Archives For Work
Group calls for changes in education system
BOSTON — A Massachusetts business group is calling for changes in the state’s education system in light of a report that shows more than two-thirds of the state’s employers report difficulty hiring appropriately skilled employees.
The report by the Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education scheduled for release Monday says bolstering the state’s public schools is viewed as a critical step in producing more workers with the right skills to succeed in a technology driven economy.
The Boston Globe reports that the survey, part of which is included in the 120-page report, found that 69 percent of the 334 employers who responded said they experienced difficulty hiring employees with the appropriate skills, while 84 percent said school systems require moderate to major changes.
The survey was conducted by MassINC Polling Group.
Second store in Massachusetts will open in late April
NEWTON, Mass. — Wegmans announced Tuesday it would open its second location in Massachusetts on Sunday, April 27.
The Chestnut Hill Wegmans is an approximately 80,000 square-foot supermarket that includes a second-level 10,500 square-foot shop offering wine, beer and spirits.
The company says the liquor, beer and wine portion of the store will open to the public on Saturday, March 29.
The company says it is still searching for full and part-time employees for the front end, as well as the grocery and prepared foods departments.
Wegmans Chestnut Hill is located on Route 9 and is part of Chestnut Hill Square.
By Julia Spitz, MetroWest Daily News
BELLINGHAM, Mass. — The secrets to bagging groceries are just “common sense,” Sal Pilla said as he grouped refrigerated items in one sack and fruits and vegetables in another on checkout lane 6 on a recent Friday morning.
But working at the Bellingham Market Basket may be part of the secret of his success, our news partners at the MetroWest Daily News reported.
After all, not many bag boys are 93.
Not that bagging is his only role at the Stallbrook Marketplace supermarket.
“He does everything,” said store manager Steve Dunn.
Nor are his three shifts a week the only times you’ll find him at work.
“He’ll come in even on his days off, directing traffic (of shoppers to a less crowded checkout line), taking the bakery trash out. … He comes in Sundays after church, talks to all the customers,” said Dunn.
“Sometimes he has more energy than the kids.”
Pilla, who keeps cookies in his pocket “to give to certain people,” was 77 when he started the Market Basket job.
By then, he had worked for Draper’s for 30 years in the foundry — “They called me ‘Scrap Iron’ when he served as a sergeant in the Army National Guard — and had also been a Bellingham firefighter for 20 years.
When he first visited the store, he seemed to know just about all the shoppers, so “they asked if I wanted to work here,” and his late wife, Blanche, agreed it might be a good idea.
“I’m a people person,” said Pilla. “I can’t sit in the corner by myself. I just can’t.”
When he’s not working, he can often be found dancing.
Back in the day, he cut a rug at local hotspots like Norumbega Park and Lake Pearl.
Now you’re more likely to find him at the Uxbridge VFW, Medway Senior Center or, if he gets off work in time on Friday afternoons, the Holliston Senior Center’s Big Band sessions.
He’ll do the polka and line dances, but prefers the waltz.
“I like to do together dancing,” he said. “I like to hold them tight.”
His dancing days started early, back in Milford, where he grew up.
“My father played the accordion. My sister and I used to dance. And I haven’t stopped.”
Milford was also where he learned, when he went to get his driver’s license, his real first name is Salvatore.
Old friends like former state Rep. Marie Parente still call him “Johnny,” since his family always called him by his middle name in honor of an uncle who died. “You could never call me Sal in front of my sister,” he said.
It’s also where he found his first job, as a stock boy at F.W. Woolworth’s.
His wife-to-be “was my next-door neighbor. I told her I’d marry her when I came back” from World War II. At 20, and a member of the National Guard, “I was an old man” compared to many of his fellow GIs.
Serving with the 5th Armored Division in Europe, “that’s when I met George” Patton. “He was a soldier’s soldier,” who “told us ‘You don’t salute in the field.'”
Pilla, who served in “D-Day Plus One” and the Battle of the Bulge, remembers Patton or one of his staff officers was frequently on the front lines.
The bonds forged in combat are not forgotten.
“We knew each other. Everybody took care of everybody,” said the man whose dog tag remains on his key ring almost 70 years after the war’s end.
He returned home and married Blanche, and the couple lived in Milford for about eight years before moving to Bellingham, where they raised two sons.
“I volunteered with the fire department at first,” he said, but later became a lieutenant and ladder instructor. While most of those he trained are now retired, “they remember the old man got them up on the roof.”
At 93, his doctor tells him “don’t change a thing you’re doing,” so he still drives, though not at night, and he still shows up to work, even on days like a recent Friday, when a light snow blanketed the parking lot and temperatures struggled to get out of the teens.
“I don’t have stress,” he said.
He does, however, have an occasional word of advice for his teen coworkers.
No matter what your age, “You serve the customers. They don’t serve you.”
Will pay for nearly 6K job-training opportunities
BOSTON —Gov. Deval Patrick announced Saturday that Massachusetts is investing $12 million of state funds into a program that will pay for nearly 6,000 summer job-training opportunities.
The funding for the program overseen by YouthWorks – a state-subsidized jobs initiative for at-risk youth aged 14 to 21 – is part of the state budget proposal for the 2015 financial year, Patrick said.
The investment represents a $3 million increase over the budget for the 2014 financial year.
“These jobs are essential to providing our Commonwealth’s at-risk youth with a better opportunity for a brighter future, while reducing youth violence across the Commonwealth,” Patrick said. “I look forward to working with our partners to ensure that YouthWorks remains fully funded this summer, so we can continue our commitment to the next generation.”
Last summer, the program provided job training to 5,175 young people in 31 cities.
The YouthWorks program has grown steadily since Patrick took office, expanding in funding from $4.7 million in the summer of 2007 to $10 million in the summer of 2013. This year’s proposed funding would be the largest investment in the program’s history.
Patrick’s administration also announced that it will preserve funding for YouthBuild at $2 million and maintain its support for the School to Career Connective Activities program at $2.7 million. YouthBuild helps low-income residents ages 16 to 24 earn high school diplomas or GEDs by learning job skills building affordable housing. School to Career Connecting Activities establishes a partnership between schools and businesses and provides work-based learning experiences for students.
ISD continues to review inspections, orders additional training for managers
Lisa Timberlake, a spokesperson for Boston Inspectional Services commissioner Brian Glascock, told Team 5 Investigates that a letter of termination was delivered to Doherty’s home late Monday afternoon.
This comes after the city ordered additional training for its managers and continues to review hundreds of Doherty’s inspections to make sure the health and safety of the public is not at risk.
In November, Team 5 Investigates revealed this veteran inspector’s work ethic and record keeping sent the city scrambling to re-do hundreds of health inspections.
“We rely on personnel to carry out these tasks, but ultimately management is responsible for ensuring the work is actually getting done,” said Glascock.
“If we don’t do our job, it’s likely people are going to be sick. If we don’t properly inspect restaurants and do restaurants as frequently as we can then it could happen there’s an outbreak of a food borne illness,” said Terry Hayes, president of the Massachusetts Health Officers Association.
Doherty’s job is to inspect restaurants, pools, and day care facilities, among other places.
Team 5 Investigates’ review of Doherty’s daily reports raised serious questions about his work and record keeping. His scheduled work assignments are listed but when it comes to actual work performed, many reports were blank day after day. City records show some restaurants in Doherty’s district of South Boston and the Seaport weren’t inspected for more than a year in violation of state regulations.
In March 2012, Doherty was called in for an emergency inspection at Yely’s coffee shop in Jamaica Plain. The owner tells Team 5 Investigates Doherty was drunk and unable to perform the inspection.
The next day another inspector found rodent droppings, unsanitary conditions and critical violations inside.
In July, Doherty was arrested by Boston Police outside of Inspectional Services for drunk driving. He wasn’t on duty at the time. According to the police report, Doherty was unable to stand, smelled like alcohol and had slurred speech when he rear ended an SUV belonging to the Boston Fire Department.
Doherty refused a breathalyzer and lost his license for 225 days but Team 5’s cameras caught Doherty behind the wheel, driving without a license, even though his license was suspended.
“Wondering what you’re doing driving today when your license is suspended? asked Curran.
“No comment,” said Doherty.
As of mid-November the city had 700 inspections to complete, the commissioner believes they will get most done.
Doherty does have the right to appeal the city’s decision. He did eventually receive a hardship license which allows him to drive during certain hours.
(MoneyWatch) Whether you’re a new college graduate or a seasoned worker looking to change careers, getting a job without demonstrated work experience can be a real challenge. It’s the catch-22 of many entry-level positions — they want you to have experience, but because these are stepping-stone jobs, most applicants don’t simply don’t have it. There are some ways, however, to navigate this issue. Here are three tips:
Show them what you can do
If the interviewer keeps focusing on the fact that they want someone who can, for example, write clear press releases, and you’ve never written one, don’t panic. Just ask for 24 hours to give them a sample, and get to work crafting one that will impress. “This way, you can distinguish yourself as a memorable, capable candidate and also have a lower pressure opportunity to prepare your material outside of the interview environment,” says Selena Revzani, author of Pushback: How Smart Women Ask — And Stand Up — For What They Want. “The interviewer will be wowed by your confidence in your abilities, your enthusiasm for the role, and your willingness to give extra effort.”
Demonstrate your abilities with stories
You may be asked to describe how you would handle certain challenges, and while you may not be able to discuss work matters you’ve navigated, you can certainly talk about college courses, internships and volunteer work, suggests Louise Kursmark, resume expert and founder of the career consulting firm Best Impression Career Services, Inc. Focus on how you met a specific challenge through certain actions, and what successful results you got because of those actions.
Research and focus your pitch
An interview is a give and take — pitching yourself while learning about the company that may be your new employer. The latter part simply requires preparing pertinent questions by doing research about the company and position. The first part also requires research, about what the company’s needs are and what is happening in the industry, and then figuring out where you fit into the larger plan says Pennell Locey, Vice President of Keystone Associates, a Boston-based recruiting firm. “Did you study something key to the role in school? (Did you) research/write about it? Did you volunteer? Do you bring energy, passion, rapid learning? Figure out which skills they can use.”
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View all articles by Amy Levin-Epstein on CBS MoneyWatch » Amy Levin-Epstein is a freelance writer who has been published in dozens of magazines (including Glamour, Self and Redbook), websites (including AOLHealth.com, Babble.com and Details.com) and newspapers (including The New York Post and the Boston Globe). To read more of her writing, visit AmyLevinEpstein.com.