Saturday, December 12, 2009

Naughty or Nice? How Job Seekers Can Shine During the Holiday Season

(BUSINESS WIRE)--“Have you been naughty or nice?” No one is too old to consider this seasonal question. According to John Paul Tier, a career consultant for Williams, Roberts, Young, a Winston-Salem, N.C.-based partner firm of Career Partner International (CPI) www.cpiworld.com, the world’s largest partnership of career transition and coaching firms, to maximize the unique job-search advantages that the entire holiday season offers, become your very own Santa Claus and make sure your efforts reflect the “Nice” list.

* Naughty. Be a humbug!

Nice. Take time to recognize your individual blessings. Enjoy the holidays, join in the celebration, and remember that we all have something to feel good about. This will actually endear you to friends, family, and others.

* Naughty. Give up and restart your efforts in the New Year.

Nice. Bump your job search efforts up a notch by increasing your holiday activities to stand out from those job searchers who simply give up during the holiday season.
* Naughty. Ask, “What’s in it for me?”

Nice. Lend a helping hand. Volunteering to help others can expand your network of contacts and allow you to demonstrate your talents at a time of year when many corporate, charitable or community support programs are short of help.
* Naughty. Refuse invitations to holiday parties.

Nice. Take advantage of the season’s social hubbub as holiday parties offer great opportunities to expand your network. Also, reignite your network connections and spread good cheer by sending holiday greeting cards.
* Naughty. Have a bleak and negative response to, “How’s the job search?” that revolves around where you have been and why you haven’t found a job yet.

Nice. Have a positive and proactive response to, “How’s the job search?” that focuses on where you are going and what you are looking for.
* Naughty. Focus only on making your interactions with people about job leads.

Nice. Focus more on getting to know other people so you can build stronger, long-term relationships that will create more opportunities personally and professionally.
* Naughty. Give in to the stress and strife.

Nice. Give yourself permission to simply relax. Not only will you enjoy the holiday season, taking a few scheduled days off will help you stay mentally fit and refreshed in the months to come—making you a more attractive candidate and potentially shortening your search.

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Saturday, December 5, 2009

GEICO to Hire 150 for Macon Office in First Quarter 2010

(BUSINESS WIRE)--Since GEICO’s Macon operations center opened in 1974, the office has grown to employ more than 4,340 associates – and it has no plans of stopping. GEICO is actively recruiting and plans to hire more than 150 new associates in its Macon office in the first quarter of 2010.

GEICO’s Macon office has doubled in size in the last 10 years and because of its continued growth, the company has many career opportunities and is hiring for its sales, customer service, claims and centralized services departments. GEICO provides paid training for entry-level associates and positions are available for high school and college graduates, applicants with some college and experienced professionals.

"This is a great time to build a career with GEICO," said Shawn Burklin, the regional vice president in Macon. “GEICO has been in business for 73 years and the Macon office celebrated its 35th anniversary this year. We expect continued growth in 2010 and are looking for well-qualified associates who want to grow with GEICO and be part of our success."

According to Meredith Rosser, director of human resources, “If you want a place to build a career, GEICO is it. No insurance experience is required because we provide a 100 percent paid training program. We offer excellent benefits including competitive salaries, tuition reimbursement, 401(k) plans, medical plans and many other perks. Our supportive culture provides a positive and successful work environment for our associates.”

GEICO’s Macon office uses a one day hiring process in which applicants can start and finish the interview process in one day rather than making several visits.

To submit an application online, go to http://careers.geico.com/.

GEICO has been named a top employer for college graduates by CollegeGrad.com, The Black Collegian, and mentioned in the Princeton Review’s “Best Entry-level Jobs” guidebook.

GEICO (Government Employees Insurance Company) – as part of Berkshire Hathaway – is the third-largest private passenger auto insurer in the United States*. GEICO provides auto insurance coverage for 9 million policyholders and insures more than 16 million vehicles.

As a member of the Berkshire Hathaway group of companies, GEICO is rated A++ for financial strength by A.M. Best Company and ranks at the top of several national customer satisfaction surveys. For more information, go to http://www.geico.com.

*A.M. Best 2008 market share data

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Saturday, October 24, 2009

DBHDD Launches Website for Job Seekers

Job seekers can now get information about openings at the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD) at the state agency’s new jobs website: www.DBHDDJobs.com. The website lists employment opportunities at DBHDD’s Atlanta headquarters as well as the state hospitals and regional offices overseen by the department across the state. Job applications and information about state benefits are also available.

“Our number one priority as a new agency is to staff up, bringing in the right people with the right skills to give the best care possible to the people we serve,” said Rhian Sharp, Director of the Office of Human Resources at DBHDD. “We’re looking for people who thrive on challenges and strive to make a difference. There’s no doubt that working in Georgia’s behavioral health system is challenging. At the same time, it offers the opportunity to make an immediate difference.”

DBHDD is the state agency that focuses solely on policies, programs, and services for people with mental illness, substance use disorders, and developmental disabilities. It began operations on July 1, 2009. In addition to its Atlanta offices, the department operates seven regional and state hospitals located in Rome, Atlanta, Milledgeville, Augusta, Columbus, Thomasville, and Savannah.
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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Ryla to Hire 1,500 Temporary Employees

(BUSINESS WIRE)--Ryla Inc. (www.ryla.com), a leading domestic provider of outsourced call center and customer contact solutions, is providing an employment option for people looking for temporary work and income this holiday season. The company today announced it is hiring 1,500 full-time, temporary customer service positions at its Atlanta-area headquarters location. The eight-week positions start immediately.

Weekly open houses to screen and hire candidates will be held every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday starting today until Dec. 3, 2009 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 545 Kenneth E. Marcus Way, Marietta, GA 30030.

“At Ryla, temporary positions provide our team with an opportunity to assess customer service agent strengths and make full-time job offers to temporary workers when permanent positions become available,” said Shelly Wilson, co-founder and chief operations officer at Ryla. “In this economic environment, contact center positions also provide an excellent job opportunity for people looking for supplemental seasonal income and others who want to hone their customer service skills.”

Ryla’s announcement closely follows a released survey that retailers plan to hire fewer seasonal workers this holiday season. According to a recent Hay Group survey, 57 percent of surveyed retailers are reducing staffing levels for the 2009 holiday shopping season, and 40 percent are hiring fewer workers.

When hiring agents, Ryla looks for a variety of characteristics including overall enthusiasm and high energy. Candidates also must be able to type 30 words per minute with 80 percent accuracy and pass spelling, grammar and vocabulary tests. Applicants should wear business attire and arrive early in case of large turnouts.

Future job fair information as well as job type descriptions can be viewed at http://www.ryla.com/Job_Opportunities.htm. Interested individuals unable to attend the open houses can submit their resumes to resumes@ryla.com.

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Georgia fatherhood program to host Duluth career fair

On Wednesday, September 30, 2009, the Georgia Fatherhood Program, a division of the Georgia Department of Human Services (DHS) Office of Child Support Services (OCSS), will sponsor a career fair to provide new career opportunities. The career fair, which is open to all job seekers, will be held at the Goodwill of North Georgia located at 1502 Pleasant Hill Road in Duluth, Georgia, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Attendees are asked to dress professionally and be prepared to interview immediately on site.

Attendees will have the opportunity to receive resumé writing assistance, apply for positions, discuss employment opportunities and learn about OCSS and the Georgia Fatherhood Program. Over the past decade, OCSS has worked to increase the number of parents who remain current on child support through the Fatherhood Program. The Fatherhood Program helps non-custodial parents overcome employment barriers so they can gain steady employment and make timely payments.

These employment barriers include lack of a high school diploma or GED, no driver’s license or transportation, alcohol and substance abuse, criminal records and mental health issues. The program works with non-custodial parents who are willing yet unable to pay their support regularly. The Fatherhood Program typically takes three to six months to complete and serves both fathers and mothers who are non-custodial parents. The participants are required to work at least 20 hours per week while enrolled in the program and pay child support.

Once enrolled in the program, participants receive assistance in obtaining full-time employment at a livable wage. Georgia’s Fatherhood Program is the largest state-operated fatherhood program in the United States.


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Monday, September 21, 2009

Global Fortune 150 Company to Locate Plant on Georgia Megasite

Mitsubishi Power Systems to invest $325 million, create 500 jobs

Governor Sonny Perdue announced today that Mitsubishi Power Systems (MPSA) will locate a new, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility near Savannah, ultimately creating 500 jobs and investing $325 million. The Governor and MPSA Senior Vice President Dave Walsh made the announcement at the plant's ground-breaking today on the Georgia megasite in Pooler. The facility significantly boosts the next-generation energy solutions developed by one of Georgia's most strategic industries.

“Georgia delivered all the items on Mitsubishi's list: a skilled and deep labor pool, easy access to the ports and interstates, and the ideal site to facilitate the company's global growth and expansion,” said Governor Perdue. “We welcome Mitsubishi Power Systems to Georgia's international business community and look forward to contributing to its continuing innovations in energy generation.”

Mitsubishi will produce advanced steam and gas turbines on the site, and will also service turbines and related components for power generation. The Pooler plant, which will be constructed in three phases, will serve the company's customers in North and South America.

MPSA President and CEO Koji Hasegawa, who attended the ground-breaking, remarked, “We are especially thankful for the support provided to us by Governor Perdue and his economic development staff, the Savannah Economic Development Authority, Georgia Power and countless other agencies and officials who joined forces to make Georgia and Savannah an extremely attractive site for our project. This marks another key milestone in our long-term goal of locating equipment manufacturing and critical service support much nearer to our important customers.”

Construction will begin in 2009 on the first phase of the plant, which will manufacture gas turbine combustor components to support operating units in the Western Hemisphere and new turbines worldwide. The company will begin hiring in early 2010, and Quick Start, Georgia's top-ranked workforce training program, will provide training on the assembly and service of the turbines. It expects to begin making components as early as the fall of 2010.

In Phase Two, Mitsubishi will build comprehensive service capabilities to support turbine rotor, rotor balancing, valve and other large component repairs and upgrades for gas and steam turbines. During the third and final phase, the company will manufacture and assemble the next generation of high-efficiency, low-emission gas turbines.

Mitsubishi chose the Savannah site after an extensive search throughout the Southeastern U.S. that began in late 2007. The 119-acre site, located near the intersection of Interstates 95 and 16 near Pooler, is part of the Chatham County Industrial Site, also known as Georgia's megasite, and has been ranked by KPMG as the top such location in the Southeast. Its major advantages include ready access to the Port of Savannah, a nearby rail spur, extensive modern infrastructure availability and its status as a “shovel ready” location.

Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) Senior Project Manager Scott McMurray assisted the company with its location, as did the Savannah Economic Development Authority (SEDA).

“SEDA could not be more proud to welcome Mitsubishi to Savannah, knowing the addition of this world-class company will invigorate the local economy and put Chatham County squarely in the ranks of an international movement towards the production of clean energy,” remarked Brian Foster, board chairman of the Savannah Economic Development Authority.

Energy is one of the industries singled out by the Commission for a New Georgia as an area of strategic growth for the state. In 2006 Governor Perdue instituted an energy strategy for the state, providing a roadmap that balances economic growth through traditional and alternative energy sources, with a long-term goal of energy independence for Georgia. As a global leader in the development of power generation technology, including an expanding line of proven renewable energy technologies, Mitsubishi will be a major contributor to Georgia's innovation economy.

About Mitsubishi Power Systems Americas, Inc.
Mitsubishi Power Systems Americas, Inc. (MPSA) was established in 2001 and is headquartered in Lake Mary, Florida with key operations in Orlando, FL, Newport Beach, CA, Houston, TX, and Juarez, Mexico. MPSA provides a wide variety of products and services for the electric power generation industry including gas, steam, wind, geothermal and hydroelectric turbines, boilers, selective catalytic reduction systems and solar energy. The company is a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI), a diversified Fortune “Global 150” company with more than $30 billion in annual revenues and 40,000 employees worldwide. MHI is an international leader in the design and supply of energy, aerospace, machinery, transportation, and environmental systems and equipment.

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

As Economy Picks Up Steam, Employment May Still Lag; Job Seekers Need New Ways to Stand Out in An Ever-Crowded Market

/PRNewswire/ -- While the latest U.S. Labor Department reports layoffs are at their lowest level in a year -- and some experts herald that the recession is over -- the good news comes with warning: unemployment could still rise in the coming months, and recovery will most likely be slow. So what's a job seeker to do?

Andrew O'Connor, President of A.J. O'Connor Associates (AJO), offers the following advice:

Be focused. "Despite the headlines, many companies are hiring, and people are landing jobs," says O'Connor, whose Parsippany, New Jersey-based human resources consulting firm that helps job seekers find new direction. "What has changed is that hiring is a slower, more rigorous process, so candidates must be prepared for what could be an extended search." Today, it's not unusual for an employer to review 400-plus resumes, conduct 90 phone interviews and meet face-to-face with 25 prospects before hiring for one position," explains O'Connor.

Keep energized. "Finding a job comes down to staying encouraged, motivated, and focused," says Marie Tanzi, Director, Career Transition Services at AJO. Set achievable daily and weekly goals, and maintain a daily schedule. "In this market, you can't realistically say, 'I will land a job in two months,' but you can say, 'I will contact 10 new people each week.'"

Put your network -- including your social network -- to work. Many people are finding jobs through LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and other outlets. Let your network know you're in the job market and the type of position you are looking for. Also, many companies' recruiting efforts rely heavily on social networking. "With today's advanced technology, it's critical to be savvy in these areas and know how to utilize these kinds of networks to promote your skills," says Tracy Tyler, Managing Director, Human Capital Solutions, AJO. One caveat: Potential employers will check out your Facebook page. Never post anything online that could embarrass you later.

Learn to sell yourself. "Package yourself professionally, practice and polish your 'brand,' and tweak when necessary," says Tyler. Ask friends and former colleagues to critique your resume and presentation. Make sure everything about you -- from your interview clothes to the way you introduce yourself -- reflects the image you want to project to potential employers.

Invest in yourself. "Look at the transition time as a chance for exploration," says Tanzi. "Pursue a passion, develop a new skill set and look for interesting opportunities that may be on the periphery of your 'comfort zone.'" These new interests may enhance your life long after you find your perfect job.

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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Saving Lives Is a Growth Industry

/PRNewswire/ -- Amazing medical advancements are made almost every year and Americans are more health-conscious than they've ever been before. As a result, people are living longer lives. While that is unarguably a good thing, the combination of an aging population and new medical discoveries has created a huge demand for healthcare professionals. Healthcare credentials at any level -- from one-year Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) certifications to eight-year Medical Doctor (MD) professional degrees -- can now provide good pay, excellent benefits, and real job security for decades to come.

Registered Nurse and Healthcare Support Careers Expanding Fast

While healthcare careers are growing across the board, two areas are expanding faster than others: nursing and healthcare support. And like many of the quickest-growing occupations, students can often enter these fields with just one or two years of post-secondary education.

Of all the nursing certifications, Registered Nurses are the most in-demand. RNs perform the bulk of day-to-day nursing duties, from evaluating patients to providing front-line care. To become an RN, a student must earn -- at minimum -- an associate's degree in nursing and pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). Those who plan to elevate their careers into administration or advanced nursing practice often acquire their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree, but that is not required. An associate's is enough to become an RN.

Healthcare support careers, such as medical billing and medical assisting, are growing even faster; the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a 48% increase in healthcare support jobs through 2016. The basic certification for medical billing and coding can be earned in one year, but a two-year associate's program prepares one to become a Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT), which usually leads to better jobs. Medical assistants typically earn an Associate of Science (AS) in Medical Assisting.

Healthcare Education Promises a Great Return on Investment

The U.S. is using strong healthcare job growth as a cornerstone of its recovery from the current economic recession. Degree and certificate programs in fields like nursing, medical billing and medical assisting allow students to enter the most rapidly expanding careers of the next decade. Every day, more students are discovering good pay, excellent benefits, and real job security in the healthcare profession -- where saving lives is a growth industry!

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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Exide Technologies to Create 200 Jobs in Columbus Expansion

Battery manufacturer awarded $34.3 million federal grant

Governor Sonny Perdue announced today that Exide Technologies, a lead-acid battery manufacturer, has received a $34.3 million federal grant and will create up to 200 manufacturing jobs at its location in Columbus.

“Exide Technologies is a perfect example of a Georgia-based, innovative company that believes our state is the ideal location to grow and thrive,” said Governor Perdue. “Our business-friendly environment, rich intellectual capital and well-trained workforce are continuing to attract green technology companies.”

Exide Technologies, a 2009 Fortune 1000 company, is based in Milton, a northern suburb of Atlanta.

The $34.3 million grant is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which supports the domestic production of affordable lead-acid batteries incorporating advanced carbon technology. Exide will manufacture advanced AGM flat plate batteries at its Columbus location. These fuel-saving batteries have numerous industrial and transportation applications. In addition, advanced lead-acid batteries are more cost effective than other battery technologies for many micro-hybrid and no-idle applications. The technology is expected to reduce emissions and U.S. dependence on imported oil.

The company plans to expand their current facility on Joy Road in Columbus to accommodate the new manufacturing line. Exide will use Georgia Quick Start to train its new employees and will also work with the Center of Innovation for Manufacturing.

“Despite the current economic situation, we believe this area of investment can be expected to yield significant benefits including job creation, energy savings and an association with both advanced technology and environmental sustainability,” said Gordon Ulsh, President and Chief Executive Officer of Exide Technologies. “Georgia’s business-friendly environment and top-notch training makes it a natural fit for this expansion. The convergence of innovative designs, novel carbon-lead hybrid chemistries, and the application of nano technology – all in conjunction with lead-acid technology that has proven itself for more than a century – sets the stage for the delivery of superior energy storage solutions.”

“We are excited that our proposal convinced one of our valuable existing companies, Exide Technologies, to select Columbus for this significant expansion project,” said Dick Ellis, chairman of the Development Authority of Columbus. The federal grant will provide Exide the ability to accelerate the creation of these new jobs for our citizens over the next three years.”

Candice Scott, project manager for the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) and former project manager Greg Wright assisted the Company in its expansion.

About the company

Exide Technologies, with operations in more than 80 countries, is one of the world's largest producers and recyclers of lead-acid batteries. The company's four global business groups -- Transportation Americas, Transportation Europe and Rest of World, Industrial Energy Americas and Industrial Energy Europe and Rest of World -- provide a comprehensive range of stored electrical energy products and services for industrial and transportation applications.

Transportation markets include original-equipment and aftermarket automotive, heavy-duty truck, agricultural and marine applications, and new technologies for hybrid vehicles and automotive applications. Industrial markets include network power applications such as telecommunications systems, electric utilities, railroads, photovoltaic (solar-power related) and uninterruptible power supply (UPS), and motive-power applications including lift trucks, mining and other commercial vehicles.

Further information about Exide, including its financial results, are available at http://www.exide.com/ .
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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Congressman Phil Gingrey at the 11th District Job Retraining Workshop

June 30, 2009 - Coosa Valley Tech
Rome, GA 12 noon - 3:00 p.m.
July 2, 2009 - North Metro Tech
Acworth, GA 12 noon - 3:00 p.m.

Unemployed?
Considering a New Career?
· Have you considered going back to school to get retrained for a new career?
· Do you want to know how to find leads on jobs?
· Do you need to know what financial resources are available to help you get retrained?

All of these questions and more will be answered with Congressman Phil Gingrey at the 11th District Job Retraining Workshop

SCHEDULE:
12 noon - 1:00 p.m. special presentation

1:00 - 3:00 p.m. meet with representatives from:
Georgia Student Finance Commission, Georgia Department of Labor, Governor Perdue's
Be Workready Program, University of Georgia, Georgia Tech, Coosa Valley Tech, West
Georgia College, West Central Tech, Kennesaw State, Georgia Highlands, Berry College,
Shorter College, North Metro Tech, Georgia State University, Devry University, Chattahoochee
Tech, Atlanta Art Institute, Coosa Valley Regional Development Workforce Investment
and others.

Free and open to the public
Reservations preferred. Email stephen.smith@mail.house.gov [mailto:Stephen.Smith@mail.house.gov]to
reserve your seat.

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Friday, June 26, 2009

Wanted: College graduates with a background in agriculture

A recent study by the University of Georgia Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development reveals that the agribusiness industry has plenty of job openings, but not enough college graduates to fill them.

“While the demand for college-educated workers is relatively small for farm producers, the processing of crop and livestock output requires trained employees with degrees in agriculture, conservation programs, secondary education, government and banking,” said CAED economist Marcia Jones.

Farm-related activities accounted for 15 percent of the value of agribusiness output in 2006, she said. The processing and manufacturing of agricultural products accounted for 70 percent of the $76 billion in economic activity agriculture provided Georgia that same year.

Checking the demand

When CAED completed the workforce need study in fall 2008, the agribusiness job pool was projected to increase 1.4 percent annually to the year 2014. That was to be 9,320 additional job openings, 1,045 of which would require college-level training.

The U.S. economic bust has since shrunk the job market, Jones said. But the need for ag graduates still exists.

Georgia’s agribusiness industry will need an additional 1,000 college-trained workers by 2016. The state’s colleges are predicted to produce enough graduates to fill half of those positions, said Jones.

The UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Fort Valley State University and Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College produce the majority of Georgia’s agricultural graduates. Agribusiness-related programs can be found through the university system’s 35 institutions, which offer 151 agriculture-related degree programs, ranging from certificates of less than a year to doctoral degrees.

State goals

In 2006, agribusiness directly accounted for 11 percent of the state’s total economic output and 8 percent of the state’s workforce, or almost 400,000 workers.

But indirectly, Jones said, the impact was much more when the industry’s influence on other Georgia businesses is considered.

“That total is $119.8 billion and more than 715,000 jobs,” she said. “The $76.3 billion is just the direct impact of ag, whereas the $119.8 billion is the total impact.”

Agribusiness also ties directly into Georgia’s future, said Jones. The Commission for a New Georgia, a non-profit corporation appointed by Gov. Sonny Perdue and led by CEOs and senior executives from across Georgia, wants the state’s agribusiness sector ranked as one of the nation’s top competitors by 2020.

Meeting the need

Georgia’s agribusiness workforce is well prepared technically, said CAED economist Tommie Shepherd. He conducted one-on-one interviews with agribusiness owners as part of the study.

“In general, they were saying that students know the subjects well, but they need more training in communications and leadership qualities and the knowledge of how all of business hangs together, including sales, business and marketing,” he said.

According to a mailed survey, Jones said, employers also want more students with problem-solving skills, critical thinking, initiative, hands-on training, customer service and work ethic.

She also said the many businesses were asking that college agricultural programs teach students the theories of agriculture and then how to apply them. For example, they should teach ways to dispose of poultry in an environmentally friendly way with little cost. Or, teach farm labor laws and regulations and how to use them to find legal workers to harvest crops.

Students, Jones said, can do more on their own to build resume and job chances by participating in internships and getting as much hands-on experiences as possible.

By Stephanie Schupska
University of Georgia

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Four Georgia Counties Reach Certified Work Ready Community Status

Creating Skilled Workforce, Improving Public High School Graduation Rates

Governor Sonny Perdue today announced that Chattooga, Cook, Grady, and Jenkins counties were named new Certified Work Ready Communities, a designation showing the county has the skilled workforce that business demands and the educational infrastructure to drive economic growth and prosperity.

“These Georgia communities are positioning themselves for strong future growth by building the skilled workforces that employers need,” said Governor Perdue. “Work Ready is helping them build a pathway for life-long learning that empowers both citizens and companies to succeed.”

The four counties represent the fifth group of Georgia counties to complete their Work Ready Certificate goals. The new Certified Work Ready Communities achieved the following:

§ Chattooga County: 503 Work Ready Certificates earned (56 percent above goal); increased public high school graduation rate from 70.3 percent to 75.8 percent
§ Grady County: 352 Work Ready Certificates earned (22 percent above goal); increased public high school graduation rate from 65.1 percent to 71.4 percent
§ Jenkins County: 277 Work Ready Certificates earned (67 percent above goal); increased public high school graduation rate from 63.6 percent to 72.3 percent
§ Cook County: 294 Work Ready Certificates earned (34 percent above goal); increased public high school graduation rate from 64.8 percent to 67.6 percent

To earn the Certified Work Ready Community designation, counties must demonstrate a commitment to improving public high school graduation rates through a measurable increase, and show a specified percentage of the available and current workforce have obtained Work Ready Certificates.

Each community created a team of economic development, government and education partners to meet the certification criteria. Counties are given three years to reach the goals necessary to earn the designation.

To date, 12 counties have earned the Certified Work Ready Community designation and 112 others are working toward their individual goals.

Once counties attain their Certified Work Ready Community goals, they are able to maintain their status by ensuring a small percent of their available workforce continue to earn Work Ready Certificates, engage local businesses to recognize and use Work Ready, and continue to increase their public high school graduation rate until they reach a threshold of 75 percent. Once they reach 75 percent, they must maintain that graduation rate to maintain their certification status.

To continue their work, each county will receive a $10,000 grant. Their Work Ready Community teams will also receive a two-year membership to their local chamber of commerce and a budget for additional Work Ready outreach materials. Counties that are fully certified receive road signs and a seal denoting the year they achieved certification.

Georgia’s Work Ready initiative is based on a skills assessment and certification for job seekers and a job profiling system for businesses. By identifying both the needs of business and the available skills of Georgia’s workforce, the state can more effectively generate the right talent for the right jobs. The Certified Work Ready Community initiative builds on the assessments and job profiling system to create opportunities for greater economic development.
For more information on the Work Ready initiative please visit the Web site at www.gaworkready.org
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Thursday, June 11, 2009

General Mills Breaks Ground on New 1.5 Million Square-Foot Metro Atlanta Distribution Center, Creates over 100 New Jobs

(BUSINESS WIRE)--On Monday, June 8, 2009, General Mills held a groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate the announcement of a proposed $42 million built-to-suit distribution facility that will create 112 new jobs in neighboring Walton County.

General Mills, the world’s sixth-largest food company and makers of products such as Cheerios, Betty Crocker products and Häagen-Dazs, was represented by Sim F. Doughtie, CCIM, SIOR, MCR and President of King Industrial Realty, Inc./CORFAC International of Atlanta, in partnership with William P. Nichols, SIOR and Jim Schnur, CCIM of Corporate Services Consortium, Inc. The site selection process was an 18-month search that covered approximately 175 miles across more than two dozen counties. Doughtie, Nichols and Schnur also assisted General Mills in the selection process to identify the best partner for the construction of their new home in Social Circle. Ultimately, the Rockefeller Group won the development assignment.

“I am honored to have been included as part of a great team to represent General Mills in selecting their new site for their relocation to Georgia and in assisting them with the selection of the development team as well,” Doughtie said. “The Rockefeller Group will be a great developer, owner and manager for this project.”

The purchase of the 130-acre property was closed last Friday, June 5, 2009 in anticipation of constructing a new 1,508,765 square foot rail-served distribution facility that will be constructed to meet LEED certification standards.

“It is my understanding that this new built-to-suit facility will be one of the largest distribution centers ever built in the United States that meets the LEED certification standards for a Green building,” said Doughtie. “It is certainly the largest LEED certified distribution building ever built in the Atlanta market and in the Southeast.”

Jason McCart and Bill Randolph of King Industrial Realty, Inc./CORFAC International represented the Sellers of the 130-acre land parcel located on East Hightower Trail as the Listing Broker.

The City of Social Circle, Walton County, and the State of Georgia worked together to help make this new project a reality. With new construction down and unemployment numbers continuing to rise, General Mills has made a commitment to create new jobs and to make a significant investment in the state of Georgia.

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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Atlanta CFOs Report on Third-Quarter Hiring Outlook

/PRNewswire/ -- Three percent of chief financial officers (CFOs) in the Atlanta area expect to add accounting and finance staff during the third quarter of 2009 and 12 percent anticipate reductions in personnel, according to the most recent Robert Half International Financial Hiring Index. The majority of respondents, 84 percent, anticipate no change in hiring.

The local results reflect a two-quarter rolling average based on interviews with 200 CFOs from a stratified random sample of companies in the Atlanta area with 20 or more employees; 1,400 CFOs were queried for the national data. (To view the national results, visit www.roberthalf.com/PressRoom.) The studies were conducted by an independent research firm and developed by Robert Half International, the world's first and largest staffing services firm specializing in accounting and finance. Robert Half has been tracking financial hiring activity in the United States since 1992.

"Many companies remain hesitant to commit to adding staff until they are certain of an economic recovery," said Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half International. "In the meantime, most firms are working with their current teams to manage key initiatives, with some employers also bringing in project professionals to assist with rising workloads and support full-time personnel."

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Governor Perdue Launches Be Work Ready Program

/PRNewswire / -- In tough economic times, it is more important than ever for unemployed Georgians to embrace life-long learning opportunities and improve their core job skills. Governor Sonny Perdue today announced the launch of Be Work Ready, a program designed to help unemployed Georgians jump start their job search, develop confidence and gain a competitive advantage in the job market.

Be Work Ready is a one-of-a-kind initiative providing unemployed Georgians a monetary incentive for either earning a Work Ready Certificate or improving their skills through free, online Work Ready skills gap training. Funding for the initiative is provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

"Georgia is leading the nation in workforce development and is committed to helping our citizens develop the skills that serve as the foundation to a successful job search," said Governor Perdue. "Be Work Ready is meant to inject confidence into Georgia's unemployed population, cultivating a skilled and qualified workforce for business and driving economic development throughout the state."

When an individual earns a bronze, silver or gold level Work Ready Certificate, they are eligible for a $50 incentive; those who earn platinum are eligible for $100. When an individual improves their Work Ready Certificate level in any way, they are eligible for a $100 incentive. The incentive, in the form of a gift card, can be used to offset job search expenses.

Be Work Ready is available to those age 18 or older who are currently unemployed and have earned a Work Ready Certificate and/or improved their Work Ready Certificate level through skills gap training. Those who have earned a Work Ready Certificate since Sept. 1, 2008 are also eligible to apply. Individuals answer a short questionnaire and fill out an application form at www.begaworkready.org to qualify.

Job seekers can also post their Work Ready qualifications at www.begaworkready.org and select a target industry where employers throughout the state will be able to access this information and contact candidates about available jobs.

A Work Ready Certificate, powered by ACT's nationally accredited WorkKeys(R) assessment system, validates an individual's skill and knowledge levels to potential employers. Individuals take the free assessment and earn a certificate at one of four levels - platinum, gold, silver and bronze. Free, online skills gap training helps individuals improve their Work Ready Certificate level.

"The certificate tells employers that Work Ready Certified job seekers possess the skills necessary to hit the ground running and are ready to take on more challenging tasks," said Debra Lyons, director of the Governor's Office of Workforce Development. "By closing the skills gap and increasing life-long learning in Georgia, employers will have a long-term pipeline of skilled and educated workers to take on today's jobs and tomorrow's innovations."

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

UGA Alumni Career Fair slated for June 3 in Gwinnett County

The University of Georgia Career Center is hosting its fourth annual UGA Alumni Career Fair Wednesday, June 3, from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the Gwinnett Center Ballroom, 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway.

This event is exclusively for UGA grads with all levels of experience and academic backgrounds. To sign up, see www.career.uga.edu. Walk-ups also are welcome, so bring your resume.

Employers can showcase their companies at the career fair and recruit top talent from the state’s flagship university. To register a business, see www.hireuga.com.

Last year, more than 600 grads and nearly 100 employers participated in the Alumni Career Fair.

For information about the Alumni Career Fair or the résumé-writing clinic, contact Alumni Career Director Nicole Lechene at 404-266-2622 or nlechene@uga.edu.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

UGA, Dept. of Economic Development offer online small business Q&A session May 20

Small business owners and prospective entrepreneurs can ask questions to professionals at the University of Georgia’s Small Business Development Center Network and the state’s Department of Economic Development live online from 9 a.m.–5 p.m. May 20.

Links to the interactive chat, called “Ask the Professionals Day,” can be found at www.GeorgiaSBDC.org or www.Georgia.org. Questions will receive prompt replies from workers at the two institutions, and a record of the Q&A session will be archived on the Web site.

The event is part of the 46th annual celebration of Small Business Week proclaimed by the President of the United States for the U.S. Small Business Administration.

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Generation Mortgage Growing Quickly, Plans To Hire Top-Producing Reverse Mortgage Professionals Nationwide

/PRNewswire/ -- Just weeks after becoming the sixth largest reverse mortgage lender in America, Generation Mortgage Company(TM) plans to hire high-producing reverse mortgage professionals from across the country.

"Despite the economic downturn, Generation Mortgage has experienced dramatic growth during the first quarter of 2009. We're seeking successful, experienced producers with proven results to add to our team," said Joe Morris, chief executive officer, Generation Mortgage. "Making sure we're consistently working with our clients' best interests at heart is central to our continued success."

"We're fortunate to be in a position to recruit some of the strongest and most well-respected reverse mortgage professionals in the country who appreciate our streamlined systems and ability to quickly process their loans," added Rich Young, EVP, Generation Mortgage.

A nationwide organization and a member of the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association, Generation Mortgage closed 1,405 Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECM) in the first quarter of 2009.

Those interested in applying for positions with Generation Mortgage should e-mail resumes and cover letters to Rich Young at rich.young@generationmortgage.com.

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Open jobs!! Electricians & Maintenance Technicians

Service Company for commercial & retail chains. Covering multiple states. lamps, ballasts, plumbing leaks & clogs, floor/ceiling repairs. etc. 65-80 average hours, lots of travel up to 700.00 weekly. 866-698-2111

Monday, May 11, 2009

Cbeyond to Drive Economic Growth in Atlanta with Headquarter Expansion

Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue announced today that communications and IT provider Cbeyond (NASDAQ: CBEY), will double the size of its operations in Georgia. Cbeyond plans to create over 600 new jobs and is planning to build out a new call center and training facility, fueling economic development in Cobb County and throughout metro Atlanta.

"As a state, we have worked hard to attract quality, high-tech companies like Cbeyond and it is especially gratifying to watch them grow and succeed," said Governor Perdue. "Georgia has the workforce and business-friendly environment to help companies like Cbeyond reach new heights in business growth."

Cbeyond plans to expand its Georgia employment from approximately 700 to more than 1,400 by 2013. Job opportunities will range from sales, customer care, Information Technology (IT), operations and marketing - virtually all areas of the organization, as the company expands and builds its business over the next three to four years. Applicants interested in applying for a position should visit http://www.cbeyond.net/careers for more information.

"We have built Cbeyond from the ground up in Georgia and we are pleased to continue expanding our operations here," said Jim Geiger, Chief Executive Officer of Cbeyond. "Considering the difficult times facing the U.S. economy, having the opportunity to bring much needed economic development to Atlanta is gratifying, and is a testament to our business model. Georgia's talent pool is robust and those future employees will allow us to grow to the next level."

Cbeyond was born in Atlanta in 2000 with only 15 employees. Today, Cbeyond has more than 700 employees in Atlanta and more than 1,600 across the country. The company continues to grow rapidly (and without debt of any kind) in every area of its business, and was recently named by Forbes magazine as the sixth-fastest growing technology company in the country. Cbeyond was built by its founders from the ground up to serve the unique technology and communications needs of small businesses in major metropolitan areas across the country. From its modest beginnings, Cbeyond now provides service to more than 44,000 such businesses across 12 markets.

"Cbeyond is the exact type of business we are seeking to grow in Cobb County," said Cobb Commissioner Chair Sam Olens. "They have a great vision, a proven record in the technology industry and will provide excellent employment opportunities for our community. It has been great working alongside the state of Georgia to help bring these new technology jobs to Cobb County."

"Atlanta is considered to be a hub of innovation in America," said Hans Gant, Senior Vice President of Economic Development for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. "Cbeyond's expansion solidifies metro Atlanta's growing reputation in communications and information technology, and will help build and support metro Atlanta's small businesses and entrepreneurs."

The expansion will take place at Cbeyond's Interstate North Parkway location off Windy Hill Road and highway 75. Andrew Neumann, project manager for the Georgia Department of Economic Development assisted the company in its expansion.

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Friday, May 8, 2009

Defense Department Officials Hope to Create 20,000 Acquisition Jobs

Defense Department officials want to increase acquisition jobs by 20,000 over the next five years, Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn III told Congress Wednesday.

Speaking to the House Armed Services Committee, Lynn cited a "lack of critical skills" as a major consideration while the department reforms its process for purchasing weapons and defense systems.

"These new positions will ensure that [the Defense Department] knows what it is buying and gets what it pays for," he said.

The Defense Department budget, expected to be submitted to Capitol Hill today, includes funding to increase acquisition personnel by 20,000 positions over the fiscal years 2010 to 2015, Lynn said.

The breakdown includes roughly 9,000 jobs at the Defense Contract Audit Agency and the Defense Contract Management Agency, the Pentagon components responsible for estimating contracting costs and contract oversight.

The remaining 11,000 new hires will be created when roles currently carried out by contractors -- jobs in systems engineering, program and business management, and logistics -- are converted to federal positions.

"One of the critical reasons for some of our shortcomings in the acquisition process is the lack of critical skills in the acquisition work force," Lynn said. "Over the last 10 years, defense contract obligations have nearly tripled, while our acquisition work force has fallen by more than 10 percent.

"In the absence of these personnel, we have outsourced too many functions that should be performed inside the department," he added.

Lynn acknowledged the challenge in attempting to enhance a system as complex as defense purchasing, noting that nearly 130 studies of acquisition reform have been completed since World War II.

"Many very smart people have tried and have met with only limited success," he said. "In this regard, we need to keep in mind the importance of not making the system worse in our efforts to achieve reform."

Describing other areas in need of improvement, Lynn stressed a need for clearer, more realistic contract requirements and cost estimates, and the importance of shortening the development cycle.

By John J. Kruzel
American Forces Press Service
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Statement of U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis on April Employment Numbers

U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis issued the following statement on the April 2009 Employment Situation report released today:

“This past April, our economy lost 539,000 jobs, bringing the total number of jobs lost since this recession began to 5.7 million. The overall unemployment rate has increased to 8.9 percent.

“Behind these numbers are daily struggles and hard decisions. Americans are facing continued challenges in affording health care, paying for education and meeting monthly bills. The findings released today reflect the urgent needs of Americans, and they are the focus of this administration’s immediate action and relief.

“We are moving aggressively to protect workers who have lost their jobs, to provide new training opportunities to assist workers in upgrading their skills, and to open new employment in emerging sectors such as green jobs and health information technology.

“This morning, President Obama announced that the Department of Labor and the Department of Education will work to coordinate efforts to lower the barriers for unemployed workers to pursue education and training, at the same time allowing them to keep their unemployment benefits.

“This program would allow unemployed workers receiving unemployment benefits to qualify for federal assistance for education and training. This aid would be significant for many American workers, particularly the Federal Pell Grant program, which can provide up to $5,350 for educational costs at community colleges, colleges and universities, and many trade and technical schools.”

“The Department of Labor has released more than $31 million in National Emergency Grants to states facing mass layoff events and other emergencies, and we have distributed $50 million for Youth Build programs to expand services for at-risk youth and $250 million for the Job Corps. To date, the department has made available $45 billion of the $46 billion we are responsible for under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

“As the comprehensive plan of the administration takes hold, we have begun to see signs of recovery. We’ve seen the financial system and the housing market stabilize. New jobs are being created as ground has broken on thousands of new infrastructure projects in all 50 states.

“Our nation is facing tough times, but America is no stranger to challenges. I know we can face this challenge with the same spirit of innovation and resilience that has characterized us in the past and that we can build a stronger, more prosperous nation.”
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Monday, April 27, 2009

Atlanta Braves host sports industry Career Fair on Saturday, May 2

The Atlanta Braves will host their third annual Sports Industry Career Fair on Saturday, May 2 at Turner Field. The event will feature employment and internship opportunities with teams and organizations from around the Southeast.

To attend please pre-register online at braves.com by going to the "Job Opportunities" page.

A $25 admission ticket includes: • Admission to career fair from 10:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. • One (1) Upper box ticket to the Braves vs. Houston Astros 3:30 match-up • Question and Answer sessions with top sports executives

Career Fair attendees will have the opportunity to participate in Question and Answer Sessions with sports executives and meet with organizations including the Atlanta Braves, Atlanta Dream, Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta Hawks, Atlanta Thrashers, Contemporary Services Corporation, Dickey Broadcasting Company, Georgia Force, Nashville Predators, Philips Arena, and the Roswell Recreation Department.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Office Depot to Help Customers Take Care of Business with Free Resume Copies and Faxing at Its Retail Stores

(BUSINESS WIRE)--Office Depot (NYSE: ODP), a leading global provider of office products and services, is helping customers take care of business by offering customers free copies of resumes and free faxing from April 19 to May 30, 2009.

Customers will be able to participate in this special offer by visiting the Design, Print, & Ship Depot center in any one of the more than 1,100 Office Depot retail store locations nationwide. Office Depot is providing free copies of resumes, up to 25 single-sided pages, as well as free faxing to five different domestic numbers, up to 25 pages in total.

“Times are tough, and whether you are looking to make a career move or seeking your first job out of school, Office Depot is helping our customers take care of business by providing a valuable service free of charge,” said George Hill, Senior Vice President of Office Depot’s Design, Print, and Ship Depot. “From paper and portfolios to custom printing and shipping, Office Depot is truly a one-stop-shop for resume products and services.”

Customers can choose to upgrade their resume paper selection to a color or premium paper from Southworth for a nominal fee.

For more information, please visit your local Office Depot retail store location or www.officedepot.com.

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Friday, April 17, 2009

Work at Home Scams - Job One: Don't Take the Bait

Everyone’s seen them—seductive work-at-home opportunities hyped in flyers tacked to telephone poles, in newspaper classifieds, in your e-mail, and all over the web, promising you hundreds or thousands of dollars a week for typing, stuffing envelopes, processing medical billing, etc. And it’s just a phone call or mouse click away…

Might be tempting during these uncertain economic times, but beware of any offers that promise easy money for minimum effort—many are scams that fill the coffers of criminals.

Here are a few of the most common work-at-home scams.

* Advance-fee: Starting a home-based business is easy! Just invest a few hundred dollars in inventory, set-up, and training materials, they say. Of course, if and when the materials do come, they are totally worthless…and you’re stuck with the bill.
* Counterfeit check-facilitated "mystery shopper:" You’re sent a hefty check and asked to deposit it into your bank account, then withdraw funds to shop and check out the service of local stores and wire transfer companies. You keep a small amount of the money for your “work,” but then, as instructed, mail or wire the rest to your “employer.” Sound good? One problem: the initial check was phony, and by the time your bank notifies you, your money is long gone and you’re on the hook for the counterfeit check.
* Pyramid schemes: You’re hired as a “distributor” and shell out big bucks for promotional materials and product inventories with little value (like get-rich quick pamphlets). You’re promised money for recruiting more distributors, so you talk friends and family into participating. The scheme grows exponentially but then falls apart—the only ones who make a profit are the criminals who started it.
* Unknowing involvement in criminal activity: Criminals—often located overseas—sometimes use unwitting victims to advance their operations, steal and launder money, and maintain anonymity. For example, they may “hire" you as a U.S.-based agent to receive and re-ship checks, merchandise, and solicitations to other potential victims…without you realizing it’s all a ruse that leaves no trail back to the crooks.

Add identity theft to the mix. As if these schemes aren’t bad enough, many also lead to identity theft. During the application process, you’re often asked to provide personal information that can be used to steal from your bank account or establish new credit cards in your name.

On the job. A host of law enforcement and regulatory agencies, including the FBI, investigate these schemes and track down those responsible. But the most effective weapon against these fraudsters is you not falling for the scams in the first place.

A few tips:

* Contact the Better Business Bureau to determine the legitimacy of the company.
* Be suspicious when money is required up front for instructions or products.
* Don’t provide personal information when first interacting with your prospective employer.
* Do your own research into legitimate work-at-home opportunities, using the “Work-at-Home Sourcebook” and other resources that may be available at your local library.
* Ask lots of questions of potential employers—legitimate companies will have answers for you!

And if you think you’ve been the victim of a work-at-home scam, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Sentinel or our Internet Crime Complaint Center.

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Community Groups to Receive $1 Billion Boost From Recovery Act Act Provides New Resources for Community Services Block Grant

Georgia is scheduled to receive almost $27 million under this plan.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced April 10 plans to make $1 billion available for the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) program. Funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the new resources will be allocated to states across the country. States will distribute the new funding to community groups that help Americans through tough economic times.

"Community organizations across the country are helping millions of Americans put food on the table and weather tough economic times," said HHS Spokesperson Jenny Backus. "The Recovery Act will allow these organizations to help more Americans get back on their feet."

Under the Recovery Act, organizations receiving CSBG funding must use the resources to help get our economy back on track. Funds must be used to reduce poverty, revitalize low-income communities, and assist low-income families become self-sufficient. Eligible entities use funds to provide services and activities addressing employment, education, housing, nutrition, and emergency services to combat the central causes of poverty.

Services currently provided by community organizations that receive CSBG funds include:

* Job training and placement assistance.
* Financial literacy programs such as credit counseling.
* Housing assistance programs that help keep Americans in their homes.
* Nutrition programs that provide meals for vulnerable families.
* Community agencies that bring public and private resources together to assist families in need.

"With unemployment rates at a 25-year high, American workers need help now more than ever," added Backus. "Community groups will have the resources they need to continue to strengthen cities and towns across America."

The $1 billion in new funds under the Recovery Act is in addition to CSBG's regular annual operating budget of approximately $700 million. To see a state-by-state description of CSBG Recovery Act funding visit http://www.hhs.gov/recovery/programs/acf/csbgmap.html

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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Half of Workers Who Were Laid Off in the Last Three Months Found Jobs, According to a New CareerBuilder Survey

/PRNewswire/ -- Despite it being one of the most challenging hiring environments in the nation's history, 41 percent of workers who were laid off from full-time jobs in the last three months reported they found a new full-time, permanent position while another 8 percent found part-time work. This is according to a survey from CareerBuilder that included 807 workers who were laid off from full-time jobs within the last 12 months. The survey was conducted between February 20 and March 11, 2009.

"This is encouraging news for the 3.3 million workers who have lost their jobs in recent months," said Brent Rasmussen, President of CareerBuilder North America. "It's going to take longer to find a job in today's market, but there are opportunities out there in key areas such as healthcare, government, education, sales and technology. It's important to devote five hours or more to your job search every day, check online listings, talk to recruiters, join social networking sites - use all the resources you have available to you."

Comparing Gender and Age

More men than women who were laid off in the last 12 months were able to find full-time employment - 59 percent of men compared to 49 percent of women. Comparing age brackets, workers ages 35 to 44 were the most likely to find full-time jobs after a layoff at 68 percent. Workers ages 18 to 24 were the least likely at 41 percent followed by 46 percent of workers age 55 and older.

Severance and Long-term Savings

The financial implications of job loss were significant for affected workers. Of those workers who were laid off in the last 12 months, only 32 percent received a severance package from their employers. Sixty-nine percent reported the severance sustained them for 2 months or less. One-in-four said it sustained them for less than one month. Forty-five percent of workers who were laid off in the last year had to tap into long-term savings as a result of losing their jobs.

Impact on Pay and Hours

Workers reported taking pay reductions and adjusting hours to keep a steady paycheck. Nearly half of workers (49 percent) who were laid off in the last 12 months and landed new positions took a job with less pay; 15 percent were able to negotiate higher compensation. One-in-five (20 percent) took a job with less hours while 12 percent took on more hours.

Relocating

Workers said they are expanding their job search beyond their own backyard. Thirteen percent of workers who were laid off in the last 12 months and found jobs relocated to a new city or state. Of those who are still looking for employment, 39 percent reported they would consider relocating for a job opportunity.

Transferring Skills to Other Industries and Fields

Workers reported they are repackaging their resumes for new areas of employment. Thirty-eight percent of workers who were laid off in the last 12 months and landed new positions said they found work in a different field from where they were previously employed. Seventy percent of these workers said they really enjoy the new opportunity. Of those workers who are still job hunting, 44 percent are looking for work outside of their profession.

Starting a Business

A highly competitive job market is motivating some workers to be their own boss. One-in-four workers (25 percent) who have not found jobs are considering starting their own business.

Rasmussen recommends the following tips:

-- Keep an open mind - Make a list of your current skills and look at a
variety of job postings inside and outside your field to see how they
measure up to the job requirements. You may be able to fill in gaps
through an online certification or even through volunteering, which
employers do regard as relevant experience.
-- Go beyond the basics: Ask a graphic designer to help you with your
resume to make it eye-catching. Show off your skills with a digital
portfolio of your work or follow-up with an opinion on a relevant
article or industry news item after your interview.
-- Relentlessly use social media: Get on professional and social
networking sites, Twitter or write your own blog to create a
recognizable personal brand online and connect with industry insiders.
Create a Facebook group of your own and invite recruiters and hiring
managers to join.

-- Make yourself searchable: Make sure to include keywords from the
employer's job posting in your resume and cover letter, so your
application shows up closer to the top in employer searches.


Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive on behalf of CareerBuilder between February 20 and March 11, 2009 among 807 U.S. workers ages 18 and over who have been laid off in the past 12 months from a full-time position (percentages for some questions are based on a subset of these U.S. workers, based on their responses to certain questions). With a pure probability sample of 807, one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/- 3.4 percentage points. Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies.

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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Verizon Wireless to Hire 600 New Customer Service Employees in Alpharetta

Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue announced today that telecommunications giant Verizon Wireless will open a new customer service center in Alpharetta, creating 600 jobs and investing $27 million.

“Georgia’s strong workforce and competitive cost of doing business make it a great place for customer-focused companies like Verizon Wireless to grow,” said Governor Perdue. “This great company is already a strong member of our business community and we welcome their additional commitment to the state of Georgia.”

Verizon Wireless will open a new Customer Service Center in Alpharetta’s Sanctuary Park office complex. The 141,805 square-foot building is located at 1110 Sanctuary Parkway.

“We are delighted to open a new Customer Service Center at Sanctuary Park in Alpharetta as we further expand our presence in the state of Georgia,” said Jeff Mango, President-Georgia/Alabama Region for Verizon Wireless. “We are indebted to the city and the community at large for embracing us. We look forward to opening this Center, hiring employees and growing our presence in this market.”

Verizon Wireless will begin recruiting efforts in April, hiring in May and training in July. These efforts will continue through early 2010. Close to 4,000 Verizon Wireless employees currently work in the state of Georgia, with 85,000 employed across the country. Verizon Wireless has a 395,000 square-foot Campus in Alpharetta and two Sanctuary Park offices.

Verizon Wireless employees will participate in a comprehensive, ongoing training program to prepare to serve customers in their new jobs. Intensive training lasts from four to six weeks depending on the specific role of the employee. The company will offer a range of job opportunities in Customer Service, including representatives, business support roles and supervisory/leadership-level positions, to name a few.

To apply for a job with Verizon Wireless at this new center, please visit www.verizonwireless.com/careers. Applications will be accepted online only, beginning April 30, 2009.

“This expansion by Verizon is a clear endorsement of the quality environment that the city of Alpharetta has created for the business community,” said Alpharetta Mayor Arthur Letchas. “We welcome their commitment to continued growth in our city.”

Blair Lewis, project manager with the Georgia Department of Economic Development, assisted the company in its expansion.

About the company
Verizon Wireless operates the nation’s most reliable and largest wireless voice and data network, serving more than 80 million customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with more than 85,000 employees nationwide, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). For more information, visit www.verizonwireless.com. To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at
www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.
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Thursday, April 2, 2009

Yes, You CAN Hire a Summer Intern!

Would you like to be the beneficiary of Federal Stimulus funding? Has your company or organization considered hiring a summer intern but you don't know how to make it happen? Here's an answer to both - the "Summer Jobs Plus for Youth Program." In brief, the Atlanta Regional Commission/Atlanta Regional Workforce Board has a program to partner private sector and non-profits who can offer work experience to low-income youth, ages 14-24, for 30-40 hours/week for 8 weeks during the summer. Wages for these jobs are fully funded by the Recovery Act. The interns will attend work readiness preparation and will be screened for appropriateness for referral to the worksite. Day-to-day supervision will be the responsibility of an individual at the worksite who would mentor and train the intern. For more information, contact Debbie Anglin, Hearts to Nourish Hope, Inc., at 770.997.4511.

Message via Fayette County Chamber of Commerce

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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Monster.com's National Keep America Working Tour Reaches Milestone of More Than 5,000 Jobs to Fill As It Continues Through the Southeast

(BUSINESS WIRE)--The national tour of the Keep America Working career fairs sponsored by Monster.com®, the leading global online career and recruitment resource and flagship brand of Monster Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: MWW), continued its move through America’s Southeast this week in a journey that will include more than 140 stops across the nation throughout 2009. Since the tour was piloted in Boston at the end of February, 380 employers with more than 5,350 jobs to fill have met with nearly 12,000 qualified job seekers ready to fill them. Thus far, the tour has included job fairs in Boston; New York City; Washington, D.C.; Philadelphia; Whippany, New Jersey; Cincinnati; Indianapolis; Chicago; Minneapolis; Nashville and Charlotte. The 5,350 jobs represented at the fairs are backed up by tens of thousands of jobs listed on Monster.com in these eleven metropolitan areas. This week’s stops on the tour are today in Raleigh, in Orlando on April 1, in Atlanta on April 2 and in Jacksonville on April 3.

At the core of the Keep America Working Tour is Monster’s mission to help rebuild the American workforce. The company presents these job fairs free of charge to both job seekers and Monster employers with current job openings to eliminate any cost barrier and encourage the greatest number of employers with available jobs to link face-to-face with people who need those jobs.

Using an innovative model that goes well beyond the traditional career fair, the Keep America Working Tour brings together the tools and expertise job seekers need not only to find a job, but also to help manage their careers. Job seekers who attend the career fairs can learn from Monster’s career experts by attending live theater presentations that provide the advice and techniques they need to truly stand out from the crowd in today’s tough job market. They can see Monster's new career management tools and experience the all-new Monster.com. And finally, they can make the most of the on-site opportunity to meet face-to-face with market-leading employers with job opportunities. Employers who attend get to meet the highly qualified candidates they need to strengthen their recruiting pipelines and fill their open positions in an efficient manner.

“It was well worth the trip down. I was able to talk to people in my field and also talk to some people who weren’t necessarily in my field, but said there were opportunities for somebody with my sales background,” said job seeker Craig Ciampa from a Keep America Working fair. “I was able to leave resumes and touch base with the people who are in charge of recruiting.”

“Monster’s objective is to inspire people to improve their lives,” said Sal Iannuzzi, chairman, president and CEO of Monster Worldwide. “At the very center of that is the fact that people have to have opportunity. If we can connect them with opportunity today at the Keep America Working job fairs and tomorrow on-line on Monster.com, we’ve fulfilled our mission.”

For more information about the job fairs in Monster’s Keep America Working Tour, visit http://monstervjf.adicio.com/.

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

U.S. Department of Labor issues policy and planning guidance for employment and training programs under American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The U.S. Department of Labor today issued policy guidance to states and outlying areas for the implementation of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) investments in core employment and training programs. This critical investment of $3,514,500,000 in the nation's workforce system and network of One-Stop Career Centers is intended to help unemployed Americans upgrade their skills and get back to work.

"One-Stop Career Centers have a wide array of services and resources to help workers and youth who are unemployed or underemployed," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "Through the One-Stops, the workforce system will play a vital role in America's economic recovery by assisting workers who are facing unprecedented challenges to retool their skills and re-establish themselves in viable career paths."

The training and employment guidance letter distributed today provides policy and direction regarding activities authorized under the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 and the Wagner Peyser Act, as funded through ARRA. The letter also provides specific instructions to states on how they can use funding under the Recovery Act to serve adults, dislocated workers and youth, and provide labor exchange services to all who need them. The workforce investment system will use Recovery Act funds to increase service levels, address immediate employment needs and spur future economic growth to advance shared prosperity for all Americans.

More information on the Department of Labor's implementation of ARRA may be found at www.doleta.gov and www.dol.gov/Recovery. Questions regarding Recovery Act funding can be e-mailed to eta.economicrecovery@dol.gov.

To find a local One-Stop Career Center or to access online resources to support job searches, career information and information on education and training resources, visit http://www.careeronestop.org/ or call the Department's toll-free helpline at 877-348-0502 or TTY 877-348-0501.

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Friday, March 13, 2009

U.S. Department of Labor proposes to suspend H-2A rule

/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration (ETA) today announced the proposed suspension for nine months of a final rule implementing changes to the H-2A program, which allows U.S. agricultural businesses to employ foreign workers in temporary or seasonal agricultural jobs. The department's proposed action is open for public comment for 10 days.

"Because many stakeholders have raised concerns about the H-2A regulations, this proposed suspension is the prudent and responsible action to take," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "Suspending the rule would allow the department to review and reconsider the regulation, while minimizing disruption to state workforce agencies, employers and workers."

The proposed suspension of the final rule will appear in the Federal Register on March 17. The final rule appeared in the Federal Register on Dec. 18, 2008, and took effect on Jan. 17, 2009.

The H-2A nonimmigrant program is designed to provide agricultural businesses with short-term foreign agricultural labor when there are not enough domestic workers. Receiving an H-2A labor certification is the first step in the employment-based immigration process to work on a farm.

In 2008, the department granted North Carolina, Georgia and Florida the largest numbers of H-2A labor certifications.

The Labor Department's Office of Foreign Labor Certification will continue to accept and process H-2A applications during the proposed suspension period. Any final action on today's proposed suspension will appear in a future Federal Register notice.

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GreenTech Manufacturing to bring 320 jobs to Coffee County

Governor Sonny Perdue recently announced that environmentally-friendly construction product maker GreenTech Manufacturing plans to locate a new facility in Douglas. The company will create 320 jobs and invest more than $20 million in a manufacturing and distribution facility.

“In Georgia, we work hard to support innovative companies such as GreenTech Manufacturing,” said Governor Perdue. “As the world focuses on green technologies and cleaner manufacturing processes, GreenTech Manufacturing is a perfect fit for our state.”

GreenTech Manufacturing has contracted a 103,000-square-foot manufacturing and distribution center located on nine acres in Douglas’s Southwest Industrial Park. GreenTech is wholly owned by Gulf Coast Arms, a nonprofit trust incorporated in Texas, whose mission is to foster sustainability and affordability solutions across the country and abroad.

GreenTech uses the innovative Powder Impression Molding (PIM) system to produce stronger-than-steel, lightweight construction products using up to 95 percent recycled materials from single-stream solid waste sources. The result is an environmentally sustainable, efficient and cost-effective alternative to traditional construction products such as metal, wood, concrete and fiberglass.

“It has been a privilege to work with the State of Georgia, whose leadership values innovation and whose involvement has been essential in bringing this project to Georgia,” stated GreenTech spokesman Michael Moreland. “Douglas’s community leadership also strongly compelled our decision to locate in Georgia. The location’s considerable transportation connectivity is ideal for GreenTech’s distribution to national and export markets. The local workforce is well trained, and the community has ample access to educational resources for ongoing innovation and job training.”

To grow roots in the local community, GreenTech will offer high-quality and high-paying administrative, technical and operational jobs that include high-tech job training and significant employee benefits. The company is working with Quick Start, East Central Technical College, the Georgia Department of Labor and Georgia Tech’s FaciliTech Team to create and implement customized workforce training. Job search and placement is expected to begin immediately, and the first PIM product to roll off the line could happen as early as September.

“This is a great day for Coffee County,” said JoAnne Lewis, executive director of the Douglas-Coffee County Chamber of Commerce. “GreenTech will become one of the city’s highest employed businesses. The company’s official announcement helps us celebrate the 50th anniversary of economic development in Douglas. Businesses like GreenTech will help us carry on our tradition of economic success and progress.”

GreenTech Manufacturing is an emerging global leader in the development and implementation of innovative composite products and recycling technologies. GreenTech will transform the building construction and industrial component manufacturing industry through its patented, revolutionary Powder Impression Molding (PIM) process and bundled technologies. With PIM, GreenTech’s innovative products further the virtues of environmentally-sustainable, long-lasting and affordable building. For more information, visit www.greentech-ga.com.


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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Carbon Motors Corporation Announces Five US States on Short List for 10,000 New American Jobs

(BUSINESS WIRE)--Carbon Motors Corporation announced today that 5 US States have made the short list for the location of the Carbon Campus, which will house the entirety of the company’s operations. Carbon Motors is a bold, new homeland security company that has developed the Carbon E7, the world’s first purpose-built law enforcement patrol vehicle. Independent projections forecast that 10,000 new sustainable direct and indirect American jobs will be created driving a $3 billion positive economic impact over ten years in the selected region. Formal Request for Proposals (RFPs) have been issued to local, state, and federal authorities in:

* Georgia (Braselton and Pooler)
* Indiana (Connersville)
* Michigan (Plymouth)
* North Carolina (Charlotte)
* South Carolina (Greenville and Spartanburg)

“We are keeping our commitment to share transparently with the public our discussions regarding the site location for Carbon Motors as we work to foster the public-private sector collaboration needed to provide our first responders the equipment they so sorely need,” said William Santana Li, chairman and chief executive officer, Carbon Motors Corporation.

“Moreover, as we have traveled across the nation during the Pure Justice Tour, we have become even more attuned to the critical needs of our first responders and the nation as a whole. We must innovate our way out of this national crisis, show courage and leadership despite the challenges, create new American jobs quickly, secure our homeland, re-energize our industrial sector, eliminate wasteful government spending, and address our critical energy issues. The White House has called for the country’s entrepreneurs to help bring America back to its rightful glory – we are here to do exactly just that with the most visible government fleet in the country,” continued Li.

“Beyond all the benefits that the Carbon E7 provides, our country has a moral obligation to provide our nation’s 840,000 law enforcement first responders with the world-class equipment needed to secure our homeland. We look forward to working closely with the U.S. Department of Energy, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of Justice as well as the White House and Auto Task Force to insure that we provide our brave women and men in law enforcement the same capability, protection and support that we provide our U.S. soldiers in a theatre of war. Absolutely nothing less will suffice,” said Li.

KEY FACTS

* American Jobs – the over 450,000 law enforcement patrol vehicles that protect and secure our communities across America are not manufactured in the USA. The Carbon E7 will be produced in one of five U.S. States under consideration.
* Energy – the nation’s law enforcement government fleet burns through an estimated 1.5 billion gallons of fuel annually and emits an estimated 14 million tons of CO2; the Carbon E7 will cut that by up to 40% using clean diesel technology, also capable of running on biodiesel
* Homeland Security – over 7 years after 9-11 our country’s 840,000 law enforcement first responders continue to utilize inconsistently outfitted retail passenger vehicles meant for consumer use which do not provide the safety and performance capabilities appropriate to secure our homeland; over 2,800 law enforcement professionals across all 50 US States at the local, state, and federal level helped design the Carbon E7 to specifically address their needs in the field
* Wasteful Government Spending – unlike the U.S. Department of Defense that oversees our military operations, the country’s over 19,000 law enforcement agencies have very limited economies of scale in purchasing the equipment they need and are forced to utilize an outdated and wildly inefficient process to operate and service these vehicles in the field. Moreover, they experience unnecessarily high operating costs due to unacceptable fuel economy, poor durability, excessive service requirements, and critical safety concerns. The Carbon E7 will reduce the total life cycle costs as well as the overall taxpayer burden required to support our law enforcement operations and provide dramatic improvements in safety and effectiveness at the same time.
* Industrial Investment – Carbon Motors will invest over $350 million into developing and producing the Carbon E7, which is slated for start of production in 2012. This amount is less than 1.5% of the $25 billion administered by the U.S. Department of Energy for the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program. Carbon Motors looks to work with federal authorities to balance the amount of backing provided to struggling legacy players with support provided to those looking to innovate and leverage best practices to reinvigorate America’s leadership in the industrial sector.

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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Career Training Open House Offered March 8

The Emory Center for Lifelong Learning (ECLL) and Emory Professional Learning Programs are sponsoring a complimentary open house on “Reinventing Your Career” Sunday, March 8 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. in Building B of Emory's Briarcliff Campus, 1256 Briarcliff Rd.

The community-based initiative is aimed at providing information to those who could benefit from career-related training in these tough economic times. In addition to learning about the career track programs the center offers, ECLL will provide information about its career development classes, including resume writing, interviewing skills, career assessment and how to manage your career in uncertain times. For more information, call 404.712.3794.

Attendees also will learn more about ECLL’s career track programs, including: paralegal studies, Six Sigma Green Belt, web design and development, graphic design, computer forensics, CTT+, certified financial planning, management, human resource management, and career development and preparation.

Many of the career tracks included in the open house are listed as some of the fastest growing occupations in Georgia, according to statistics from the Georgia DOL Workforce Information and Analysis Division’s publication “Georgia Workforce Trends: An Analysis of Long-term Employment Projections to 2014.”

The ECLL programs approved for Georgia’s Workforce Investment Act (WIA) funding include the certificates in paralegal studies, financial planning, web design and web development. Continuing education loans are also available.

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Friday, February 27, 2009

Job Opening: PT/FT Retail Peachtree City, GA

Local Thrift store looking for help. PT/FT, includes Saturdays. Must be able to stand on feet and lift up to 30 pounds. Retail experience helpful. Please send resume to store@clotheslesstraveled or fax to 770-631-9771

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Dunkin' Donuts Announces Metro Atlanta as a Priority Market in 2009

/PRNewswire/ -- Dunkin' Donuts, America's favorite all-day, everyday, stop for coffee and baked goods, announced today that Metro Atlanta will be one of its key franchise development markets in 2009, with plans to develop multiple new restaurants over the next several years, in addition to the 73 existing units in the market. Growth markets targeted within Metro Atlanta include Athens, Riverdale, Douglasville, Atlanta, Stone Mountain, Ellijay, Dawsonville, Cumming, Gainesville and Cleveland.

Dunkin' Donuts' development in Metro Atlanta is part of a steady and strategic national growth strategy, which includes expanding in existing markets while entering new cities throughout the country. The company is actively seeking new franchisees to own and operate a minimum of five new restaurants in Metro Atlanta.

Building a network of stores enables Dunkin' Donuts to invest in a distribution model that ensures consistent, high-quality products that customers expect when visiting a Dunkin' Donuts location. In an effort to keep the brand fresh and competitive, Dunkin' Donuts offers franchisees a variety of designs and venues, including free-standing stores, sites within shopping centers and convenience stores and other retail environments.

"To fulfill our national expansion goals, Dunkin' Donuts is looking for developers with a strong organization and the ability to manage multiple restaurants effectively and successfully in Metro Atlanta," said Lynette McKee, CFE, vice president of Franchising, Dunkin' Brands, Inc. "We also look for prior restaurant operations and real estate development experience."

According to McKee, "Dunkin' Donuts will satisfy a growing demand in Metro Atlanta for high-quality coffee and baked goods that are available all day. Dunkin' Donuts is proud to energize Americans and keep the honest, hard-working, value-driven people of this country running every day -- whether it's in a boardroom, a schoolroom or a construction site. We look forward to being a vibrant part of the community and playing an important role in the daily lives of the people who live and work in and around Atlanta."

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U.S. Department of Labor Announces Boost in Weekly Unemployment Benefit Amounts

/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis today announced a weekly increase in unemployment compensation, as provided for in the stimulus legislation, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, enacted on Feb. 17.

The new temporary Federal Additional Compensation program will provide a $25 weekly increase in unemployment compensation for eligible workers. These extra benefits are 100 percent federally-funded.

The stimulus legislation also extended the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program, which was scheduled to expire on Aug. 27, 2009. "The program has been extended to Dec. 31, 2009, for new applications, with a 'phase-out' period ending May 31, 2010," said Secretary Solis. "Both the Emergency Unemployment Compensation and the Federal Additional Compensation programs provide temporary financial support to unemployed workers to help them pay for basic necessities such as food, clothing, medicine and gasoline while they look for new jobs."

To qualify for these benefits, unemployed workers must first be determined eligible for unemployment benefits by the appropriate state workforce agency. Workers must have earned sufficient wages from prior recent employment and have been separated from employment for non-disqualifying reasons (as determined under state law). Eligible workers must also be able to work and be available for work while receiving these unemployment benefits.

All 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands have executed agreements with the U.S. Department of Labor to administer these programs. States will begin to make the extra payments as early as the week of March 1, 2009, for weeks of unemployment effective Feb. 22, 2009.

For information on unemployment compensation, visit http://www.dol.gov/.




FACT SHEET

EMERGENCY UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION AND FEDERAL ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION UNDER AMERICAN RECOVERY AND REINVESTMENT ACT OF 2009

Emergency Unemployment Compensation, 2008 (EUC08) - Program Extension
-- The EUC08 program, created on June 30, 2008, provides up to 20 weeks
of federally-funded benefits to eligible unemployed workers who have
collected all their regular state unemployment benefits. An
additional 13 weeks of EUC are available in states with high levels of
unemployment.
-- The EUC08 program was scheduled to expire on Aug. 27, 2009. The
stimulus legislation, Public Law Number 111-5, which was enacted on
Feb. 17, 2009, extends the expiration date of the EUC08 program to May
31, 2010.
-- The period during which an individual may establish eligibility for
EUC08 is extended from March 31, 2009, to the week of unemployment
ending on or before Dec. 31, 2009, and the "phase-out" or expiration
date of the program is extended from Aug. 27, 2009 to May 31, 2010.
-- The stimulus legislation does not provide additional weeks of benefits
for individuals who have or will exhaust their EUC08 benefits.
Federal Additional Compensation (FAC)
-- The stimulus legislation also created a new FAC program that provides
a $25 supplement that is payable to individuals receiving state
unemployment compensation (UC) or Federal UC. The $25 supplement does
not apply to state-financed Additional Compensation programs.
-- All 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto
Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands executed agreements with the
secretary of labor to administer this new program on behalf of the
federal government on or before Feb. 21, 2009; therefore, the program
is effective Feb. 22, 2009, in all states/jurisdictions.
-- States are modifying their automated benefit payment systems to
implement FAC. Many states will begin to make payments during the week
of March 1, 2009, for weeks of unemployment effective Feb. 22, 2009.
However, due to the complexity of changing automated systems, some
states have advised that they may implement later, making payments
retroactively.

States will calculate the individual's weekly benefit amount and make any adjustments in accordance with state law to account for any earnings, and any other deductions (for example, severance and retirement/pension payments).

-- The $25 supplement is taxable. Therefore, states will include the
total benefits received including the $25 increase(s) in issuing a
1099G to claimants.
-- The $25 supplement/payments will be paid from federal general
revenues. States will receive administrative costs associated with
implementing the $25 add-on.

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