NCP: One Of The Best Companies To Work For

Wow, this is great news! I am so proud to say that NCP – for the third year in a row – has been named one of the best companies to work for in New York State!

Last week, a number of NCP associates traveled to Albany, the state capitol, where the company was honored at a public awards dinner. There were 45 companies in the category for small/medium-sized employers with 15 to 249 U.S. employees.

The Best Companies to Work for in New York State awards are celebrating 10 years of recognizing the best employers in the state. It is a distinctive program that evaluates and ranks the best places of employment based on employee satisfaction and engagement, as well as workplace practices and policies.

To be considered for participation, companies had to enter into a two-part survey process and fulfill the following eligibility requirements:

  • Be a for-profit or not-for-profit business or government entity
  • Be a publicly or privately held business
  • Have at least one facility in the state of New York
  • Have a minimum of 15 employees working in the state of New York
  • Be in business a minimum of 1 year

Again, we are so proud to have been awarded this honor.

Thanks, and have a great day!

Time To Head Outside!

No matter where you live, the days are getting longer. And depending on where you live, temperatures are starting to rise! That’s certainly true where I live.

To me, that means one thing: Time to go outside and have fun!

There are a number of state and county parks not far from where we live. My husband and I decided to try and take the kids hiking at these parks as often as possible. We both think it’s great to get out in the fresh air and experience the plants and trees and birds and animals that you run across in a park.

Hiking is one of many different outside activities. What are some of your favorites? Let me know!

Here are the most popular outdoor activities by participation rate, according to a survey issued by The Outdoor Foundation:

Youth (ages 6 – 14) Participation No. of Participants
1. Running/Jogging/Trail Running 24.2% 19.9 million
2. Bicycling (Road, Mountain, BMX) 20.6% 16.9 million
3. Camping (Car, Backyard, RV) 18.2% 15 million
4. Fishing (Fresh, Salt, Fly) 18% 14.8 million
5. Hiking 13.1% 10.8 million

 

Adult (ages 24+) Participation No. of Participants
1. Running/Jogging/Trail Running 14.9% 31.6 million
2. Fishing (Fresh, Salt, Fly) 14.6% 30.9 million
3. Hiking 12.5% 26.4 million
4. Bicycling (Road, Mountain, BMX) 12.3% 26.1 million
5. Camping (Car, Backyard, Backpacking, RV) 11.8% 25 million

Have a great day – and if you can, go outside!


Never Bored With Board Games

My family and I love to play board games. Playing board games is not just for raining days, it’s great anytime. All I have to do is take Monopoly or Clue out of the closet, maybe make some popcorn or something else that’s healthy, and we’re all ready to go!

I know many people who really enjoy playing board games with their family and/or friends, and some even have designated “game nights.” We’re all so (electronically) connected nowadays, it’s just nice to get away from the screen for a while.

Did you know that playing board games is popular throughout the world? Global sales of games and puzzles have grown from $9.3 billion in 2013 to $9.6 billion in 2016, according to Euromonitor International, with expected year-on-year growth of more than 1% this year.

So what board games do you like to play? Let me know!

Here are some of the top board games of all time, according to Ranker.com:

  • Apples to Apples
  • Arkham Horror
  • Axis and Allies
  • Backgammon
  • Battleship
  • Battlestar Galactica
  • Candyland
  • Carcassonne
  • Checkers
  • Chess
  • Chutes and Ladders
  • Clue
  • Connect Four
  • Cosmic Encounter
  • Cranium
  • Dominion
  • Don’t Break the Ice
  • Go
  • Mahjong
  • Monopoly
  • Operation
  • Pandemic
  • Pictionary
  • Power Grid
  • Risk
  • Scattergories
  • Scrabble
  • Settlers of Catan
  • Smallworld
  • Sorry!
  • Stratego
  • The Game of Life
  • Ticket to Ride
  • Trivial Pursuit
  • Trouble
  • Uno
  • Yahtzee

Don’t forget if you purchase a board game (or a video game), please make sure to scan the barcode and tell us about the purchase.

Thanks, and have a great day – hopefully by playing a board game with your friends or family!

Keeping Your Info Secure

Anytime I read or watch the news, there’s always a story about someone getting access to information that they really shouldn’t be able to. We’ve been thinking about that a lot here and are taking additional measures to help ensure your information is secure.

Here’s what we’ve done so far:

  • CAPTCHA!

We added a new CAPTCHA feature (it’s pronounced “Cap Cha”) to the NCP homepage.

CAPTCHA, which stands for “Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart” (now there’s a mouthful!), is a system that allows only humans, not computers, to access a website.

By using this human touch it keeps any unauthorized computers from being able to access our website.

I have to use this on a lot of websites I visit, but noticed they don’t always look the same. Some CAPTCHA programs require you to type in a set of numbers or words. Others require you to click on pictures. Some simply require you to select a checkbox. (There’s even a CAPTCHA at the end of this post, for those who want to comment on the blog. If you don’t see it, click on the “Leave a reply” link.)

In the case of the NCP website, we’ve added a box at the top of the page near where you log in. After you enter your login information, you must click the check box marked “I’m not a robot.” The program will confirm your identity and proceed with the login.

Sometimes the program will randomly double-check a person’s identity and present you with a series of pictures. As I was reviewing our site, I have been asked to click all the pictures of trucks or storefronts, for instance.

We’ve had some of our panel members looking for an alternative to clicking the pictures. Here’s what we found: you can use the headphone symbol at the bottom of the images. If you click on that symbol, you will hear a few numbers. Simply type in those numbers to get access to the site.

Again, the idea is to prove that it’s a human who wants to access the website, not a computer. We just want to make sure it is really you!

  • More Complex Password

We’re also asking panelists to create a more “complex” password. This password must be more than eight characters, contain at least one number, one letter and one of the following special characters: ! @ $ * _ – ?

Like me, you may need to use a password like this for other reasons, such as when you access your bank’s website or app.

To change your password,

  1. Visit https://www.ncponline.com, but don’t log in yet!
  2. Select “Forgot Password.”
  3. Follow all the steps as prompted.
  4. Your temporary password will be emailed to the email address we have on file.
  5. Once you receive it, return to our website and log in using your temporary password.
  6. Once you have logged in, please create a new, secure password that you can easily remember.

We have put these measures in place to safeguard the security of your information. Over time, we are hopeful that you will find CAPTCHA easy to do. Please also make sure to update your password right away!