Cultiver Votre Jardin

Investor Beware

Capitalists, Unite

Record High

Corrections or additions?

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

General

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

people

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

training

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

directly

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

presentations,

use safe office equipment, send out memos, and so forth.

"Employers

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,

president

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:

Use humor carefully. Middle school students are greatly

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.

Don’t play favorites. Fairness is an important value for

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

architects

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

Milner,

a spokesperson for the coalition. "One New York student who

shadowed

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

careers.

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

participated.

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

were shadowed.

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

developing

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

companies

that have agreed to participate include Bovis Construction,

Bristol-Myers

Squibb, City of Trenton, Mercer County Community College, The

Trentonian,

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

forget."

— Teena Chandy

Top Of Page
Cultiver Votre Jardin

The certificate uses flowery language, expressing

appreciation

for "planting your enterprise in our Silicon Garden where great

business leaders grow their companies to cultivate and harvest

technologies

. . . 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

Companies,"

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:

mg@sswhb.com.

or call 609-279-0010.

Everyone attending will have an opportunity to give a 30-second

greeting,

and then Richard K. Rein, editor and publisher of U.S. 1

Newspaper,

will open the program. Representatives from these honored companies

will make presentations:

Larry Shiller, founder of SBX, will present is

Internet-based

trade matching Nanocap system (U.S. 1, May 27, 1998,

http://www.sbxnet.com).

SBX gets the "Super Angel" financing award, thanks to

$250,000

seed money from venture capitalist John Martinson.

Wlodek Mandecki, the founder of PharmaSeq Inc. has

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

technology

involves a DNA diagnostic transmitter receiver.

Ira S. Pastor, (angel investor and director), will present

the story of Photosynthetic Harvest , the winner of a contest

sponsored by the American Venture Magazine. The firm is based in

Willingboro

and collaborates with the laboratory of Ilya Raskin of Rutgers

Biotech Center to discover and manufacture biologically active

compounds

from live plants (609-835-1600).

Ari Naim, founder and chief technical officer of Sycom

Technologies , is being honored for a $2 million strategic OEM

(original

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.

Conley calls himself a "venture catalyst." His

Somerset-based

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).

Top Of Page
Investor Beware

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

results

of a case against a Somerset County family business that allegedly

defrauded 33 clients of more than $1 million over an eight-year

period.

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

"investment advisers."

To check on someone call the Bureau of Securities at 973-504-3600

or write to Box 47029, 153 Halsey Street, Newark 07101.

Top Of Page
Capitalists, Unite

The way to defend capitalism is to defend your

currency,"

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,

"Capitalism:

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

Stanley,

where he learned investment banking and securities trading and

eventually

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

Stanley,

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.

William

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

largest

bond issue that had ever been sold until that time, to build the

Fairless

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

leadership

of U.S. Steel Corp and the capital markets in Wall Street that

produced

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."

Top Of Page
Record High

Employment

The New Jersey Department of Labor’s latest monthly

employers survey revealed optimistic numbers. New Jersey’s

unemployment

rate dropped to 4.5 percent, its lowest since March, 1990. After

nearly

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,

electronic

equipment, and instruments — increased over by 0.4 hour to 42

hours in October. The survey also found that the average hourly

earnings

of New Jersey’s manufacturing production workers during the October

survey week was $14.60, unchanged from the revised estimate for

September.

Average weekly earnings increased over the month by $5.84 to $614.66

in October. Compared with a year ago, production workers’ hourly

earnings

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

variety

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

finance/insurance/real

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

goods.

A decline of 1,500 in communications was mostly responsible for the

decrease of 1,600 in the transportation/communications/public

utilities

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

fabricated

metals and 300 in industrial machinery were mostly the result of a

plant closing and a strike, respectively. A decrease of 1,000 in

nondurable

goods employment was due primarily to a downturn of 700 in printing

and publishing.


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