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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