It's Not What You Gather,
If they take an emotional hit, they don't ball up in the fetal position and give up.
account harms their credit score ? NOT TRUE ! If it is paid off, it actually ex-
-pands your credit line. (Now You Know.) Better Homes & Gardens 3-2017
Sat. Sept. 16 SpawGlass Commercial//Civil Construction, 13800 West Road, Houston, 77041. 8 a.-12 noon. Multiple positions open. Benefits, Paid holidays, Vacation, Retirement, Stock.
: Form builders & setters, Concrete finishers, Pipe layers, Laborers. Hablamos Espanol .
Thurs. Sept. 21 Presented by UH Energy at the U. of Houston, the series brings
critical issues in energy to the Houston community via the annual symposium
series, by leading experts in academia, government and industry participating.
. Student Center South-Houston Room.
Houston Chronicle 9-17-2017 byline: Valerie Sweeten
Re-Building Houston After Harvey:
The number of homes damaged in Harris County alone is 121,915, with another
48,969 statewide is staggering; damage to public property is estimated at $439.4
Million, from cleaning to re-building, Houston and Texas is in Recovery Mode !
Consumer advocates say homeowners need to be careful about whom they hire,
whether for demolition or rebuilding, and should seek contractors who have long
years in business, strong ties to the community and track records of happy cus-
Houston Chronicle 9-10-2017 byline: LM Sixel
If we are to rebuild quickly we need undocumented immigrants. There is
at least 1- 4 chance that a Houston construction worker will not have the proper papers to be here, according to a Pew Research study of Houston's workforce earlier this year. There is an estimated 575,000 people living in Houston who entered the country illegally; hard-working people trying to live the American Dream.
Deporting them is bad economics. If more than a quarter of Houston's construc-
-tion workers were deported, re-building Houston would take a very long time.
Undocumented workers make up 5.1% of the U.S. workforce, and deporting them
would send the economy into recession from lost productivity, and send inflation
soaring because of the subsequent spike in labor costs, according to a study last
year by Moody's Analytics, a financial analysis firm.
with the myth that undocumented workers take jobs from American
citizens. Before Hurricane Harvey struck, the National Assn of Home Builders re-
-ported a 75% labor and sub-contractor shortage in carpentry, which pays $20 an
hour or more. About 70% of construction companies say they cannot find enough
workers, according to a survey last month by the Associated General Contractors
Undocumented workers have flocked to disaster zones for generations, ready to
work long days and sleep four to a single hotel room so they can make extra cash.
Cowardly politicians, who are quick to cast scorn but never address illegal immi-
-gration, traditionally turn a blind eye to accelerate recovery.
In New Orleans, a
quarter of Katrina reconstruction workers were undocumented,
which created a bigger problem with wage theft. Since people in the country il-
-legally have little recourse, unscrupulous contractors lowballed bids and then paid
undocumented workers less than prevailing wages or simply did not pay them at all. (Those scum-ball contractors should be jailed ! Wage theft is a Crime.)
Nationwide, there are 6.2 Million job openings, the most since 2001. The U.S.
unemployment rate is near a 16-year low. Houston area unemployment rate is
5.1%. Re-construction in Houston cannot wait until apprenticeship programs and
community colleges train fast-food workers to re-wire or hang drywall.
Even the most conservative
Houston homeowners won't ask for proof that repair
workers are in the country legally; because our nation as a whole, we value skilled,
affordable labor, more than their political principles. (Amen to that and more..)
Houston Chronicle 9-10-2017 byline: Chris Tomlinson
Experts say the construction industry lacks the skilled laborers it needs for the
massive effort ahead in the rebuilding following Hurricane Harvey. The scope
of the storm's damage, the ongoing labor shortage; and potentially Hundreds of
thousands of homes in need of repair in the Houston region alone will be slowed.
Projects must compete with Corpus Christi, Rockport and surrounding areas suffered extensive wind and water damage. As of July, there were nearly 2 Million fewer construction workers in the U.S. than at the start of the last recession, according to the Economic Policy Institute.
The National Association
of Home Builders reported about a 75% labor and sub-
-contractor shorted in carpentry alone. In the months before Harvey's Aug. 25 landfall, reduction in the size of work crews due to this shortage drove up the aver-
-age time to build a home in Texas by one or two months.
Construction firms and industry experts urge homeowners seeking repairs to do
their homework before hiring a contractor. In the immediate aftermath of a natural disaster, there often is a no-questions-asked policy when it comes to verifying a contractor's permitting and licenses. The goal is simply to find willing workers, and there are plenty of firms from states where housing demand has not been as robust as in Texas, said Conrad Lazo, a Florida construction law and litigation attorney.
Stan Marek, CEO of
Houston-based Marek Construction said he also worries how
many undocumented workers would even want to join the Harvey recovery effort
due to anti-immigrant sentiment nationally and in Texas, as expressed in the law
cracking down on 'sanctuary cities.' Such legal efforts could dissuade undocu-
-mented workers from offering their services, Marek said.
Paul Puente, executive secretary of the Houston Gulf Coast Building and Con-
-structin Trades Council, said he would rather recruit workers from within Texas
or neighboring states. He cited recent efforts by unions, community colleges and
independent firms to offer apprenticeships for low and middle-skills workers;
while encouraging more workers to enroll in vocational programs so they will be
ready to join the years-long rebuilding.
Houston Chronicle 9-5-2017 byline: Ileana Najarro
Movie Theatre to Open:
Xscape Theatres, a movie theater chain based in Indiana, has purchased a site
in the Conroe area for its First Texas Location ! The company purchased 8 acres
near the northeast corner of FM 1488 and Old Conroe Road just north of The
Woodlands, according to Newcor Commercial Real Estate.
The 52,000-sq.ft. movie
theatre will have 12 screens with seating capacity for
1,530 people. Opening is targeted in early 2018. (Happy New Year ? !)
Houston Chronicle Wire Reports 9-12-2017
Kraft Heinz Shake-UP:
Kraft Heinz Co. named former Goldman Sachs Group banker David Knopf, 29, as
its next chief financial officer, part of a shake-up aimed at re-igniting growth at the
slumping packaged-food giant. Kraft Heinz has not posted sales growth since the
company was created in a 2015 merger orchestrated by the private equity firm
3G Capital and Berkshire Hathaway.
The largest food companies in the U.S. have lost almost $16 Billion in sales over the past three years amid broad shifts in how consumers eat and shop.
Kraft Heinz is dually headquartered in Pittsburgh and Chicago.
Houston Chronicle Wire Reports 9-9-2017
Meanwhile Back at the Ranch:
Target said Friday it is discounting Thousands of products throughout its stores;
sending its stock down and dragging most of the retail sector with it….
Earlier in the day, Kroger Co. also worried the sector, after the Cincinnati-based
supermarket chain abandoned its practice of offering long-term guidance, a sign it
is grappling with fierce competition in a grocery industry rattled by Amazon's ac-
-quisition of Whole Foods.
Shares in Target Corp. closed Friday, down 2%. Shares in Sears fell more than 3%
while Wal-Mart, Dollar General and Costco all fell more than 1% after Target's
announcement. It is a sign of pessimism about the industry; uncertainty about the
impact of the Amazon-Whole Foods deal and the impact of Wal-Mart's strategy.*
Retailers in general have struggled to compete with Amazon.com and the countless
shopping options available online. Houston Chronicle 9-9-2017
Wal-Mart Stores plans to open its 1,000th online grocery pickup location in a very
strategic location: the Seattle area, hometown of rival Amazon. The brick-and-
mortar giant is letting customers in that area order food online and then retrieve
items at their local store without leaving their cars.
Houston Chronicle Wire Reports 9-7-2017
Gender Pay Gap: Google.
Female employees are paid less than male staff members at most job levels within
Google, and the pay disparity extends as women climb the corporate ladder, ac-
-cording to data compile by employees that provide a snapshot of salary info at the
While Google said the data painted an incomplete picture of how people are paid,
the salary details shared by employees are likely to heighten concerns over gender
disparities in Silicon Valley. Google has faced criticism from investors and some
of its own employees over differences in how women and men are paid; is under examination by the Labor Dept. Houston Chronicle Wire Reports 9-9-2017
Get Paid What You're Worth:
It can be disheartening to be paid less than your co-workers, especially when you
basically have the same background. Many times compensation can be influenced
by your ability to negotiate and research the market ahead of time. Other factors
could be how well you convey your value to the hiring decision-maker and the re-
-sults you have produced in the past.
The biggest challenge that job candidates face is trying to ad-lib during the inter-
-view, especially if pay comes up during the conversation. It can be difficult to
come across as self-assured when you haven't done your homework, such as re-
-searching your industry for salary info.
Conduct salary research through industry sources and online sites such as
. Networking with those in your career field usually gives you
a broad picture of the types of salary ranges being offered. Compensation is very
important, but keep an open mind for additional benefits to discuss such as equity,
bonuses, training, vacation time and salary increases with a defined timeline.
Houston Chronicle 8-20-2017 byline: Kimberly Thompson
Write Your Own Evaluation?
Management circulates a memo to all employees: write your own evaluation:
answer the 10 questions listed, double questions, about management, procedures,
policies and way of doing business. Also: business relationships in and outside
the company; personal activities, future goals, both business & personal, and
Questions involving personal lives and activities outside the company are con-
-sidered invasive. Answering is mandatory. What is an employee to do ? ?
The First Rule: Never turn in such a sensitive document as this soon after writ-
-ing it. Set it aside for several hours before reviewing it. Also email it to a res-
-pected friend who is not employed by your company to gain another viewpoint
on your answers. Honesty is not always best in this type of situation, especially
if it contains any questionable or negative information.
This does not mean to provide outright lies; it means you should describe positive
factual information. Your boss will be analyzing your memo; and surely they will
recognize fantasy vs. facts. It will help you to first answer the personal infor-
-mation questions, so you can zero in on events/activities that are non-threatening.
Do not include political involvement, if any, because your boss may privately
hold opposing views.
Charitable work, participation in athletic and healthy lifestyle activities are valued.
Nightclubs, pub crawls and odd social groups are not. Next: address the business
information. Write about everything you like about the job in general and all that
you specifically contribute to the company in your position. Do the same for the
company brand and reputation, and its management-its members, management
style and HR representation.
Suggestions for streamlining systems to increase production and profits: give them. If you have ideas you think would improve the company management style or culture: remain silent. Remember: the opposite of a suggestion is a com-
-plaint. Don't jeopardize your position thinking you will change things. If you like most things, announce it. If you don't, write a good evaluation and start a discreet job search. Houston Chronicle 8-20-2017 byline: Lindsey Novak
Between Jobs Ministry:
The Spring-based Northwest Bible Church created Between Jobs Ministry 23 years ago; a small group that helped the church's unemployed members transition back into the workforce. Today, the group has grown to include job seekers who are not formal members of the congregation, including many residents of Spring and Klein, NWBC pastor Roy Farmer said.
The organization has help place more than 13,000 people in a wide variety of industries, including oil and gas, retail and manufacturing. The Christian-based
group provides free job-hunting assistance for the nearly 400 job seekers who attend the ministry's five-hour seminar every Wednesday. The weekly session covers topics such as networking, financial planning and tips on dressing for work. 'We teach God first, your family second and work third,' said pastor Roy Farmer . 'We teach them how to be helpers.'
Northwest Bible Church, 281-376-1110, 5503 Fellowship Ln. Spring, TX.77379. Community Impact Newspaper 12-2015
Job Search Program
: John Wesley United Methodist Church, 5830 Bermuda
Dunes, Houston. Near Champions. Joel Bates: 281-444-5757, Bob Gillespie:
281-537-2606. Church office: 281-444-2112. Program is 7 weeks. No Charge.
AARP Foundation Services: WorkSearch Initiative, AARP Benefits Outreach Program, this and more are available to you and me. 1-888-our--aarp or visit: aarp.org/foundation to learn more.
AARP's New Work & Jobs Website: aarp.org/work .
Free: Senior Living and Care Guide for Houston area. 1-800-820-3013.
Retirement & Assisted Living Communities, products and services. Map.
Taking Care of Business: Coming …. and Going……..
Greeting cards: local dollar stores are worth a visit to stock up on cards.
Batteries: warehouse stores: Costco, Sam's Club offer bulk packages.
Diapers: Amazon's Subscribe & Save.
Pet food: your local PetSmart or Petco for competitive prices/reward programs.
Coffee: Costco, Sam's Club, Office supply stores: Staples.
Source: BottomLinePersonal 9-1-2017
Ram Silver Edition:
The mixologists at Ram have whipped up another special number for Texas, a
state that is Bonkers for Pickups. The new-for-2017 Ram 1500 Lone Star Silver
Edition serves up some Texas-style flash with generous dashes of chrome, includ-
-ing a gleaming Silver Edition-specific mesh grill that grabs your eyes like a big
The bumpers, side-view mirrors, window belt molding and handy side steps also
get the shiny treatment. There's even a medallion on the grill that bears the Texas
Star. Ram trucks are an iconic part of the Texas landscape. The Texas Special is
only available on crew cab Ram 1500s, but buyers are free to select 4x2 or 4x4,
short and long-box length configurations and engines.
Debuting at last year's Texas State Fair, Ram's 2017 Lone Star Silver Edition crew
cabs are available with short or long beds. The 4x4 Silver Edition can tow up to
10,140 lbs. The runaway fave configuration of today's buyers, who flock to crew
cab pickups because they offer car-like comfort for a family, yet are still handy
for hauling items from a big box store or hardware emporium. (Woo-Hoo ! !)
(You Would Look G o o o d In a Truuck !)
Base Price: $44,745. Fuel: mid-grade 89 octane (87 acceptable) 32-gallon tank.
EPA MPG: 15 city/21 highway. Curb weight: 5,388 lbs.
Chromed exhaust outlets and LED bed illumination.
Major options: Uconnect 8l4 NAV: $795.
Tri-fold tonneau cover: $595.
Spray-in bedliner: $495.
Anti-spin differential rear axle: $435.
Houston Chronicle 8-26-2017 byline: Jeff Yip
To Infiniti…and Beyond:
Once upon a time, Apple updated its flagship MacBook Pro laptop with relentless
regularity. Overnight, the previous model-bought a year or even a week ago-
would be rendered obsolete. Or, at least out of fashion.
Infiniti's 2018 Q50 points to a new tech reality: personal transportation is often out
-pacing personal computers in updating. The O50 sports sedan popped up for the
2014 model year. Or at least the name did. Its predecessor, the G37, had been a-
-round for a decade winning accolades and buyers.
Now, months before the 2018 arrives the Q50 has gone through another round of
revisions and should be in the showrooms any day now. Infiniti's best seller is the
Q50 sedan, now refined for 2018 with a different grille and front fascia and wider
air intakes. One thing that doesn't change is the engine lineup. The V6 is the
motor of choice for the lion's share of Q50 buyers.
Houston Chronicle 8-19-2017 byline: Jeff Yip