Tag Archives: new jobs

new jobs pharmacy

OptumRx Adding 400 New Jobs In Arizona

OptumRx, a leading pharmacy benefits management (PBM) organization and one of the Optum companies of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), said it will create at least 400 new jobs in Tucson over the next 12-18 months.

The announcement was made at a news conference Thursday, attended by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer and Stephen J. Hemsley, CEO of UnitedHealth Group, at the company’s new office in the University of Arizona Science and Technology Park.

“We are strengthening the infrastructure of Optum Rx in advance of a major expansion early next year, and we especially appreciate the help and support that comes from the outstanding workers and leaders of Arizona in that effort,” said Larry C. Renfro, executive vice president of UnitedHealth Group and CEO of Optum.

“I am pleased that Optum and UnitedHealth Group recognize Tucson’s high-quality workforce and Arizona’s excellent business climate,” said Gov. Brewer. “The hundreds of jobs Optum will create here over the coming months show that Arizona is a premier destination for the growth of innovative businesses such as Optum. I look forward to a long and successful partnership between Optum and Arizona.”

The new OptumRx office, currently undergoing renovation, is expected to be ready for occupancy by mid-year, with recruiting for the new customer service positions expected to begin no later than the fourth quarter. The company will be hiring for Customer Service Advocates and a variety of positions involving training, workforce management and quality management. The company expects the facility to be fully staffed by the end of next year to help ensure OptumRx is prepared to serve millions of additional UnitedHealthcare employer and individual health plan participants.

“The technology at this facility, along with the commitment and know-how of our employees here, will help us fulfill our mission of making the health care system work better for everybody,” said Dirk McMahon, CEO of OptumRx. “An aging population and more people gaining access to health insurance mean more Americans will be using more prescription drugs, so the importance of our Tucson employees to our business will only increase.”

When hiring begins, people with health care or customer service experience are encouraged to apply for these new jobs.

For more information on OptumRx and their new jobs, visit their website at optum.com.

Reviving the Construction Industry

Plan to Revive Construction Industry Unveiled

The Associated General Contractors of America released a new national plan today detailing measures to stimulate demand for construction. Officials said the plan was needed to reverse construction employment declines that have taken place in 317 out of 337 metro areas since January 2007, according to new data the association released today.

“Our goal is to rebuild a devastated construction market that has left millions jobless, littered cities with incomplete projects and sapped much needed revenue, commerce and customers out of our economy,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer. “Considering the scope and impact of construction job losses, the last thing any of us can afford is a repeat of the past four years.”

The plan, called “Building a Stronger Future, A New Blueprint for Economic Growth,” outlines measures to help boost private sector demand for construction, help tackle a growing infrastructure maintenance backlog and reduce needless red tape and regulations. Sandherr said the association developed the plan to overcome the years-long construction downturn that has left over 2.2 million construction workers unemployed and the industry’s unemployment rate at 21.8 percent, more than twice the national average.

Sandherr released the plan and the new employment figures, during a visit to Phoenix,  which has lost more construction jobs – 91,400 – than any other metro area since the start of the construction downturn in January 2007, a 54 percent decline. Nationwide, 28 cities lost 50 percent or more of their construction jobs, including Boise, Idaho; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Medford, Ore.; and Merced, Calif., Sandherr noted.

The metro areas that lost the most construction jobs during the past four years, besides Phoenix, included Las Vegas (-61,900 jobs, -61 percent); Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif. (-57,700 jobs, -51 percent); the Atlanta area (-57,700 jobs, -42 percent); and the Los Angeles area (-56,200 jobs, -37 percent).

Lake Havasu City-Kingman (-65 percent, -4,200 jobs) and Bend, Ore. (-65 percent, -5,200 jobs) lost the highest percentage of construction jobs of any metro area. They were followed by St. George, Utah (-62 percent, -5,200 jobs); Las Vegas; and Naples, Fla. (-61 percent, -13,700 jobs).

Only 14 metro areas added construction jobs during the past four years, while employment levels were unchanged in another six. The five metro areas with the largest construction employment gains were all in Texas: Beaumont-Port Arthur (3,400 jobs, 21 percent); Longview (3,100 jobs, 26 percent); Midland (2,100 jobs, 15 percent); El Paso (1,900 jobs, 14 percent); and Odessa (1,800 jobs, 17 percent).

Pascagoula, Miss., experienced the highest percentage increase in construction employment (47 percent, 1,600 jobs) during the past four years. Other metro areas adding a high percentage of construction jobs included Longview; Beaumont-Port Arthur; Lawton, Okla. (20 percent, 300 jobs); and Odessa.

“In too many metro areas, the construction industry is a mere shadow of what it was just four years ago,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist, who prepared the new employment analysis. “This new data should make it pretty clear that the sector’s revival is anything but guaranteed.”

Sandherr said the recovery plan emphasizes boosting private sector demand, which once accounted for 76 percent of all construction activity, but now accounts for only 60 percent. It calls for approving pending trade agreements to boost demand for manufacturing and shipping facilities, repealing the alternative minimum tax and making permanent the tax cuts that were first put in place in 2001 and 2003.

The plan also identifies new tax credits to encourage retail and restaurant upgrades, improve the efficiency of commercial buildings and help contractors invest in new, more efficient construction equipment. And it urges Congress and the Administration to finally end the double taxation of U.S-based businesses that succeed in international markets.

Sandherr noted the plan includes measures to tackle infrastructure problems that cost American businesses an estimated $100 billion a year due to delays and lost productivity. It calls for significant reforms to federal surface, aviation and waterways programs. And it urges federal officials to refocus on efforts that are clearly in the national interest, streamline the years-long federal review process, and find new ways to leverage private sector dollars.

Sandherr added that the plan also includes comprehensive measures to reduce costly, time consuming and needless regulatory burdens. It calls on Congress to pass legislation limiting major new regulations, reform the approval process for new highway and transit projects and oppose well-meaning labor and Buy American mandates that do little to create new jobs and a lot to add costs and delay work.

The plan also highlights the need to repeal a costly new mandate set to begin next year that requires governments at all levels to withhold three percent of the cost of virtually all major construction projects from contractors. “For an industry where most firms are lucky to make three percent in profit on a project, this new mandate will either put a lot of people out of work or needlessly inflate the cost of public construction,” Sandherr cautioned.

Employee Discontent Experiences Sharp Rise

Employee Discontent Experiences Sharp Rise, Study Finds

Workers are poised for a mass exodus next year, according to a poll of more than 1,400 workers in North America by Right Management. Employees are feeling increasingly restless and intend to leave in droves if opportunities open up in the job market.

Eighty-four percent of the employees polled say they plan to look for new jobs in 2011, up from 60 percent reported in Right Management’s survey a year ago. Only 5 percent now say they intend to remain in their current position.

“This finding is more about employee dissatisfaction and discontent than projected turnover,” says Douglas J. Matthews, President and Chief Operating Officer for Right Management. “We view it as a barometer of their trust in management or commitment to the job. It’s a workplace equivalent to opinion polling on whether or not ‘this country is moving in the right direction.’ Just as people are questioning their elected leaders in government, so too are workers wondering if their management is up to the challenge of renewed growth or developing a sound strategy moving forward.”

Matthews observed that the prolonged recession, continued job market weakness, along with disruptive economic and workforce changes are the underlying factors contributing most to employees’ backlash. “Employees’ trust has been seriously shaken and there is a general lack of confidence in leaders.”

The discontent is widespread, but this doesn’t mean an organization’s management is helpless, but nor can they afford to ignore the problem. “Clearly, if the job market picks up a lot next year many employees are going to take advantage of it, and organizations stand to lose some of their top contributors. So this is a wake-up call to management.”

One step management should take, Matthews advises, is to identify star performers and have open and constructive career discussions with them. “High value employees always have opportunities available to them. Know who they are and be sure to take care of them in ways that are meaningful and aligned with the businesses goals.”

Matthews noted that restlessness can also be alleviated by managers being honest and positive with employees. “Provide them with feedback on what they are doing really well and ways to help them improve. A mentoring relationship between the manager and employee will build mutual trust and hopefully limit future defections.”

Right Management surveyed 1,413 employees in the United States via an online poll. The survey ran between Oct. 11 and Nov. 15, 2010.

Downtown Phoenix Shopping

The Goal Of Shift Arizona Is To Get People Shopping Locally, Boosting The State’s Economy

In an effort to jolt the state’s economy back to life, Local First Arizona is encouraging Arizonans to shift 10 percent of their purchases to local businesses.

Ten percent might not seem like a lot, but when even a small amount is fed into a local economy, it can grow exponentially. The shift can be made anywhere from banking, food, products or services.

This year-long campaign, called Shift Arizona, is modeled after an economic impact study performed in Grand Rapids, Mich. The study showed that a 10 percent shift by all residents would create 1,600 new jobs, local wages would increase by $50 million and $130 million would be fed into the local economy.

This study is driving Shift Arizona to strengthen Arizona’s economy and foster civic pride along the way.

“A vibrant, robust local business community is what I look forward to,” as a result of Shift Arizona, says Adam Goodman, president of Goodman’s Interior Structures and a Local First Arizona member.

Taking part in Shift Arizona isn’t only about shopping at local boutiques, it’s about buying locally made products and purchasing services provided by locally owned companies, says Kimber Lanning, founder and director of Local First Arizona.

Lanning suggests making a few simple shifts, such as dining at local restaurants, frequenting local theaters, or stopping at a local coffee shop every fifth time you grab a cup of joe — she understands that Starbucks habit is tough to break.

Local First Arizona’s website provides a list of locally owned businesses to help make your transition easier.

However, buying local doesn’t mean completely changing your routine, Lanning says.  Many chain stores, such as Target and Walmart, stock Arizona-made products like Shamrock Farms, China Mist teas and Hickman’s eggs, Lanning says.

Local companies care about and support other local organizations, charities and businesses, while a national company will support the local businesses near its headquarters, Goodman says.

Buying local will affect much more than just that one business; it will create spending throughout the community, Goodman says. He adds that his own business is looking at what it can do to spend more money locally.

Shift Arizona also is dispelling the myth that local stores are more expensive than national chains, Lanning says. Oil changes and pet food are often cheaper at local stores, she says.

In a continuingly tough economic climate, Shift Arizona is championing using your wallet as you would use your vote.

“We’re at a point in time where the discussion amongst our elected officials revolves around whether we want our taxes raised or our services cut, but in reality, through our purchasing power, citizens can grow the economy without spending any more money,” Lanning says. “We just need to make our money shift to a more locally based economy.”

Lanning says Arizonans can boost the economy not by spending more money, but by spending their money a little more thoughtfully.

How To Grow Green Jobs

How To Grow Green Jobs

I’m no economist but Nancy Folbre’s post on the Economix blog from the NY Times sure makes a lot of sense to me. Folbre is an economics professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and offers a compelling argument for growing green jobs.

She questions why a major public program hasn’t gotten any traction in Congress or the White House. So what’s the problem? Despite the fact that according to a recent Pew Foundation report that green jobs grew at a much faster rate (nearly two and a half times faster) than overall jobs and an increase of green jobs in the United States and in other countries, “more green job-creation proposals have gotten stuck in the mud,” Folbre writes. Her colleague at the University of Massachusetts, Robert Pollin, offered some insights, with a suggestion of a public-private program platform and a commitment from the Obama administration to create 18 million new jobs over the remaining three years of the presidential term among several other points. But is this realistic? And more importantly is this affordable?

Well Folbre quickly answers that later in her post stating:

“But Professor Pollin makes a persuasive case for affordability. His plan would mobilize private as well as public capital by expanding federal loan guarantees to encourage banks to invest in energy-saving projects.

The potential benefits are huge: the direct and indirect effects of his proposed initiative could add up to 18 million jobs over the next three years.

Even if national political will is lacking, a strong state or regional pilot project should be undertaken — a serious experiment in public job creation.”

Read Pollin’s full argument for reaching the goal of 18 million jobs by 2012 here.

I’m not quite sure about the economics but one thing I do know is that more jobs are definitely needed to truly help our nation recover. Working to enable green jobs, jobs that will help sustain not only our economy but our planet as well would be icing on the cake.

Sources:
economix.blogs.nytimes.com
www.thenation.com
www.pewtrusts.org