Tag Archives: Jobs

US free trade agreement to support 70,000 jobs

The term “Made in America” could soon take on a new level of importance with new free trade deals passed last week. The US Congress approved three new agreements with South Korea, Columbia and Panama on Oct. 12 that could help to preserve and create tens of thousands of American jobs.

By decreasing and removing tariffs on certain American products exported to the three foreign countries, 95 percent of US goods could become duty-free within the next five years. In what is considered to be the most groundbreaking deal since the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada in 1994, it could account for a $10 billion to $12 billion annual boost in US exports.

The trade agreement was originally drafted in 2007 while President George W. Bush was still in office, but it has been delayed by widespread Democratic objection. Touted by President Obama over the past few years, the deal is expected to benefit the economies of all countries involved.

Although criticized by many that are skeptical of any increase in jobs from exported US goods being eliminated by layoffs due to more competition from imported goods, the deal could benefit American workers in multiple industries, including automakers, farmers, ranchers, manufacturers and various small businesses.

The new agreement was backed by many different US organizations such as Ace, Citigroup, Pfizer, Caterpillar, General Electric, Whirlpool, General Motors, Ford and Chrysler.

The US auto industry is expected to profit substantially from the new deal with South Korea, where tariffs on imported American vehicles will be initially cut in half and eventually lifted entirely over the next five years. The agreement was promoted by both the UAW and Ford, which supported the cause through newspaper ads and a website.

The city of Detroit and the rest of Southeastern Michigan play an important role in the new pact with South Korea. Both President Obama and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak toured the Orion Township GM plant north of Detroit on Oct. 14, announcing their agreement and pushing its potential to boost the hard-hit area’s economy by creating jobs and increasing production.

The GM plant in Orion Township was reopened earlier this year to manufacture the Korean-developed Chevrolet Sonic subcompact, currently the smallest vehicle produced in the US.

Production of the Sonic was moved to the US from countries such as South Korea and Mexico. The new free trade deal includes a provision that will allow 40 percent of GM workers involved in manufacturing the vehicle at the Orion Township plant to earn more than the standard first-tier rate of $28 per hour.

General Motors currently exports the Chevrolet Camaro, the Cadillac CTS, SRX and Escalade to South Korea. Plans to export the Chevrolet Corvette are also in the works for the end of the year.

Detroit and the auto industry could benefit greatly from the free-trade pact with South Korea, and it is a welcome change for many in the area who have suffered from high unemployment rates and a depressed economy.

The new deal has been widely criticized because of its decrease on tariffs of goods imported to the US from other countries. Many Democrats believe that more imported goods will ultimately lead to fewer American jobs.

But the main advantage of the new pact is the fact that more US goods will be exported. In the long run, more products and services that America can sell overseas means more jobs created right here in the US.



Abrams, Jim. “Congress passes 3 free trade agreements” Yahoo! News http://news.yahoo.com/congress-passes-3-free-trade-agreements-003629553.html  Accessed 10/15/11

Martin, Eric and McQuillen, William. SFGate http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2011/10/14/bloomberg_articlesLSZD6X6S9728.DTL  Accessed 10/15/11

Thompson, Chrissie. “Obama: New trade deal with Korea to support 70,000 American jobs” Detroit Free Press http://www.freep.com/article/20111014/NEWS15/111014037/Obama-New-trade-deal-Korea-create-70-000-American-jobs  Accessed 10/14/11

Community college programs prepare students for the workforce

As the United States approaches its fourth year of economic confusion, economists are still undecided as to whether or not the nation will slip back into recession. With the national unemployment rate hovering around 10 percent, feelings of uncertainty are saturated within the American public.

Even with the current air of insecurity about America’s future, there are signs of hope in the persistent job openings for highly-skilled workers. As technology develops, the skill level needed for specialized positions can prop up many industries.

To prepare the American population for in-demand jobs, community colleges are a vital factor in economic development. Two-year programs can prepare students for specialized jobs and partner with employers that are hiring to create programs designed to train specifically for new openings.

Community colleges can be flexible to the needs of employers by focusing on preparing students and teaching them the skills that are relevant to certain specialized and highly-skilled positions. During the slow economic recovery, two-year institutions have seen increased enrollment as people are studying in programs that will retrain them to meet the demands of employers.

A 2010 Federal Reserve report indicated that about one-third of students enrolled in post-secondary institutions were attending two-year colleges. Not only do community colleges prove to be important in retraining the workforce, but they also contribute significantly to the education industry in the US.

The importance of community colleges in the US economic recovery isn’t lost on the government. In October 2010, President Obama announced the Skills for America’s Future initiative, which encouraged public-private partnerships to create new retraining programs at two-year colleges.

The initiative aimed to increase the number of employers that partner with community colleges and create a stronger curriculum in order to match the skills needed for specialized jobs.

In the American Jobs Act proposal, delivered to Congress in September 2011, President Obama called for $5 billion to be spent on modernizing community colleges across the nation. If passed, the legislation would allow for upgrades to education facilities in order to better meet the demands of the 21st century workforce.

Sectors of the workforce that continue to be in demand for skilled workers include health care and manufacturing. Both of these areas continue to grow and require highly-trained workers to perform the new jobs.

According to the National Skills Coalition, middle-skill jobs make up the largest segment of the US workforce. Middle-skill positions are defined as those that require more than a high-school education but less than a four-year degree.

As the demand for skilled workers increases as the US emerges from the Great Recession, there may be a transformation in the ideals of the education system. No longer will high school students be pressured to enroll in a four-year university so they can figure out what they want to do with their lives.

There are plenty of highly-educated individuals out there with bachelor’s degrees working part-time or collecting unemployment. The future of the American workforce may be in the two-year programs designed to train students specifically for jobs in demand. Lower cost of education, higher return of employment; this may be the deciding factor in pulling America out of its economic slump once and for all.



Evercloud, Debbie. “Community colleges assist in economic recovery” ourColoradonews.com http://www.ourcoloradonews.com/business/growth/community-colleges-assist-in-economic-recovery/article_ae4b39a4-de80-11e0-9d0c-001cc4c002e0.html

Smith, Diane. “Jobs plan would modernize community colleges” Star-Telegram http://www.star-telegram.com/2011/09/21/3386717/jobs-plan-would-modernize-community.html

Spencer, Katie. “Community colleges work to fill huge demand for ‘middle-skill’ workers” MEDILL REPORTS CHICAGO http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/chicago/news.aspx?id=181511

Part-Time Rock Star

In trying to get ahead in this world, one thing that you can do is take on extra work. During the trying times of a recession and its lasting effects, you have to use every opportunity to its full advantage and never shun a chance to make some extra cash.

Harder, better, faster, stronger; these are not just novelty ideas taken from the title of a Daft Punk song. To make it in today’s economic climate, one has to do just that; work harder, do better, make it faster and perform it stronger.

One easy way to perform all the aforementioned tasks and stay ahead of the competition is to get a part-time gig. A full-time job may leave you spent and confused at times. After a hard day’s work, the last thing on your mind is probably doing more work. But sometimes you just have to swallow your pride and do it up.

A part-time job might not always seem like the ideal solution, but sometimes you have just got to do what you got to do. Extra income is almost always a welcomed idea. Although taking on a part-time may just cut into your personal time, at least you will have more money coming in.

Part-time jobs can come in many different forms. Restaurant gigs are easy to come by, as are convenience store cashier jobs or even bank teller posts. Whatever the position may be, an additional influx of cash flow is always a good thing, so take it as it comes.

Whatever the case may be, one should always keep doors open. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket, you what I’m saying?

If you have a job plus a side gig to fall back on, you are automatically ahead of the game.

The job market is still tough, and if you have one, I am happy for you. In fact not only I, but my leagues of followers are also happy for you. Go ahead and feel privileged; I do.



How to Use Social Media to Get a Job

The job market has changed quite a bit since the days of perusing the classifieds and beating the pavement. These days, it’s important to be aware of your online presence and how you might present yourself to potential employers. Social media is a wild frontier. There are a lot of possibilities, but you can also build up a bad reputation if you are not careful.

Most companies look at applicants’ online profile before considering them for a position or even an interview. So it pays to keep your nose clean. Posting up those pictures of your drunken debacle out on the town last weekend might not be the best idea. Your potential bosses most likely do not care to see you shooting Jager bombs or chugging beers.

Social media can be beneficial in your job search. It’s all about using your connections. If you are on Facebook, you probably have over one hundred friends. And out of these one hundred friends, there’s bound to be somebody working in an establishment that you might be interested in. Since most jobs these days are landed by word of mouth, it’s important to utilize your connections to the fullest.

This does not mean posting on your Facebook wall that you can’t wait to get a new job so you don’t have to work at that crap place you do now. This is another area where you have to watch your back because your co-workers or current bosses might be checking out your social media profile when you are least aware.

Contrary to popular belief and the influence of Mark Zuckerberg and Hollywood, it’s not all about Facebook either. There are plenty of other social media platforms out there; some even more helpful in your job search.

LinkedIn is a great resource for those looking to establish professional connections. In addition to hooking up with people who might be able to aid you in your job search, you can also post your resume and credentials to let all the headhunters out there know what you’re all about.

The cool thing about LinkedIn is that it’s a place where like-minded individuals come to meet other professionals and job-seekers. Lots of employers use LinkedIn to see who’s out there and who might be good for their company.

Establishing a sound online reputation might take a significant amount of time and effort, but in the long run it can pay off. The few hours that you invest now into hyping up yourself online might benefit you in dollars and cents in the near future.

The next time you are on Facebook, stop worrying about what your friends are doing and start making a good name for yourself. Somebody out there is looking at you.

Jobs in America

No matter what they say, the Great Recession is still upon us. You can go ahead and listen to the news all you want, But who out there in America is not struggling these days? The job market is hanging by a thin thread, and if you are lucky enough to be working in this day and age, do yourself a favor and work that job with all your might.

If you listen to Obama, we are supposedly in the clear and have nothing to worry about. Not to say that he’s not doing his job, but the United States of America is very far from being in the age of prosperity.

As an advocate for Jobnab and other related sites, one learns a thing or two about the job trade. First of all, you learn that spitting out resume after cover letter after resume after cover letter is completely pointless and an utter waste of time. You will just end up being another sheet of paper in the endless stack.

Another lesson learned in spending time researching the job market is that times are tough out there. It’s not 1995, and employers are no longer waving fatty paychecks at every new prospect walking down the street. You actually have to work for your money these days.

Before you can start making money, you quite obviously have to get the job first. When you apply for a job, keep in mind that there are probably one hundred other equally-qualified or better candidates applying for the same position. You are not special.

You have to differentiate yourself from the crowd. In order to get a job these days, you have to stand out. Not to say that you should wear bright clothing or sport a Mohawk, but you need to make yourself noticed. Otherwise, you are just another poor sap looking for a job – kind of like searching for water in the desert.

The most important thing you can do when you go in and apply for a job somewhere is to highlight your skills. Hype yourself up. One can take freedom with words on a resume and exaggerate a little bit. You don’t need to lie, but go ahead and turn that summer job waiting tables into a customer service position – same thing, different words.

In the meantime, before you hit it big playing the lottery or gambling on the horse races, check out Jobnab for some awesome opportunities out there. A job is a job, and any kind of work is better than no work at all. So instead of sitting around waiting for Obama to hand you your dream job, go out there and make it happen.

Working from Home…for the Environment

Telecommuting emerged in the 1970’s with developing technology allowing for employees to work from remote locations, such as their homes. Working from home can have many benefits for the community, the employer and the employee. The main issue, and the reason why many companies don’t allow it, is the lack of trust between management and subordinates. For telecommuting programs to function successfully, performance must be based on results and not on supervision.

It is estimated that about 40% of the US working population (more than 50 million people) could potentially telecommute. Currently, only about 2.3% of the US works from home. A recent article from the San Diego Union-Tribune reported that San Diego is the top city for telecommuting, with 4.2% working from home. The other cities in the Top Five include Atlanta, San Francisco, Seattle and Phoenix. Cities at the bottom of the list were Detroit and Houston.

The United States is lagging behind other countries in their telecommuting population. Canada has 3.2% working from home, and the United Kingdom is at 5.6%. In order for telecommuting to work on a grand scale in the US, new management styles must be adopted to measure employee results and not clock hours spent sitting at a desk.

With our increasingly advanced technology these days, telecommuting should become more popular. It’s much easier to monitor employee performance with devices such as webcams and online services like instant messaging. If supervisors cared to do so, they could potentially monitor their work-at-home employees every second of the day.

With our national desire to be greener in all aspects of society, telecommuting should be viewed as a viable option for cleaning up the environment. Allowing employees to work from home greatly reduces greenhouse gases by keeping more cars of the road. Telecommuting also reduces energy costs such as electricity in the workplace, decreases the chance of spreading illness and boosts company morale.

For the individual employee, working from home reduces their carbon footprint and fuel usage by working from home in addition to saving money on travel expenses and daycare in some cases. Allowing employees to work from home also greatly increases the pool of potential employees. Telecommuting enables caregivers, the disabled, retirees, those living in remote areas and other parts of the population that cannot otherwise travel to work on a day-to-day basis to become important contributions to the workforce.

If the 50 million Americans that can work from home are actually allowed to do so the environmental benefits would be monumental. If supervision is an issue, then management teams must come up with technologically-advanced methods to keep an eye on their workers. Increasing the telecommuting population is a step in the right direction in saving our environment, and it might be just what we need to make the world a better place; for the community, for the company and for the individual employee.

Service Industry Jobs to Fall Back On

As our economy is in the process of pulling through what has been called the Great Recession, there are still many people out there looking for work. Even though the job market is slowly but surely getting better, unemployment is still about 8-10% (depending on the region), and times are still tough.
Some have resorted to switching career paths to deal with the high unemployment rates. Perhaps they couldn’t find a job in their field so they decided to try their hand at something else. Experts might argue that taking a job that will not advance you in your career path may actually hurt you in the long run.
But not everyone can afford to be out of work until they find the perfect job. Some of us out here actually have bills to pay and no savings account or rich parents to cover them. For those of you in this same boat, you may want to think about taking a part-time or something else that you might be relatively qualified for.
One sector of the workforce that is almost always hiring is the service industry. Most restaurants have a big turnover rate for their waitstaff, so they are always looking for good, solid, dependable servers and bartenders.
These types of jobs may not appeal to everyone. The idea of clearing peoples’ plates and waiting on the public might seem repulsive to some. But a job is a job, and sometimes you just have to make some money.
Contrary to popular belief, there can be many advantages to working in the service industry. One big benefit is the hours. Working in the evening, as most waiters and bartenders do, can free up your day to look for other jobs within your field. Or you can just simply enjoy the day for once. Not being involved in the hustle and bustle of the rat race might actually seem nice for a change. You can go to the bank or grocery store without being a part of the 9-to-5 mob. And you actually get to enjoy the sunlight. Working the normal week usually leaves one’s weekend with a long list of errands they could not accomplish during the week. Now you will have your normal weekdays to make it all happen, leaving you to enjoy stepping out into the day.
Another big advantage is that you get paid in cash. Most of your pay comes from tips, and many restaurants will cash out your credit tips at the end of the night. Although you are technically supposed to claim all your earnings, it’s pretty easy to claim well below what you actually made. This way you end up paying fewer taxes and therefore save some money. Also, it’s nice to have a wad of cash in your pocket at the end of the day.
Unbeknownst to most, working in a restaurant can actually provide you with skills that look good on a resume. First of all, you are gaining customer service skills, useful in almost any field. Second of all, as a server you are multi-tasking. You constantly have to think about and manage about ten different tasks at once, timing when food should go out, when different tables should get their checks or drinks and such. Multi-tasking is a valuable skill that many people do not possess. You also work as a team member when you are part of a waitstaff. Before hiring, most employers want to know that you will function well as part of their team. If this something that you have not done already, working in a restaurant will help you gain this skill.
Of course there are disadvantages to working in the service industry. You can never really count on a steady income. Since you pretty much receive your pay directly from the general public that walks through the doors, you never know how much money you will make and every day is different.
Another disadvantage is the obvious fact that taking a service industry job is not a step in the right direction of your desired career path. But when it comes down to it, any income is better than none. Also, most businesses like to hire people that are already out in the workforce, not those that have been sitting at home twiddling their thumbs and waiting for a job to fall in their lap for the past eight months.
So before you dismiss taking a job out of your field and working in the restaurant industry altogether think about the benefits.