Lansing workers return to new normal

Across the Lansing area, workers have faced different challenges since March because of COVID-19. But for recent Mason High School graduate Reagan Bercaw, she said going back to her job at Plato’s Closet made her feel just as at home as she did all quarantine. “For me, coming back (to work) was really nice to finally have something that I actually had to do,” Bercaw said. “I hated sitting at home.”

Bercaw, like many others, was laid off March 23 while Plato’s Closet in East Lansing was closed during Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-at-home order. Some employees resumed work May 14, but Bercaw came back June 1.

Statewide unemployment drops below 5 percent but northern counties still struggle

Capital News Service
LANSING- The percent of unemployed Michigan workers dropped below five percent last January for the first time since 2001, the  Department of Technology, Management & Budget reported recently. But many workers in the northern part of the state didn’t fare as well as the rest of the state. Montmorency, Presque Isle and Schoolcraft counties all have double the state’s unemployment rate. Cheboygan and Mackinac counties have triple, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. That may be due to which industries are leading the state’s economic growth.

Business groups, colleges partner for employee training

Capital News Service
LANSING – Many unemployed people are not “work ready,” according to Detroit Mayor Dave Bing, but some business groups have found ways to prepare them for the competitive job market. Bing told the 2012 Michigan Works! For People Conference in Detroit that many job hunters “aren’t ready to re-enter the workforce.”
He advocated retraining programs for those who may not be able to meet new employer demands or measure up to foreign competition. Many business and industry groups are making efforts to help their members and workers develop the additional skills that, according to Bing, are essential for employment in today’s tough economic climate. Some of these skills are unique for each industry, but many business associations are offering ways to strengthen general job skills such as leadership, critical thinking and business planning.

Nurtured small businesses create 10,000 new jobs

Capital News Service
LANSING – With an unemployment rate at 9 percent in July and the loss of 500,000 workers in Michigan since 2001, the good news seems to be the creation of nearly 10,000 jobs in small business across the state since January. The new jobs reflect a situation improved by the business tax reform, regulation revision in the state, as well as an increasing sense of entrepreneurship, experts say. Business tax reform exempts most small business from business taxation, providing a financial advantage for people to step into small businesses, and a strong co-business attitude helps individuals understand regulations and laws, Rob Fowler, Small Business Association of Michigan president, said. Allen Cook from the Michigan District Office of U.S. Small Business Administration said starting a business often is an economic decision by individuals who can’t find a job in large company to. “People are looking to take control of their own economic destiny,” he said.

Winning the future

By Danielle Turcotte
Meridian Times staff writer
“From the earliest days of our founding, America has been the story of ordinary people who dare to dream. That’s how we win the future.”

In the annual State of the Union address delivered on Tuesday evening, President Obama discusses the importance of Republicans and Democrats coming together and how the people of America must “out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world.”

The key theme in his speech was how important it is that today’s youth gets an education. “In a single generation, revolutions in technology have transformed the way we live, work and do business. Steel mills that once needed a thousand workers can now do the same work with a hundred. Today, just about any company can set up shop, hire workers, and sell their products wherever there’s an Internet connection,” he told Congress.