Insight News

Feb 27th


President Obama launch of Skills for America’s Future

Program will create Job Training Partnerships in all 50 States

President Obama recently launched Skills for America’s Future, a new, industry-led initiative to dramatically improve industry partnerships with community colleges and build a nation-wide network to maximize workforce development strategies, job training programs, and job placement. 

President Obama said, “We want to make it easier to join students looking for jobs with businesses looking to hire.  We want to put community colleges and employers together to create programs that match curricula in the classroom with the needs of the boardroom.  Skills for America’s Future will help connect more employers, schools, and other job training providers, and help them share knowledge about what practices work best.  The goal is to ensure there are strong partnerships between growing industries and community college or training programs in every state in the country.”

Creating solutions that unlock possibilities

 Creating solutions that unlock possibilitiesSince 1926, the Minneapolis Urban League (MUL) has been a beacon of hope and opportunity for the Twin-Cities. With a spirit of excellence, the MUL strives to execute human development programming that provides solutions for African Americans and other people of color. Community leaders who converged in 1926 to form the MUL did so in response to both the societal challenges and emerging opportunities that existed at the time. Some 84 years later, the legacy of MUL is without question noteworthy, and truly reflects this community’s commitment to uplifting its citizenry; expanding the quality of life for all, while remaining intently focused on actionable solutions that reflect the mission of the Urban League nationwide.

The Gateway is comprised of four intersections: College Preparedness/Career Development, Workforce Solutions, Health and Wellness, and Wealth Accumulation. Each Gateway intersection has been designed to be a solution to some of the most pressing disparities facing African Americans in the Twin Cities; therefore each is critical to the quality of life for youth and adults. Critical to the solutions are community members, corporations, foundations, and other champions.

Why Would I Want to Work With You? Preparing for the compatibility interview question

Why Would I Want to Work With You?  Preparing for the compatibility interview questionThe recession is over. The National Bureau of Economic Research says so. Therefore, it follows that many people who were looking for work over the past year will now be interviewing for new jobs. For many of these people, the word interview is synonymous with phrases like nervous stomach and cold sweats. Bringing your best self to the table is paramount, and never easy, but being prepared for the most obvious questions will help. One of these has nothing to do with job skills.

Considering that most people spend more time with their colleagues than their own children, interviewers have to assess whether candidates are compatible with the people already on board. They wonder, Do I want to work with you? Why would I want to work with you? Does anyone else like working with you? Interviewers rarely come right out and ask these questions. It is a candidate’s responsibility to recognize the spirit of the question and be ready with a satisfactory response.

MN charities in jeopardy of losing tax-exempt status

As many as 5,500 small community-based nonprofits in Minnesota are in jeopardy of losing their tax-exempt status. The Internal Revenue Service is concerned because the loss of this status could greatly affect the organizations' charitable work and their donors' potential tax deductions.

Among the organizations that could lose their tax-exempt status are local sports associations and community support groups, volunteer fire and ambulance associations and their auxiliaries, social clubs, educational societies, veterans groups, church-affiliated groups, groups designed to assist those with special needs and a variety of others.

Serious Job Offer or Serious Scam? Be wary of unusual hiring practices

Serious Job Offer or Serious Scam?  Be wary of unusual hiring practicesKendra’s job search was frustratingly slow until she received an offer that seemed impossible to refuse.  The company wanted to interview her the following week, was extremely encouraging based on her resume alone and assured her this was an incredible opportunity.  The catch:  the interview had to be in-person and in Boston (she was in MN) and she would have to appear at her own expense.  She came to me because she was having trouble finding information about the company.

Another candidate, Cyndi, approached me recently with similar concerns about a company in Michigan.  She said the company wanted to run a credit check on her prior to the job interview, that she was required to use their credit bureau to run the check and that if she refused, they would move on to another candidate.  Like Kendra, the position was for an administrative assistant and the company was hard to discover online.

Better Business Bureau Tips for using Craigslist Consumers urged to be cautious

In the wake of another tragic death in the Twin Cities area involving a transaction initiated through Craigslist, the Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota (BBB) is advising the public to practice caution when using the online service and others like it.

“There are certainly deals to be found online, but it’s good for both buyers and sellers to remember they’re usually dealing with people unfamiliar to them,” said Dana Badgerow, president and CEO of the BBB. “There are risks involved and we feel it’s very important that people take the time to pause and consider both their personal and financial security.” 

When elderly parents need financial guidance

A friend of mine recently realized his mother needed help managing her finances when he found her closets filled with oddball purchases like jalapeno jelly beans and Betty Boop bobblehead dolls. "It was pretty clear that telemarketers were taking advantage of her friendly nature to sell her junk she didn't want or need," he said.

Fortunately, his mom welcomed assistance; but not all families are so lucky. Some parents are fiercely independent and fear relinquishing control over any aspect of their lives; others may be in over their heads and too embarrassed to ask for help.
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