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Diversity hiring for marketing strategies

Workforce Locator™ helps Talent Acquisition Teams meet diversity staffing goals.

I wasn’t pleased with the simple sentence above because I wanted to write something that would come across with more depth about the goal of diversity staffing as well as “set up”/correlate Workforce Locator to the Forbes item I’m posting here today that relates to marketing. With a bit of searching, I discovered this statement from a blog posting by DCR Workforce, a minority and women owned business, which seems fairly close to what I had in mind:

> Most leading companies strive to build a diverse business ecosystem that helps them meet their social responsibility obligations, win federal contracts, earn recognition from society for their work, and gain respect and loyalty from their communities and customers

http://blog.dcrworkforce.com/staffing-suppliers-role-meeting-diversity-goals

Richard Levychin, as a Forbes contributor (and the author whose 12/04/2013 contribution I’m inspired to post) expresses another logical POV about diversity staffing and sales goals:

> both your workforce and sales force should include members from the unique markets you are looking to attract

Here’s the Forbes piece:

3 Diversity Strategies To Help Companies Thrive

Diversity is one of the core growth principals of entrepreneurship with the concept of ROI-Based Diversity following a simple proposition: the more audiences you market your services or products to, the more opportunities you create to generate revenue. Accordingly, the more diverse potential customers that you have in your pipeline, the more opportunities you have to increase your revenue.

ROI-Based Diversity acknowledges the globalization of the business world and the need for even the smallest businesses to market to multiple demographics. “One size fits all” doesn’t cut it in our rapidly changing world and different demographics respond to different cultural nuances. Regardless of the channels you’re using, your marketing messages needs to be flexible and be designed for the cultural markets you are looking to attract.

In the most basic of terms, Diversity = Revenue.

Here’s how to implement it in your company:

1. Expand Your Scope

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the majority of people in the United States will identify as people of color within the next 40 years. And statistics from the U.S. Department of Commerce show that the minority business community is growing at twice the rate of the general business population. So it makes simple mathematical sense that to be a successful business you need to have an effective marketing plan in place that focuses attention on these emerging markets.

2. Mirror your Desired Demographic

Decision makers at global companies and minority-owned businesses often want to engage and buy from companies that look like them; and they want to see this diversity at senior-level positions. Therefore, both your workforce and sales force should include members from the unique markets you are looking to attract, and these employees need to be able to identify and respond to the cultural nuances that shape global business meetings. “For global companies, diversity is no longer simply a matter of creating a heterogeneous workforce, but using that workforce to innovate and give it a competitive advantage in the marketplace,” a 2011 Forbes survey on diversity states. “Competition for talent is fierce in today’s global economy, so companies need to have plans in place to recruit, develop, and retain a diverse workforce.”

3. Communicate Your Diversity Plan

Finally, once you’ve put your diversity plan in place, you need to communicate it to your desired marketplace. For example, my company has a strategic partnership with Morgan Stanley that brings this idea of diversity to life. The Rock Group, a wealth-management group within Morgan Stanley, focuses on the financial needs of small- and middle-market businesses. This group recently decided to market its services to minority and women-owned business enterprises (MWBEs) using culturally-specific networking events. Oscar Cantu, who heads the group’s efforts in this area, teamed up with the Morgan Stanley Supplier Diversity Program, which seeks to identify qualified minority-owned companies that could potentially become suppliers to Morgan Stanley. Cantu believed that by reaching out to the under-served MWBE community, he and his team could make a difference in the future of these companies. By putting this diversity plan in place, the group was able to position themselves as the team of choice for MWBEs financial needs, while expanding their marketing reach.

How is your company embracing diversity? Have you found new ways to reach out to alternative markets? If not, try asking your employees about their thoughts on ROI-Diversity Growth; you may be surprised by the creativity that’s already flourishing in your ranks.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/entrepreneursorganization/2013/12/04/3-diversity-strategies-to-help-companies-thrive/

“Based on comprehensive research of public schools in all 50 states…”

Workforce Locator™ contains national educational data (college degree/major, SAT/ACT scores) that workforce planners can rely on to create and implement recruitment programs and recruiting events such as job fairs. Nevertheless, access to the data alone does not equate to the expertise that may be required to create successful talent recruitment programs – especially, given the possibility of a limited talent supply.

And speaking of expertise, Eric Hanushek, a Paul and Jean Hanna Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University, is considered an expert on educational policy; in fact, Eric Hanushek makes court appearances as such an expert – and he has very strong opinions about this country’s educational deficiencies as indicated by this snippet from General Audience Articles on his Stanford dot edu page:

> Teaching Math to the Talented: Which Countries – and States – are Producing High-Achieving Students? Eric A. Hanushek, Paul E. Peterson, Ludger Woessmann. Education Next, Winter 2011, pp. 10-18.

> In Vancouver last winter, the United States proved its competitive spirit by winning more medals—gold, silver, and bronze—at the Winter Olympic Games than any other country, although the German member of our research team insists on pointing out that Canada and Germany both won more gold medals than the United States. But if there is some dispute about which Olympic medals to count, there is no question about American math performance: the United States does not deserve even a paper medal.

http://hanushek.stanford.edu/publications/general

FWIW Eric Hanushek is available for speaking engagements:

http://www.allamericanspeakers.com/author/Eric+Hanushek

The item I’m posting here today might be the next best thing to hiring Eric Hanushek as a speaker since it features an interview with him:

Solving America’s skilled labor shortage means rethinking school

As the most skilled workers in the United States are those getting ready to leave the workforce, the country must set its sights towards its youth.

By Elizabeth Palermo, BusinessNewsDaily
Mon, Dec 02 2013 at 2:19 PM

What’s the United States’ most valuable resource? It isn’t petroleum, natural gas or coal, but something infinitely more difficult to measure: the cognitive skills of its workers. Education experts agree that maintaining a highly skilled workforce is essential to the continued economic prosperity of any knowledge-based economy. But new research suggests that America’s stores of skilled labor may be running low.
 
A recent survey of workers in 23 industrialized countries — the International Survey of Adult Skills (ISAS) — found that only 9 percent of U.S. adults perform at the highest proficiency in math. In reading, one in eight U.S. workers performed at the highest level of proficiency.
 
Overall, American workers aged 16 to 65 were found to possess below average cognitive skills — like basic problem-solving, reading and math skills — when compared to workers in other countries.
 
And the bad news doesn’t end there. The results of the ISAS also indicate that many of the most highly skilled American workers — those who performed at the highest level of proficiency in reading and math — were also the oldest. In other words, the most skilled workers in the United States are those getting ready to leave the workforce.
 
But does this dearth of human capital mean that the United States will lose its place as leader of the global economy? Eric Hanushek — a Paul and Jean Hanna Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University and expert on educational policy — doesn’t necessarily think so. He believes that the imperiled nation can still achieve continued economic prosperity. All the United States has to do, Hanushek suggests, is overhaul its current system of public education, a task that has proven to be particularly difficult in recent decades.  
 
In his new book, “Endangering Prosperity: A Global View of the American School” (Brookings Institution Press, June 2013), Hanushek — along with Paul Peterson, director of the Program on Education Policy and Governance at Harvard University, and Ludger Woessmann, professor of economics at the University of Munich — explains why dramatic changes need to be made to the American school system in order to salvage the country’s economic future. Based on comprehensive research of public schools in all 50 states, Hanushek Peterson and Woessmann explain the potentially devastating effects of maintaining the status quo, as well as the possible benefits of raising the level of student achievement in the United States.
 
In an email interview with BusinessNewsDaily, Hanushek explained why public education is endangering the United States’ role as an economically competitive nation and why maintaining the skills of the American workforce is a surefire plan for ensuring prosperity.
 
BusinessNewsDaily: If nothing changes within the U.S. school system over the next several years, what do you predict will happen to the American economy in the decades to come?

Eric Hanushek: In the short run, nothing will look much different. We have a strong economy that will continue to recover from the recession. Over time, we will see countries with higher skills growing faster than the U.S., and they will begin to take over the jobs that are “knowledge intensive.” This will leave the U.S. less the technological leader in the world, and our economic supremacy will be eroded.
 
Please define human capital in the context of your book. How does human capital affect a nation’s economy?

Human capital is [represented] by the test scores of students —their performance on math and science achievement tests. The key point is using the actual skills of students instead of how long they sat in school. These skills in turn are related to the ability of countries to innovate — to invent new things and to find more efficient ways to produce things. The productivity improvements that come from having not only skilled scientists and engineers but also a skilled workforce lead to economic growth.
 
You argue that throwing money at American schools isn’t the right solution, so what do you believe is?

How money is spent is much more important than how much is spent. The key, according to research, is having effective teachers in the classrooms. One way to do this, following the model of Washington, D.C., is to pay effective teachers more and to fire ineffective teachers. But more than that, one needs an effective accountability system, parental choice of schools and more local decision-making.
 
According to your research, which job skills are U.S. schools failing to teach future workers?

The U.S. is falling behind in basic cognitive skills, measured by math and science. This means that all of our college and university programs are doing worse, because they have less-able students to work with. Thus, the basic skills affect the ability of all workers to be productive.
 
Which school subjects carry the most weight in terms of preparing today’s schoolchildren for their role in tomorrow’s workforce?
All of advanced education rests on having strong basic skills, in the areas of math and reading. These basic skills are key to being able to develop higher-order reasoning and the range of things generally lumped under “college-ready” skills.
 
You mention that the American economy is increasingly based on innovation and entrepreneurship rather than manufacturing. How does the American educational system need to change to account for this shift?

The American economic system rewards innovation and incentives. People who develop more skills are prepared to enter this economic system and to invent new things and to develop new businesses. But the skills they have heavily influence their ability to perform. The American education system needs to lift its game so that its graduates are competitive with those from other countries. Otherwise, we will see that Silicon Valley increasingly relies upon people schooled in other parts of the world.
 
What are some of the economic benefits that would accompany higher performance in American schools?

Both individuals and all of society benefit from higher skills. Individuals with higher skills on average earn considerably more than those with lower skills throughout their lives. But the nation will grow faster if the schools lift the level of skills to, say, those of Germany or of Canada. If we lifted our school performance to that of Germany, history suggests that our economy would grow faster, yielding trillions of dollars of added GDP. In fact, the present value of added GDP for getting our schools up to those in Germany would, by historical standards, be worth 10 times the total cost of the 2008 recession.
 
Canada would put useven farther ahead, reaching a present value of some five times our current GDP. Another way of looking at it is that getting our schools up to the level of Canadian schools would yield gains equal to a 20 percent higher paycheck for every worker in the U.S. over the next 80 years.
 
You argue that in the future, the United States will have to rely more on the skills of its workforce and less on other advantages, like low government regulation and free labor and product markets. Why is this?

The U.S. has taken advantage of its favorable economic institutions — low taxes, secure property taxes, free movement of labor, etc. — and we will continue to gain from these. But other nations have seen the value of these institutions and are copying them. Thus, we will see our economic growth fall behind these other countries that have better schools and that, in the future, will also have good economic institutions.
 
This story was originally written for BusinessNewsDaily and has been republished with permission here. Copyright 2013 BusinessNewsDaily, a TechMediaNetwork company.

http://www.mnn.com/money/green-workplace/stories/solving-americas-skilled-labor-shortage-means-rethinking-school

Challenge to DoL on disability hiring

Workforce Locator™ features U.S. Talent Acquisition data. Workforce Locator provides business intelligence with broad overviews that recruiters can narrow to determine their optimal geographic targets.

In one of my recent postings, I suggested organizations challenged by a goal to hire individuals with disabilities can consult Workforce Locator as a starting point to determine the appropriateness of work from home initiatives they may then create for new telecommuting opportunities – because such efforts could serve as a solution that may possibly comply with an “aspirational goal” that the OFCCP claims is not a quota for hiring disabled individuals – and telecommuters who happen to be disabled might be exceptionally productive in response to an opportunity to work from the comfort of their own homes.

From all that I’ve read, it still seems as if it will be quite the challenge for the construction industry to comply with a goal that will be a “rule” as of March 2014.

I’m not confident whether some of the concerns that have crossed my mind are truly valid, yet I can’t help wondering if construction companies who don’t consider the possibility of a telecommuting option would be making a mistake… I wonder if construction companies with sites and buildings that are in a rudimentary process of construction are currently required to have their own sites be fitted with ramps and wheelchair accessibility for the construction workers and/or site inspectors they employ?

I don’t know enough to understand what’s truly important. I realize the thought I expressed (without the benefit of prior research regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act and construction company site compliance) may be trivial in scope. Nevertheless, I tend to think those who happen to have a stake here, may want/need to be more aware of the challenges they’ll be subject to regarding this goal/rule, and any legal action they file should encompass a multitude of difficulties they’ll encounter in their efforts to be compliant…

Perhaps this paragraph from a Department of Labor Characteristics Summary is worth citing as case in point:

> The employment-population ratio for persons with a disability was 17.8 percent in 2012, unchanged from 2011. The ratio for those with no disability increased from 63.6 percent to 63.9 percent. The lower ratio among persons with a disability is due, in part, to the fact that a large share of the population of persons with a disability was age 65 and older, and older persons are less likely to be employed. However, across all age groups, persons with a disability were much less likely to be employed than those with no disability.

Here’s the WSJ report published online that inspired my posting today – it’s about a trade group “seeking to exempt construction companies from parts of a new rule requiring federal contractors to prove they are taking steps to hire minimum numbers of disabled workers.”

Trade Group Challenges Labor Department Rule on Disability Hiring

By

Melanie Trottman

Nov. 19, 2013

A construction industry trade group filed a lawsuit against the Labor Department Tuesday, seeking to exempt construction companies from parts of a new rule requiring federal contractors to prove they are taking steps to hire minimum numbers of disabled workers.

The Associated Builders and Contractors said it isn’t challenging the “legitimate affirmative action and nondiscrimination objectives” of the 40-year-old Rehabilitation Act, which requires most federal contractors to provide equal employment opportunities for qualified disabled workers. But the trade group’s lawsuit clearly challenges the Labor Department’s updated method of achieving those objectives.

The suit, filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, asks the court to exempt the construction industry from the data collection and analysis requirements of the rule, on the grounds that these requirements exceed the agency’s congressional authority, will be burdensome, wasteful and unprecedented, and “are likely to drive many construction contractors out of the market for government construction services.”

The group said that by subjecting the construction industry to these provisions, the Labor Department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs is ignoring long-standing differences between non-construction contractors and construction industry contractors. Construction industry contractors employ a uniquely fluid and temporary workforce, the lawsuit said, and have thus been previously exempted from similar forms of data collection and analyses that have otherwise been required for tracking minorities and women.

“You can’t collect data on the disabled the same way that you can with minorities and women,” said Maury Baskin, a Washington, D.C., lawyer with Littler Mendelson P.C. who represents the contractor group. “We have an issue with the way they are redefining affirmative action after 40 years, contrary to congressional intent,” Mr. Baskin said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal Tuesday.

The lawsuit is also challenging the Labor Department’s decision to set a target for the percentage of disabled workers employed by a federal contractor. The agency has said the 7% number is a goal, not a quota. But business groups have said they disagree and fear their members risk losing contracts if the members don’t meet the target.

“We’re challenging the arbitrary setting of a number,” Mr. Baskin said. “There is no magic number. There’s never been a magic number and yet there’s been affirmative action for 40 years,” he added.

While the trade group is asking the court to issue an order that makes it unlawful for the construction industry to be subjected to the Labor Department’s data collection and analyses provisions, “in reality, there’s no statutory authority for what they’ve done period,” Mr. Baskin said.

The trade group’s Vice President of Federal Affairs Geoff Burr said in a statement that the group and its members “support nondiscriminatory practices toward individuals with disabilities on government construction projects and we will remain committed to placing these individuals in good construction jobs.” The group, based in Arlington, Va., is a national association representing 22,000 members from more than 19,000 construction and industry-related firms.

A spokeswoman for the Labor Department declined to comment on the lawsuit, suggesting instead to refer to the agency’s Aug. 27 news release about the rule. In that release, the agency said it was updating the requirements under Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act as “an important step toward reducing barriers to real opportunities” for individuals with disabilities. The agency also said the updates would “make it easier for employers to tap into a large, diverse pool of qualified candidates.”

The final rule becomes effective March 24 of next year.

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303531204579208680365397264

Early Career Development – business leaders, educators focus on programs with emphasis on *earlier* career development

Published by me on October 19, 2013

> School, Industry, in sync for workforce development

> Workforce Locator™ can be described as a tool used by corporate Talent Acquisition teams to obtain Talent Acquisition data, but it’s more than that. For instance, with new positions that are being created in growing STEM fields, Educators/Curriculum Planners at State Universities and smaller Community Colleges can consult Workforce Locator to become more cognizant of SOC (standard occupation codes) and design corresponding programs that meet future work demands.

(snipped)

Published by me on August 6, 2013 (citing article by author Byron Pope):

> David Grimmer, president-Denso Mfg. Canada, says young people in North America aren’t interested in manufacturing because of an incorrect image of what the jobs entail, noting the auto industry has a “branding challenge” it must address.

> Grimmer says the industry should follow Japan’s lead, which targets students in junior high school by selling them on the opportunities the manufacturing industry offers and, in some cases, even putting them on the payroll.

> “A lot of people talk about training academies, and that’s great,” he says. “But let’s take it a step further and get young people interested in the idea and concept of technology and manufacturing.”

(snipped)

The article I’m referring to in my headline for today (Early Career Development – business leaders, educators focus on programs with emphasis on *earlier* career development) was published today, November 18, 2013, by author Winthrop Quigley for Albuquerque Journal Business – online in ABQJournal dot com:

These are the snippets from “Business leaders, educators hone future workforce” that caught my eye and influenced me to post the ABQJournal piece:

> Albuquerque charter schools ACE Leadership High School and Health Leadership High School invite the employers who will hire their graduates to help design school curricula, train and mentor students, then evaluate student progress.

> ACE stands for architecture, construction and engineering.

Here are those snippets in context:

Some business leaders worry that the workforce they need in the 21st century might not be available in high-school graduating classes.

Other business leaders are working to be sure high-school graduates know what they need to know to make it in their industries.

Albuquerque charter schools ACE Leadership High School and Health Leadership High School invite the employers who will hire their graduates to help design school curricula, train and mentor students, then evaluate student progress.

“We don’t assume we know what business professionals need,” said Tori Stephens-Shauger, ACE Leadership principal. “We are experts at teaching and learning. They are experts at their businesses.”

With help from businesses, the schools try to teach “what’s really happening and what industry wants 10 years from now,” she said.

ACE stands for architecture, construction and engineering. The school’s advisers include representatives of Associated General Contractors, Jaynes Corp. and JB Henderson Construction.

Stephens-Shauger said these experts tell educators that it is not enough to teach a student plumbing or carpentry.

“They told us, ‘We want communicators, innovators, collaborators and problem-solvers,’” she said.

Industry professionals know a construction project contains elements of accounting, marketing, politics, economics and public policy. So ACE Leadership, with industry help, designs projects for the students that incorporate thinking and problem-solving on all of those elements.

More skills needed

It isn’t enough any longer for health-care workers to know how to take blood-pressure readings and draw blood, said Michelle Melendez, director of workforce training for First Choice Community Healthcare.

“The only way to increase the health status of our communities is to be involved in and address the social determinants of health,” she said, such as poverty, education, employment, neighborhood conditions, culture and diet.

“I interview young people at least a couple of times a week. We were not getting the caliber of applicants for the entry-level jobs we needed.”

They didn’t understand the role First Choice is trying to play in improving community health, and they were missing what Melendez called “soft skills” – understanding, listening, communication – and even some basics like computer and reading skills.

When the New Mexico Center for School Leadership decided to organize Health Leadership High School, which began this school year, it invited dozens of industry representatives to help define what the school should do.

“They asked, ‘What is the ethos of the sector? What is so integral that the person needs to know and believe to be a contributing partner in the sector?’” Melendez said.

“Right now, people work in isolation,” said Gabriella Duran-Blakey, Health Leadership High School principal. “We need workers who can collaborate in all domains of health care. They need the ability to solve problems.”

The school’s advisers say students need to understand how the places we live, work and play and how city infrastructure and public policies affect health. They need to know how to work with clients of the health-care system. And they need to know how health-care systems work, from how work is organized to how medical bills are paid.

Real-life assessment

For example, Melendez said, if a doctor tells a patient that to help control diabetes he needs to eat more fruits and vegetables and take a long walk three times a week, is that even possible in the patient’s world?

Health Leadership students survey their own neighborhoods to answer that question. They might find loose dogs threaten pedestrians, crime keeps people locked up in their own homes, and air pollution makes breathing difficult.

They look at neighborhood maps and try to locate stores that sell whole wheat bread and fresh vegetables. They learn that the world where the patient lives might make it hard to exercise and eat properly. Then the students work together to explain their findings and identify solutions.

Students all want to be either a pediatrician or a veterinarian when they start the program, because those are the only health-care providers they have ever seen, Duran-Blakey said.

Health Leadership is showing students there are many ways to work in health care by taking classes to visit pharmacies, phlebotomists, members of Doctors Without Borders, the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center and zoo veterinarians. Health-care professionals are regular visitors to the school.

“Our projects have to come from what is happening now in the profession,” Stephens-Shauger said. “It can’t be a simulation or a contrived project.”

When the projects are finished, the business advisers evaluate the students at school.

“It’s arrogant for any educator to think that an educator alone or policymakers alone are good enough to decide if the student is good enough to get a high school diploma,” Stephens-Shauger said.

The evidence is that standardized tests that educators and policymakers have relied upon to judge student success haven’t worked, he said. Industry doesn’t hire the graduates because they aren’t prepared.

“The people who do the work know it best,” Stephens-Shauger said.

http://www.abqjournal.com/302966/biz/business-leaders-educators-hone-future-workforce.html

Hire Vets and Military Spouses

Workforce Locator™ enables population searches by SOC (standard occupation code). Armed with such info, Talent Acquisition Teams might use HCM assessment tools to identify candidates with soft skills for leadership and team building roles – but those teams should be quite particular about the accuracy of any assessment tool. If they’re Talent Acquisition Pros who really “get” Moneyball recruiting, they’d be open and questioning individuals, likely to have read Glen Cathey’s excellent piece on his blog, Boolean Black Belt:

September 26, 2011 | Big Data, Data Science, Moneyball Recruiting, Sourcing, Sourcing and Recruiting:

http://booleanblackbelt.com/2011/09/big-data-data-science-and-moneyball-recruiting/

The subject header for my posting today refers to a Fox News report on the goal of hiring vets and military spouses; I mentioned assessments because many HR professionals embrace the use of assessments. I’d lean toward mistrusting existing one size fits all assessments for individuals whose exposure to combat situations may have profoundly impacted the way they see civilian life. I don’t know this for certain, but I tend to think we don’t have reliable analytics for that (yet). However, I’d personally be up for/more trusting of integrating empathetical observations to the “data science” mission of matching returning vets and military spouses to civilian opportunities. Anyway, those are my thoughts after reading these snippets from the Fox News item about SBUX and other companies hiring vets:

> Gates said veterans “bring with them extraordinary skills” including logistics, supply chain management and electronics, as well as leadership experience.

> He said that matching these military skills to equivalent jobs in the civilian work place “does require a little bit of effort” but that “it can be done.”

Here’s the full article:

Starbucks to Hire 10,000 Vets and Military Spouses

Posted on: 12:01 pm, November 6, 2013, by CNNwire, updated on: 12:03pm, November 6, 2013

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Starbucks is the latest big company to announce an aggressive push to hire veterans returning to the civilian work force.

The Seattle-based coffee chain said on Wednesday that it will hire 10,000 veterans and military spouses over the next five years.

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates was appointed to Starbucks’ board of directors last year. He told CNN’s Poppy Harlow, “We know that many men and women who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan have had a difficult time finding career-fulfilling kinds of positions. Over the next five years another million men and women will come out of the military and enter civilian life.”

Starbucks chief executive Howard Schultz said his company also plans to open five stores on or near military bases that will share their profits with the local communities. And, he added, “as a small gesture,” all vets and their spouses will get a free tall brewed coffee on Veteran’s Day.

Other companies have launched ambitious plans to hire veterans, including UPS, JPMorgan and Walmart. Walmart, the world’s biggest retailer, has said that it expects to hire 100,000 veterans by 2018.

Veterans of the wars in Iraq and in Afghanistan have a higher rate of unemployment than the general population. The unemployment rate for the general population was 7.2% in September, according to the most recent government figures available, compared to 10.1% for veterans who have served since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Veterans are often lauded for their courage under fire and valuable combat experience. But many find it hard to translate their combat infantry experience into the civilian job market.

“Being the best mortar man in the best battalion in the world doesn’t mean a whole lot when you come out,” said Sean Parnell, veteran of the Afghan war and author of “Outlaw Platoon,” in an interview with CNNMoney last year.

Nonetheless, the unemployment rate for veterans has been declining in the last couple years.

Gates said veterans “bring with them extraordinary skills” including logistics, supply chain management and electronics, as well as leadership experience.

He said that matching these military skills to equivalent jobs in the civilian work place “does require a little bit of effort” but that “it can be done.”

The federal government provides a $9,600 tax credit to companies that hire veterans, but that program is slated to expire at the end of the year.

By Aaron Smith

– CNN’s Poppy Harlow contributed to this story.

http://fox8.com/2013/11/06/starbucks-to-hire-10000-vets-and-military-spouses/

Legal Workforce Act

Workforce Locator™ enables searches for projected data. No matter how intelligent projected data may seem, workforce planners must apply their own industry knowledge of issues such as pending legislation and consider each workforce planning decision for possible unintended affect. The bottom line is that workforce planning requires analytical decision making and any decision making will be flawed if it’s dependent on limited and static information.

I was thinking of unintended affect and the HealthCare dot gov roll out; how anticipated change can “break bad” when I remembered my September posting (to this blog) about the OFCCP’s proposed disability hiring “goal”. Recalling what I discovered and thinking about about that goal as a rule – considering unintended consequences that may occur, had me wondering about other employment laws that have been not yet been implemented and led me to find “The True Cost of the Legal Workforce Act” by Marielena Hincapié, Executive director, National Immigration Law Center. Ms. Hincapié wrote this for HuffPost Politics. The majority of readers who commented questioned her assertions and did not concur with the views she expressed. Anyone interested in the text I’ve copied here should also scroll down to the URL (pasted directly below as well) and note those comments.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marielena-hincapie/the-true-cost-of-the-lega_b_4171615.html

Here’s the article:

The True Cost of the Legal Workforce Act

Posted: 10/28/2013

Given that the recent forced partial shutdown of the federal government has plunged the approval rating for Congress to nearly an all-time low, it’s hard to imagine that some representatives are orchestrating yet another political folly. But immigration reform opponents are poised to do just that.

Representatives determined to block commonsense immigration reform have stalled consideration of a practical approach to reform and instead are pushing for enforcement-only “solutions,” such as the Legal Workforce Act (H.R. 1772), which would require every employer in the U.S. to use E-Verify, the federal government’s flawed electronic employment eligibility verification system, within two years.

In a letter sent to leaders of the House of Representatives last week, a coalition of more than 100 organizations warns that the livelihood of all workers, including U.S. citizens, will be threatened if the House proceeds with the bill. Their concern is well-founded.

If the Legal Workforce Act is enacted, between 150,000 and 500,000 U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, and work-authorized noncitizens are likely to lose their jobs if they do not contact the appropriate government agency and quickly correct an error that causes E-Verify to flag them as not work-authorized.

The process for correcting errors can be complex and often requires the worker to visit a Social Security Administration (SSA) office. In one instance, a former U.S. Navy captain with high security clearance was deemed ineligible to be employed in the U.S. because of such an error. It took nearly two months of work by himself, his wife, and an attorney to resolve the error. For low-wage workers affected by such errors, wading through the red tape required to fix them will be even more burdensome. They will likely be forced to take unpaid time off of work, arrange for transportation and childcare, or have to drive long distances just to find the SSA office where the error can be corrected, and then it’s likely they’ll have to stand in line or wait for hours to be seen by an SSA worker. But such errors are not the only threat that E-Verify poses.

Indeed, a recent report by my organization, the National Immigration Law Center, examines recent data from a government-commissioned study and details the impact of E-Verify’s use, noting that using E-Verify facilitates discrimination and makes all workers more vulnerable.

In addition to the headaches that requiring all employers in the U.S. to use E-Verify would cause for workers, it would also hurt our nation’s economic bottom line. Without a fully legalized workforce, employers will resort to hiring workers off the books and outside the tax system, robbing the federal and state governments of $17.3 billion in tax revenues. The coalition that opposes mandating all employers to use E-Verify notes that it “is not a silver bullet to catch unauthorized workers; instead mandating its use will only push employers and workers further into the underground economy, as paying workers cash or misclassifying the workers is the simplest way of not complying with the bill’s mandate.”

Before this legislation is rushed to the House floor, our representatives should take a much closer look at E-Verify’s flaws. Each error is a barrier that stands between a real person and her basic ability to work. Instead of pushing forward “solutions” such as the Legal Workforce Act, Congress should pass commonsense immigration reform that supports our country’s economic vitality and ensures that no citizen or authorized immigrant loses his ability to work due to an E-Verify error.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marielena-hincapie/the-true-cost-of-the-lega_b_4171615.html

Army’s team building cyber workforce mission

Workforce Locator™ contains Talent Acquisition data that helps organizations with rightsizing (and downsizing) goals determine the right mix for consultants, on site full-time staffing, and mobile workers.

This is a report about the Army’s goal for a cyber workforce with the right mix of soldiers, civilians and contractors.

IMO Lt. Gen. Edward Cardon, Army Cyber Command’s commander, who’s quoted in this piece, seems truly smart and credible but I have to wonder if he’ll get the kind of cooperation needed…

Reading between the lines in these phrases strikes me as a little worrisome – or maybe I’m just projecting negative connotations associated with trying to get things done right in a bureaucracy:

> But he said the Army needs to be willing to adapt those plans.

> “I talk to our senior officials all the time about reexamining the force

Here’s the article:

Monday – 10/28/2013, 4:10am EDT

By Jared Serbu

Army ponders proper shape, size of cyber workforce

As the Army builds up a force to operate in its newest warfighting domain — cyber — it’s wrestling through a lot of tough questions. How big should the cyber force be? What’s the right mix of soldiers, civilians and contractors? And how does DoD need to change its legacy personnel systems to bring the best possible talent on board?

The military as a whole is in the process of building 133 cyber mission teams with responsibilities for offensive cyber operations, defensive cyber operations and operating DoD’s own networks. The Army will contribute 41 teams to that joint effort out of a cadre of soldiers it’s building under the auspices of Army Cyber Command, which formally stood up just three years ago.

But Lt. Gen. Edward Cardon, Army Cyber Command’s commander, said for now, it’s impossible to tell whether that force is too big or too small.

“Let’s get demonstrated capability out there, and then we’re going to find out things we know and don’t know and we can adapt our organizational structure,” he said. “I’m arguing within the Army that the entire cyber force should be re-looked at about once every two years. I think we’re on the inflection point of some pretty amazing technologies coming into the operational sphere. Just with cloud computing and the explosion of mobile devices, the rapid development on supervisory control and data acquisition systems. The impact of Mr. [Edward] Snowden and what’s that done to our community in terms of the insider threat. When you start putting all these things together and you try and predict out a couple years from now what size force we need, I’m not sure you can do that. What I do know is we gotta get the best people possible.”

Cardon said it’s taken a few years to get the Army’s initial set of cyber operators trained and ready, and he’s comfortable with the service’s current plans to build up its cyber force, which cover the time period up to 2017. But he said the Army needs to be willing to adapt those plans.

“I talk to our senior officials all the time about reexamining the force, having an acquisition strategy that operates inside a two-year cycle, and our current Army processes to manage capabilities in this domain, including human talent, aren’t capable of keeping up with this kind of speed,” he said. “I think we’re starting to see some movement in the area of institutional adaptation. There’s recognition of this.”

Easier path for reservists

One particular question surrounds the Army’s use of members of the National Guard and Reserve to perform cyber missions. Many of those members work in IT fields in their civilian jobs, and the military knows they’re a huge potential source of untapped talent for cyber missions. But Cardon said the elite cyber teams the Army’s trying to build aren’t particularly well-suited for part-time work.

“The level of training that some of these operators get requires continuous work on the network,” he said. “They complain about going away to the warrior leader course for four weeks, because things really evolve in four weeks and they feel very behind. So a 52-day training model is not going to work for this.”

Instead, Cardon said he’d like to see Army hiring systems changed so that those people can be brought on board as full-time Army civilians.

“There is some discussion on lateral entry, and how we would do that,” he said. “Are the Army civilian hiring processes good enough to get the super users out there? Probably not. We need a little different structure. And when I asked for a different structure, it’s like, ‘Well, we don’t have the legislative authority for that.’ OK, let’s ask. This is the kind of innovation we need. It’s not just technical innovations inside the cyber domain, it’s the institutional domain to build it.”

For active duty soldiers, Army cyber leaders say they are making progress toward training and retaining a skilled cyber workforce. Two years ago, the Army created its first occupational field for cyber specialists, but it’s still too early to tell whether those soldiers will be lured away to more lucrative jobs in private industry before the Army’s substantial investment in their training pays off.

Can’t punish cyber warriors

Sergeant Maj. Rodney Harris, the senior enlisted adviser at Army Cyber Command, said he thinks many of his soldiers will take a comparatively smaller paycheck because the missions they perform in the military simply don’t exist in the commercial world. But he sees another problem — the current Army personnel system is set up to punish soldiers for specializing in network warfare and sticking with it.

“We have to help the Army understand that we have to look at cyber soldiers a little bit differently,” he said in an interview. “The Army has some programs that say if you stay in the same place for four to five years and you don’t get promoted, you’re probably going to be looked at for promotion stagnation and maybe get separated from the Army. And initially, that’s what’s happened. We’ve thrown some of our soldiers out because we require them to be in cyber for five to 10 years in order to be really effective. It’s exactly the opposite of what the Army thinks is right, but in terms of a cyber soldier, it’s 100 percent right. But the Army staff knows that now. Our resources command is looking really hard to make sure we take care of our cyber soldiers and the investment we’ve put in them.”

When it comes to recruiting the cyber workforce, Army leaders are quick to point out that much of the buildup that’s happened so far has come from within the Army, and many of the members were doing something completely different before they became cyber warriors.

“We’ve also used a number of different assessment models for initial entry,” said Col. Jennifer Buckner, commander of the 780th military intelligence brigade, the Army’s first large-scale unit dedicated to cyber. “We are agnostic in terms of (military occupational specialty) and rank, and those models have proven to be a pretty good start. But we’ve found that it’s as much art as it is science, and we’ve proven that we can take good people with no formal intelligence training, technical education or experience, and train them for cyber work. They can be really great in this domain, because if they are agile and adaptive leaders, they understand operating in a complex environment.”

http://www.federalnewsradio.com/?nid=398&sid=3492533&pid=0&page=1

http://www.federalnewsradio.com/?nid=398&sid=3492533&pid=0&page=2

Working-age Population

Workforce Locator™ supports informed business decision making with projected retirement data. Organizations with geographical targets to explore for expansion, diversity, and other workforce goals, can benefit from a raised awareness of working-age population data.

The article I’m posting today cites concern associated with aging populations in developed markets. Citi analysts Nathan Sheets and Robert Sockin are quoted for their positive projections regarding workforce growth in Africa as well as correlating working-age population with slowing growth in emerging markets.

See these snippets:

> It’s clear that the percentage of a country that is actually at work impacts GDP

> They give the example of Japan, whose working-age population share peaked just before its two decades of economic troubles began. “We do not mean to suggest that demographic stresses alone are sufficient to explain Japan’s twenty-year sclerosis, but the correlations are striking and indicate that demographics may have played a meaningful role,” they write.

Here is the article – visit the URL to find supporting graphics:

http://www.valuewalk.com/2013/10/workforce-set-to-grow-in-africa/

Workforce Set To Grow In Africa As It Declines Everywhere Else

by Michael IdeOctober 22, 2013

Aging populations in developed markets has been a concern for some time, but population growth is also slowing in some emerging markets and working-age population shares are falling everywhere but Africa. “We see Africa’s voice in global deliberations—and the role of African financial markets—as likely to be increasingly important,” write Citi analysts Nathan Sheets and Robert Sockin. Its share of the global population increases from 15 percent to 20 percent, and the relative size of its workforce rises while dropping everywhere else.

It’s clear that the percentage of a country that is actually at work impacts GDP, but Sheets and Sockin think this effect may be bigger than some people appreciate. They give the example of Japan, whose working-age population share peaked just before its two decades of economic troubles began. “We do not mean to suggest that demographic stresses alone are sufficient to explain Japan’s twenty-year sclerosis, but the correlations are striking and indicate that demographics may have played a meaningful role,” they write. They expect similar trends to threaten GDP growth in China, which they call an “under-appreciated global risk.”

Developed markets see workforce percentages plummet

The popular image of emerging markets with booming, young populations may cease to be true in the next few years. As developed markets see workforce percentages plummet, they will flatten out for emerging markets overall. Specifically, they will continue to rise in Africa, and either decrease or flatten out in Latin America and emerging Asia. China has demographics similar to developed nations

Working-age population is a strong advantage

Working-age population isn’t a stand in for GDP growth (and Sheets and Sockin don’t claim that it is), but it is a strong advantage that African markets will have over other regions. Governments that can translate a growing workforce into growing productivity, something that will vary widely from country to country, will see their countries become some of the most attractive investment opportunities around.

These trends will also increase the incentives for immigration from Africa to developed markets as the first becomes hungry for labor and the second is unable to provide enough opportunity to meet the needs of its still rapidly growing population.

http://www.valuewalk.com/2013/10/workforce-set-to-grow-in-africa/

Plastics!

Workforce Locator™ contains labor market data that can influence plans for new production facilities. I’m making just this broad statement as it relates to the item I read in Ad Age about P&G and its Imflux subsidiary; it all strikes me as pretty exciting stuff – which is why I’m sacrificing an opportunity to say anything more specific about Workforce Locator right now. Instead, I’m letting myself be carried away picturing Dustin Hoffman’s character Benjamin from the Graduate as Head of P&G’s FutureWorks skunkworks division:

Check this out first – it’s a 58 second clip from the 1967 film:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSxihhBzCjk

Now read the article:

P&G Plunges Into Plastics With New-Age Material That Could Revolutionize Its Packaging

Process to Create Thinner, Cheaper and Greener Products Has Potential to Become a B-to-B Goldmine

Jack Neff
Published: October 21, 2013

Procter & Gamble is plotting a revolution in packaged goods, but not with a new product. Rather, the Cincinnati-based marketer has developed a process to make new-age plastic that’s thinner, cheaper and greener than the current industry standard.

Not only is P&G planning to use the material for its own products, its patent applications also indicate the company may have a business-to-business goldmine if it can sell it to other marketers from non-competitive package-goods players to automotive giants.

According to a person familiar with the matter, former P&G Chairman-CEO Bob McDonald said the company’s new plastics technology could save P&G alone $1 billion a year by using less plastic and different raw materials. Mr. McDonald likened the technology to some of the company’s most transformative, this person said, including disposable diapers and two-in-one shampoos. While Mr. McDonald stepped down in May, activity around the plastics technology has stepped up in recent weeks under his predecessor-turned-successor A.G. Lafley. (Mr. McDonald was not available for comment.)

P&G declined to comment, citing a quiet period in advance of its Oct. 25 earnings release.

The technology, which is being developed by P&G’s wholly-owned Imflux subsidiary, would be welcome news for a company that spawned such brands as Tide, Pampers and Swiffer but has been under growing scrutiny from investors over the lack of big hits or major new brands in more than a decade.

Tax credits
P&G recently got Ohio tax credits of up to $2.6 million for an Imflux plant that will employ up to 221 people north of Cincinnati; the company also has ramped up hiring efforts in recent weeks, posting ads seeking a plant superintendent, VP of global manufacturing and a recruiter to hire more people.

While local-press reports say it will be a plastic-processing plant, Imflux job listings indicate it will make molds for the proprietary P&G “high-velocity injection molding” system to be deployed in other plants, including those of other companies. P&G’s packaging plants generally are run by outside suppliers and located close to its production facilities, with the nearest big P&G factory in Lima, Ohio, about 100 miles away.

The plant and hiring suggest P&G is putting far more stock in this technology than it has in other recent products spawned by its corporate new-ventures programs, said Deutsche Bank analyst William Schmitz. One of those, Bella and Birch, was a paint that went on walls like wallpaper. P&G once had high hopes for it as a potential billion-dollar brand, according to people familiar with the matter, but quietly folded the business in 2007 after a brief test in St. Louis. After forays into everything from car-wash and dry-cleaner franchising to concierge-physician services, P&G last year said it planned to focus innovation efforts closer to its core.

Beyond packaging, CPG
P&G’s packaging business alone is huge. Plasticpak, one of P&G’s largest suppliers, has $2.4 billion in annual sales. The last time Plasticpak issued a public 10-K report with the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2004, P&G made up 27% of its then-$1 billion in sales.

P&G’s patent applications say its manufacturing system can make packages with material as much as 75% thinner than existing ones. The technology also makes it easier to use recycled resins or plant-based alternatives to petrochemicals and will help P&G make packages more recyclable because it allows caps and closures to be made from the same material as the rest of the package.

But the patent applications also outline how the Imflux technology can be applied to products themselves, including toothbrushes, mascara brushes and tampon applicators, allowing them to be made thinner or, in the case of brushes, in a single piece rather than by joining bristles to handles.

The applications cover possibilities well beyond CPG — including medical devices, toys and parts for the “transportation” industry. Automakers are already among the biggest users of injection-molded plastics and always on the lookout for ways to take weight out of vehicles to meet rising federal fuel-economy targets.

Focus on sales
Imflux’s hires and job listings suggest a major focus on selling the technology outside P&G. The unit’s CEO is Nathan Estruth, a longtime executive in P&G corporate new ventures and former VP of its FutureWorks skunkworks division. In his 22-year career at P&G, he has led everything from the 1999 launch of online beauty mass-customization retailer Reflect.com to the franchising of Mr. Clean Car Washes and Tide Dry Cleaners.

Mr. Estruth has spent the past three years working on the Imflux project, according to the company’s website, and opted to leave his role overseeing FutureWorks, which, according to people familiar with the matter, has been folded into P&G’s broader new-business-creation efforts headed by Group President Charles Pierce, who also oversees oral care.

As his chief marketer — or customer-care leader — Mr. Estruth selected Jared Kline, who’s formerly worked on P&G’s Tremor and Vocalpoint word-of-mouth marketing businesses, which also are sold for use to outside marketers.

http://adage.com/article/news/p-g-plunges-plastics-age-material/244853/?utm_source=daily_email&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_campaign=adage&ttl=1382956835

School, Industry, in sync for workforce development

Workforce Locator™ can be described as a tool used by corporate Talent Acquisition teams to obtain Talent Acquisition data, but it’s more than that. For instance, with new positions that are being created in growing STEM fields, Educators/Curriculum Planners at State Universities and smaller Community Colleges can consult Workforce Locator to become more cognizant of SOC (standard occupation codes) and design corresponding programs that meet future work demands.

My posting goal for today was to find an article that would help to highlight the point that Workforce Locator can be used by individuals such as Economic Developers who are not as closely focused on Talent Acquisition as those who work for corporations, and I was influenced to suggest Workforce Locator can help Educators when I read this report (actually published today) which highlights the University of North Dakota’s (UND) petroleum engineering program:

Published October 19, 2013, 12:00 AM

Tapping a well of talent: Employers look to UND for growing workforce

GRAND FORKS — Joel Brown was having somewhat of a tough time getting employers to look at his resume.

By: John Hageman, Forum News Service

GRAND FORKS — Joel Brown was having somewhat of a tough time getting employers to look at his resume.

Brown, a Watford City native, was one of the first four graduates of the University of North Dakota’s petroleum engineering program this spring after the program was launched in 2010.

“Each company has their different schools that they like to recruit from,” Brown said. “And when I graduated, there wasn’t a single company that was used to recruiting from UND.”

But today, oil and gas companies are showing more interest in the 3-year-old department as a talent pool for future employees. And the 200 or so students who are currently enrolled there are joining a workforce that is projected to grow by 17 percent by 2020.

That growth is partially fueled by increased oil and gas production in the Oil Patch, and the need for people with the technical expertise to know how to extract the energy resources. North Dakota produced a record 911,000 barrels of oil per day in August.

“I think some of the industry was aware of UND … because we were encouraging them to start the program when this Bakken play started,” said Terry Kovacevich, regional vice president in the Marathon Oil Co. office in Dickinson. “But I think more and more of industry is aware.”

Companies take interest

On a recent rainy day, Nick Lentz lectured 15 students on methods of measuring rock porosity.

Before Lentz begins class, he dons a clip-on microphone that records his lecture for online students. Some of them already are working in the field but eventually want to get a better job that requires more technical knowledge, said Lentz, an assistant professor in the department.

“And online courses give them the ability to work their regular job and make progress toward their degree,” he said.

Just behind the students’ shoulders in the Upson Hall classroom was the Whiting Petroleum Corp. logo. The Denver-based developer of oil and natural gas donated money that the department ultimately used for the technology that makes online courses possible.

Industry representatives often stop by classrooms to give talks and potentially recruit students, Lentz said. Some have gone on to work for those companies full time or as interns over the summer.

“Naturally, if you get someone that works well, you’re going to keep going to that same pool to grab people out of,” Lentz said.

Industry representatives also visit with the department twice a year, said department Chairman Steve Benson, to provide feedback on curriculum and preparing students to join the workforce. Kovacevich is the chairman of that industry advisory committee.

“In a very short timeframe, they’ve had tremendous growth,” Kovacevich said. “And so that growth allows companies to recruit for permanent jobs and summer internship programs.”

Enrollment growth

Benson doesn’t know how large the petroleum engineering department will become, but he doesn’t expect enrollment to stop growing now.

And the industry’s workforce projections back up that expectation. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 30,200 petroleum engineering jobs nationwide in 2010, a number that is expected to grow to 35,300 by 2020.

The department is preparing for growth by moving into a larger home in the $10 million Collaborative Energy Complex, which will be located between Upson Hall I and the Harold Hamm School of School of Geology and Geological Engineering in Leonard Hall. UND is in the fundraising stage of that project.

Most of UND’s petroleum engineering students don’t come far to get their degree. Benson said 42 percent are from North Dakota and 26 percent are from Minnesota.

Jake Fladeland, one of the program’s first four graduates, said companies in western North Dakota are looking to attract local talent.

“They want people that are going to want to stay in North Dakota,” he said. “They have a big turnover problem right now.”

Fladeland is likely to stay in the state for a while. He worked at Patterson UTI Drilling Co. as a rig hand out of high school, but he said it would have taken him 20 years to work his way up before he could get the job at EOG Resources in Stanley that he has today.

Brown, who now works for MBI Oil & Gas as a reservoir engineer in Denver, said his grandfather dropped out of school when he was 16 to work in the oil fields of North Dakota. Later, he started his own successful company that helps oil companies retrieve things that fall down an oil well.

“But he would never be a petroleum engineer,” Brown said. “In order to start out in this position … you need a degree in petroleum engineering or another engineering degree that you can apply, at least.”

http://www.thedickinsonpress.com/event/article/id/73101/