Posts Tagged ‘Job Opportunities’

Where the Jobs Are (part III)

January 30, 2012

Think Strategically! Think Big! Think … Omaha???

“Dreams are never destroyed – only rearranged.” – Paul Abram Constantine

Susan Howington of Power Connections articulated something to me a few weeks ago that constitutes a new trend in job search throughout the country. She said to me, “Diane, we have a new situation going on here. Job searchers over 45 are having a hard time finding work, as are job searchers in their 20s right out of college. So, what can we offer the two groups of professionals who are benched due to our economic debacle?”

I recalled that, as I was researching the articles for The Daily Job Hunt blog, my eye had been caught by some reports of “downtown” rebirth in some of our nation’s older, smaller, and admittedly, less “sexy” cities. This rebirth phenomenon is being driven by young people who are graduating colleges and finding that there is no place to go but home – to places like Omaha, Portland, and Orem. Their presence in their home cities is driving a renaissance of an artistic coffee culture, teeming with revitalization and energy. Surprise, surprise! Once again, what’s old is new. As Parts I and II of this “Where the Jobs Are” series revealed, trends are taking us “back to the future.”

This benefits not just the recent college grads – but Americans of all ages and educational levels. We’re all in this together, and need to forge new pathways wherever the opportunities are. A good job has always been the cornerstone for the American Dream.

So, let me tell you where there are jobs right now.

You know, as the John Cougar Mellencamp song goes, “I was born in a small town,” so there is a part of me that derives satisfaction from seeing some of our older, more established cities and towns in America spring back to life. Yes, I’ve worked in New York City, D.C., Dallas, Phoenix, and Orange County, but my roots are Midwestern near the Canadian border in North Dakota, which by the way, is teeming with oil exploration right now.

Brad Briggs, a staff writer for StreetAuthority, reported in a November 2011 Investing Answers that there’s a modern-day boom in my birth state, where it turns out shale oil can now be profitably extracted from the ground. Apparently, in the last four years, it isn’t just jobs in oil exploration and extraction that have popped up, but the need for thousands of workers to help meet the demands of the oil field workers who have moved there. Ward Koeser, the mayor of Williston, North Dakota, told Briggs that the town had between 2,000 and 3,000 job openings, and if you feel inclined to move there, you could probably land one of them in one day to one week’s time. Don’t take my word for it! You can read Brad’s article at The ONE Place in America Where Jobs are Plentiful; but don’t stop there -it isn’t the only place!

And, again, just a few days ago, Investing Answers featured a report by Nathan Slaughter of StreetAuthority who reported that when it comes to investing success, the wealthiest investors in the world tend to invest in natural resources. As North Dakota booms in its quest to produce oil, Slaughter reports that there is also a boom in shale oil drilling in the NW corner of Louisiana’s Desoto Parish, which has become the nation’s top producing natural gas field. At this point in history, where there is shale oil drilling, there is opportunity.

As my title promises, there are jobs happening as well in Omaha, which Kiplinger named in 2011 as the “number one best value city for its vibrancy, cost of living, and low unemployment rate.” Greater Omaha hosts over 30,000 businesses, and the city is one of few in 2012 who maintains a triple-A credit rating. Some of the resident businesses there are household names like Omaha Steaks, Mutual of Omaha, Gallup, PayPal, Aflac ,and TD Ameritrade. You’ll also find a footprint there for Google, Verizon and Yahoo!, among many other technical brands.

If there isn’t enough great statistical information to attract a job seeker to Omaha, there is the youthful, energetic vibe of the redeveloped downtown district. Since about 2002, when the younger set decided to meet there for coffee and jazz, the evolution of the downtown area has been a testament to the city’s solid economic health and growth while the rest of us have been licking our wounds.

Look, I’ve talked to a number of my readers who need jobs, but who cannot cut family and friendship ties to a place like California, and I completely understand. But, I also know that it’s easier to whine and moan about why you cannot do something, rather than take the proverbial well-planned leap. As terrifying as it sounds, moving to take a job can be one of the best things that will ever happen to you, particularly when the move is to a place where the buzz of productivity fuels optimism and well-being. I know, because it has happened to me.

I also know that young people who are hitting a wall in California, or Arizona, or Florida could be encouraged to go where the jobs are. Isn’t that what WE did in our day? Who among us didn’t hop in our “beater” and drive to a distant place, waving to mom and dad as we backed out of their driveway? As we did then – following healthy job leads to new locales – we might just need to do now.

Any discussion of hopes and dreams brings up the notion of a rewarding job with a promising future. It is the springboard to our desire for homes, marriages and children. The American Dream was built on a good job, first and foremost. It’s one of those times when the dream seems to have died. But perhaps it hasn’t – perhaps, as my dear friend Paul Abram Constantine says, it’s just been “rearranged” – or in this case, relocated.

Diane Y. Chapman (Di Chapman) is the Chief Communications Officer of Power Connections, and the founder of Words To Your Advantage Speaking and Writing Service. She is also a contributor to How Smart People Sabotage Their Job Search: Ten Mistakes Executives Make and How To Fix Them,” available on Amazon.

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Where the Jobs Are, Part II

September 26, 2011

Pack your bag for a road trip and get ready to roll!

I ended Part I by encouraging you to fasten your seatbelt and get ready to be surprised about where, geographically, the jobs are happening in this country, and what appears to be shaping up into a bonafide trend.

Earlier we talked about industries that have experienced job growth (Yes, job growth!! It does still happen!) in America since 2006, and the nature of changing job descriptions. The June 2011 issue of Wired Magazine did an amazing job of discussing where the opportunities are popping up, and how shifts in job descriptions may offer many of us an opportunity to reinvent ourselves. The magazine is optimistic about the potential that is shaping up in the job hunting landscape.

I offer you some towns worth checking into, according to Wired Magazine’s June 2011 issue:

Provo-Orem, Utah has become an attractive location for IT talent. Wired reports that Overstock.com recently opened a development office there and plans to hire over 150 employees. Also, Brigham Young University there fosters startups that are ultimately sold to bigger players.

Do green jobs interest you? Fort Collins, Colorado has revved up to meet the growing demand for clean energy.

Waco, Texas has recently attracted three aerospace companies, and is known as an excellent geographical area for aviation maintenance, avionics and dispatch.

Longview, Texas is also hopping, particularly in industrial manufacturing and distribution. Eastman Chemical employs more than 1500 people there.

Moving into the Midwest and beyond, Bloomington, Indiana has become a hub for the biotech industry and is home to the Cook Group, a $2 billion medical device maker.

Reading, Pennsylvania is now the place where batteries are made, including new types for hybrid automobiles. A company called East Penn has received a $32 million grant from the Department of Energy and has hired 150 people to help it churn out over 2.8 million batteries per year by 2013.

Finally, in the South and Southeast, Spartanburg, South Carolina has become a Mecca for plastics production, and hosts the country’s only BMW factory.

Plus, notably, there is renaissance along the I-85 corridor, which Wired reports has become a new region for middle-class manufacturing opportunities. It’s no secret that this strip of Americana has a labor pool of low to no-income Americans, and is among the statistics for the lowest per-capita income in the country. The following companies have established manufacturing facilities along the Interstate:

Hyundai Motor America located and opened its only US factory in Montgomery, Alabama and employs 2500 people. Firstmark Aerospace in Creedmoor, North Carolina produces components for airplanes. Centurion Medical Products supplies kits for surgery implements made in Salisbury, North Carolina, and has recently expanded it operations by 20%. Jobs there include professional positions such as engineers, chemists and biomedical specialists.

Also popping up in the Carolinas are Kemet, a precision capacitor manufacturer in Simpsonville, South Carolina, and Comatrol, a manufacturer of hydraulic components in Easley, South Carolina. Atlas Lighting Products, a maker of industrial lighting fixtures, is expanding orders as I blog in Burlington, North Carolina, due to its energy-efficient products. Wired mentions two other companies who are moving forward at a productive clip: Hartness International, a packaging machinery manufacturer, and Wabtec, a railroad components manufacturer, both in South Carolina. Wabtec sells to urban rail systems and recently increased its staffing by 25%.

The opportunities for work in this recession do exist, even though they might require a relocation. Whether you decide to pursue them – or not – is up to you, but if you’re currently unemployed and need to put food on the table, these leads are here for you.

Like I said up top, get ready to roll. Oh, and don’t forget your sunglasses. The future in these locations is so bright, you might have to wear shades! Don’t take my word for it. Drop in on Wired and see for yourself!

Di Chapman is the founder of Words To Your Advantage Speaking and Writing Service, and the Chief Communications Officer for Power Connections Executive Outplacement and Leadership Coaching service. Find out more about Di at www.powerconnectionsinc.com, www.LinkedIn.com/in/DiChapmanwww.thedailyjobhunt.wordpress.com and www.twitter.com/InspirationalDi