Category: Business Written by Diane I. Daniels
SPEAKING OUT—An advocate for the Immigration Bill, Rufus Idris executive director of the Christian Evangelistic Economic Development organization has high hopes for the bill.
The topic of immigration reform has been in the forefront of President Barack Obama’s agenda for several years. His goal is to fix what he calls the broken immigration system so that it can be “fairer for and help grow the middle class by ensuring everyone plays by the same rules." The President is requesting approval by the Senate and House of a comprehensive immigration overhaul measure for him to sign into law by years end. To Rufus Idris, a native of Kogi State, Nigeria and executive director of the Christian Evangelistic Economic Development organization, the Immigration Bill is a wise move.
For the past nine years CEED has built a reputation for assisting and developing small businesses in the region. A large portion of those businesses have been established by the immigrant and refugee population. “Creating more businesses that strengthens our economy and create jobs for Americans is inevitable. I think the Immigration Bill is a wise move towards achieving this,” he said.
Idris indicated that businesses under five years old are responsible for all net job creation over the past three decades in America, and a critical driver of new business creation in America has been entrepreneurial immigrants. “Immigrants start small businesses in their quest to become economically self-sufficient and serve the consumer needs of the local and global community,” he said.
In his strong support of the Immigrant Bill he cited that the Partnership for a New American Economy found that immigrants are now more than twice as likely as the native-born to start a business and were responsible for more than one in every four (28 percent) U.S. businesses founded in 2011, significantly outpacing their share of the population (12.9 percent).
Steadfast in its mission to revitalize, strengthen and produce healthy, self-sustaining communities through innovative programs and projects that put community members and stakeholders in the forefront of economic growth and self-sufficiency, one of CEEDs’ recent initiatives is the Immigrant Family Childcare Project. Established by the Allegheny County Department of Human Services Immigrant and International Initiative, the project is designed to enhance community growth and economic self-sufficiency by developing business opportunities for immigrant and refugee women through the development of family based childcare programs. The project is in response to the need raised by its Advisory Council for culturally sensitive childcare.
“Immigrants and refugees come to America with hopes and dreams of a better life for themselves and their families,” said Krissy Kimura, the Immigrant Family Childcare Project program coordinator. “Adjusting to a new community and culture can be challenging. Finding that their family’s needs cannot be met with the income from one wage earner, it becomes necessary for many women to contribute financially to meet their family’s needs. In many cases, for women with children, the concept of using formal childcare through a center is difficult culturally and unrealistic financially. Preferring family and neighborhood support, they often find the concept of planning and organizing childcare arrangements new and difficult.”
“Our goals with this project,” she continued, “is to develop a source of employment and income by training immigrant and refugee women to become relative, neighbor and family childcare providers, building on their experience. At the same time, this provided other women the opportunity to seek employment knowing their children will be in culturally familiar care. Along with increasing opportunities for women, the training they received enhanced the level of childcare throughout the community.”
The training, according to Kimura consisted of six 12 hour hands-on interactive sessions with ten women completing it. For some of the women this program provided the first experience for them to interact with other cultures. She said nationalities included Somalia, Liberian, Togo, South Sudan, Burmese and Bhutanese.
Considered a pilot program, training was inclusive of pediatrics first aide, mandated reporting, emergency pediatrics, nutrition and three segments of business training: marketing, contracts and policies and taxes.
Partners, supporters and funders of the Immigrant Family Childcare Project included Allegheny County Department of Human Services, Vibrant Pittsburgh, and the YWCA’s Liz Prine Fund. Refugee service providers were Prospect Park Family Center, Union of African Communities in Pittsburgh, Northern Area Companies, Jewish Family and Children’s Services, Catholic Charities, AJAPO, and Young Men and Women’s African Heritage Association. Kimura identified the Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council as assisting with ESL needs. The Pennsylvania Southwest Regional Key is working to develop trainings in pediatric first aide, mandated reporting, emergency preparedness, nutrition, and the business component.
The Immigrant Family Childcare Project falls under CEED’s Skills to Wealth Program’s Micro-enterprise and Technical Assistance service which responds to challenges faced by startup and existing underserved and disadvantaged entrepreneurs struggling to sustain, stabilize, or grow a business in Southwestern Pennsylvania.
When asked how the Immigration Bill will affect CEED and some of their clients, Idris said, “Knowing the importance of new businesses; the economic opportunities, the jobs, and the innovative products that help us compete in the global economy, an immigration bill that gives more non-criminal immigrants a pathway to legal status in the United States will help more entrepreneurial immigrants qualify for assistance from CEED to start or grow businesses in Pittsburgh and its environs.”
Four Democrats and four Republicans known as the, “gang of eight” plan to present an immigration bill this week.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 April 2013 05:59
Category: Business Written by CNN
VALUABLE PHONE--iPhone shows off rare black diamond (CNN Photo/From Stuart Hughes)
by Kirsten Swanson
NEW YORK (CNN) -- Family heirlooms are often packed away for safe keeping. For one man from China, hiding a 26-carat black diamond worth $14.5 million was not in his plans.
A businessman from Hong Kong commissioned craftsman Stuart Hughes of Liverpool to help him show off his family treasure.
The result? An iPhone 5 boasted by Hughes to be "the world's most expensive phone," valued at $15 million.
According to Hughes' website, this iPhone includes 600 flawless white diamonds, a full solid gold dressing and 53 diamonds on the rear that make up the iconic Apple logo.
However, the reason this particular iPhone is so valuable is on the face of the phone.
The Chinese businessman, identified only as "Joe," contacted Hughes and asked to have a rare, black diamond incorporated into the iPhone.
"It's not often that people get to deal with a very, very rare diamond," Hughes said.
Hughes said he was contacted 18 months ago by Joe, who expressed interest in his gold chassis iPhone handsets.
Joe then told Hughes about the black diamond that had been in his family for generations. Hughes spent nine weeks creating the solid gold chassis of an iPhone 5 and then placed the black diamond as the home button.
The appraisal Joe had done on the black diamond put its value at approximately $14.5 million, according to Hughes, who said he saw the certificate of authenticity.
Hughes told CNN that one of the solid gold handsets with the diamonds that he crafts is worth approximately $153,000.
"We had a tech guy in Macau who was able to set the stone, which to this day has never left China," Hughes said.
Hughes set a record in 2011 for crafting an iPhone 4S with 500 individual diamonds, totaling more than 100 carats. That phone was estimated to be valued at $9 million.
The 42-year-old craftsman is known for making lavish and expensive items, including an iPad made of solid gold he debuted two years ago.
"I am a craftsman," Hughes said. "I basically fulfill and make up these ideas."
Throughout the years and his many projects, Hughes said this particular handset is right up near the top of the most lavish projects he's completed.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 April 2013 09:30
Category: Business Written by CNN
ERIC SCHMIDT (CNN Photo/Paul Courson)
by Doug Gross
(CNN) -- Everybody in the world will be on the Internet within seven years. That's what Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt said this weekend in public comments that inspired everything from excitement to incredulity.
Last Updated on Monday, 15 April 2013 15:16
Category: Business Written by Courier Newsroom
Career Development Series
Academic & Career Information Session
APRIL 18—The Community College of Allegheny County South Campus will host an Academic & Career Information Session from 6-7:30 p.m. at 1750 Clairton Rd., West Mifflin. The topic will be “Engineering, Technology & Mathematics: Discover Educational & Career Opportunities.” Registration is requested and this is free and open to the public. For more information, call 412-469-4301.
Job Fair and College Expo
APRIL 19—The Community College of Allegheny County Boyce Campus will host a Job Fair & College Expo from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at the CCAC Boyce Campus, Student Union, 595 Beatty Rd., Monroeville. There will be a job fair and a professional dress fashion show at 11 a.m. sponsored by the Monroeville Area Chamber of Commerce. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, call 724-325-6771.
Business Skills Development Workshop
APRIL 27—Chatham University’s Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship will host its Business Skills Development Workshop from 8:30 a.m.-12 p.m. at Chatham University, Woodland Rd., Oakland. The topic is “Tuning Up Your Business Plan.” This workshop will re-energize existing and unused business plans, encouraging participants to break of their comfort zones to reach the next stage of growth. Registration is required and the cost is $35. For more information, call 412-365-1253 or visit www.chatham.edu/cwe.
APRIL 30—The Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities will host Money Matters 2013 from 6:10-9:05 p.m. at the Pittsburgh Marriott North, 100 Cranberry Woods Dr., Cranberry Township. Investing and personal finance experts will facilitate free sessions on topics such as Retirement and Estate Planning, Senior-Oriented Finance, Protecting Yourself from Scams, New and Experienced Investors and more. Nationally syndicated columnist Michelle Singletary will be the keynote speaker. Registration is required, this event is free and seating is limited. For more information, call 1-800-PA-BANKS or visit www.dobs.state.pa.us.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 April 2013 05:59
Category: Business Written by Courier Newsroom
PARTNERSHIP—Eric Hamilton, chief marketing officer of Around the Way, and Ron Busby, president of the U.S. Black Chambers, Inc., announcing the partnering on the new mobile app that finds local and national Black-owned businesses.
WASHINGTON, D.C.— Supporters of African-American businesses across the country can now access real-time information to locate providers of goods and services, no matter where they are in America.
Through a groundbreaking partnership between the U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. (USBC) and Around The Way—developers of the smartphone application— consumers will be able to locate Black-owned businesses utilizing the GPS feature built into their phones.
“Among the initiatives we are working on is the compilation of a database of all the Black-owned businesses in the nation,“ said USBC President Ron Busby Sr. “This partnership with Around The Way is an important first step. Through the app, supporters of Black business can quickly access the location of businesses, no matter where they are in the country. We believe Around The Way provides an important tool in our quest to strengthen Black business.”
According to Janine Hausif, CEO of Around The Way, African-Americans—already demonstrated early-adopters of technology—are not only prolific consumers, but are value-conscious, brand loyal and extremely aware of their economic clout.
“We believe that Around The Way is the perfect blend of technology and convenience,” said Hausif. “The app capitalizes on the above-the-index embrace of smartphone technology by African-Americans with well over 50 percent of Black Americans using the devices to bridge the Digital Divide. Around The Way conveniently marries that usage pattern and growing consumer awareness. It makes perfect sense to join our efforts with U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. efforts to increase awareness of the importance of supporting African-American owned businesses.”
The Around The Way app is currently available and free for both Android and iPhone users seeking to support their local Black businesses. Starting at $89 per year, business members of the USBC’s 110 affiliate chambers nationwide will receive premium listings, featuring their business locations highlighted on local maps with the USBC logo. The app uses the GPS technology imbedded in the phone to find the user, then lists all the Black-owned businesses within a 5-mile radius.
“We can’t imagine a more natural evolution, a better way to improve both the awareness of the number of Black-owned businesses and increase their bottom lines,” said Busby. “Janine Hausif and her team at Around The Way have created an excellent app for the Black community. America’s Black businesses and the consuming public will benefit tremendously— all by clicking an app on their phone!”
Business owners can find more information on the USBC website at www.usblackchamber.org and can download the app at www.aroundthewayapp.com. USBC members can sign-up for premium listings at www.usbc.aroundthewayapp.com.
Last Updated on Thursday, 11 April 2013 13:29
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