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In this issue..
On Monday, May 17, the Department of Workforce Development and its WorkOne Centers are partnering with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to host the first-ever “Career Day @ the Brickyard®.” The job fair will feature employers from across Central Indiana looking to fill current positions as well as thousands of job seekers.
More than 50 Central Indiana companies have already signed up to participate in Career Day @ the Brickyard®. The event hopes to attract more than 70 local employers as well as booths offering training and other services to job seekers.
The job fair will take place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Monday, May 17, 2010, in the Plaza Pavilions behind the Pagoda at the Speedway. It is free for those who pre-register at http://www.imscareerday.com/ and open to the public. Participants are encouraged to attend Indianapolis 500® practice for free after the career fair. Practice on the track is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. Dress for this career fair is casual.
Companies interested in registering for booth space and individuals wishing to attend Career Day can sign up at http://www.imscareerday.com/. Companies that sign up prior to May 7, 2010, will receive a 50 percent reduction in booth rental and be entered to win two suite tickets to this year’s Indianapolis 500®, compliments of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Pre-registration is required for free entry to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 17.
We hope to see you at this one-of-a-kind job fair. Register today online at http://www.imscareerday.com/.
The second annual Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) career development conference was recently held at the Marriott East Hotel in Indianapolis. The conference had 350 participants, which included students from 39 Indiana schools and 60 volunteers from schools and businesses who donated their time as judges.
JAG delivers a unique set of services to targeted high school youth. The mission is to keep young people in school through graduation and provide work-based learning experiences that will lead to career advancement opportunities or to enroll in a postsecondary institution that leads to a rewarding career.
“JAG has opened up a lot of doors for me in terms of realizing where I need to go in order to achieve my dreams,” said JAG participant Ayanna Sykes. “It lets me know how hard I have to work at it in order to get to where I need to be.”
The JAG Indiana students participated in ten competitions during the conference including: creative problem solving, employability skills, public speaking and the chapter professionalism award. Overall, the conference was able to provide 13 scholarships to competition winners.
“The students practice the job hunt, the school hunt, the career search, the interview process and they practice the skills they need to be valuable employees,” said Sue Honcharuk, Program Director for JAG Indiana.
She added, “The students meet students who speak the same language of career exploration, employability skills, student-led collaboration, post-secondary navigation and excitement about future opportunities.”
Martel Harris received a $750 college scholarship for being one of the nine winners in the creative problem solving competition. Harris admits that he wasn’t as focused as he needed to be until he enrolled in the JAG program.
“I really didn’t know what I wanted to do in life,” said Harris. “Being in JAG and having the mentorship, specialists and everybody together has really helped me set some goals and know this is what I want to achieve and this is what I want to be in life.”
Harris added the benefits of JAG go beyond just learning.
“I come from a household where my family is busy a lot of the time and we don’t have a lot of time to spend together,” he said. “Just coming into JAG and having someone say, ‘Martel, how are you today? How have things been going?’ It is just a great feeling. It let’s you know that somebody actually cares about you. Somebody really wants to know how you’re doing.”
Major Opportunities is not just a great opportunity for Hoosiers trying to get into construction trades it is also a great opportunity for employers. By providing employees with construction pre-apprentice on-the-job training, employers can receive up to 50% of an employee’s wages. Hire an individual with little or no construction training and provide them with on-the-job, occupational skill training and receive compensation for the costs of training for up to six months.
Employers have the discretion to hire individuals who qualify for the position and meet their needs. Participants must be paid the same wages and provided the same benefits and working conditions as other employees in related occupations with similar training, experience and skills. Women and individuals in minority groups must be given priority and employers are expected to retain participants as full-time employees upon satisfactory completion of the training.
It’s easy to become a part of Major Opportunities. Eligible construction employers should fill out an application, which can be found on the Major Opportunities Web site at http://www.dosomethingmajor.com/ and submit it to DWD. Indicate the specific job titles, number of on-the-job training positions and training plans for which the funding will be used.
If you have questions about the program or the application process, please send an e-mail to MajorOpportunities@dwd.in.gov or visit the Major Opportunities Web site at http://www.dosomethingmajor.com/.
Indiana’s employment situation for March 2010 showed more growth than the state has seen in several years. The Current Employment Statistics (CES) seasonally adjusted payroll survey showed increases of 16,600 jobs from February to March. This marked the largest over the month increase in several years, and the third month of payroll employment increases for Indiana.
The industries with the largest job increases included professional and business services +7,200, manufacturing +6,300 and construction +3,500. The increases in professional and business services continue to be led by growth in temporary and employment services. The increases in manufacturing were concentrated in the auto parts and recreational vehicle industries as workers in the northern counties of the state begin to be called back to work. The CES survey also showed increases in durable goods and concrete production which analysts believe is connected to increases in the construction industry and project future growth. This is the time of year when people expect to see signs of life in the construction industries, and this is an industry analysts will continue to monitor.
Gains in employment were seen across the nation in March, as the Bureau of Labor Statistics posted wide employment gains, with growth in construction employment in 26 states and the District of Columbia. Many states, including Indiana, are experiencing some gains after the harsh winter weather that kept hiring and projects at bay. While the picture is still grim over the year, Indiana’s construction employment is in better shape than most states in the Midwest and across the nation. The largest year-over-year percentage losses in construction are in Nevada, -30%; Colorado and Arizona, -20% each; Washington, -18%; and Idaho, -17%. The national average loss year over year was -11%. Indiana’s year to year construction decline of approximately -8% is considerably less than the national average.
There is one construction industry sector that could be driving the positive trend in Indiana. The heavy and civil engineering construction industry seems to have weathered the recession well. This industry includes the following establishment sectors: utility system construction, land subdivision, highway, street, and bridge construction. Indiana is the only state among our neighbors with growth in this industry since 2005, and one of only nine across the nation that is trending positive over the past five years.
Projects and growth in highway, bridge, and utilities construction are likely due in part to Indiana’s Major Moves initiative. Earlier research from the Department of Workforce Development suggested that at least 56,000 Hoosier construction workers found employment with the Major Movies project initiatives at approximately 500 firms from 2006 through the beginning of 2009.
|Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction||CES Employment 2005-2009 |
Annual Average Changeii
Construction employment is a small but vital part of Indiana’s employment and economy. Indiana’s construction employment makes up approximately 4% of total nonfarm (TNF) employment, which is similar to the national composition and the largest among our neighbors. Economists will be watching these trends closely as the spring continues and we look for seasonal hiring in construction to rise.
i Bureau of Labor Statistics
ii Current Employment Statistics (CES)
In June of 2008, many homes were destroyed by floods in the City of Franklin. To help rebuild, the Department of Workforce Development received a $2,400,000 National Emergency Grant to dismantle destroyed homes as part of Project Green.
Project Green provides personnel to assist in the clean up and restoration of public infrastructure damaged by the flooding of June 2008. This required the City of Franklin to purchase destroyed private homes and make them public property. After more than two years of negotiation and legal processing, the City of Franklin has purchased the homes allowing Project Green to move forward.
The grant is being used to dismantle homes and recycle as much material as possible instead of sending it to a landfill. Any immediately reusable material such as doors and windows is turned over for Habitat for Humanity projects that are underway. Any profit from the recycling will be donated to one for four non-profit organizations providing services in the city or in Johnson County. The organizations are The Franklin Heritage Foundation, The Interchurch Food Pantry, Discover Downtown Franklin, and Habitat for Humanity.
The grant only allows workers to participate in the dismantling and clearing of the property. After that, the city will use other funding to convert the property into a city park so there isn’t any construction in the flood plain in the future. Project Green is scheduled to end June 30, 2010. The state has requested an extension through December 2011 and an additional $1,300,000 in order to cover workforce and materials for Project Green through the end of the deconstruction and clearing phase. The U.S. Department of Labor is considering the request.
The mission of the Department of Workforce Development is to “raise everyone up one level.” This ideal applies to the Hoosiers we serve at our WorkOne Centers across the state as well as the department itself. That’s why I identified improving customer service as a top priority for our agency this year.
The economy has created a greater demand for our services than at any time in history. Each week this agency processes more than 500,000 unemployment insurance payments, receives an average of 50,000 phone calls and thousands of e-mails. Our team of adjudicators and administrative law judges handle thousands of appeals and unemployment decisions.
I am pleased to tell you that I have recently approved a plan to increase the capacity of our call center. This summer we will have double the number of phone lines into the call center, more than double the number of trained customer service representatives, and the latest call center technology thanks to a great Indiana company named Interactive Intelligence.
The former head of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel chain once said, “Unless you have 100% customer satisfaction…you must improve.” We have room to improve, but I can’t imagine a more dedicated team to do it.