Archive for January, 2011
Sunday, January 30th, 2011
Verizon Wireless has contributed substantial funds to give non-profit jobs in Rhode Island a boost.
Nonprofit groups in Rhode Island received some $350,000 from the Verizon Foundation in 2010. The majority of the funds went to organizations that support education, domestic violence prevention and Internet safety.
In addition, Verizon employees volunteered more than 3,600 hours to nonprofit groups throughout the state in 2010.
“Verizon is driven by its employees to use the innovative power of our technology – and our philanthropic dollars – to address critical social issues,” said Donna C. Cupelo, region president of Verizon New England. “We are proud to partner with key nonprofit organizations throughout Rhode Island to be a positive force for change in communities in greatest need.”
Programs and organizations supported by the Verizon Foundation in 2010 include:
- Think Ahead with Thinkfinity Awards, $50,000; Rhode Island Network for Educational Technology (RINET) and the Rhode Island Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, $25,000. The two organizations are designated as the Verizon Foundation’s Thinkfinity state education partners. In addition, four public districts and schools received a total of $25,000 in grants to use Thinkfinity.org to improve student achievement: East Providence, Johnston and Scituate schools, and The Met School in Providence.
- Women’s Fund, $20,000 to facilitate a Domestic Violence Technology Solutions/Social Change Request for Proposals for community organizations across Rhode Island to apply for funding to address the deeply rooted issues — both societal and institutional — that contribute to the victimization of women through domestic violence.
- The Boys and Girls Clubs of Providence, $10,000 for its Outdoor Education & Environmental Studies program, which provides opportunities for youth to learn about the environment, experience different natural environments, plan for the future, and make educated choices for sustaining the communities in which they live.
- Junior Achievement of Rhode Island, $10,000 for its JA In A Day program. Elementary school students discover individual economic roles and the roles of families in the local economy, while also learning about responsibilities and opportunities within their economic community as they explore economic development, local businesses and career opportunities.
- Progresso Latino and CCRI, $7,500 each to help adult learners across Rhode Island improve their literacy skills through innovative, technology-based literacy programs.
The Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon, uses its technology, financial resources and partnerships to address critical social issues, with a focus on education and domestic violence prevention. In 2010, the foundation awarded nearly $67 million to nonprofit agencies in the U.S. and abroad. Through Verizon Volunteers, one of the nation’s largest employee volunteer programs, Verizon employees and retirees have volunteered nearly 6 million hours of community service since 2000. For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizonfoundation.org.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers. Verizon Wireless operates America’s most reliable wireless network, serving 94.1 million customers nationwide. Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America’s most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers innovative, seamless business solutions to customers around the world. A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of more than 194,000 and last year generated consolidated revenues of $106.6 billion. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.
Sunday, January 23rd, 2011
A new credit extension and an increase in house buying has caused real estate jobs in Rhode Island to increase.
The federal tax credit extension, coupled with an uptick in seasonal buying, helped keep the real estate market on its tracks in the first two quarters of 2010, according to the RE/MAX of New England 2011 Housing Market Outlook and Forecast*. Single-family home sales across New England showed the affects of the tax credit extension, as first-time buyers inked deals to beat the spring deadline.
As predicted, the second half of 2010 did not fare as well despite mortgage interest rates hitting historic lows - at times dipping into the 3% range. “The stalled third and fourth quarters have everything to do with lower consumer confidence due to our struggling job market,” said Jay Hummer, Executive Vice President and Regional Director of RE/MAX of New England. “We’ve seen a nationwide trend of companies accumulating cash and reducing debt by not hiring additional personnel.” According to a report from Moody’s Investors Service, an estimated $943 billion has been accumulated as cash reserves by U.S. non-financial corporations, primarily in the technology sector.
In an effort to stimulate the economy, the Federal Reserve recently announced a second purchase of $600 billion in long-term Treasury bonds; an attempt to speed up economic growth by further lowering long-term interest rates. “With rates continuing on a steady trajectory, it’s really an investor’s market,” said Hummer. “There is no other industry right now in which you can expect 80% return on your investment. Consumers who are able to put 20% down, rent a property and in 20-30 years time own it, will realize that return.”
Despite recent data by the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices that shows broad-based declines in the values of home prices in the third quarter of 2010, some New England states are bucking the national trend.
Rhode Island, which has the highest unemployment rate, at 11.6%, in New England and the fifth highest in the nation, showed average price increases in homes across the board. Single family homes were up 11.2% from $243,968 in 2009, to $271,244 in 2010. Condominium prices increased 10.1% from $214,116 in 2009 to $235,735 in 2010. Multifamily home prices showed the highest gain from $114,131 in 2009 to $137,451 in 2010; a 20.4% increase, clearly showing the affects of investor-related buying.
In Massachusetts, where the unemployment rate of 8.2% sits below the national average, home prices showed marked increases, as well. Single-family home prices were up 7.2% from $351,788 in 2009 to $376,970 in 2010. Condominium prices increased 9.3% from $305,937 in 2009 to $334,343 in 2010. Multifamily home prices showed gains of 14.0% over 2009, with average prices increasing from $226,535 to $258,322.
In Connecticut’s affluent Fairfield County, single family and condominium prices also increased in 2010. Single-family home prices were up 13.8% from $547,259 to $622,547 in 2010. Condo prices rose from an average of $277,821 to $288,924, a 4% increase over 2009 prices. Multifamily homes largely stayed the same, posting a small drop of -0.4%.
As anticipated, overall home sales in 2010 were down versus 2009. Across New England, single family home sales dropped an average of –5.0%; condominium sales showed an average decrease of -2.8% and multifamily homes showed the highest decrease in sales at -9.7% on average.
With more Americans underwater on their mortgages, foreclosure activity signs point to marked increases in 2011. Third-quarter foreclosures in 2010 jumped by more than 30% with bank regulators stating that many lenders have simply exhausted options for keeping delinquent mortgagees in their homes through government programs including loan modifications. In fact, according to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Office of Thrift Supervision’s quarterly mortgage report, more than 380,000 new foreclosures were initiated nationwide in the third quarter of 2010. That makes the number of in-process foreclosures close to 1.2 million, nationally, a 10% increase over 2009.
“More foreclosures in the market will absolutely affect the timeline to an industry recovery,” said Hummer. “Purchasing a foreclosed property also takes anywhere from six to 12 months and even with conservative estimates, we won’t see a turnaround until at least 2013. That’s why it is so critical that investors ramp up activity now.”
Another area that bears watching, according to Hummer, is adjustable rate mortgage resets. For the estimated hundreds of thousands of Americans who chose this option their rates will soon jump up into the double-digits, creating payments that they simply cannot afford.
Sunday, January 16th, 2011
Dollar General has announced it will be hiring several people for jobs in Rhode Island.
Building on its plans to open 625 new stores in fiscal 2011, Dollar General Corp. today announced that it plans to create 6,000 new jobs. The new stores and jobs will be spread among Dollar General’s existing 35-state operating area as well as three new states: Connecticut, Nevada and New Hampshire.
“Bringing our store model of convenience and value to more people in more states is an exciting opportunity for us,” said Rick Dreiling, Dollar General’s chairman and CEO. “We believe the new communities and states we are entering will benefit from the new jobs, shopping choices and dedication to community found at Dollar General.“
By expanding its presence in new suburban, rural and metropolitan markets, Dollar General will be bringing more than 6,000 new jobs to local communities. The anticipated jobs follow two years of positive job growth for the company. From 2009 – 2011, the company will have created more than 15,000 new jobs.
In addition to 625 new stores, the company plans to remodel or relocate 550 stores.
Dollar General Corporation has been delivering value to shoppers for more than 70 years. Dollar General helps shoppers Save time. Save money. Every day!(R) by offering products that are frequently used and replenished, such as food, snacks, health and beauty aids, cleaning supplies, basic apparel, house wares and seasonal items at low everyday prices in convenient neighborhood locations. With more than 9,200 stores in 35 states, Dollar General has more retail locations than any retailer in America. In addition to high quality private brands, Dollar General sells products from America’s most-trusted manufacturers such as Procter & Gamble, Kimberly-Clark, Unilever, Kellogg’s, General Mills, Nabisco, Hanes, PepsiCo and Coca-Cola. Learn more about Dollar General at www.dollargeneral.com.
Monday, January 3rd, 2011
A new survey points to a better-than-expected economy in 2011 and predicts there may be more Rhode Island jobs on the horizon.
More employers plan to add full-time, permanent headcount in 2011 compared to 2010 with a continued emphasis on hiring in technology and revenue-producing fields. The survey, which was conducted by Harris Interactive© from November 15 to December 2, 2010, included more than 2,400 hiring managers and human resource professionals across industries and company sizes.
“More than half of employers reported they are in a better financial position today than they were one year ago,” said Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder. “2011 will usher in a healthier employment picture as business leaders grow more confident in the economy. Our survey indicates more jobs will be added in 2011 than 2010, but job creation will remain gradual. The year will be characterized by steady, measured gains across various industries.”
Twenty-four percent of employers plan to hire full-time, permanent employees in 2011, up from 20 percent in 2010 and 14 percent in 2009. Seven percent plan to decrease headcount, an improvement from 9 percent in 2010 and 16 percent in 2009. Fifty-eight percent anticipate no change in their staff levels while 11 percent are unsure.
Thirteen percent of employers expect to hire part-time employees in the next 12 months, up from 11 percent in 2010 and 9 percent in 2009. Five percent plan to decrease part-time help, an improvement from 8 percent in 2010 and 14 percent in 2009. Seventy-one percent anticipate no change in their staff levels while 12 percent are unsure.
Businesses will be relying on interim solutions to help shoulder growing workloads. One-third of hiring managers (34 percent) reported they will hire contract or temporary workers to supplement leaner staffs in 2011, up from 30 percent last year and 28 percent in 2009. Of those hiring, nearly one-in-four (24 percent) expect to add more than last year. Thirty-nine percent of employers plan to transition some contract or temporary staff into full-time, permanent employees.
Top Functional Areas for Hiring
Among employers who plan to increase their full-time, permanent headcount in 2011, Sales is the most popular functional area they will be hiring for as they focus on expanding their customer base and market penetration. The top ten functional areas for recruitment include:
1) Sales – 27 percent
2) Information Technology – 26 percent
3) Customer Service – 25 percent
4) Engineering – 21 percent
5) Technology – 19 percent
6) Administrative – 17 percent
7) Business Development – 17 percent
8) Marketing – 17 percent
9) Research/Development – 15 percent
10) Accounting/Finance – 14 percent