Jobs

Gage Skidmore / flickr

Florida Governor Rick Scott came to Philadelphia this week to meet with company heads, to try to lure business to the Sunshine State. Scott campaigned on the promise of growing private sector jobs in Florida and one of his tactics has been to visit other states – including California, Illinois, and Maryland – to recruit job creators.

Former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell said it’s a bit unusual for a governor to show up like Scott did in Philadelphia “but it is not unusual at all for that state government to make calls into other businesses to urge them to relocate into their state. I did it very very often when I was governor.” States, and even municipalities, are competing for companies everyday. 

Flickr user JulianBleecker

The U.S. Conference of Mayors has predicted that Pittsburgh will add more than 18,000 jobs in 2015, and according to a new report from the Three Rivers Workforce Investment Board, those jobs are likely to either be high-paying or low-paying.

The Associated Press

While Pittsburgh’s economy has recovered from the recession that began in 2008, growth is slowing, and policy makers need to address that reality.

That’s according to a new report from the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program. The fourth edition of the Global MetroMonitor examined economic performance in the 300 largest metropolitan economies in the world. Pittsburgh ranked at #253 in 2014. That’s down from a ranking of #192 between 2009 and 2014.

In an effort to attract more people to jobs in the oil and gas industries, the Community College of Allegheny County has partnered with the Energy Innovation Center (EIC) to provide hands-on training and workforce development programs.   

Educational programs will be offered at the new EIC Institute in the Hill District, CCAC president Quintin Bullock said. The Center will open in January.  The collaboration between CCAC and the center officially began this week with the signing of a memorandum.

While the rate of job growth in Pennsylvania sits dead last among states in the U.S., the numbers in Pittsburgh are a bit more optimistic, according to recent studies by the Keystone Research Center and PittsburghTODAY.

The Greater Pittsburgh area added 7,500 jobs from September 2013 to September 2014, a 0.6 percent increase. Pennsylvania, ranked 50th for job growth since January 2011, lost 9,600 jobs in September alone.

A recent survey of 37 energy companies in southwestern Pennsylvania found some 7,000 jobs will need to be filled between now and 2020, jobs that are critical to ongoing operations.

That’s according to the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, which conducted the survey. CEO Dennis Yablonsky said with more than 1,000 energy companies in the greater region, the job needs are likely much higher. The problem is finding enough skilled workers to fill those jobs.

Enter the Appalachia Partnership Initiative.

Corporations large and small, along with service providers, local activists, leaders and education officials are gathered in Pittsburgh for the first Disability Employment Summit, sponsored by the PNC Financial Service Group.

“Knowing that there’s a high unemployment rate with people with disabilities in this region,” said Amanda Snow, with PNC, “there are a number of opportunities and current openings, so how do we match those up?”

Small business owners in southwestern Pennsylvania are on the whole optimistic about the region’s economy, and more than a third of them expect to see their sales increase in the coming quarter.  The projection comes from the latest PNC survey, which looks not only at Pennsylvania but also at the other areas where the bank has operations.

“Pennsylvania small businesses continue to increase their plans to hire over the next six months,” said PNC Economist Kurt Rankin.  Twenty percent of those surveyed plan to add new full-time employees.

The job market of the 21st Century is increasingly global and focused on innovation. That was one of the takeaways at the Governor’s Jobs 1st Summit in Pittsburgh Monday.

Velkr0 / Flickr

While college may not be for everyone, gone are the days when you could go from work to longtime employment without some form of higher education. As the costs of college increase and as more jobs require a level of education beyond high school, trade schools are seeing a boost in enrollment. What are the economic benefits of attending trade school over college?

Brian O'Roark, professor of economics at Robert Morris University, says that student loan debt is a big factor in the decision to attend trade schools. He explains that at a time when four years of traditional college often results in tens of thousands of dollars of debt, for many students the decision to pursue a trade instead makes good economic sense.

“Skipping college actually ends up saving them in the long run because they don’t have to pay those student loans back. So if you find a trade, or if you go to a trade school and find a job that you can work at without incurring that debt, that’s actually a good thing for you.”

Pennsylvania's jobless rate is up slightly but remains better than the national figure. The state Department of Labor and Industry said Friday the seasonally adjusted rate last month was 5.7 percent, up one tenth of a percentage point from June.

“There’s nothing to be alarmed about,” said Sara Goulet, a department spokeswoman. “It’s a very, very small uptick and we do see those periodically. It’s the natural ebb and flow of the employment situation.”

The U.S. rate is currently 6.2 percent.

Economic Benefits Of Renewable Energy?

Jul 30, 2014
Roland Peschetz / Flickr

The EPA’s Clean Power Plan is the cornerstone of President Obama’s climate action plan. Four hearings are being held in four different cities: Atlanta, Washington D.C., Denver, and Pittsburgh.

During these hearing, environmental, business, and health experts will share their opinions on whether the gains that the plan gives the country are greater than the sacrifices that will need to be made.

To examine this issue from an economic standpoint we had Communitopia president Joylette Portlock and Blue/Green Alliance executive director Kim Glass stop by our South Side studio.

Portluck said that even without the new regulations, the coal industry has been shrinking its workforce.

Pennsylvania lawmakers are planning a hearing they hope will foster discussion on growing Pittsburgh’s employment opportunities.

The House Democratic Policy Committee will hold a July 23 public hearing at the Community College of Allegheny County to discuss jobs and workforce development in the Pittsburgh area.

After seeing no appreciable job growth in the Pittsburgh metro area more than a year ago, the region added 10,700 jobs between June 2013 and June 2014, according to a report from Pittsburgh Today.

“That’s a 0.9 percent increase, which doesn’t set the world on fire, but Pittsburgh has always been kind of a slow and steady grower,” said Doug Heuck, Pittsburgh Today director. “But it’s good news that we’re back growing jobs again.”

Pennsylvania ranks 42nd among all states in job growth over the last 12 months according to the left-leaning Keystone Research Center.  However, Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate for May was 5.6 percent,which was below the national rate of 6.3 percent, and better than 30 other states.

Stephen Herzenberg, the center’s executive director, said job growth in the commonwealth has been poor the last few years, but he acknowledged that the private sector created 15,600 jobs in the first four months of this year.

A manufacturing trade group says a new survey links drug use to unfilled jobs in Pennsylvania, though it doesn't catapult the issue out of the realm of anecdotes.

The Pennsylvania Manufacturers' Association says the conclusion of a commissioned survey is that one-third of manufacturing job applicants fail or decline to take drug tests.

It's actually one-third of company executives surveyed who say drug tests foiled new hires.

Flickr user wcn247

Preliminary jobs numbers released this week by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show virtually flat job growth for the Pittsburgh region in 2013, adding just 400 jobs for the year.

Pittsburgh TODAY, a nonprofit research organization housed at the University of Pittsburgh, compared the seven-county Pittsburgh region to other similar metropolitan areas across the Midwest and East Coast, and found that the Steel City fared worst in terms of job growth.

Pennsylvania is excepting to add 720 new employees to accommodate the influx of new healthcare enrollees if Healthy PA goes into effect. 

According to the Department of Public Welfare, the additional jobs would be permanent and spread across the state. Funding for the new hires would come from the federal government.

The Innovation Practice Institute Innovates Law School Education

Jan 17, 2014
Marcus Charleston / 90.5 WESA

As our technology evolves and the economy becomes increasingly entrepreneurial, the role of the lawyer and law school is changing.

Stephanie Dangel, Executive Director of the Innovation Practice Institute says with the changing economy, 40% of lawyers are not currently practicing law, and 30% of students in law school do not intend to be lawyers.

Miranda Everitt / Flickr

For many Americans, the workplace is exceptionally challenging for all of the wrong reasons. Some employees hate their jobs because they’re not in a position where they can excel, or perhaps they're victims of workplace bullying. Essential Pittsburgh's Paul Guggenheimer explored these reasons with Sasha King, independent career consultant.

“There is a big issue in that a lot of employees are overqualified for their positions, yet because of such a highly competitive job market, people are sticking with jobs they normally would have moved on from already,” says King.

With the help of a million dollars in state grants and tax credits, Gordon Food Service will locate a new distribution center in the Pittsburgh region, bringing more than 150 jobs.

Gordon Food Service, the largest family-owned and operated food service distributor in North America, will construct a 480,000-square-foot food distribution center in Findlay Township.

Andy Maier, marketing communications manager at Gordon Food Service, said the new facility will improve service for its northern customers.

David Bennett / Flickr

Before exploring the issue of creating green jobs in the 21st century economy, Essential Pittsburgh took the time to air some answers to environmental questions from listeners.

In response to a question on why the energy conversation won't embrace the possibility of more drastic advances in alternative energy such as nuclear fusion, James Clad, a consultant and distinguished research fellow at the National Defense University acknowledged that the energy conversation had been turned into a one note discussion on fossil fuels. 

"The energy world is defined by oil and gas and everything else is just an add on." said Clad

The Allegheny County Conference on Community Development launched a new website today in an effort to fill 30,000 jobs available in Pittsburgh.

The announcement was made inside PNC Park — capacity 38,362 — about one seat for every available job.

Google Pittsburgh will be hiring several dozen employees to tackle their latest project: shopping.

The search engine giant announced an expansion today that will add anywhere between 100 and 200 jobs to fill the 50,000 square feet of office space leased in the Bakery Square plaza in East Liberty.

Andrew Moore, vice president of engineering and head of Google’s Pittsburgh office, says the company will hire a minimum of 75 people to work in the shopping and e-commerce division.

Rebecca Harris / Chatham Center for Women's Entrepreneurship

Can you really answer the question “tell me about yourself” in an interview, while being sure to talk about  skills relevant to the job?  How about describing  a difficult work situation and making it sound like you're a great problem solver? Effective interviewing is a skill and our business contributor Rebecca Harris offers some advice to help you ace the interview.

Noah Brode / 90.5 WESA

Local union leaders gathered in Market Square on Monday with the families of workers who have died on the job in Allegheny County, honoring them with a Workers' Memorial Day.

According to the event's organizers, 12 people died on the job in Allegheny County from May 2012 to the current month.

The Allegheny Conference on Community Development (ACCD) will analyze industry needs to create education programs in growing job sectors with the help of $390,000 from the Alcoa Foundation.

Laura Fisher, ACCD Senior Vice President of Special Projects, said they plan to first attract talent to the region in order to fill positions in advanced fields. From there they plan to work with colleges and companies to build a curriculum that meets the energy industry’s needs.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics wants to make sure employees are performing duties they're capable of doing.

In an effort to help the Social Security Administration's clients with disability claims, the bureau is testing an hour-long telephone survey that questions employers about the employee job descriptions.

The new Occupational Requirements Survey will include questions about physical demands and environmental conditions of jobs.

Pittsburgh Job Growth Slowed Last Year, Group Says

Apr 2, 2013

Hospitals, financial services and the Marcellus Shale industry in southwestern Pennsylvania are expanding employment, but the rest of the area’s economy has slowed hiring, according to Pittsburgh TODAY.

Douglas Heuck, Program Director for Pittsburgh TODAY, a nonprofit that provides statistical information on Pittsburgh life, said Pittsburgh’s job growth from February 2012 to February 2013 was 0.18 percent.

He said Pittsburgh was once third in job growth in their rankings of 15 cities, but last year’s numbers dropped it to last.

Rebecca Harris / Chatham Center for Women's Entrepreneurship

Last week our business contributor Rebecca Harris gave us a look at some of the fastest growing occupations. This week she talks about job opportunities for women and growth areas for entrepreneurs. Did you know 2013 is expected to be the Year of the Woman Entrepreneur?

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