Category Archives: Employment

DVC Steering Committee Votes to Oppose Proposition 487

Prop 487 DVC

Oakville Grocery to hire 45 for downtown Phoenix store

[Source: Phoenix Business Journal]

Lynn Ducey/The Business Journal

The new Oakville Grocery store at the CityScape development in downtown Phoenix is hosting a job fair in preparation of its spring opening.

The job fair will be held from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, April 25, at the store, 50 W. Jefferson St., Suite. 100.

The store is looking for cooks, bakery and deli workers, stockers, baristas and bartenders. Store officials say they expect to hire about 45 full- and part-time workers.

Click here to download an application.

Phoenix Jobs Corps is Hosting a Job Fair in Downtown Phoenix

[Source: Phoenix Business Journal]

The Phoenix Jobs Corps Center will host an employment fair Sept. 30 in downtown Phoenix.

Twenty-five employers will be at the job fair including Bank of AmericaSafeway MarketsFrito-LayUS AirwaysState Farm InsuranceU-Haul International, Manpower and state departments of Economic Security and Environmental Quality.

The expo starts at 9 a.m. and takes places 518 S. 3rd Street (map).

The Jobs Corps helps younger workers find jobs, but this career event is open to the general public.

The tough labor situation in the Valley has resulted in large crowds at jobs fairs. In addition, employers have been seeing huge numbers of applications and resumes put in for available positions.

For more info: phoenix.jobcorps.gov

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Artist creates downtown Phoenix First Friday mural, over and over again

Muralist Joe Pagac at work

[Source: Sadie Jo Smokey, Arizona Republic] — For First Fridays on Roosevelt Row, getting noticed is practically a mantra.  Artists and advertisers take the idea to new heights.  Depending on the month, models wearing portable LCD screens advertising products mingle with the crowd.  Vehicles touting an energy drink drive loops around the festivities.  Groups of people in matching outfits hand out fliers and samples.

In November, promoter Charlie Levy, of Arizona’s Stateside Presents, tried a new tactic to garner attention: Levy hired Tucson-artist Joe Pagac to paint a mural on the western side of Eye Lounge, 419 E. Roosevelt St.  “What he’s doing is original artwork,” said Levy, who’s been staging concerts in the Phoenix area for 15 years, from bluegrass legend Ralph Stanley to electronica/experimental/folk rock artist Dosh.  “A billboard costs multiple thousands of dollars.  Joe’s charging me a very friendly rate.  And he’s helping to add to the (First Friday) scene,” Levy said.

The monthly First Friday art walk showcases more than 100 venues in downtown Phoenix.  It’s packed with artists and vendors selling their canvases, jewelry, incense and CDs, in addition to musical performances, fire-breathers, break-dancers, grass-roots political activists, food stands, and people of all ages and sizes taking in the sights, sounds, and smells.  [Note: Read the full article at Artist creates downtown Phoenix First Friday mural, over and over again.]

MPAC board votes to ‘wind down’ organization in flagging economy

[Source: MPAC, Flinn Foundation, Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust] — Confronted with difficult economic times, for itself and the arts and culture organizations it was formed to support, the Metro Phoenix Partnership for Arts and Culture (MPAC) board of directors has voted to cease the nonprofit organization’s staffing and programmatic operations.  MPAC will support the plan of its major funders to use remaining grants funds to directly assist arts and culture organizations.

For five years, MPAC has led the state in understanding the vital connection between the creative community and economic development.  Formed in 2004 by grants from the Flinn Foundation and Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust, MPAC has worked to promote a vibrant creative community in Maricopa County and harness arts and culture as an economic driver.  The foundations supported the nonprofit organization with the goal of it achieving self-sufficiency by the conclusion of the grants, scheduled for early 2011.

The recession challenged MPAC’s economic viability and fundraising efforts, as it has done to arts and culture organizations across the nation.  It ultimately thwarted plans to place a revenue-generating initiative for arts and culture on the statewide ballot—a strategy that has been successful in other major metropolitan areas during better economic times.  “Rather than continue to consume valuable grant monies, the board made the decision to wind down the organization and support the foundations’ plans to use the remaining grant funds to support arts and culture organizations directly,” said Sandra Werthman, who chairs the MPAC board of directors.

“MPAC has made substantial progress in setting the framework for arts and culture to thrive from an economic perspective in the Phoenix area,” said Myra Millinger, MPAC president and CEO.  “We just could not ignore the fiscal realities that jeopardize MPAC’s long-term existence.”

The Flinn Foundation and Piper Trust have agreed to work together in fashioning a one-time arts and culture initiative with the remaining grant funds.  Plans will be announced once program details are decided in upcoming weeks. [Note: Read the full press release at MPAC board votes to ‘wind down’ organization in flagging economy.]

Couple invest in downtown Phoenix neighborhood, arts boutique

[Source: Georgann Yara, Special for The Republic] — When Cindy Dach and her husband, Greg Esser, bought a vintage cottage south of Roosevelt Street and west of Seventh Street in 2001, the area was sketchy, especially after sunset, Dach said.  At the time, Dach joked that when she saw a car slow she would hurry inside.  Five years later, a slowing car means a real-estate agent or prospective homebuyer is inspecting properties.  “Now it’s someone looking for one of our hidden bars,” Dach said.  “It’s funny how that metaphor of cars slowing down shows how the neighborhood is changing.”

That vintage cottage houses her shop, Made Art Boutique, part of a revitalization of funky galleries, eclectic boutiques, and bars in the heart of Phoenix’s hipster haven.  That was not the vibe when Dach opened Made Art in March 2005.  At first, the boutique opened for limited hours and focused around events and occasionally offered crafting workshops.  By that November, Dach was able to expand hours.  The business was running at a loss at first, but it stabilized in 2007.

Owning the building gave Dach the flexibility to take risks.  “It was a huge advantage,” she said.  “We knew the rent wouldn’t go up when the neighborhood changes, and we felt we could manage it within the community.  We did know we were ahead of our time.”  [Note: Read the full article at Couple invest in downtown Phoenix neighborhood, arts boutique.]

2,000 U.S. Census jobs still remain in Maricopa County

[Source: Austen Sherman, Arizona Republic] — Opportunity still remains for those interested in applying for one of the more than 2,000 remaining U.S. Census jobs in Maricopa County.  Lorene Georgianni, director of recruiting for the census’ downtown Phoenix office, said the number of applicants has been lower than expected so far for a total of 8,000 census positions.  The five census offices in the county are coming up short of their recruiting goals despite an Arizona unemployment rate of 9.1 percent in December.

Among the reasons: Potential applicants have been deterred by concerns about losing unemployment benefits while working for the census on such a temporary basis.  Others have applied who are not permanent citizens, which is a requirement for employment.  Al Nieto, local census office manager for Phoenix, said that as long as the state Department of Public Safety is made aware of the temporary status of the job, benefits only will be suspended until the census is complete.

The work is simple, and the pay is good, as workers will receive between $11.25 and $16.50 per hour.  To apply, those interested should call 1-866-861-2010. Callers will be asked to enter their ZIP code and directed to the office in their area.  Applicants then schedule an appointment that usually lasts around two hours.

At the appointment, applicants will be asked to fill out an application and an I-9 form, as well as complete a 30-minute, 28-question exam.  The test has five parts: Clerical skills, reading skills, number skills, evaluating alternatives, and organizational skills.  It is a general-knowledge exam and applicants know their score before they leave.  If they are unhappy with their score, they are given the opportunity to re-test  Once all is completed each applicant is run through an FBI background check before they are officially declared eligible.  Job offers will be made beginning at the end of March.

Potential applicants can prepare themselves at http://www.2010censusjobs.gov, where there is a practice exam to give them an idea of what to expect.  The majority of available jobs are part-time, with a few being full-time.  However, all jobs are temporary, lasting only while the census is being conducted.

Most of the jobs will be in two positions.  Enumerators are expected to go out in to the field to follow up on those homes who do not return their form.  Clerks work in the office supporting those out in the field.  There are also a limited number of jobs as recruiting assistants and as crew leaders, who are in charge of the enumerators.  Vangent Inc., is also looking to hire about 300 part-time employees to help with the census. The company has contracted with Lockheed Martin to perform data collection, and its Southwest facility is expected to process 40 percent of the forms.  Employees will help staff a hotline for anyone who has census questions.  Applications for Vangent Inc. can be completed online at http://www.vangent.com.

Viewpoint: Phoenix, put aside dreams of Gotham

[Source: Joel Kotkin, Arizona Republic] — LOS ANGELES – Now that Phoenix’s ascendancy has been at least momentarily suspended, its residents are no doubt wondering what comes next.  One tendency is to say the city needs to grow up and become more like East Coast cities or Portland, Ore., with dense urban cores and well-developed rail transit.  The other ready option is always inertia – a tendency to wait for things to come back the way they were.

Neither approach will work in the long run.  Over the coming decade, Phoenix has to recalibrate its economy into something based on more than being a second option for Californians and speculative real-estate investment.  Instead, it needs to focus laserlike on economic diversity and creating good jobs.

The model here for Phoenix is not New York or San Francisco.  Phoenix can’t rival these cities for their 19th-century charm or early 20th-century infrastructure.  As we would say back in New York (my hometown): fuggedaboutit.  Instead of dreaming about Gotham, Phoenix should think more about Houston.  Like the Texas megacity, Phoenix is the ultimate late 20th-century town, dependent on air-conditioning, ample freeway space, and a wide-open business culture.

A century away from becoming “quaint,” Phoenix needs to follow Houston’s example of relentless economic diversification: in Phoenix’s case, away from dependence on tourism and construction.  Houston has done this by focusing beyond its core energy sector to fields like international trade, manufacturing, and medical services.  Phoenix’s opportunities may lie elsewhere but may include some of these same industries.  The idea is that the region needs to heal its job problem.  Only then can the real-estate market rebound on a solid basis.

This employment focus must replace the current obsession with changing the city’s urban form.  Despite the current problems, Phoenix has performed pretty well over the past decade, creating more new jobs than most Sun Belt cities, not to mention job losers like San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York.  Equally important, it still leads the nation over the past decade in net in-migration among the largest cities.  [Note: Read the full opinion piece at Viewpoint: Phoenix, put aside dreams of Gotham.]

Phoenix Teaching Fellows looking to train people interested in teaching

[Source: City of Phoenix Youth & Education Office] — Phoenix Teaching Fellows is offering the chance to train new teachers, even without previous experience or coursework.  The organization recruits talented individuals from diverse backgrounds who can use their knowledge, experience, and records of achievement to positively change the lives on students in Phoenix.  Participants will train and earn their teacher’s certification with other outstanding Phoenix Teaching Fellows.  Click here to find more information or to apply.

Bashas’ asks to void lease at downtown Phoenix CityScape project

[Source: Max Jarman, Arizona Republic] — Bashas’ Inc. has asked the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to void its leases on planned AJ’s Fine Foods and Food City stores in Phoenix and El Mirage.  Bashas’ earlier signed leases for stores in the CityScape development in downtown Phoenix and in a retail center at Thunderbird and Dysart roads in El Mirage.  Work has not started on the stores, and Bashas’, which has been operating under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection since July, contends it would be a financial hardship to move forward with the new stores.

In bankruptcy, the court has the power to terminate leases with no repercussions to the tenant. Bashas’ earlier notified the prospective landlords of their intent not to occupy the stores.   At $28.50 per square foot, the CityScape lease for 9,500 square feet would have cost $271,000 per year, and the El Mirage lease at $12.15 per square foot for 55,000 square feet would have cost $668,000 per year, according to court documents.

Since filing for Bankruptcy Court protection, Bashas’ has closed or decided not to go forward with more than 30 stores.  More stores could be closed under terms of the Chapter 11 reorganization plan the company is expected to file with the court later this month.  The plan is said to include the Basha family’s continued ownership of the chain and the closure of an unspecified number of additional stores.   [Note: Read the full article at Bashas’ asks to void lease at downtown Phoenix CityScape project.]