Air Force general confirmed as first black chief of a U.S. military service

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General Charles Q. Brown in uniform

The Senate on Tuesday confirmed Gen. Charles Q. Brown to be the next Air Force chief of staff, making him the first African American leader of a military service as the Pentagon and the country grapple with a raft of racial issues.

The confirmation also makes Brown the second African American officer to sit on the Joint Chiefs of Staff since Chairman Gen. Colin Powell.

The 98-to-0 vote was a blowout approval for the four-star general. Vice President Mike Pence presided over the historic vote.

President Donald Trump, who nominated Brown in March, hailed the general on Twitter.

“My decision to appoint @usairforce General Charles Brown as the USA’s first-ever African American military service chief has now been approved by the Senate,” Trump said, though the tweet came before the confirmation vote. “A historic day for America! Excited to work even more closely with Gen. Brown, who is a Patriot and Great Leader!”

Brown’s nomination had been in the works for months, yet the vote came amid nationwide protests following the death of George Floyd in police custody. Top Air Force officials led the way in speaking out over the past week and calling for dialogue on racism. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Kaleth Wright, the service’s top enlisted leader, became the first senior military official to speak out, and was followed by outgoing Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein.

Brown, who is currently the commander of Pacific Air Forces, delivered an emotional message Friday about his experience as a black airman.

In addition to becoming the first African American service chief, Brown will be the most senior African American Pentagon leader since Powell chaired the Joint Chiefs from 1989 to 1993.

“I’m thinking about how full I am with emotion, not just for George Floyd but for the many African Americans that have suffered the same fate as George Floyd,” Brown said. “I’m thinking about a history of racial issues and my own experiences that didn’t always sing of liberty and equality.

“Without clear-cut answers, I just want to have the wisdom and knowledge to lead during difficult times like these,” Brown said of his nomination to be the service’s top officer. “I want the wisdom and knowledge to lead, participate in and listen to necessary conversations on racism, diversity and inclusion.”

Continue on to Politico to read the complete article.

These Are The Most At-Risk Jobs Post-Pandemic

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Career fair attendees walking to event

While many jobs were put on hold during the pandemic, there are a few that may not come back—ever.

Glassdoor’s Workplace Trends 2021 report finds that job postings for discretionary health services—or those that are elective and can be postponed during a pandemic—are down dramatically. The most at-risk job is that of audiologist, for which job listings on Glassdoor declined 70% during the pandemic.

Angela Shoup, president of the American Academy of Audiology, says she’s heard reports of audiologists being placed on long furloughs, as well as some who’ve closed their private practices and retired early this year. Many recent graduates looking for jobs in audiology have been told that larger practices are not hiring, she says.

Job postings for opticians and physical therapists saw a similar fate, down 61% and 40%, respectively. There’s also been a shortage of administrative and lower-skilled office roles. Jobs for event coordinators are down 69%, making it the second most at-risk job post-pandemic. Similarly, openings for executive assistants are down 55%, human resources generalists are down 37% and receptionists are down 35%, as most offices have been closed.

Unsurprisingly, positions for personal services workers have also plummeted. Beauty consultants took the hardest hit, with jobs down 53%. Jobs for valets were down 51%.

“[These are jobs] where Covid-19 is in the driver’s seat,” says Andrew Chamberlain, Glassdoor’s chief economist. “People are not going to return to their nail salons or get discretionary LASIK eye surgeries or go to in-person events until the virus is under control.”

Discretionary healthcare, event and personal-service jobs won’t disappear altogether after the pandemic, but they will certainly be slow to come back, he says. However, he thinks it’s possible some jobs may be lost forever.

Continue on to Forbes to read the complete article.

Said Yes to the Following Questions? – You’re more successful than you think

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Confident Businessman. Happy african guy smiling at camera working at office. Panorama, free space

By Jeff Haden

Sometimes comparisons can be useful, but where your sense of satisfaction and fulfillment are concerned, they’re definitely not.

Like if you constantly you compare yourself to other people. Do that and it’s easy to feel unsuccessful. If you’re an entrepreneur and you compare yourself to Richard Branson, you won’t win. If you’re a musician and you compare yourself to Taylor Swift (especially if the point of comparison is earnings), you won’t win. If your goal is to change the world and you compare yourself to Steve…

That’s the problem with comparisons. No matter how successful you feel, there is always someone who seems more successful. There is always someone better, or smarter, or wealthier, or (seemingly) happier.

So, stop comparing. Just focus on you. Then look for these signs that show you’re more successful than you might think – and, in all likelihood, that you’re happier than you think, too.

  1. “Do I have close friends?”

Close friendships are increasingly rare; one study found that the number of friends who respondents felt they could discuss important matters with has dropped from an average of 2.94 to 2.08 in the last 20 years.

If you have more than two or three close friends, be glad, not only for the social connection but also because the positive effect of relationships on your life span is double what you get from exercising and just as powerful as quitting smoking.

And where professional relationships are concerned…

  1. “Can I choose the people around me?”

Some people have employees who drive them nuts. Some people have customers who are obnoxious. Some people have casual acquaintances who are selfish, all-about-me jerks.

Guess what: They chose those people. Those people are in their professional or personal lives because they let them remain.

Successful people attract successful people. Hardworking people attract hardworking people. Kind people associate with kind people. Great employees want to work for great bosses.

If the people around you are the people you want to be around you, you’re successful.

And if they’re not, it’s time to start making some changes.

  1. “Do I have enough money to make positive choices?”

Many people live paycheck to paycheck. Worse, many have to decide between necessities. (I can remember having to choose between filling a prescription for an antibiotic and putting gas in my car.)

If you make enough money, and don’t spend so much money, that you can make positive choices about what to do with some of it – whether it’s investing, or taking a vacation, or taking classes… anything you want to do instead of have to do – then you’re successful, both because you’ve escaped the paycheck-to-paycheck grind and because you can leverage that extra money to become even more successful.

  1. “Do I see failure as just training?”

Failure sucks, but failure is also the best way to learn and grow. There will always be trials, challenges, and obstacles – but perseverance always wins in the end.

Every successful person has failed, numerous times. (Most of them have failed a lot more often than you. That’s why they’re so successful now.)

If you embrace every failure – if you own it, learn from it, and take full responsibility for making sure that next time things will turn out differently – then you’re already successful.

And in time, you’ll be even more successful, because you’ll never stop trying to be better than you are today.

  1. “Am I a giver?”

We’ve all experienced this moment: We’re having a great conversation, we’re finding things in common…and then, boom: The other person plays the “I need something” card.

And everything about the interaction changes.

What once appeared friendly now feels needy, almost grasping…and, if you’re like me, you feel guilty if you can’t help. (And especially if you decide you don’t want to help.)

As my buddy Adam Grant shows, people tend to fall into rough categories: Some takers, some are matchers, and some are givers.

And it should come as no surprise that people who feel successful tend to not be takers. They accept help if offered, but they don’t feel the need to ask. In fact, they focus on what they can do for other people.

  1. “Do I put other people in the spotlight?”

OK, maybe you did do all the work. Maybe you did move mountains. Maybe you did kick ass and take names.

If you aren’t looking for praise or accolades, that means you’re successful. That means you feel proud on the inside, where it counts. That means your happiness comes from the success of others. You don’t need the glory; you know what you’ve achieved.

If you enjoy the validation of others but don’t need the validation of others, you’re successful.

  1. “Do I feel a real sense of purpose?”

Successful people have a purpose. As a result, they’re excited, dedicated, passionate, and fearless.

And they share their passions with others.

If you’re found a purpose – if you’ve found something that inspires you, fuels you, makes you excited to get up, get out, and achieve – then you’re successful, regardless of how much money you make or what other people think.

Why?

Because you’re living life your way – and that’s the best sign of success there is.

Jeff Haden is a speaker, Inc. Magazine contributing editor, author of THE MOTIVATION MYTH, and ghostwriter.

The New Interview: How to Hire the Best Candidate in Our New Normal

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black businessman working from home during pandemic on laptop wearing a suit smiling

By Vicki Chabot & Abbey Szentes, netlogx

The COVID-19 pandemic has turned business operations upside down, but as businesses work toward a new normal and hire new staff, virtual interviews have become standard.

Gauging how an interviewee will fit into an organization’s workplace culture without sitting across from one another in-person can be challenging, but it’s not impossible.

When we’re not meeting people in-person, we miss cues that are necessary to fully comprehend communication. Research consistently shows candidates who align with an organization’s culture and values are critical for successful, strategic hiring.

Here are some of the best ways to foster a connection with candidates and how to weigh a candidate’s potential — both in work experience and their ability to align with organizational culture:

Create a Plan for Virtual Interviews

As policies and procedures change throughout the pandemic, make sure everyone is on the same page about how interviews will be conducted and what software will be used. There are many free options available like Google Meet or UberConference that are easy to use and don’t require added investments.

To minimize technical difficulties, choose a preferred software and practice using it. Perform test runs 10–15 minutes before a scheduled interview to make sure the microphone is operable, screen share options are easily accessible, and there is a strong web connection available. Ensure all candidates know what the interview process looks like and what they can expect throughout the interview. Create an agenda that can be shared with candidates and other team members and be clear about the organization’s expectations for the role. If candidates are showcasing some of their work, ask for the work ahead of time in case there are poor connections. Not everyone will have the same internet bandwidth, and it’s crucial to plan for that ahead of time.

Start with a Preliminary Phone Interview

Hiring managers and recruiters receive hundreds of applications when hiring for a new position. Conducting preliminary phone interviews with candidates who have the desired set of skills and work experience can help organize the pool of candidates and prevent lost time for those who aren’t a fit at all. It is common during in-person interviews to develop rapport with candidates, but in a completely virtual world those connections are more important than ever before. While a phone call is great for screening candidates, video conferencing should be used for any other interviews. Hiring managers should ask more questions so they can get to know candidates on a personal level.

Ask Personal and Professional Questions

A virtual interview should be treated the same as those that take place in-person, but there are benefits to meeting candidates virtually. Remind hiring managers and team members to be a bit more compassionate than they would normally be when sitting across the table from a candidate. Life frequently gets in the way with barking dogs, a phone ringing, or spouses, partners and children all working and playing under the same roof. These are perfect opportunities to learn more about candidates and their day-to-day lives as opposed to only pointed questions about work skills. Yes, those questions are important, too, but in a virtual environment, there is much that can be learned about a candidate’s lifestyle and ability to handle distractions. Take notes and ask questions about the person’s hobbies, interests, and volunteer work.

Create a Process to Gather Feedback From Candidates

It’s commonplace for potential candidates to send thank you notes after an interview, but it is helpful for interviewers to do the same as they adapt to remote-only interviews. Thank the candidate for being flexible and adaptable, and ask for feedback about the process. How did candidates feel it went? Are there things that could be improved or adjusted? These questions help hiring managers and teams to refine the interview process for future candidates and provide a glimpse of how a new hire would handle communicating information internally.

Use Work Style and Personality Assessments

If hiring managers want to know how candidates will perform and communicate, a business management assessment tool, such as the Taylor Protocols Core Values Index™ (CVI) or Myers Briggs Personality Assessment, are fantastic ways to understand an interviewee on a deeper level. Too often, employees are tasked with roles and responsibilities that can make them feel like a round peg forced into a square hole. This is something a hiring manager wants to identify before training and onboarding a new hire. As a last step, these kinds of assessments can help one candidate stand out more than another and help solidify your choice to hire them.

Business leaders should anticipate changes for interviewing practices and as the pandemic continues, remote interviewing remains the best and most viable way to understand a candidate’s potential as a new hire for the organization. Having a standardized process in place for virtual interviews and establishing a cadence of questions that demonstrate candidates’ ability to react in the moment gives hiring managers and recruiters better insight. The final step should always be a short work and personality assessment, so leaders can determine the most productive place for candidates or if different candidates may be better suited for the position at hand.

How to Talk About Race with Employees

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Collage image of many diverse business people

This article is not entitled “How to Talk About Race TO Employees.” It’s never a voice from on high disseminating information. Like anything important, it’s a two-way conversation; you have to say something, and you have to listen.

But it can be daunting to broach any sensitive subject in the workplace. This article is a jumping off point, including some steps leaders can take, plus a framework for providing smart, thoughtful internal communication to their employees around the subject of race and racism in the workplace.

The recent incidents affecting Ahmaud Arbery, Christian Cooper and George Floyd make the subject of race impossible to ignore. And while these acts of racism and violence did not happen in the workplace, it’s a reminder that racism still happens in the workplace, too. In spite of employers increasing investment in diversity and inclusion, a Glassdoor survey reveals that 61 percent, or about three in five U.S. employees have witnessed or experienced discrimination based on age, race, gender or LGBTQ identity in the workplace. The 2019 Diversity and Inclusion Study was conducted online by The Harris Poll among over 1,100 U.S. employees and revealed the prevalence of discrimination at work. Forty-two percent of employed adults in the U.S. have experienced or witnessed racism in the workplace; the highest percentage of the four countries surveyed.

Given that discrimination and racism still happen in the workplace, here are some tips to consider to be a great ally to combat racism.

Set an example. Demonstrate your support and solidarity by speaking up and acting up when you hear insensitive, derogatory remarks or when you see racist, bigoted behavior. Acting ethically and in a morally sound fashion includes a responsibility to speak up and act up when we see injustice.

  • Make connections. Reach out to your black friends and colleagues. Show them that you are aware of what’s going on.
  • Listen more, talk less. You don’t have to say something all the time or post something on social media to prove how aware you are about these issues.
  • Be informed. Remember that being an ally requires you to educate yourself about the experiences of others differently situated. Try following people of color on social media to learn about their perspectives and experiences.

Here are some things you may want to consider avoiding:

Don’t sensationalize. If you do post about a racial incident on social media, don’t use pictures or videos of the incident. This risks desensitizing us to violence against black people, and can traumatize those who see it on your feed.

  • Face reality. Be sensitive and aware that Black people have been aware of systemic oppression and violence for hundreds of years; do not be surprised if your expressing surprise at these horrible events makes others feel belittled.
  • Honor differences. A person’s skin color is part of who they are and carries with it a long history and a particular experience in today’s world. Be sensitive and aware of this basic fact in all relevant contexts. These are just some of the tips you can leverage to help be an ally at work, as well as someone to help stop any racism that may be going on in your workplace.

We encourage you to read employee reviews when assessing the external perception of your company’s culture, how you are showcasing your investments in diversity and inclusion efforts, and how you’re highlighting other workplace attributes relevant to your company.

Source: Glassdoor

Kamala Harris speaks for the first time as vice president-elect

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Kamala Harrsie stands behind podium smiling with U.S. flags in the background

Kamala Harris addressed Americans for the first time as vice president-elect of the United States, making history as the first woman, Black American and South Asian American to win the nation’s second highest office.

At an event in Wilmington, Delaware, with President-elect Joe Biden, she nodded specifically to the work of the women who came before her, adding: “While I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last.”

She spoke about an America under the Biden administration that focused on equality and justice, and reminded supporters that “America’s democracy is not guaranteed — it is only as strong as our willingness to fight for it.”

The Associated Press called the 2020 election for Biden after calling the race in Pennsylvania, giving him more than the 270 electoral votes needed to capture the presidency. “We the people have the power to build a better future,” she said.

 

Source: PBS News Hour

Here’s How to Save Energy While Working from Home

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black woman wearing headband and casual shirt paying utility bills online using laptop computer, sitting at kitchen table with papers and smiling

Across the country, many Americans are social distancing and are working at home to avoid contracting and/or spreading the coronavirus in their communities. At the same time, many schools are closed, and students are attending online classes from home.

Here are 5 tips to help you save energy and money on your electric bill if you are working or learning at home.

Consider ordering light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs to replace regular incandescent light bulbs. LED bulbs use about 7 to 10 watts to create the same amount of light as a traditional 60-watt incandescent light bulb (or current 42-43 watt halogen incandescent light bulb). They also are about 33-50 percent more efficient than 13-15 watt compact fluorescent lights (CFLs).

Use fans instead of air conditioners. Running two ceiling fans rather than a central whole-house air conditioner for a few hours a day can save hundreds of dollars in energy costs each year. Remember to turn fans off when you are not in the room.

Eliminate “phantom loads.” Turn off devices you aren’t using if they consume standby power, such as some cell phone chargers and laptops and desktop computer monitors. Consider replacing standard power strips with an advanced or “smart” power strip to further reduce phantom loads automatically.

Limit how often you open appliances such as refrigerators and ovens. If you limit opening the oven to check on food as you cook, you can save electricity, protect the appliance, protect your food, and speed up cooking times.

Make some adjustments to your dishwasher habits. Only run your dishwasher when you have a full load, because dishwashers use about the same energy and water regardless of the number of dishes inside. Before running the dishwasher, be sure to scrape off food, rather than using extra water to rinse dishes. Set an air-dry option for your dishwasher instead of heat-dry. Check the manual that came with your dishwasher for the manufacturer recommendation on water temperature – it may have an internal heating element that allows you to set the water heater in your home to a lower temperature.

Use microwave ovens to cook when you can. Microwave ovens have no “warm up” time and cook more efficiently than full-size ovens. Also microwave ovens work more efficiently when the inside surfaces are clean.

For more energy-saving tips, check out EEI’s booklet, More Than 100 Ways to Improve Your Electric Bill, updated in February 2020. Located at https://www.eei.org/about/affiliates/nationalkeyaccounts/Documents/100Ways.pdf

Source: Edison Electric Institute

A Lifetime of Service

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Montel Williams has served his country for 22 years, and ever since, he’s been serving those who serve in the Armed Forces.

By Brady Rhoades

Montel Williams served his country for 22 years, and ever since, he’s been serving those who serve in the Armed Forces.

Through Military Makeover, which he produces and hosts, the Emmy-award winning TV icon has transformed the homes and lives of hundreds of veterans and their families. The show, which airs on Lifetime TV and AFN, has produced some of the most memorable moments in TV history.

In a February, 2020 episode, Montel and the Military Makeover crew helped Debi, the Gold Star widow of Operation Desert Storm veteran Chris Hixon, who was killed in the 2018 mass shooting at Marjorie Douglas Stoneman High School in Florida while rushing in and trying to disarm the killer.

They stepped in two years after the school shooting that killed Chris and 16 others and made Debi and her two children’s lives a little brighter by, among other things, renovating her kitchen and installing long, floating shelves in several rooms. Debi placed photographs of Chris on those shelves.

Montel — no last name necessary for most people — lives by a simple creed that he learned in boot camp: “We leave no Marine behind,” he says. “I bought into the fact that once a Marine, always a Marine.”

TV personalities Rachael Ray and Montel Williams (C) pose with the 1st Marine Corps District at the 2nd Annual Variety Salute to Service in New York City.
TV personalities Rachael Ray and Montel Williams (C) pose with the 1st Marine Corps District at the 2nd Annual Variety Salute to Service in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/Getty Images)

Montel was the first Black Marine selected to the Naval Academy Prep School to then go on to graduate from the United States Naval Academy.

“In the nearly three decades since I retired from the Navy, I’ve never really taken the uniform off because standing up for those who are serving now—and those who have served—has been the greatest honor of my professional career,” he says,

Most recently, the husband and father of four joined The Balancing Act, also on Lifetime TV, as a co-host. Before that, he shot to stardom on The Montel Williams Show from 1991 to 2008, for which he won an Emmy for Outstanding Talk Show Host.

Military Roots
There’s a lot of tinsel that goes with Hollywood fame, but beneath it are roots, and Montel’s are deep and resilient. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1974. He then graduated from the Naval Academy in 1980 with a degree in engineering and a minor in international security affairs.

Montel Williams (R) and wife Tara Williams.
Montel Williams (R) and wife Tara Williams.
(Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/FilmMagic)

He completed Naval Cryptologic Officer training, and spent 18 months in Guam as a cryptologic officer for naval intelligence. He was later a supervising cryptologic officer with the Naval Security Fleet Support Division at Fort Meade, Maryland. He left the Navy at the rank of lieutenant commander. His awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, and the Navy Achievement Medal.

As part of his work in cryptology, Montel teamed with the National Security Agency and was involved in the victory in Grenada in 1983. On several occasions, Montel has worked to get United States citizens — usually military personnel who have been captured in foreign lands — returned to America.

In the 1990s and early part of the 2000s, The Montel Williams Show was synonymous with excellence, empathy and intelligence. Some argue Montel is on the “Mt. Rushmore” of day-time talk show legends, alongside Oprah and others.

In 1999, after years of excruciating pain that, at times, had him crying during commercial breaks, Montel was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. It was bad and good news all at once — bad because MS is painful and debilitating; good because he finally knew what was ailing him and could move forward with treatment.

More than two decades after his diagnosis, Montel lives an active, purposeful life. A fun one, too. One of his favorite activities is snowboarding, which he says helps his balance in day-to-day living.

A Healthy Balance

Montel Williams, Debra Hixon, wife of late Navy Veteran Chris Hixon, his son Corey, and Hixon’s sister-in-law.
From left: Montel Williams, Debra Hixon, wife of late Navy Veteran Chris Hixon, his son Corey, and Hixon’s sister-in-law.

Balance is what makes him a perfect fit for The Balancing Act, a morning show that empowers viewers to live balanced, healthy lives. Montel, who suffered a stroke in 2018, and just keeps going like the Eveready Battery, knows a thing or two about balance. If success is measured by how many people you’ve helped, Montel is rich beyond his monetary millions and accomplished far beyond his worldwide fame.
He goes back again and again to those values he learned in boot camp. Take the following episode of Military Makeover:

After Aaron and Holly Middleton met at a Columbus bar after graduating Ohio State University, it was love at first sight. Though unfamiliar with the rigors of military family life, Holly went all in, giving up her own career to find fulfillment as a mother. Aaron is now a major and senior communications officer serving at USMC Forces Central Command in Tampa, Florida.

The family has faced overwhelming adversity. First, their newborn son, Kelvin, was diagnosed with holes in his lungs, requiring immediate surgeries. Then, unspeakable tragedy struck the family when the Middleton’s’ 5-year-old daughter Scarlett died from an undiagnosed illness.

Montel Williams with Holly and Aaron Middleton, who lost their 5-year-old daughter Scarlett, and began a foundation in her honor, “Scarlett’s Sunshine.”
From left: Montel Williams with Holly and Aaron Middleton, who lost their 5-year-old daughter Scarlett, and began a foundation in her honor, “Scarlett’s Sunshine.”

The shock and trauma of Scarlett’s passing has shaken the family to its core. Scarlett loved picking and giving away flowers, and her favorite song was, “You Are My Sunshine.” Through pain and inspiration, Holly promised to keep alive the joy Scarlett brought to everybody who knew her. The grieving mother created a charity called Scarlett’s Sunshine, using random acts of kindness with flowers to induce spontaneous smiles.

“Little did I know that when I gave people the flowers, and I saw the gratitude on their faces light up, that I would see Scarlett’s light again,” Holly says. “I found her light.” The Middletons’ home in St. Petersburg— the first they’ve owned since Aaron joined the Corps— needed a lot of help. Military Makeover worked to make it a place of healing and solace for this deserving military family.

As the cherry on top, the show donated a year’s worth of flowers to Scarlett’s Sunshine. “It feels like a miracle,” Holly said, when presented with the flowers. Which brought a smile to Montel’s face.

That’s the miracle of Montel’s life, which mirrors the lives of all U.S. veterans.

Supplier Diversity—Part of a Black Chamber’s DNA

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A group of black businesspeople having a meeting

By Bobby McDonald, President, OC Black Chamber

The Orange County Black Chamber of Commerce, for over 36 years, has prided itself for providing Access to Information. Our mission has strongly supported our minority and diverse communities.

We at the Black Chamber are always looking for ways to help our business community improve, enhance and grow their business.

In 2001, Supplier Diversity became an integral part of the Orange County Black Chamber and its membership.

Southern California Edison created a supplier diversity and development team that outreached with events that identified diverse suppliers for potential business opportunities.

It was easy to follow their new innovative playbook because they understood it wasn’t just the idea of doing the right thing, but supplier diversity made good business sense.

Networking, matchmaking events, business forums, “how to do business” workshops and now, the Edison Entrepreneurial, Development, Growth and Education (EDGE) Programs, offer potential members to learn how to participate, gain experience, learn the nomenclature and variance of degrees of supplier diversity, and how to prepare to do business effectively.

As far as certification goes, we at the Black Chamber have partnered with Department of General Service, who offers training and certification for small business to businesses in California. A small business certification supports the pursuit of contract opportunities with the state and helps the state meet its 25 percent goal.

The Dept. of General Services also offers certification for Disabled Veteran Business Enterprises. The chamber offers a yearly certification training event for veterans in conjunction with the California Employment Development Department.

One our biggest success was to have a two-session certification with the DGS, where 33 individuals came to get their business SB and DVBE certification. After the training, we were informed that DGS confirmed seven individuals had garnered successful certification.

The chamber has found and truly believes that corporations that set minority procurement goals that are supported by top management can achieve substantial progress in narrowing the opportunity gap between minority- and white-owned businesses.

We are now currently involved with supplier diversity programs with Southern California Gas Company, Semper Energy Utilities along with AT&T, to name a few. It’s now part of our chamber DNA.

We totally realize and understand the value of supplier diversity and how it enhances and creates proactive business and encourages the use of minority-owned, women-owned, veteran-owned, LGBT-owned, service-disabled-veteran-owned, historically underutilized business, and Small Business Administration (SBA)-defined small business concerns as suppliers.

 

What Are the Most Secure Jobs in America Now?

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Closeup of woman's hand iworking by touching laptop

Millions of Americans have filed for unemployment benefits in the past months. Most states have been under stay-at-home orders, which have meant nonessential businesses have shut their doors and laid off workers. Below is a list of the most secure jobs in America now.

Nurses

The median annual wage for registered nurses was $73,300 in May 2019.

Employment of registered nurses is projected to grow 7 percent from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations. Growth will occur for a number of reasons, including an increased emphasis on preventive care; increasing rates of chronic conditions, such as diabetes and obesity; and demand for healthcare services from the baby-boom population, as this group leads longer and more active lives.

Physicians & Surgeons

Wages for physicians and surgeons are among the highest of all occupations, with a median wage equal to or greater than $208,000 per year.

Overall employment of physicians and surgeons is projected to grow 4 percent from 2019 to 2029, about as fast as the average for all occupations.

Physician’s Assistant

The median annual wage for physician assistants was $112,260 in May 2019.

Employment of physician assistants is projected to grow 31 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. As demand for healthcare services grows, physician assistants will be needed to provide care to patients.

Home Health Aide

The median annual wage for home health aides and personal care aides was $25,280 in May 2019.

Overall employment of home health aides and personal care aides is projected to grow 34 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. As the baby-boom generation ages and the elderly population grows, the demand for the services of home health aides and personal care aides will continue to increase.

Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselor

The median annual wage for substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors was $46,240 in May 2019.

Employment of substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors is projected to grow 25 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. Employment growth is expected as people continue to seek addiction and mental health counseling.

Software Developer

The median annual wage for software developers was $107,510 in May 2019.

Employment of software developers is projected to grow 22 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. Software developers will be needed to respond to an increased demand for computer software.

Researchers and Scientists

The median annual wage for computer and information research scientists was $122,840 in May 2019.

Employment of computer and information research scientists is projected to grow 15 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. Job prospects are expected to be excellent.

Teachers

The median annual wage for high school teachers was $61,660 in May 2019. The median annual wage for middle school teachers was $59,660 in May 2019.

Employment of high school and middle school teachers are projected to grow 4 percent from 2019 to 2029.

Veterinarian

The median annual wage for veterinarians was $95,460 in May 2019.

Employment of veterinarians is projected to grow 16 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. Overall job prospects are expected to be very good.

Lawyer

The median annual wage for lawyers was $122,960 in May 2019.

Employment of lawyers is projected to grow 4 percent from 2019 to 2029, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Competition for jobs over the next 10 years is expected to be strong because more students graduate from law school each year than there are jobs available.

Source: money.usnews.com; glassdoor. com; bls.gov

Top 15 States with the Most Remote Jobs

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By Brie Weiler Reynolds, Career Development Manager

Before the COVID-19 crisis, 4.9 percent of the U.S. workforce worked from home full time. Now, nearly everyone who can is working from home due to ongoing pandemic concerns, and many companies are switching to remote work indefinitely.

According to a recent survey, more than three-quarters of office workers who’ve been working remotely say they would prefer to work from home more often, even after the pandemic ends.

Does it matter where you’re working from if you work from home, though? Many people think having a remote job will allow them to work from anywhere they choose. But the truth is that the vast majority of remote jobs require workers to reside in a specific geographic location.

Why Do Remote Jobs Require a Location?

Close to 95 percent of remote jobs have location or geographic requirements, such as a city, state, region of a country, or country. That means that only 5 percent of remote, work-from-home positions are truly work-from-anywhere jobs, and that’s really important for job seekers to know if they want to land a remote job.

The most common reasons employers need their remote workers based in a specific area include legal, taxation, professional licensing, training, and regular in-person meetings.

So, if remote positions usually have location requirements, where are the most remote jobs? The following 15 states have had the highest number of remote job listings in the last year and a half, since January 1, 2019. The state’s current remote worker population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, is also noted along with the top three cities with the most remote workers, and remote-friendly companies across the state.

States with the Most Remote Jobs
1. California: 6%

Cities in California with the highest populations of remote workers:
Berkeley: 11.6%
Santa Monica: 9.6%
Pleasanton: 9.5%

2. Texas: 5.2%

Cities in Texas with the highest populations of remote workers:
The Woodlands: 11.3%
Sugar Land: 8.8%
Austin: 8.2%

3. New York: 4.5%

Cities in New York with the highest populations of remote workers:
New York City: 4.3%
Syracuse: 4.2%
Rochester: 2.9%

4. Florida: 6.2%

Cities in Florida with the highest populations of remote workers:
Delray Beach: 9.5%
Clearwater: 9%
Miami Beach: 8.6%

5. Illinois: 5.1%

Cities in Illinois with the highest populations of remote workers:
Naperville: 10.1%
Evanston: 7.9%
Arlington Heights: 6.2%

6. Virginia: 5.6%

Cities in Virginia with the highest populations of remote workers:
Arlington: 5.7%
Alexandria: 5.3%
Roanoke: 4.1%

7. Pennsylvania: 5.1%

Cities in Pennsylvania with the highest populations of remote workers:
Pittsburgh: 4.8%
Philadelphia: 4.4%
Allentown: 3.7%

8. North Carolina: 6%

Cities in North Carolina with the highest populations of remote workers:
Asheville: 8.3%
Charlotte: 6.9%
Raleigh: 6.9%

9. Georgia: 5.9%

Cities in Georgia with the highest populations of remote workers:
Columbus: 8%
Atlanta: 7.2%
Sandy Springs: 5.5%

10. Massachusetts: 5.3%

Cities in Massachusetts with the highest populations of remote workers:
Newton: 10%
Worcester: 6.4%
Cambridge: 6.2%

11. Washington: 6.5%

Cities in Washington with the highest populations of remote workers:
Bellevue: 8.2%
Seattle: 7.6%
Renton: 5.7%

12. New Jersey: 4.7%

Cities in New Jersey with the highest populations of remote workers:
Jersey City: 3.5%
Camden: 1.9%
Newark: 1.6%

13. Colorado: 8.6%

Cities in Colorado with the highest populations of remote workers:
Boulder: 14.9%
Broomfield: 9.4%
Denver: 8.2%

14. Arizona: 6.8%

Cities in Arizona with the highest populations of remote workers:
Scottsdale: 10.7%
Mesa: 6.6%
Flagstaff: 5.9%

15. Minnesota: 6.1%

Cities in Minnesota with the highest populations of remote workers:
Plymouth: 9.2%
Eagan: 6.3%
St. Paul: 6%

Remote Work Trends
Commute stress is routinely cited as one of the primary reasons workers seek remote jobs. And, With the average daily commute at 27.1 minutes one way, employees who work remotely half-time (about two to three days per week) stand to gain back 11 days a year just from not commuting as much!

Due to the fact that COVID-19 forced many companies to implement remote work on the fly, employees who otherwise wouldn’t be working virtually now are.

Zillow reports that more than half of homebuyers who work remotely say remote work influenced a major home change. For instance, remote work means that you don’t necessarily have to live in the same city as your employer, and aren’t forced to live in a larger (and more expensive) metropolitan area.

Furthermore, several cities and states now offer incentives for remote employees to move to their location. Oklahoma, Vermont, Alabama, and Colorado are some states that currently have remote worker incentive programs.

Find a Remote Job By Location

What if your state isn’t on this list? Many tools, such as FlexJobs, allow you to find remote jobs by entering your location.

Source: FlexJobs

NTI@Home Aids in Finding Work-at-Home Opportunities

LinkedIn
A woman working from home at a desk

By Kate Brouse, Business Development Lead at NTI

For many Americans with disabilities—even prior to these unusual times—finding and keeping a job comes with unique challenges: commuting to a workplace, job flexibility to allow for doctor’s visits and treatments, and needed accommodations to complete a job.

Now, the COVID-19 pandemic has upended traditional businesses nationwide, resulting in many companies sending employees home while at the same time, seeing a huge increase in the demand for customer support. Call and contact centers in particular have become the frontline for branding and customer experience. Companies are increasingly seeing an urgent need to create and staff virtual call centers to meet the increasing demand. This shift in the typical office dynamic has increased the availability of flexible, work-at-home jobs with competitive pay, and has opened doors for new job opportunities for the disability community.

Before mid-March, only 1.3 percent of job postings on ZipRecruiter explicitly offered the opportunity to work from home. Now, 11.3 percent of jobs on the site offer at-home flexibility. As unfortunate as the pandemic is, one silver lining it that is has forced companies to allow people to work at home—an accommodation those within the disability community have been requesting for years that has suddenly become the norm due to COVID-19. A disabled person who may be at a disadvantage in the workplace may now find it easier to secure an at-home job for which accommodations are not even required; their homes are already set up for their needs.

National nonprofit NTI@Home has been providing work-at-home opportunities for people with disabilities and their caretakers for over 25 years. NTI@Home provides free training and job placement services to disabled Americans and veterans, providing many with the first step on the path to a new career—all from the comfort and safety of their own homes. Over 4,300 Americans have found roles in government organizations, Fortune 500 companies, and other national organizations after completing NTI@Home’s free training program.

Andrea Thomas founded NTI@Home after a debilitating illness kept her out of the workforce for more than six years. Following a two-decade career and early, unplanned retirement, Thomas always had a desire to go back to work. After working with NTI and completing a self-paced training program, Thomas found a role at Celgene, a global pharmaceutical company that develops cancer and inflammatory disease therapies. As a customer survey agent, she works with patients to log prescription information, medical history, and more.

“My job has given me the opportunity to be a part of the workforce again and I love it,” said Thomas, a California resident. “This is a great opportunity for people to work from home. I love working for a company like Celgene that allows me to connect and help people nationwide.”

Thomas is the perfect example of what NTI@Home can do for people with disabilities who want to be a part of the workforce but often find obstacles in their way. NTI@Home has long recognized these barriers and helped people within the disability community find an alternate path to employment. The COVID-19 pandemic has only accelerated their ability to help disabled Americans find remote work with competitive pay. The nonprofit recently expanded their mission to serve not only people receiving disability benefits from the Social Security Administration, but also any American with a documented disability, including those with invisible disabilities and chronic health conditions like asthma, COPD, PTSD, and cancer, to name just a few.

“In 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act empowered more workers with disabilities to work from home,” said Alan Hubbard, COO of NTI. “But now the economic situation created by the COVID-19 crisis has opened the doors for thousands of disabled Americans to enter the workforce.”

After making the adjustment to working as a remote customer service agent following an injury, Adrian Galaviz, 38, of Corpus Christi, Texas, is a strong advocate for working-from-home. Galaviz had worked in the call center industry on site before a car accident in 2016 caused him to seek a telework opportunity.

“You have to treat it like you would any other job,” said Galaviz. “You have to be ready mentally, with no TV or radio in the area. I also don’t have any Internet browsers open. It took a bit of time to get used to working at home. It was different than going to a brick-and-mortar store as there were so many distractions.”

For the one in four Americans who live with a disability, the opportunity to work from home after completing NTI@Home’s free training allows many benefits: a flexible schedule, a paying job in a reputable company, and an active role in the workforce. NTI@Home is committed to helping and inspiring disabled Americans by sharing stories of individuals like Andrea Thomas and Adrian Galaviz who now have successful careers working at home.

 

Source: Kate Brouse on Twitter. Click here to view Kate’s twitter.

New Law Requires Large Corporations to Diversify Boards

LinkedIn
A diverse board of directors sitting around a table

By Natalie Rodgers

On August 31, California lawmakers passed a new, unnamed piece of legislature that would increase diversity and inclusion rates in big California businesses.

Under this new law, large corporations would be required to have at least one board member on their team who comes from an underrepresented community. The legislature further clarifies the definition of underrepresented communities to include: Black and African American, Hispanic and Latino, Native American, Native Hawaiian, Alaska Native, Asian, Pacific Islander, or LGBTQ+.

“Corporations have money, power, and influence,” Assemblyman and author of the law Chris Holden stated. “If we are going to address racial injustice and inequity in our society, it’s imperative that corporate boards reflect the diversity of our state.”

Holden hopes that the bill will make large representative changes resulting in racial justice, similar to the gender equality shown after the passing of the 2018 bill, requiring big-name corporations that have a certain number of women on their board.

While presenting the new legislature, lawmakers strived to prove the necessity for its existence by referring to various studies that showed a lack of diversity in big corporations and the state of California alike. One such study, done by the Deloitte and Alliance for Board Diversity in 2018, stated that out of the 1,222 new board members that were introduced to Fortune 100 companies, 940 of them identified as Caucasian, a whopping 77 percent. Another study, done by the Latino Corporate Directors Association in July 2020, stated that 87 percent of California business boards did not have Latino representation, despite making up almost 40 percent of the total population. Many large technology companies, such as Apple and Facebook, were also tested to have all-white executives in the top executive positions on the board.

“There is enough evidence to show there is discrimination,” Holden told lawmakers. “The numbers simply don’t lie.”

Besides the presence of discrimination, lawmakers also showed evidence of the economic impact that diversity can have on large corporations. Companies that present a larger understanding and representation of diversity have shown to increase in profit as their target audience begins to draw in more people from various backgrounds.

Under Holden’s law, diversity would be required to increase in the coming years in California businesses. Corporations with more than nine board members would need to have a minimum of three members that come from underrepresented communities and corporations with  five to eight board members would be required to have at least two of these members. If signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom, the law would also penalize those violators with fines starting at $100,000.

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