October 8, 2009

Start a company on the State’s dime

Category: Jobs — admin @ 6:18 pm

Here’s a hang up that faces many people.  You get fired, laid off, furloughed or lose your job in some other circumstance and apply for unemployment.

You get approved, but in order to draw that weekly check you have to spend 40 hours a week looking for work.  Sounds fair.  but what if you have a highly specialized skill set and no one in your field is hiring?  You either have to find a job outside your field or risk running out of benefits as you chase cold job leads.

Or is there a third option?

There is (of course you knew that was coming).

The Self Employment Assistance Program allows people to build their own business while drawing their unemployment benefits.  If you qualify and have an idea that passes inspection by small biz coaches, you can turn 100% of your attention to building that company.


For more info, go here.

September 29, 2009

Local success gets NATIONAL nod

Category: Community, Jobs, University of Oregon — admin @ 9:51 am

Janie Marsh - Goodwill's National Graduate of the Year

Janie Marsh - Goodwill's National Graduate of the Year

Every year, Goodwill honors one person who goes through their job training program with the Graduate of the Year honor.  It’s tough to earn.  In fact, the plaque has never even visited the west coast.

That is until now.

Janie Marsh brought the recognition right to Oregon for her years of hard work towards a goal of a better life.

Drinking and drugs started early for Marsh and she quickly found herself in and out of jail, focused only on getting her next fix.  But, when she landed in Coffee Creek correctional institute, she connected with a Goodwill training program.

Once she got her freedom back, she kept and maintained a job and began pursuing an education.  Now, she’s headed for a degree from the UO (with help from merit-based scholarships no less) in Landscape Architecture.

Way to go Janie Marsh!

For more info on the Good Work GoodWill does, go here.

August 28, 2009

From unemployed to educator in less than 10 months

Category: Jobs — admin @ 1:12 am

Ken Lynch took his own passion for learning and created MindGlo

Ken Lynch took his own passion for learning and created MindGlo

As 2008 drew to a close, Ken Lynch had to make some changes.  Out of work and living in Hoboken, New Jersey, he decided to return to his native Portland, spend some time with his family and contemplate his next career move.

As he drove across the US in a U-Haul, he made two decisions: he wanted to learn to play the guitar and he wanted to learn Spanish.  But it was easier said than done.  Finding a class that fit his needs proved prohibitive.  So seizing the entrepreneurial spirit, he decided to start his own class.

And that is how MindGlo got started.  Now offering dozens of classes in myriad areas, MindGlo is Portland’s new adult learning center.  Instruction is held in informal settings like local coffee houses and Whole Foods markets. 

Lynch says they are steadily expanding their course catalog and new classes start all the time.  For more info check out their website.

July 27, 2009

A winning lotto ticket for jobs and parks

Category: Community, Jobs — admin @ 6:12 pm

Local parks are getting a makeover.  Local workers are getting jobs (or, their jobs are being saved).

Who do we have to thank?  The Oregon Lottery.

See, the lotto turns over cash every year to the Park and Rec Department which, in turn, doles the bucks out to different communities as grants to spruce up local parks.

How much?

$4million this summer.  About the same next year.  And so on.

Even cooler, there are two different types of projects they consider.  Buying more land to expand a park or create a new park.  Or upgrading an existing park.

This year, the vast majority of projects they selected, according to Chris Havel with the department who spoke with GNPDX . . . fall into the latter category.  Why?  Because buying land doesn’t do squat on the job front, whereas building a trail or a new structure or facilities means contractors go to work.

ANYONE can apply for a grant (cities, neighborhoods, counties, etc.) so if you would like to fix up a park in YOUR neck of the woods, go here.

July 24, 2009

Beaverton gets a dose of Good Will

Category: Charity, Community, Jobs — admin @ 1:00 am

The new Cedar Hills GoodWill is the second largest around

The new Cedar Hills GoodWill is the second largest around

For weeks, neighbors in Beaverton have knocked on the doors of the new Goodwill, hoping the doors would finally open.  Well, let the shopping commence.  The new, massive thrift store is officially open for business.

Dale Emmanuel with GWill tells GNPDX this store is the second largest in the local territory . . . but it won’t get the pleasure of being the “family baby” for long.  Business is doing so well for the chain (sales up several percent) that three more stores are slated for opening in the coming months.

Of course, what is good for Goodwill is good for all of us.  About 94% of the dollars that come in go right back to helping local people find jobs.  Yeah, that pair of jeans you never wear and those cooking utensils sitting in your attic gathering dust could help someone find a new career.

Kinda makes you want to do some spring cleaning this weekend, eh?

The new store is in Beaverton across from the Nissan dealership off of Cedar Hills Blvd (12975 SW Westgate Dr).

July 9, 2009

Good stock day

Category: Jobs — admin @ 11:05 am

Jobless rates are dropping (That’s the number of people claiming benefits because they are out of work).

The giant aluminum maker, Alcoa, didn’t lose as much as they thought they would last month.

Those two bits pushed the stock market’s here and abroad upwards today.  For the more indepth explanation that uses words like indicators, index and ebullient . . . click here.

July 7, 2009

Fed $$ patch up streets AND add jobs

Category: Jobs — admin @ 1:25 am

Cool story from the Tribune about how federal stim dollars are going to work on the streets of Portlandia.  Literally.

(Nutshell: $1.3 million saved 10 jobs, created 2 new ones and is helping patch the pavement downtown)

June 4, 2009

A ray of light in the employment world

Category: Jobs — admin @ 8:50 am

Jobless claims and the number of people claiming unemployment is DOWN this week for the first time in 5 months.  The dip is small, but it’s nice to have finally broken five months of increase, right?

June 3, 2009

Offering Vets a helping hand TODAY

Category: Jobs — admin @ 1:03 am

Central City Concern is one of the groups behind the event

Central City Concern is one of the groups behind the event

Here’s a question: who has a higher unemployment rate … civilians or veterans? 

Would it surprise you if I said that the Veteran unemployment rate is about 2% HIGHER than non-vets?  (Well it shocked the heck out of our staff).  The reasons are varied, including the slumping economy …. but we here at GNPDX are less interested in the “why” and more interested in the “how” … as in “how do we get these brave men and women back to work?”

Some local groups are hoping to offer at least a small piece of a solution to the problem.  They’re hosting a Stand Down and Job Fair (taken from the traditional meaning of the term “to stand down’ or “to rest and recoup during times of war”).

The event that happens TODAY at the Ambridge Event Center by the Lloyd District promises about 25 potential employers, job search counselors and advice plus other resources for things like housing.

For specifics click here.

June 2, 2009

Oregon leading the way out of recession?

Category: Jobs — admin @ 7:21 pm

Cool story just popped up on Oregonlive …. One of the most reputable economic pundits out there pegs Oregon as one of the states to lead us out of recession by the end of this year (could start to see job growth in just a few months).


Hope they’re right!