Manufacturing Jobs Mixed; Calif. Program Certs Low-income Workers for Petrol Careers :  Published December 2006 All Rights Reserved


Manufacturing Jobs Mixed; Calif. Program Certs Low-income Workers for Petrol Careers

Manufacturing jobs, an important measure of economic growth, will end 2006 mixed. Virginia lost 1.6 percent of their industrial jobs in 2006, on top of a 4 percent loss in 2005. Virginia accounts for 13 percent of the mid-Atlantic region's manufacturing jobs.

“Although Virginia’s job growth has improved across most sectors, industrial employment is still declining,” said Thomas Dubin, President of Manufacturers’ News Inc. “Outsourcing, mergers, and consolidation contributed to the loss of manufacturing jobs as well as automated manufacturing processes that require fewer workers.”

Manufacturers’ News reports Arkansas lost 3 percent, Tennessee lost 3.1 percent, Minnesota lost 0.5 percent, and New Hampshire lost 2.5 percent of these jobs in 2006Maryland lost 2% industrial employment and South Carolina lost 2.1%. North Carolina and Pennsylvania were each down 1%.
Some states however increased during the year, Oregon gained 1.3 percent, Idaho gained 0.5 percent, Nevada gained 4.1 percent and Utah gained 3.7 percent and Wyoming gained 4.9 percent.

An emerging corporate business role shows promise according to a new study IncreMental Advantage called chief intellectual property officer. The firm plans to reveal results of their study in New York City on 16 January 2007.

David Wanetick, managing director of IncreMental Advantage, said, “The vast majority of companies’ value is manifested in the form of their intellectual property. However, very few companies have appointed any one individual to coordinate their intellectual property strategies.

"Failure to create the role of chief intellectual property officer may be remiss as there are often conflicting agendas among the three departments – business development, research and development and legal – which are responsible for the creation and commercialization of their firms’ IP.”

Program Assists Low-income, Displaced Find Petroleum Jobs

In Los Angeles a new program called Energy Pathway Program enables low income and displaced workers to earn certification for high-wage careers in the petroleum industry. Thirty-one first graduates of the program hit the streets during December after a six-month training program spearheaded by the South Bay Center for Counseling.

“We’re investing in our local workers and businesses now and for the future,” said Los Angeles County supervisor Don Knabe. “It’s inspiring to see how these graduates can succeed with their own hard work and an effective, coordinated system of support. As this model becomes adopted in other industries, our communities will continue to grow stronger and stronger.”

Under the leadership of the South Bay Center, a private community-based non-profit organization, program partners including lead ConocoPhillips, Valero, ExxonMobil, BP, Los Angeles Harbor College, the California Educational Development Department (EDD) and the United Steel Workers Local 675 have come together to invest in the empowerment of low-wage and displaced workers from the local community.

In addition to the unique aspect of including a social support element, the EDD also provides for cognitive diversity in the learning environment, fostering growth by working with students who may have different learning abilities, or those who have had little success in traditional educational environments.

“Bringing all of these aspects together in a comprehensive system of support is the key to the Energy Pathway Program’s success,” said Colleen Mooney, executive director for South Bay Center. “These individuals are working hard to succeed, and providing them with an appropriate support system is allowing them to build a promising future.”

Oil refineries estimate that approximately 150 to 200 job openings for entry-level Process Technicians starting at $70,000 per year salaries will become available before 2009 in the Los Angeles area. At the same time, refineries are seeking new strategies to develop a diverse, trained workforce to meet increased skill requirements for entry-level jobs. Hiring is expected to continue at a level of approximately 100 to 150 hires per year over the next five years as the current workforce heads toward retirement age. And by investing in local residents to help fill this need, more jobs will stay within local communities, rather than go to out-of-state or out-of-country workers.

Jay Churchill, refinery manager for ConocoPhillips, said, “We’re pleased to offer graduates solid career opportunities and well-paying jobs. The recent graduates have already shown that with the proper training and support, they can learn the technical skills to succeed in our industry.”

Job placements will begin in January 2007, with nearly 70 percent of the graduating class already receiving employment offers from major refineries. Furthermore, the certification received by graduates is valid at any refinery in the world, providing a level of long-term career security for EDD graduates. The second class of the Energy Pathway Program is scheduled to begin training in early January of 2007.

New Job Website

Job portal FewMillionJobs.com calls the economy mixed and contends there are an increasing number of professionals looking for new positions.

“What you see at virtually every level in the marketplace is worker insecurity,” said Samson Manickaraj, founder of FewMillionJobs.com. “Even a few years ago, only hard-core job hoppers scanned the horizon for their next great job on a regular basis. Today? Anyone who’s smart keeps their resume up to date and keeps an eye open for that next terrific opportunity.”

Manickaraj could be called fringe-thinker for pointing to the downside of an economy that many economists and the White House claim to be the best in the world... nonetheless, he shows the statistics most news organizations and economists ignore. While true, consumer confidence has risen slightly during fourth quarter those who feel the economy is in poor shape (20 percent) has held steady throughout 2006. 

Unlike the hiring frenzy in the late 1990s when all sectors reported optimism, the recovery in early 2000s is reserved mainly for recently college graduates.  Manickaraj considered that higher demand for tools that simplify jobseekers’ and employers’ tasks was strong enough to launch FewMillionJobs.com.

FewMillionJobs.com allows candidates to directly apply to the company of their choice without the hassles of posting their private information or a résumé on an online database. The job portal benefits employers, because the service eliminates the middleman while also allowing the company to hire for multiple positions with a single posting or change the posting once it has been filled.

“We found the best way to put job seekers and employers directly in touch," Manickaraj said, "The increasing trend for secure jobs and the need for a quality job portal are indispensable.”



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