Monday, April 21, 2014

STIHL Dealer Days is Happening Now!

It's #1 to the rescue!  Time to head to your local STIHL dealer and take advantage of this limited time event.  Now is the perfect time to shop for great deals on America’s #1 selling brand of gasoline-powered handheld outdoor power equipment* and stock up on the tools you need for spring.  

Haven't found your local dealer yet?  Use our dealer locator at

Across the country, STIHL dealers will feature value-priced products designed to help homeowners keep lawns and gardens beautiful, including:

  • STIHL blowers starting at $149.95 MSRP
  • STIHL string trimmers starting at $129.95 MSRP
  • STIHL chainsaws starting at $179.95 MSRP 
And if finding America’s #1 selling brand of gasoline-powered handheld outdoor power equipment* wasn't reason enough to visit your dealer, perhaps winning a piece of our $100,000 product sweepstakes may help.

That's right. One hundred lucky winners, two from each state, will receive a STIHL check good for $1,000 toward the purchase of STIHL equipment and accessories, and collateral redeemable which will be payable to and redeemable at the STIHL Dealer listed on the check.  Registration runs through June 1, 2014. Complete sweepstakes details are available at

 So visit your local STIHL dealer now before STIHL Dealer Days run out. 

"Number one selling brand" is based on syndicated Irwin Broh Research as well as independent consumer research of 2009-2013 U.S. sales and market share data for the gasoline-powered handheld outdoor power equipment category combined sales to consumers and commercial landscapers.
© 2014 STIHL

Friday, April 4, 2014

Learn How to Build Your Community at Go Local, Grow Local Conference

By Jeff Milchen, Co-director, American Independent Business Alliance

Note from STIHL: We are pleased to announce that we are sponsoring two scholarships for business owners to attend the Go Local, Grow Local conference in Minneapolis, May 8-11, 2014. To be considered, fill out this brief form by Wednesday, April 9; winners will be announced April 15. (Seven meals are included; travel and lodging are the responsibility of participants.)   STIHL is proud to team with AMIBA to spread many great resources that are helping local independent businesses thrive in the face of ever-greater challenges

The American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA) is a non-profit organization helping

people implement grassroots initiatives to support community-based businesses, build local wealth and prevent the loss of independent businesses. While AMIBA made its name providing comprehensive support for communities seeking to execute high-impact "buy local" campaigns, they also help communities develop cooperative branding, group purchasing and other activities to help independent businesses gain economies of scale and compete successfully.

Every two years, AMIBA hosts a national conference to connect the more than eighty Independent Business Alliances around the country, as well as leading independent business champions and people seeking to instigate action in their city or town. This year, the Go Local, Grow Local Conference hits Minneapolis from May 8-11. The event is filled with highly-interactive sessions

designed to give participants actionable ideas and the tools needed to implement them in their business or community.

Featured speakers include Michael Shuman, author of The Small Mart Revolution: How Local Businesses Are Beating the Global Competition; Becky McCray of the popular Small Biz Survival blog and Jeff Milchen, AMIBA's co-founder and author of "Building Buy Local Campaigns that Shift Culture and Spending" (now freely available in pdf format).

The gathering will explore topics such as:
·  Turning your customers into evangelists;
·  Building opportunities to invest in Main St., not Wall St.;
·  Localizing institutional and government purchasing;
·  Developing an effective "buy local" campaign or Independent Business Alliance; and much more.

If you're not free to travel at that time, consider arranging a local presentation and workshop for your own community. Uniquely, all AMIBA's workshops are led by people with years of experience actually organizing local Alliances and assisting many more communities since to implement pro-local business initiatives.

AMIBA exists to promote the prosperity of independent businesses by providing resources and guidance in building and strengthening “buy local” initiatives in local communities across the country. Please contact us to discuss how we can help your community.

These window decals are two of many ready-to-use "buy local" materials for business owners available from AMIBA. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Spring Into Shopping Local

By: Sarah McIntosh, Project Coordinator, Independent We Stand

 Spring is in the air, and in the hardware and home improvement industry, that means busy season is upon us. Thanks to continued support from STIHL and its independent dealers, Independent We Stand is introducing a new Locals Only search engine and mobile apps – just in time for the spring fix-it season. Throughout this season and beyond, small business owners and customers can take advantage of these powerful new tools to connect with one another and help support their local community.

A growing number of consumers want to shop local, and an overwhelming majority of these potential customers go online to find places to do so. The Locals Only search engine is the only tool of its kind for millions of independent businesses. If you are a small business owner, you can make the most of this opportunity by registering your business for free in this ever-growing database of small businesses. This will get you in front of thousands of consumers hungry to ‘buy local’.  To help your business stand out in the crowded marketplace, consider upgrading to a more robust premium membership listing to reach even more consumers during the spring-cleaning season and all year long.

When local-conscious customers aren’t searching on their desktop or laptop computers for small businesses, they’re looking on the go. While these customers navigate the sea of chain stores on a busy day of errands, the Independent We Stand mobile apps point them in the direction of the nearest local business that has what they’re looking for. As a member of Independent We Stand, your business will automatically be listed in the apps. Download the iPhone or Android app for free to find locally owned businesses in your community for all your personal and professional needs.

Whether you’re a consumer or a small business owner, make the most of the busy spring season. Start taking advantage of Independent We Stand’s Locals Only search and mobile apps to get the best lawn in the neighborhood, the perfect paint color for your renovation, and most importantly, find love in all the local places.


Monday, March 10, 2014

Hands-on Experience & Classroom Training with “Dual Style” Apprenticeship Model

By Josh Moon, Apprentice Instructor, STIHL Inc. 
There’s a shortage of skilled workers across the United States and according to Economic Modeling Specialists International, more than half of the current workforce is over the age of 45. That means in a few decades, the demand for skilled workers will be even greater, as the current workforce hits retirement.

At STIHL Inc. in Virginia Beach, Va., we teach current employees new skills that broaden their qualifications and prepare them for a variety of new skilled worker positions. Our apprenticeship program is adapted from the German model of vocational training. In this “dual system,” trainees split their time between hands-on training and classroom education.

Since 2012, the German Embassy in the U.S. has been working with German and American businesses to spread the word about dual-style training systems like the program at STIHL Inc. The program, called the Skills Initiative, is designed to provide local training and education on reinvigorating workforce training systems to better match Germany’s successful dual training style. The success of our apprenticeship program is one of the many reasons STIHL Inc. was asked to participate in the Skills Initiative.

Recently, STIHL Inc. apprentice Daniel Swartzel and I went on the road with The Skills Initiative Road Show. Also along for the ride were several members of the Department of Economics at the German Embassy, as well as Norbert Fuhrmann, an educator from Germany.

Our goal during the Skills Initiative Road Show was to showcase this dual system to key leadership and students across the East Coast and Midwest. Through a series of roundtable discussions, we spoke with business leaders, government officials, education representatives and students in six different cities from Georgia to New York. We told them about the German dual-style training system and how we adapted it to fit our needs.

It’s a system that works quite well at STIHL Inc. Apprentices gain exposure to many different job skills and receive broad training. They work with a variety of machines including PLC’s, pneumatics circuits, electrical circuits, robotics and close-tolerance production machining. This hands-on education takes longer, but definitely pays off in the long run. A partnership with a local community college provides apprentices with an opportunity to receive their associate degree.

At STIHL Inc., the apprenticeship prepares our future employees to handle the many different tasks and high expectations that we have. Hopefully, it will help prepare us for the predicted shortage of skilled workers that could cause problems for other companies in the coming years.
To learn more about The Skills Initiative Road Show visit: or watch the video.

To learn about employment opportunities at STIHL Inc., visit: