Friday, December 18, 2009

Only San Diego Government Jobs See Yearly Increase

Although the area's unemployment rate decreased and more jobs were added over the month, only San Diego government jobs saw a yearly increase in employment.

During November, the San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos area saw its unemployment rate decrease from 10.5 percent to 10.3 percent, following an increase from 10.4 percent during October. Despite that decrease, the area's current rate is still slightly higher than the national unemployment rate of 10 percent.

The San Diego area had a total non-farm employment of 1,251,000 workers during November, according to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is up from 1,246,500 workers during October, but a 3.3 percent decrease from last year.

Four industries saw a monthly increase in employment, including: trade, transportation and utilities by 3,400 jobs; professional and business services by 800 jobs; education and health services by 500 jobs; and government by 1,200 jobs. Employment in the mining and logging and information industries remained even at 300 workers and 37,300, respectively.

The government industry was the only one that managed to add jobs when compared to last year. The industry employed 227,900 workers during November, up from 226,700 workers during October and a .1 percent increase from last year.

Employment in the mining and logging industry remained even when compared to last year, while employment in the education and health services remained even at 137,500 workers and employment in the other services industry remained even at 48,600 workers.

The construction industry took the biggest hit when compared to last year. The industry employed 65,200 workers during November, down from 65,500 workers during October and a 9.3 percent decrease from last year.

Other industries that saw an over-the-year decrease in employment include:
  • manufacturing by 7.6 percent
  • trade, transportation and utilities by 4.3 percent
  • information by 4.8 percent
  • financial activities by 2 percent
  • professional and business services by 4.5 percent
  • leisure and hospitality by 4.2 percent

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Future Texas Tech Jobs Get Scholarship Funding

State officials are doing their part to ensure there are enough workers to fill the tech jobs Texas will have to offer in the future.

Gov. Rick Perry
recently announced creation of the STEM Challenge Scholarship, a $100 million initiative through Texas State Technical Colleges to help students pursuing degrees and certificates in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields receive the education they need.

The challenge will focus on providing competitive awards to regional partnerships between higher education institutions, school districts and local employers. The ultimate goal of the program is to attract, retain and graduate STEM students.

"Accelerating the number of college students graduating in a high-tech field is essential to maintaining a globally competitive workforce," Perry said. "This scholarship program will encourage higher education institutions to design STEM programs that meet local employer needs, while providing Texas students the opportunity to pursue the education they need as they fulfill their potential."

The State of Texas already has an incentive program that provides $80 million to universities to increase the number of students who graduate, especially those in STEM fields. Perry also has proposed $60 million in additional measures to strengthen STEM education.

Part of that effort would expand the Advanced Placement Training and Incentive Program to 50 more schools, increasing the number of students taking AP exams and certifying more AP teachers.

Another proposal is to expand the UTeach program, which recruits college students to become math and science teachers, to five additional higher education institutions. That move would create 2,000 jobs for STEM teachers during the next five years.

A final measure would double the number and scope of Texas's T-STEM academies from 46 to 92, which would in turn significantly increase the number of students attending those academies.

"Texas must intensify its efforts to recruit, retain, and graduate students in STEM fields to ensure we stake our claim in the 21st century economy," Higher Education Commissioner Raymund Paredes said. "The governor's STEM Challenge Scholarship will prove to be an invaluable tool for helping Texas achieve its goals for closing the gaps by 2015."

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Nashville Healthcare Jobs Potentially Created by Signature Healthcare

One company could soon create several Nashville healthcare jobs if it chooses to move its headquarters to the city.

Signature Healthcare LLC, a long-term care provider based in Florida, is considering Nashville as a possible location for the company's new corporate headquarters. The company also is considering moving to Louisville, Ky., or remaining in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

According to an article by The Tennessean, the company will evaluate the incentives offered by each city before making a decision. If Signature Healthcare moves, it would result in 100 employees relocating and the creation of 50 new jobs within the next three years.

Signature Healthcare also will base its decision on the availability and quality of potential job candidates, the company's ability to grow and provide new services, the potential for partnerships with universities and other institutions and operating costs.

While officials in Tennessee have yet to verify any incentives, Signature Healthcare could receive a 6.5 percent credit against sales-and-use taxes if the company makes capital investments of at least $10 million and creates 150 jobs that pay about $40,000 per year.

Officials in the State of Kentucky have already given preliminary approval of up to $4 million in tax benefits for up to 10 years if the company creates 121 news jobs with an average salary of $40 per hour. The state also will offer Signature Healthcare a tax-exempt financing option if the company purchases a building for its headquarters.

Signature Healthcare currently operates 66 nursing homes in seven states, 22 of which are located throughout Tennessee, including Donelson Place Care & Rehabilitation Center in Nashville, Montgomery Care and Rehabilitation Center in Clarksville and Signature HealthCARE in Columbia.

The added jobs would only improve the Nashville area's prosperous healthcare industry, which has managed to see a monthly and yearly increase in employment, despite the current economic recession.

The Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin area's education and health services industry employed 112,200 workers during October, according to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is up from 112,000 workers during September and a .5 percent increase from last year.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

State of Nevada Jobs Decline

More State of Nevada jobs were lost during October. Visit to learn more.

During October, Nevada saw its unemployment rate decrease from 13.3 percent to 13 percent, following an increase from 13.2 percent during September. Despite the decrease, the state's current rate was still higher than the national unemployment rate at the time of 10.2 percent.

Nevada had a total non-farm employment of 1,174,800 workers during October, according to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is down from 1,179,700 workers during September and a 6 percent decrease from last year.

Five industries saw a monthly increase in employment, including: mining and logging by 100 jobs; information by 100 jobs; financial activities by 1,000 jobs; education and health services by 1,200 jobs; and other services by 100 jobs. Employment in the leisure and hospitality industry remained at an even 307,600 jobs.

Only one industry managed to add jobs on a yearly basis. The education and health services industry employed 99,400 workers during October, up from 98,200 workers during September and a 3.4 percent increase from last year.

The construction industry took the biggest hit when compared to last year. The industry employed 82,100 workers during October, down from 82,600 workers during September and a 26.9 percent decrease from last year.

Other industries that saw an over-the-year decrease in employment include:
  • mining and logging by 2.4 percent
  • manufacturing by 7 percent
  • trade, transportation and utilities by 3.3 percent
  • information by 5.4 percent
  • financial activities by 3.3 percent
  • professional and business services by 5.5 percent
  • leisure and hospitality by 6 percent
  • other services by .8 percent
  • government by 3.4 percent

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Orlando Hotel Jobs with Westin Available

A small number of Orlando hotel jobs will soon be available.

Officials at the Westin Lake Mary Orlando North, a $50 million hotel that opened during November, recently announced that the facility plans to add 15 more staff members during 2010. The hotel currently employs about 150 workers.

Steven Ragsdale, general manager of the hotel, told the Orlando Business Journal that the company will need to hire new staff next year as the hotel enters the busy business travel season.

"After we get past the (traditionally slow) holiday season, we expect to pick up our staff to about 165 total employees," he said.

The available jobs will include positions at all levels of the hotel, including guest services and cleaning staff. Workers at the hotel earn anywhere between $20,000 and $40,000 per year.

It is currently a questionable time to open a new hotel and expand staff numbers. Smith Travel Research found that during October, the Orlando area had a hotel occupancy rate of 57.5 percent, which is a decrease of 8.7 percent from last year. At the same time, room rates decreased by 14.6 percent to $91.36.

However, the Orlando area is willing to take its chances. Rich Maladecki, president of the Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Association, said new hotels such as the Westin not only create jobs for local workers, but also provide the area "with something fresh to attract individuals from outside locations."

Recent figures show that the area could certainly use the added jobs. Although the Orlando-Kissimmee area saw its unemployment rate decrease from 11.6 percent to 11.4 percent during October and managed to add 1,800 jobs during the month, the area has seen a 4.5 percent decrease in employment since this time last year.

In particular, the area's leisure and hospitality industry employed 193,100 workers during October, according to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is up from 192,000 workers during September, but a 2.1 percent decrease from last year.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Phoenix Construction Jobs Created by Federal Funding for Weatherization

Federal stimulus money is continuing to create much needed Phoenix construction jobs and help make the city a greener place.

The Phoenix Neighborhood Services Department previously received $7.2 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to help fund the city's Weatherization Assistance Program. Officials recently announced that so far, about 400 homes are being weatherized using those funds, with several more homes soon to follow.

"This is just the beginning," Jerome Miller, director of the Phoenix Neighborhood Services Department, said. "We will continue to put these federal dollars to work to provide maximum benefit to the residents of Phoenix."

The city's Weatherization Assistance Program is available to low-income residents who meet specific criteria and homes are tested to determine eligibility. The types of work available include: sealing duct systems; insulation; cooling and heating systems; repairing appliances with carbon monoxide emissions; and lowering heat-gain through windows and doors.

"This program is a win for everyone," Mayor Phil Gordon said, "creating jobs in the construction industry and helping realize my goal of making Phoenix the ‘greenest’ city in the nation."

The construction industry in Phoenix has been hit hard by the current economic recession. The Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale area's construction industry employed 101,400 workers during October, according to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is down from 103,100 workers during October and a 24.6 percent decrease from last year.

As of the end of September, a total of $139 million in contracts had helped to create or save about 657 jobs in Arizona. While that may seem like a large number, naysayers think it is only a small number compared to the total number of jobs the stimulus is expected to create throughout the state.

Overall, Arizona is expected to receive about $14.6 billion in federal stimulus money, but so far the state has only seen about 1 percent of that. However, President Barack Obama has estimated that the stimulus could help create or save 70,000 jobs throughout the state, including indirect benefits from provisions such as tax cuts and extended unemployment benefits.

White House officials recently reported that the stimulus has created or saved anywhere from 600,000 jobs to 1.5 million jobs throughout the country.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Flexible Jobs that Pay Well

For most people, having a good balance between your personal life and work is important, which is why many people are opting for flexible jobs. Visit to learn more.

While some flexible jobs may require you to make sacrifices in terms of pay or benefits, there are some really enticing, well-paying positions available.

Here are six flexible jobs that offer salaries of about $70,000, as compiled by Yahoo! Education:
  • Post secondary teachers - Currently, many college teachers and university professors are planning to retire, meaning there will soon be plenty of openings. Teachers work on a college schedule, which means they get summer, spring and winter holiday vacations. In addition, many college classes only meet two or three times per week, meaning you won't have to report to work every day.

    Teachers must have a master's degree to teach at a community college and a doctorate to teach at a four-year college. Positions in this field are expected to increase by 12 percent from 2006 to 2016. During 2007, professors earned an average salary of $98,974 per year, while associate professors earned $69,911 and assistant professors earned $58,662.

  • Travel nurses - While travel nurses can be expected to work long hours, they can schedule time off between assignments, allowing for long or short-term work schedules.

    Travel nurses must obtain a two-year registered nurses or bachelor's degree in nursing. Jobs in this field are expected to increase by 23 percent through 2016. During 2007, the top 50 percent of registered nurses earned a yearly salary between $73,170 and $87,310.

  • Software designers - These workers are often hired on a per-contract basis, meaning they can have tough schedules before a new product is launched, but can opt for time off between assignments.

    Software designers must have at least a bachelor's degree in software design or applications or a master's degree if you plan to run a consultancy business. Positions in this field are expected to increase by 38 percent through 2016. During 2007, software designers earned an average salary of $83,130 per year.

  • Management analysts - Anyone in this career field can work as a consultant in sales, marketing, technology, healthcare and finance and more than 27 percent are self-employed.

    Management analysts must typically have at least a bachelor's degree in business or finance, while some have an MBA degree. Positions in this field are expected to increase by 22 percent from 2006 to 2016. During 2007, management analysts earned an average salary of $71,150 per year.

  • Interior designers - Most interior designers run their own companies or consultancies, with 26 percent of workers in the field being self-employed.

    While some interior designers have an associates degree, those with a bachelor's degree in art or design tend to advance to better positions. During 2007, the top 50 percent of workers in the field earned a salary between $60,200 and $81,800 per year.

  • Real estate sales agents - Even though the number of home sales has drastically declined, there are several new commercial buildings popping up. While you may have to work one to three years to get your broker's license, you can rent or borrow office space and work your own hours.

    The majority of brokers have college training in real estate, business law, marketing or finance. During 2007, the top 50 percent of real estate agents earned between $65,040 and $106,790 per year.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Tampa Jobs FL Supported by Revamped Organization

A new organization has surfaced to help create Tampa jobs FL.

The newly-formed Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corp. is a stand-alone entity funded by area companies, Hillsborough County and the City of Tampa. The organization will focus on business retention, recruiting new companies and growing business sectors, such as life sciences, advanced manufacturing, international trade and financial services.

According to a Tampa Bay Online article by THEDC Chairman Mark House, the new organization spawned from the Committee of One Hundred. The COH was a public-private partnership between business people and public officials that worked under The Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce to generate new jobs and raise the per capita income of local residents.

Part of the work the THEDC will do includes employing a professional staff to assist companies with the site-selection process. Executives from companies considering moving to the Tampa area will be taken on personal tours as the staff works to sell the organization's products and services. Special consideration will be given to companies offering jobs with salaries that are higher than the area's current average.

The staff also will work to court local companies looking to further expand in the area. Those companies would join the ranks of others who have recently expanded, including The Depository Trust & Clearing Corp., Draper Laboratory and the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute.

The THEDC staff will further work with real estate, human resources and other corporate executives to tailor solutions to specific business needs. This could include such things as negotiating incentives or promoting employee pipelines, such as the Tampa Bay Workforce Alliance, Hillsborough Community College, local universities and local school districts.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

State of Oregon Jobs Get Funding for Training

The local employment agency is doing its part to help workers get better State of Oregon jobs.

The Oregon Employment Department recently implemented a new program to help low-income and unemployed residents expand their skills and find better jobs. Through the program, workers who had low-wage jobs can receive unemployment benefits while going to school or retraining.

In order to qualify for the program, workers must be eligible to file an unemployment claim based on receiving a wage less than $9.24 per hour. Workers also must be attending training designed to prepare them for employment in high-demand jobs with wages of at least $9.24 per hour.

One downfall is that the program does not pay for the training or provide benefits for those in training that leads to a baccalaureate or higher degree.

"This is one of the many actions taken this legislative session to help Oregon families during this difficult time," Gov. Ted Kulongoski told The Hillsboro Argus. "This new program will help Oregonians in two critical ways - first with continued financial assistance to help meet their family's basic needs and by providing an opportunity to gain a new skill that will lead to longer term economic security."

The program, which was created by the Oregon State Legislature, will take place through Jan. 1, 2012. The Oregon Employment Department has estimated that 2,400 workers will participate in the program each year.

More trained workers could help revive Oregon's economy, which has continued to lose jobs as of late, despite a drop in unemployment.

During September, Oregon saw its unemployment rate decrease from 12 percent to 11.5 percent, following an increase from 11.8 percent during August. The state's current rate is higher than the national unemployment rate of 9.8 percent.

Oregon had a total non-farm employment of 1,613,800 workers during September, according to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is down from 1,624,100 workers during August and a 6.1 percent decrease from last year.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Green Jobs in Denver

If you're looking for a more sustainable career, you might want to check out the green jobs Denver has to offer.

These days many people who are just entering the workforce, as well as those looking to change careers, are turning to the green-collar industry for job opportunities.

Most recently, SMA Solar Technology AG announced its plan to build a production facility in Denver, a move that will create at least 300 new jobs and invest $20 million in the local economy.

"We're diversifying our energy portfolio here," Gov. Bill Ritter said. "We're addressing climate change and we're improving our energy security but at the same time, we're creating economic opportunities."

The German-based company produces solar inverters that take energy from solar panels and convert it for home use. The new facility will be located in an existing building and the company hopes to begin production within the first six months of 2010.

"(Their inverter technology) can be compared in the solar industry to what disc operating systems did to revolutionize the desktop computer," Tom Clark, with the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation, told

The plant in Denver is the company's first plant outside of Germany. At its highest capacity, the plant will be able to expand to 700 workers. The average salary for workers with the company will be about $33,000.

"As a global company, we have made the decision to expand our product in Denver because the city offers optimal flexibility for our future growth," Pierre Urbon, chief financial officer with SMA, said. "In Europe, SMA has consistently ranked as one of the most attractive workplaces particularly because of our focus on the quality of life for our employees. We believe that Denver and Colorado and its people offer us the infrastructure and conditions to compliment this."

SMA Solar Technology AG will receive a state tax credit of $500 for every job it creates. In addition, the company was given $2 million in state economic development credits and $1 million from the city and county of Denver.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Jobs in Dallas Continue to Decline

While other cities throughout Texas have done relatively well despite the state of the economy, more jobs in Dallas were lost last month as the area's unemployment rate increased.

The Texas Workforce Commission recently reported that the Dallas-Plano-Irving area lost 3,700 jobs from July to September. As a whole, the area has lost 54,100 jobs since September of last year.

The Dallas area also saw its unemployment rate increase from 8.2 percent to 8.3 percent during September. However, that number is still smaller than the current national unemployment rate of 9.8 percent.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, the area's unemployment rate reached 7.1 percent in January, 7 percent in February, 7.1 percent in March, 6.6 percent in April, 7.1 percent in May, 8.1 percent in June, 8.3 percent in July, 8.2 percent in August and 8.3 percent in September.

Only two industries saw an increase in employment on a month-to-month basis. The education and health services industry added 1,500 jobs during the month and has added 20,300 jobs since September 2008, making for an annual growth rate of 8.8 percent.

The government industry added 5,900 jobs from August to September and 4,600 of those jobs were in local government. However, the industry as a whole has lost 1,200 jobs, or .5 percent, from last year

The professional and business services industry saw the biggest decrease in jobs from August to September, losing 4,900 positions. The majority of job losses in that industry were in administrative and support services, which lost 3,900 positions.

Other industries that saw a monthly decrease in employment include: mining, logging and construction by 800 jobs; manufacturing by 600 jobs; trade, transportation and utilities by 1,200 jobs; financial activities by 1,800 jobs; leisure and hospitality by 1,500 jobs; and other services by 300 jobs.

When compared to last year, every industry expect education and health services lost jobs, including:
  • mining, logging and construction by 9,700 jobs or 7.6 percent
  • manufacturing by 6,400 jobs or 3.4 percent
  • trade, transportation and utilities by 20,000 jobs or 4.8 percent
  • information by 3,000 jobs or 4.3 percent
  • financial activities by 5,300 jobs or 2.8 percent
  • professional and business services by 23,000 jobs or 6.5 percent
  • leisure and hospitality by 2,400 jobs or 1.2 percent
  • other services by 3,400 jobs or 4.7 percent

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Portland Education Jobs Created by ARRA

How is the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act stacking up when it comes to creating Portland education jobs?

The State of Oregon recently released a report detailing exactly how federal stimulus money has been spent thus far. The report found that almost two out of every three jobs funded by stimulus spending in Oregon since February were education positions, many of which were teachers and professors.

The report found that the following educational institutions were among the top in the state to use stimulus funding in order to create jobs:

  • Oregon State University has spent $17.8 million in state fiscal stabilization funds and preserved or created about 394 full-time jobs, making it the top creator of teaching jobs under ARRA funding.
  • Portland Public Schools have spent $10.2 million and created or preserved about 324 full-time jobs, many of which are in special education.
  • Portland State University spent all of its general-purpose stimulus money, or about $52 million, on faculty salaries and benefits and hired or saved a total of about 320 jobs.
  • Beaverton School District, which is the third-largest school district in the state, has created about 281 jobs with an undisclosed amount of general purpose funding.
Although the Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton area's education and health services industry has slightly declined on a month-to-month basis, the industry has come out ahead when compared to last year.

The area's education and health services industry employed 129,200 workers during August, according to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is down from 129,400 workers during July, but a .7 percent increase from last year.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Austin Jobs Among Hottest in Country

Austin jobs are among the hottest in the country.

The Wall Street Journal recently released a list of places it predicts will be the most attractive to youths. Not surprisingly, Austin was ranked in fifth place, behind Washington, D.C. and Seattle - which were tied for first place - New York and Portland, Ore.

Home to a University of Texas campus, Austin has become a gathering place for students and young adults interested in technology and arts. The city's SXSW media and arts conference and the Austin City Limits music festival often bring hundreds of thousands of visitors to the city each year.

Austin, which has a population of about 757,688 people, serves as the state capital of Texas. The city is known for its significant high-tech, video game and renewable-energy sectors and has a relatively low unemployment rate and cost of living.

During August, the Austin-Round Rock area saw its unemployment rate decrease from 7.3 percent to 7.2 percent, which was lower than the national unemployment rate at the time of 9.7 percent. Prior to August, the city hadn't seen its unemployment rate decrease since April, when it went from 6.2 percent to 5.8 percent.

The area had a total non-farm employment of 768,800 workers during August, according to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is up from 767,900, but a .9 percent decrease from last year.

Austin has been named as: the second Best Big City in Money magazine's 2006 list of "Best Places to Live"; the third "Greenest City in America" this year by MSN; the least stressful large metro area by Forbes magazine; second in CNN Headline News and Travel and Leisure magazine's lists of the best people; the number one college town by the Travel Channel and the fifth-safest city.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Recruiting Software Company Considers Acquisitions

One popular recruiting software company is planning to undertake more acquisitions while continuing to better its new line of products.

Taleo Corp, a recruiting and workforce management software provider, currently targets 15 percent to 20 percent of the recruiting software market share, but hopes to increase that number to 20 percent to 55 percent by next year.

Earlier this week, Taleo agreed to acquire Worldwide Compensation Inc., a strategic partner that offers software to handle performance-based compensation, for $16 million in cash.

And that is most likely not the last acquisition planned for the company, as officials have said they plan to help the company reach double-digit revenue growth through more acquisitions during the next two to three years.

"In the performance management market we are relatively nascent and have less than 1 percent market," Chief Executive Mike Gregoire told Reuters. "We would like to see ourselves (increasing the share) to mid to high single digits over the next couple of years."

Currently, Taleo's biggest competitors include Oracle Corp, SuccessFactors Inc and Kenexa Corp. Companies use software like Taleo's for recruitment, performance management and other human resources functions. Taleo's shares have more than doubled in value during the last six months.

Taleo recently released a software to help businesses access its talent-management products through mobile phones and social networking sites. The company has already signed three customers, including El Paso Electric Co and InfoPrint Solutions Co. Taleo's enterprise customers include Hewlett-Packard Co and Garmin International Inc.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Houston Healthcare Jobs

If you're looking for a career in the medical field, you may want to consider one of the many Houston healthcare jobs available.

During July, the Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown area's education and health services industry employed 291,700 workers, according to the United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is up from 291,600 workers during June and a 1.8 percent increase from last year.

The Houston metropolitan area is home to more than 85 hospitals and is considered to be a leader in medicine.

Houston is home to the Texas Medical Center, which contains the largest concentration of research and healthcare institutions in the world. All of the 47 nonprofit member institutions provide patient and preventative care, research, education and local, national and international community well-being.

The center employs more than 73,000 workers at its 13 hospitals, two specialty institutions, two medical schools, four nursing schools and schools of dentistry, public health, pharmacy and other health-related careers. About 5.2 million patients are treated at the center each year.

The center was where Life Flight, one of the first and largest air emergency services, was created. It also has implemented a successful inter-institutional transplant program and accounts for more heart surgeries than any other place in the world.

The center includes such academic and research health institutions as Baylor College of Medicine, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, The Methodist Hospital, Texas Children's Hospital and The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.

The Baylor College of Medicine has been considered within the top 10 medical schools in the country. The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center has ranked as one of the top two American hospitals specializing in cancer care by U.S. News & World Report since 1990.

Houston also is home to the Institute for Rehabilitation and Research and the Menniger Clinic, a well-known psychiactric treatment center affiliated with Baylor College of Medicine and The Methodist Hospital System.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Paid Internships for those with Disabilities

A new round of funding will help those with disabilities in Minnesota secure paid internships.

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development's Vocational Rehabilitation Services will pay for internships using part of the $6.3 million it received under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The organization will make $1.5 million available to finance as many as 169 paid internships.

"We believe it's an exemplary use of economic stimulus dollars," DEED Commissioner Dan McElroy told the Hutchison Leader. "These internships will be available for virtually any job, with any employer, anywhere in the state, and they offer valuable work experience to Minnesotans whose disabilities might otherwise be viewed as barriers to employment."

Interns will be paid the minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, although employers may increase that wage if they wish. Employers will have considerable scheduling flexibility for any interns they hire under the program. The only restrictions are that each intern must work between 10 and 40 hours per week up to a minimum total of 260 hours and a maximum total of 520 hours.

The internship program will operate under an agreement between Vocational Rehabilitation Services and several of Minnesota's Community Rehabilitation Providers, a network of nonprofit organizations that provide services for people with disabilities.

Under the agreement, any current client of Vocational Rehabilitation Services is eligible to participate, but the internship position must match the employment goal on his or her employment plan.

The CRPs will manage the program, provide direct services and handle the payroll. Vocational Rehabilitation Services will reimburse the CRPs for interns' wages, as well as for services such as intake fees, employer taxes, site development and other costs associated with the internship program.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Background Check Tips

Background check provider IntegraScan recently released a list of seven powerful tips to help small businesses perform background checks on applicants without hurting their budget.

  • Verify the applicant's Social Security number - One of the most important factors is to verify the applicant's identity using a Social Security number. Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in America and an easy way for a criminal to hide their past.
  • Verify the applicant's residential history - 98 percent of crimes are committed within a 50 mile radius of the offenders home address. Being armed with an address history tells you exactly what counties and states to check for existing records. You can save money by visiting the courthouses in the counties your applicant has lived in order to access public record information.
  • Sex offender searches - You can use the FBI's Crimes Against Children Web site to check an applicants sex offender status for free.
  • Don't just search criminal records - Also search bankruptcies, tax liens, judgments, municipal court and traffic court. They can go a long way in telling you about a person's character. A person with financial problems may not be the one to put in charge of the company till and a person with DUI charges is not someone you want driving kids around. This information can usually be accessed at the same courthouse criminal records are held at.
  • Check state and federal records - Both types of convictions can be very serious. To save money you can run a preliminary scan of Federal records at If you get a name match you can dig deeper to see if it's your applicant or someone else with the same name. PACER charges you 8 cents per page and you will not be billed if your charges do not exceed $10 per year.
  • Check coverage before you order a database scan - Many companies offer both instant database scans and hand searches. Although database scans are usually much cheaper, not every record is included in a database search. Some states and counties don't make this information available in electronic format. Make sure you check the database coverage against your applicant's address history.
  • If you're a non-profit or work with children, you may be entitled to a discount - Many background check organizations offer large discounts or free searches to non-profits and youth organizations. Make sure you check with a perspective provider to see if you qualify.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Pre Employment Test? Prepare for a Drug Screening

Drug screenings have become an important part of the pre employment test process for many companies.

The recent Drug Screening Pulse Survey from the Institute for Corporate Productivity found that three-quarters of companies have a drug test policy. Of those companies, 95 percent said that drug screening is the most common type of pre-employment test. Of organizations with at least 10,000 workers, that number increased to 100 percent.

Of the nearly 300 respondents, 70 percent administer drug tests when there is "reasonable suspicion" of drug use, 62 percent require a drug test following an employee accident and 41 percent do random drug testing.

Of the companies that administer pre-employment drug tests, 47 percent require the test to be conducted within four days after the applicant accepts a position, while 30 percent allow the test to be done any tiem before the employee begins working.

“Most companies aren’t messing around anymore with the drug issue,” Jay Jamrog, senior vice president of research at i4cp, said. “They can afford to be picky in the current climate, and one of their demands is applicants who are squeaky clean. Not only is it a legal concern in some cases, there’s also employee health and productivity issues that can’t be ignored by organizations either.”

So how are drug tests done? About 95 percent of companies use urine testing, while 10 percent use breath tests. That number increases to 18 percent at large companies. Only 49 percent of companies allow a re-test following a positive result from a drug test.

When it comes to who should be tested for drug use, 84 percent of respondents said the entire workforce, 13 percent said those who drive as part of their job and 10 percent said those in administrative, clerical and professional roles.

In general, most companies are satisfied with their in-house or vendor-administrated drug screening programs, according to the study. Overall, 61 percent of all companies queried say their program is better than average or excellent. That number increases to 69 percent among large companies.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Florida Job Seekers Among the Discouraged

Is your job search so frustrating that you're ready to give up? You're not alone.

In some states throughout the country, almost half of the job seekers who have stopped looking for work have done so because they just don't think they can find anything. In fact, according to an article by U.S. News & World Report, the number of discouraged workers has more than doubled during the last year.

It seems as though Mississippi has the highest number of discouraged workers at about 50 percent, compared to 32.6 percent throughout the country. South Dakota has the second-highest number of unhappy job seekers, at about 48.5 percent. Those looking for a job in Florida, Michigan, Connecticut, West Virginia and New York also rank among the top for being discouraged.

Whether a positive or negative, these discouraged job seekers aren't included in the unemployment rate. Many have gone back to school or devoted themselves to other responsibilities.

Discouraged workers usually think that no work is available or they don't think they have the necessary skills to get hired. Others think they are too young, too old or would be otherwise discriminated against.

Several factors surrounding the current recession could be adding to the rising number of discouraged job seekers, such as negative media coverage of the job market, unsuccessful friends and family and long-term unemployment. Men, younger workers, blacks and Hispanics are all more likely to become discouraged during a job search.

The current housing market also is adding to the amount of discouragement. Workers who might normally move to another area because they can't find jobs in their current location are more likely to give up. Even if they wanted to move, it would be difficult to sell their current homes and afford new ones.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Jobs in Boston Created by MLK Summer Scholars

Several officials are working together to make finding a job in Boston a reality for several young people. To learn more about finding a job in Boston, visit

Mayor Thomas M. Menino; Police Commissioner Ed Davis; John D. DesPrez III, John Hancock chairman and CEO; Boston Globe Publisher P. Steven Ainsley; and Boston University President Dr. Robert Brown recently kicked off the second year of MLK Summer Scholars, a teen summer jobs collaboration that will serve 20 percent more students than last year.

John Hancock, the Globe and Boston University have worked to expand summer employment opportunities in the city. Hancock will provide more than $1 million in funds, the Globe will contribute organizational support and in-kind services and Boston University will provide the educational setting and resources to support more than 600 jobs throughout the city. That is 100 more jobs than the program supported last year.

Partners HealthCare
also joined the collaboration this year. MLK Summer Scholars is the largest corporate supporter of summer jobs in the city this year and is believed to be the largest program of its kind in the country.

"We are committed to providing our young people with productive and educational experiences during the summer," Menino said. "A summer job is a great way to learn life skills, but with thousands of teens needing employment, the city can't do it alone. That's why I am so pleased we have partners like John Hancock, The Boston Globe and Boston University as well as new supporter Partners HealthCare who make summer jobs for kids a reality."

Apart from gaining valuable workplace experience, students will attend a series of life skills workshops each Friday morning at Boston University. A variety of speakers will address personal finance, communication, interviewing, personal presentation and leadership. Students will be employed at John Hancock, the Globe, Boston University and Partners HealthCare, as well as community service organizations throughout the city.

"We are pleased to be able to make a difference in the lives of Boston youth who represent our future workforce and our future leaders," DesPrez said"As business people, we can't solve the whole problem, but we can help move things in the right direction."

Monday, July 6, 2009

Virginia Healthcare Jobs

If you're looking to get into the medical field, you should know that there are a lot of healthcare jobs in Virginia.

Many people are focusing on jobs in the healthcare field, which is often considered to be recession proof. The healthcare industry as a whole has continued to add jobs throughout most parts of the country, despite the current state of the economy.

In May, Virginia's education and health services industry employed 440,300 workers, according to the United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is down from 441,000 workers during April, but a .8 percent increase from last year.

The State of Virginia isn't lacking when it comes to medical institutions or care providers. The state is ranked 13th in the nation for primary care physicians, with 124 primary care physicians per 10,000 people. There are 85 hospitals throughout the state.

Some of the most notable employers include:

In 2008, the United Health Foundation ranked Virginia as the 20th overall healthiest state. The state ranks 21st in premature deaths, with African Americans seeing 63 percent more premature deaths than whites.

The lack of health insurance remains a problem, with 14.1 percent of state residents lacking any insurance. And Virginians aren't the healthiest in the country. In 2007, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 25.3 percent of state residents are obese, 36.6 percent are overweight and only 78.4 percent exercise regularly.

Friday, July 3, 2009


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