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Verdugo Workforce Development Board Public Meeting – Local Workforce Development Plan 2021-2024

The Verdugo Workforce Development Board (VWDB) has released two draft documents for public review and comment: 1) VWDB Local Workforce Development Plan 2021– 2024 (Draft); 2) Los Angeles Basin Regional Planning Unit (LABRPU):  Regional Workforce Development Plan 2021– 2024 (Draft).

The draft Local Plan establishes the types of workforce development activities that will be offered in the Verdugo Workforce Development Area (VWDA), including programs for unemployed job seekers and youth. The Plan will also include programs to assist local businesses to ensure they have the qualified workforce to meet their organizational needs. The VWDA consists of the cities of Burbank, Glendale and La Cañada Flintridge which is governed by a Joint Powers Agreement that creates the Verdugo Consortium.

The draft Regional Plan articulates how the LABRPU will build intentionality around industry sector engagement, drive workforce development outcomes across multiple jurisdictions, and expand on-ramps to career pathways for individuals who experience barriers to employment..

Download the VWDB Local plan here

Download the draft LABRPU Regional Plan here

Comments, for the Regional Plan, including any disagreements with the plan, are welcome; however, must be received no later than 5:00 p.m. on April 22, 2021. Comments should be emailed to MaryAnn Pranke at MPranke@GlendaleCA.gov.

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Verdugo Jobs Center, Glendale CA – Jobs & Services Information During Covid-19

Covid-19 Assistance Program

The VJC continues to offer its COVID-19 assistance program for workers who access our employment services.
Click here  to learn more about this program.


Covid -19 Information for Workers

Please see our COVID-19 Information for Workers webpage for up-to-date information and resources for job seekers.
Click here for this information


VJC Program Update

To help protect the health and safety of our community, the VJC continues to provide services virtually. Our job search area is closed to the public. To speak to a case manager who can connect you with our career services, please contact us at (818) 937-8000 or AskVJC@glendaleca.gov.


New Training Opportunity for People with Disabilities

Individuals with disabilities are invited to apply to participate in our free Safety CQIA training program.
Click here to view the flyer.

Biggest ISPs paid for 8.5 million fake FCC comments opposing net neutrality

The largest Internet providers in the US funded a campaign that generated “8.5 million fake comments” to the Federal Communications Commission as part of the ISPs’ fight against net neutrality rules during the Trump administration, according to a report issued today [May 6, 2021] by New York State Attorney General Letitia James.

Nearly 18 million out of 22 million comments were fabricated, including both pro- and anti-net neutrality submissions, the report said. One 19-year-old submitted 7.7 million pro-net neutrality comments under fake, randomly generated names. But the astroturfing effort funded by the broadband industry stood out because it used real people’s names without their consent, with third-party firms hired by the industry faking consent records, the report said.

The NY AG’s office began its investigation in 2017 and said it faced stonewalling  from then-FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, who refused requests for evidence. But after a years-long process of obtaining and analyzing “tens of thousands of internal emails, planning documents, bank records, invoices, and data comprising hundreds of millions of records,” the NY AG said it “found that millions of fake comments were submitted through a secret campaign, funded by the country’s largest broadband companies, to manufacture support for the repeal of existing net neutrality rules using lead generators.”

It was clear before Pai completed the repeal in December 2017 that millions of people—including dead people—were impersonated in net neutrality comments. Even industry-funded research found that 98.5 percent of genuine comments opposed Pai’s deregulatory plan. But today’s report reveals more details about how many comments were fake and how the broadband industry was involved. . . . full story at Ars Technica here


Top 20 Engineering Schools That Produce the Best-Paid Graduates

According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, those graduating with engineering degrees are the highest paid new grads in the US. The average starting salary for an engineer with a bachelor’s degree was $66,521 in 2019. For the Class of 2020, starting salaries were 4% higher — $69,188 on average.

With the help of PayScale, we’ve compiled a list of those engineering schools whose graduates are paid well when they graduate and during their mid-career years. We’ve ranked the schools by the highest mid-career salaries of their graduate . . . . full story and slide show here


Algorithms under fire at a Senate hearing on social media

“Algorithms have great potential for good. They can also be misused.”

The other panel expert was Tristan Harris, president of the Center for Humane Technology and a former designer at Google. For years, Harris has been vocal about the perils of algorithmically driven media, and his opening remarks didn’t stray from that view. “We are now sitting through the results of 10 years of this psychologically deranging process that have warped our national communications and fragmented the Overton window and the shared reality we need as a nation to coordinate to deal with our real problems.”

One of Harris’ proposed solutions is to subject social media companies to the same regulations that university researchers face when they do psychologically manipulative experiments. “If you compare side-by-side the restrictions in an IRB study in a psychology lab at a university when you experiment on 14 people—you’ve got to file an IRB review. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok are on a regular, daily basis tinkering with the brain implant of 3 billion people’s daily thoughts with no oversight. full article here . . . .


Uber, Lyft stocks plunge after Biden official says drivers are employees

Uber and Lyft argue treating drivers as employees would wreck their business

Stock in Uber is down more than 6 percent after President Joe Biden’s new labor secretary, Marty Walsh, told Reuters that drivers are employees under US labor law. Stock in Lyft, whose business is more concentrated in the United States, is down 11 percent. DoorDash, which heavily uses contract workers for food deliveries, saw its stock fall by 8 percent.

The legal status of workers driving for these companies has become a controversial issue around the world. Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash argue that the contractor model allows them to not only operate more efficiently but also offer drivers increased flexibility. The companies argue that if they were forced to pay drivers by the hour, they’d have to not only raise fares but also restrict drivers’ hours to make sure drivers only work at times when there are enough customers to keep them busy.

But those arguments haven’t always persuaded policymakers. In 2019, California’s legislature passed legislation classifying gig workers as employees—though that law was overturned by a voter initiative last November. A New York federal judge ordered Uber to pay unemployment . . . . full story in Ars Technica


Glendale Tech on Tap: First Party Data – The Future of Advertising, April 28, 2021

With various global and local privacy laws (GDPR & CCPA) and standards in collecting personal data such as email, phone number, cookie or mobile ID, it is going to be more and more important for businesses who plan to advertise to do it in such a way they are more efficient.

Glendale businesses that engage in any type of digital marketing will need to understand what is happening so they can prepare themselves as they engage in any type of digital advertising in the future including working with the big platforms like Facebook and Google.This will be an online event, April 28, 2021 from 2-3pm. Click here for more information about event


Bezos says Amazon workers aren’t treated like robots, unveils robotic plan to keep them working

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said in his final letter to shareholders as CEO that the e-commerce giant has to “do a better job for our employees.” The letter comes amid ongoing reports of untenable conditions for Amazon workers. And it outlines a strategy that seems odd for a company that has been accused of treating workers like robots: a robotic scheme that will develop new staffing schedules using an algorithm. . . . .

Stuart Appelbaum, president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union that led the Bessemer unionization drive, said in a statement Thursday that the impact of the union drive, regardless of the outcome, has been “devastating” for Amazon’s reputation. 

“We have initiated a global debate about the way Amazon treats its employees,” Appelbaum wrote. “Bezos’s admission today demonstrates that what we have been saying about workplace conditions is correct. But his admission won’t change anything, workers need a union  not just another Amazon public relations effort in damage control.” full story here at Verge


6 Devices & Ideas Set to Change Healthcare

DoorDash Reimagining Healthcare Delivery: Imagine a world where you can order diagnostics on the go – much like you would fast-food. The convenience would be off the charts, would it not? Well, Vault Health and Everlywell’s collaboration with DoorDash, an online food ordering, and food delivery service, is aiming to give people that convenience. The two companies will enlist DoorDash to distribute COVID-19 The Vault Health COVID-19 Saliva Test Kit and Everlywell COVID-19 Test Home Collection Kit DTC. This is a pretty big idea because it opens the door for more home delivery of potential tests and medical products. We expect to see this model parroted heavily in the future.

J&J Pushes the Innovation Limit in the Contact Lens Market: Johnson & Johnson just might go down in 2021 medtech history as being the first company to go beyond the traditional limits of what contact lens can do. Last week, the company won approval from the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare for a contact lens that provides vision correction and Ketotifen, an antihistamine drug to help relieve symptoms for people experiencing itchy allergy eyes.

Why is this important? For one it kind of/sort of – reimagines contact lenses. The New Brunswick, NJ-based company is also able to see some success where others have not. . . . . read about more healthcare innovators here


Next Meeting of the VWDB Executive Committee – April 14, 2021

 VWDB meetings are open to the public. Any member of the public who wishes to participate must contact Diana Antonio at least 48 hours before the meeting date to receive meeting call in information. 

The meeting will begin promptly at 8:00 A.M. 

RSVP to: Diana Antonio @ (818) 937-8081, dantonioATglendaleca.gov 

Click here to download agenda and minutes of last meeting


CAN RESTAURANTS BECOME DRIVERS OF OPPORTUNITY—NOT INEQUALITY?

To Prosper in a New Era, Eateries Will Have to Reckon With Issues Left to Simmer on the Back Burner

Thousands of restaurants have closed for good across America since WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic last March. Many others remain temporarily shuttered; the remainder limp by with sales a fraction of what they were. Even with the arrival of a new administration and new vaccines, millions of restaurant workers continue to be out of work today, as the pandemic rounds its second year.

But the current disruption in the restaurant industry, for all the pain and economic loss it’s caused, provides an opening to disrupt the established models, and reckon with both the decline of hospitality and the reality of restaurant inequality. To recover and thrive in the years ahead, this essential American business will need to bring its time-honored cultural traditions into greater alignment with the social movements that define our times.

To start with, consider the slew of new options to purchase commercially prepared food that have flooded the marketplace in the last year. These options include delivery platforms, meal subscriptions, and online storefronts with offsite “ghost kitchens.” Takeout and delivery sales have skyrocketed, as have lines at the local drive-thru. Clearly, those who can afford to eat out occasionally are still buying and consuming food that they do not make themselves.

A shadowy army of workers has sprung up to staff these operations. Many are precariously employed, armed with some combination of a vehicle, a mobile app, a mask, and hand sanitizer. By connecting people to food through wordless hand-offs or drop-offs of plastic-wrapped edibles, these people are doing the human labor that Silicon Valley would rather automate than improve. It’s paying work, but we should be alarmed by this trend, which represents the decline of hospitality . . . . full article at Zocola Public Square