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.