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Month: October, 2013

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.

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.


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.”

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:

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.


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:

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 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.

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.”

more War for Talent stuff

Workforce Locator™ contains categorized location data Talent Acquisition Pros can use to spot budding tech hubs. Projecting which tech hub or school can have the potential to sprout 10x engineers may be quite the subjective task (as the 10x concept itself is subjective) yet looking/thinking elsewhere (other than Silicon Valley) seems like a logical pipeline building strategy – especially considering “a shortage of top engineering talent amid an explosion of venture capital-backed start-ups is inflating paychecks” and “stories abound about the lengths to which employers will go to attract engineering talent”. Those claims about Silicon Valley were made by the author of the article I’m posting here today.

There’s an image in this Reuters report; the caption reads:

> A pillow is placed on a couch at Twitter headquarters in San Francisco, California October 4, 2013

The words embroidered on that pillow are “Home Tweet Home”.

Here’s the article:

Twitter pays engineer $10 mln as Silicon Valley tussles for talent

Reuters – Mon, Oct 14, 2013 9:35 AM EDT

By Sarah McBride

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct 14 (Reuters) – Among Twitter Inc’s highest-paid executives, Christopher Fry’s name stands out.

The senior vice president of engineering raked in $10.3 million last year, just behind Twitter Chief Executive Dick Costolo’s $11.5 million, according to Twitter’s IPO documents. That is more than the paychecks of executives such as Chief Technology Officer Adam Messinger, Chief Financial Officer Mike Gupta and Chief Operating Officer Ali Rowghani.

Welcome to Silicon Valley, where a shortage of top engineering talent amid an explosion of venture capital-backed start-ups is inflating paychecks.

“The number of A-players in Silicon Valley hasn’t grown,” said Iain Grant, a recruiter at Riviera Partners, which specializes in placing engineers at venture-capital backed start-ups. “But the demand for them has gone through the roof.”

Stories abound about the lengths to which employers will go to attract engineering talent – in addition to the free cafeterias, laundry services and shuttle buses that the Googles and Facebooks of the world are already famous for.

One start-up offered a coveted engineer a year’s lease on a Tesla sedan, which costs in the neighborhood of $1,000 a month, said venture capitalist Venky Ganesan. He declined to identify the company, which his firm has invested in.

At Hotel Tonight, which offers a mobile app for last-minute hotel bookings, CEO Sam Shank described staging the office to appear extra lively for a prospective hire. He roped in two employees for a game of ping-pong and positioned another group right by the bar.

It worked: the recruit signed on and built a key piece of the company’s software.

In Fry’s case, his compensation came mostly in the form of stock awards, valued last year at $10.1 million, according to Twitter’s IPO documents registered with securities regulators. He drew a salary of $145,513 and a bonus of $100,000.

Some might call that underpaid. Facebook Inc’s VP of engineering, Mike Schroepfer, took in $24.4 million in stock awards the year before the social network’s 2012 initial public offering. He also drew a salary of $270,833 and a bonus of $140,344. But Facebook that year posted revenue of $3.71 billion, 10 times more than Twitter’s $317 million.

Grant said more than three-quarters of candidates who took VP of engineering roles at his client companies over the last two years drew total cash compensation in excess of $250,000. Many also received equity grants totaling 1 to 2 percent of the company, the recruiter added.


The hot demand for engineers is driven in part by a growing number of start-ups, venture capitalists say. Some 242 Bay Area companies received early-stage funding – known as a seed round – in the first half of this year, according to consultancy CB Insights. That is more than the number for all of 2010.

Another factor is the increasing complexity of technology. Many in Silicon Valley like to discuss the lore of the “10x” engineer, who is a person so talented that he or she does the work of 10 merely competent engineers.

“Having 10x engineers at the top is the only way to recruit other 10x engineers,” said Aileen Lee, founder of Cowboy Ventures, an early-stage venture fund.

Former colleagues said Fry, who joined Twitter earlier this year, fits the bill. The messaging service poached him from software giant Inc, where Fry had worked in various positions since 2005, rising from engineering manager in the Web Services team to senior VP of development.

Perhaps most attractive to Twitter is the fact that Fry joined Salesforce when it was also a 6-year-old company with big ambitions of taking on the software establishment. At that time, Salesforce’s product development needed help, Fry has said in previous interviews. He whipped them into shape, helping build the company into one of the hottest enterprise-software providers in the industry today.

Twitter has had its share of technical problems, such as the notorious “fail whale” that regularly appeared on screens during outages. That made Fry’s experience all the more valuable.

“All it takes is a couple of bad incidents where Twitter is down, or there’s a security breach. That could be the end of the company,” said Chuck Ganapathi, an entrepreneur who previously worked with Fry at Salesforce, where he was senior vice president for products.

“You need somebody of this caliber to run it.”

Neither Twitter nor Fry responded to requests for comment.

Today, even entry-level engineers can draw lucrative salaries in the Valley. Google Inc offered $150,000 in annual wages plus $250,000 in restricted stock options to snag a recent PhD graduate who had been considering a job at Apple Inc , according to a person familiar with the situation.

The average software engineer commands a salary of $100,049 in Silicon Valley, according to Dice, a technology-recruitment service. That is down from $113,488 last year, due to an increase in hiring of less experienced engineers, said a Dice spokeswoman.

By comparison, the average salary for all professions in San Francisco’s Bay Area is $66,070, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Other jobs in the area can command higher wages – physicians make $133,530, a lawyer about $174,440 and a civil engineer makes $107,440 – but the tech industry often offers restricted stock or options on top of salaries.

Even for plain-vanilla engineers, competition is intense, said Dice CEO Mike Durney, leading companies to go to great lengths to attract and hold onto the right people.

Accommodation-search service ApartmentList rents a drum studio on an ongoing basis to help retain a key engineer, said CEO John Kobs.

In one of the better-known examples, Google famously allowed engineers to devote 20 percent of their time on personal projects. It is worth it, many recruiters and industry executives say.

Many of the most talented engineers bring more than programming chops, promoting the sort of career diversity prized in Silicon Valley.

Take Fry, who earned a PhD in cognitive science from the University of California at San Diego in 1998. He is a surfer, a sailor and a snowboarder, according to his personal website.

In a fitting twist for Twitter, known for its blue bird mascot, Fry also has avian expertise. His postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, Berkeley, focused on the auditory cortex of zebra finches.

1,800 jobs coming to a new site

Workforce Locator™ is an aid to specialists who evaluate criteria for site selection. While there are many factors to consider such as highway accessibility, state and local incentives, construction costs, etc., Workforce Locator returns data on the availability of skilled labor and that may be data most vital of all for site selection decisions.

Here are two articles regarding Hankook Tire, a South Korean company’s very recent site selection decision regarding Tennessee, South Carolina, and Georgia. Although there were several favorable factors that influenced the choice, one thing in particular that struck me as worth noting  was the mention of another company’s 2011 layoff because I was imagining Hankook Tire’s planners projecting the possibility they  may become the beneficiary of that circumstance…

Hankook Tire plant to bring 1,800 jobs to Tenn.

Jimmy Settle, The (Clarksville, Tenn.) Leaf-Chronicle 12:13 p.m. EDT October 14, 2013

South Korea company plans $800 million facility; will be city’s largest private employer.

CLARKSVILLE, TENN. — State officials confirmed Monday that South Korean Hankook Tire Co. will indeed build its first U.S. manufacturing facility in Clarksville, creating nearly 2,000 direct jobs.

The announcement by Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and other officials put to rest growing speculation that Hankook was coming to town. The company is expected to break ground on the new plant by the end of 2014 and begin tire production by 2016.

Hankook will invest over $800 million for the new state-of-the-art plant, its first in the United States. The new plant will provide additional capacity for Hankook’s growing business in the U.S. market and create approximately 1,800 full-time jobs for the region.

“This new facility will help Hankook Tire accomplish our plan to establish a production base in all major markets,” said Mr. Seung Hwa Suh, Vice Chairman and CEO of Hankook Tire. “We will be able to provide our customers, consumers and car makers with high quality tires and industry leading service to meet the demands of the American market.”

According to Haslam, state and local officials first started talking with the company about 18 months ago. The governor thanked the company, and the state and local partnership for making it happen.

Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Haggerty said that Hankook’s choice of Clarksvile site for its first North American facility is going to be a shot heard around the world

“These 1,800 jobs will make a real difference for Tennessee, and for this area,” Haggerty said.

Clarksville Mayor Kim Millan said, “With vision and insight, Hankook Tire is committed to being a leading local company.” She also said that in Clarksville-Montgomery County, Hankook Tire would find the most dedicated, talented workforce anywhere.

McMillan credited Industrial Board Executive Director Mike Evans and his team at the EDC for their roles in the Hankook announcement.

Once production begins, Hankook will become the city’s largest private employer.

The Clarksville location is ideal for Hankook, offering an extensive transportation network including rail, plane and interstate highway networks as well as regional access to the Mississippi River inland waterway.

This announcement puts Hankook Tire one step closer to its vision of being a leading global tire company providing customers with top-tier products and service.

Nissan, General Motors and Volkswagen have assembly plants in Tennessee, and more than 900 further automotive sector companies are active in the state.

Clarksville is also home to a steel cord plant for Japanese tire maker Bridgestone, which has its Americas headquarters in Nashville.

Not all the news has been good for the tire industry in Tennessee in recent years. Goodyear in 2011 shut its plant about 100 miles to the west in Union City, causing 1,800 workers to lose their jobs.

Contributing: The Associated Press

Tiremaker passes on South Carolina, picks Tennessee for 1,800-worker plant

John McDermott
Posted: Monday, October 14, 2013 12:32 p.m.

A South Korean tiremaker has picked Tennessee over South Carolina and Georgia for an $800 million factory that will create 1,800 jobs.

Hankook said today it will build its first North American plant in Clarksville, which is about 30 miles northwest of Nashville. Production is scheduled to begin in 2016.

Seung Hwa Suh, vice chairman and CEO, called the 1.5 million-square-foot U.S. plant “the next natural phase for our continued growth.” He said the decision to build n Tennessee was the result of a year of discussions with state officials.

He cited the central location and existing auto industry as major factors. Nissan, General Motors and Volkswagen all have assembly plants in the Volunteer State.

Also, Clarksville is home to a steel cord plant for Japanese tire maker Bridgestone, which has its Americas headquarters in Nashville.

Hankook is the seventh-largest tire maker in the world.

Last month, a company executive identified South Carolina as one of three Southeast states trying to flag down the big tire-making factory.

The factory would start out by making 5 million tires a year and gradually double its annual production. It would target demand in developed countries.

According ot news reports. Hankook recently secured deals to supply tires to Mercedes-Benz S-Class and Nissan Altima sedans, and the South Korean company also is doing more business with Toyota.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Thinking about Workplace 2020

Workforce Locator™ extracts, integrates, and indexes pertinent data to drive workforce planning decisions by providing current as well as projected data with calculations and national rate comparisons  of openings due to growth and replacement.

Challenges serve as decision drivers, and the author of “Workplace 2020…”  a piece for Wired, explains this key decision driver quite succinctly:

> As a business, your challenge is to anticipate shifts in the economic landscape and respond by delivering the right skills in the shortest time possible.

Workplace 2020: Sourcing Talent for the Workplace of the Future

By Michael George, Appirio

I’m not entirely sure who coined the term Workforce 2020, or why the year 2020 holds such great significance along the workforce evolutionary timeline. Whatever the case, 2020 — which seemed so far off just a few years ago — is now barreling toward us. So what’s different about 2020?

Digital natives are entering the workforce en masse, and by 2020 many of the old school, pen and paper types will be on the way out. The relationship between employee and employer is also changing. If you want folks to stick around you’d better at least match the kind of tools and technology on the job that they have access to at home. Pair this relentless consumer-grade expectation for mobile, social and globally accessible tools with ubiquitous access to work, and you can see the perfect storm that is challenging HR and IT leaders to deploy technology solutions to attract, retain and manage their workforce while creating a collaborative, engaging employee experience.

To prepare for the globally distributed, highly collaborative, always on-the-go 2020 workforce, you need to start building the kind of workplace that can harness all this new technology. We call it Workplace 2020. One of the most impactful places to start is changing the way your company plans for, hires and engages its talent by understanding what is already possible with today’s cloud, mobile and social technologies.

Finding the Right Talent for Workplace 2020

Now winning organizations are not those who outspend, but rather outmaneuver their competitors. With equal access to global talent and technology, the cost and access barriers to finding and utilizing the best talent in the world have been all but removed for big and small companies alike, leaving agility the difference-maker.

To thrive now, the business must respond to a constant rewiring of those connections by putting the right talent in the right place at the right time. And let’s face it; LinkedIn probably knows more about your organization’s full talent potential than you do.

As a business, your challenge is to anticipate shifts in the economic landscape and respond by delivering the right skills in the shortest time possible. Creating a holistic talent plan worthy of Workplace 2020 requires intimate collaboration between HR, IT and business leaders and doesn’t end when your spreadsheets are filled in. It must mirror the changes affecting the talent needs, including:

Adjusting how, where, when recruiting is done Migrating away from on-premise legacy technologies Changing organizational structures (rewiring connections) based on future business needs

Talent Sourcing & Social Recruiting

For many organizations, hiring success is directly related to the source of the applicant. A reimagined talent sourcing effort worthy of building Workplace 2020 has recruiters actively using social, mobile and cloud technologies in creative ways to uncover hidden sources of top talent and/or networks of referrers.

You probably know about sites like LinkedIn, Jobvite, Indeed, CareerBuilder and you may already be posting your job openings to Facebook, Twitter or TweetMyJobs, but here are a few social and mobile sourcing tools that may help you reimagine what’s possible.

RemarkableHire: Analyze a job seeker’s contributions to online communities, like GitHub, Dribble and StackOverflow, to validate proficiency of a particular set of skills based on peer review.

SwoopTalent: Bring together internal referral programs and external sourcing initiatives by finding a three way match between your jobs, candidates and employees.

Communities & Crowdsourcing: Bring the job to the worker rather than the worker to the job with platforms like oDesk, CloudSpokes and TopCoder.

Keep in mind this kind of workplace transparency works both ways. Sites like Glassdoor and CareerBliss give prospective job seekers an unfiltered (oh, is it unfiltered) look inside your organization through employee-generated reviews of the business, executive team, managers, compensation, and more.

The Future of Employee Engagement

Now that you’re social recruiting efforts are paying off, your Workplace 2020 needs to be the kind of place employees want to come and work… without being a “place” at all. I am often asked to define employee engagement. For me it simply comes down to what employees choose to do with their discretionary time. If your parking lot is empty at 5:05 p.m., you might want to start asking some questions.

Social and mobile technologies provide new employees with access to an army of work buddies, no matter where (or when) they work, all dedicated offering advice on how to navigate the organization, and acting as cultural role models.

This kind of employee engagement is a critical piece of Workplace 2020, as the workforce becomes more and more globally distributed and isolated from both the “corporate office,” and each other. Using enterprise social tools like Chatter, Yammer or Tibbr gives you the ability to connect your employees to individuals and teams to collaborate and learn from one another and is far more effective in engaging employees than a handbook, Wiki or FAQ page.

Here are a few things you can do to start building an engaging Workplace 2020.

Connect Your People to a Cause (and Each Other)

In Workplace 2020 you’ll need to provide the “why” for a generation of workers who demand social and principled “reasons” for trading their time and talent – a paycheck isn’t a reason. Enterprise social tools allow employees to form groups, discuss ideas and even fundraise for causes they care about.

Give Power to the People

Keeping employees engaged will require a shift from the idea that goal setting, providing feedback, or career planning is an annual event to a mindset that recognizes the high impact and value of talent management as a daily, ongoing endeavor to rewire employee connections with teams, customers, etc.

We are beginning to see a resurgence of the corporate intranet as a way to create these connections and deliver the consumer-grade experience employees expect. Where corporate intranets of the past failed because they were little more than virtual filing cabinets, today’s Social Intranets (intranet + employee portal + enterprise social) are putting the power to create content and connections in the hands of the workforce.

Additionally, collaboration tools like Google Apps are changing the way people work by shifting the idea from individual contribution to collective effort. Sharing and working on documents together, editing simultaneously, or even firing up a quick video chat are all big parts of Workplace 2020 that you can (and should) be using today.

Finally, to be engaging Workplace 2020 will need to be fun. Gamification systems like Badgeville and Bunchball motivate employees to make social connection and sharing part of their daily work, and drive the creation of groups and contests (sorry millennial, not everyone gets a trophy) that build camaraderie and compel teams into action.

Workplace 2020 is less about building the right office space and more about enabling the right connections. For employees this means connections to information, work, tools, and most importantly each other, any time, any place. Workplace 2020 has to walk down the street with me, ride on the train with me, fly in the air with me and sleep next to me on my nightstand.

Now is the time to reimagine what’s possible.

Michael George leads Appirio’s Human Capital Management (HCM) solutions marketing efforts.

Andrea Mitchell and Matthew DeLuca, NBC News: Pentagon warned of cuts to military death benefits days before shutdown

When I posted Laurence Shatkin’s excellent piece on veterans’ career paths on Tuesday, October 8th, I refrained from commenting on that day’s disturbing real-time story…

NBC ran this headline for Andrea Mitchell’s report “Military death benefit suspension hurts families”:

By Wednesday the 9th, The Fisher House Foundation had become involved… 

People who had not heard of The Fisher House Foundation before this news of the Department of Defense entering into an agreement with them, may admire Fisher House for their activism in this matter, but if they are be surprised by such activism on the Fishers part, they should know how the Fishers have stepped up before. Ken Fisher said this during a 2010 interview:

> to supplement what the military calls—I hate this phrase—the “death benefit.” For years and years, it was ridiculously low. When Zachary started the program, I think the death benefit was $6,000—taxable. What Zach did—and, later on, my father and my late cousin, Tony Fisher—was supplement that benefit. Between 2000 and 2005, it gave out over $20 million, $11,000 to each surviving spouse and $5,000 to each dependent child. It wasn’t until 2005 that the government finally got wind of the fact that we weren’t doing right by these families. Then Congress upped the benefit a great deal.

> After that happened, it was decided to move in a new direction. Tony had passed away in 2003, and my father, Arnold Fisher, became the honorary chairman. He worked with Richard Santulli [NetJets founder and chairman of the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund] through the process of gearing it more toward rehabilitating combat-wounded military personnel.

Here’s the full interview:

on “Winning the War for Talent”, co-authors explain why, in emerging markets, “Women are the Solution”

This article was written for Forbes in September 2011 by Rahim Kanani

Winning the War for Talent in Emerging Markets: Why Women are the Solution

Recently, I interviewed Sylvia Ann Hewlett, founding president of the Center for Work-Life Policy and Ripa Rashid, executive vice president at the Center for Work-Life Policy, co-authors of Winning the War for Talent in Emerging Markets: Why Women are the Solution.

Describe a little bit about the motivation to write and origins of Winning the War for Talent in Emerging Markets: Why Women Are the Solution.

The idea sparked a few years ago, when one of the members of our Hidden Brain Drain Task Force, a consortium of 67 global corporations and organizations focused on talent innovation around the world, suggested that we explore the issue of underutilized female talent in India. Then, as the recession stalled growth in developed markets, it became clear that multinational corporations everywhere are pinning their hopes for expansion on emerging markets, especially the four largest: Brazil, Russia, India and China.

These BRIC markets together represent 40 percent of the world’s population and have accounted for 45 percent of global growth since 2007, compared with 20 percent from G-7 economies. But there is a critical obstacle to their continued expansion: a cutthroat war for top talent.

To meet the talent shortage, multinationals have long followed the same well-trodden path: sending homegrown managers overseas, looking for (mostly male) foreign nationals educated in North America and Europe, or playing musical chairs with top-quality local talent. None of these options is sustainable in a growing market.

The answer, however, is hiding in plain sight. Across the developing world, women are increasingly outperforming men in the tertiary education system: In Brazil, 60 percent of college graduates are women; in China, 65 percent. In the U.S., 58 percent of university graduates are women.

Educated and ambitious, these women are determined to put their credentials to work. Over 80 percent of women in India aspire to top jobs; in Brazil and China, the figure is over 70 percent. In the United States, by comparison, a mere 36 percent of highly qualified women are shooting for top jobs.

We tend to think of Third World women as oppressed and impoverished, a story compellingly described in Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn’s book, Half the Sky. But there is another narrative that demonstrates the new clout of highly qualified women in emerging markets.  As we enter the second decade of a new millennium, the face of top talent in emerging economies is most likely to be that of a woman.

With respect to women, paint for us a more thorough picture of the labor dynamics in emerging markets such as Brazil, Russia, India, and China.

Women are among the biggest beneficiaries of the expansion in emerging markets – and one of its key engines.

Brazilian women are being hired for corporate senior management positions in far greater numbers than in the United States. In 2009, Brazilian women held about 40 percent of all jobs, leading South America in share of female workers in the labor force, with 45 percent of managerial titles and 30 percent of executive positions, compared to 20 percent in the U.S. Some 11 percent of companies in Brazil have female CEOs, according to the World Economic Forum’s 2010 Corporate Gender Gap Report, making Brazil one of the top five of the 34 countries surveyed, after Finland, Norway, and Turkey.

The Soviet Union, for all its flaws, indoctrinated the country with the idea that women should work. For the 70 years of the Soviet system’s existence, “it was considered bourgeois for a woman not to work,” as one management consultant who grew up under Communism recalls.  Similarly, under Communism, girls were given the same educational opportunities as boys, and the precedent continues – although women take greater advantage of those opportunities: 86 percent of Russian women aged 18 – 23 were enrolled in tertiary education, as opposed to only 64 percent of the men. They want to use their degrees to do something more than quote Pushkin.  As a female senior executive at a Russian-based company told us, “A woman wants to have a career because otherwise she wouldn’t be interesting.”

It is often noted that there are two Indias, separated by a deep socioeconomic divide. In the modern thriving “New India,” or “India Inc.,” women represented 15 percent of senior executives and 11 percent of CEOs in 2009 – nearly four times the 3 percent figure for the Fortune 500 in the United States and the FTSE 100 in the United Kingdom. These numbers are only the tip of the iceberg: In the words of one commentator, “For every Indian woman who makes headlines, there is a legion of middle-class Indian women in the workplace.”

When Deng Xiaoping instituted market reform and declared that “to get rich is glorious,” he urged China’s men and women to help the country grow strong and wealthy by going into business. China’s women heeded the call: Today, China has the highest female labor force participation rate of all BRIC nations, with 75 percent of women ages 15 – 65 in the workforce. Many have succeeded gloriously: Half of the 14 self-made female billionaires on Forbes magazine’s 2010 list of global billionaires were from mainland China.  Backing them up are legions of ambitious and qualified women: 91 percent of Chinese businesses have women in senior leadership, the second highest percentage in the world. Furthermore, 32 percent of senior management is composed of women, a figure greater than that in the United States (23 percent) or the United Kingdom (19 percent).

What prevents emerging markets women from achieving their full potential?

Working mothers in the BRIC nations are able to think big and aim high because they have more shoulders to lean on than their American and European peers. Between hands-on extended family, inexpensive domestic help and an increasingly wide range of daycare options, professional women in these geographies are not sidelined by motherhood.

But even the smartest BRIC women face a series of family-centered “pull” factors and workplace-centered “push” factors that conspire to force them off the career track.

Traditional family values come at a high cost. Childcare may not be a burden but eldercare is. Fully 70 percent of highly qualified BRIC women have significant eldercare responsibilities. Unlike in the West, in there’s a huge stigma attached to placing parents in assisted living. In fact, “daughterly guilt” often exceeds “maternal guilt” as professional women in emerging markets struggle to balance career with responsibility to elders. With demographers projecting a leap in the percentage of the population aged over 60 across these regions, this burden is only going to increase.

Discrimination is an ongoing issue – in both local and global companies. Gender bias continues to limit women’s careers. In China, over a quarter of survey respondents (men as well as women) believe that women are treated unfairly in the workplace; in India the number is 45 percent. Problems of bias are severe enough to make nearly half of women in India, China and Brazil (55, 48 and 40 percent, respectively) consider quitting.

Extreme jobs are another challenge, with 60 hour-plus workweeks common. In China, highly qualified women working for global companies average 71 hours a week, in Russia 73 hours. These workweeks are significantly longer than in the U.S. or Europe.

Finally, safety concerns are a harsh fact of daily life for professional women in these countries: Close to a third or more feel unsafe getting to and from work, and that number rises to over 50 percent in Brazil and India. As one Brazilian female executive explained: “In a small city, they break your window and steal your radio. In Sao Paolo, they put a gun to your head and say, ‘Let’s go to the ATM.’”

The book discusses the need to employ different kinds of strategies to recruit women in emerging economies than those used in developed markets. What are some of those differences?

Employers can attract and retain top female talent by creating and promoting programs that directly answer their needs.

Take work-life balance, for example. HBSC in India launched a flex-work arrangement that includes staggered hours, a revolutionary concept in a culture that puts a premium on face time. But when all employees were required to be at work by 8:30, many had to leave home at dawn to allow enough time for India’s infamous traffic jams. With staggered hours, employees can choose the time most preferable for them to arrive or leave, as long as they work a regular nine-hour day, including the peak hours between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Another difficulty in developing and sustaining talented women in emerging markets is the lack of female role models. Companies like Cisco, GE and Intel sponsor networking events for their women employee resource groups in China and Southeast Asia in which participants can strengthen the communication skills needed to grow and succeed in a multinational corporation, nurture their confidence, forge crucial connections, and engage mentors.

Lastly, employers can step in to alleviate the pushes and pulls that force women out of their careers. Google India ensures a safe and comfortable commute by providing door-to-door shared taxi service in clean, air-conditioned cars for all of its more than 1,200 workers. Infosys bucks the tide of mothers dropping out after having a child with a one-year sabbatical followed by part-time work options, daycare centers located within four kilometers of office campuses and accessible by free shuttle buses, and on-campus supermarkets and drugstores. As a result of these programs, the number of women returning to work after maternity leave increased from 59 percent to 88 percent in the past five years, and the total number of working mothers tripled.

Could one use this economic theory as an approach to breaking gender barriers in social, cultural and political spheres of developing markets?

Absolutely. In many of these countries, employers can implement change more readily than governments. Once the gender barriers are broken in the microcosm of the workplace, new opportunities for women can blossom in the wider social, cultural and political spheres.

Sylvia Ann Hewlett is an economist and the founding president of the Center for Work-Life Policy (a nonprofit think tank), where she founded and now chairs the “Hidden Brain Drain” Task Force, a group of 67 global companies and organizations committed to fully realizing female and multicultural talent. She leads the CWLP’s advisory services practice Sylvia Ann Hewlett Associates. She also directs the Gender and Policy Program at the School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University and is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the Women’s Empowerment.

Ripa Rashid, an executive vice president at the Center for Work-Life Policy, has worked across Europe, the Americas and Asia-Pacific and held senior diversity roles at Booz Allen Hamilton and MetLife. Prior to her focus on talent management, she spent over 10 years as a management consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Mitchell Madison Group, serving clients in the media and financial services sectors.