Sunday, September 26, 2010

Putting America Back to Work

While the entire nation continues to endure one of the most severe unemployment scenarios, the mood at the 74th annual conference of the National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA) is quite upbeat. This conference is the largest gathering of state administrators of employment services, several other related programs provided through public funds. In a nutshell, it is the forum of ideas exchange and learning between the practitioners, and a platform for the development of private and public relationships to address the critical needs of the America’s workforce, and in particular, provide for the short term needs of potential and displaced workers needing immediate help to weather the recession.
In his speech, Governor Jim Doyle described the challenges associated with a change in focus from training people to meet business need in which supply was scarce, to an era where helping those out of work and re-employing them is the immediate need. Governor reiterated his belief that there is going to be demand for workforce growing again, and he encouraged everyone to continue to keep faith and move forward even at the time of such economic distress. He promised continued investments in workforce development and the need for working together.
America’s Job Exchange was in attendance at the conference as a sponsor and shares the enthusiasm of the broader NASWA membership in support of the theme of the conference “Putting America Back to Work”. It was heartening to see the new attitude of openness toward public-private partnerships to be able overcome the challenges of this recession. For more than a decade in our role in developing and maintaining the first and the largest job exchange, the America’s Job Bank, the professionals at AJE have demonstrated not only expertise and technical knowhow but also the conviction and care toward the workforce. AJE is truly the job site for the rest of us, not the highest paying executives, but hard-working normal Americans trying to earn a living, build a future for children and participate for the good of the community. The pundits can continue their debate if this has been a ‘W’ shaped or ‘L’ shaped recession but we know that the only way to help America to get back to work is to ensure that public and private sectors are working together to bring in all the new opportunities in front our workforce while helping them improve their skills and effectiveness in job search.
At AJE, we are privileged to be part of the solution.

Read this blog at America's job Exchange.

Recipe for a cheerful Labor Day

As America celebrates Labor Day to pay tribute to the contributions of its workforce, the mood is anything but festive for millions of Americans. While shifts in the labor system has been occurring for years, the recent global recession has taken a far greater toll on the American worker than workers in any other developed nation. Since the beginning of 2007, unemployment in the US has increased by 5 percent compared to only 1 percent increase in France and Japan, and a 2 percent rise in Britain. In the same period unemployment rate remained mostly unchanged or even went down in the economies of China, India and Germany. American employers have responded to the recession with far more layoffs and staff reduction than those in other countries.
For those fortunate to be employed, wages remained mostly flat or lower while counterparts in the economies of China and India have seen double digit growth, especially in the manufacturing and technology sectors. As the demand for goods and services have declined, requiring lower supply of labor in America, availability of substitute labor in lower cost countries have created unparalleled competition for the American worker and diminished leverage wage negotiations.
Indeed, job loss and wage stagnation has hit almost every corner of the American labor force. However, the impact is more profound among minorities and several specific disadvantage communities. While the national unemployment rate is at a dismal 9.5 percent in August 2010, unemployment rate among African Americans is at a disproportionately high 16.3 percent and among the Hispanics at 12.0 percent. Unemployment among Veterans remains close to 15% and reached a record 16.4 percent in August among people with disabilities.
Whether such high unemployment rates are here to stay due to permanent structural shifts in the labor market, or they are simply short term events in the wake of the turmoil of the financial market and housing bubble are unclear. The implications for the America workforce, however, are clear. This Labor Day is the time to take control of your career. You can’t rely on the policymakers in Washington to take care of the situation soon, and you can’t live with the elusive hope that employers are going to pick up the pace of hiring in the US anytime soon.
While we at America’s Job Exchange (AJE) can’t control the economy, we can help you be prepared. We have created search technology and partnered with employers and job sites so that you can search and find a job. Simply go to and use our search features to find a job, and our web tools to build a resume, and apply for a job. We have assembled the experts in the career ecosystem so that you can get a professionally written resume and distribute to recruiters. You can read through expert advice and articles, and sign up for job scouts to receive additional similar jobs directly to your email box. You can also check out the salary center to learn what other people are earning in positions that you want, take a career test to see where you stand and visit our education center to see if signing up for training and education is the right solution for you.

Read this blog also at America's Job Exchange

OFCCP Compliance

I recently came across an alarming email from a job board claiming to be the sole authority on OFCCP compliance programs. The email struck a chord with our team at America’s Job Exchange (AJE) because it virtually discredited all other providers who offer similar services. While we respect our competitors and understand the impetus to attract attention to their products, we feel compelled to clarify so that misconceptions are not formed due to such misleading communications from this job board.
Government Gives you a Choice: When it comes to reporting diversity recruitment efforts, the rules are actually very simple: the government gives you a choice and doesn’t endorse one service provider over another. As an employer, you can field the reporting yourself, OR you may use an on-line recruiting provider to help you with the administrative chores of posting, distributing, and record-keeping. If you choose to outsource your reporting duties, there are several choices available. We would invite you to consider America’s Job Exchange which remains the industry leader for compliance services, as it has been since the inception of on-line recruiting through the America’s Job Bank program.
Planning for OFCCP Compliance: While documenting and reporting your diversity recruiting should be top of mind, so should seeking out candidates that are emblematic of the definition of diversity. It is our goal at AJE to help you not only configure a plan of action for OFCCP compliance but also to ensure that your company is recruiting diverse employees, and is established as an employer of choice for these unique groups. And AJE is the only job board that can lay claim to both of these initiatives.
At AJE, we offer a variety of solutions to fulfill your recruitment goals. With our large pool of job seekers from minorities, women, veterans, and candidates with disabilities, AJE has rapidly become the premier source for not only OFCCP distribution and reporting, but also for employers looking to gain access to a candidate pool rich in diversity and experience.
But don’t just take our word for it. Please go to our website and read the testimonials from some of our hundreds of SMBs and Fortune 500 clients who have made AJE their go-to source for diversity recruiting and OFCCP compliance services. As a 15-year veteran in this industry, we feel it’s our duty to educate our customers on the veracity of claims laid out by other job boards who seek out clients through propaganda-style advertising or an exaggeration of their outreach.
The process of proactive diversity recruiting and reporting to the OFCCP can be a daunting task for any employer, regardless of size. It doesn’t help if you are bombarded by salespeople that may provide misleading information and claims. At AJE, we have hired specialized coordinators to assist you with your compliance queries. Even if you are not a client of AJE, we welcome your questions and input. Please call one of our specialists anytime at 1-866-923-8284.

Please also read this blog at America's Job Exchange.

We salute you!

Today America honors its military veterans for their patriotism, commitment, and sacrifice while serving in the armed forces. Veterans Day has been a national holiday since 1938, and was originally named Armistice Day to commemorate the end of World War I combat. The name was changed to Veterans Day in 1954 to recognize all veterans, not just those who served in World War I.
Official ceremonies for Veterans Day center around the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington Cemetery, where the bodies of soldiers who valiantly fought and gave their lives during combat are interred. Officers in full military uniform stand guard over the tomb and give a salute to commemorate the sacrifice of these fallen heroes, while living veterans are recognized for their past contributions.
Here at America’s Job Exchange, we are extremely thankful for all that the Veterans have done in service to our country. We support the brave people in uniform who risk their lives each day so that we have the chance to live in a better world. At America’s Job Exchange, we try to give back to these individuals by providing them with the tools to get back into the workforce and further themselves in a career of their choice. Along with a recent partnership with Corporate Gray, a leading job transition site for members of the armed forces, AJE’s own “Military Center” provides the Veteran community with a place to search for jobs where employers are looking to hire veteran candidates. Our efforts to help companies reach out to veterans with through our job distribution services have also helped in these efforts. This is the least we can do to say “thank you” for all the sacrifices these veterans have made during their course of duty.

Read this blog at America's Job Exchange.

Where would you invest now?

If you are wondering if where you should be investing in the middle of this economic downturn, the answer is simple – now is the time to invest in your career.
The one investment that consistently beats returns in equity, income or real estate is the investment in education. Your career is an asset, similar to stocks or home, that can significantly increase in value if you invest time and money.
Alan B. Krueger, professor of economics at the Princeton University, says that up to a point, an additional year of schooling is likely to raise an individual’s earnings about 10 percent.
Not just income. Data also suggests that overall risk of unemployment drops as education rises. (See Study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Investing your education is investing in yourself
Here at America’s Job Exchange, we not only help you find a job when out of work or looking for a change, we are also working to put together a platform where you can find education opportunities that can shape your career. We are excited to launch our Education Center today along with the announcement of our partnership with Education Dynamics. It connects you with more than 1,800 institutions of higher education. We have a lot more to do, but I am thrilled that we could get it started now. Keep your eyes out over the next 60 days for additions and improvements to the Education Center.

Why wait when you have a great investment right in front of you.

Read this blog also at America's Job Exchange

Coping with the downturn

As unemployment numbers keep climbing without an end in sight, many people are wondering if their jobs are safe or if they are next in the line in case of a layoff. People often ask me if they should be looking for a job even if they are fully employed. Is the best way to cope with the downturn is by lining up new jobs – just in case?
No one knows what the future holds, and every individual situation is very different. If your company is going under or has announced a pending lay-off, you should definitely spend some time to update that resume, and look at the job boards to see what’s available in your area and expertise. Reach out to your network and start to get a sense of what you will have to do in case the worst happens and you lose your job.
With that said, however, most people would be better served by beginning to increase their value to their employers, as insurance for when layoffs do start. Most companies aren’t going to go completely out of business and will need people to run their businesses after the layoffs. So they will start identifying their most valuable employees and make sure that they stay. This is the time to make yourself more valuable to your current employer so, recession or not, you can remain and continue to build your career.
So how do you go about creating value for yourself at your current job? Here are a few things you can do.
1. Learn New Skills
This is the most important one. When an employee becomes stagnant, they become expendable. If you don’t continue to improve yourself and your base of expertise, you won’t be able to take on the new types of projects that will continue to make you valuable to your employer.
2. Stop Waste
To create value in a recession, you need to focus more on how to help the company, rather than how to help yourself. Saving money is a great way to do that. Cut unnecessary travel. Stop taking lunch on the company. Cut back on paper consumption. Identify company-wide money saving strategies, and then spearhead their implementation. If you’re seen as a person with an eye on the bottom line, you’re less likely to be laid off.
3. Volunteer for Projects
There is nothing more valuable than an employee who will take on more projects and pick up the slack, especially with an ever shrinking workforce. Offer to take on the responsibilities of a laid-off co-worker. Run new initiatives “until a permanent hire can be found.” If you can extend your sphere of influence around the company, then it will be hard to fire you, because multiple people will need to replace you.
4. Get Noticed
Unperceived value is no value at all. Now is the time to make sure that your manager and their bosses know how good you really are. Advertise your volunteerism. Be there in the morning to say hello to the Vice President when he or she arrives, and say good-bye when they pass your desk on their way home. Reply to all at midnight. Make sure that the people in charge of layoffs have seen your value.
There are many other ways to increase your value, but these are a good start. At the end of the day, you don’t want to be looking for a back-up job just in case you lose yours but because you want to get to that dream career. So instead of focusing your energy on finding a back-up in case you get fired, focus on how to become more valuable in your current.

This blog also posted at America's Job Exchange.

Summer of’07

In the summer of ‘07, we launched America’s Job Exchange. Our goal was to continue the legacy of the pioneering career site – America’s Job Bank. AJB, as it was commonly referred to, was the first national job site built to help job seekers, especially those unemployed or disadvantaged, to find job search information free of cost. Employers could also post job openings free at AJB, which was sponsored by the US Department of Labor and built by NaviSite. No wonder, AJB became one of the largest online job sites, helping millions of job seekers through the’01-’02 recession and high unemployment rates of the ‘03-‘04.
But by early 2006, as unemployment hit its lowest in many years, the Department of Labor decided to pull the plug and announced that it will close AJB in the summer of ‘07.
And, so AJE was born. We launched it to continue the AJB services to the job seekers and employers. Frankly, none of us here knew what to expect. We were not sure if people would visit our site, or if employers would post job listings, or if we would be able to pay the bills without a revenue stream.
But the site picked up steam from day one. With no marketing dollars, it had more than a million monthly visitors and half a million job postings in barely three months. Our core audience accepted AJE as a true alternative to AJB, and there was no turning back.
America’s Job Exchange is growing fast. We have doubled our traffic, introduced new products (including some paid products to help pay the bills!) and we are not dependent on investor money to fund our mission of helping our core audience, the hardworking American middle-class, to change their worlds by managing and enhancing their careers.
Today, as we are in the middle of a recession unlike any since the Great Depression, and unemployment rates are higher than 10% in many states. I am really glad that in that summer of ’07 we decided to take a challenge to continue the legacy of America’s Job Bank and launch AJE. Our mission is more relevant NOW than ever before and I hope we can use this blog to help all of you through these difficult times.
Welcome to the AJE blog. I hope you find it helpful to change your world.

(This blog also posted at America's Job Exchange.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Recent Blogs

I have been too busy building America’s Job Exchange and hadn't had the time to write new entries for this blog. However, I haven’t been totally ignoring the idea of posts and here are a few links of recent blogs and press activities.

Online Job Listings Aren't Always What They Seem (NPR Interview)

We Salute You (Blog Post)

Make unemployment a stepping stone for a better career (Blog Post)

Enjoy :-)