In business, it is becoming increasingly more important to stay ahead of your competition. To remain competitive in the market and to continuously see growth within your company, your employees should be comfortable in the workplace and be able to convey their ideas effectively on a daily basis. This is one reason that employers should promote their employees to remain active within their personal lives, in their career and in the community.
Employers should always promote exercise and healthy ways to promote a healthy mind. Exercise helps relieve stress and allows time for you to think about the day at hand or the day that has passed. With most professionals working longer hours, taking an hour out of your day to be active will only make you more effective in mind and body while at the workplace.
Depending on where you work, there are many ways to be active. Employers should always promote their employees to be active within their professional and social networks. This allows for the opportunity to achieve more business or garner connections to help you in the future. A connection you make today may not come of anything, but it shows others that you are making an effort to meet people within your industry or community. When employers promote this activity to their employees, it enables the company to reach out beyond their original connections and grow.
When companies encourage their employees to be active in the community, it allows the entire employee base to contribute to community causes. This shows that the company does more than send their CEO to make a speech at a community event or to kiss babies. It demonstrates that the company makes an energetic effort to reach out with all employees. Having active employees allows for a larger base, promotes the image of the company and sets employers apart from those who are not promoting employee activity.
Whether it is exercise to relieve stress from normal office woes, staying connected within your networks or even remaining active within the community, these activities will boost employee attitudes and performance. Promoting your employee base to be active will help your company grow while making it a team effort.
-Andrew Johnson, Resource Manager at KavaliroRead More...
America’s shale oil and natural gas industries could lead to massive job growth in this country and produce millions of jobs over the next decade. Just ask the folks from North Dakota where once sleepy, rural towns are now experiencing a job boom reminiscent of the gold rush days of the 1800s. Not only is unemployment the lowest in the country at 3%, the average oil and gas salary in North Dakota is $90,000 a year and people in fast food restaurants are making $20 dollars an hour.
States such as North Dakota, Pennsylvania, and Ohio are using new hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” technologies to extract natural gas from deep under thousands of feet of shale rock. Fracking is one of the most remarkable breakthroughs in the energy exploration business in the last 50 years. It not only has reduced America’s foreign oil consumption from 60% in 2005 to 47% in 2010 and made the U.S. the largest natural gas producer in the world. The natural gas and oil sector has created over 1.5 million jobs since that time. In addition, recent analysis by PriceWaterhouseCoopers states that more than 1 million jobs could be produced in the manufacturing industry alone by 2025 to support the demand to produce the equipment used to extract the gas. This does not even include the service and construction jobs that will be produced to support these workers and industries.
Could states like North Dakota lead the country to increased prosperity and keep the economy out of another recession? North Dakota is among the five fastest growing states in terms of percent increase – along with Texas, Utah, Alaska, and Colorado. All of these states have strong job growth and are experiencing energy booms. Significant economic investment in shale industries is also occurring in other states that have large natural gas reserves. The Marcellus Shale formation which runs through from southern New York through Pennsylvania and into parts of West Virginia and Maryland is believed to be the second largest natural gas deposit in the world and could be produce huge economic returns. These could mean thousands of high paying jobs over the next couple of years.
In addition to driving job creation, shale gas recovery can be the game-changer to the U.S. becoming more energy independent and result in lower energy costs to American consumers. In fact, the U.S. has now become a net exporter of fuel for the first time in nearly 20 years. There are however several factors that could hinder this new energy development; these include regulatory obstacles, environmental concerns, and increased government intervention.
As with any boom, there are potential problems and the jury is still out on the health risks as a result of all this new drilling. Protests of hydraulic fracturing drilling have sprung up throughout the country. These are mostly in response to concerns over the environmental impact in the communities where fracking is largely taking place, such as Pennsylvania and Ohio. The largest concern is on the potential to impact local drinking supplies. The risk is that the chemicals used in the fracking process will flow back into the local aquifers and contaminate the drinking water. Other concerns are on the impact to the landscapes and the air quality where the drilling is occurring. This type of new drilling does leave a footprint and can impact local ecosystems. There will continue to be vigorous debate regarding these matters going forward; nevertheless, the prospective job growth from shale oil and gas exploration in this country is undeniable. Could the country’s next gold rush be upon us?
- Rocky Fullerton is a veteran of the energy industry and has more than 15 years’ experience in developing and deploying Information Technology and Smart Grid focused solutions. http://rfenergy.wordpress.com/Read More...
While the U.S. economy continues to slowly inch along in its economic recovery, there are a number of indicators that suggest certain high-tech industries are well ahead of the curve. In fact, there are those who suggest that, even with national unemployment hovering just under 9%, tech hiring has begun to reach a frenzied pace that rivals that of the dot-com boom of a decade ago.
Supporting that assessment is a recent USA Today article by Jon Swartz, which goes into a lengthy discussion about the emerging boom in technology related hiring. The piece described, at length, the increasing demand for top talent in the fields of cloud computing, computer engineering, wireless communications, and clean tech.
This Bloomberg article by Oliver Staley, Douglas MacMillan and Cecile Vannucci also suggests that the timing is right for recent college graduates in the finance, engineering, and technology related disciplines. Tech companies are filling in the void created by substantial layoffs during the 2007-2010 economic setback, and then some.
Indeed, it seems to be an ‘arms race’ of sorts for top tech firms looking to grab a larger piece of the ‘emerging technologies pie’. We at Kavaliro are seeing significant signs of exactly the sort of job recovery that the aforementioned articles reference. Information technology, clean tech, and smart grid solutions (see our smart grid blog post from April 21) have been particularly hot in markets that we serve.
Diane Mahony, Kavaliro’s CEO, explains the trends that Kavaliro is seeing across the country, stating, “We are seeing tremendous growth in needs for software developers across the country. This includes Microsoft .Net, C#, and Java Developers. We are also seeing an increased demand for technical support personnel including help desk and desktop support technicians. Another area that continues to be a real need is consultants with Microsoft SharePoint experience. A good portion of these positions are project-based, but we are also seeing a demand for permanent level opportunities as well. This is a complete turnaround from even twelve months prior. Kavaliro’s exclusive database and industry partnerships allows us to be on the forefront of this phenomenon and have the consultants ready at a moments notice to meet your demanding project needs.”
Both of our primary office locations, Orlando and Charlotte (click the links to learn more about each city’s emerging tech scene), have made significant strides towards becoming major east coast technology hubs. Orlando’s growing high-tech corridor, anchored by the University of Central Florida (UCF) and spanning the entire southeast quadrant of the metropolitan area, has become a home base for simulation, training, testing, and bio-medical research. Charlotte has undergone similar growth in energy related fields, as a number of major power producers and researchers have made the mid-Atlantic state their home base.
With so much movement occurring within the tech sectors, employers and potential employees alike are wise to seek expert council with respect to their respective hiring and job search endeavors. That is where Kavaliro comes in. We have extensive experience within these disciplines, and know exactly what each party is looking for in the other. Let our expertise be your guide as you navigate these exciting times in our nation’s economic recovery by contacting a Kavaliro staffing specialist today.Read More...
In a world in which an ever-expanding population is putting a growing demand on our limited natural resources, engineers and scientists are working to implement new sources of power and improved distribution technologies for a cleaner, more efficient planet. The U.S. government is pushing the initiative, having lumped $4.5 billion worth of incentives for smart grid advancement into its 2009 economic stimulus package. Forward thinking utility companies have taken to the movement, collectively committing further billions towards research and implementation of upgraded systems.
We are, in a sense, entering a renaissance era within the power industry, a time in which we are making meaningful strides towards improving an electrical distribution grid that has not seen a truly significant change in distribution methodology since the 1970’s. Thomas Alva Edison would surely be proud to see the impending advancements to the system that he first commercialized over 130 years ago. After all, it was he who once said “I never pick up an item without thinking of how I might improve it.”
What exactly do we mean when we refer to the “smart grid”?
Though the definition might downplay the immense breadth of the topic, the term “smart grid” is essentially a reference to a modernized electricity distribution system that utilizes real time two-way digital communication and sophisticated software to transmit and process massive amounts of data that is in-turn used in improving system efficiency. Ideally, both producers and end users are provided with better information and greater control over when, where, and how power is distributed and consumed.
At the consumer level, the implementation of “smart meters” will instantly deliver usage data back into the grid, offering power producers a much more detailed and timely view of consumption patterns than ever before. They will then be able to more accurately assess grid conditions and monitor power quality, diverting power to where it is needed most and minimizing inherent system losses. For the consumers themselves, smart meters offer an unprecedented look into personal energy consumption, which affords the opportunity for cost savings as a result of changed behavior patterns.
Sustainable power sources will drive further implementation
“The infusion of renewable energy sources like solar and wind into the grid will make smart generation and distribution management essential, “ said George Gramatikas, Strategic Development Officer for Orlando, Florida based Turbine Technology Services Corporation. “We have the technology for that. All we need is the will to drive the right commercial response.”
Indeed, as political pressures to reduce carbon emissions and greenhouse gasses build, sustainable energy sources will continue on the path towards becoming a greater priority. Yet those sources do not offer the predictability and on-demand reliability of more conventional fossil fuel based production means. As such, their implementation will require a more advanced grid, one that can immediately sense and process the effects of sporadic unavailability so that alternative power sources can be employed at the lowest possible cost.
What it all means for the economy
Opponents of the smart grid offer the short-sighted argument that its implementation will eliminate jobs at the ground level, as the need for meter readers, repair technicians, and various other supporting roles is reduced. Those more attuned to the economics of the situation, however, understand that the smart grid opens up a wide array of new opportunities for highly skilled workers, such as systems administrators, database architects, software developers, IT project managers, and business analysts, amongst others.
Coupled with this influx of high wage jobs is a growing void between skilled American graduates in the fields of science and mathematics, and a rapidly aging workforce within the power generation industry. Utility companies and affiliated smart grid tech agencies are increasingly having to take their hiring off-shore to fulfill the growing demand for top talent.
Rocky Fullerton, a Kavaliro consultant and veteran of the power generation industry for more than 15 years, offers this valuable advice; “American students should heed the opportunity to test their academic mettle in these challenging disciplines, as the prospect of securing quality employment in smart grid related fields, from engineering to delivery, looks very bright.”
Though economists and smart grid think tanks cannot state with certainty what the economic impact of smart grid implementation will be, one thing rings undeniably true; a great number of top power and technology firms are wagering heavily that the movement will become a major boon to our nation. Firms seem wise to get off of the sidelines and catch the early wave of adoption.
Putting the pieces together: Kavaliro’s role
Kavaliro maintains an operational focus on emerging technologies, including those associated with smart grid implementation and operation. By maintaining valued relationships with utilities companies and engineering affiliates, we keep our finger on the pulse of the marketplace, honing our knowledge of exactly the type of candidate that companies are looking for. Kavaliro takes the guesswork out of the hiring process, pairing talented individuals with challenging, yet fulfilling positions at some of our nation’s most respected power companies. Specialized staff sourcing for today’s specialized employment needs is exactly what we offer. Contact a Kavaliro Employment Specialist today to learn more about how we can help your company grow and succeed.
We want to know your thoughts on this subject. How do you see the smart grid fitting in to the new American economy? What are you doing, both personally and professionally, to prepare for the coming change? Let your voice be heard, and leave us a comment below.Read More...
It’s the doomsday scenario. A Hollywood disaster-thriller come true. All of the elements are there: big city, nuclear plants, coastline, mother-of-all-earthquakes, tsunami, and mass chaos. Indeed, there could not have been a more perfect storm of misfortune for the island nation of Japan than what they went through on March 11, 2011. The magnitude 9.0 earthquake and subsequent tsunami that hit that day killed more than 11,000 people (and climbing), and left an immeasurable amount of property and financial damage behind. The dire straits certainly did not end there, though.
The days that have followed have presented an unprecedented nuclear crisis that is affecting the entire country. Damage caused by the tsunami to the cooling systems at the Fukushima I & II nuclear power plants led to a series of explosions and structural damage, leaving behind severely weakened controls over the plants’ nuclear reactors. As we write this blog post, workers continue to struggle to regain control of the plants and stop the stream of dangerously high radiation levels into the surrounding atmosphere and environment.
Located about 150 miles north-northeast of Tokyo, the Fukushima nuclear plants present what experts deem to be a serious radiological threat to the surrounding areas. The Japanese Atomic Energy Agency has labeled the incident a Level 5 accident on the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (the scale goes from 0 to 7, with the 1986 Chernobyl disaster being the only recorded international incident to reach Level 7). Experts from France, Finland, and the United States, however, unofficially estimate the Fukushima incident at Level 6. Less than a week ago, radiation levels in Tokyo drinking water exceeded the safe level for infants, and it is unknown as to how far reaching the radiation will spread, and at what levels.
While the international community looks on with empathy and offers its support, there is at least one U.S. based entity that is reportedly taking a harder line with respect to ex-pat workers who are located in Japan. According to a CNBC report, U.S. investment bank behemoth Goldman Sachs recently sent executives to their Tokyo offices with a message for uneasy employees: If you leave Tokyo, don’t expect to come back to your job.
Ponder that for a moment. Try to put yourself in the shoes of the Tokyo employees, many of whom have their families with them in these times of great uncertainty over the effects of the radiation. Now, try to put yourself in the position of Goldman Sachs, a foreign investment giant that stands to bear potentially significant financial losses at the hand of what may or may not be a dangerous situation in one of the world’s preeminent financial centers. The situation presents a quandary that most of us are certainly glad to not have to decide upon first hand.
The early worldwide reaction to the story has expectedly sided with the employees, as that is the position in which most of us find ourselves in our own lives. But is there more to the story? Is Goldman privy to information regarding the radiation that we laypersons are not? Or is this simply a tale of corporate greed and the ugly side of employment-at-will politics?
That’s where you come in. We are asking you to give your opinion on the reported Goldman Sachs’ mandate. How do you feel about it? Have you encountered workplace situations that mirror, on a smaller scale, the physical, emotional, ethical, and financial dilemmas that Goldman and its employees currently face? What would you do? After reading the full CNBC story, please leave us a comment below and let us know your thoughts.Read More...
Kavaliro researchers know that the market for renewable energy is poised to experience a tremendous investment from both the private sector and government sources in the next two years. Recent reports from the American Energy Innovation Council reveal a secured partnership between several successful venture capital groups as well as industry leaders such as General Electric and moguls like Microsoft chairman Bill Gates.
The time is now for Smart Grid technology as GE has taken the lead and secured funding for development incentive projects that will add an estimated $120 billion dollars over the next two decades. Business Green.com reports that the shared objective is to “stimulate innovation and development of technologies to make electrical grids cleaner and more efficient” and the financing is in place. With the launch of the Econmagination Challenge competition that invites any and all ideas that speed up the development of the smart grid to compete for funding and tech support, those waiting to transform the renewable energy industry will be given the tools needed to become reality.
The smart grid innovation competition closes for entries on September 30th, after which ideas will be judged both on-line through fan votes for smaller project grants and by the investment group for the development contracts with GE and other sponsoring organizations.
In the area of low carbon energy innovation, Bill Gates has called for government to be a “necessary partner”, calling for a over $20 billion shared commitment over the next 10 years in a recent meeting with President Obama. Gates is currently working on the development of a new form of nuclear reactor and has emerged as a high-profile advocate with a vested interest in energy research and development. Noting that “government investment unlocks a huge amount of private sector activity”, Gates and the AEIC urged Obama to allow government to “prime the pump” to allow the US to reduce its reliance on oil.
What does this mean for you? This guaranteed technology growth and secured expansion initiatives reveal huge opportunities in technology research and development and Kavaliro is an industry leader in creating staffing partnerships based on excellence. We are recognized and honored for our established relationships with the most sought after employers in the area of technology and source renewables. To speak to one of our technology experts today, contact us!Read More...