- Created on 24 May 2013
When Atlanta resident Chaquita Loveless joined the Navy at age 19 in 1990, she wanted to see the world, she wanted to train for a profession, and she wanted to serve her country. It never crossed her mind that she would ever have trouble finding a job.
Imagine her chagrin when, 23 years later, with the service, the training and the world exploration behind her, the hardest thing she had to do was find fulfilling work outside the military.
With thousands of former military men and women, many of them African American, pouring into the work force, employers need to be prepared to reach out to them with support and employment. Just in 2012 the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that more than 20,000 new African-American veterans are unemployed.
"I don't think employers have a good understanding of how well the skills we learn in the military can translate to work outside," she says. Having risen through the ranks in the service from E-One -- "the lowest of the low," she says with a smile -- to Senior Chief Petty Officer and then Chief Warrant Officer, job hunting out in the world was a "humbling experience."
Now, after going back to school to get her Bachelors in Business Administration, Loveless has found work she enjoys with a team of veterans at the Bobby Dodd Institute AT&T call center. "We've turned this center into the Number One international Call center for AT&T," she said proudly. "It's what we do."
"In the service," she continues, "We learn integrity, discipline, time management, and accountability. Our mantra is 'teamwork makes the dream work.'"
Service men and women also learn flexibility, she added, noting that through her key job in the Navy was information systems and satellite communications on board aircraft carriers like the U.S.S. Nimitz, she could also shift skills easily and has even driven a ship.
"I guess I just want to ask employers to give some thought to us this Memorial Day. Let us get our foot in the door," she says. "Let us show what we can do."
- Created on 23 May 2013
(StatePoint) As families nationwide are packing their gear and heading out by car, plane and boat, recent data suggests that this summer travel season could be substantially busier than in years past.
According to a survey conducted by the Professional Association of Innkeepers International and Enterprise Rent-A-Car, nearly 60 percent of innkeepers received increased inquiries for early summer, versus a similar timeframe last year.
“Based on the data I’ve seen and what I’m hearing from my colleagues in the travel industry, I anticipate more people will be vacationing this season, arguably more than they have been over the past five years,” points out Emmy Award-winning journalist and travel expert Rudy Maxa. “So with all those travelers hitting the open road, how can you and your family navigate your way to a fun summer vacation that’s also affordable?”
To help, Maxa, who is a contributing editor with National Geographic Traveler, has teamed with Enterprise Rent-A-Car to unveil a series of top summer travel tips. Here are three key pieces of advice that he’s sharing:
Think Outside the (Computer) Box
Consider conducting travel research offline. The Internet has been a boon for travelers, but sometimes there is too much information out there, which can cause confusion.
There are innovative ways to take advantage of personal knowledge from actual humans. For a modest fee, consider hiring a travel writer who is familiar with the place you want to visit. These writers, available through services such as FortNighter.com, can help customize your vacation based upon your personal preferences.
Use Loyalty Miles and Points
Accumulate and use award miles and points the smart way. Explore the lesser-known world of resources, such as MileValue.com, which publish free, regular advice to help individuals accumulate hundreds of thousands of miles and points.
Also, take some time to understand your credit card rewards program. Oftentimes, there are ways to accumulate maximum miles and points through everyday purchases, versus actually traveling.
Car rental loyalty programs can also yield free rentals when needed most. For example, Enterprise Rent-A-Car’s loyalty program, Enterprise Plus, allows members to earn points that are redeemable at any time for free rental days on any available vehicle at participating locations throughout North America.
Watch Your Money
Don’t change money abroad. Use your ATM card but be sure you remember your PIN as a series of numbers, not letters. Many ATMs overseas don’t have keypads with letters. And, no, the number “1” is not where you find the letters “A, B, C.”
And, if your credit card charges foreign transaction fees of up to 3 percent on every purchase, explore other cards that may give you more purchasing power abroad.
More free travel tips from Maxa can be found at http://aboutus.enterprise.com/summertravel/.
No matter if you are answering the call of exotic islands or hitting the road closer to home, there are ways to turn your vacation into a grand getaway.
- Created on 23 May 2013
Even though Chelesa Fearce was homeless for most of her time in high school, the young dynamo will still manage to graduate with honors on Thursday as its star student and class valedictorian, reports WSBTV. And she's headed to Spelman College to pursue her undergraduate degree.
During Fearce’s high school years, her and her family e...
- Created on 23 May 2013
(StatePoint) With more women rising to top positions in business and government, the topic of women and their capacity for leadership has been all the buzz in the media lately.
From Facebook COO, Sheryl Sandberg’s message to women to “lean in,” to Yahoo’s new CEO, Marissa Mayer’s seemingly family-unfriendly human resources policies, societal expectations of women in power are shifting.
In fact, some of today’s top female business and political leaders have found success in shedding the “nice” factor from their work persona.
“I don’t subscribe to the notion that women manage or should manage in a gentler, more nurturing fashion than men,” says Gianna Angelopoulos, Greece’s Ambassador at Large, who recently authored a political memoir, “My Greek Drama: Life, Love, and One Woman’s Olympic Effort to Bring Glory to Her Country.”
Angelopoulos, who is well known for winning the bid for the 2004 Summer Olympics for Athens, Greece and has been named one of the 50 most powerful women by Forbes magazine, is a contemporary example of a woman breaking the mold, as certain aspects of her leadership style may raise eyebrows where gender politics are concerned.
For example, with the 2004 Olympics less than a year away, as President of the Organizing Committee for the Athens Games she publicly made the decision to devote less time to her three children and more to her job. And she ruffled feathers when she banned miniskirts in the workplace and openly admitted she could be strong and businesslike, yet shrewd enough to flatter powerful men to get what she wanted.
The debate about whether women or men make better leaders has raged for years. Back in the early-to-mid 2000s, several studies and polls concluded men held the upper hand. Today, attitudes have shifted and newer studies have declared women the victors.
According to a 2013 survey of more than 600 board directors, published in the International Journal of Business Governance and Ethics, women are better at decision-making, translating into better performance for their companies.
Despite a clear shift in the way women conduct business, they still face uphill battles in corporate America. Women are paid 23 percent less than men on average, according to the American Association of University Women, and in 2012, women only held 14.3 percent of the Fortune 500 Executive Officer positions, according to the Catalyst Census.
While the jury is still out on why imbalances of power remain, decades after the women’s liberation movement, some are firm when they say it has nothing to do with fundamental differences between genders.
“Women are as talented as men and, quite often, stronger,” contends Angelopoulos. “I believe women can be most effective by using all their gifts: strength, intelligence, beauty, charm and female intuition.”
More information about Angelopoulos and her new memoir can be found at www.mygreekdrama.com.
From Margaret Thatcher to Hilary Clinton, some of the most successful modern female leaders have defied gender role expectations. And today’s ambitious women continue to take cues from those who paved the way.
- Created on 23 May 2013
A group of city of Atlanta police, firefighters, dispatchers and civilian employees are campaigning for a pay raise. They've decided to go public with their message, and in a big way.
Their campaign efforts can be seen on a billboard in northwest Atlanta, which reads “First to respond, last to get paid.”
The sign also notes the city council received a 52 percent pay increase.
Although Mayor Kasim Reed presented the city of Atlanta police and firefighters with a 1 percent payincrease last week, the group responded saying it wants at least a 5 percent pay increase.
Reed announced Friday a proposal to increase the salaries of all city classified employees by 3 percent in the fiscal year 2014 budget. Reed's recommendation calls for a 1 percent salary increase for all city employees making less than $60,000 a year.