Tag Archives: jobs

SJW 1

Mobile job-search office hits the road

St. Joseph the Worker (SJW) has taken its successful job-development program for homeless, low-income and disadvantaged individuals on the road with the Mobile Success Unit, the Valley’s first mobile job-search office.

The private non-profit organization has outfitted a renovated 39-foot, 2003 Newmar Kountry Star RV with four computers and desk space for clients to use for job searches and resume building, a mobile Wi-Fi service and phone, a job developer office, clothing closet and storage space for hygiene products, program materials and supplies.

The RV, fully wrapped with signage and sponsor names, will hit the road the week of May 12 to complement the organization’s 18 satellite locations throughout Maricopa County.

“Adding the Mobile Success Unit to our outreach efforts pushes us beyond the limits of what we’ve been capable of achieving in helping those struggling to find jobs,” said St. Joseph the Worker Executive Director Brent Downs.

“And we would not have been able to expand our reach this way without the $200,000 grant we received from Bank of America through its Neighborhood Builder program.”

St. Joseph the Worker received the unrestricted grant as a 2013 Bank of America Neighborhood Builders® honoree, a program recognizing high-performing nonprofits making a significant impact addressing critical needs including workforce development.

“We used the grant for general operating expenses which allowed us to allocate existing funds to buy and renovate the RV,” Downs said.

“Now we can travel anywhere in the metro area to deliver our services and programs to even more motivated men and women looking for work but unable to get to our brick-and-mortar offices.”

Lifestyle RV of Mesa and SJW staff began renovations in March by removing the vehicle’s bed, desk, dining room, couch, washer and dryer and some cabinets. New, commercial-grade carpeting was installed throughout the RV. The living area was converted into a working office, the former bedroom was transformed into a clothing closet and the laundry room became a storage area.

Downs said SJW will now undertake a fund-raising campaign to recover the cost of the RV and the renovation “and allow us to put those dollars to use helping our clients.”

During the first four months of Fiscal Year 2013-14, St. Joseph the Worker helped 1,294 people go back to work, a dramatic increase from the entire FY 2012-13 when the agency placed a total of 925 new hires.

“We expect those numbers to continue to grow,” Downs said.

Also during the first quarter, St. Joseph the Worker provided more than 1,800 different individuals with services ranging from one-on-one job search assistance, job-readiness resource and referrals to “encouragement and support to pursue a self-sufficient lifestyle,” Downs said.

“That is our goal: to help individuals return to the workforce and become self-sufficient, productive members of society.”

For more information about St. Joseph the Worker, visit www.sjwjobs.org.

bioscience

Bioscience Roadmap gets an extension through 2025

The strategic plan that has guided Arizona’s fast-growing bioscience sector for nearly 12 years is gearing up for a new decade.

“Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap: 2014-2025” will be unveiled starting April 8 at events in Phoenix, Tucson, and Flagstaff, the state’s three metropolitan areas that feature growing bioscience hubs. The plan includes updated strategies that can strengthen and diversify Arizona’s economy while providing Arizonans access to the latest health care innovations.

“The updated Bioscience Roadmap builds on the successes of its first decade and adds contemporary strategies to take Arizona’s bioscience base to the next level,” said Jack Jewett, President & CEO of the Flinn Foundation, which commissioned the update and the original Bioscience Roadmap in 2002. “Arizona is now known as a top emerging bioscience state, but we have far to go to reach our full potential.”

The updated Roadmap will continue to focus on developing Arizona’s biomedical research infrastructure but will emphasize turning this research into new therapies, products, diagnostics, jobs, firms, and other benefits to Arizona. Commercialization, entrepreneurship, creating a critical mass of bioscience firms, and the development of talent are prime themes.

The Roadmap’s overarching vision is for Arizona—a young but rapidly growing state in the biosciences—to become a global competitor and national leader in select areas of the biosciences by 2025.

Over the first decade, Arizona built major research facilities at its universities, formed new private research institutes, attracted top talent, created high-tech business incubators, and greatly expanded statewide STEM (science, technology, education, math) education programs. The number of Arizona bioscience industry jobs grew by 45 percent, nearly four times greater than the nation.

“Arizona has many bioscience strengths and opportunities, but a substantial increase in private and public investment will be needed over the next decade to realize the Roadmap’s goals,” said Walter Plosila, senior advisor to the Battelle Technology Partnership Practice, the Columbus, Ohio-based nonprofit research and development organization that authored the original Roadmap and its update.

Plosila noted that Arizona’s greatest needs are access to risk capital by startup and emerging bioscience firms, building a stronger bioscience entrepreneurship culture, and an expansion of the research infrastructure combined with commercialization at the state’s universities.

The new Roadmap plan features five goals, 17 strategies, and 77 proposed actions. The actions are meant to evolve as needs change over the course of the decade. The plan was developed by Battelle following research, interviews, and focus groups with more than 150 local and national bioscience leaders, including extensive input from Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap Steering Committee, a body of more than 100 statewide leaders in science, business, academia, and government.

“An emphasis on the full spectrum of the biosciences—from research to hospitals to bio-agriculture—and a renewed focus on resources, collaboration, and long-term patience is needed for Arizona to continue its ascent in the biosciences,” said Martin Shultz, Senior Policy Director for Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, who chairs the Roadmap Steering Committee. “The impact can be profound—the biosciences are a multibillion-dollar industry for Arizona.”

There are six industry segments that comprise the biosciences in Arizona: agricultural feedstock and chemicals; drugs, pharmaceuticals, and diagnostics; medical devices and equipment; research, testing, and medical labs; bioscience-related distribution; and hospitals. A new economic-impact analysis by Battelle estimates the total revenue generated annually by Arizona’s bioscience industry—not counting hospitals—to be $14 billion. With hospitals included, the figure exceeds $36 billion.

Based on the latest industry data (2012), Arizona currently has 106,846 bioscience jobs spread across 1,382 establishments and an annual average wage of $62,775—39 percent higher than the private-sector average. These numbers do not include academic research jobs at the state universities or private research institutes.

Hospitals account for the majority of the state’s bioscience jobs. With hospitals removed from the equation, the other segments combine for 23,545 jobs, 1,266 establishments, and average annual wages of $85,571. Growth in the non-hospital segments accelerated dramatically over the last few years.

The bioscience-related distribution subsector is a new addition to Arizona’s bioscience definition, following the lead of the Biotechnology Industry Organization, the nation’s bioscience trade association. Companies in this subsector coordinate the delivery of bioscience-related products through processes such as cold storage and product monitoring, and new technologies such as automated pharmaceutical distribution systems. This change also called for several smaller industries to be dropped from Arizona’s definition.

The Roadmap also presents updated data on Arizona’s performance in generating grants from the National Institutes of Health, academic research expenditures, venture capital, and tech-transfer measures involving the state universities. These metrics plus industry measures will be tracked throughout the decade by Battelle and reported by the Flinn Foundation.

The Roadmap also includes analyses of Arizona’s bioscience sector that were critical in developing the strategies and actions, such as an assessment of Arizona’s bioscience strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and challenges. It identified Arizona’s core competencies as cancer research, neurosciences, bioengineering, agricultural biotechnology, imaging sciences, precision medicine, diagnostics, health information technologies, and health economics.

The Flinn Foundation is a privately endowed, philanthropic grantmaking organization established in 1965 by Dr. Robert S. and Irene P. Flinn to improve the quality of life in Arizona to benefit future generations. The Phoenix-based foundation supports the advancement of the biosciences in Arizona, as well as a merit-based college scholarship program, arts and culture, and the Arizona Center for Civic Leadership. “Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap: 2014-2025” is available for download at www.flinn.org.

Encantada, CBRE

CBRE Secures $33.8M Loan for Encantada Apartments in Tucson

CBRE’s Capital Markets Debt & Equity Finance Group announced today the successful refinancing of the Encantada at Riverside Crossing, a Class-A apartment community in Tucson. The $33.8M loan was funded through international insurance company AIG, Inc.

The financing of Encantada at Riverside Crossing was originated by Jim Sellers, Senior Vice President, Tim Prouty, First Vice President and Theresa Witz, Senior Analyst of CBRE’s Debt and Equity office in Tucson.

Bert Lopez has grown HSL Properties into the major apartment owner/developer in Southern Arizona,” said CBRE’s Sellers. “He has given to the community in a variety of ways and this was an opportunity for CBRE to contribute to his successes by bringing insurance company capital to our area.”

The project is sponsored by HSL Properties, Inc., who developed the apartment community in 2011. Tucson-based HSL Properties is a real estate company that focuses on multifamily apartment properties, particularly in the southwestern United States. The company has also invested in office and retail buildings, shopping malls, a golf course and hotels. 

Encantada at Riverside Crossing is a 304-unit Class-A apartment community with a mix of one- , two- and three-bedroom floor plans. Amenities include a resort-style pool and swim up lounge with a double-sided fireplace, state-of-the-art athletic center, private 27-seat THX movie theatre, indoor/outdoor clubhouse with wifi, flat screen TVs and complimentary coffee bar. All units are TEP-guaranteed for energy efficiency and include 9 and 10 foot ceilings, granite countertops, walk-in closets and full size washer and dryer.

The property is located along River Road, one of Tucson’s busiest east-west arterials, with convenient access to the I-10 freeway and the foothills of North Tucson. Northwest Medical Center is located less than one mile north and two regional malls are within two or three miles of the property. The 13.09-acre site is one of only five new multifamily properties built in the north Tucson submarket since 2009.

Business Credit Score

Progrexion Announces Phoenix Office, Hundreds of Jobs

Progrexion, the nation’s leading provider of services in the credit repair industry, today announced it is opening a new office in Phoenix, bringing hundreds of new jobs to the region.

“We are excited to enter such a dynamic and high-quality market like Phoenix to meet our growth demands. We acquired 30,000 square feet in North Phoenix for a sales call center and plan to add hundreds of hires initially, and then grow from there”, said Gene Abernethy, Senior Vice President – Human Resources for Progrexion, based in North Salt Lake, Utah.

“We are excited that Progrexion has chosen Phoenix as its new site,” said Mayor Greg Stanton. “This is one example of how Phoenix is making a big comeback in the job market. Our competitive and dynamic workforce makes us a top choice for companies looking for new opportunities.”
Progrexion used Dallas-based global location advisory firm Site Selection Group, LLC to assist in its national site search to expand its credit repair telesales operations.

“We worked closely with Progrexion to filter through a large number of potential cities to determine which location had the best chance to provide high quality associates and community support to meet Progrexion’s growth needs. Phoenix was the clear choice,” stated Samuel J. Pruitt, Executive Vice President & Principal of Site Selection Group, LLC.

“Progrexion is the national market leader in its industry, and its new Phoenix operations will allow the company to access a high-quality workforce to propel its growth initiatives,” said Arizona Commerce Authority President and CEO Sandra Watson. “Progrexion’s capital investment and expansion in Phoenix will bring hundreds of jobs to Arizonans while strengthening our state’s overall economy.”

Progrexion will host a job fair September 20 from 3-7 p.m. and September 21 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 20620 North 19th Avenue in Phoenix. They are looking for candidates to fill call center and sales agents positions. On Friday, burgers and live music will also be available. On Saturday, the job fair will feature a family carnival with a bounce house, petting zoo, face painting and prizes.

In addition, Progrexion intends to bring to the Phoenix area its robust corporate giving program, which was launched in Utah in 2012 and has already raised more than $100,000. During the job fair, Progrexion will collect food and cash contributions to benefit St. Mary’s Food Bank. For every 10 pounds of food or $10 in cash, attendees of the job fair will be entered into a drawing for many great prizes, including a flat-screen TV and a mountain bike.

“St. Mary’s Food Bank would like to welcome Progrexion to the valley and we look forward to working with a new partner in the fight against hunger,” St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance President and CEO Beverly Damore said. “Progrexion has been a hunger hero in their home state of Utah and were quick to reach out to the World’s First Food Bank upon their arrival in Arizona – where one in four children are affected by food insecurity. We look forward to this great new partnership.”

“Progrexion’s compassion for helping others succeed is a welcome addition to the Greater Phoenix region,” said Barry Broome, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council. “The region’s workforce and community strengths played a major role in their decision, and we’re proud to welcome them to Phoenix.”

“We look forward to being involved in the Phoenix community and establishing ourselves as a true employer of choice,” Abernethy said.

To find out about Progrexion’s career opportunities, visit http://www.progrexion.com/careers.

87681015

Amazon looks to fill jobs in Arizona

Amazon.com Inc. is looking to fill 7,000 jobs in 13 states.

The company says it will add 5,000 full-time jobs at its U.S. distribution centers, which currently employ about 20,000 workers who pack and ship customer orders.

The world’s largest online retailer has been spending heavily on order fulfillment, a strategy meant to help the business grow, but one that has also weighed on profits. Amazon said last week it lost money in the second quarter even as revenue increased.

Warehouse jobs are available in Arizona, Delaware, California, Indiana, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

The company is also adding 2,000 customer service jobs, including full-time, part-time and seasonal, in Kentucky, North Dakota, Washington and West Virginia. Work from home positions are available in Oregon, Washington and Arizona.

Arizona Is Losing Economic Grounds To Other Southwestern States, 2008

Rebound for Arizona and U.S. Slows Down

Jobs, home prices and population growth are all slowly rebounding in Arizona. However, experts from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University say we still have a long way to go, and the automatic federal budget cuts known as the sequester aren’t helping our momentum. The experts delivered their forecasts today at the annual Economic Outlook Luncheon sponsored by the Economic Club of Phoenix.

Research Professor Lee McPheters, director of the JPMorgan Chase Economic Outlook Center at the W. P. Carey School, confirmed Arizona is once again a Top 15 growth state for both employment and population, but we’re not back to normal levels. From 1960 to 2007, we routinely ranked among the Top 5 states for both employment and population growth. In the rough years from 2008 to 2011, we dropped down to No. 48 and No. 14 in those areas.

“Last year, we finally bounced back to No. 8 for employment growth and No. 7 for population growth,” said McPheters. “However, the sequester and other factors have been clouding the economy here in recent months, and the year-over-year job-growth ranking issued this March dropped Arizona down to No. 13. The state will have to wait a couple more years for full recovery.”

Arizona added 48,900 jobs in 2012. The state is projected to add 61,000 jobs this year. The fastest-growing industries are construction, wholesale trade, information, state government and leisure/hospitality.

“Arizona has gained back 39 percent of the 314,000 jobs we lost in the recession,” explained McPheters. “However, that’s a pace well behind the nation as a whole, which has regained 67 percent of its 8.8 million lost jobs.”

In recent years, population growth in Arizona had dropped from the state’s typical 2- to 3-percent range to less than 1 percent. Finally last year we popped back up to 1.3 percent.

Personal income may also be coming back. The consensus of Arizona Blue Chip economists shows growth in this area of 3.7 percent in 2012, 5.1 percent expected in 2013, and 6 percent expected in 2014.

“The bottom line is that Arizona is doing better than most states, but this will still be the seventh year in a row of lean, subpar growth for us,” said McPheters.

Dennis Hoffman, economics professor and director of the L. William Seidman Research Institute at the W. P. Carey School of Business, reiterated that Arizona is recovering more slowly from this recession than from others in the past. However, we are coming back stronger than the nation as a whole in most areas of the economy. Hoffman expects the United States to see 2- to 3-percent gross-domestic-product (GDP) growth this year. That will likely include more moderate job growth and low inflation.

“The economy is plodding along, assisted by the real-estate and stock-market recoveries, low fuel prices and innovation in the business world,” said Hoffman. “Still, we face a lot of uncertainty from our national-debt crisis, political squabbling in Washington, economic difficulties in Europe and China, and changing demographics. One huge issue remains the problem of future funding for Social Security and Medicare.”

At the state level, Hoffman says we’re going to be strongly affected by the decisions still to be made this year on possible Medicaid expansion, the loss of the temporary sales tax, the potential taxing of online sales, and other big issues. For now, state revenue has been coming back with the rebounding economy.

When it comes to the housing market, Mike Orr, director of the Center for Real Estate Theory and Practice at the W. P. Carey School of Business, delivered good news about the recovery. Specifically, the median Phoenix-area home price was up a whopping 58 percent from a low of $111,000 in May 2011 to $175,000 this March. Foreclosures were down 60 percent just over the last year from March 2012 to March 2013, and Orr expects foreclosure rates to dip below long-term averages by the end of next year. Also, less than 5 percent of Arizona home loans (not already in foreclosure) are delinquent now.

However, we do face some problems in the housing market. For one thing, there’s a chronic shortage of homes for sale. Now that there’s no flood of cheap foreclosures and short sales coming onto the market, buyers are dependent mostly on normal resales and new-home sales.

“Higher prices would normally bring more ordinary home sellers into the market, but many are either locked into their homes because of negative equity, or they’re simply waiting for prices to go up more,” explained Orr. “As a result, some buyers are turning to new-home sales, but developers are reluctant to overbuild as much as they did at the market peak. Therefore, we may see about 50,000 to 60,000 new people being added to our local population this year, but only around 12,000 new single-family homes being built.”

Today’s Economic Outlook Luncheon was held at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Phoenix. The Economic Club of Phoenix hosts this event every spring, as one of its opportunities for Valley business leaders and others to network and engage. The club was founded by a group of prominent business executives called the Dean’s Council of 100, in conjunction with the W. P. Carey School of Business. More information about the club can be found at www.wpcarey.asu.edu/ecp.

Today’s presentations will be posted at knowWPCarey, the business school’s online resource, at http://knowwpcarey.com.

118315706

Stanton pitches Phoenix to Silicon Valley businesses

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton wants businesses in Silicon Valley to relocate to Arizona.

Stanton traveled to California this week to sell Phoenix as a prime location for technology and manufacturing jobs.

Stanton says Phoenix needs to proactively attract employers.

Stanton’s office would not say what companies he is approaching in California because the meetings are confidential.

Stanton has traveled to Silicon Valley in the past to persuade companies there to relocate or open new branches in Phoenix.

He also has made several recent trips to Mexico to promote international trade.

Stanton was elected mayor in 2011.

Jan Brewer

Brewer, GM announce Chandler Innovation Center

Michigan-based General Motors (GM), together with Governor Jan Brewer, Chandler Mayor Jay Tibshraeny, the Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) and the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC), announced today GM has selected Chandler as the site of its fourth Information Technology Innovation Center.  These IT Innovation Centers enable GM to in-source the company’s innovation capabilities, strengthening its global competitiveness.

With the announcement, GM expects to invest $21 million in the new Chandler facility and hire 1,000 high-wage employees over the next five years.

“GM could have chosen to locate this premier facility anywhere in the country, so it is a tremendous credit to our state and everything we have to offer that GM has decided to build right here in Arizona,” said Governor Jan Brewer.  “Today’s announcement speaks volumes about the business-friendly environment we have created in Arizona, including our high-tech workforce, competitive tax policies and lean regulations. I could not be prouder of our state or what this announcement means for the future of the Arizona economy.”

With today’s GM announcement, Chandler joins previously disclosed locations for Innovation Centers in Warren, Mich., Austin, Texas, and Roswell, Georgia.

“The greater Phoenix area is a fantastic hub of emerging technical talent – from university graduates to working professionals. GM needs these kinds of world-class and skilled employees to be as successful as we want to be,” said GM Chief Information Officer Randy Mott.  “Chandler is the perfect addition to our overall Innovation Center market strategy, locating in great communities that are on the leading edge of innovation and technology.”

GM’s IT Innovation Centers are part of a companywide transformation to improve performance, reduce the cost of on-going operations and increase its delivery of innovation.

“This is exactly the type of technology employer we need in Chandler and in our state,” said Chandler Mayor Jay Tibshraeny. “The GM Innovation Center is a perfect complement to Chandler’s Price Corridor, and furthers the City’s reputation as a regional hub for innovation and high-tech businesses.”

GM will begin recruiting and hiring software developers, database administrators and system analysts immediately.  The new Innovation Center is expected to be operational by first quarter 2014. Interested candidates can apply for positions at http://jobs.gm.com/.

“We are thrilled with GM’s selection of Arizona and its significant increased investment in our community.  The company’s long-term commitment grows and strengthens our economy in the form of quality jobs, high wages and capital investment, building on the technology and economic base in our state,” said Sandra Watson, president and CEO, Arizona Commerce Authority.  “It has been wonderful working with GM’s team throughout this process, and we look forward to a continued successful partnership for many years to come.”

“General Motors could not have found a better innovation partner than the City of Chandler, which has worked hard to earn its well-deserved status as one of the western U.S.’s top technology cities,” said GPEC President and CEO Barry Broome. “GM’s investment is testament to our skilled workforce and quality lifestyle, as well as competitive and uncomplicated business landscape. Indeed, today’s announcement is a win for the entire region, and we look forward to developing a lasting partnership with General Motors.”

movie

Arizona considers film tax breaks

Arizona lawmakers looking to woo Hollywood are flirting with resurrecting a tax incentives program aimed at competing with New Mexico and other states that have long thrown free cash at production companies that film there.

A Senate committee unanimously approved the bill on multimedia production tax credits Wednesday after local film and tourism leaders argued Arizona would lose jobs if it didn’t do more to lure Hollywood to the state.

Critics point out a tax incentive program for production companies passed in 2005 was deemed a financial disaster in a 2009 report conducted by the Arizona Department of Commerce. The program expired in 2010.

The Arizona Film Office estimates more than 9,000 jobs in Arizona are generated by the film and television industry.

92835364

Navajo Nation looks to fill jobs at Flagstaff casino

The Navajo Nation is looking to fill 800 jobs at its newest casino opening this year near Flagstaff.

A job fair is being held Friday through Sunday in Flagstaff to fill accounting, human resources, marketing, hotel administration, food and beverage, training and other positions. Drug screening and background checks are being done on site, and candidates could be offered a job on the spot.

Navajos will be given preference for employment.

The $150 million Twin Arrows casino along Interstate 40 will have a hotel, conference center, spa and golf course. It is scheduled to open in mid-May.

The Navajo Nation operates three casinos in New Mexico. The Twin Arrows casino will be the first on the Arizona portion of the reservation.

Broadway Health Center, 6550 Broadway, Mesa

Multi-Million Dollar Renovation Begins on 2 Medical Office Buildings in Mesa

 

Renovations have begun on Baywood Health Center and Broadway Health Center, two, 2-story medical office buildings in Mesa across the street from Banner Baywood Hospital.

Archway Holdings Corp. of Beverly Hills, Calif., which purchased the properties in February 2012, is implementing significant exterior and interior upgrades. Improvements to the properties include a complete redesign of their exterior façades, renovations to the interior lobbies and common areas, new garden and monument signage and water saving landscaping features.

Construction started in December 2012, with completion in March 2013. LGE Design Build is the general contractor; Cawley Architects will handle the design work.

Kelley Ahrens of CBRE’s Phoenix office will handle the leasing assignment for the property owner.

“In addition to repositioning the buildings into class A assets, Archway is providing tenants with generous improvement dollars to perform renovations to their individual office suites in order to keep up with the improvements to the buildings,” Ahrens said.

The assets are located directly across the street from Banner Baywood Medical Center, a 342-bed hospital providing complete acute care services to the East Valley communities of Mesa, Gilbert, Apache Junction, Queen Creek, Fountain Hills and areas of northeastern Pinal County. The assets are also close to Leisure World, the largest retirement community in Metro Phoenix.

Baywood Health Center, a 36,127 SF medical office building is at 6553 E. Baywood Ave. Broadway Health Center, a 25,277 SF medical office building is at 6550 E. Broadway Rd. The properties are 83% and 19% leased, respectively.

“The renovations will not only add value to these properties, they will add significant value to the surrounding community too,” Ahrens said. “The new look and upgrades will attract additional healthcare professionals to the area, which, in turn, provide more medical services and create more jobs.”

 

From left: Steven Murray, president of Direct Energy; Jim Lundy, chairman of GPEC; Kevin Sullivan and Matt George of the Arizona Commerce Authority. Photo by Huan Vo/Az Business

Direct Energy bringing 500 jobs to Valley

Wednesday marked the official announcement of the expansion into Arizona of Direct Energy, a multibillion-dollar energy company which promises to create about 500 new jobs by the end of this year.

Based in Houston and specializing in upstream production and downstream delivery, Direct Energy is one of North America’s largest energy services providers with approximately 6,000 employees.

The company worked with the Arizona Commerce Authority and Greater Phoenix Economic Council to open a new call center in Tempe, which is expected to bring $7 million of capital investment to the region and create 250 to 300 new jobs when it’s open.

“I can’t tell you how easy they have made it for us to expand and invest in Arizona,” said Steven Murray, president of Direct Energy. “It’s an easy, pleasant experience.”

Expected to be fully functional by the end of the first quarter year of 2013, the new call center will be tasked with call taking for the residential energy business, which will enable Direct Energy to “offer a wide range of products and services in one location,” according to the company’s news release.

Working with the ACA and GPEC gave Direct Energy an understanding of and access to a quality workforce that attracted Direct Energy in the first place, Murray said.

“Beyond the ease, I mean the quality workforce, you can have an entirely educated, motivated, hardworking people, and it really makes it easy,” he said.

“I think this commitment just illustrates that we do have a quality workforce in addition to the quality, smart economics policies that GPEC and ACA, the governor’s office, the state Legislature have been working behind the scenes just to get this economy going again,” said Jim Lundy, chairman of GPEC’s board of directors and CEO of Alliance Bank of Arizona.

Direct Energy is on a mission to make a difference to its customers through the provision of choice, which will help families with tight budgets.

“In a world of constraint household economics, people on tight budgets need to have products that meet their needs and give them control of how they are actually consuming and spending money,” Murray said.

Murray said Direct Energy has grown quickly over the years, and with each step in growth, the company is doing its best to invest and create jobs in communities where it started.

Direct Energy is accepting job applications online at www.directyourenergy.com, and at the Nation Career Fair at Phoenix Airport Marriott, 1101 N. 44thSt., from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on January 21.

Economy

U.S. adds 155,000 jobs in December

U.S. employers added 155,000 jobs in December, a steady gain that shows hiring held up during the tense negotiations to resolve the fiscal cliff.

The solid job growth wasn’t enough to reduce the unemployment rate, which remained 7.8 percent last month, the Labor Department said Friday. The rate for November was revised up from an initially reported 7.7 percent.

Each January, the government updates the monthly unemployment rates for the previous five years. The rates for most months don’t change.

The government said hiring was stronger in November than it first estimated. November’s job increases were revised up 15,000 to 161,000. October’s increase was nearly unchanged at 137,000.

The “gain is perhaps better than it looks given that firms were probably nervous about adding workers with the fiscal cliff looming,” said Paul Ashworth, an economist at Capital Economics.

Even so, hiring hasn’t been strong enough to quickly reduce still-high unemployment. The job gains for December almost exactly matched the average monthly pace for the past two years. Hiring has been steady but modest as the economy has grown slowly since the recession ended more than three years ago.

For 2012, employers added 1.84 million jobs, an average of 153,000 jobs a month, roughly matching the job totals for 2011.

Robust hiring in manufacturing and construction fueled the December job growth. Construction firms added 30,000, the most in 15 months. That increase likely reflected hiring needed to rebuild after Superstorm Sandy and also gains in home building that have contributed to a housing recovery.

Manufacturers added 25,000 jobs, the most in nine months.

Other higher-paying industries also added jobs. Professional and business services, which include positions in information technology, management and architecture, gained 19,000. Financial services added 9,000 and health care 55,000.

Lower-paying industry sectors were mixed. Restaurants and bars added 38,000 jobs. Retailers cut 11,300, a sign that the holiday shopping season might have been sluggish. But those cuts followed three months of strong gains.

All the job gains last month came from private employers. Governments shed 13,000 jobs, mostly in local school systems.

The stable hiring pace shows that employers didn’t panic during the high-stakes talks between Congress and the White House over tax increases and spending cuts that weren’t resolved until New Year’s.

That’s an encouraging sign for the coming months, because an even bigger federal budget showdown is looming. The government must increase its $16.4 trillion borrowing limit by around late February or risk defaulting on its debt. Republicans will likely demand deep spending cuts as the price of raising the debt limit.

economy

Arizona Could Hit Full Economic Recovery in 3 Years

We’re finally on the path to full economic recovery, and Arizona may get there in about three years. That’s the main message from experts who spoke today at the 49th Annual Economic Forecast Luncheon co-sponsored by Arizona State University’s W. P. Carey School of Business and JPMorgan Chase.

About 1,000 people attended the event at the Phoenix Convention Center, where economists painted a generally brighter picture for 2013.

“As of September, Arizona ranked fifth among states for job growth, and the Phoenix area was fourth among large metropolitan areas,” said Research Professor Lee McPheters, director of the JPMorgan Chase Economic Outlook Center at the W. P. Carey School of Business. “Arizona is expected to add 60,000 jobs in 2013, led by professional and business services, retail, hospitality and health care. We should finally dip below 8-percent unemployment in 2013 — down to 7.6 percent.”

McPheters added, as long as the national economy doesn’t drag us down, Arizona may see 2.5-percent growth in its employment rate next year. The state had 2-percent growth this year. Despite the jump, Arizona has gained back less than a third of the jobs it lost during the recession. McPheters believes it will take another three years to return to pre-recession employment levels.

In 2013, McPheters expects improved 5-percent growth in personal income, up from just 4 percent this year. He projects retail sales will go up 6 percent, from 5 percent this year. He expects Arizona’s population to rise 1.5 percent, and he believes single-family housing permits will shoot up a whopping 50 percent, with the local housing market now on the mend.

Both McPheters and Beth Ann Bovino, deputy chief economist at Standard & Poor’s, hinged their forecasts on whether the national economy can really pull forward; otherwise, Arizona will go down, too. The biggest question out there is whether Congress can avoid the “fiscal cliff” – where automatic spending cuts would kick in, just as various tax cuts expire. Bovino says that could plunge the United States back into recession and push national unemployment back above 9 percent by the end of the year.

“If we can avoid the fiscal cliff, then it looks like the economy could finally be in a self-sustaining recovery,” said Bovino. “We expect this year’s gross domestic product (GDP) to hit 2.1 percent, stronger than previously projected. For 2013, we’re looking at about 2.3 percent. Reports also show a stronger jobs market and signs that households are willing to buy big items, such as cars and homes.”

Bovino adds the U.S. unemployment rate was at 7.9 percent in October, and she sees signs more people are joining the workforce and getting jobs. However, she says the labor participation rate is still near a 30-year low, meaning more people will still be coming back to the workforce to look for jobs, keeping the unemployment rate low for a quite a while. Despite this, Bovino expects the national unemployment rate to drop to 7.6 percent next year.

She also has a good outlook for the national housing market, with housing starts already up 45 percent this September over last September. Bovino referenced a report that 1.3 million homes rose above water – with the value going higher than what was owed – in the first half of this year alone. She expects residential construction to go up almost 19 percent in 2013.

In the financial sector, Anthony Chan, chief economist for private wealth management at JPMorgan Chase & Co., says corporations remain flush with cash. They’re waiting for some clarity on where the market will go as a result of the fiscal-cliff situation and other factors.

“U.S. corporations are reluctant to go through global mergers and acquisitions or make big investments until they have a clearer picture,” said Chan. “Corporations are keeping high cash balances, in order to deal with the uncertainty. They’re making near-record profits in some cases, and many values on the stock market look good. However, everyone’s waiting to see what will happen.”

He said high-yield investments, such as bonds, and gold remain relatively attractive. The U.S. dollar keeps falling against currencies from emerging markets, as monetary agencies work through different strategies of dealing with the rough economy.

In the local housing market, Elliott D. Pollack, chief executive officer of Scottsdale-based economic and real estate consulting firm Elliott D. Pollack and Company, also drew some conclusions.

“Even though about 40 percent of Arizona homeowners are underwater on their mortgages, we’re starting to see a recovery,” said Pollack. “The single-family-home and apartment markets look great. Industrial real estate has improved quite a bit. Only office and retail have quite a way to go.”

Pollack adds new residential foreclosure notices are down almost 70 percent from the peak in 2008. Phoenix-area home prices are up more than 35 percent over last year. New-home sales are also doing well, with 67 percent of the local subdivisions active today projected to be sold out in less than a year. Builders are going to have to work to meet the demand, with less land and labor available.

Pollack sees a strong rental presence, with about 22 percent of local single-family homes being used as rentals right now. That’s up from less than 12 percent just a decade ago. Landlords appear to be buying up many single-family homes, and more people are moving to the area.

“In the absence of a fiscal cliff, things should continue to improve over the next several years,” said Pollack. “By 2015, things should be normalized. As I like to say, we’re only one decent population-flow year away from the issue being resolved.”

More details and analysis from the event, including the presentation slides, are available from knowWPCarey, the business school’s online resource and newsletter, at http://knowwpcarey.com.

employment

Arizona unemployment rate dips to 8.1 percent

Arizona’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is down again, declining to 8.1 percent in October.

September’s rate was 8.2 percent, down from 8.3 percent the previous two months.

Department of Administration economists say the state gained 11,900 jobs in October. The increase is lower than the 10-average October increase of 16,900 jobs.

Both government and private sectors had below-average gains. Of the 11 economic sectors, six added jobs, four lost jobs and one remained unchanged.

The biggest gain was recorded by the trade, transportation and utilities sector, which added 4,900 jobs. That sector typically adds jobs this time of year as retailers prepare for the upcoming holiday season.

rsz_larry_miller

Miller Dealership Group to Invest More Than $30M in West Valley Reconstruction Project

Salt Lake City-based Larry H. Miller Dealership Group announced plans for the organization’s more than $30M West Valley dealership reconstruction effort with an estimated completion targeted for 2Q 2013.

With this investment, the company expects to make an impact by creating new jobs throughout the construction phase.

“After over 30 years we are thrilled to improve our dealerships on Bell Road to offer a more enjoyable buying experience for consumers in the greater Phoenix automotive market,” said Dean Fitzpatrick, President and COO for the Larry H. Miller Dealership Group.

“We are proud to show our commitment to the West Valley and look forward to seeing this reinvestment continue to give back to the community by creating new jobs and pumping more dollars into the Greater Phoenix economy,” Fitzpatrick said.

After all construction has been completed, the Larry H. Miller brand will have invested more than $30M and countless man hours in the West Valley community, contributing more than 133,000 SF of new construction to the Bell Road automotive corridor.

The Larry H. Miller Dealership Group operates five dealerships in the Phoenix market. Three of which are part of the West Valley reconstruction project; Larry H. Miller Toyota, Hyundai and Dodge Ram stores.

Construction for the Peoria projects is being managed by Miller Family Real Estate (MFRE), a Larry H. Miller organization. Planned construction will consist of the full or partial demolition and complete reconstruction and renovation of the three existing automotive dealerships located on a fully improved 25-acre site.

Site work will consist of creating new drive approaches, reconfiguring hardscape, site utilities and site lighting, removing and replacing asphalt, and completing landscaping per the requirements set out by the City of Peoria.

All existing dealership sales, service and parts departments will remain operational during the renovation portion of this project.

Project details (square footage breakdowns for the scope of work planned at each dealership site):

>> Existing Hyundai Dealership to be turned into new ground up Toyota:

Existing site area: 10.8 acres

Existing building: 48,000 SF

Demolished area: 48,000 SF

New construction: 80,571 SF

Total completed building: 80,571 SF

>> Existing Toyota Dealership to be partially demolished and turned into Hyundai:

Existing site area: 6.8 acres

Existing building: 62,278 SF

Demolished area: 15,380 SF

Existing Service/Parts to be remodeled: 46,898 SF

New construction: 10,490 SF

Total completed building: 57,388 SF

>> Existing Dodge Ram Dealership to be partially demolished and feature a new showroom addition:

Existing site area: 7.3 acres

Existing building: 65,591 SF

Demolished area: 30,136 SF

Existing Service/Parts to be remodeled: 25,445 SF

New construction: 42,301 SF

Total completed building: 67,746 SF

For more information about the Larry H. Miller Dealership Group visit lhmauto.com.

 

 

Economy

U.S. adds 171,000 jobs in October

U.S. employers added 171,000 jobs in October, and hiring was stronger in August and September than first thought. The solid job growth showed that the economy is strengthening slowly but consistently.

The unemployment rate rose to 7.9 percent from 7.8 percent in September. That was mainly because many more people began looking for work, and not all of them found jobs. The government uses a separate survey to calculate the unemployment rate, and it counts people without jobs as unemployed only if they’re looking for one.

Friday’s report was the last major snapshot of the economy before Tuesday’s elections. It’s unclear what political effect the report might have. By now, all but a few voters have made up their minds, particularly about the economy, analysts say.

Since July, the economy has created an average of 173,000 jobs a month. That’s up from 67,000 a month from April through June. Still, President Barack Obama will face voters with the highest unemployment rate of any incumbent since Franklin Roosevelt and slightly higher than the 7.8 percent on Inauguration Day.

The work force — the number of people either working or looking for work — rose by 578,000 in October. And 410,000 more people said they were employed. The difference is the reason the unemployment rate rose slightly.

The influx of people seeking jobs “could be a sign that people are starting to see better job prospects and so should be read as another positive aspect to the report,” said Julia Coronado, an economist at BNP Paribas.

During a campaign stop in Columbus, Ohio, Obama said the job figures show the economy is slowly healing.

“We’ve made real progress, but we are here today because we know we’ve got more work to do,” Obama said. “Our fight goes on.”

But GOP challenger Mitt Romney pointed out to voters that the unemployment rate is now higher than when Obama took office.

“For four years, President Obama has told us that things are getting better and that we’re making progress,” Romney said. “For too many American families, those words ring hollow. We can do better.”

Friday’s report included a range of encouraging details.

The government revised its data to show that 84,000 more jobs were added in August and September than previously estimated. August’s job gains were revised from 142,000 to 192,000, September’s from 114,000 to 148,000.

The unemployment rate has fallen a full percentage point in the past 12 months. Much of that decline occurred because people gave up looking for work. That pushed the percentage of Americans working or looking for work to 63.5 percent in August, a 31-year low.

But since then, more Americans have started or resumed their job hunts and most have found work. The percentage of Americans working or looking for work rose for a second straight month in October to 63.8 percent.

The number of people with part-time jobs who wanted full-time work dropped last month. And the number of discouraged workers also declined. A measure of unemployment that includes those two groups plus the unemployed dipped to 14.6 percent from 14.7 percent.

The economy has added jobs for 25 straight months. There are now 580,000 more than when Obama took office.

jobfair

Go Daddy looks to fill 200 jobs

In an effort to fill more than 200 job positions, web hosting provider Go Daddy announced on Friday it will host a career fair next week in Phoenix.

The move follows Go Daddy’s initiative last July to expand its staff at its Iowa customer service center by 300 employees.

The fair will be held on October 16 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Hilton Phoenix East/Mesa, located at 1011 W. Holmes Ave.

Among the positions Go Daddy is looking to fill are software developers, IT professionals, business-intelligence and customer-service representatives.

The job fair is just another indication of how rapidly Go Daddy is growing. The company was recently listed on the Inc. 5000 list, ranking at #2862, showing an 80 percent three-year growth rate and $894.3 million in revenue for 2011.

The Scottsdale-based hosting company has been revered for the overall quality of its workplace experience. In 2009, Go Daddy achieved its sixth consecutive listing among the “Valley’s Best Places to Work“.

One position that has yet to be filled for the long term is CEO. Former CEO Warren Adelman stepped down in June, with KKR Capstone executive Scott Wagner filling in for the interim while the board searches for a permanent CEO.

A full list of job postings can be viewed at Go Daddy’s website.

114449489

RAMARK, UMOM New Day Centers Help People get Jobs in Phoenix

As many as 25,000 individuals in Arizona were homeless over the past year, many due to a recent job loss. Yet six out of 10 adults living at UMOM New Day Centers for low-income and homeless families don’t have a high school diploma or GED, or the skills needed to find a job in today’s challenging economic market.

To help address this need, ARAMARK, the global professional services company, will establish a hub for job readiness at UMOM and provide ongoing resources and expertise to help individuals prepare for and secure meaningful jobs.

“Without an education or training, it is difficult for our families to afford the rent for an average apartment and achieve economic independence,” said Darlene Newsom, CEO, UMOM New Day Centers.

The ARAMARK Building Community (ABC) Opportunity Zone will include offices that will be redesigned into efficient spaces for case management and meetings with employment specialists. A large under-utilized conference area will be updated with fresh paint and inspirational murals, creating a place for residents to learn new skills, search for jobs, obtain Graduation Equivalency Diploma (GED) tutoring, work on resumes or participate in workshops to enhance self-esteem and interviewing skills. Volunteers will also update UMOM’s computer skills training room.

Throughout the year, ARAMARK will provide support for UMOM’s workforce programs, providing monthly tutoring, and workshops for developing resumes and practicing interview skills.  In addition, volunteers will create and distribute GED preparation kits and hold an office furniture donation program.

“ARAMARK is proud of this ongoing partnership with UMOM,” Sandy Heilman, Vice President Sales and Marketing, ARAMARK Parks & Destinations. “By lending the talents of our employees and our resources we hope to help people learn the skills they need to find jobs and achieve financial independence, ultimately resulting in stronger families and a thriving community.”

UMOM, which has served the Greater Phoenix area for more than 45 years, is the largest homeless shelter for families in the state, serving more than 6,000 people annually, and offering a variety of services including food, transportation assistance, child care, programs for teens, education, job search workshops and medical care.

The project is part of ARAMARK Building Community (ABC), the company’s global volunteer and philanthropic program, ARAMARK strengthens local community centers and helps struggling families in the U.S. and abroad.

Since the start of the partnership with UMOM in 2009, ARAMARK has renovated the center’s clothing processing and storage room and donated much needed clothing; updated outdoor play areas to provide families with safe recreational facilities, and created a computer lab for residents. ARAMARK volunteers have also been part of the UMOM Wellness Center’s Health and Wellness fair, hosting healthy cooking demonstrations and providing nutrition education classes.

“We are fortunate to have a partner like ARAMARK. The commitment of their employees, and these additional job readiness resources will help us provide the programs necessary for people to succeed,” Newsom said.

108696481

Hamer: Let’s talk about jobs

The main issue that every candidate from president to town council should be talking about this elections season – but isn’t – is jobs.

Every public opinion poll cites jobs and the economy as the number one issue. Voters want to know what type of policies candidates are going to support that will get our country’s stubbornly high unemployment numbers down.

We’re sitting on 43 straight months of unemployment above 8 percent. Never mind the number of underemployed Americans or those so discouraged they’ve quit looking. These are numbers that have been too high for too long.

There is a way out of these doldrums, though, and it’s not exactly a state secret. Arizona has been named a top-10 state for business by CEO Magazine. The Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity has us ranked number 1. And Arizona ranks number 2 for expected job growth. If you’re a candidate looking for a jobs plan, look to Arizona.

First, don’t raise taxes on income and capital as we limp out of this economic downturn. A major element of the so-called fiscal cliff facing our country is whether we’re going to allow the Bush-era tax cuts to expire. We should not.

Gov. Jan Brewer and the Legislature over the past two years demonstrated they understand this well. Outside of fixing the state’s budget woes, more effort was placed on job creation than any other issue.
They made our state more fertile for job growth by lessening the tax burden on job creators and capital in Arizona. Together they’ve reduced the corporate income tax rate, lowered the tax on business machinery and equipment, instituted the state’s first cut in taxes on investment income and fixed our tax code to make the state more attractive for businesses selling goods and services outside our borders. They had a detailed plan and they executed.

Next, throw up a big stop sign on new regulations. Uncertainty is a jobs killer. Businesses aren’t going to expand if they’re constantly looking over their shoulder for the next new government rule or regulation. Arizona has gotten it right in this department. Gov. Brewer bolstered her pro-business bona fides when earlier this summer she extended the regulatory moratorium that she put in place as her first official action when she took office. The Obama administration has taken the opposite tack, pursuing an aggressive regulatory agenda at the EPA, NLRB and other agencies unlike anything this country has ever seen.

The feds should pass their own regulatory reform package. One bill, the Red Tape Reduction and Small Business Jobs Creation Act, seeks to slow the growth of regulations until the nation’s unemployment rate falls below 6 percent. The bill passed the U.S. House in July, but now it’s stuck in the Senate.

The path should also be cleared for America to take advantage of our robust energy sources. We have been given a gift in the emergence of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, which has unleashed an oil and gas production boom in our country. This energy boom has occurred despite the Administration’s efforts to over-regulate this area, block the Keystone Pipeline, push back deepwater drilling and use every means available to block new coal production and shutter older facilities.

Every member of Congress should be required to make a fact-finding trip to North Dakota, where the energy boom has led to a strong housing market and the nation’s lowest unemployment rate. Energy is so critical to our economic recovery that it could be the lynchpin that would allow us to actually get serious about entitlement reform.

We should also be more aggressive in the area of trade. Some progress has been made here (finally) with the implementation of new trade deals with South Korea, Colombia and Panama. We should be wary of candidates in both parties who have a tendency to make noise about going down the road of protectionism.

Finally, say no to automatic spending cuts, especially in defense. As Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta says, if the budgetary axe known as sequestration falls on defense spending, “We’d be shooting ourselves in the head.”

This is lunacy. We are on the cusp of creating a man-made recession, with defense firms around the country preparing their workforces for potentially devastating layoffs. Arizona was far more surgical in its approach to closing its deficit than anything coming out of Washington.

While sequestration is largely out of our hands here on a state level, the Arizona Commerce Authority and Gov. Brewer should be applauded for positioning the state in as good a position as possible for the state to be named an unmanned aerial systems (UAS) test site and for their advocacy, along with that of many others, in Luke Air Force Base being named an F-35 training site. Defense jobs are desirable ones, and state leaders deserve credit while Congress and the president play a dangerous game of chicken. We’re fortunate that Senators John McCain and Jon Kyl are working to diligently to stave off sequestration.

In a presidential campaign that has seen more debate devoted to a candidate’s tax returns than how we’re going to get the American jobs machine moving again, these job-creation ideas might seem a little on the wonky side. Here’s hoping that in this final sprint to Election Day we at least give some hope to the millions of Americans out of work and to the job creators who have been stymied by a dysfunctional Washington.

Glenn Hamer is the president and CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

jobsearchnewspaper

Employers post biggest job gains in 4 years

U.S. employers posted the most job openings in four years in June, a positive sign that hiring may pick up.

The Labor Department said Tuesday job openings rose to a seasonally adjusted 3.8 million in June, up from 3.7 million in May. That’s the most since July 2008. Layoffs fell.

The data follow Friday’s report that said employers in July added the most jobs in five months. A rise in openings could signal better hiring in the coming months. It typically takes one to three months to fill a job.

Even with the increase, hiring is competitive. There were 12.7 million unemployed people in June, or an average of 3.4 unemployed people for each job.

That’s down a bit from May and much lower than the nearly 7-to-1 ratio in July 2009, just after the recession ended. In a healthy job market, the ratio is usually around 2 to 1.

Still, employers have been slow to fill jobs. Since the recession ended in 2009, openings have increased 57 percent. Overall hiring is up only 19 percent.

And openings are still below pre-recession levels of nearly 4 million per month.

Employers added 163,000 jobs in July, the department said last week. That followed three months of weak hiring and eased concerns that the economy was stalling.

Yet the economy has generated an average of 150,000 jobs per month this year, about the same pace as 2011. That’s not enough to rapidly drive down the unemployment rate.

The unemployment rate ticked up to 8.3 percent in July from 8.2 percent in June.

In June, manufacturing, education and health care, and hotels and restaurants all posted more openings. Retailers and state, local and federal government agencies cut available jobs.

The government’s monthly employment report, released last Friday, measures net hiring.

Tuesday’s report, known as the Job Openings and Labor Turnover survey, shows the amount of hiring and firing that takes place in the U.S. each month. It provides more details than the monthly jobs report.

For example, layoffs dropped to 1.8 million in June, from nearly 2 million in May. June’s total is below pre-recession levels and indicates that companies aren’t cutting more jobs, despite sluggish growth.

And the number of people that quit their jobs also ticked down slightly to 2.1 million, from 2.2 million in May. That’s still higher than a year ago, when only 1.9 million people quit.

When more people quit their jobs, it can be a sign of a strengthening job market. That’s because most people quit when they have a new job, usually with better pay. The number of quits is still far below the pre-recession level of about 2.7 million.

Overall, companies hired nearly 4.4 million people in June, down from 4.5 million in May, the JOLTS report showed. At the same time, nearly 4.3 million people were laid off, quit or left jobs for other reasons, such as retirement.

The difference between those two figures is similar to the net job gain that the Labor Department includes in the employment report each month.

integrate - marketing software company moves to scottsdale

Integrate Grows And Gives

Integrate, a Scottsdale-based marketing automation software company, is growing and giving this spring. Integrate is tripling its office space and preparing to hire 50 new employees. At the same time, the company is holding a food drive to help restock St. Mary’s Food Bank.

Integrate is preparing to move its headquarters to Scottsdale Portales, increasing its office space to 33,000 sq. feet with 178 state-of-the-art work stations. It plans to add 50 new people to its team across all departments in the next 50 days. These positions include administrative staff, account support, inside sales, business development, marketing strategists, techs, computer programmers and analysts. This growth initiative is possible through the company’s $11M Series B funding received in March.

“Integrate is growing at a rapid rate,” says the company’s CEO, Hart Cunningham. “Our new Scottsdale location reflects the premier reputation that we are forging in the advertising technology industry. We also have offices in Denver, New York, San Francisco and Boston, with plans to expand internationally in the near future. We are excited to provide hundreds of motivated and driven people with the opportunity to build a career with an innovative company.”

In celebration of its growth, the company organized a drive to help restock food, necessities and household items for St. Mary’s Food Bank. Integrate will match every item brought in by employees, friends, family and local citizens. It hopes to gather enough supplies to support 500 members of the Greater Phoenix community. “Our company is experiencing an amazing year. We are grateful for the chance to pay it forward as a team and give back to struggling families in the area,” states Cunningham.

Job seekers can submit resumes around the clock through the Integrate Careers page, via email to careers@integrate.com or contact Recruiting at 866-478-0326 x5502.

People wanting to donate food, personal necessities or household items and have their contributions matched by Integrate can get more information on how to do so through the company’s blog.

If you would like more information or wish to schedule an interview please call Triniti Pike at 866-478-0326 x6553 or email her at tpike@integrate.com. Visit integrate.com for more information on Integrate.
Economic Forecast

Economic Forecast: Arizona, U.S. to Show Improvement in 2012

Improvement in both the Arizona and U.S. economies can be expected next year, but full recovery is still a few years away. That’s according to experts who spoke Wednesday at the 48th Annual Economic Forecast Luncheon, co-sponsored by ASU’s W.P. Carey School of Business and JPMorgan Chase.

 More than 1,000 people packed into the Phoenix Convention Center to hear the outlook for 2012. The experts say that though U.S. economic growth was actually slower this year than last year, conditions for 2012 are looking up for the nation and state.

“Although the Arizona recovery is tepid at best, every key indicator is expected to improve in 2012 as compared to 2011, including jobs, incomes, sales and even housing,” said Research Professor Lee McPheters, director of the JPMorgan Chase Economic Outlook Center at the W. P. Carey School of Business. “Still, no indicator will be sharply better until the national economy moves onto a faster growth path.”

McPheters says Arizona hasn’t been rebounding with the same vigor seen in previous recovery periods. The state lost 324,000 jobs from 2007 to 2010. By the end of this year, only about 20 percent of those will be restored. However, Arizona did move from No. 49 among the states for job creation in 2010 all the way up to a Top 10 growth state this year.

“After three consecutive years of lost employment, about 23,800 jobs were added in 2011,” said McPheters, editor of the prestigious Arizona and Western Blue Chip Forecast publications. “Arizona employment is expected to increase by 45,000 jobs in 2012. However, we’re now at about 9 percent unemployment in the state and expect unemployment to continue to be a problem next year, dropping to around 8.5 percent. Healthcare and manufacturing are among the sectors doing relatively well.”

McPheters also expects Arizona’s population to grow by 1.5 percent in 2012, faster than the national average of about 1 percent, but slower than Texas and Colorado. Personal income is expected to go up 6 percent in Arizona. Retail sales are projected to rise by 8 percent. Cautious consumers have largely been putting off non-essential spending, but may relieve some pent-up demand next year.

In the hard-hit housing market, McPheters predicts 20-percent growth in single-family housing permits. However, Elliott D. Pollack, president of highly regarded economic and real estate consulting firm Elliott D. Pollack and Company, explained that even a large percentage growth in this area doesn’t mean much.

“Permits have bottomed out, but they are still down 89 percent from the peak,” Pollack said. “About 50,000 to 55,000 excess housing units remain in the Greater Phoenix area.”

Foreclosures and short sales have been dragging down existing-home prices. Pollack says, in the third quarter of this year, 25 percent of the existing-home transactions were foreclosures, and another 29 percent were short sales. Also, more than 40 percent of the homes being sold are going to investors and other owners who won’t actually live there.

“On the positive side, the number of units going into foreclosure is declining, and housing prices appear to have stabilized,” said Pollack. “Depending on population growth, job growth and other factors, we could see full housing recovery in three to four years.”

Pollack says the apartment market is already looking good, as many people switch to renting. Vacancy rates in industrial space have started to decline, and an increasing number of companies are looking at the Phoenix area as an alternative to California. Still, about one out of every four square feet of office space in the metro area is vacant.

At the national level, experts expect 2012 to bring an increase in gross domestic product (GDP) of somewhere between just under 2 percent to 3 percent. Professor John B. Taylor, the George P. Schultz Senior Fellow in Economics at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, talked about what needs to be done in this area.

“The economy wasn’t nearly this weak in the 1980s, following an equally deep recession when unemployment rose to even higher levels,” said Taylor, who served as Undersecretary of the Treasury during President George W. Bush’s first term and on the President’s Council of Economic Advisers for President George H. W. Bush. “Recently, we have seen a return toward more government intervention for fiscal, monetary, regulatory and tax policy. These swings have had enormous consequences for the American economy.”

Taylor says the country needs a predictable government policy framework based on law with strong incentives derived from the market system and a clearly limited role for government.

Anthony Chan, chief economist for private wealth management at JPMorgan Chase & Co., specifically addressed the future of the financial markets. He said many stocks are a bargain now.

“We currently face oversized volatility and uncertainty; for this reason, we believe stocks are attractively priced from a historic perspective,” said Chan, who served as an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, appears monthly on CNBC, and is a member of the Reuters, Bloomberg and Dow Jones weekly economic indicator panels. “Prices should gravitate toward fairer values when the outsized degree of uncertainty lifts.”

Chan added corporations are sitting on “huge amounts of cash,” while paying out low dividends. When business sentiment improves and uncertainty is reduced, he expects faster employment and economic growth. He also believes high-yield and municipal bonds will remain a good investment as long as the country doesn’t fall into recession. Still, he is concerned the United States may be losing some control over its long-term destiny, noting that China and Japan hold a combined 46 percent of U.S. Treasuries.

“It is hard to believe the U.S. influence will remain as dominant as it once was, if this trend persists,” said Chan. “Meantime, emerging markets are becoming more attractive. Consider a diversified portfolio.”

For more details and analysis on the 2012 economic forecast, including the presentation slides, go to knowwpcarey.com.

 

green jobs 2011

What Are “Green” Jobs?

The term “green collar” is springing up in corporate America every day. It is now considered to be an effective way to produce and reproduce products and services while trying to reserve the earth’s precious resources. In order to say you have a “green job,” the business must be considered environmentally conscious. Cleaning up the environment, restoring our planet to healthy standards and controlling climate change are considered environmentally conscious jobs.

The focus on going green in companies has been known as the “green collar” industry. This new job trade is not only rewarding for the company and employees but to consumers as well. Having a sustainable career with innovative techniques that help make the world a better place doubles as a career and way of life.

Companies, such as jobing.com, now offer green job categories to feature such positions.

What exactly is a green job?

A green job is a profession that directly works with materials, technology or policies that contribute to making sure the environmental impact of products and services are minimal. Some may require special training or knowledge.

Why choose green jobs?Green Jobs, Lumber Work

This industry will provide better and longer lasting future for the earth. Jobs have gained importance when the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act announced they would provide $750 million for programs to train and help workers grow in the emerging industry.

It allows new and innovative research to be accomplished, opening the door to job training and special projects in the renewable energy industries. Of the funding given, $500 million will go into this training.

The demand for new employees is opening doors for jobs daily. The growth in the business can create nearly 5,000 new jobs within five occupations during the next year.

Where can you find a green job?

Green jobs can be found within environmental jobs such as plants, sciences, earth or agriculture. They are also found in fishing, forestry, fuel, solar industries, engineering and energy.

Sustainable planning and waste management positions link local jobs to the Valley. They help to create green buildings, energy saving techniques, environmental compliance and waste management corrections.

Other industries to think about when researching green jobs are:

  • Bicycle repair and bike delivery services
  • Car and truck mechanic jobs, production jobs, and gas-station jobs related to biodiesel
  • Hauling and reuse of construction materials and debris (C&D)
  • Hazardous materials clean-up
  • Landscaping
  • Materials reuse
  • Non-toxic household cleaning in residential and commercial buildings
  • Parks and open space expansion and maintenance
  • Printing with non-toxic inks and dyes
  • Public transit jobs related to driving, maintenance, and repair
  • Recycling and reuse
  • Small businesses producing products from recycled materials
  • Solar installation
  • Tree cutting and pruning
  • Whole home performance, including attic insulation, weatherization