published monthly by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM). ISM is largely considered the most respected supply management organization in the world.  The Manufacturing ISM Report On Business is a national index based on surveying purchasing and supply executives at over 300 industrial organizations. The Report’s market importance is extremely high. It is the most valuable of all manufacturing indices.

Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded for the ninth consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 12th consecutive month, the nation’s supply executives reported in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business. The PMI was at 60.4%, up slightly from March’s 59.6%. Seventeen of the eighteen manufacturing industries reported growth. No industries reported contraction in April

The New Orders Index registered at 65.7% in April. The Production Index was 66.9%, an increase of 5.8% from March. Any Production Index above 50.4% indicates an increase in the Federal Reserve Board’s Industrial Production Figures.

The Employment Index registered 58.5%, 3.4 percentage points higher than March’s 55.1%. This was the 5th consecutive month of growth in manufacturing employment. Twelve of the eighteen industries showed employment growth. They were: Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Paper Products; Furniture & Related Products; Computer & Electronic Products; Printing & Related Support Activities; Fabricated Metal Products; Transportation Equipment; Machinery; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; and Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components. The only industry reporting a decrease was Plastics & Rubber Products.

Manufacturer’s Inventories contracted in April registering at 49.4%. The Customer’s Inventories Index registered at 33%, six points lower than March.

The ISM Prices Index in April was 78%, and the Backlog of Orders Index was 57.5% in April, three percentage point higher than the previous month. ISM’s New Export Orders Index registered at 61% in April. This was the 10th consecutive month of growth in the New Export Orders Index.

The industries reporting growth in April were: Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Wood Products; Petroleum & Coal Products; Plastics & Rubber Products; Fabricated Metal Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Miscellaneous Manufacturing; Transportation Equipment; Machinery; Computer & Electronic Products; Primary Metals; Furniture & Related Products; Chemical Products; Printing & Related Support Activities; Paper Products; and Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products.

Connect with Orion


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