LATCareers.com President Chris Dugan is interviewed for the Businessreport.com article titled Hitting the bricks
By Todd R. Brown (Contact) BUSINESS REPORT.COM
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
“I’m a motivated person,” she says after the presentation. “Whatever I can put my mind to, I can accomplish.”
Rollins came to an August recruiting event for Liberty National Life Insurance, which billed the gathering as part of a one-day blitz to add 2,500 sales agents and managers nationwide.
She says the initial training the company expects her to underwrite puts her in a dilemma, because the laid-off health insurance administrative needs income “right here, today”—not a new $400 bill to pay.
“That’s a lot of money when you’re unemployed,” she says. “Overall, it looks like a great opportunity.”
A spate of local hiring events seems to give weight to the idea that the Capital Region is creating jobs while other parts of the country slash and burn positions to cope with economic contraction, although things here run hot and cold.
The Baton Rouge Area Chamber said late last month the region’s unemployment rate went down slightly from June to July, coupled with an increase in year-over-year nonfarm job growth, per data from the Louisiana Workforce Commission. The region outperformed the state and national unemployment rates.
Liberty National had other “we’re hiring” events in Lafayette, Mandeville and Metairie. Locally, branch manager Marian Keith says she hopes to add 25 to 50 people through the drive.
“Our company grew 42% last year,” she says. “I have one unit manager right now who has a team of about nine working agents. I would like to have at least three [teams] by the end of the year.”
Engineering firm Enercon Services last month held two days of interviews, attracting more than 100 candidates on Day One.
On Day Two, a hotel conference room gradually fills with about 20 people, then 30, 40, perhaps 50 hopefuls with resumés in hand, from fresh-faced beginners to gray-haired vets. If there are jobs to be had, it seems they need them.
“I’m just wondering if these people are employed or not. I’ve been out since March,” says Wayne Nichols, looking around the room. “Every day, I get on the Internet to look.”
The contract structural designer from Mobile, Ala., says he came to Baton Rouge about eight years ago and recently worked for URS, which does engineering for power providers Southern Company and the Tennessee Valley Authority.
But “that work was pulled from the Baton Rouge office and sent to Denver,” he says, so he’s chasing down another contract.
Through the years he says he’s been lured from his home state and elsewhere to several local opportunities in petrochemical engineering—“You could just tell there was a lot more work here”—although he knows well how the market ebbs and flows.
Robert Thweatt relocated from California to manage Enercon’s local office, which opened in February 2008. He says despite flutters in fossil fuel demand, his company chose to switch its center of operations for Louisiana power plants from Atlanta to a local site, close to plants in New Orleans and St. Francisville.
“Last year, the economy was still good,” he says, adding, “Nuclear has been picking up a lot.”
Through the recruiting drive, Enercon will hire about 12 engineers in the near-term and a dozen more down the road, he says. Of course, the growth spurt benefits Thweatt, too: He lived in New Orleans for about a decade and says he grew tired of cool, foggy weather on California’s Central Coast.
“I was ready to get back. To tell you the truth, I missed the heat,” he says.
The state workforce commission planned to host a job fair last month at a local hotel with 30 or so employers. Anecdotally, Bob Hartman with the agency’s veterans unit says he’s seen an increased turnout in vets coming to him for help finding anther job since around April.
Before then, he saw people come in early in the week and taper off, yet lately he says, “Every day at 8 a.m., we have 20, 25 people lined up out there.” He figures construction mostly is to blame and hopes things tick up by the first quarter of 2010, although LWC said late last month that construction jobs are on the rise.
Another career fair with about 10 companies was projected to attract around 600 job seekers Sept. 9 at Embassy Suites.
“There’s been a lot of pockets of growth that we’ve seen,” says Chris Dugan, president of LATCareers.com, which will sponsor that event. “We’ve seen wireless companies in certain markets have stabilized, especially in Louisiana and the whole Southeast.”
He says Verizon Wireless will be at the fair looking for retail and call center help, while State Farm Insurance needs operations center staff members and Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance needs “agent owners.” Also scheduled to recruit are the Secret Service and the FBI, who Dugan says are trying to diversify their ranks.
Back at the Liberty National event, Jennifer Payton ponders whether insurance sales will fill the gap after her packaging plant job with Brown-Eagle Group dried up. Still, she says her work experience gave her the confidence to soldier on.
“I’m only 20 years old. It taught me how to be independent,” Payton says. “I was always one to try something new.”
Keith says the insurance industry can grow even as people lose jobs because those folks also lose company insurance policies and may seek individual plans in case of worse hardship ahead.
The New Orleans native temporarily came to Baton Rouge after Hurricane Katrina and opened the local sales office in March. She did management for the asbestos removal and construction fields but hit a dry spell and decided to give insurance a try. She says her quality of life has bloomed since she gambled on commission work over a steady paycheck.
“If I seem overzealous, it’s because it’s made such a difference in my life,” she says in her hiring spiel, recalling how she sold herself on the gig. “I’m 50 years old, I’m out of a job. Why not?”
Chuck Marceaux also came to the event. He has a long resumé, including a stint in the White House travel office during the Nixon and Ford years. He also was executive director of Louisiana’s state licensing board for contractors and had an insurance sales license that lapsed in the ’80s.
Now he is thinking about selling insurance once more.
“I have four daughters and five grandchildren,” he says, “a lot of people depending on me to make it. I haven’t lost my spirit.”
Bilingualdiversity.com Joins Twitter
Bilingualdiversity.com has joined twitter.com. Visit our page to read latest career tips and read updates on our Bilingual & Diversity Career Fair.
FBI begins 3-month long hiring blitz in 21 States, DC & Puerto Rico & Bilingualdiversity.com was the resource to recruit Latinos
Source: FBIjob.gov writer: Kim McDaniel
As part of their unprecedented hiring blitz, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) will be participating in 47 career fair events across 21 States, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico from now until mid-July 2009, according to the FBI's Careers website: FBIJobs.gov.
Twenty-three of the 47 career fairs specifically target: Arab and Black Americans, engineers, Hispanic and Latino Americans, military, Native Americans and women.
The FBI has numerous positions available along three specific career paths: Special Agent (100s of positions available through the FBI's 56 metropolitan Field Offices), Professional Staff (100s of support positions ranging from Auditor to Technical Information Specialist) and Contract Linguists (on-going part-time positions available nationwide.
BilingualDiversity Debuts, brought to you by founders of LATCareers.com
BilingualDiversity.com is the newest recruitment resource connecting employers in need of recruiting diversity and career seekers in need of connecting with employers embracing diversity in their workforce.
More than a niche job board for people of color, women, veterans, disabled career seekers and all minorities, BilingualDiversity is a solution and network opportunity for those career seekers in need of a new career, changing careers or interested in enhancing their career opportunities.
BilingualDiversity.com is brought to you by the founders of latino job board LATCareers.com. LATCareers.com has become the leading Latino-bilingual job board and has offered over 250 Diversity Career Fairs nationwide.
BilingualDiversity Founder Featured in Inlandpress.org
Monday, November 19, 2007
By Rebecca Sanchez Moschorak | Medill School of Journalism
Rubicela Acosta believes more newspaper publishers should see what she sees in U.S. Latinos: a growing market of 45 million members with $1 trillion of purchasing power.
Yet she is equally clear that publishers must understanding their Latino market before attempting to enter it with Spanish-language products.
"Don't start something you can't do right," said Acosta. "However, Latino loyalty is huge. ... If your newspaper is dying, the Hispanic population might be a great opportunity."
Acosta offered attendees at Inland's 122nd Annual Meeting her advice from years of marketing research on how to best reach U.S. Hispanics. She is founder of the Hispanic America Group, a marketing and research group, and LATCareers.com, a leading job board for Hispanics.
Acosta has seen her share of marketing disasters when U.S. companies have unsuccessfully tried to reach the Hispanic market. Chevrolet's launch of its Nova model was unsuccessful in Hispanic markets because the phrase "no va" in Spanish means "It doesn't go." A Parker Pens campaign also bombed when its slogan - "It won't leak in your pocket and embarrass you" - was poorly translated as "It won't leak in your pocket and make you pregnant."
Many times the right message gets "lost in translation," so Acosta said it's important to have a Spanish-speaking marketing person who understands Latino culture. Not just anyone who speaks Spanish - such as a bilingual receptionist or a staff member with high-school Spanish knowledge - can do the job effectively. "Would you have your accountant do your advertising materials?" she asked.
eaching Hispanics in the U.S. is more complex than it might seem, said Acosta. Choices must be made between presenting content in "media Spanish" vs. "street Spanish." And the Latino market consists of three distinct generations which must be addressed independently.
Each generation offers different challenges yet different marketing opportunities:
The first generation is made up of immigrants who move to the U.S. at an older age. Spanish is their main language. They are highly loyal to brands and traditions, and are the key decision makers of the household.
"Generation 1.5" immigrates to the U.S. as children under the age of nine. They are bilingual and "Americanized," living in English during the day and in Spanish at home. This group comprises the largest demographic and influences purchasing decisions.
The second and future generations tend to be more assimilated into U.S. culture. They speak English in their homes, yet maintain a close bond with Spanish-speaking family members.
This second generation group responds to marketing aimed at Latino culture, said Acosta. She believes this is the generation to target for newspaper readership in English. However, publishers must still cover Latino issues or these readers - generally more educated and tech-savvy - will turn to Spanish papers for that information.
"Print can capture all these audiences," said Acosta. Gather demographic information from high schools, churches, and other community sources to understand your local Hispanic market.
Another key factor in reaching U.S. Latinos is understanding that not all Hispanics are Mexican, said Acosta. This is important because distinct differences exist between Latin American cultures in terms of dialect, family structure, and lifestyle and behavior patterns
Media producers must know which Hispanics make up their local market. Acosta cited the example of a Seattle radio station that hired a DJ from Spain to address the station's Mexican audience. The Spaniard ended up offending the station's listeners and had to be removed.
The Latino market will keep changing as Generation 1.5 grows up and becomes more assimilated into American culture. Acosta said it is essential for newspapers to know how to reach this group as they change.
"Existing media leave room for improvement," said Acosta. "Your opportunity as print media is to teach your advertisers to reach Latinos not just in Spanish but in English too."
Acosta broke down her advice for reaching U.S. Hispanics into four steps:
1) "Define your target audience." Consider the generation, language and ethnic group you want to reach. And know the demographics in your geographic market, so you can target the market in the appropriate dialect.
2) "Establish a proper brand." Define the brand in the right way for your particular target audience.
3) "Identify a core team." Your team must effectively connect with the target market. Speaking high-school Spanish doesn't make qualify a person, just as "being Latino doesn't mean they understand Latino market segments," said Acosta.
4) Have realistic expectations. "You have to take baby steps," said Acosta. "You will need to gain their trust to get their loyalty." But once this trust is gained, Latinos will prove to be a committed following, she said. Acosta recommends conducting case studies in your market, investing small amounts of money to see if products work before full deployment.
Once gained, retain your Latino readership by public relations efforts, such as participating in community outreach efforts or the local Hispanic chamber of commerce. And focus on providing great customer service. The Latino market is highly focused on service and personal relationships, said Acosta.
Newspapers can leverage their competitive advantages - their brand, established resources, and deep client list - to attract Latino readers and advertising dollars if they understand these generational market segments, she said.
Contact: Rubicela Acosta, firstname.lastname@example.org
Hispanic entrepreneur tells students of opportunities-YAKIMA HERALD -REPUBLIC
Published on Thursday, November 8, 2007
By ELOÍSA RUANO GONZÁLEZ
Rubicela Acosta, CEO of employment recruiting firm LATCareers.com, speaks to students at Washington Middle School on Wednesday about career possibilities for Latinos in the United States. Her Tumwater, Wash.-based company is returning to the Yakima Valley in search of bilingual people to hire for large U.S. companies.
Rubicela Acosta knew there were more ways to survive in the U.S. than picking grapes, onions and pomegranates or trimming clothing in stuffy California factories, as she did when she was 10 years old, working alongside her mother.
"There had to be better ways to live than what my mother had to do," the 31-year-old Olympia resident said. "There are a lot of opportunities here in the U.S. for Latinos."
Acosta, founder of Olympia-based LATCareers.com, a headhunting company that's recruited thousands of bilingual Hispanics for hundreds of U.S. business giants, found opportunities through a school job-training program and her entrepreneurial spirit.
On Wednesday, she shared her experiences with more than 1,500 Yakima students, visiting four schools to offer a message of inspiration and hope. She encouraged them to open the doors to higher-paying jobs. But she also acknowledged the challenges that many people may feel.
"As immigrants, we're tainted. There's such a negative stereotype of Latinos and we feel that," Acosta said, adding, "Instead of looking at it as an advantage, we look at it as a disadvantage."
Being Hispanic has its perks, Acosta pointed out. As Hispanic buying power continues to grow, many companies throughout the U.S. are scouring for bilingual workers. Which means workers have an opportunity to market their culture and bilingual skills for higher-ranking jobs that can pay up to $90,000 annually, she said.
Acosta, who moved to the U.S. from Acapulco, Mexico, after her parents divorced, started her first business a year later, translating English-language mail for migrant workers who could only read Spanish. She said she only charged a nickel per letter, but she knew she could eventually make more money than her farm worker mother.
Her company, LATCareers.com, held a small job fair Wednesday afternoon at Yakima Valley Community College to link students to large companies nationwide.
Chris Dugan, president of LATCareers, said five businesses -- Alaska Airlines, the Seattle Fire Department, Swift Transportation, Weyerhaeuser and LATForce -- sent recruiters to Yakima to search for talented, bilingual Hispanics, while nearly two dozen other employers provided informational packets.
Dugan said he hoped the public job fair would attract about 400 people and inform them about the online job board available for free at LATCareers.com. Dugan said LATCareers also would be targeting youth, providing information about college and scholarship applications.
He said the Web site, which gets about 100,000 hits a month, receives many inquires from Hispanic students who are interested in going to college, but don't know how. Many were looking for role models like Acosta to set the path, he added.
Bobby Lopez, a seventh-grader at Washington Middle School, attended the assembly hoping to take a few tips from Acosta.
The 14-year-old said he'd like to be a professional basketball or football player when he gets older. As a backup, though, he's looking into law school.
Lopez said he believes "most of the good jobs are taken," but held by few Hispanics. He sees most of Yakima's Hispanics stuck "in the fields."
"We can learn from her," he said of Acosta and her offer for alternative options. "(We) can follow the same footsteps."
During her speech at the school assembly, which was organized to honor students who passed the WASL and to promote academic success, Acosta reminded the mostly Hispanic audience to pursue better employment -- away from fruit orchards and fast-food restaurants.
"You're no different than me, you're just younger," Acosta assured the nearly 700 students who applauded, whistled and listened from the bleachers. "The one reason I was able to do that (start LATCareers) was that I didn't let anybody put me down. I didn't let any challenge get in my way."
Principal Lorenzo Alvarado expected Hispanic students would feel a stronger connection to Acosta but was also sure the successful businesswoman would inspire all of his students -- regardless of ethnicity.
"Her story should impact any kid," he said, adding that she could "help them realize the importance of education in any career."
"It doesn't happen by luck," Alvarado said. "It requires some forethought and planning. Education is the key."
* For more information on the LATCareers job board or to set up an account, contact representatives at 888-782-0152 or www.latcareers.com.
Photo ANDY SAWYER/Yakima Herald-Republic
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