Category: Workforce

Lowe’s to hire more than 53,000 for spring season

Central Valley Business TImes

Jan. 3, 2020

  • Stores to host hiring events starting January 8
  • Full-time, part-time and seasonal jobs available

Lowe’s Companies Inc. (NYSE: LOW) says it plans to hire more than 53,000 full-time, part-time and seasonal workers across its more than 1,700 U.S. stores this spring.

The company says it will roll out hiring events in all store locations over the next three months by region to meet the seasonal spring hiring needs across the country. Lowe’s stores in Southern California, where spring weather typically arrives earliest, will host the first walk-in hiring events from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, January 8. Candidates may receive on-the-spot offers during this open interview process, the company says. Additional hiring events at stores in the remaining U.S. regions are scheduled for January 15; February 5; February 19 and March 4.

“Spring is the busiest season for home improvement projects and a great time to launch a new career at Lowe’s,” says Jennifer Weber, Lowe’s executive vice president, human resources. “As part of our strategy to … operate our stores more efficiently, these hiring events will help us build the right teams at the right times across the U.S. to meet customer demand as they plan for spring.”

Available in-store seasonal positions include cashiers, lawn and garden associates, stockers and loaders. All hourly associates are eligible to participate in Lowe’s quarterly bonus program. Seasonal positions typically support stores through the summer. In 2019, approximately 50 percent of seasonal hires were converted to permanent associates.

Full-time and part-time year-round positions are also ,available and include department supervisors, cashiers, ,stockers, sales specialists, pro customer service employees and merchandise service workers. Full-time and part-time employees can take advantage of Lowe’s comprehensive health and wellness benefits, incentive programs, 401(k), a discounted stock purchase plan, tuition reimbursement and paid volunteer time.

Lowe’s also offers Track to the Trades, a company-funded certification program to help part-time and full-time associates pursue careers in the skilled trades, such as plumbing, electrical or HVAC.

https://files.constantcontact.com/2cb20f61601/07649bd0-625b-46c6-be6a-3726dfa5766a.pdf

New Valley program lets you earn a bachelor’s degree in less than 2 years

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) — The road to a bachelor’s degree in business is hitting the fast track for some Valley students.

A partnership between Fresno Pacific University (FPU) and Reedley College will allow students at community college to earn the advanced degree without even leaving campus.

“A portion of the course is offered on site and a portion happens online and we can get students through their bachelors in about 18 months,” says Dr. Katie Fleener, the dean of FPU’s School of Business.

Bringing the degree to students’ doorstep was crucial since transportation can be an issue for folks living outside Fresno.

“I come from a rural community and I understand that students can’t always go away or stay at school or travel. Even if travel isn’t a problem, if they have a vehicle it’s time away from helping with the family or helping on the farm, taking care of your kids or trying to work and make ends meet,” says Dr. Sharon Starcher, program director of the FPU School of Business.

Students only need to have 60 units of transfer credit or an associate’s degree to qualify.

Each bachelor’s level business class is about 6 weeks.

“It’s FPU faculty, FPU curriculum, coursework just in the Reedley college classroom,” says Fleener.

Registration opens for 6th “Valley Made” Manufacturing Summit

 

  • Set for April 21, 2020 in Fresno
  • Features keynote speaker John Shegerian The 6th annual “Valley Made” Manufacturing Summit is scheduled for April 21, 2020 in Fresno, say the sponsors, the San Joaquin Valley Manufacturing Alliance and the Fresno Business Council. It is scheduled to feature keynote speaker John Shegerian, co-founder and executive chairman of Fresno-based ERI.

More than 1,000 representatives from the manufacturing industry are expected for the day-long event at the Fresno Convention Center Exhibit Hall. Registration is open by visiting www.sjvma.org. Also sponsorships and exhibit space are available by contacting Genelle Taylor Kumpe via email (genelle@sjvma.org) or calling 559.214.0140.

The event is designed as a workshop and resource expo that celebrates the Valley’s history of innovation in manufacturing while providing resources and networking opportunities that continue to build a well-trained, outstanding workforce.

“The goal … is to provide manufacturers with the needed resources and workforce connections to upscale and train existing employees for today’s automated technologies, and to attract the next generation workforce to grow the industry and region for a brighter future,” says Troy Brandt, chairman of the board for the San Joaquin Valley Manufacturing Alliance and general manager at Hydratech.

Mr. Shegerian is scheduled to talk about how to attract and retain effective employees and clients through good times and bad. As an entrepreneur, Mr. Shegerian co-founded several organizations built on his philosophies of making the world a better place one business at a time, and of providing a second chance to those who are most in need. His philosophies have led him to run the largest electronic recycling company in the U.S., among other ventures.

“The convention center will be filled with the leading lights of the Central Valley’s manufacturing industry and many of my fellow local business leaders, so I’m excited to have the opportunity to share useful takeaways regarding positive culture team building and how to balance best employee retention practices and effective operations with growing a profitable enterprise,” says Mr. Shegerian.

The San Joaquin Valley’s manufacturing industry is responsible for nearly $15 billion of the Valley’s gross domestic product and employs more than 105,000 people. Nationally, it is estimated that over the next decade, almost 3.5 million U.S. manufacturing jobs will need to be filled due to baby-boomer retirements.

https://files.constantcontact.com/2cb20f61601/c1ad790b-010c-4a85-8e70-0e8f5ff54f78.pdf

Plans emerge for major cannabis facility in Modesto. Up to 250 jobs are projected

 
A Canada-based company plans to use a 196,000-square-foot building in Beard Industrial tract to manufacture and distribute cannabis products. It would possibly be the largest commercial cannabis facility in California. The building, on Daly Avenue, is pictured here, on Monday, Dec. 9, 2019, in Modesto, California.

A Canada-based company plans to use a 196,000-square-foot building in Beard Industrial tract to manufacture and distribute cannabis products. It would possibly be the largest commercial cannabis facility in California. The building, on Daly Avenue, is pictured here, on Monday, Dec. 9, 2019, in Modesto, California. 

A Canada-based company has big plans to manufacture and distribute cannabis products from an expansive building in Modesto.

In April, Transcanna Holdings Inc. announced the purchase of the 196,000-square-foot building on Daly Avenue in the Beard Industrial District. The company with corporate offices in Vancouver has also acquired locally based Lyfted Farms, a county-permitted cannabis business that will manage the Modesto operations.

Lyfted is seeking a permit from Stanislaus County for growing cannabis in a 32,700-square-foot area inside the building. Cannabis products would be processed and packaged in the former turkey processing plant and distributed to retail outlets in California.

At full scale, the production facility operating seven days a week could employ 200 to 250 workers. In addition to cannabis flower, pre-rolls, oils and cannabidiol, the plant would use an extraction process to make edibles and vaping products.

The three-story facility also has the ability to freeze harvested cannabis to preserve its essential ingredients.

“We like indoor growing, but most of the facility would be for distribution and manufacturing,” said Steve Giblin, Transcanna’s chief executive officer.

Plans are to begin operations in the first quarter of 2020 with a small cultivation area and distribution, said Bob Blink, chief executive officer of Lyfted Farms. Security measures will include an 8-foot perimeter fence, surveillance cameras, an alarm system and at least three security guards.

“It is very secure,” Blink said. “Security is a big point locally and in the state. It has the best security around just by the way the building is designed.”

Transcanna is a startup company formed two years ago. With the Modesto processing plant, Transcanna’s website says, the company is positioned to serve the cannabis market in California, which apparently is regarded as the largest in the world. Extensive improvements have been made to the building.

The company’s stock is listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange. The stock price has swung from $7.88 per share in May to closing at 79 cents on Monday.

A county Planning Commission hearing on the project could be set for Dec. 19, if the applicants come through with requested information for the county this week, or the hearing could be held in January.

County Senior Planner Kristin Doud said staff was waiting for information such as whether rooftop parking would be utilized. In addition, the county and the applicant still were discussing the fees to be paid to the county. A facility of that size could generate millions of dollars in fees over a five-year period.

A study on air quality and odor control could raise some questions before the Planning Commission, and traffic is another potential issue.

Doud said the cannabis fees spelled out in development agreements are based on the cultivation square-footage and anticipated output of manufacturing and distribution or may be a simple 3 percent of gross sales.

An earlier proposal for the Daly Avenue building was one of the original applications in 2017 when the county rolled out its permitting program for commercial cannabis, which was legalized by Proposition 64. A county screening process rejected that first application because it included too many applicants for one site, Doud said.

Lyfted came forward with the current application when a second county application window opened in August.

Transcanna said in April it had purchased the Daly facility for $15 million and would make an $8 million down payment, while the seller, Cool Swang, carried a $6.5 million promissory note at 7 percent interest for 13 months. In October, the company said the loan’s maturity date was being extended six months and issued 500,000 in restricted shares of stock (priced at 56 cents) to Cool Swang to settle a $280,000 fee. Cool Swang is owned by Chad Swan.

When asked about the company’s current stock value, Giblin said there was initial enthusiasm for investing in the cannabis industry but the realities of business are now affecting the stock price. Investors will want to see profits on the horizon.

Giblin said he expects the Daly building and the strong facility management team will help establish investor confidence. Alan Applonie was hired in June as the plant’s general manager. According to a news release, Applonie was instrumental in growing a consumer packaged goods company “from startup to two billion dollars in annual revenues” and has infrastructure systems experience with Amazon, Starbucks, Walmart and Kroger.

Transcanna also will rely on the expertise of Lyfted Farms. Earlier this year, county supervisors approved a permit for Lyfted to grow cannabis indoors and package products in a 19,500-square-foot warehouse on Jerusalem Court in north Modesto.

The Canadian firm also acquired a cannabis business called SolDaze, which is based in Santa Cruz.

Giblin, who has a history of turning companies around in the hotel and real estate industries, said the company needs to obtain the county permit and then approval from the state.

“We are happy about the strategic purchase of the Daly building and we really like Modesto,” Giblin said. “We think it’s a great place to grow.”

https://www.modbee.com/news/local/article238194959.html

New Director of Medical Education Ready to Unleash Valley’s Untapped Potential

December 2, 2019
Dr. Thelma Hurd joins UC Merced as the Director of Medical Education after years working as a clinician, public health researcher and translational scientist.
Dr. Thelma Hurd joins UC Merced as the Director of Medical Education after working as a clinician, public health researcher and translational scientist.

Dr. Thelma Hurd’s journey in medicine has taken her from New Jersey to Nigeria, with stops in Texas and Buffalo. Along the way, she gathered experience as a clinician, public health researcher and translational scientist.

Her proficiency in these crucial areas has led Hurd to UC Merced, where she became the university’s director of medical education last month.

“It was an opportunity to be part of a new initiative that really resonates with my passion, which is to improve healthcare in rural, high-needs communities and underserved communities,” Hurd said. “The fact that UC Merced is a young university means there is tremendous opportunity to both join ongoing and create new innovative initiatives, and that was incredibly appealing to me.”

After finishing medical school at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey — now the Rutgers School of Biomedical and Health Sciences — Hurd had a desire to be an academic surgical oncologist, allowing her to combine clinical and research approaches to her methods of treatment. Hurd worked in gastrointestinal oncology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas before transitioning to breast cancer at the Breast Surgery Department at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in Buffalo, N.Y.

She said her interest in examining health at a population perspective came from an encounter with a family at Roswell Park with whom she discussed treatment options.

Despite giving the family materials to review about the treatment in preparation for the treatment discussion, Hurd said the family told her, in unison, “whatever you say to do is just fine.” It was in that moment she realized there was a need to address community knowledge and advocacy.

If there was a need to solidify this new outlook on health, Hurd found it in Nigeria. As a member of the Center for Research on Minority Health team at MD Anderson that worked with the Nigerian government to develop a comprehensive cancer control, she began to consider how to deliver care in low- to moderate-resource environments.

“Need, disparities, inequity and rural healthcare issues and challenges don’t have geographic borders. They affect both high and low resource countries,” Hurd said. “If we can develop systems to address healthcare challenges in rural and less-resourced communities, it will be a critical step in bringing healthcare equity to the U.S.”

The experience in Nigeria also opened Hurd’s eyes to how to perceive healthcare crises in rural and high-needs communities that are often tagged as “medical deserts.”

“Nigeria taught me to stop looking at how empty the glass is and to start looking at how full the bottom portion of the glass is, and that is how I look at the San Joaquin Valley,” Hurd said. “I’m not looking at what it doesn’t have, I’m looking at everything it has that hasn’t been tapped or leveraged. You have community cohesiveness — people actually care about one another here and want to improve community health. People interact at a very different level than you see in highly urbanized areas and the Valley has resources. When you have those elements, you can pretty much do anything.”

“Need, disparities, inequity and rural healthcare issues and challenges don’t have geographic borders. They affect both high and low resource countries. If we can develop systems to address healthcare challenges in rural and less-resourced communities, it will be a critical step in bringing healthcare equity to the U.S.”

Thelma Hurd
Director of Medical Education, UC Merced

For the past four years, Hurd has served on the Cutler-Orosi Joint Unified School District’s Health Science Academy Executive Board and worked with teachers as they tailored their curricula to best serve their students’ science education needs. The Tulare County school district is home to a medical education pilot program for UC Merced, and the opportunity to work with the future leaders in medicine in the San Joaquin Valley showed Hurd that addressing the medical disadvantages of the region can be found within.

“There is a tremendous amount of untapped intellectual capital within our students and they simply need to be in an environment that will help them to develop it,” Hurd said. “Our job as medical educators is to provide the educational and experiential opportunities so that they are able to go further than they’ve ever dreamed possible and go beyond what they perceive as limits.”

She said while medical education is thought of as just preparing students for medical school, it plays a major role in producing vital medical professionals in nursing, dentistry and allied health, as well.

“Medical education at UC Merced provides the opportunity to work with people here to not only build a healthcare workforce but to build a workforce that can integrate rural and urban approaches to addressing health and disease,” Hurd said. “Those students who are now in high school or are undergraduates are the future of healthcare and of health in this country.”

UC Merced Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Gregg Camfield said bringing in Hurd — who is a nine-time recipient of the Best Doctors in America designation — is critical to continuing to build the foundation of medical education at UC Merced and in the Valley, one of the most medically underserved areas in the nation.

“She brings a wealth of experience and impressive skills to this very important position on our campus,” Camfield said. “From leading our efforts to further develop programs and initiatives in medical education to continuing her research in health disparities, Dr. Hurd will bring great value to the campus and the community. I very much look forward to working with her.”

Hurd said she is a strong believer in taking time to get to know the community and is looking forward to tapping into the potential of San Joaquin Valley students.

“There are a lot of innovative thinkers here and the university is a crucible for innovative thought. It draws people who think and dwell outside of the box,” Hurd said. “The UC Merced family is one team and together with our communities as full partners, we will be able to change the face of health care and improve population health.”

https://news.ucmerced.edu/news/2019/new-medical-director-ready-unleash-valley%E2%80%99s-untapped-potential

IRS looking to fill 1,400 temporary positions in Fresno

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) — Looking for a job?

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is looking for qualified applicants to fill over 1,400 temporary positions in Fresno.

The agency is looking for clerks, data entry clerks, and tax examiners for jobs up to four months.

According to the IRS, a clerk will generally sort and open mail, tax returns and organize files. A data entry clerk’s main duty will be to key in numeric data from tax returns on a computer while a tax examiner normally reviews returns for accuracy and errors.

The agency says people of all ages can apply.

Those interested should search for job announcements on usajobs.gov with the keyword “Internal Revenue Service” and location Fresno, CA.

In September, the IRS announced it would be shutting down the Fresno tax return processing center following the 2021 season. Around 3,000 of the center’s 5,700 full-time and seasonal employees will be laid off.

Kern Community College District receives $678,514 to assist local companies to train employees

  • November 20, 2019

Kern Community College District’s Board of Trustees approved a contract with the California Employment Training Panel which will provide KCCD up to $678,514 in funds to help local companies improve the skills of their workforce through training.

The contract period is two years.

The California Employment Training Panel provides funding to employers to assist in upgrading the skills of their workers through training that leads to good paying, long-term jobs. This is KCCD’s seventh ETP contract.

Kern Community College District will utilize these funds to help businesses throughout its service area including Bakersfield College, Porterville College and Cerro Coso Community College.

KCCD’s ETP contract allows for training in various areas including industrial skills, continuous improvement, computer skills, management and leadership skills, safety, and medical skills.

Companies interested in accessing these training funds may contact Bill Elliott at Kern Community College District at 661-395-4109 or at welliott@kccd.edu.

Merced County employment hits highest point in decades. Which jobs saw the most gains?

 

More people were working last month in Merced County than at any time in almost 30 years, and the number of people out of work was at its second-lowest point in September – a combination that drove the county’s unemployment rate to its lowest point in decades.

Estimates released Friday by the state Employment Development Department indicated Merced County’s unemployment rate was 5.5%. That’s the lowest it’s been since current tracking methods began in 1990. The previous low-water mark was a year ago, when the county’s unemployment rate was estimated at 6.0%.

Across the central San Joaquin Valley, “August and September are historically the months reflecting the lowest rates each year because of seasonal swings in agricultural employment and because schools have teachers and staff returning to work after the summer,” said Steven Gutierrez, an EDD labor market consultant.

The state estimated the number of people with jobs in the county at nearly 112,000, the highest number for any month going back to 1990. About 6,500 people were estimated to be out of work; that’s the lowest number since 1990. The county’s current population is estimated at almost 283,000 by the state Department of Finance.

The statewide unemployment rate in California dipped to 3.5%, the lowest since 1990, and down from 3.9% a year earlier. The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the national jobless rate was 3.5%, down from 3.7% in September 2018.

September also represented new record low unemployment rates in Fresno, Kings and Madera counties. In Tulare County, the unemployment rate was 7.6%, well above other central San Joaquin Valley counties and short of the record of pre-recession lows of 7.1% in May and September of 2006.

The numbers released Friday are unprecedented for most of the Valley, said employment analyst Michael Bernick, a San Francisco attorney who served as director of the state EDD from 1999 to 2004.

“For most of the past 40 years, it’s been a double-digit unemployment rate, and in the Great Recession it was up above 15 percent,” Bernick said Friday. “The growth of health care and education (in the Valley) have led to a more diverse economy, and that’s one of the main factors statewide, too. Out of 11 or so major industry sectors, nearly all have shown job gains over the past year.”

SECTORS WITH LARGEST GAINS

Government jobs with local, state and federal agencies saw the biggest employment gains in Merced County over the past year, together adding about 1,300 jobs. Private-sector education and health services also grew by a combined 700 jobs. .

Bernick said concerns that he and other analysts had that international trade tariffs might harm industries of importance to the state, including agriculture in the Valley, have largely not been realized.

Instead, he said, California has experienced a long-term period of post-recession job growth that has already lasted for 9 1/2 years, dating to the early years of the Obama administration, “well beyond previous employment expansions.”

But, he cautioned, external factors including the national economy and potential effects of longer-lasting tariffs on international trade partners could derail the expansion.

Blake Konczal, executive director of the Fresno Regional Workforce Development Board, said he’s excited about the continued job growth in the region and the health of the local economy in a region that has historically had higher unemployment rates and lower average wages than most of the rest of the state.

“The old adage is that a rising tide lifts all boats,” Konczal said. “And although our boat is coming up less quickly than other parts of the state, it’s still coming up.”

Konczal said one particular bright spot in the Valley is the construction industry, which was hit hard when the house-building boom in the region collapsed in the mid-2000s, helping to spark the Great Recession from 2007 to 2009. “Housing is one of the areas now that is booming over and above the continuing high-speed rail project, and there’s a lot of stuff that’s funded for next year,” he said. “School districts are talking about more facilities construction, and we’re getting people prepped for those construction jobs.”

“We also have a small but important manufacturing sector that is starved for qualified workers,” Konczal added, referring to the stability of jobs producing durable goods rather than food processing businesses that typically see more turnover among employees.

Both Bernick and Konczal tempered their enthusiasm by pointing out what’s not included in Friday’s employment numbers.

“We don’t have a good handle on what we would call the ‘underemployment rate,’ or people working in multiple part-time jobs or multiple jobs in which the wages are not at the level where those workers have been before,” Konczal said. “There are lot of service-sector jobs where people are holding multiple part-time positions and trying to make ends meet.”

Bernick noted that in addition to making no distinction between part-time and full-time positions, the employment figures say nothing about how much the jobs pay.

https://www.mercedsunstar.com/news/local/article236418983.html

VOLT and MJC programs get $1 million grant. It could mean higher-paying jobs for area

 

Almost $1 million in federal grant funds will boost occupational training at the VOLT Institute and Modesto Junior College.

The Economic Development Administration approved the $980,750 grant for Opportunity Stanislaus, whose mission is improving economic vitality in Stanislaus County.

The grant money will purchase cutting-edge equipment used in training programs at the VOLT center and MJC.

The VOLT Institute on 13th Street trains young adults to work as maintenance mechanics in local industries and has a career accelerator program. The trade school was created through a partnership between Opportunity Stanislaus and the county Office of Education.

“The feedback we keep getting from employers is that our program is solid but that having equipment in the classroom similar to the machines students will be using in the field after graduation is essential to their success,” said David White, chief executive officer of Opportunity Stanislaus, in a news release.

MJC also is adding training equipment for its career technical education programs that partner with high schools.

Assemblyman Adam Gray, D-Merced, managed to get $1 million for the local training programs in last year’s state budget, and that money served as a match that’s required for the EDA grant. The Economic Development Administration is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Rep. Josh Harder, D-Turlock, urged the EDA to approve the application for building a skilled work force in the Northern San Joaquin Valley. The agency’s competitive grant process has resulted in only one other grant award for the region: $140,000 awarded to Riverbank in 2010.

Warren Kirk, chief executive officer of Doctors Medical Center, said in the news release that the federal grant is “a great example of what our region can accomplish when we work together in support of economic development.”

Gap is bringing 600 jobs to the Fresno area

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) — Gap Incorporated is set to begin hiring for the 2019 holiday season which will bring more than 600 jobs to the Fresno area.

The company has announced its plans to hire employees for a range of seasonal opportunities including sales associate positions, customer relations representatives and shipment coordinators at distribution centers.

It is hosting a one-day hiring event Saturday, October 5, at all Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy and other Gap incorporated locations across the United States from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Most contingency offers will be made immediately after interviewing at the hiring event.

All seasonal associates will also enjoy the same merchandise discount as the company’s current associates, just in time for holiday gift-giving.