Trump’s trade war cancels Alibaba’s promise of 1 million U.S. jobs


Mercury News

❝ Alibaba Chairman Jack Ma said the company can no longer meet its promise to create 1 million jobs in the United States due to U.S.-China trade tensions, Chinese news agency Xinhua reported on Wednesday.

❝ Ma has already warned that the trade war between the world’s two largest economies could last decades and that China should focus exports on the “Silk Road” trade route, citing Africa, Southeast Asia and Europe.

❝ Ma met U.S. President Donald Trump two years ago and laid out the Chinese e-commerce giant’s plan to bring one million small U.S. businesses onto its platform to sell to Chinese consumers over the next five years.

“This commitment is based on friendly China-U.S. cooperation and the rational and objective premise of bilateral trade,” Ma told Xinhua…The current situation has already destroyed the original premise. There is no way to deliver the promise.”

Understand thoroughly, Trump is an ignoranus incapable of leading trade or cultural relationships with another nation to progress and parity. He relies on reactionary advisors like Lighthizer and Navarro who wish to halt any and all mutual trade relations with China.

Wyoming’s fossil fuel workforce can walk straight into growing wind industry jobs

❝ It’s no secret that Wyoming has recently faced a downturn in energy prices and that workers have lost jobs. The state is filled with people who have a specific skill set, such as facing potential hazards, working at great heights and handling electrical equipment. But when oil and gas production slows or coal mines cut back on production, the opportunity to utilize those skills goes down too.

Now, an international wind manufacturing company is hoping to convince the roughnecks, mechanics and coal miners of Wyoming to join its industry, betting on the growth of wind generation in the country and a number of wind projects slated to go up in the state.

❝ Goldwind Americas, in partnership with wind developer Viridis Eolia, will offer free training to Wyoming’s workforce starting with three introductory sessions in mid-July in Rawlins, Casper and Gillette. The company also plans an upcoming tour of its wind farm near Shamut, Montana.

“We believe that folks that come from certain industries, fossil fuels, oil and gas, coal, they have skills that are transferrable to the wind industry,” said David Halligan, CEO of Goldwind Americas. “That’s why we’re offering the training and specifically why we are offering it in Wyoming.”

They are training people who could maintain a wind farm, technicians who respond to mechanical problems, install replacement parts and run the day-to-day operations at a large wind site.

Wind technician is the fastest growing occupation in the U.S.

And the jobs ain’t going away just because today’s version of Republican is trying to claw their way back to the 19th Century.

If US coal workers were retrained to work in solar – the first thing to happen is they’d make more money

coal to solar
Click to enlargeShutterstock

The global economy is in a massive transition from a fossil-fuel-based energy system to one using sophisticated renewable energy technologies. For tens of thousands of fossil fuel workers, though, the energy industry outlook is not promising. For coal industry workers, the future looks particularly bleak. However, research I conducted with Edward Louie of Oregon State University offers hope for a better future based on retraining workers. Our study…quantified the costs and benefits of retraining coal workers for employment in the rapidly expanding solar photovoltaic industry — and it explores different ways to pay for this retraining.

…As coal investors have fled in droves to invest in more profitable companies and industries, coal workers have been left with pink slips and mortgages on houses with few buyers in blighted coal country. It is clear that coal is no longer a competitive form of electrical generation.

The one energy sector that is growing at an incredible rate is the solar industry — and it is hiring.

For decades the solar industry has battled against enormous government subsidies for coal. But because of the tremendous drop in costs for solar technology, solar adoption is now rising rapidly. Bloomberg reports that the American solar industry had a record first quarter in 2016, and for the first time, it drove the majority of new power generation. The U.S. solar industry is creating a lot of jobs, bringing on new workers 12 times faster than the overall economy…

Our study found that this growth of solar-related employment could benefit coal workers, by easily absorbing the coal-industry layoffs over the next 15 years and offering full-time careers.

Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, we looked at all current coal industry positions – from engineers to mining and power plant operators to administrative workers – the skill sets required for each…and their respective average salaries. For each type of coal position, we determined the closest equivalent solar position and salary. For example, an operations engineer in the coal industry could retrain to be a manufacturing technician in solar and expect about a 10% salary increase. Similarly, explosive workers, ordinance handlers, and blasters in the coal industry could use their sophisticated safety experience and obtain additional training to become commercial solar technicians and earn about 11% more on average.

Our results show that there is a wide variety of employment opportunities in the solar industry, and that the annual pay is attractive at all levels of education, with even the lowest skilled jobs paying a living wage (e.g., janitors in the coal industry could increase their salaries by 7% by becoming low-skilled mechanical assemblers in the solar industry). In general, we found that after retraining, technical workers would make more in the solar industry than previously in coal…

The results of the study show that a relatively minor investment ($180 million to $1.8 billion, based on best and worst case scenarios) in retraining would allow the vast majority of U.S. coal workers to switch to solar-related positions. Of course, training times depend on type of job and prior experience…

Workers in any declining industry can learn from the coal industry. They can provide themselves valuable job security insurance by preemptively retraining, and there are numerous opportunities for online training – and even working – in a wide variety of fields. Businesses in tangential industries may also want to consider retraining their own workers — electric utilities, for example, can retrain their coal-fired power plant workers for positions involving utility-scale solar farms

Yes, I think these folks at Harvard are a little naive about voluntary retraining by our coal barons. From the Koch Bros to the Petroleum Club – they couldn’t care a rat’s ass about the workers they lay off. Profits, profits, tax breaks – and more profits is what counts. It’s why they buy and sell politicians from both of the two old parties. Results count more than ideology.

No, we’ll need to light a fire under state and federal politicians to get retraining rolling. And not only in fossil fuels. Send the bill to the bubbas taking the profits from over the years.

Congress and the White House keep Huawei out of the USA – so, now, they’re adding 5,500 jobs in Europe

Chinese telecommunications equipment maker Huawei plans to create 5,500 jobs in Europe within five years as the company expands its services in the region, state-owned newspaper China Daily said on Saturday.

Huawei, the world’s second largest maker of telecoms communication equipment, is to offer information technology solutions to European businesses, Patrick Zhang, president of marketing and solutions at Huawei Enterprise Business Group, told the newspaper…

Zhang said Europe offered more growth potential than the United States, where a congressional report last year found the company posed a security threat and essentially blocked it from the market.

Our expansion progress in Europe is different from that in the U.S., where we have encountered access difficulties due to some groundless reasons given by the American side,” Zhang said.

Huawei representatives said last week that the company expected to have its revenues expand by 10 percent annually over the next five years, thanks largely to consumer devices and enterprise services.

Isn’t there something your grandma said about cutting off your nose to spite your face?

Europeans have had beefs with Huawei in the past over prices – the usual excuse when you’re not competitive. However, their corporations and governments have no problems using Huawei communications systems, products – aiding Huawei on their path towards number 1 in that market in the world.

Uncle Sugar and the Cold Warriors in Congress and the White House think they will somehow protect investments in out-of-date and uncompetitive designs from American companies by blocking foreign competition. And the United States may as well drop the fear of eavesdropping ploy about foreign governments. There’s one area where we definitely lead the world.

250 new pubs to greet end of recession in UK

Pubs chain JD Wetherspoon said today that it would create 10,000 jobs over the next five years with the opening of 250 new pubs.

The business, which currently employs 21,000 people and has 743 pubs across the UK, is to invest £250m in the new outlets over the period. It expects to open new pubs in locations including Sheffield, Livingston, Leominster, Otley, New Malden, Liverpool, Haverfordwest and Newcastle. The roles include management positions, as well as bar and kitchen staff…

Wetherspoon opened its first pub in December 1979. In September it hailed its best ever annual results after the company went back to basics to ride out the recession…

The chain said it took lessons from the recessions of the 1980s and 1990s to combat tough trading conditions, “concentrating on the key ingredients of standard, service, staff training and incentives”.

Sounds like the Brits have their priorities straight.

Bright spot in the recession – new hiring is dynamic and robust


Sell lots of apples – not just one at a time on a street corner

Everyone knows the grim news — unemployment in the United States has jumped to 8.5 percent, a 25-year high, and is racing toward double digits. Since November, the nation has lost more than three million jobs. But not everyone knows the brighter side to the equation: deep in the maw of the deepest recession since the Great Depression, millions are still being hired.

So, while 4.8 million workers were laid off or chose to leave their jobs in February, employers across the country hired 4.3 million workers that month, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“The best thing you can say about these numbers is it speaks to the dynamism of the U.S. economy, and the net negative number that we all traffic in masks that,” said Robert J. Barbera, chief economist at ITG, a research and trading firm. “Ninety out of 100 people who know the number — 650,000 were lost in February — think that means no one was hired and 650,000 were fired.”

Who is hiring? Hospitals, colleges, discount stores, restaurants and municipal public works departments. I.B.M. is hiring more than 700 people for its new technical services center in Dubuque, Iowa, while the Cleveland Clinic has 500 job openings, not just for nurses but also for pharmacy aides and physical therapists. And after President Obama’s stimulus package kicks into gear, state, local governments and road-building contractors are expected to hire more.

RTFA. Positive, useful information – especially if you’re unemployed or looking for a career change.