Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Portland Jobs Created by Federal Energy Funding

A new round of funding to support the nation's energy initiatives will help create Portland jobs.

The U.S. Department of Energy recently awarded $20 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding to the City of Portland and State of Oregon. The funding will be used for residential and commercial energy retrofits throughout the state.

The funding is expected to create career-pathway jobs throughout the state, result in thousands of residential and commercial retrofits, and significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

The state's funding will be used to support a Clean Energy Works Oregon program, resulting in energy retrofitting a significant number of homes and commercial buildings throughout the state. In addition, building owners and tenants will have the chance to pay back energy efficiency loans on utility bills or property tax bills.

"We're excited that the success of Clean Energy Works Portland will be a launch pad for Oregon's energy efficiency industry," Portland Mayor Sam Adams said. "The City of Portland thanks all the public, private and nonprofit partners that joined together to make this achievement possible. Portlanders should be proud of the national recognition that validates Portland as America's living laboratory for the sustainability economy."

Organizations that worked together to secure the grant funding in Oregon include:
  • City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability
  • Oregon Department of Energy
  • Energy Trust of Oregon
  • ShoreBank Enterprise Cascadia
  • NW Natural
  • Pacific Power
  • Portland General Electric
  • Worksystems Inc.
  • Green For All
  • Multnomah County
  • Portland Development Commission
  • Portland Housing Bureau
  • Home Performance Contractors Guild of Oregon

"With this federal award Oregon can further its position as a national leader in energy efficiency," Gov. Ted Kulongoski said. "This investment in communities across the state will help showcase to the world that transitioning to sustainable communities is not only good for the environment, but it creates economic opportunity and improves our overall quality of life."

More than 150 communities throughout the nation submitted applications worth more than $3.5 billion, and Portland and Oregon were among one of only 25 communities selected to receive a portion of the $425 million in available funding.

The funding is part of the DOE's Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant, which is a result of President Barack Obama's commitment to increasing the nation's energy-efficiency industry.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Veterans Get Help Finding Jobs in Texas

Veterans and their families are getting some help from an organization that helps military members find jobs in Texas (Click here), among other things.

Gov. Rick Perry recently announced that the Department of Texas Veterans of Foreign Wars will receive $1 million from the Fund for Veterans Assistance to help provide veterans and their families emergency assistance with household, vehicle, childcare, medical and personal expenses.

"Our veterans have willingly risked great personal harm to secure the rights and freedoms we cherish and to make the world a safer, more secure place to live," he said. "As they serve, or when they return home, they deserve an extra measure of assistance."

The Texas Legislature created the Fund for Veterans Assistance to provide grants to local communities to address veterans' needs and enhance or improve existing veterans' assistance programs.

The fund is administered by the Texas Veterans Commission, which helps local veterans and their families with claims, veterans' employment services and veterans' education.

"Gov. Perry continues to demonstrate his concern for the well-being of Texas veterans, and his support of the Texas Veterans Commission’s Fund for Veterans Assistance helps us provide much needed assistance to the brave service members and their families through this first grant today and future grants," Brigadier General Karen Rankin, chair of the Texas Veterans Commission, said.

The Texas VFW Foundation helps veterans and their families by promoting programs that raise awareness and educate the public about the sacrifices made by the nation's veterans, as well as the unique special needs resulting from their service.

The VFW offers such services as support for families during long deployments, relief in emergency financial situations, assistance with medical claims related to military service, employment assistance and job training, and scholarships for the children of veterans.

"This is a historic day for Texas veterans," General Ray Grona, Texas Veterans of Foreign Wars Adjutant, said. "The Texas VFW Foundation would like to express our appreciation to Gov. Perry, members of the Texas Legislature, especially Sen. Leticia Van De Putte and Rep. Chris Turner, and the Texas Veterans Commission for this grant, which will improve the lives of thousands of our state's veterans."

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Outplacement Firms Could Help College Grads

The services outplacement firms offer may be able to help the incoming class of college graduates, who will have a tough time finding a job. Visit http://outplacing.com to learn more.

There has been a lot of chatter lately that the recession may be over. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the nation's unemployment rate remained even at 9.7 percent for the third month in a row during March, while employers increased payrolls by 162,000 workers.

Unfortunately for college students, the employment outlook for graduates isn't so optimistic. In fact, a new study found that the chances of graduate finding a job aren't much higher than they were one year ago.

A recent survey from Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. of 100 HR executives found that about half think the job outlook for this year's graduates will be unchanged from last year. Of the respondents, about 28 percent said the outlook is "slightly better" and about 10 percent said the job market will be worse for this year's graduates.

There were some optimists, however, as about 13 percent of the HR executives said the job market is "much better" than it was during 2009.

The survey further found that students with degrees in healthcare-related fields and business will find the best job prospects, with 26.3 percent of HR executives and 18.4 percent of respondents respectively saying those students would see the most success.

With this in mind, outplacement firms could do a lot to help college graduates who are having a tough time finding work, mainly by helping these students establish a brand and network more effectively.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Denver Chef Jobs

If you're looking to turn your cooking skills into a career, consider the many Denver chef jobs available.

Chefs and head cooks are responsible for directing the preparation, seasoning and cooking of salads, soups, fish, meats, vegetables, desserts and other foods. They may plan and price menu items, order supplies, keep records and accounts, and participate in cooking.

Most workers in this occupation have some prior experience in the food service or hospitality industries, but even though the majority of employees have post-secondary training, many experienced workers with less education can be promoted to such a position.

During 2008, the median wage for chefs and head cooks in the Denver area was $18.61 per hour or $38,705 per year. The median wage throughout Colorado was $19.09 per hour or $39,700 per year.

The Colorado Department of Labor & Employment considers chefs and head cooks to be an in demand occupation. Employment in the Denver area is expected to increase from 1,245 workers during 2008 to 1,392 workers by 2018, accounting for 147 additional jobs and an annual growth rate of 1.1 percent.

Nationwide, employment of chefs, head cooks, and food preparation and serving supervisors is expected to increase by 6 percent between 2008 and 2018. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, this is slower than the average growth expected for all occupations.

The top 10 industries that employed chefs and head cooks in the Denver area during 2009 were:
  1. Food services and drinking places
  2. Accommodation
  3. Amusement, gambling and recreation
  4. Hospitals
  5. Real estate
  6. Administrative and support services
  7. Air transportation
  8. Educational services
  9. Food and beverage stores
  10. Food manufacturing

Some related occupations include: dietetic technicians; first-line supervisors and managers of food preparation and serving workers; and fast food cooks. All of these occupations also are considered to be in demand.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Pittsburgh Teaching Jobs Face Performance Pay Plan

A new education model could help create more Pittsburgh teaching jobs.

Pittsburgh Public Schools and the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers are currently in the middle of implementing "Empowering Effective Teachers in the Pittsburgh Public Schools" - a performance pay plan that's part of the $40 million grant the school district received from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The process of implementing the plan will include seven core initiatives designed to improve teacher efficiency and the learning environment in the district, according to an article by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Among those initiatives are:
  • The creation of a Promise-Readiness Corp, which is made up of a team of teachers who would lead the same group of students from ninth through 10th grade.
  • Expanded career opportunities through the creation of six new job classifications, which will result in 400 teaching positions
  • A teacher academy to train incoming teachers in certain subjects.
  • A teacher practice and evaluation system.
  • Streamlining the district's human resources operation and IT technology platform to better track and place teachers and students.

The district administration and teachers union will ultimately have to approve key aspects of the performance-pay plan, because those aspects would have to be negotiated in the district's collective bargaining agreement.

Pittsburgh Public Schools was one of four districts throughout the country that received funding from the Gates Foundation. The organization hopes the funding will help address the challenge facing the American education system.

"What we are looking for is: What are the ways to improve student achievement?" Chris Williams, a spokesperson with the Gates Foundation, said. "Part of that is the idea that efficient teachers create better learning environments. But the challenge is how to measure that."

In addition to the $40 million grant, the Gates Foundation also is funding a two-year research project in eight school districts throughout the country - including Pittsburgh - to develop a method of teacher evaluation.

Los Angeles Accounting Jobs for Bookkeeping, Accounting and Auditing Clerks

Even though advanced technology is causing somewhat of a slowdown in the industry, there are still plenty of opportunities for Los Angeles accounting jobs.

Bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks serve as an organization's financial records keepers. They're responsible for updating and maintaining accounting records, including tabulating expenditures, receipts, accounts payable and receivable, and profit and loss.

These employees typically work in comfortable office settings. Most bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks are offered medical and dental insurance, vacation and sick leave, and retirement benefits.

In order to become a bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerk, most employers require that you have at least a high school degree. Obtaining some college education is becoming more important, while an associate degree in business is required for some positions.

What you will earn in this occupation varies by firm, level of experience, and your workload. During 2009, the median wage for bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks in Los Angeles County was $17.84 per hour or $37,110 per year. The average wage throughout California was $18.10 per hour or $37,660 per year.

The number of bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks in Los Angeles County and throughout California is expected to grow at an average rate between 2006 and 2016, according to the California Employment Development Department.

Employment in Los Angeles County is expected to increase from 62,010 during 2006 to 68,190 by 2016, accounting for an increase of 10 percent and 6,180 additional jobs. Employment throughout California is expected to increase from 232,500 during 2006 to 267,500 by 2016, accounting for a 15.1 percent increase and 35,000 additional jobs.

Unfortunately, the need for bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks is expected to decline as office automation continues to grow and increase productivity. However, there will still be many opportunities, especially for temporary and part-time workers.