Friday, October 29, 2010

Housing and jobs

Recently, I heard this statement made by a jobseeker” I need a job, what does housing have to do with me getting a job?’ The short answer to that question is-a lot! In an economy such as ours everything is somewhat related to job demand and housing plays a crucial role.

To explain, there are three main ways in which housing demand affects job creation. The first is directly though the demand for individuals in the construction trade. In Volusia County, at its peak, 15,000 individuals or 6.1% of our workforce were employed in the housing industry. Today 8,100, that is 3.2% of our local economy is directly affected by housing. These numbers become even more staggering when we look to our sister county to the north. Flagler County’s slice of the housing pie at its peak was 2,400 or 8%, today it is 890 or 2.7%.

The second way that housing affects jobs is through a slightly more complex chain. This chain is based on the fact that a significant amount of our consumption is based on the value that is encased in our homes.

This value was utilized in a number of ways. The main method that we all read and hear about, but struggle to understand, is through financial engineering. This is when those values associated with our homes, or better yet the mortgages attached to the homes themselves were pooled, bundled, and then sold at a discount to investors nationwide and worldwide. These products were structured many different ways, but the main products involved selling slices of our mortgage payments called tranches to investors. These products were viewed as fairly safe investments and as a result they sold like hotcakes. This product in a nutshell is the Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS) also called CMOs (Collateralized Mortgage Obligations) or Mortgage Backed Certificates (MBC) that we have read some much about in the past 2-3 years. These financial products helped facilitate the rise in the perceived value of homes, drove paper profits, and fueled consumption and demand. Thus the demand for employment followed.

The third and no less important way is through value extraction of your home in the form of a loan to fuel your personal consumption. That personal consumption drives demand, which then drives the need for production of goods and services to meet this demand. This is the same drive that forces an employer to place an ad on EFM, Monster, Career Builder, or your local newspaper’s want ads to hire you the jobseeker.

As is obvious, both processes are prone to the opposite effect when the reverse occurs. This is what we had experienced in the past 2-3 years. This is not to say that an economy cannot grow and create jobs without this process occurring, but at this current time, the way our economy is structured, at the very least we will need to see some stabilization in the housing market before we would expect significant consistent improvement on the jobs front.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Employ Florida

Employ Florida Marketplace (EFM) is still an awesome place to look for job openings! Now EFM is like many other things in life, you get from it what you put into it. Take the time post your resume and to enter all of your skills. Remember not only can you use it to look for a job but employers can use it to find you!
We even have a workshop that you can attend if you need help with this, Take Control of Your Job Search. Days and times for your area can be found on our webite

Below are some of the jobs I found on EFM today.

Manager of Benefits and Wellness $50K
Contract Administrator $38K to $63K
Substance Abuse Counselor $30.00 per hour
Financial Paralegal $50K
Field Mechanic $22.00 per hour
Technical Manager $80K

This is just a tiny sample of jobs that have posted by our preferred employers. Do a search on EFM for yourself. I think you will be surpised at what you find!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Do most people really know how they are generally perceived by others?

By: Lori Stone, APR
Director of Business Operations & Communications
Center for Business Excellence

“Just for a moment, I was back at school and felt that old, familiar pain…” Do you ever have something happen that brings you back to that insecure place we all have deep inside? You know the feeling – like when you had a stream of toilet paper stuck on your shoe trailing behind as you made your oblivious way down a crowded high school hallway.

Or, maybe, it was the time a high school science teacher strongly suggested to you in front of your classmates (all boys) that you really should be down the hall in Home Ec learning how to bake cookies instead of the rationale behind Newton’s laws of motion. True story.

Well, I had that feeling a few weeks ago during a meeting. A gentleman entered the room, shook every man’s hand and walked right past me like I was vapor.

Perhaps, he was tired. Maybe, he was in a bad mood. Better yet, my suit may have blended in with the wallpaper and he couldn’t detect me.

Nonetheless, his dismissive behavior made me feel like shouting out, “Hey Mister, I can’t believe it’s 2010 and that just actually happened! Hello, my name is Lori Stone, someone YOU (yes, you) should know!”

Of course, I didn’t do that. My point is, his actions created my perception which became my reality in that moment. And yes, I admit, I stewed over it longer than I should have.

So, I did a little research and found an interesting exercise to help us put our best foot forward when interacting with others. I hope you find it useful:

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Overcoming Defeat

If you are looking for work and have not been successful you could probably describe the 50 different ways you have been turned down for a job. "You are over qualified." "You don't have enough experience in this field." "We have already filled that position." And so on. You may have come to think that there is no way a great job is going to happen to you. Don't get defeated, it will happen. Here are a few situations where rejection didn't end in defeat:

  • Babe Ruth is remembered as the “Home Run King.” He was also the “Strike-Out Champion,” having failed at bat 1,330 times, more than any other player in the major leagues at that time.
  • In 1962, an executive of Decca Records made the following statement about a singing group: “We don’t like their sound. Besides, groups playing guitars are on the way out anyway.” He was talking about the Beatles.
  • Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen, co-authors of the world renowned Chicken Soup for the Soul® book series, were turned down by 33 of New York's biggest publishing houses in the first month of their efforts to promote their labor of love! They heard, "Anthologies don't sell." "We don't think there is a market for this book." "We just don't get it." "The book is too positive." "It's not topical enough." All totaled, they were rejected by 140 publishers. To top it off, their agent said, "I can't sell this book - I'm giving it back to you guys." They finally found someone willing to take a risk on their project, Peter Vegso, President of Health Communications, Inc. The first books were published on June 28, 1993, and had become a Christmas favorite by the end of December. Word of mouth soon led to a groundswell of popularity. To meet the demand, the publisher had to subcontract printing. With over 60 million copies sold to date, 48 titles in print in the United States and translations in over 30 languages, Chicken Soup for the Soul® has made international publishing history. At one time or another there have been at least eight Chicken Soup for the Soul® titles simultaneously in the top fifty on the USA Today best-selling books list. Jack and Mark hold the record in The Guinness Book of World Records for having the most books on the New York Times bestseller list at one time; seven books on May 24, 1998.

It may seem that you have heard "no" too often and will never get a "yes", but keep your faith. It will come and soon you can add your name to this list.

For more inspirational stories you can go to:

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Robin Ryan Rocks!

60 Seconds and You're Hired! is in my opinion the best book on interviewing that has ever been written. Everyone I have recommended this book has had nothing but great things to say about it . You can purchase it from for less that $4.00 or if you e-mail me at I will let you borrow one of my copies. Just promise me you will bring it back!

Also, you can visit her website daily for her job search tip of the day!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

7 Spending Cuts You Might Not Even Notice

Even those who are employed can benefit from cutting costs. No matter how much money we make, it never seems to be enough. Click here to read an article with seven ideas on cutting costs.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Charm School for Your Career

“You talk too much. You never shut up!” Good Monday morning! It’s Lori Stone, CBE’s director of business operations and communications. Yep, Run dmc may have been on to something with these simple lyrics. Unless you are in the middle of a filibuster on the U.S. Senate floor, you may need to check yourself and determine if you could use “charm school” for your career.

I know I’ve been guilty of using the wrong tactics to get noticed in my career, especially when I was just starting out. Hard to believe people didn’t find me as charming and hilarious as I thought I was – LOL! I still have to watch myself when I’m anxious or overtired and “slap happy.”

So, join me and check out these great tips/refreshers on the subject:

Friday, October 15, 2010

Cyclical vs. Structural Recession: Why does it matter?

Years ago as a student in economics I learned all the usual economics jargon; markets info, production, costs and efficiency, supply and demand, inflation and monetary policy, etc, etc, etc, but one of the lessons that stuck with me without having to review my text time and time again was the difference between a cyclical recession versus a structural recession. This lesson in particular stuck with me because it could be applied in many different ways. For the purpose of this discussion I choose to apply it to the individual unemployed jobseeker. But first I will try to explain what cyclical and structural recessions are.

The quick and dirty definition of a cyclical recession is; the regular downturn in the business cycle caused by reactions to periods of out of control confidence or to quote our Fed predecessor Chairman Greenspan “irrational overexhuberance”. This type of cycle usually rights itself when confidence returns and investment and spending begin to ramp up again.

The second and more serious type of recession, structural, is defined as a disconnect between the supply and demand components of an economy. In our case, an example of this would be the skills of a worker not matching the needs of an employer. It could also be that the products and or services produced by business are not what a market demands, thus stagnation and no growth occurs. Please remember that these definitions are as stated “quick and dirty” and are designed to give you the reader a general understanding of the concepts, not to make you an economist.

When applying these principles to that of an unemployed jobseeker. A jobseeker should ask her or himself; Is my unemployment cyclical- meaning that it is part of the usual downturn and as confidence builds so will my opportunities for reemployment, or is it structural- meaning that there is an obvious mismatch of the skills I possess and the skills required for employment in today’s job market.

This leads me back to title of this discussion Cyclical vs. Structural Recession: Why does it matter? The answer to this question is critical to you the individual jobseeker because it tells you if your unemployment situation will resolve itself via the function of time and waiting it out, or if your unemployment will be long and you will need to reinvent yourself in terms of the skills that you possess if your unemployment situation is to improve.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Super Mario! The Best Reality TV Ever

Driving to work today the DJ on the radio said that the coverage of the miners is the best Reality TV that has ever been on. It is hard to argue with that or to come up with anything more inspiring than the happenings down in Chile over the past 70 days, especially the finale over the past 72 hours. At some point I think most everyone has seen a clip of some moment or heard of the painstaking efforts to return the 33 miners to safety. I tried to think of a way to tie in what they have coordinated and accomplished to something that will help you or me overcome our daily trials and tribulations. Everything seems to come up too short. So I have decided to share my favorite part and hope that in a way it can inspire you.

Mario Sepulveda was the second miner to emerge from the tunnel and upon his arrival, well, he was inspirational. In his high spirits and gratitude, the joy of life he showed still stays with me. I hope that you enjoy watching his ascent as much I did. Christine Sikora

Celebrate and Share Love

So many people around the world are jobless. Trying to figure out what their next move might be. Thinking, when will I be employed? Will I be able to pay my bills? Will I be able to feed myself and my family? Constantly beating themselves up on a daily basis, not realizing that they have that special four letter word in their lives, that can make things better.
I know this feeling. I was there 4 months ago. I wondered if the Money Tree really existed. And if it did, I would bury it in my back yard and all my financial worries would cease to exist. After searching the nurseries and the Internet for several days, I realized the Money Tree was non-existent. So I started thinking, I don't have much money, but what I do have, is the Love of my wife, my kids, my siblings, my parents, my neighbors and my pets.
At that precise moment, a wide smile fell upon my face. I realized that no matter how bad it may have seemed to be unemployed or how bad I felt not being able to pay my bills on time, the fact that I was filled with Love and had many that Loved me, gave me hope. Suddenly, the world was not a gloomy place. Instead, it was a bright, shiny place. With all the Love I have in my life and with all the Love I can give to others, I can let people know that if they just realized how much Love they have in their lives, they too would be smiling. We may not be rich as Rockefeller, but we have what no amount of money can buy, LOVE!
Those that know me, always say that I am a positive, upbeat, caring and Loving person. I am for the most part. The reason for my happy, upbeat and Loving attitude is because of my wife, my wonderful 4 angels that are my children and the many people I have in my life. No matter how bad things may get or be, all I have to think about, is the Love that I have for my family and the Love I receive from them, takes everything away.
Love can make a bad situation better. Love can make someone sad, suddenly happy. Just sit back and forget about your worries for just a moment. Think about those you Love and Love you. Within moments, your face and soul will light up and make things better. Celebrate and share Love! Imagine, if every single person on this planet, decided to celebrate and share Love with one another. How great would that be?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Pro-Net Meeting-- Join us!!!!!!

If you are profesional seeking employment please join us for our upcoming networking meetings.

Meeting dates and times are October 15th and 29th at 10 a.m. at the Daytona One Stop Career Center and October 19th at 10 a.m. at the DeLand One Stop Career Center. Please contact Donna Runge at to R.S.V.P.

If you are not familiar with our Pro-Net meetings please read the article below.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Lose the Expensive Gym Fees and Get in Shape

Tired of paying a monthly fee to a gym you hardly ever use? Or maybe things have just reached the point that regardless of how much you use the gym you simply can’t afford it any longer. Click here to read an article with 9 suggestions on free and easy ways to get some exercise.

Monday, October 11, 2010

True Success: Finding Your Perfect Wave

By: Lori McMullin, APR, Director of Business Operations & Communications

Center for Business Excellence

Here's to a very tripendicular Monday! “What,” you say?

Well, I must confess I was watching a movie on LMN last week and it gave me the idea for this week’s blog post. Yes, it was a mushy romance, but that’s beside the point.

One of the characters said, “You’ve got to swim out of your comfort zone to catch the wave that will change your life,” and it rang true with me.

I most definitely did this during the past year and discovered who I really am, what truly matters and, most important, love once lost and now returned. The ride has been filled with joy and, sometimes, pain. Nonetheless, it has been an incredible journey of self discovery.

Check out the first link for tips on how to find your perfect wave. Then, check out the second link just for fun!

P.S., seems like the perfect wave is perfectly imperfect. Wouldn’t you agree? Fer Sure!

Friday, October 8, 2010

The big picture of unemployment for Volusia and Flagler Counties

The following is a big picture snapshot of the change in the unemployment rate for Flagler County.

The following is a big picture snapshot of the change in the unemployment rate for Volusia County.

A job is created

"A job is created when the skills of a worker
the needs of an employer"

"skills and needs"
"Supply and Demand"

Caroline Baum

I recently read this quote in a very well respected business periodical. As an individual that works with employers and jobseekers on a daily basis I, like most people, follow the logic that a job opening is created by a business/employer when they have a need for a service. I never thought that many times an individual has the capacity to create a job for themselves by simply pointing out to a business/employer the reasons as to why that business/employer’s organization is lacking and therefore needs the particular skills that the individual possesses.

This line of thought leads me to the point of this posting. If you are reading this, look in the mirror, ask yourself; do I have the type of skills that allows me to make the case to a business/employer as to why that employer needs my particular skills? Could I, by way of the skills I possess, make the case to a business/employer to hire me? Are my current skills dated or ubiquitous? Are my particular skills somewhat unique and therefore valuable?

Mirror man Photo
By Ted Y.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Seeing what leading businesses in the region are doing

This week Playtex Manufacturing Inc. did something that many other companies have discarded during the "slightly-post-downturn" times: They spent money on employee training – and not just a few thousand dollars – they spent more than $300K!

It is incredible to see Playtex charge forward at a time when some many other businesses are sitting at the sidelines, discussing economic doom and gloom – like the much dreaded double-dip recession.

The training included: safety awareness, OSHA training, problem solving, time management, interpersonal dynamics, coaching, and “play to win” – a proprietary course that brings participants outdoors to participate in a variety of team-building exercises. On the pictures: two employees very high above the ground walking across a plank. Their only safe way to get back to the ground: their work colleagues.

So, as jobseekers, why should we care? Let’s pay close attention to the hidden message to find out why.

I think it would be safe to assume that the Playtex executives didn’t just wake up one day and said, “WOOO HOOO! Let’s blow $300K on training!” Chances are that the allocation of those training funds was the result of a meticulous analysis. Their experts probably studied the impact that training would have on their operational costs and the bottom line. If these assumptions are correct then it would be rational to say that Playtex has a positive outlook of the future.

Back to us – job seekers. Hearing that a major local company has a positive outlook for the future is great news. Even if we don’t seek employment with them, we should be excited. The reason: Economies tend to move with a snowball effect. When one business does well, then all the other supporting businesses also do well. Business doing well = more jobs!

Keep an eye on the local businesses that are incurring in these kinds of programs; you might just stumble upon your next job.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Interview Questions

Several times a week, job seekers will ask me if questions an potential employer asked them during an interview were legal. This is a great article that discusses just that.

Eight Questions an Potential Employer Can't Ask

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Through music, we can escape.

Music's healing power!

So many of us day after day do nothing more than worry ourselves to exhaustion. Worry about bills. Worry about our children. Worry how long before we get employed. Although, we all know that worrying won't help ease the situation before us, we still continue to worry. Always remember that no matter how bad or how endless our troubles may seem, there is always a brand new day tomorrow.

So what exactly am I trying to get at? Well, I can tell you that when things may seem hopeless for me or when it seems that nothing ever goes right, I turn to music. Music calms my soul. Music takes me away, although temporarily, to a better place. It helps me realize that no matter how bad it may seem, things will always get better.

For me, Bob Marley's Three Little Birds, is that song that makes me smile. I can have all the troubles or the weight of the world on my shoulders, but when I hear Mr. Marley sing, " Don't worry about a thing. 'Cause every little thing gonna be all right" all my troubles are gone. For those 4 minutes, I am relaxed and free of all my worries.

No matter how long or short, find that special song or album that takes you away.

7 Easy Steps to Date Your Resume

No, this is not about how to take your résumé out to dinner and a movie. It is about the most common ways ones résumé can make you seem out of the loop. We live in a fast-paced world and have to represent yourself as being up-to-date or risk being left out in the cold. To read the article about the 7 most common ways people date their résumé, click here.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Helpful Tips for Coping with Feeling Overwhelmed

Good Monday morning! It’s Lori Stone, CBE’s director of business operations and communications. The past few weeks have felt a bit hectic for me, so I thought they may be for our readers as well.

I found some tips to help us all get a better handle on our tasks at hand. However, you first have to promise me you’ll listen to this song following the link below and get a bit silly. No joke! This song sounds so frenzied to me and I listen to it to put myself in check when I feel I’m getting on the “out of control ride.”

Now that you are in a more relaxed frame of mind, check out these helpful tips for coping with being overwhelmed. Perhaps, today won’t be a “manic Monday” for you after all!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Local Employer Invests in Employees

The Center for Business Excellence (CBE) is awarding $30,000 to Playtex Manufacturing Inc. to assist the company in its training program for workers currently employed at its Ormond Beach plant, which manufactures sun care products under the Hawaiian Tropic and Banana Boat brand names.

More than 100 Playtex employees will be able to improve their skill levels in computers, on-the-job training, safety awareness, problem solving, time management, interpersonal dynamics and environmental awareness compliance through this program.

The non-profit Center for Business Excellence is the premier organization for employment and training solutions to businesses and the workforce of Volusia and Flagler Counties.
“This is great for the company, and for the area,” said Rick Fraser, president of CBE. “The company is investing a lot in these employees.”

Playtex Manufacturing is a subsidiary of Energizer Holdings, Inc. and is one of the largest manufacturers of sun care products in the United States, producing products under both the Banana Boat and Hawaiian Tropic brand names.