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26 posts from March 2011

03/29/2011

Six Flags holding Saturday auditions for summer entertainers

Six Flags Over Texas is holding auditions this Saturday, April 2, for summer season dancers, costume characters, and singers.

Audition times are 10 a.m. for dancers and costume characters, and 1 p.m. for singers. Registration times are one hour in advance. Callbacks will be invitation only Sunday April 3.

Auditions will be at The Harbor Center at Hurricane Harbor, 1800 E. Lamar Blvd. in Arlington.

More info:  Six Flags' jobs site.

- Scott Nishimura, jobs and workplace reporter, Star-Telegram

More Texans earning federal minimum wage, BLS says

Texas had 550,000 workers earning at or below federal minimum wage in 2010, up 76,000 from the previous year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports.

In other findings, workers making $7.25 per hour or less accounted for 9.5 percent of all hourly-paid workers in Texas, the BLS said. Nearly 12 percent of hourly-paid women were earning wages at or below minimum wage, compared to 7.4 percent of men.

Texas had the largest number of minimum wage earners among the states, accounting for 12.6 percent of the U.S. total in 2010. - Scott Nishimura, jobs and workplace reporter, Star-Telegram

03/25/2011

Fort Worth-Arlington up 10,900 jobs in February over a year earlier

Fort Worth-Arlington's employment was up 10,900 jobs in February to 844,300, compared to the same mont a year earlier.

Here's more from Texas' Friday jobs report on Fort Worth-Arlington unemployment and where the jobs came were, compared to a year earlier:

Mining, logging and construction: 52,000 jobs, up 400 from the same month in 2010;

Manufacturing: 85,000, up 1,200

Trade, transportation and utilities: 195,800, up 1,600

Information: 13,500, down 1,100

Financial activities: 51,000, up 600

Professional and business services: 90,200, up 1,200

Education and health services: 108,300, up 3,500 jobs

Leisure and hospitality: 89,900, up 1,900 jobs

Other services: 31,300, up 400 jobs

Government: 127,300, up 1,200 jobs

Here's the S-T's Friday story on the statewide jobs picture.

- Scott Nishimura, jobs and workplace reporter, Star-Telegram

03/24/2011

Hiring managers expect to bring on more summer help, SnagAJob says

Teen Summer Jobs 3 Hiring managers plan to bring on more summer help, pay higher wages, and hire earlier this year, according to a survey out Thursday by SnagAJob.com, the jobs site that specializes in hourly jobs.

In the survey of 1,005 hiring managers by Ipsos Public Affairs, 10 percent said they expect to hire more seasonal people this year than last year, up from the 6 percent who said the same thing in a survey last year.

Hiring managers with openings said they expect to pay an average $10.90 per hour, up from the $10.20 in last year’s survey.

And 43 percent of hiring managers with openings said they expect to complete their summer hiring by April, which SnagAJob said is a “slightly more aggressive timeline” than the 40 percent in last year’s survey.

Amanda Richardson, a spokeswoman for SnagAJob, said it was the third year of positive trends in the annual survey, and the results show employers are feeling more confident about their prospects.

“We’ve got 55 percent of hiring managers hiring, which is the highest number since 2008,” she said.

Taken together, the numbers suggest a continuing highly competitive environment for jobseekers, Richardson said. College students who intend to seek work in their hometowns should apply now, and not wait until May, when school’s out, she said.

“Get your online applications in now,” she said. Students should also consult with their networks to find opportunities, apply to multiple jobs, and consider taking a day off from school to come home and look for summer work, she said.

Other findings in the survey:

  • Small and midsize businesses, in addition to mainstays such as Six Flags, are hiring.
  • On a scale of 1 to 10, hiring managers were a 5 on average, neutral on how difficult it will be for teenagers to find jobs.
  • On where they’ll find workers, hiring managers said they expected to draw 65 percent of staff from previous employees, and 35 percent new hires, which “has been consistent the past four years,” SnagAJob said.
  • Previous experience doesn’t necessarily carry the day. Asked the most important attribute of seasonal help, hiring managers cited positive attitude (30 percent) and scheduling flexibility (30 percent). Experience was cited No. 1 by 27 percent of hiring managers, up 4 percentage points from the previous survey.

Jobseekers should beware that summer jobs aren’t always labeled as such by employers in job descriptions, Richardson said.

“Employers often don’t want to commit to a timeframe,” Richardson said. “It’s up to conversations with the hiring manager to understand how long the job is.”

Students who attend school in their hometowns should keep this in mind.

“A lot of employers make summer hires with an eye toward a test drive,” Richardson said. “Summer jobs can turn into fulltime jobs. There’s definitely an advantage to being local and accessible.”

Besides the obvious spots like Six Flags, Richardson said jobseekers should look at businesses that benefit from summer travel and “staycations,” including restaurants, gasoline stations, motels, and movie theaters.

Landscaping also offers a good pot of jobs, she said. “That work has already started,” with home improvement centers, for example, hiring for their lawn and garden stores, Richardson said.

Ipsos conducted the survey Feb. 23-March 1. Respondents were hiring managers with responsibility for hiring summer hourly workers, SnagAJob said. Margin of error was 3.09 percent. Margin of error for the group of managers who said they planned to hire summer help was 4.17 percent, SnagAJob said.

- Scott Nishimura, jobs and workplace reporter, Star-Telegram

03/22/2011

Small business conference for women rolls into Dallas this week

Unexpectedly cut loose from her job in 1999, Tory Johnson started Women For Hire, a company aimed at helping women advance in the workforce. She now has a multi-million-dollar business and is a bestselling author and popular speaker.

Tory Johnson Johnson’s Spark & Hustle conference for women business owners is on an eight-city tour, stopping at the Crowne Plaza Dallas Downtown Thursday-Saturday this week. Cost is $495, but you've still got a little time left before today's deadline to seek scholarship assistance at www.sparkandhustle.com. Johnson, in town recently to promote the conference, sat down for a Q&A with the Star-Telegram.

On what goes down at Spark & Hustle conferences: "Women are often unaccustomed to talking about making money, and, in some cases, have a great difficulty pricing their products and services, negotiating, and assessing a value to their time and talent. All of our focus is on marketing and sales. We do a lot of role play. There’s not much of a focus on what sort of business you should have."

On goal-setting: "You have to define success for you. For some, it’s $80,000 a year. For others, it’s $300,000, or I need to break a million dollars. What is your financial goal? It helps you break down what needs to happen on the marketing side, what needs to happen on the sales side. If in the next year, you want to generate $100,000, how many clients are you going to have to acquire, how masny widgets are you going to have to make, how many people are we going to have to reach? What’s the typical conversion rate from leads, or touches? How aggressive is your marketing going to have to be? How much time or effort are you going to have to spend on marketing vs. just delivering your product or service?"

On marketing: "Who is your client? Who are they and where are they? What’s your brand? How are you talking to your prospective market? What are all the different methods you’re using?"

On standing by your pricing: "What’s the first thing you do if someone objects to your pricing? It’s discount or give it for free. Two bad strategies. We get scared away from our pricing, instead of defending our pricing."

On not worrying about having no capital: "All the marketing we talk about is muscle marketing as opposed to money marketing. You’ve got to use some elbow grease. You’ve got to do the social media work yourself instead of just buying ads. We talk a lot about doing things on a shoestring. Your best opportunity is to fund your growth through sales. Start selling."

- Scott Nishimura, jobs and workplace reporter, Star-Telegram

03/17/2011

Lighthouse for the Blind adds second Fort Worth shift for federal contract

The Lighthouse for the Blind has added a second shift to its Fort Worth manufacturing line that makes energy dissipating pads for the Defense Department, hiring five more people to meet greater demand from the federal contract.

The Lighthouse's Industrial Division employs more than 70 people -- some totally blind, some legally blind -- who make products such as the pads, graffiti remover, hygiene kits, non-incendiary LED marking flares, shipping containers, copy paper, and clear barrel pens at the organization's plant on Fort Worth's Near South Side.

The Lighthouse was already running a day shift four days a week for the Defense Department contract. Two weeks ago, it added a 4:30 p.m.-1:45 a.m. shift, said Nancy Fisher, Lighthouse community development.

Workers assemble the pads by gluing top and bottom sheets on a six-inch-thick piece of cardboard. The finished product is eight feet by three feet and is designed for use underneath supply pallets and vehicles to cushion the drop in air drops.

Scott Nishimura, jobs and workplace reporter, Star-Telegram

Where's the hiring these days? CareerBuilder's view

Wondering where the hiring is these days? Here's CareerBuilder's view on four areas where it sees continued "solid growth" in hiring in the last 12 months in the DFW area:

Sales: Postings up 21 percent. CareerBuilder's take: "Businesses are focused on growth and revenue generation. We're seeing increased sales jobs in new media and advertising, technology, health care and biotechnology, and professional and business services."

Healthcare: Postings up 35 percent. CareerBuilder's take: "They need both clinical and non-clinical staff. On the clinical side, they need everything from nurses and physical therapists to radiology technicians, medical assistants, home health aides... On the non-clinical side, you can find the same positions you see in corporate America - accounting/finance, office managers, IT staff."

Information technology: Postings up 41 percent. CareerBuilder's take: "With the proliferation of smart phones and the Internet and the increased emphasis companies are placing on business analytics, we're seeing demand for .NET developers, JAVA developers, business and network analysts, database administrators..."

Customer service: Postings up 43 percent. CareerBuilder's take: "Companies want to keep clients happy, loyal and spending. We see hiring across industries in this functional area."

Marketing: Postings up 22 percent over the last year. CareerBuilder's take: "Jobs in a variety of marketing functions (e-mail marketing, social media management, advertising) are needed to promote offerings and add to top-line growth. These roles directly support sales and promote overall visibility and engagement with the company brand."

- Scott Nishimura, jobs and workplace reporter, Star-Telegram

GEICO hiring in Dallas

GEICO says it's hiring people at its regional office in Dallas.

The insurance company, owned by Berkshire Hathaway, plans to hire 100 more people in sales, customer service, and claims, adding to the 1,350 people already in the Dallas office.

GEICO says it's looking for employees who have a high school diploma or equivalent, prior experience in sales or service, and "great time management skills."

"In addition, job stability, dependability and a good attitude are a must," GEICO says. "Strong communications skills are also required as employees will be working with customers on a regular basis. Job applicants do not have to have any knowledge of the insurance industry."

More info: the company's careers page at www.geico.com.

- Scott Nishimura, jobs and workplace reporter, Star-Telegram

03/16/2011

Goodwill having March 23 job fair at its new Hurst Career Center

Goodwill Industries of Fort Worth is having a job fair March 23 at Goodwill’s new Hurst Career Center, 825 W. Pipeline Road., Hurst.

Employers present will include Girling Healthcare, Stellar, Lowe’s, and the city of Hurst. Representatives of the Texas Workforce Commission, Goodwill Staffing Services, and the Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services will provide job counseling and other resources.

The fair is 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

- Scott Nishimura, jobs and workplace reporter, Star-Telegram

03/11/2011

Texas cable industry supported 112,410 Texas jobs in 2010, industry study says

The Texas cable industry’s impact on the state’s economy has grown, according to a study done for the industry by the Bortz Media and Sports Group.

The industry employed 112,410 Texans “directly or indirectly” and put more than $15.9 billion into the economy last year, the study said.

In 2008, another study by the same group group found that the Texas cable industry supported 97,138 jobs and nearly $14.7 billion in impact.

- Scott Nishimura, jobs and workplace reporter, Star-Telegram

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