Archive for June, 2009
Here’s a press release from U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) about clean energy job programs. It seems the federal government is making a big push in this area, opening up opportunities locally for business people in that industry:
Senator Murray Announces $500 Million Now Available to Train Workers for Clean Energy Jobs
Washington state community colleges, workforce boards, labor groups, and businesses can now apply for millions in federal funding to train workers to help jumpstart state’s green economy
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA),Chairman of the Senate HELP Employment and Workplace Safety Subcommittee, announced that $500 million that she included for green and clean energy job training in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) is now available to train workers in Washington state and across the nation. The funding is available via five different green job training programs by applying to the federal government. The grants, which will be one of the most critical tools in building a green workforce, are expected to be applied for by community colleges, workforce boards, labor groups, businesses partnering with other local groups and more.
“Our state is well positioned to take the lead in our country’s clean energy future,” said Senator Murray. “But we need trained workers to get the ball rolling. I know that local community colleges, workforce boards, labor groups and businesses in Washington are eager to access this funding. It will help them provide the skills and training our unemployed workers need to get back into the workforce and give the next generation the skills they’ll need for 21st Century careers. This is seed money for family-wage jobs and economic growth in our state.”
As Chairman of the Employment and Workplace Safety Subcommittee and a recognized leader on worker training, Senator Murray guided the grants to inclusion in the Recovery Act. The grants are based the Retooling America’s Workers for a Green Economy Act, introduced by Senator Murray prior to the Recovery Act earlier this year.
Four of the grant programs are designed to train workers through national, state and community outlets.
· $100 million is available for the Energy Training Partnership to directly train and place workers in green jobs.
· $150 million is available for the Pathways Out of Poverty program, will be spent to provide training programs for “target populations” to help them prepare for and get green jobs.
· $190 million is available under the State Energy Sector Partnerships and Training program. This program will be used to form and implement comprehensive, statewide energy sector strategies.
· $5 million is available for training programs to provide entry-level training for “targeted groups” that will lead to career pathways in green industries.
The fifth competition grant, for State Labor Market Information Improvement, will fund state work force agencies to collect, analyze and disseminate labor market information.
Groups interested in applying for these grants should apply to: www.grants.gov
Senator Murray voted to pass the Recovery Act on February 13th. The bill was signed into law by President Obama on February 17th.
Here’s something I wrote up for the paper that might interest those of you who enjoy Speak E-Z’s:
A Bellingham restaurant will soon be coming out with its own barbecue sauce and is looking for customers to help design the label.
Dennis and Rosie Rayborn of Speak E-Z’s BBQ decided to bottle their sauce and sell it in local stores. After soliciting customer ideas in a contest, they come up with a name — Big D’s Bootleg BBQ Sauce (…….so good it should be illegal) and are now hosting a contest for a label design.
Whoever comes up with the winning design you will receive “All you can eat ribs” once a month for one year (or a substitute meal at equal or lesser value each month). The label and design will become property of the Rayborns.
The label design must be no more than 3 inches in diameter, 3 by 4 inches oval or rectangle. It can be monochrome or in color. Deadline to submit the label design is by 5 p.m. on Friday, July 24. The chosen design will be announced at 5 p.m. on Monday, August 10. Design entries can be dropped off at Speak E-Z’s BBQ, 2400 Meridian St., Bellingham, WA. 98225 during regular restaurant hours or mailed to the same address by the deadline. No purchase necessary. Don’t forget to include contact information.
The stock market was down today amid worries that Americans are saving too much money (see the Associated Press story below).
It wasn’t more than a year ago the opposite was true – Americans weren’t saving enough money.
While the stock market may not be happy, I think this was long overdue. I’m wondering if this is a fundamental shift, where Americans will generally do a better job saving money in the coming months or years. I’ve heard from many people resolving to save money and eliminate debt, and the numbers seem to say Americans are serious. What do you think? Will Americans keep this up?
By MADLEN READ
^AP Business Writer
NEW YORK (AP) — Consumers are saving more than they’re spending, and that has investors worried.
Stocks capped a choppy week of trading with a mixed finish Friday after the Commerce Department reported that personal spending, incomes and savings all rose in May. What troubled investors was that the savings rate soared to 6.9 percent, a 15-year high, while spending rose by a modest 0.3 percent.
The trend suggests consumers are being very careful with their money. That’s good for the individual, but not great in the short term for the overall economy, which relies heavily on consumer spending for growth.
Phil Orlando, chief equity market strategist at Federated Investors, said he expects the savings rate to eventually hit 10 percent before it eases. The savings rate had been 5.6 percent in April, and annual savings rates were below 1 percent from 2005 through 2007.
“If people ramp up savings that aggressively, that is going to result in less GDP recovery than ordinarily would be the case,” Orlando said.
Gross domestic product dropped at an annual rate of 5.5 percent in the first quarter, the government reported earlier this week. As the first half of 2009 ends, investors are growing more anxious about whether the economy can bounce back later this year.
With the end of the second quarter nearly here, Whatcom County received closure announcements from several businesses. This week I wrote about Back Porch Alley (closed), CompuCare (closed), Brown’s Bellingham Beauty & Barber Supply (closing Tuesday) and Eleni’s Family Restaurant (closing next month).
Through Friday I’ve tallied 47 announced business closures in 2009, ahead of last year’s pace of 83 (there are no official records of business closures that I know of, so I try to keep an eye out for what has opened or closed). As for openings on the retail side, it’s about the same (I still need to go back and tally that, as well).
It seems the end of the second quarter is a busy time for closures, because that’s when different sets of taxes are due. We’ll see if it slows down as we get into July.
By late Friday afternoon the FDIC stepped in to close 4 banks, bringing the total up to 44 on the year. None of these banks are local, but here are the details:
1. Community Bank of West Georgia in Villa Rica, Ga. was shut down and no other bank will be taking it over. Cost to the FDIC: $85 million.
2. Neighborhood Community Bank in Neuman, Ga. was closed and then taken over by Charter Bank in West Point, Ga. Cost to the FDIC: $66.7 million.
3. Horizon Bank of Pine City, Minn. (no relation to Bellingham’s Horizon Bank) was closed, then taken over by Stearns Bank in St. Cloud, Minn. Cost to the FDIC: $33.5 million.
4. MetroPacific Bank in Irvine, Calif., was closed and then taken over by Sunwest Bank in Tustin, Calif. Cost to the FDIC: $29 million.
A Bellingham chiropractor clinic will soon be moving into a bigger facility.
The Adich Clinic’s last day at 1470 Ellis Street will be Friday, June 26. Owners Dave and Susan Adich will spend the weekend moving equipment and be open at the Iowa Business Center at 1756 Iowa St. on Tuesday, June 30. The company signed a five-year lease for that space.
Susan Adich said the new space will be about 4,000 square feet, about triple the current location. The new facility will have four massage rooms, two rooms for acupuncture and seven chiropractic rooms.
“Our biggest issues were parking and the lack of space, so we were happy to find this on Iowa Street,” Susan Adich said. “The larger space allows us to design massage rooms that have more of a luxury feel, which we think clients will find relaxing.”
The owners had originally planned to build a new building in the Barkley Village area, but decided to postpone that project for now, preferring to focus on the business.
The Adich Clinic started in 1995 and currently has 18 employees. For details, call 734-9555 or visit adich.com.
On Friday afternoon there were three banks shut down by the FDIC. That makes 40 banks closed in 2009. Here are the details:
First National Bank of Anthony, Kansas, was taken over by the Bank of Kansas. Estimated cost to the FDIC: $32.2 million.
Southern Community Bank of Fayetteville, Ga. was taken over by United Community Bank. Estimated cost to FDIC: $114 million.
Cooperative Bank in Wilmington, N.C., wsa take over by First Bank of Troy, N.C. Estimated cost to FDIC: $217 million.
Here are a few items worth noting…
– Tully’s will soon be opening a cafe inside the Sehome Haggen (in the former Starbucks space near the main entrance).
– A state liquor license application has been filed for a new restaurant in Lynden. It’s called Cancun Mexican Restaurant and is at 8874 Bender Road, Suite 107. The applicants are Tanya Kogan and Uriel Lopez.
– Pescaderia Seafood on Railroad Avenue has closed and the business is up for sale. The fish shop was near the Starbucks at Railroad and Holly Street.
I’m back from vacation and am plowing through all the e-mail in my inbox. Below is an interesting press release about the most demanding job around. It seems reasonable to me, but I’d love to have others weigh in:
Firefighter Ranks as Most Demanding Job, Says CareerCast.com Study
Carlsbad, CA (June 16, 2009) – What do firefighters, surgeons and senior corporate executives have in common? More than you may think. They are among the nation’s most demanding jobs, according to a new CareerCast.com study released today.
While firefighter reigns supreme as the most all-around demanding job, surgeon and senior corporate executive rank second and third, followed by police officer. Considering that firefighters regularly work long hours in hazardous, life-threatening situations and have the most physical demands of any of our top jobs, their landslide first place finish is no surprise, but police officers often endure the same sort of demands yet they ranked fourth. What gives? While police officers ranked higher for the physical demands of their job, their average work week and stress scores were considerably lower than that of a surgeon or a senior corporate executive.
Also on the list of the most demanding, high-risk blue-collar occupations are roustabouts (oil pipeline and oil rigger workers) and sailors. Other white-collar employees who work the longest hours and have the most on–the-job stress include general practice physicians and psychiatrists.
“Obviously the physical demands of any blue-collar job are much higher than any white-collar position,” said Tony Lee, publisher of CareerCast.com. “But when you factor in the average work week and the stress most white-collar employees endure, it evens the playing field considerably. And although blue- and white-collar workers may feel lucky to be employed in today’s economy, if the stress gets to be too much for them to handle, they can burn out quickly.”
The most demanding jobs lists were compiled using Department of Labor data and CareerCast.com’s exclusive Jobs Rated data. The length of the average workweek, stress scores and physical demands of blue- and white-collar jobs were assessed and then ranked for each occupation.
To read the full report or for more information, visit www.CareerCast.com.
CareerCast.com, created by Adicio, is a job search portal that offers extensive local, niche and national job listings from across North America, as well as job-hunting, career-management and HR-focused editorial content, videos and blogs, and provides recruiters with the ability to post jobs directly to more than 500 niche career sites.
Overall Most Demanding Occupations
(Measured by Work Week, Stress and Physical Demands)
3. Corporate Executive (Senior)
4. Police Officer
7. Physician (General Practice)
Most Demanding White Collar Occupations
(Measured by Work Week, Stress and Physical Demands)
2. Corporate Executive (Senior)
3. Physician (General Practice)
6. Judge (Federal)
Most Demanding Blue Collar Occupations
(Measured by Work Week, Stress and Physical Demands)
2. Police Officer
5. Construction Foreman
6. Truck Driver
7. Automobile Body Repairer
8. Tool-and-Die Maker
For more information, visit CareerCast.com.
CareerCast.com, created by Adicio, is a job search portal that offers extensive local, niche and national job listings from across North America as well as job-hunting, career-management and HR-focused editorial content, videos and blogs, and provides recruiters with the ability to post jobs directly to more than 500 niche career sites.
From the Associated Press:
WENATCHEE The top manager at Alcoa’s Wenatchee Works smelter, Stefan Vogt, has accepted another job with the company and will relocate to Pennsylvania.
The company announced Wednesday that Nik Winjum, a Colorado native who worked for years at Alcoa’s Intalco Smelter in Ferndale, will replace Vogt, 38.
In his new position, Vogt will oversee expansion of emerging technology that seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at Alcoa smelters.
He’ll work out of the Alcoa Technical Center in New Kensington, Pa., just outside of Pittsburgh.
Wenatchee Works spokeswoman Sharon Kanareff said Vogt; his wife, Tanya Vogt; and two daughters are still in Wenatchee, but plan to relocate by the end of the month.
Vogt arrived in Wenatchee as smelter manager in mid-2007. He said Alcoa officials approached him about the new job and describes his departure as “bittersweet.”
“My wife and I are getting used to the area. … We’ve made a lot of friends. It’s sad we have to go,” he said. “It’s exciting for me, personally, to have this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be part of something great at Alcoa.”
He said they’ll also be closer to his wife’s family in Rochester, N.Y.
Winjum, 48, will relocate from New York, where he’s worked as manufacturing manager at Alcoa’s East Massena smelter.
Winjum started his career with Alumax, which was acquired by Alcoa and is now Intalco.
Kanareff said Winjum is looking forward to returning to the Northwest. He’s already visited Wenatchee Works and should be in town by mid-month.
Winjum and his wife have three children.