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These articles by Teena Chandy and Barbara Fox were published in U.S.
1 Newspaper dated Wednesday,
December 23, 1998. All rights reserved.
Job Shadow Volunteers
Businesses across the country are gearing up for the
second national Groundhog Job Shadow Day on February 2. Students —
most of them in middle school and high school — will shadow such
professionals as scientists, doctors, architects, meteorologists,
firemen, graphic designers, government employees, as they go through
a normal day of work.
America’s Promise, the youth development organization headed by
Colin Powell, has joined the National School-to-Work Opportunities
Office, Junior Achievement, and the American Society of Association
Executives to spearhead the effort to match half a million young
with job shadow volunteers. "Job Shadow Day provides a unique
opportunity to make the world of work come alive for young people.
They get to see how academics are applied in the workplace and be
inspired and motivated by successful adults," says Stephanie
Powers, director of the National School-to-Work Office.
Companies that must retrain entry level workers could trim their
budgets if students knew what skills they need before they go to work.
Employers have also realized that it is a time for them to brush up
their skills. It gives the workforce of today an opportunity to
interact with the workforce of tomorrow.
To ensure that both students and their workplace hosts benefit from
this project, the organizers have developed extensive guidelines for
participating businesses. From "Greet your students as a business
associate" to "Thank the students for visiting you today."
Students do both observation and hands-on work. A list of activities
that the students can take part in are provided to the employers.
They can sit in on conference calls, use safe office equipment, do
daily computer tasks, observe customer contact, help with
use safe office equipment, send out memos, and so forth.
will be able to share with students what will be expected of them
in the workplace and students will experience first hand what a day
in the `real world’ has to offer," says Tom Donahue,
and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
To help employers understand and deal with students effectively, the
organizers offer tips on student behavior. For example:
influenced by the peers and can quickly become humiliated when singled
out in social situations. Humor is always appreciated, but be careful
that any jokes are not made at a student’s expense.
high school students. Playing favorites or not giving each student
a fair share is seen as negative behavior. If you have more than one
student shadow, be sure to give them an equal chance to participate.
Standards of conduct are also outlined. "Workplace hosts should
not have any inappropriate contact inside or outside the classroom
with any student met through the Groundhog Job Shadow Day Program,
including those students 18 years of age or older."
Educators feel that students show a renewed interest in school and
academics after a job shadowing experience. Students who shadow
are likely to realize the importance of geometry in architecture.
Those that shadow meteorologists are amazed at the extent of astronomy
and math required to forecast the weather. Little do they realize
that when they see the "weatherman" on TV, says Kate
a spokesperson for the coalition. "One New York student who
a doctor realized how much more he had to learn and went back and
reread his whole biology text and this just blew his teacher away!
He continues his partnership with the hospital and has decided the
path he would like to pursue," says Milner.
"Just as important is for students to realize what they do not
want to do. Job shadowing helps narrow down the choice of their
You don’t want to spend $100,000 in law school to realize that this
is not what you want to do," adds Milner. The children get to
see the world of work up close and develop a better idea of the career
opportunities available to them as adults. Bill Gates provided job
shadowing experiences to 5000 students in the IT industry, who learned
that IT jobs are not limited to computers.
Job shadowing took off in Massachusetts two years ago when BellSouth
sponsored Job Shadow Day as part of their school-to-work effort. It
obtained a lot of visibility after it went national last year and
over 125,000 students and 5,000 businesses participated. Companies
have expressed tremendous interest, says Milner. "As a community
service activity, they consider it good for their image." In New
Jersey alone, 4,600 students and 500 businesses and civic groups
Governor Christie Whitman proclaimed "School-to-Careers
Week" in New Jersey to include Groundhog Job Shadow Day.
Among professional associations endorsing the event are the American
Meteorological Society, the Hospitality Business Alliance, and the
Information Technology Association. General Powell spearheaded the
drive to match 100,000 students nationwide with government officials.
More than a dozen state governors and other high ranking officials
The media blitz on February 2 is for awareness, say the organizers.
The coalition will try to provide students job shadow opportunities
throughout the year, so they can continue this partnership. "Once
experienced, I think businesses will see the benefits, both for their
community’s youth and for the future of their companies, and we will
see job shadowing continue throughout the year," says General
Powell. Continental Airlines facilities at Newark Airport is
programs and work-based learning activities to accommodate students
who, after job shadowing, have decided on aviation careers.
John Weil, president of Junior Achievement of Central New Jersey
which did not participate last year says that they expect to provide
150 job shadow experiences this year. Some of the central Jersey
that have agreed to participate include Bovis Construction,
Squibb, City of Trenton, Mercer County Community College, The
First Union Bank, and the New Jersey Department of Education.
"Mentoring our nation’s youth and grooming them for success as
the workforce of tomorrow — that is what Groundhog Job Shadow
Day is all about," says General Powell. "It’s just one day,
but it’s a day neither adults nor the young people involved will
— Teena Chandy
The certificate uses flowery language, expressing
for "planting your enterprise in our Silicon Garden where great
business leaders grow their companies to cultivate and harvest
. . . to feed the world." Those are the words of Daniel J.
Conley, who is coordinating three organizations to present the
"Best of the Best: Presentations by Prize-Winning New Jersey
on Wednesday, January 6, at noon at the Forrestal. Cooperating are
the New Jersey Entrepreneurial Network, the New Jersey Technology
Council, and New Jersey Entrepreneurs Forum. Cost: $35. E-mail:
or call 609-279-0010.
Everyone attending will have an opportunity to give a 30-second
and then Richard K. Rein, editor and publisher of U.S. 1
will open the program. Representatives from these honored companies
will make presentations:
trade matching Nanocap system (U.S. 1, May 27, 1998,
SBX gets the "Super Angel" financing award, thanks to
seed money from venture capitalist John Martinson.
been awarded $2 million from the United States Advanced Technology
Program. He is moving the business from Edison to Princeton Corporate
Park’s Deer Park Drive (732-744-0669; fax, 732-635-0428). His
involves a DNA diagnostic transmitter receiver.
the story of Photosynthetic Harvest , the winner of a contest
sponsored by the American Venture Magazine. The firm is based in
and collaborates with the laboratory of Ilya Raskin of Rutgers
Biotech Center to discover and manufacture biologically active
from live plants (609-835-1600).
Technologies , is being honored for a $2 million strategic OEM
equipment manufacturer) alliance contract for portable digital audio
recording technology. The firm is located on Parkway Avenue in Ewing
(U.S. 1, October 9, 1996) http://www.sycominc.com). It will
have a booth at the mammoth Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
business was formerly called Funds for Business Plus Leasing but is
now known by the moniker that he hopes will be commonly applied to
New Jersey, Silicon Garden. The firm’s name is Silicon Garden Capital
Inc. (732-873-1955; fax, 732-873-3237, E-mail: OncallCFO@aol.com).
If an investment looks too good to be true, it probably
is — too good to be true. "Be suspicious of self-proclaimed
`financial professionals’ who promise investment returns that are
much greater than prevailing market rates," says Franklin L.
Widmann, chief of the bureau of securities for the state division
of consumer affairs.
Peter Verniero, state attorney general, just announced the
of a case against a Somerset County family business that allegedly
defrauded 33 clients of more than $1 million over an eight-year
The estate of the late Joseph J. Sollazzo, plus his wife and
two sons, must pay civil penalties of $1.14 million for 224 violations
of securities laws.
"Before entrusting professionals with their investments,"
says Verniero, "make sure the person or firm meets the state’s
registration requirements and doesn’t have a record of securities
violations." Financial planners must register with the state as
To check on someone call the Bureau of Securities at 973-504-3600
or write to Box 47029, 153 Halsey Street, Newark 07101.
The way to defend capitalism is to defend your
says William Sword Sr., founder of Wm. Sword Inc. on Chambers
Street. "Now that capitalism has become a reality for a lot of
people all over the world, it is an enjoyable experience for those
that succeed and a painful one for those that fail."
"I have become convinced that the best thing you can do for the
greatest amount of people is to help them acquire not only freedom
and dignity but some assets. When you have assets you are free,"
says Sword. He addresses the Princeton Chamber on the topic,
Your Wagon Has Square Wheels," on Thursday, January 7, at 11:30
a.m. at Forrestal. Cost: $30. Call 609-520-1776.
"When it comes to investing, play defense," is his advice.
"The long term capital people made a basic fundamental mistake,
playing offense all the time. This is a great business to be in, the
money business, but you just can’t play offense all the time."
Sword majored in English at Princeton, Class of 1946, and worked there
in the development office, until, at age 30, he went to Morgan
where he learned investment banking and securities trading and
became a partner. When he had just joined the firm he did something
that became part of the company folklore: He traded on margin.
"We used to buy sinking fund bonds for the World Bank, and I found
that Solomon had funds for sale at 89 and First Boston wanted to buy
them at 90. I broke all the rules at Morgan Stanley and bought the
bonds and sold them to First Boston. It made $2,500 for Morgan
which was half of my salary for the whole year."
"My boss, the late Dan Conroy, almost fired me, because
we weren’t in the trading business. The partners called me in,"
says Sword, "and it became a legendary story. `Bill, as long as
you work at Morgan Stanley, and however well you do, you will never
exceed that success,’ they told me."
Sword left Wall Street to found his own firm in 1976 and was joined
by Conroy. Sword’s two sons have joined him in the business.
Sword Jr. runs the Wm. Sword & Company investment banking firm,
and Richard Sword runs Sword Securities at the same address.
"How lucky can you get," says Sword Sr.
The Sword sons had had their first real taste of capitalism when,
just after their father joined Morgan Stanley, he helped with a $300
million bond issue for United States Steel to build Fairless Steel
in Bucks County. He took the boys down to see the construction site:
"Here I was as the last man on the totem pole working on the
bond issue that had ever been sold until that time, to build the
works right down the river from where I lived."
"I used to take my sons to see where it was, all the houses being
built, jobs being created, and families being empowered, by the
of U.S. Steel Corp and the capital markets in Wall Street that
the $300 million to put up the steel plant," says Sword. "That
was a powerful demonstration to me of the value, in human terms, of
all those families, tens of thousands of people were being affected,
happily, by what I was doing in my job."
Says Sword, "I loved it, and that love affair continues."
The New Jersey Department of Labor’s latest monthly
employers survey revealed optimistic numbers. New Jersey’s
rate dropped to 4.5 percent, its lowest since March, 1990. After
seven years New Jersey has reported an unemployment rate lower than
the national rate of 4.6 percent in October. The services division
showed the highest increase in job holding, while the communications
industry dropped over 1,500.
The survey indicates that the number of persons working in New Jersey
rose by 1,600 from September to a record high seasonally adjusted
employment level of 3,816,600 in October. Private sector employment
growth for this year through October totaled 49,900 jobs, making 1998
the third-best year (after 1997 and 1994) in this decade.
The seasonally adjusted workweek of production workers in New Jersey’s
factories — particularly primary metals, fabricated metals,
equipment, and instruments — increased over by 0.4 hour to 42
hours in October. The survey also found that the average hourly
of New Jersey’s manufacturing production workers during the October
survey week was $14.60, unchanged from the revised estimate for
Average weekly earnings increased over the month by $5.84 to $614.66
in October. Compared with a year ago, production workers’ hourly
have grown by 40 cents, or 2.8 percent.
The Labor Department survey found that job growth was greatest in
the services division, up by 2,600 from September to October. A
of service and recreational activities together posted a seasonally
adjusted gain of 1,700 over the month. Engineering/management services
rose by 1,000 mainly due to increases in management/public relations
and accounting and related services. Job holding in
estate grew by 1,100 over the month. Gains in security and commodity
brokerages accounted for 600 of these jobs. Depository institutions
(commercial banks, credit unions, etc.) and insurance agencies added
300 and 200 jobs respectively. Wholesale trade posted a gain of 800.
The increase in jobs was concentrated among distributors of durable
A decline of 1,500 in communications was mostly responsible for the
decrease of 1,600 in the transportation/communications/public
sector. Manufacturing employment dropped over the month by 1,900 to
a level of 474,100 in October, after seasonal adjustment. In durable
goods manufacturing, down overall by 900, declines of 500 in
metals and 300 in industrial machinery were mostly the result of a
plant closing and a strike, respectively. A decrease of 1,000 in
goods employment was due primarily to a downturn of 700 in printing
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