Speak up! in the new news ecosystem

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Other regions compared

With the national unemployment rate at 8.3 percent and Nevada’s unemployment rate at 13 percent, you might think you have to relocate to find work. Well, it depends on how quickly you’d like to find a job. Can you wait until 2030? Mint.com has a map that compares top job growth cities in the United States for 2030. Take a look at the comparisons below and see if a move might be in your future:

Industries and opportunities

“Overall employment is projected to increase about 14 percent during the 2010-2020 decade with more than half a million new jobs expected for each of four occupations – registered nurses, retail salespersons, home health aides, and personal care aides; occupations that typically need postsecondary education for entry are projected to grow faster than average, but occupations that typically need a high school diploma or less will continue to represent more than half of all jobs.”

– The Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment outlook: 2010-2020

The story is told by the numbers in the graphs below (click to enlarge). What are your career plans? Where are they on these charts? Do these numbers give you hope or worry?

U.S. jobs projected gains and losses 2010-2020

Nevada jobs projected gains and losses 2008-2018

Reno projected demand jobs 2008-2018

U.S. projected jobs by education level 2010-2020

Entrepreneur: Pete Parker

“I want to be the go-to guy in Reno,” Pete Parker says, “putting people who need help in touch with people who can help them.”

A champion of collaborative community efforts since his fraternity fundraising days at the University of Arizona, Parker has spent more than 20 years asking for money for good causes. A few of his current causes include: Northern Nevada Children’s Cancer Foundation, American Heart Association and the Reno Philharmonic.

“I don’t do it for the business,” Parker says. “I do it for the impact.”

But every one needs to make a living, and Parker is no exception. In 2001, he spotted a community inefficiency in Reno: “I noticed a distinct divide between the corporate community and the non-profit community,” he says. “A gap that still exists.” So he started Parker Development to bridge this gap, and with a few career maneuvers along the way and the addition of a business partner, he rebranded the company as NPCatalyst in January 2011. Billing the company as facilitating  “an ecosystem between non-profit organizations and their corporate and individual supporters,” NPCatalyst’s goal is to bring efficiency to the world of charitable giving and volunteerism.

“Our target is to help businesses be more strategic with their giving, whether it’s time or dollars, and leveraging that for community awareness and to magnify the good will,” Parker said. “That also leads to new prospective customers for the businesses, greater community alliances, and impact on employee recruiting and retainment – in part due to the business’ community commitments.”

But it is not easy to start a business in the mist of a recession, especially a business based on people giving money away. NPCatalyst (short for Non-Profit Catalyst) is poised to help businesses efficiently find beneficial giving opportunities and help non-profits express why they are vital and deserve support.

“Fundraising used to be easy, but now it’s hard,” Parker says. “Charity to charity we’re more competitive. The economy dropped and non-profits are calling me now and saying, ‘We’re screwed, and it’s all because of the economy.’ And my response is, ‘No, you’re screwed because you didn’t maintain relationships with those people who supported you.’ Nonprofits are now taking the time to try to get to know their supporters.”

Parker says he sees a new trend in relationship building on the part of non-profits, along with a few other trends:

  • Convenience giving – “Online giving, mobile giving, tweet giving where they can see an immediate impact,” Parker says. “But it will never replace the face-to-face giving that’s been going on for centuries.
  • Shift from board leadership to just volunteerism – “Not too big of a commitment,” he says, “is kind of where we are now.”
  • Local – “I’m seeing people who traditionally supported higher education putting their money toward local, immediate-impact type of things like the Food Bank,” Parker says.

Perhaps the recession cleared out some of the deadwood in the non-profit and business world, Parker says. “I expect by summer that the recession will be much better and things will be clicking for nonprofits.”

And as for NPCatalyst’s future: “I launched NPCatalyst in the middle of the recession on purpose,” Parker says. “I wanted to create such a name for myself and such a portfolio of expertise and experience that when we came out of the recession business would call me and say, ‘Gosh, we finally have money we can donate or staff who can volunteer. You’re the person we know we need to talk to. Let’s start working together.’”

“We’ve accomplished a lot in a year. We impacted over 300 nonprofit organizations,” Parker says. “We probably affected more than $2.5 million in charitable support. That can only lead to $5 million in 2020 and on and on. I’m happy struggling last year and through this year to make that happen, because I want this phone to be ringing off the hook in the next six months with businesses saying get your butt in here and let’s create an opportunity.”

 

Hidden jobs in smaller companies

It’s not what you know or who you know that counts. In today’s competitive job market, it’s both. And for Lori Svendson, knowing Marnee Benson of Black Rock Solar meant the difference between a job interview and no job interview.

Black Rock Solar, a small renewable energy company, has a job opening in its Reno office. Benson said within 36 hours of posting the office administrator position on Craigslist.com, she had received 90 applications.

“We took our ad down after a day and a half,” Benson said. “In those applications, I had 25 in the maybe-to-yes category. There were so many qualified people.”

But Svendson, 52, had not even seen the Craigslist listing.

“ I wasn’t really looking for a new job,” she said. “I’d looked a little online, but it seems like there’s nothing there.”

Svendson heard about the job opening from Benson when the friends were hiking.

“We were talking about work, and I literally had that lightbulb moment,” Benson said. “I had been describing to people my ideal office administrator, and I looked at Lori, and it was her. And so I mentioned it to her and invited her to apply.”

Beyond having a friendship lead to discovering this job, the friendship helped get her in the door for the initial interview. “Her resume is great,” Benson said of Svendson, “but there’s no telling considering the quality of resumes that we got whether we would have called her for an interview if she was just in the mix with the 90.”

But the personal connection secured the interview.

“I’m trying to keep all the candidates on an equal footing, but since I know her and know her work ethic, values and personality, it does tilt things a little bit,” Benson said. “Those are some of the unknowns when you go to hire someone. They might look good on paper and they might have a couple of great interviews, but you’re going to be around them for six or eight hours a day. Personality is going to be important in a small company where everybody is in the same space.”

For Svendson, the personal connection is especially important, she said.

“With job applications being online, I think people can see that I’m 52 and think, ‘That’s too old.’ But if people can meet you and see you and see your personality, they’ll see that 52 isn’t so bad.”

The Black Rock Solar hiring team has narrowed the field down to five candidates who are returning for second interviews this week. “They’re all excellent,” Benson said. “It’s going to be a tough decision.”