Monthly Archives: April 2013

Focusing on Skills, Knowledge Helps Elicia Johnson Land a Job

Elicia Johnson was so grateful for the job search assistance she received from Boise workforce consultant, Alma Welch, she kept her appointment even after she had accepted an offer just so she could tell Alma thank you.keyboard typing hands

Elicia first met Alma after being randomly selected for an Idaho Department of Labor job search assessment as an unemployment claimant. She had lost her job as an office manager after working with the same company for 23 years.

Alma gave Elicia an overview of the department’s services, discussed her job search progress and recommended resume and job search workshops.

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FAQ Friday – How old does a minor have to be to work?

Now that school is almost over teens are beginning to think about summer jobs. Make sure you know what age requirements exist for a particular job before your child applies. icecream_job

Age 14 is listed by the Fair Labor Standards Act as the minimum age for most non-agricultural work. However, at any age, youth may deliver newspapers; perform in radio, television movie, or theatrical productions; work in businesses owned by their parents (except in mining, manufacturing or hazardous jobs); and perform babysitting or minor chores around a private home.
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Post Falls Employers Help Idaho Students Polish Job Search Skills

The 2013 Post Falls Reverse Job Fair was attended by 218 students.

The 2013 Post Falls Reverse Job Fair was attended by 218 students.

Hundreds of high school seniors received a real-world introduction to employment and job search techniques in Post Falls this spring.

At Post Falls High School, students prepare for the Chamber of Commerce’s annual Reverse Job Fair throughout the school year – researching careers and colleges, job shadowing and creating portfolios filled with work-related documents, explains Post Falls High School English teacher Jennifer Maddy. The students also engage in practice interviews and create tri-fold posters in final preparation for the fair.

“It blows me away every year,” said interviewer and judge, David Risdon, CEO of Century Publishing in Post Falls. Risdon  – involved with the fair since its inception in 2007 – says he is impressed by each student’s potential and likes seeing how well the students prepare for the fair. “The kids have dreams and are ready to go after them,” he said.
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Economic Activity in Idaho

Here is a roundup of economic news compiled by the Idaho Department of Labor in April:

Northern Idaho

  • More than 600 students participated
    Hard Hats, Hammers and Hot Dogs.

    Hard Hats, Hammers and Hot Dogs.

    in this year’s Hard Hats, Hammers and Hot Dogs, a hands-on event sponsored by local businesses, Avista Utilities and the Idaho Department of Labor. Students learn about a variety of careers in trade industries from operating heavy equipment to welding.

  • Spokane-based Seven2 Inc. and 14Four Inc., sister companies that provide digital and Web-based design services, have roughly doubled in employment, growing from 30 to 70 with plans to add 10 more. The companies develop online and mobile application projects for clients such as Disney, Expedia and AT&T.
  • Ground Force, a Post Falls company that manufactures open-pit mining equipment, expects to hire between 100 and 125 new employees. Most of those jobs will be working in the manufacturing plant and some in engineering and administration. In addition to the new 65,000-square-foot plant, CEO Ron Nilson plans to add another 44,000-square-foot factory and an 8,200-square-foot corporate office. The company projects Ground Force’s workforce to top 400 in Post Falls.

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Businesses Want Soft Skills from Employees

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Soft skills – including managing your time wisely and coming to work on time – are important to employers. This slideshow from our Career Information System provides a list of important soft skills.

Need more career advice? You can learn about careers, paying for school and more on our website. 

Robin Hollis, Workforce Consultant: Helping Idahoans Find Work

Workforce consultant Robin Hollis answers questions about what Idaho Department of Labor consultants do and how they help Idaho job seekers find work:

What does an Idaho Department of Labor workforce consultant do?

Workforce consultants help with job searches and job placement. We also provide guidance, tools and tips to make a job seeker’s application and/or resume more marketable.  robin hollis

Some workforce consultants also help customers with unemployment insurance (UI) or programs that will make them more employable.

My main focus is serving as a Youth Case Manager. I work with at-risk youth between the ages of 16-21, help young people earn their GEDs or mentor and help them determine what career they want to pursue.

We also show people how to use the tools the Department of Labor has to offer such as Idaho’s Career Information System, Labor Market Information (wages and statistics) and all of the available agency website resources.
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Small Businesses Support Idaho’s Economy

idaho employment by firm size

Small businesses are often referred to as the backbone of our economy. The Small Business Administration released a top 10 list espousing ways small businesses are important to the country. The list includes some interesting facts like 43 percent of all high-tech employment is created by small business and small firms with high levels of patents produce 16 times more patents per employee than their larger counterparts.

The SBA also provides a lot of data on small businesses. Unfortunately, the SBA considers a small business to be 500 or less employees. For Idaho, this includes many employers that are very large, especially in our rural communities.

Using data from the most recent tax files, this article looks at business with less than 50 employees and compares them to the rest to see how Idaho small business have fared over time.
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March Economic Activity

Idaho department of labor county developments

Here is a roundup of economic news compiled by the Idaho Department of Labor in March:

Northern Idaho

  • Bonner General Hospital’s new medical office will be linked to a planned parking garage by an aerial bridge. The expansion includes a 47,000-square-foot, three-story building that will allow the hospital to add new specialists to its staff.
  • Perimeter Security Group of Dalton Gardens tripled its sales volume during the last two years and grew from 10 to 50 employees with the acquisition of the Coeur d’Alene operations of Northwest Fence Co.
  • Coeur d’Alene Mines Corp. is acquiring all the issued and outstanding common shares of Orko Silver Corp, a British Columbia-based company. The transaction is expected to close in April at a total value of 350 million Canadian dollars. The deal comes on the heels of the company reporting strong operating cash flow of $338.7 million and record gold production in 2012.

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Language Differences Point to Pockets of Diversity in Idaho

The escalating debate over national immigration reform has put the workplace and the classroom on the front line, especially when it comes to communication. English as a second language has significant ramifications in productivity and safety.

In Idaho, the vast majority of people for whom English is a second language speak Spanish. The five Refugee Centers located around the state track more language diversity although the numbers of these immigrants remains comparatively small to Hispanics.

top 5 refugee languages 2011

Contributing to the diversity yet still trailing the Spanish speakers considerably is Other Indo-European languages, the next largest group of non-English speakers. The changing global politics is showcased in the differing top five refugee languages in 2005 versus 2011 with Nepalese taking the majority lead over Turkish.
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