Insight News

May 26th


Youth Business Club develops entrepreneurial skills

Kids learn with support and guidance from community

Recent studies show that nearly seven million jobs that employed young people were erased during the current economic meltdown. In fact, 52.2% of youth do not have a job, the highest percentage since World War II.

However, a group of hardworking and dedicated youth from St. Paul’s Selby Avenue neighborhood are paving the way for their own entrepreneurial and economic future.

Minnesota Trade Office recognizes nine companies for developing international markets

The Minnesota Trade Office (MTO) has named nine companies winners of the 2010 Governor's International Trade Awards for success in building global markets.

The companies were honored during a luncheon at the IDS Center in downtown Minneapolis last week, in recognition of Minnesota World Trade Week 2010.

This year's winners are 3M Company, St. Paul; Ideal Aerosmith, East Grand Forks; Leeds Forensic Systems, Inc., Minneapolis; MOCON, Inc., Brooklyn Park; Network Executive Software, Inc., Maple Grove; ReconRobotics, Inc., Edina; Rosenbauer America LLC, Wyoming; Viracon, Owatonna; and Knewtson Soy Products, LLP, Good Thunder.

Tomorrow’s workspace works today

Tomorrow’s workspace works todaySuccess is elastic:  ask ten people to explain it and you will hear ten definitions.  Words like progress, accomplishment, dollars, and impact all play a part in describing success, along with creativity, innovation and sweat equity.  But in business, the bottom line is results.  The challenge to companies today is to achieve those results in highly competitive arenas where even the environmental impact of an initiative is publicly scrutinized.  Lately, a few local companies have met that challenge with remarkable agility and fabulous results.

Imagine having the freedom at work to choose for yourself when, where and how you achieve results.  At global medical device manufacturer American Medical Systems (AMS), the vision was to facilitate success by altering the working landscape both physically and emotionally.  AMS looked at ways employees utilized both their personal workspace and the wide range of communication tools available today and developed “Lifeworks,” a transformation that will likely be a model for corporate workspaces going forward.

Wages have dropped, what is my work worth now?

Wages have dropped, what is my work worth now?
Job seeker Mary asks:  Off the top of your head, is there a web site where one can see today's wages for positions?  I know I won't make my previous income, but I’m not sure how much incomes have dropped.  She also wonders: What do you think will happen with the employees that never were laid off, still making their great pay while the workers who were let go and came back are earning 20 percent less?  Do you think those income gaps will eventually close?

I scoured my sources to find answers to Mary’s concerns.  I learned, first of all, that she is right.  When she goes back to work, in the same job, she can expect to earn less money for her efforts.  According to one employer survey, Applications Development Managers will earn 2.4 percent less than last year; the going rate for entry-level Administrative Assistants is projected to be 2.3 percent less.

Former Oasis convenience stores/service stations in Twin Cities may sell at prices below existing debt

The 13 Oasis convenience stores being sold at auction in the Twin Cities metro area will likely sell for less than the current debt owed on the properties, according to bankruptcy trustee John Hedback. But the buyers will have clear, debt free titles.

"It's a definite possibility that the lender will take a loss on these, but that's just a reality of the current economic climate. For the buyers, any existing debt on the property they buy is irrelevant, because each property will be conveyed debt free, with a clear title," said Hedback.

New grantmaking guidelines for unrestricted and field of interest funds

The Saint Paul Foundation new grant guidelines highlight its continued commitment to the broad East Metro community. Rather than narrowing its grant guidelines to focus only on specific sectors or issues, The Saint Paul Foundation has revised its grant guidelines to better include and reflect the diversity and breadth of services that are critical for creating a vibrant East Metro community.

“Our new grant guidelines reflect the inter-connected nature of our community and philanthropy,” said Scott Jones, board chair of The Saint Paul Foundation. “Today, nonprofits do not typically operate in silos; they operate across sectors, and we have reflected this in our newly defined and broadly inclusive grant areas.”

Specialize, prioritize and capitalize: How star performers stay on top

Specialize, prioritize and capitalize:  How star performers stay on top One characteristic common to top performers is an ability to set and reach their goals. They don’t have more time than anyone else; they share a clock with the rest of us, a straight-up 24 new hours every day. But they use those hours effectively and that ensures their success. Accomplished professionals know they can’t do it all. They learn to specialize, prioritize and then capitalize in order to succeed.

Dr. Anne Moore at Tria keeps my family’s aches and pains at bay --no small feat in a household comprised of avid athletes and old people. People trust Dr. Moore because first, they like her, and, importantly, she specializes: she focuses her professional time and energy on sports medicine. She might also have knowledge about music and art and staining a deck, but if she tried to be an authority on each of those topics, it would hinder her from becoming an expert in the area that matters most to her.
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