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Businesses and corporations are vital entities for economic growth. Recently, U.S. GDP was 2.5% lower than the prior year. As a result of the Great Recession of 2009, the U.S. has taken a huge hit with the loss of jobs as businesses relocated to China, Japan, Mexico, and the Middle East.
Supporting the Afghanistan War (10 years) cost this nation billions of U.S. dollars, an impact that is felt today. Topics on various businesses and corporations are featured – as well as various perspectives and solutions from the business community.

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A lasting impact of the pandemic has influenced Americans to decision-making.

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CEO Pay will be tied to diversity progress

Adopting diversity in the workplace seems not to be top priority of U.S. business leaders since the tragic killing of George Floyd in police custody a year ago, spurring protests in cities across the nation. Consequently, such action[s] prompted pledges from U.S. business leaders to fight racism and work to recruit and promote Black and other minority employees. America has been in denial far too long as many Americans witness in real time how racism is deeply embedded in American history.

As reality begin to set in, people are beginning to fight back against racial injustice. Companies are now putting money behind those pledges by tying executive compensation to specific goals.

Starbucks Corp for example, announced in January, it would give top executive more shares if the coffee chain’s managerial ranks would grow more diverse over the next three year McDonald ‘s Corp in February gave executives annual incentives to increase the share of women and racial minorities in leadership roles by 2025. In March, Nike Inc. said it would for the first tie some executive pay to five-year goals for improving racial and gender diversity in its workforce including hiring diversity in leadership positions.

Dick Hernandez comments on the matter,” Metrics like these seem to be new, a kind of new evolution in what’s expected of executives. Hernandez is the chairman of McDonald’s who was involved in the fast-food chain’s compensation changes. He adds, “ It’s really a growth, a maturation of thinking about what’s really good for a company and what a company’s role is in society, how you serve your customers and at the same time serving your investors.”

For many years, some directors and executives have encouraged colleagues to recruit more women and minorities, observers say the discussions have become more prevalent and explicit. Pressure from constitutional investors, employees and customers has helped drive companies to establish financial incentives for improving what is referred to as diversity, equity and inclusion.
President Biden American Jobs Plan and the American Families Plan seems to propose policy on bring back the middle class, to hire diversity especially women dropped out of the workforce. His policies would help bring along everyone: inclusive of gender and race and equality.

Ford Motors: Fans of F-150 pickup will embrace electric version

The newest version of Ford’s F-150 pickup coming soon to market. The pickup looks much like its original popular gas-powered version. The difference is battery powered. Ford has branded the pickup as the F-150 Lighting that is able to travel up to 300 miles per battery charge which has a frame designed to safely hold a huge lithium battery. Ford says should your electricity goes out in your house it can provide power to your house. The powered battery charges from zero to 60 mph (97 kilometers per hour that will take just 4.5 seconds.

Ford is betting that the new F-150 starting a nearly 40,000 (before options) will be America’s top selling vehicles will attract buyers who favored rugged pickup trucks prized for strength and durability. If the new F-150 achieves high performance in strength and durability, America will moved away from petroleum burners to green energy efficiency— boosting Biden’s effort in fighting climate change. Ford CEO Jim Farley said, It’s a watershed moment for me. It’s a very important transition for our industry.”

However, Biden green energy plan is facing some resistance because critics fear the loss of auto industry jobs in a shift away from gasoline-fueled vehicles. Critics argue EVs are much simpler and takes fewer workers to build them. And, bottleneck supply chain could leave automaker short of computer chips for months or even years.

The F-150 Lightening is a critical factor to Biden’s policies that he visited the Ford Plant in Michigan where he test-drove the truck on a test track.

AAA predicts Americans travelling by car is expected to spend more on gasoline

This year traffic is expected to be a lot heavier on this Memorial Day holiday, according to American Automobile Association [AAA]
It is reported American traveling is expected to rebound significantly due to the more Americans being vaccinated, slowing the spread of the coronavirus. More than 37 million Americans is expected to travel 50 miles or more from home this year a 60% increase compared to last year when only 23 million traveled during the early stages of the pandemic as reported by the nonprofit auto club.
Paula Twidale senior vice president for AAA, said in a news release:

This pent-up demand will result in a significant increase in Memorial Day travel, which is a strong indicator for summer, though we must all remember to continue taking important safety precautions,” Twidale said.
The AAA notes this year’s expected travel level would mark a 13% drop from 2009, when 43 million traveled. Although Memorial Day is Monday May 31, AAA includes Thursday through Monday in its travel projections.
Popular destinations for road trips are Las Vegas, Orlando, Florida, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Denver and Nashville, Tennessee, according to AAA.

While Americans will take that long awaited trip, expect to pay more for gas at the pump. Since the sudden shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline that delivers about 45% of the fuel to the East Coast, driving up gas prices and tighten supply. However, it is not certain that this would affect holiday travel.

Lloyd Albert, senior vice president of public and government affairs at AAA Northeast said if most pipeline service is restored by the end of the week, as the company expects, there should be enough time to replenish supply and avoid significant holiday disruptions,” he said in a news release. Albert said that the pipeline went back online late Wednesday afternoon, though it is not expected to be at full capacity until the weekend and is expected to take several days for the supply chain to catch up.

According to AAA, travelers should be mindful that some local and state COVID-19 travel restrictions remain in place. Travelers can refer to AAA’ COVID-19 Travel Restrictions Map and TripTik.AAA.com for the latest information to help plan their trip.

Cars, lumber and chicken, the shortages that triggered by the end of lockdowns

There is a shortage of microchips in the supply chain. This shortage has impacted the car manufacturing amid a growing demand for new cars. A price of a new car is up by 10% this year, nearly averaging $40,000 compared to the past two years. Experts say that auto manufacturers forecast a drop in demand for new cars cancelling orders for semiconductors. Consequently, automakers rushed to push orders of new microchips to companies behind a long line of other companies demanding the same.

The Ford Motors said until June, it is expected to produce only half the number of vehicles it generally produces. Other car makers such as GM, Volkswagen and Jaguar Land Rover had to suspend its production because of microchip shortage.
Americans who are looking to buy new cars to take a trip long due will have to buy a used vehicle because there is a shortage of new cars on the market. In April, the asking price for a used car is well over $25,000, $3,000 more than a used car for sell at the same time last year. Rental car companies such as Hertz and Enterprise have resorted to buy used cars due to short supply.

Sawmill companies are also struggling to meet demands as potential homebuyers who is looking to capitalize on low mortgage rates. With more time on hand, homeowners are investing in new renovations, causing surprising boom in the lumber industry. For example, sawmills are experience a record profits this year with demand for lumber four times its usual record.
In restaurant industry, many owners are experiencing surge in high price of chicken as more and more Americans are eating out and fast food companies are competing to for a share of profit by adding the now popular chicken sandwich. Dave Gibbs, CEO of KFC parent company of Yum Brands speaks about KFC’s new brand of Chicken sandwiches which was released in January, “Demands for the new chicken sandwich is so strong that, coupled with tightening of domestic chicken supply, our main challenge is keeping up with that brand,” he said.
The release of the KFC sandwich aimed to compete with other fast-food companies such as Popeyes and Chick-O-Filet which established a strong competitor in the industry. Another compliment for food is ketchup. It is reported a shortage supply of ketchup packages in restaurants for customers. The leading maker, Kraft Heinz Ketchup says customers don’t have to worry, the supply will become stabilized in the next few weeks.

American Airlines adds stops to two flights after Cyber attack of fuel pipeline

The impact of a sudden ransomware cyber-attack on the Colonial Pipeline. This has put the airlines and transportation industry on alert. It is reported American Airlines has added a stop to two long-haul flights out of Charlotte, North Carolina because of a fuel supply shortage after shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline.

American is the first U.S. airline to report an impact form the attack on Colonial Pipeline which carries nearly half the fuel consumed along the U.S. East Coast.
In a statement, American announced:

“We are closely monitoring the situation and working around the clock to ensure that we have an adequate supply of fuel across out network.” The two impacted flights are expected to return to the original schedule on May 15.
American said its daily flight from Charlotte to Honolulu will now stop in Dallas, where passengers will change planes before flying into Honolulu while its daily flight from Charlotte to London will stop in Boston for additional fuel.

Businesses Are Confused About What Workplace Safety Precautions to follow

As hundreds of thousands of people are heading back to work, and the nation has created nearly one million jobs in March according to the bureau of Labor Statistics, on Friday, the report on the latest jobs is expected to show even further acceleration in job growth expected t due to more Americans getting vaccinated and the weather becoming warmer. The business community has become even more concerned about thousands of people returning to work as [they] say the federal government has fell in defining work safety issues of masks and vaccinations— causing complications or conflicting information in their reopening efforts. Some employers have already offered paid time off, swag or other perks, to get people to return to work. While offering such incentives could “coerce employees into getting the or disclosing their vaccination status to get the benefits, which could cause conflict [of interests] with EEOC guidelines.

Worker safety advocates such as the Bureau of Labor Statistics is finalizing long-delayed Covid-19 emergency workplace safety rules that would last through November, which many expect to require workers to wear face masks, and other safety measures.
Marc Freedman, vice president of employment policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce comments on the matter, “How they handle the vaccine, the high number of people getting vaccinated, is one of the central questions around the emergency temporary standards.”
Debbie Berkowitz, an adviser at OHSA comments on the matter, “I think that industry is going to find every excuse they can to fight against the rule, and to raise that whatever it is the OSHA does is going to be an unbearable burden,” she said. “I find that disingenuous, at best, because I think what’s really need to get workers back into the economy, and to get the economy open, is that workers know there are requirements that employers have to meet to protect them,” added Berkowitz, now with the left-leaning National Employment Law Project. “And whatever OSHA does is going to be a minimum.”

“I think that industry is going to find every excuse they can to fight against the rule, and to raise that whatever it is that OSHA does is going to be an unbearable burden,” said Debbie Berkowitz, an adviser at OSHA during the Obama administration.
“I find that disingenuous, at best, because I think what’s really needed to get workers back into the economy, and to get the economy open, is that workers know there are requirements that employers have to meet to protect them,” added Berkowitz, now with the left-leaning National Employment Law Project. “And whatever OSHA does is going to be a minimum.”
Safety experts say that if employers do not ensure workers are vaccinated, the Covid variant could return as cited a new report from CDC this week, concluded that is businesses were to slack off on taking workplace safety precautions outside of ensuring workers are vaccinated, it “could lead to substantial increases of Covid-19 outcomes even with improved vaccination coverage.” Businesses groups caution that whichever pathway the Biden administration take when it comes to the protections employers must provide to their workers could reverberate throughout the economy.

RESTAURANT CHAINS STRUGGLE TO STAFF WORKERS TO MEET INCREASE CONSUMER DEMANDS

Since the restrictions have been lifted around the country, resuming American pastime is becoming the focal point of today. More and more Americans are feeling safer, and consequently eating out; visiting parks; going to the beach are no longer restricted for the most part.

For nationwide restaurant chains and independent eateries are saying that there is a growing demand for workers; and frankly aren’t enough workers to staff kitchens and dining rooms just as Covid-19 restrictions relax and more consumers want to eat out again.

For example, fast food operators like owners of Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches and restaurants are offering signing bonuses for recruits. Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. is offering perks such as free college tuition to employees who work at least 15 hours a week after four months on the job. Other fast-food chains like Taco Bell is offering paid family leave to company store managers while MacDonald’s Corp owners are assessing what pay and benefits its U.S. employers would like as a best place to work.

Atlanta-based restaurant operator Daniel Halpern, who runs fifty TGI Fridays and other restaurants recently increased hourly wages and is offering employees immediate pay.

During the pandemic, U.S. restaurants shifted their store operations to online launching online food brands or rely on takeout services.  Sales at bars and restaurants increased up to 13.4% in March compared with the month of February, according to U.S. Labor Department.

Despite Chipotle fast-food chain offering its college tuition initiative, servers, hosts and line cooks are reluctant to come back because they are fearful to contract Covid-19; have moved on to other industries or remain on unemployment benefits.

Other sectors of the U.S. economy also are struggling to add staff especially with manufacturers, live-event coordinators [in entertainment] and other companies wrestling with labor shortages. Some restaurant owners have had to pass on some of the increases to customers in the form of higher prices as other prices rises at the same time— operation and overhead, for example.  Consequently, consumer fast-food prices in March grew to 6.5% compared to last year, biggest year-on- year since 1998, the Labor Department data show. It was also reported McDonalds and Pizza Hut owners are closing earlier in the evening than if they were fully staffed, cutting off potential sales.

Food-service jobs on Indeed.com cited mid-April jobs stood at 16.2% higher than February fiscal year 2020 reflecting the highest number for severs, cooks, hosts and managers and other restaurant jobs posting since the pandemic began spreading in the U.S.

However, restaurants were struggling with employment before the pandemic when unemployment stood at 3. 5%; Covid-19 created new problems restaurateurs said.  Many restaurant and bar workers were laid off when the pandemic hit last year. Economists expect it would take time for workers who dropped out of the market to return.

New York City, some restaurants are closing earlier due to labor shortage according to report on April 11 by McDonald’s.  It is reported supplemental unemployment benefit of $300 a week could be reason for workers to return to work according to economists and restaurant owners as federal and average state unemployment payments can surpass the weekly pay of an employee working 40 hours at $15 an hour.  The median hourly wage for a fast-food worker in 2020 stood at $11.47, Law Department data show.  However, restaurants like full service and high-end restaurant Wolfgang Puck’s Spago-Beverly Hills, servers earns as much as $100,000 a year plus tips are also struggling to recruit workers. Mr. Puck said in an interview that expended unemployment benefits and new options like personal chef gigs are contributing to staffing shortages at Spago and other restaurants .

REUSED SPACEX ROCKET AND CAPSULE LIFTED OFF AT 5:49 a.m. eastern time From KENNEDY SPACE CENTER-CAPE CARNAVERAL, FLA.

The SpaceX–Falcon 9 rocket lifted off at 5:49 E.T. from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral. SpaceX launched its  third crewed rocket, sending four more astronauts into orbit marking the first time the company achieved the takeoff with a recycled capsule and rocket. The rocket is set to automatically dock with the International Space Station [ISS] about 24 hours later and joining an earlier group of astronauts who traveled there on SpaceX’s first operational mission in November with three others on board.

The launch marks a number of first for SpaceX; the first time that two of the company’s Crew Dragon capsules are both docked at the ISS. The first time that the rocket has carried two international partners–Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s crew member, Akihiko Hoshide and Frenchman Thomas Pesquet from the European Space Agency. They join Americans crew members, Shane Kimbrough-the mission’s commander and Megan McArthur -the spacecraft’s pilot. The crew will be stationed at the space station for a six-month mission.

It is also the first for both rocket and capsule used in Friday’s launch which were reused from earlier launches in last November, and the capsule used in last May’s test launch. The mission code named Crew-2 originally scheduled for lift off on Thursday, but was postponed due to poor weather conditions.

Billionaire Elon Musk, entrepreneur and founder of Tesla Motors 2003 and SpaceX (2002) said at a news conference, “I think we are at the dawn of a new era of space exploration following SpaceX lift off. After founding SpaceX 19 years ago, Musk said that he had only recently became convinced that space hardware could be successfully reused, cutting the costs of launch, which he added, “That’s the gateway to heavens.”

Musk reflects on the moment when the capsule entered orbit, the first stage of the rocket had successfully detached and completed its descent landing on SpaceX’s autonomous drone ship stationed in the Atlantic Ocean. Director Bob Cabana of Kennedy Space Center said of the return to regular human space flight. “All I can say is, it’s about time, he added. It’s awesome to have regular cadence again.”

The launched marked a significant milestone for Mr. Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corp [official name of the spacecraft company] as it moves to prove thesis of its strategy: That it can save on the cost of space travel by reusing the rocket and capsule components of a launch after each flight. Carissa Christensen, founder and chief executive of Bryce Space & Technology [a consulting firm] adds, “We are essentially witnessing the creation of a new industry, and every early success is important to its growth path.”

 

 

Google plans for employees to return to empty office space voluntarily

The Google Search Inc. reported that it may reopen some of its U.S. offices next month due to the COVID-19 vaccination efforts roll out to hundreds and thousands daily. Its search engine- a subsidy giant owned by Alphabet GOOG reported annual 0.64% gain on return [ROI]. Google search engine Alphabet said on Wednesday, the initial return period will be voluntary as offices begin to reopen, but set to capacity limits according to an internal email from Google’s top executive Fionna Cicconi said. “Conditions vary significantly from state to state, so you’ll hear directly from your local leaders when your office is eligible to reopen Ms. Cicconi said in which was viewed by The Wall Street Journal. Google is advising workers to get vaccinated against Covid-19, but not mandatory to return to the workplace. Returning to the office remains optional until September, according to email statement sent by Google’s executive office—Ms. Cicconi. Corporations have coordinated staff workers to work remotely have been waiting to return to office—when or if ever employees should start reoccupying sites vacant since the pandemic hit a year ago. A number of big companies have said they will test so-called hybrid work arrangements that includes workers splitting their work time at home and office. Alphabet and Google chief executive Sundar Pichai has said working together in person is a core part of Google’s culture.

Americans are becoming more confident in returning to normal life.

 

 

While the country was under lockdown and shuttered at home restriction ordered by [then] Donald J. Trump in April of last year, the price of gasoline plummeted to the lowest level. But in the past few months as U.S. vaccination rollout continues, people have felt safer leaving their homes which has increased demand for fuel. As a result, the average retail price for gas was set at $1.94 [per gallon] but have increased to around $2.90 [per gallon] up about 2% from a year ago according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Expert says as summer approaches, prices could go even higher and it is expected to stick around.

Nick Loris, an economist at the Heritage Foundation who focuses on energy and environmental policy, told the Washington Examiner on Monday that the major factor in the gas-price equation is increase on demand.  Loris believes that more people are getting comfortable with traveling now. And airlines are reporting in past weeks, people are making travel plans; and millions of people are passing through the gates to catch flights. Thus, airline travel is reaching pre-pandemic levels taking spring and summer vacations. Consequently, that demand is driving up prices at the pump Loris said. “ As more economies both in the U.S. and around the world comes out of lockdown, that’s going to put even more upward pressure on prices as the demand for fuel continues to rise.”

Another reason why gas prices have been on the rise is because of the season. Gasoline blends in the summer are different than those used in the winter, and costs can increase as refineries begin to make the transition. And summer-blend fuel is more costly to produce than winter-blend fuel. Loris says that typically when refineries are doing maintenance—shutting down some of their refineries as they switch from winter blends to summer blends to comply with air-quality regulation.

 

US Business News

Tue. Mar. 2021

How Much Does the Federal Minimum Wage Buy You? Now vs. Then

Today, federal minimum wage of $7.25 along with adjusted for inflation. The inflation rate is at its lowest level in more than a decade and at nearly the same level as in 1954. The height of the minimum wage’s buying power came in 1968 when it was $1.58 an hour, or nearly $12 an hour in today’s dollars. That is $3.00 less than what Democrats have proposed. Although lawmakers decided not to include $15 increase in the $1.9 trillion stimulus package, for the 1.1million U.S. workers at or below the minimum wage, an increase could bring purchasing power closer to 1968 levels.

From an economic perspective, the biggest expense for most Americans is housing which is unaffordable for people making the federal minimum wage in some geographic areas particularly in areas where state governments have already increased the minimum wage above $7.25. This wasn’t the case 50 years ago when median rent was $117 a month [ equivalent is $809 in 2021 dollars].

Minimum-wage earners working 40 hours a week in Atlanta-metro area for example, would have more than half of their pre-tax wages deducted, leaving what is left [disposable income] over to spend on other things. Based on these factors, the equivalent worker today would need a roommate [extra income] or housing assistance at the state or federal level to have any more income for food and other essentials.

Minimum-wage workers on 1969 paid less for nearly every type of living expense, from food and healthcare to entertainment and larger ticket purchases such as furniture and appliances. And going to ballpark cost on average of $2.44, one-third the price of a ticket today when adjusted for inflation.

Minimum wages above the federal floor have been enacted in 29 states (plus in the District of Columbia] ranging from $8.65 in Florida to $15 in the District of Columbia according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

US Business News

Thur. Mar. 4, 2021

Burlington: This chain plans to move in where stored have closed

Burlington chains plan to move where stores have closed. And this year, its chain plan to open 100 stores. The company says that it sees an opportunity to expand to 2,000 US in the future. Originally, Burlington operated under the brand name Burlington Coat Factory. It currently has more than 750 outlets and it is expected to build 1,000 stores.

Burlington offers men, women and kids clothing apparel including home goods footwear. It merchandise if price up to 60% below retail prices and only 25% of its transactions are through credit cards. Many of its shoppers make less than customers who shop at department stores on online retail.

Burlington is known for buying overstock designer brands clothes making it competitive with upscale department stores that carry the new styles. As such, this approach allows it to rotate news styles and fashions to attract prospective customers to its stores.to hunt for bargains on name brand clothing —fashionable and affordable.

Bargain hunters in recent years have turned to “off-price retailers such as Burlington TJX,/TJMaxx, Marshalls, Homes Goods and Ross Stores. Prior to the pandemic, online retailers and these chains gaining market share; gaining a competitive advantage over department stores and clothing stores. Since the pandemic, department stores were shuttered, shoppers were under stay-home restrictions. Consequently, customers began to shop online.

CEO Michael O’Sullivan predicts, “As stores close, “many shoppers, especially more affluent, time-starved shoppers, will migrate more of their spending online, But we anticipate that other shoppers, more valued-oriented shoppers, will find their way to off-price.”

Burlington said it also will open smaller stores in the future that carry less merchandise and have lower operating costs than traditional stores.

US Business News

Wed. Mar. 3, 2021

CVS Corp, Walmart Inc, Walgreens combine efforts in administering COVID-19 vaccinations

Joint COVID-19 efforts to administer shots could ring in new customers. CVS Corp, Walmart Inc. and Walgreens-Boots alliance, Inc. are collecting data from millions of customers as they sign up for shots, enrolling them in patients systems and having recipients register customer profile online.

The retailers say that they are using the information to promote their stores and services, tailor marketing and to keep in touch with consumers. The companies also say the information is critical in streamlining vaccinations and improving vaccinations and recording-keeping while receiving ensuring eligible people are receiving their shots.

CVS executives say they plan to stay in touch with vaccine recipients beyond receiving their second shots and use data to better market to them. They say that about 8 million who received coronavirus test from the chain hadn’t filled a prescription at CVS in previous years. For the company this would be an opportunity to bring in new customer. And, customers are administered shots at no cost and are covered by the government. Pharmacies can bill insurance for administrative expenses which go toward covering labor, logistics and other costs included in vaccinations.

Other retailer like Walmart, persons receiving a vaccine is required to set up a patient profile in the online system.

Charles Hartig, Chief Executive of Hartig Midwest chain is analyzing data on what consumers when they come to be vaccinated. The Company conducts analysis on consumer buying trends such as ice packs, Ibuprofen and other after car items people can use after getting their shots.

Walgreens requires visitors who comes to its website to sign up for a Walgreen account to search for open appointments. People can receive emails or opt out of receiving, and to [agree] to let Walgreens collect information about customer and the use of its service or customer buying experience which includes name, address and IP address.

It is worth noting while pharmacies could achieve competitive advantage that adds to the bottom line during a sluggish economic recovery, a wise business practice is to deviate from your mission and business practices.

While collecting personal data of customers to receive their vaccines, it is important that collected data on customers for the purpose intended; to quality [them] for COVID-19 vaccinations only.

The core federal law protecting disclosure of personal/health data known as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act or Hippa Act prohibits disclosure of protected health information for use such as marketing purposes without the patient’s approval, with few exceptions.

US Business News

Wed. Mar. 3, 2021

CVS Corp, Walmart Inc, Walgreens combine efforts in administering COVID-19 vaccinations

Joint COVID-19 efforts to administer shots could ring in new customers. CVS Corp, Walmart Inc. and Walgreens-Boots alliance, Inc. are collecting data from millions of customers as they sign up for shots, enrolling them in patients systems and having recipients register customer profile online.

The retailers say that they are using the information to promote their stores and services, tailor marketing and to keep in touch with consumers. The companies also say the information is critical in streamlining vaccinations and improving vaccinations and recording-keeping while receiving ensuring eligible people are receiving their shots.

CVS executives say they plan to stay in touch with vaccine recipients beyond receiving their second shots and use data to better market to them. They say that about 8 million who received coronavirus test from the chain hadn’t filled a prescription at CVS in previous years. For the company this would be an opportunity to bring in new customer. And, customers are administered shots at no cost and are covered by the government. Pharmacies can bill insurance for administrative expenses which go toward covering labor, logistics and other costs included in vaccinations.

Other retailer like Walmart, persons receiving a vaccine is required to set up a patient profile in the online system.

Charles Hartig, Chief Executive of Hartig Midwest chain is analyzing data on what consumers when they come to be vaccinated. The Company conducts analysis on consumer buying trends such as ice packs, Ibuprofen and other after car items people can use after getting their shots.

Walgreens requires visitors who comes to its website to sign up for a Walgreen account to search for open appointments. People can receive emails or opt out of receiving, and to [agree] to let Walgreens collect information about customer and the use of its service or customer buying experience which includes name, address and IP address.

It is worth noting while pharmacies could achieve competitive advantage that adds to the bottom line during a sluggish economic recovery, a wise business practice is to deviate from your mission and business practices.

While collecting personal data of customers to receive their vaccines, it is important that collected data on customers for the purpose intended; to quality [them] for COVID-19 vaccinations only.

The core federal law protecting disclosure of personal/health data known as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act or Hippa Act prohibits disclosure of protected health information for use such as marketing purposes without the patient’s approval, with few exceptions.

US Business News

Mon. Feb. 22, 2021

Eateries take bite out of food-order apps

Restaurant owners are unhappy about Apps ordering services such as DoorDash and Uber. Concerns are raised on charging fees up to 30% per order. Although these apps rein in floods of customers, restaurants owners are saying that the costs of using apps are eating up a chunk of their profits.

Realizing that business is slow during these times. However, businesses should show fairness when offering services during pandemic and achieving competitive advantage should be fair or equitable. Uber Technologies Inc. and Grub-hub inc. should keep in mind while using their order apps, it should aligned with affordable market price for online services. There is a new crop of services who is promising online ordering a lower cost for eateries by letting the restaurants arrange more deliveries themselves.

Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. and Shake Shack inc and others have acknowledged the cost of app-based deliveries and many say that they intend to address it.

Local governments from New York to Seattle have enforced rules capping delivery-app fees to try to rein in restaurants’ costs while the health crisis keeps people home.

Andrew Wang, owner of Spread, a website that charges restaurants $1 per order and markets itself as a cheaper and more restaurant-friendly alternative to the nig apps.

Having customers and clients to absorb losses shouldn’t be an added value demonstrating social responsibility even in business should be maintained. For this reason businesses and customers are recommended to report business practices to the State Commissioner and Business Commerce to dispute.

US Business News

Mon. Feb. 22, 2021

The Carlson Pizzeria in Wilkeson updating the town’s trades and commerce history

The Carlson Pizzeria is located in the building is a historic landmark built in the early 1900s. The architectural structure depicts the time just before the “Roaring Twenties” with its finicky door knob when twist, the door swings open prospective customers experience and angelica sunlight beaming from the wavy-glass six feet tall window stretching across the length of the building.

While entering diners can smell the cheezy, wood-fired pizza and the laughter of a seven month-old baby named Cleo Galbraith and his parents Ian Galbraith, 41 and Ashley 31.

His parents saw that the 19th century building was up for sale. Fascinated by the building and its possibility, he bought the building for $215,000 in 2010. He and his wife spent six years renovating the structure, scraping off layers of paint.

Now, the old structure is transformed with chair rails, booths, wainscotting and window panes shine, restored to their original glory much like 100 years ago when the Gus Carlson hotel was first built.

The Galbraith have restored the ‘Carlson’s neon sign which is located in front of the building.

The town of Wilkeson is known for its historic landmarks, On the main street, a short block long stands the old Martha Washington Hotel built in the late 1800s. There are multiple town sites that include the school, a large sandstone arch and coke ovens listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Explore the town’s history that complement the variety of pizza served of your choice.

The town of Wilkeson is known for its historic landmarks, On the main street, a short block long stands the old Martha Washington Hotel built in the late 1800s. There are multiple town sites that include the school, a large sandstone arch and coke ovens listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Explore the town’s history that complement the variety of pizza.

Transitioned from its original owner Gus Carlson to the new brand image “the Galbraith pizzeria, was of Swedish descent, a small fastidious man with a neat little mustache with slick dark hair. He started his hotel and café in 1910. The little town Wilkeson was known as the center of trade and commerce with a thriving downtown area where thousands of loggers miners and quarry workers living within the town boundaries which the Martha Washington Hotel was later built.

The Building that holds the Carlson Pizzeria was formerly a 16-room Carson Hotel constructed in 1910.

US Business News

Sun. Feb. 21, 2021

Tasked in Distributing Shots in the arms of Americans, not on the Colville the Reservation

Getting a coronavirus vaccine has become much as a challenge as the coronavirus itself. Health districts and distribution centers across the state have been struggling to get and distribute the vaccine doses, but the tribal governments in Eastern Washington have had relative success, despite of historical, geographical and technological obstacles.

Statistical data real 12% of Washington residents had been vaccinated as of Monday, but vaccinations have almost doubled that number of vaccines on Colville Reservation. Twenty-two percent of a pollution of 10,000 members have been inoculated as of Wednesday according to Colleen Cawston, CEO for the Colville Service Unit of Indian Health Services.

The tribal reservations expects to have 80% of their population vaccinated by the end of March, likely reaching herd immunity.

Other areas such Inland Northwest tribes have also exceeded state vaccination rates.

Health care workers at the spokane Tribe of Indians’ David C. Wynecoop Memorial Clinic had administered 685 prime doses and 356 booster doses to reverservation residents essential tribal workers and clinic patients of the week before last said tribal chairperson Carol Evans. The 685 doses received in the arms of American account to 24% of the tribe’s population account roughly 2,900 registered members.

The Coeur d’Alene Tribe estimated it would have inoculated about 1,500 people, or 17% of its 9,000 in-person reservation population by the end of last week according to Tyel Stevenson, the tribe legislative director.

US Business News

Thur. Feb. 11, 2021

Cheap old homes draw U.S. millennials escaping pandemic cages

Perhaps, the pandemic crisis could be an opportunity to buy a home as many millennials are thinking about finding more reclusive place to live such as Norwich Connecticut where “Cheap old house” are affordable– ranging 80,000 to 100,000. Simply put, they are growing tired of living in the big city in tiny apartments. Since employers were order to closed businesses and employees are doing work remotely from home, many offices are left vacant due to the andemic crisis.

Kate Reinhart, a funeral home director from Utah and her scientist husband Cameron, moved Utah to Connecticut after finding his first job in a town nearby called Norwich, found an octagonal Victorian home that resembles the macabre Addams Family Mansion featured in the TV series “The Addams Family,” in film and cartoon. The Norwich town has one of the largest concentrations of 18th and early 19th century houses in New England. For just $85,000, the couple brought the 1885 house replete with stained glass, artisanal light fixtures and winding banisters. They plan to put some $100,000 into a massive renovation.

Mrs. Reinhart says that she has always dreamed about having a Victorian-style home. “I do feel like we appreciate it more now during the pandemic to have more space to ourselves.”

Elizabeth Finkelstein, founder of CheapOldHouses website in 2016 promotes the purchases and preservation of historical houses. Followers of the site’ Instagram account have steadily “doubled every week since U.S. pandemic lockdowns began in March, to about 20,000, and about 42% are aged 25-34, and about 75% are women,” she said.

“The mantra of real estate has always been “location, location, location; and for the first time that’s being flipped a little bit on its head,” she said. “ We are living in a time when people are willing to kind of take risks maybe risks that they’ve been wanting to take their whole life.”

Homes on CheapOldHouses website tend to be in the U.S. Midwest, South and Rust Belt, where many sell for less than $100,000. Houses that cost more in North America, Europe and elsewhere are also listed in Finkelstein’s monthly newsletter.

“We feature homes people can realistically buy, but also use their hands on as opposed to sitting in a cubicle all day long,” she said.

A net 70,000 people left the New York metropolitan region in 2020, resulting in roughly $34 billion in lost income, estimated Unacast, a location analytics provider.

More millennials may leave big cities even after the pandemic is over, Finkelstein said.

“With so many offices going remote, people have more opportunity to just say, ‘maybe I don’t need to be paying more than half my income in rent. And I can, I can take that leap.’”

US Business News

Global pandemic drives U.S. retailers implement tech innovation strategy to compete in times of COVID

The Global COVID-19 pandemic has forced corporations that include small business,med-size and large corporations to shutter day-to-day operations causing high impact on job loss, financial devastation, shuttered restrictions and international travel bans. In fact, 2020 is described as the most darkest time in history since WWI and WWII.

Since the World Health Organization first announced the spread of coronavirus originated in Wuhan, China, a small province in China mainland and the first coronavirus case discovered in the State of Washington in March, the World Health Organization and the Center of Disease Control and Prevention were unaware of its vast impact on the global community. Due to lack of knowledge and time to stop the spread of the virus, the White House administration and CDC was unable to identify the existence of the novel disease. Consequently, cases of the infectious disease were reported in many states, hospitalization accelerated, and emergency and ICUs became battlegrounds to treat coronavirus patients. Although frontline workers in hospitals became overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients, unfortunately many died. The White House administration came to realize the disease was not a “hoax.” Consequently, businesses and agencies and schools were ordered to close.

Since businesses shuttered and stay-home restrictions in place, online shopping surged at all time high. Already known as the leader in technology innovation that included online shopping and increasing cloud-computing services, Amazon was able to thrive during the pandemic by using its technologies for its employees to work remotely from home under stay home restrictions.

Indeed Amazon financial sales results soared tremendously in the fourth quarter of 2020. The company had projected fourth quarter revenue of between $112 billion and $121 billion but reported revenue of more than $125 billion, an increase of nearly 44% from the prior-year quarter. The company fourth Quarter revenue from its retail ecommerce sites grew 43% year over year, in part because the e-retailer moved its annual Prime Day event into October this year from its usual July time slot because of pandemic-related issues in its fulfillment network.

Amazon’s 2020 sales performance revenue are so impressive that Walmart is embarking on a new business venture. Walmart Inc. announces the company will acquire technology from Thunder Industries, a company that uses automation to create digital ads. The company wants to ramp up its ad business and seek a greater slice of the marketing budget from small businesses. With the Thunder technology and transition team, Walmart will use Thunder’s technology to launch a self-service tools that helps advertisers make and buy numerous version of display ads targeting different kinds consumers on it properties [platforms].

For example if a skin care company could use the tool to create versions of an ad with models of different ages, it can use the technology to determine which performs best. Walmart expect to launch the ad tool later this year. Janey Whiteside, chief customer officer said ” As we continue to grow our media business, we need to find ways that we can easily serve our suppliers be it companies that have Walmart suppliers for years or brand new marketplace suppliers,” Whiteside said. And, the new display self-serve platform and the integration of Thunder’s technology does just that.”

Walmart and other large retailers including Kroger Co and Target Corp. have been building digital-ad offerings to generate new revenue by using their shopper data to help marketers target customers online and in stores.

US Business News

Sat. Feb. 6, 2021

The Long Road to Economic Recovery

U.S. employers resumes a weak pace of job gains. It is reported that U.S. economy added only 49,000 jobs last month. Consequently, such slow pace, signals a long and rocky road to economic recovery.

Small job gain came as after payroll steep decline in December. The driving force of a deadly disease called coronavirus. The U.S. Labor Department reported that unemployment rate fell to 6.3% in January from 6.7% a month earlier reflecting fewer people searching for jobs.

Sarah House , senior economist of Well Fargo Securities reiterates that “the recovery is only is only stumbling along at this point.” She added. “Yes, we managed to eke out a gain, but we’re still 9.9 million jobs shy of where we were back in February ” of last year before the pandemic hit hard,”she said.

In terms of US. employment, jobs grew business and professional services, mainly in the temporary help roles in January according to U.S. Labor Department. In some sectors such as leisure and hospitality sector lost 61,000 jobs following a deep decline of 536,000 in December. These losses occurred in sectors particularly retailers and warehouses cut jobs in China January after a job spike during the holidays.

Unemployment rate dropped in January because of two factors: More people dropped out of the labor force perhaps due to them not actively looking for a job after experiencing frustration with employment prospects. Secondly, a number of people claimed themselves as”unemployed” that increased consistently with an upward trend in hiring during since last spring.

While such factors have become a growing concern to many Americans and politician alike, President Biden met with Friday with House Democrats ahead of a vote to solidify a bold aggressive $1.9 trillion relief package after Republican suggested earlier of a smaller plan.

Despite the improved U.S. trade deficit with China last year with a small gain of 10% [$310.08 billion] that included U.S. export of goods: soybeans, crude oil, corn and cotton, China yet account about a third of the total deficit in U.S. goods which means they significantly purchased far less U.S. goods creating a deficit for U.S.

Even though the deficit has declined, it is still quite large,” said Eswar Prasad, prof. of trade policy at Cornell University. He added, “the Biden administration’s clear indication that it intends to maintain a touch approach to China meaning that there is going to be no easing of tensions.”

Undoubtedly, the Biden administration intends to take a different approach with China which could include a clear U.S. trade and business plan that each can commit and comply to. It is noted, that the China government is likely to agree to a plan that is profitable and tangible as they tend to ‘believe’ and ‘see’ a competitive advantage for them in the process.

Keeping such factors in mind in gaining economic recovery in face of pandemic crisis may could create a positive outcome for the nation.

US Business News

Tue. Feb. 2, 2021

UPDATE: Execute Plan for Vaccine Distribution and Resources

Since prominent figures: President Biden and Vice President Harris, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Dr. Anthony Fauci received their shots, Americans 65 and older are lined up to get the first dose of the coronavirus vaccines. In his first 100 days in office, President Biden vowed to have 1.5 million received in the arms of the people.

With such an ambitious goal, some of the biggest companies in the U.S. Amazon, Microsoft, Walmart, Krogers and Publix Inc., markets including pharmacies Walgreens, CVS and Rite Aid aiming to ramp up its efforts in administering shots to anxious Americans waiting to receive at least their first dose. Although some vaccine recipients who received the first shot is finding it hard to get their second shot. Lisa Soli, a retired educator snag a coveted COVID-19 vaccine in a visit last month at Overlake Medical Center in Bellevue, WA. was elated to get her first dose, but when she asked about the second dose, the nurse told her they weren’t scheduling boosters, wished her luck which she has been searching ever since.

Soli said, ” You just have to get lucky, and it shouldn’t be this way. This is critical life and death stuff for those of us over 65.”

With vaccine in short supply everywhere, and hundred of thousands of eligible people in Washington [State] sill scrambling for their first shots, another worry is, “Will second injection be available within the recommended time frame? The State officials say that they are committed to ensuring timely second doses for everyone who gets vaccinated. They recommend several vaccine providers such as Kaiser Permanente, QFC and King County’s mass vaccination sites make it easy to schedule second doses as part of their initial appointment.

Vaccine makers and US. Food & Drugs Administration recommends second does be administered three weeks after the first for Pfizer injection and four weeks for Moderna version. The U.S. CDC revised guidelines to say a six-week interval is acceptable for both vaccines.

David Jones of Edmond got his first shot at Snohomish vaccination site at the Arlington Airport. He said that the process seems well-organized. The 68 year-old retired school principal was impressed, but he didn’t get a follow-up appointment because the Snohomish county had shuttered its three mass sites and Jones hd no idea whether the Arlington clinic will reopen by the time his second shot is due. He used the Department Health map of vaccine providers to began his search for an open slot, but didn’t find any, nor could he find which facilities offer the pfizer vaccine he received for his first dose.

The Strategic Plan layout below suggest a need for CDC to taking the steps upon receiving it portion of the Recovery Act Fund 1) Collaborate with Drug manufacturers on– 2) Research & Development; 3) Brainstorm ideas and select best outcome 4) Set target goal.

This means, applying funds to developing vaccines that will address 50% of target[age, essential groups] Target/select businesses with mass facilities and manpower while following compliance CDC guidelines and collect data of each facility ensure commitment of participants to target goal of 50% rate reaching 1.5 million vaccines received in the arms of the population within the first 100 days for example.

US Business News

Tue. Feb. 2, 2021

Implementation of Strategic Plan for COVID-19 Vaccine, Distributions and Resources

Some of America’s biggest retailers are preparing to take play central role in administering Covid-19 shots. Retailers committed to joint venture after U.S. fell short of its target goal by the end of 2020, inoculating 20 million people with health departments, hospital systems, and long-term care facilities barred down by supply chain bottlenecks, vaccine hesitancy and confusing scattershot systems for making appointments.

It is reported not all Americans are eligible for the vaccines, and shots remain in short supply. However, in some states, vaccines are more broadly available, and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention aims to make shots available in retail pharmacies. At no case, pharmacies such as CVS Health Corp, Walgreens-Boots Alliance Inc.,Walmart Inc. and Kroger CO have committed to give millions shots a month.

As co-chair of the Covid-19 Taskforce for McLaren Health Care Corp, Bart Baxton confirms, “We’re going to have to look at ways to increase our access points. We’ve got to be able to step up the pace to vaccinate people across the country, if we want to make a dent in this,” he said. The Flint-Michigan-based hospital system has already teamed with Walgreens to administer doses to it 26,000 employees as part of the first phase of vaccinations.

Mr. Baxton emphasized that hospitals are already overwhelmed by treating coronavirus patients and “the McLaren Health Care Corp cannot do this by themselves.”

For such resources, pharmacies are well-positioned to play a key role in Covid-19 vaccination efforts. Industry leaders say that these health care providers are deemed most accessible for sources for many Americans including people 65 and older who often pick up medication from supermarkets and drugstores. They are more accessible to providing shots for flu, shingles and other illnesses. CVS and Walgreens are located conveniently across the country with 19,000 U.S. stores while Walmart, Rite Aid Corp., Kroger and Publix Markets inc., together have another 11,000 locations added to their regional grocers with pharmacy counters.

US Business News

Sat. Jan. 30, 2021

Restaurants and Bars to return to indoor dining in New York City

 

Restrictions issued by Governor Andrew Cuomo due to a new wave of Covid-19 before the end of the year during holiday season is being lifted at 25% capacity next month. It is reported starting on February 14, the city’s restaurants can seat customers indoors. The announcement is welcoming news for the restaurant industry after bars and restaurants faced shutter restrictions in March and mid-December as holiday travel threatened to increase transmission of a new variant of COVID-19 from the UK and European countries.

To remain afloat restaurant shifted indoor-dining to outdoor dining with additional takeout and delivery services.

After announcement of the good news, New Yorkers immediately secured reservation inside for February 14, Valentine’ Day.

Cafe Luxembourg, and intimate bistro on the Upper West side of the New York City started fielding many calls after the governor’s announcement according to Judi Wong, one of the managers.

“We’re always preparing for change, said Ms. Wong about the state shitting restrictions from outside to inside dining at 25% capacity. The bistro provided customer dining under outdoor tents with heated lamps. She adds, “this was a welcome change.”

Cote, an upscale Korean barbeques steakhouse in the Flatiron district will be able to double its number of customers as it can seat up to 100 people up from 50 it serves in its outside cabanas said owner Simon Kim.

“It’s been very challenging said Mr. Kim; adding that the restaurant already had a 100-reservation waiting list for Valentine’s Day. “Now that we are opening indoors, it’s going to mean we no longer have to hemorrhage tens of thousand dollars each week,” Kim said.

Although Governor Cuomo gave businesses two weeks to set up operations; and to” get it up to speed,” Andrew Rigie, the director of New York City Hospitality Alliance, said, ” Restaurants in the city are ready to safely open now. He adds, “Unfortunately once again the state’s standards are being applied inequitably in the five boroughs without transparent and data-driven system for further reopening the city’s restaurant economy.”

Mr. Rigie’s observation of state’s standards not been equitably transparent and data is not equitably transparent in five areas [districts] in the city. From the equitable perspective, indoor dining restrictions were lifted more quickly in some parts of the state and those restaurants have been able to double the capacity allowed in the city. As such, the industry had hoped that the state would allow restaurants in the city to stay open until midnight, but state officials were adhering to the statewide closing time of 10:00 p.m.

President Biden said that his goal is to vaccine 100 million people in the first 100 days in office. It appears the president will achieve this goal help as he will receive unexpected assistance from businesses willing to lend assets in the vaccination rollout.

Amazon wrote a letter to President Biden on Thursday offering to assist with communication and technology. Microsoft is opening up its large empty office campus as a vaccination site as part of a broader partnership with the State of Washington. Starbucks is assigning workers from its operations and analytics departments to help design vaccination site, donating the labor to the state while continuing to pay employees.

Pharmacies like Walgreens, CVS and retail store chains Walmart and Costco have already designated distribution sites. However, Amazon, Microsoft and Starbucks are offering national footprints, human resources [manpower] large distribution warehouses and unoccupied office buildings as well as lots of money for public service and community outreach that would boost their public image and their bottom line.

Arthur Herman, senior fellow at the Hudson Institute emphasizes that “Big companies can think big.” And, “they can afford to step back and think about their role as a social force in their state and in the country. They also have enormous supply chains and logistical connections.”

Undoubtedly, Mr. Biden needs to ramp up vaccination efforts as he will need all the help he can get. The president has asked Congress for $20 billion to help fund vaccinations at stadiums, pharmacies, and assistance from big companies is not helping in the rollout effort, but also shows social responsibility for the community at- large.

President Biden has asked that the Federal Emergency Management Agency to make a joint effort in setting up operations at 100 mass vaccination sites.

US Business News

Sun. Jan. 24, 2021

United Airlines CEO proposes workers to get Covid-19 vaccines

United Airlines, Chief Executive Scott Kirby said that United would be among the first wave of companies to require vaccines, he told the company workers on Thursday.

“Because I have confidence in the safety of the vaccine—and I recognize it’s controversial –I think the right thing to do is for United Airlines, and for other companies, to require vaccines and make them mandatory.” he said. Mr. Kirby’s comments were reported earlier on CNBC.

Mr. Kirby is one of the first corporate leaders to take such a stand and called on other companies to follow.

Several big employers have said that they would urge employees to be vaccinated, and some say they will offer incentives such as cash bonuses to do so. So far few companies have mandated it. Although Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said last month that employers generally can have such a requirement as long as companies accommodate employees who object because of religious beliefs or medical conditions.

Airlines are hopeful that a widespread vaccine distribution could be key to restoring passengers’ confidence and bring back appetite for travel which has declined by the pandemic.

US Business News

Tue. Jan. 19, 2021

Walmart Expands Education Program for Associates, aligns Live Better U Program to Future of Work that includes Skilled Trades Digital Programs

Brief History of Walmart

What started as a small town discount store in Bentonville, Arkansas in 1962, grew into a discount retail chain turned into global retail chains. Sam Walton who founded his first under name Walmart store under the name Wal-Mart Discount City, in Rogers, Arkansas offering a variety of merchandise at discount prices started as an idea of offering variety of merchandise at discount prices. In 2018 the company’s name was changed to Walmart. Walton believed if he set up his store in small town, he could generate enough business to make such stores are profitable. Locating stores in out-of-the way places and setting up large warehouses stores while strategically placing stores in close proximity away other large retail stores, he would be able to make large volume purchases of merchandise [name-brand merchandise] that could be easily distributed to these stores with his own delivery trucks. This business strategy positioned Walmart retail to gain a competitive edge over its competition in large cities allowing Walmart to become leader in retail industry.

 

Walmart Today

Walmart has diversity its portfolio not only in retail and marketing, but investing in its [associates] essential workers and changing trends amid COVID-19 and economic crisis. In response to such crisis, Walmart has committed to invest almost $1 billion in U.S. associate bonuses and today the company announced the expansion of Live Better U [LBU] education benefits to include in-demand skilled trade and digital skills programs, beyond their traditional college programs.

LBU [education benefit programs] is designed to support working adult learners and meets associates where they are on their educational journey by focusing on degree completion providing supportive initiatives such as free student coaching, college credit for Walmart training and career pathways for LBU graduates. Associates at Walmart can take advantage of the LBU programs by earning a degree or certificate along with a paycheck (without lifelong student debt).

Even before the current economic climate, Walmart’s response to an economy going through a technology-fueled transformation with evolving consumer habits has been focused on investing in associates. Over the last few months, Walmart has committed to invest almost $1 billion in U.S. associate bonuses and today announced the expansion of Live Better U (LBU) education benefits to include in-demand skilled trade and digital skills programs, beyond their traditional college programs.

LBU is designed to support working adult learners and meets associates where they are on their educational journey by focusing on degree completion through a number of supportive elements, free student coaching, college credit for Walmart training and career pathways for LBU graduates. Regardless of which path an associate chooses, those who take advantage of LBU have one thing in common – they are earning a degree or certificate along with a paycheck, without lifelong student debt.

The accomplishment of the LBU programs

Since the June 2018 launch, Live Better U has made an incredible impact:

In just two years, Walmart has built one of the largest employer-based educational benefits programs in the U.S.
The majority of associates who have engaged in a LBU program are female, the average age is between 30 and 40, and 47% are people of color.
More than 25,000 Walmart and Sam’s Club associates from all 50 states have taken advantage of education offerings, including $1 a day college degrees and free high school completion.
Walmart is expanding LBU to offer eligibility to all part – and full-time Walmart and Sam’s Club associates starting on their first day of employment based on LBU’s results in driving associate retention and promotions

“The current economic climate has only added urgency to the need for practical training and education opportunities for Americans, especially those who do not fit the historic profile of a fulltime student,” said Julie Murphy, Executive Vice President of People of Walmart U.S. “By adding both digital courses and skilled trades to our education benefit, associates have access to even more in-demand skills, so they can advance their careers, whether at Walmart or elsewhere.”

As with Walmart’s debt free college offering, learners who take advantage of the skilled trades workforce certificates or digital certificates will pay only $1 a day. Research shows a strong correlation between some level of investment by individuals and education completion rates. Most of these programs can be completed within one year or less, highlighting a move toward rapid skilling and meeting many learners’ desire to gain skills quickly and throughout their career to succeed in a fast-changing job landscape.

US Business News

Sun. Jan. 17, 2021

Three billionaires who increased their net worth during the pandemic in 2020

 

Recently. Amazon had been considered as employer adding over 400,000 workers during this 2020 fiscal year. complaints from its workers

While many US workers [essential workers] have struggled wit coronavirus risks in the workplace, their billionaires bosses have increased their net worth by more than $11billion this 2020 fiscal year. However workers said that they received little to no extra pay to work in hazardous conditions, and million of other Americans have struggled to survive on unemployment benefits.

Billionaires such as CEO and founder Jeff Bezos of Amazon based in Seattle, Washington added more than $70 billion to his net worth during the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 reported as $185 billion.

According to data, Amazon sales have soared and employees and Amazon-owned Whole Foods have protested against unsafe working conditions and the pressure of keeping up with demands. Several workers participated in protest or led protest over working condition have said they were wrongfully fired. The company is fighting a federal complaint of firings at least two of them violated the U.S. labor law.

Profit and shareholder shares have soared by billions of dollar through 2020, and only a fraction of net earning have been provided in hazardous pay and bonuses to workers according to an analysis conducted by Brookings Institute. It was reported that Amazon ended its hazardous pay in June 2020, and only provided one -time-bonuses to workers during the pandemic. Workers said they only only seen a 0.99 bonuses bump -up compared to the Bezos hourly wealth increase of $11.7 billion.

Elon Musk, owner of Tesla Motors saw his wealth surge by more than $140 billion during the coronavirus pandemic which surpassed Bezos recorded as the world’s wealthiest person with a total net worth of $195 billion.

Tesla sales sale earnings soared during the pandemic, but workers for the company had been subject to COVID-19 outbreak in plants such as Freemont, California. It was reported earlier in the year Musk local shutdown orders to reopen plant and restart productions.

In defying shutdown, Musk sent out emails within the company implying all employees would lose their unemployment benefits if they didn’t show up for work in defiance of the order. It was reported that at least two of the employees took unpaid leave due to their coronavirus fears for themselves and at-risk to family members; they received termination notices for not showing up for work. In addition, salaried employees at Tesla had their pay reduced by 10% to 30% during Mid-April to June 2020. Lawsuits were filed against Tesla by several black workers alleging discrimination which Tesla disputed.

Though Bill Gates have seen his wealth increased by $18 billion to $131 billion, and his initial fortune as co-founder of Microsoft, his net worth continues to climb via investments; his trusts owns significant holdings in companies such as Amazon and his investment company Cascade Investment holds 34% in waste management company Republic Services.

During the pandemic, Republic Services approved $2billion in stock buybacks and paid $387.1 dividends to shareholders , but the company workers did not receive any bonuses or hazardous pay even when residential trash increased during the widespread of business closures.

US Business News

Fri. Jan. 15, 2021

Alaska Airlines enforcing strict Security measures on flight ahead of inauguration

Alaska Airlines ramps implementing a new security measures on flights going to Washington, D.C. or nearby East Cost cities. This restriction came after rioters stormed Capitol Hill building last Wednesday leaving five dead and many others injured.

Having security measures in place for potential unruly behavior by passengers headed for the capital will including limiting the number of passengers flying into D.C.; metro areas; increasing mask enforcement, staffing additional cabin crew and adding a command center at its headquarters to monitor on-flight activities from check-in to arrival.

Command-center staff will monitor each phase of the journey front point-to point to “allow us to quickly respond and resolve any situation,” the airline said in a statement.

“We have procedures to ensure compliance prior to departure and take-off, and for turn-back or diversions, should the circumstances warrant.” Alaska spokesperson further warns, If there is any noncompliance, “we are instructing our pilots to divert, or if the plane is still on the ground, to go back to the gate.” Such measure s are enforced in response to multiple incidents of rowdy and threatening behavior of passengers aboard flights on U.S. Airlines last week that included large groups of passengers flying to D.C. to join an unruly protest leaving to five deaths and many injured on Jan. 6.

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