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Posted December 01, 2009 by

Green Jobs for San Antonio

National and local agencies are doing their part to create green jobs for San Antonio.
The U.S. Department of Labor recently issued a $100,000 grant to San Antonio Youth Centers under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The funding will be used to provide training to youths interested in finding jobs in green industries and related occupations.
San Antonio Youth Centers is a nonprofit agency that works to improve the lives of urban youth living in poverty and in danger of dropping out of school, according to an article by the San Antonio Business Journal.
The Department of Labor is doling out about $55 million in green job grants from the federal economic stimulus to organizations throughout the country. So far, the ARRA has helped furnish about $500 million for green-job training grants to promote economic growth.
“Today’s announcement is part of the administration’s long-term commitment to fostering both immediate economic growth and a clean energy future,” Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis said. “It’s an investment that will help American workers do well while doing good.
“These grants provide an immediate return, and they are part of a larger green initiative that will help lead to increased job placements and promote economic growth,” she continued.
Like some other spots throughout the country, San Antonio’s economy has been picking as of late, with the city adding more jobs and the local unemployment rate decreasing.
During October, San Antonio saw its unemployment rate decrease from 7.1 percent to 7 percent, following an increase from 7 percent during September. The city’s current rate is lower than the national unemployment rate of 10.2 percent.
San Antonio had a total non-farm employment of 848,100 workers during October, according to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is up from 847,000 workers during September, but a .7 percent decrease from last year.

Posted November 25, 2009 by

Job Opportunities in Portland Oregon’s Small Businesses Get Support

As about 94 percent of the city’s businesses have fewer than 50 employees, there are several small business job opportunities in Portland Oregon.
The Portland Development Commission recently created a new Neighborhood Division, staffed by more than 35 professionals, which will be responsible for assisting those who work in small businesses.
“One of my priorities when I entered office was to create a division within PDC to focus on small business and community economic development,” Mayor Sam Adams said.
Small businesses in the Portland area can now look to the Neighborhood Division to obtain resources to apply for loans and grants, seek technical assistance and access the broader economy. In addition, the PDC provides millions of dollars each year to small businesses in the form of storefront improvement grants and working capital.
Adams and the PDC also have created a new business hotline, which is scheduled to go live in early December. The hotline will connect businesses with city bureaus and the PDC for questions regarding storefront improvement grants, business finance loans, permit, tax and license matters.
In the future, the hotline will complement a Portland business Web site that workers can use to process permit, tax and license matters; view a calendar of citywide events and find information on organizations that provide business assistance services. A beta version of the Web site is expected to be available in January 2010.
As of late, the PDC has been working on Urban Renewal, a state-authorized, redevelopment and finance program designed to help communities improve and redevelop areas that are physically deteriorated, suffering economic stagnation, unsafe or poorly planned.
PDC uses Urban Renewal as a tool to focus public attention and resources in blighted or underused areas to stimulate private investment and improve neighborhood livability.
Some of the outcomes of Urban Renewal projects include: Pioneer Courthouse Square, Eastbank Esplanade, Portland State University’s Urban Plaza, Oregon Convention Center, Willamette Industrial District, Waterfront Park, Union Station, Pioneer Place, Walnut Park, South Waterfront District.

Posted November 24, 2009 by

Las Vegas Casino Jobs at CityCenter Begin Next Month

The tens of thousands of workers who were chosen to fill Las Vegas casino jobs at CityCenter are gearing up for their new careers as the facility is slated to open December 1.
In what it dubbed the “single biggest hiring opportunity in the history of the U.S.,” MGM Mirage is hiring 12,000 employees to work at CityCenter. The facility, which was created by MGM Mirage and Dubai World, is an $8.5 billion complex of shops, condos, boutique hotels, restaurants and casinos.
Not surprisingly, the response was overwhelming, as CityCenter had received 160,000 applications by September 20. Of the available positions, 4,000 were offered to current MGM employees.
Various reports stated that workers to be hired include 4,280 food and beverage servers, including 165 master cooks; 1,300 casino workers, including dealers and slot operators; 1,200 hotel employees; 130 massage therapists and manicurists; and 130 responsible for handling lighting, props and other functions for the Cirque du Soleil.
In addition to those permanent positions, the creation of CityCenter also resulted in the creation of 10,000 construction jobs, although nobody has said what will happen to those workers once the construction phase ends and the facility opens for good.
In keeping with the times, according to an article by USA Today, CityCenter employees will be able to classify their workplace as a green company. Instead of flashy neon signs, designers focused on using more natural materials such as recycled wood, stone and concrete. As a result, six buildings in the complex have achieved gold status under the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED rating system.
CityCenter is set to open in stages, with the Vdara resort and condo opening December 1; the Crystals retail, dining and entertainment complex opening December 3; and the Mandarin Oriental hotel and residences opening December 4. When CityCenter opens next month, it will be connected to MGM Mirage’s Bellagio and Monte Carlo resorts via tram.
Many experts and onlookers are waiting anxiously to see just how CityCenter will fare. MGM Mirage was forced to seek outside financing from various banks to complete the project, which ended up being $1.2 billion over budget. In addition, many are worried the current state of the economy will make for a less-than-stellar opening.

Posted November 23, 2009 by

Recruitment Outsourcing Company Sees Revenue Decline

Despite an increase in recruitment outsourcing (Click here) needs, one company in the industry has seen a significant decrease in revenue.
Spherion, a company that provides various recruiting services, recently announced that its revenue for Q3 fell from $542 million last year to $420 million, a decrease of 22.5 percent.
During the first nine months of this year, the company’s revenue came in at $1.3 billion, which is lower than the $1.7 billion Spherion earned during the same period in 2008.
The company’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization during Q3 was $9.2 million, or 2.2 percent of revenues, a decrease from $15.4 million, or 2.8 percent of revenues, last year.
“Our revenues in the third quarter increased nearly 3 percent from the prior quarter as the economy continued to show signs of improvement,” Roy Krause, president and chief executive of Spherion, said. “Additionally, we once again exceeded our 2.0 percent EBITDA target due to focused cost management.
“As the economic recovery takes hold, our focus is now shifting towards growing operating margins through expansion of our higher value services such as recruitment process outsourcing, where we are the industry leader, and professional staffing and solutions, while continuing our focus on operational effectiveness,” he added. “I believe that we are well positioned operationally and strategically to emerge from this tumultuous period with a more balanced mix of business.”
There is somewhat of a bright outlook for the company, as revenues per day during the first three weeks of October were about 5 percent higher than during Q3. However, the current economic environment and the impact of the holiday season make it difficult to predict how revenues will trend throughout the rest of Q4.

Posted November 17, 2009 by

Dallas Medical Jobs to Improve with IBM Technology

Those with Dallas medical jobs, and healthcare careers in other places throughout the country, will soon get some help with improving their positions.
IBM recently opened the Health Analytics Solution Center, a research center in Dallas that will be dedicated to developing tools to allow healthcare professionals to more efficiently use data as a part of medical decision making.
Not only will the new center help healthcare professionals get better at their jobs, but it also will help create new jobs. The center plans to employ more than 100 experts in healthcare analytics, technical architectures and other, related specialties.
The overall goal of the center will be to create analytics systems that can leverage healthcare data streaming from electronic medical equipment, such as patient monitoring systems, physicians’ hand-held devices and other smart medical instruments.
“With all the dynamic changes occurring in healthcare and the availability of new data from more sources, deep analytics unlocks new possibilities for improving the way healthcare is delivered by reducing risk, saving lives and even helping to reduce costs,” Rob Merkel, healthcare leader for IBM Global Services, said.
In developing its healthcare technology, IBM is working with such institutions as Duke University Hospital, Mayo Clinic, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and the University of North Carolina.
According to an article by InformationWeek, many experts believe the healthcare industry – including pharmaceutical companies, insurers and device manufacturers – can use analytics to predict trends, reduce risk and improve patient care and safety.
“Tapping into mountains of data within hospitals and clinics can provide powerful new insights into what’s working and what isn’t,” Dwight Carter, CIO of the Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council, said in the article.
“New analytics technology makes it possible to see important health trends and allow physicians and hospitals to design more effective treatments,” he continued. “As hospitals become more interconnected in the future, this will be an especially powerful tool for hospitals, physicians and patients alike.”

Posted November 16, 2009 by

Personality Tests Online for the “Big Five” Traits

If you’re looking for personality tests online that you could administer to potential employees, you should check out tests that target the “Big Five” personality dimensions or personality traits. Visit http://www.shakercg.com to learn more about personality tests online.
These tests are based on decades of psychological research about personality. Even though they are not capable of identifying every aspect of someone’s personality, they can help you understand the general makeup of someone’s personality, specifically the factors that are the most important in social and interpersonal situations.
The “Big Five” dimensions include:

  • Extraversion – your level of sociability and enthusiasm
  • Agreeableness – your level of friendliness and kindness
  • Conscientiousness – your level or organization and work ethic
  • Emotional stability – your level of calmness and tranquility
  • Intellect – your level of creativity and curiosity

According to an article by PsychCentral, it’s important to keep in mind that these are not types of personalities, but dimensions of personality. It’s the combination of these dimensions that effectively makes up someone’s personality.
So why could this be useful to an employer? There are several studies that show someone’s personality remains relatively stable throughout life and can be associated with everything from academic success and occupational success to marital stability and physical health.
Other studies show that getting to know someone’s personality is an important step to take before you hire them. Just as skills tests, such as Agent Day in the Life, can assure you whether or not a potential employee will do a good job, personality tests can give you better insight about exactly who you are hiring.
Anyone wishing to take the “Big Five” personality dimensions a step further can use the Abridged Big 5 Circumplex, a circular model of personality that allows psychologists to examine traits that are blends of any two of the “Big Five” dimensions.
For instance, you could expect someone who is high in intellect and high in extraversion to be both sociable and creative, but the AB5C takes it one step further and says that person would be witty or humorous.

Posted November 13, 2009 by

Jobs in Phoenix Supported by Tourism Industry

If you’re wondering what kind of job Phoenix might have to offer, you may want to check out opportunities in the city’s leisure and hospitality industry.
A recent survey from the Greater Phoenix Convention & Visitors Bureau found that the city’s tourism industry is extremely important to the local economy. The industry as a whole is responsible for employing several local workers as well as supporting those with jobs in other industries.
“Tens of thousands of Arizona jobs are directly related to tourism – the majority of them right here in the Valley,” Mayor Phil Gordon said. “But teachers, police officers, firefighters, utility companies and bankers are no more than one degree of separation from the tourism industry. Because tax revenues generated from the industry go toward our schools, public safety, libraries, pools, parks and streets.
“Whether we know it or not, we all have a direct stake in tourism,” he continued. “It matters how many visitors we get. It matters how many conventions we host. It matters how many meetings are scheduled for Phoenix and the Valley. Whether you work at the airport or at a flower shop 300 miles from the airport, you are one of the faces of tourism.”
In particular, the survey found that hotels throughout Phoenix accounted for several jobs and paid more than $166 million in combined property and sales taxes during 2008. This translates to a gross tax yield per hotel room of more than $6,300.
“Hotel property taxes are approximately 27 percent of this total, or over $45 million,” GPCVB President Steve Moore said. “This equates to $1,710 per room, which is 8 percent greater than the median Phoenix household property tax, yet a hotel room is much smaller than a house. When one considers that a visitor uses a fraction of the government services provided to residents, this is a great investment for the state, county and city.”
“The hotel industry is proud to be one of the state’s largest employers and also one of the largest contributors to city and state tax revenues,” Debbie Johnson, president and CEO of the Arizona Hotel & Lodging Association, said. “Our many hotels and resorts are known for providing visitors and Arizona residents endless dining, golfing and recreational activities, but it’s important that we also recognize the economic impact that our industry has and communicate that when the tourism industry is strong, Arizona residents benefit with lower taxes and more job opportunities.”
These findings are supported by a recent Oxford Economics study, which found that there is a clear link between business travel and business growth. That study found that for every dollar invested in business travel, businesses see an average $12.50 in increased revenue and $3.80 in new profits.

Posted November 03, 2009 by

Denver Jobs Ads Online Slightly Decrease

The number of online advertisements looking for workers to fill Colorado and Denver jobs (Click here) did not change much last month.
According to a report from The Conference Board, there were about 37,100 online ads for jobs in Denver during October, which is down from 37,900 ads during September and down from 65,800 ads during October of last year.
The city had about 22,900 ads for new jobs, which is only slightly lower than the 23,400 ads for new jobs during September, but significantly lower than the 43,700 ads for new jobs during October 2008.
As a whole, about 67,800 online ads for jobs in Colorado ran during October, including new ads and those re-posted from previous months.
That number is only a .7 percent decrease from the 68,300 jobs posted during September, but a 37 percent decrease from the 107,000 ads posted during October 2008.
Of the online ads posted during October, 43,000 were for new jobs, compared to the 71,000 available new jobs posted during October 2008
However, Colorado was closer than most other states in the number of online job ads compared to the number of available workers. The state’s “supply-demand rate” came in at 2.74 during October. That means there are 2.74 available workers for every available job in Colorado.
The national “supply-demand rate” came in at 4.5 during October. Of the 20 states included in The Conference Board’s report, only Maryland had a lower rate, at 1.94.
Throughout the country there were 3.28 million online ads for jobs during October, which is down from 3.36 million during September. Many experts see the lack of growth in online job ads in many states as further indication that the recovery is still weak.

Posted October 28, 2009 by

Jobs in Baltimore Created by Smart Grid

Efforts to build a smart grid will help create several jobs in Baltimore.
The Department of Energy recently announced that it will provide Baltimore Gas & Electric Co. with a $200 million federal stimulus grant to help the city build a smart grid.
White House officials have said the funding will help create work for those manufacturing smart meters and completing equipment installation, data entry, cyber-security and information technology.
The Department of Energy will provide a total of $3.4 billion in funding to help build smart grids throughout the country. BGE is one of 100 companies selected to receive the funding out of 400 total applicants.
Funding for the smart grid initiative is coming from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which was passed earlier this year. BGE plans to invest a total of $251 million into the project, meaning the first phase will cost about $451 million.
The project will help install 1.1 million advanced power meters for BGE customers. The company expects that customers will save a total of $2.6 billion because of the project.
According to an article by The Baltimore Sun, the nationwide initiative is designed to help speed transition to what has been dubbed by the Obama administration as “the largest single grid modernization investment in U.S. history.”
BGE has announced that it will eventually implement peak-time pricing, which will provide savings to customers for using less energy during peak periods and reduce the need to build new peak-power generating capacity.

Posted October 05, 2009 by

Oregon Medical Jobs Account for Majority of Vacancies

Despite Oregon‘s relatively high unemployment rate, a recent report found that many employers have vacancies for skilled workers, and the majority of those vacancies are for Oregon medical jobs.
The Oregon Employment Department‘s Oregon Job Vacancy Survey found that during the spring of this year, employers throughout the state reported having 18,242 open job vacancies.
That number is somewhat surprising, considering the fact that Oregon has lost 100,000 non-farm jobs since the beginning of the economic recession in December 2007 and that 12.2 percent of the state’s labor force is unemployed.
Of the available jobs found in all major industrial groups, 48 percent required an education beyond the high school level and 50 percent required an occupation-related license or certificate.
Almost two-thirds of all vacancies were concentrated in the top four industries with the most openings.
The healthcare and social assistance industry had the most vacancies, with 5,744 available jobs. Aside from being one of the fastest growing industries, the healthcare industry also is one of the largest private industries in Oregon.
Following healthcare was accommodation and food services with 2,535 available jobs. However, while most jobs in the healthcare industry required an education beyond high school and a license or certificate, only 2 percent of jobs in the accommodation and food services industry required education beyond high school, while almost 75 percent required a license or certificate.
The educational services industry and the retail trade industry each had more than 1,500 vacancies. Educational services was the industry with the largest share of vacancies that required more than a high school education.
Transportation, warehousing and utilities had the largest number of vacancies that required a license or certificate, at 75 percent, while information had the smallest amount, at 9 percent.
The report further found that almost half of the job vacancies in Oregon were located in the Portland Tri-County area, which accounts for half of the state’s total employment. In addition, available jobs in Portland were more likely to be permanent positions and require more than a high school education.