Monday, April 30, 2007

Hottest Employer of the Week for April 30th, 2007

This weeks Hottest Employer of the Week is the George Delallo Distribution Center in Greensburg, PA. They are seeking an experienced dispatcher and multiple over the road (OTR) Class A drivers. The driver positions are for local deliveries where the driver will be able to be at home daily. For more details on qualifications and how to apply pick up this weeks Employment Guide.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Friday Musings on the Pittsburgh Job Front

The beers that saved Pittsburgh? Not quite, but the news of Pittsburgh Brewing finally working out a deal with the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority is welcome as it has saved about 250 well paying jobs in the city. This in conjunction with a previous announcement of a contract signed between the former Latrobe Brewing (now City Brewing Co. of La Crosse, WI.) and Samuel Adams to begin brewing beer will help preserve an additional 100 to 150 jobs in southwest PA.

For the second time in 22 years, Pittsburgh has been cited as the Most Livable City in America by the Places Rates Almanac. While not finishing in the top 20 of any single category, the city was consistently high enough in all categories to come away with the award, last won in 1985. Our strengths include cost of living, recreation and education. Although jobs are a category, we did not rank low enough to hurt our number one ranking.

Joe Grata of the Post Gazette did a good job with an article on the problems of finishing the Mon-Fayette Expressway. Already half built (or under construction) another 3.6 billion dollars will be needed to complete the project. Estimates are that a minimum of 10 years will elapse before the possibility of finishing due to lack of funding. This will come as welcome news to thousands of area residents who would be impacted by having a major highway divide their neighborhoods (and their houses) but to the region as a whole it is an embarrassment that will mean much slower economic growth for not only the Mon Valley area but all of Southwest PA.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Welcome To 1995

There has been a lot of press coverage lately about how stagnant Pittsburgh’s job growth has been over the past 5 or 6 years. In fact, job growth from 2001 to 2006 has been almost nonexistent. Worse yet, it has been announced that except for New Orleans, devastated by hurricanes two years ago, Pittsburgh has lost more population than any other major metropolitan area since 2000. This is due to many reasons, not the least of which was the downsizing of U.S. Air, who eliminated almost 10,000 jobs in our area.

This followed one of the biggest 5 year periods of job growth over the past 50 years. 1995 until 2000 saw the creation of 87,000 jobs and much optimism that Pittsburgh was finally turning the corner from the collapse of the steel industry in the 1980’s.

Welcome to 1995. It is probable that the Pittsburgh area, when reports come in, is again creating jobs at a pace rivaling that of the mid to late 90’s. The prospects for this to be long term are excellent. With construction projects already underway or in the planning stages, Westinghouse’s decision to remain in southwest PA and even create an additional 1,000 jobs and the business climate in general (survey’s indicate planned staff expansions at a high percentage of area businesses) we will finally be able to join a large part of the rest of the country in offering opportunity not just for high tech jobs, but for hourly support jobs as well. We at the Employment Guide are today celebrating our 9th anniversary (our first issue was published April 24th, 1998) and are seeing the implications of a tightening job market. Where a simple sign in the window had been enough to fill most hourly staffing problems in the past, this is not working anymore. Employers are starting to scramble to find new ways to recruit hourly workers. Staffing firms are enjoying their best year since 2001.

Now it is time to stop dwelling on the past and start planning for the future. We are already seeing the early efforts in this area from local government. New hourly job creation will help attract immigrants to our area adding strength to our workforce. Programs to retrain workers are being implemented and made available to those who seek them out. The next five years should prove prosperous for our area in general and offers an opportunity we have not seen in a long time.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Hottest Employer Of The Week for April 23rd, 2007

Our hottest employer of the week based on either number of needs or severity of needs is Terminix. With local offices in Bridgeville and Warrendale (near Cranberry twp), Terminix is looking for outside sales people and service technicians. With the biginning of the Spring now is a great time to investigate whether this is a good career path for you. Terminix promotes from within and offers an excellent training program. If you have an interest in either of these opportunities, contact the office nearest you or pick up this week’s issue of the Employment Guide for more details.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Why Should a Jobseeker Attend a Job Fair?

On our jobseeker survey we did at the Pittsburgh Diversity Employment Expo at the end of March we had a number of comments expressing frustration over some companies in attendance telling them they had to go online to their website or another internet service in order to apply. They wondered what the point was then for them to be at the job fair.

The answer is lies in understanding why these companies attend job fairs. Many companies send representatives to job fairs solely for informational purposes. Often jobseekers lack understanding of what a particular company looks for in a candidate or what types of employment are available. This is why companies attend job fairs. It gives them an opportunity to meet face to face with potential candidates to engage them about what the company is looking for. Many jobseekers misunderstand when they walk into a job fair that it is all about trying to be a match for that company. For most companies, including us here at The Employment Guide, it’s just as important that the company be a match for the jobseeker. The value of attending a job fair to the jobseeker is to find the right match before applying. It is also very possible to make such an impression on the company representatives that they will look for your online application after the job fair is over.

A second reason many companies want only online applications is to screen candidates on their computer skills. Being able to use a computer at work has become so ubiquitous that even entry level hourly positions like security guards and janitors are required to have at least some computer literacy.

The next time you attend a job fair, whether one of ours or any other, don’t be dismayed if the company you had the most interest in asks you to go online to apply. You still have the opportunity to make yourself stand out as a candidate plus be able to screen the company as well!

Monday, April 16, 2007

This week’s Hottest Employer for the Week of 4/16/2007

This week’s Hottest Employer is Venturi Staffing Partners, a staffing firm with 4 offices around the Pittsburgh area including downtown, Monroeville, Parkway West and the north hills. Venturi charges no fees to jobseekers for their placement services. Positions include office/clerical, factory, light industrial, accounting/finance, customer service and more. Currently Venturi is listing dozens of positions available right now. The phone number of their downtown office is 412-391-2044 or pick up this week’s copy of The Employment Guide for more details.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Friday Musings on the Pittsburgh Hourly Job Market

We have written a lot recently about the evidence transpiring for a strong hiring season for hourly workers in the Pittsburgh area. This spring is trending toward the strongest we have seen since 2001. However, we need to be careful about painting such an optimistic picture that it would appear anybody with a pulse should have no problem venturing out and landing the first job they apply to. When we speak about hourly workers, especially entry level hourly workers, we are hearing very disturbing evidence that a high number of applicants coming directly out of school do not have the basic skills in reading or math to be able to do many of these jobs adequately.

We recently read an interesting blog post by Harold Miller, President of Future Strategies, LLC, titled “Help Wanted? Help Needed by Young Adults”. Mr. Miller writes about the high poverty and unemployment rate of 18 to 24 year olds in the Pittsburgh area. The point he makes about some of the reasons are valid. The lack of job growth in recent past years being a predominant reason. He also writes about the high number of students who will be graduating soon that are below proficient on state test scores, with percentages over 40%. Quote; “Why are so many of these young adults unemployed? Part of the answer is undoubtedly the slow job growth in the region. But many employers are complaining that they can’t find workers for entry-level jobs. Where’s the disconnect? In a lot of cases, it’s lack of skills”.

We posted a comment on Mr. Miller’s blog:
Of great concern is why these kids are not proficient. Certainly the schools have room for improvement. Fortunately the job market in Pittsburgh is visibly improving. The largest issue in our opinion is too many kids are not being taught at home the benefits of working hard at school. It’s an issue of INCLUSION. Far too many of our students do not feel hard work on their part will ever pay off. They have given up hope at an early age and withdrawn into a drug and/or crime infested subculture. This sub culture is what has created the “it’s not cool to be smart” paradigm. The long term solution that might show the best result would be proactively showing all kids when they reach 7th, 8th and 9th grade what working hard now will mean to them later in life. This would have to mean corporate and business leaders getting directly involved by going into our schools and mentoring our students. Our schools can not do this by themselves.
By not addressing this issue for such a long time employers are now reporting that it’s not that we don’t have enough entry level hourly workers. The problem is we do not have enough QUALIFIED entry level hourly workers. With projections now over the next 5 years of the possibility for a severe worker shortage in Pittsburgh due to the large construction projects and current hiring plans it will be a shame if this is exacerbated by a large percentage of young people who simply cannot read.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Latest Hourly Pittsburgh Job News Here Every Day

A note of interest along the subject of Pittsburgh job news is a new report just published in the Post Gazette from the Downtown Pittsburgh Partnership which states there are 20% more people working in downtown Pittsburgh than their were in 1996 (more than 25,000 additional workers). Certainly this flies in the face of many area residents that our downtown Pittsburgh business district has been eroding. Please read the article for more details.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Pittsburgh’s Hottest Employer for the Week of 4/9/2007

This week’s hottest employer, based on severity of need or number of needs is the all new Wal-Mart Supercenter in Cranberry Twp. With the official grand opening just last week, the new super center is in need of part-time positions in almost every department. Wal-Mart asks that you come into their store at 20245 Route 19, Cranberry Twp, PA 16066 or apply online at Or pick up this week's copy of The Employment Guide for more details.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Friday Musing On the Pittsburgh Job Market

In our last post we talked about not popping a cork yet over all the good news about our local job market and that it would be months before the early projections of growth could be verified. Well, maybe we can allow ourselves a little taste after the latest national and local survey reports that were just announced yesterday and today.

First the national report. Jobs nationally were reported to be up by 180,000. This is about 20,000 higher than the most optimistic forecasts. On top of this the past two months were revised higher by 32,000 jobs. According to MarketWatch reporter Greg Robb this is bewildering economists who feared, with the slowing economy, job creation would become anemic. The unemployment rate nationally dropped to 4.4% from 4.5%, matching the rate from last October.

For a fresh look at our local job market, we turn to a semi-annual survey of local small and mid-sized companies conducted by PNC Financial Services Group, as reported by the Post Gazette’s Elwin Green. This survey shows that 23% of local companies plan to add to their staff over the next six months, up from 15% from the last survey done in October. While there is concern over the reported reduction in the number of local jobseekers in February, often a sign of discouraged jobseekers pulling out of the job market, evidence continues to mount that we are in the early stages of one of the best job expansions in 6 years here in the Pittsburgh region. Most of the news we have read about over the past year speaks about how stagnant our area has been with a lack of job growth coupled with an aging population. The aging population (deaths have outnumbered births in our region by ten’s of thousand over the past 6 years) will continue for quite some time, but the Pittsburgh region could soon find itself in a position unthought-of of just a few years ago – a SHORTAGE of hourly workers.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Pittsburgh's February Jobless Rate

The latest numbers out from state Department of Labor and Industry for February, as reported in the Post Gazette by Steve Massey, show our jobless rate to be at a 37 year low at 3.9%. Before we all start popping corks in celebration, the numbers need to be brought into a proper light – what does this mean for an unemployed resident? With a 3.9% unemployment rate it is expected to be officially a seller’s, or jobseeker’s, market. Caution needs to be used due to how an unemployment rate is calculated. The jobless rate takes into account the number of not just jobs, but jobseekers as well. The number of jobseekers is reported to have declined by 7,000, while the official number of new jobs only increased by 2,000.

Because of the relatively small sample size use to calculate individual county rates, the number’s accuracy will take a few more months to verify. A concurrent survey of employers in our area shows an increase of over 9,000 jobs year to date over 2006.

As we have in the past in our writings, we will use ourselves, the Employment Guide, as a barometer. Our business is solely derived by the demand for hourly jobs. That is, the more in demand hourly workers are by employers in our area, the more difficult it is to find qualified workers. This forces employers to look at new or additional means to attract these workers. The “sign in the window” no longer works, or works as well. Based on our business climate these past 3 months we have no doubt our hourly job market has tightened over the first quarter. Has it actually dropped to a 37 year low? Probably not, but the trend toward a seller’s market is definitely in place with the prospects of continuing tightness over at least the next 3 years now excellent. Certainly this is great news for jobseekers, if not for employers trying to find them!

Monday, April 2, 2007

Hottest Employer of the Week for April 2nd

This week’s hottest employer based on immediate need is Xentel, looking for Tele-fundraisers. These are positions work to raise donations for highly visible non-profit and community based organizations. Xentel has 3 offices near Pittsburgh including Greentree, North Huntington and Steubenville, Ohio. They offer complete training so no experience is necessary. Pick up this week’s Employment Guide for more information and details on how you can apply. The Employment Guide can be found at any Advanced Auto Parts, Major Grocery Store, PA CareerLink office, library and over 400 bright green outdoor boxes. This is a great way to make money while helping worthy organizations!

Truly a 'Burgh Thing!

Truly a 'Burgh Thing!
by Randy Bish, Pittsburgh Tribune Review

Job News and Information for Job Seekers and Recruiters

Job News and Information for Job Seekers and Recruiters