Tag: business

Why American business should be military ready

Drawing from my own experience transitioning out of the Army, and from being a military spouse, I am aware of the complex challenges that members of the military-connected community face seeking employment.

Overcoming the challenge of translating military skills into civilian terms and adapting to a new work culture are formidable hurdles. Through novel programs like DOD SkillBridge, which connects transitioning service members with industry partners, and working with organizations like Hiring our Heroes, or Hire Heroes USA, America has made significant strides when it comes to veteran unemployment. This should be celebrated.

But this solution has revealed another challenge: finding meaningful employment that truly reflects veterans’ skills and abilities and paves the way for long-lasting careers.

American businesses have a tremendous opportunity to not only address the issue of underemployment among our nation’s heroes, but also benefit from their invaluable skills and experiences. By being military ready, businesses can tap into this exceptional talent pool and foster long-lasting careers.

The cost of attrition and underemployment

Research shows that underemployment disproportionately affects veterans. They are 70% more likely to step back in seniority in their first civilian jobs when compared to the roles they held in the military and are nearly 16% more likely to be underemployed than their civilian counterparts; 42% of veteran talent leave their first civilian job in one year; and 80% leave in two years, which is 10% higher than their civilian counterparts.

The cost of replacing an employee can range from one-half to two times the employee’s salary. However, research also found that 70% of the reasons for employee turnover are preventable.

Finally, a recent survey of more than 5,000 veterans and service members by Indeed and Hiring Our Heroes found that “even organizations that consider themselves ‘military-ready’ may still have work to do,”

Business of the Month: Modular builder continues evolution with investment division

Real estate investment is newest endeavour for Sudbury’s Morris Group of Companies

When David Morris considered partnering on the $31-million purchase of the Victoria Inn Hotel & Convention Centre earlier this year, it was a little outside his wheelhouse.

Over the last two decades, Morris has made his name designing, constructing and selling modular buildings — offices, mine drys, washrooms, housing — not operating legacy accommodations like the Victoria Inn.

Built in 1974, the Thunder Bay establishment has long been a gathering place for Indigenous conferences and conventions, and serves as a premier facility for weddings, business meetings and tourism stays. A block of rooms is also set aside for Indigenous clients arriving in the city for medical appointments.

Michipicoten First Nation and Naicatchewenin First Nations saw the acquisition as an investment opportunity for the two communities and, together, put up all the capital for the purchase.

Impressed by their progressive approach, Morris signed on to the transaction, which he called “the first deal of its kind.” Morris Group of Companies became a general partner and the managing partner of the property.

“It’s really, to me, forward-thinking of First Nations business where the communities can work in not just, say, their territory or with a particular project, but look to expand their horizons and investments into other areas,” Morris said.

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In making this assessment about his new partners, Morris could easily be speaking about himself.

Originally trained in dentistry, Morris ventured into entrepreneurship in the mid-2000s and has continued to build a diverse portfolio of businesses under the Morris Group.

He launched his first venture, Morris Modular, with a partner in 2005, to rent modular trailers to companies needing extra space for offices, washrooms, or other

Today’s news: Trending business stories for November 29, 2023

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4:55 p.m.

Market close: Bond yields fall on signs Federal Reserve is in ‘sweet spot’

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Charlie Munger death: Warren Buffett’s business partner in Berkshire Hathaway passes away, aged 99

New York

Billionaire investor Charlie Munger, the long-time friend and business partner of Warren Buffett, has died. He was 99 years old.

Berkshire Hathaway, the investment firm where Munger served as vice chairman, said in a press release that Munger passed “peacefully” on Tuesday morning in a California hospital. No cause of death was given.

Charles Thomas Munger, known by his nickname, “Charlie,” was born on January 1, 1924, in Omaha, Nebraska. Munger served in the US Army during World War II after leaving the University of Michigan in 1943 at the age of 19. Following the war, Munger attended Harvard Law School and graduated with honors in 1948 and moved to Southern California, where he practiced real estate law.

Wall Street mourned Munger’s passing and his astonishing run at Berkshire Hathaway.

“Berkshire Hathaway could not have been built to its present status without Charlie’s inspiration, wisdom and participation,” CEO Warren Buffett said in the release.

“For so many decades, the two of them led an investment powerhouse that significantly improved so many people’s lives … and, in the process, they repeatedly showcased the prowess of collaboration, synergies, and common sense. May you RIP, Charlie,” said Mohamed El-Erian, Allianz chief economic adviser, in a post on X.

“His impact went far beyond the investing world. People discovered him, thinking that they would learn about ways to make money, but they got so much more,” Whitney Tilson, an investor and expert on both Buffett and Munger, told CNN. “He said if all you have is a hammer, the world looks like a nail.”

Munger, who was worth $2.7 billion, according to Forbes, was still commenting on global markets as recently as a few weeks ago. He told the Acquired podcast, for example, that Buffett’s decision to invest billions

The renewables business faces a make-or-break moment

A FEW YEARS ago renewables were having their moment in the sun (and wind). Rock-bottom interest rates lowered the cost of clean power, which is expensive to deploy but runs on sun and wind that come free of charge. The price of solar panels and wind turbines fell as technologies matured and manufacturers gained scale. These developments brought the levelised cost of electricity (LCoE)—which accounts for capital and operating expenditures per unit of energy—for solar, onshore wind and offshore wind down by 87%, 64% and 55%, respectively, between 2010 and 2020 (see chart 1). Clean energy became competitive with dirty alternatives, and was snapped up by big corporate power-users directly from developers.

image: The Economist

Infrastructure investors such as Brookfield and Macquarie made big renewables bets. So did some fossil-fuel firms, such as BP. Utilities such as EDP and Iberdrola in Europe and AES and NextEra in America poured money into projects. Average returns on capital put to work by developers rose from 3% in 2015 to 6% in 2019, a similar level to oil-and-gas extraction but with less volatility. The industry’s prospects looked so bright that in October 2020 the market value of NextEra briefly eclipsed that of ExxonMobil, America’s mightiest oil giant, making it America’s most valuable energy company.

image: The Economist

Today these prospects look considerably dimmer. Over the past two years the economics of renewables have been hit by rising interest rates, supply-chain snags, permitting delays and, increasingly, the protectionist instincts of Western governments. The “green premium” in stocks has turned into a “green discount”. The S&P Global Clean Energy Index, which tracks the performance of the industry, has declined by 32% over the past 12 months, even as the world’s stockmarkets are up by 11% (see chart 2).

Demand for sustainable buildings and tightening regulations drive business case for investment

JLL research analyzes three key factors owners and occupiers must consider in decision-making  

CHICAGO, Nov. 28, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — The current economic environment is creating challenges for investors and occupiers to make the case for investing in retrofitting and futureproofing their real estate. JLL’s new The Commercial Case for Making Buildings More Sustainable report outlines three key factors that should be prioritized in occupiers’ and owners’ decision-making to create a more resilient and sustainable built environment.

Rising demand for sustainable buildings
In many global markets, rising corporate demand for buildings with sustainability credentials will have an impact on office market dynamics. Across 20 major office markets, including New York, Paris and Singapore, only 34% of future demand for low-carbon workspace will be met in the next several years. In other words, for every 3 square meters of demand, only 1 square meter is in the current pipeline.

The way occupiers think of sustainable buildings is also changing. Historically, green certifications have been the primary mark of sustainable buildings and tenants have been willing to pay the price. Transaction evidence from 2023 shows healthy rental premiums are still being achieved for certified buildings across a range of global office markets – but the industry is shifting.

Tenants will increasingly seek environmental performance indicators, such as energy intensity and electrification, on top of green credentials. JLL is already seeing evidence of this in advanced European markets, like London and Paris, where low-carbon prime office spaces are reaching historic rental highs this year, even with an overall slowdown in the sector.

“Despite the current headwinds from today’s global economic environment, the business case for making investment into decarbonizing and resilience across real estate portfolios is getting even stronger,” says Guy Grainger, Global Head of Sustainability Services and ESG. “Taking

How One MSP Founder Is Breaking The Mold, Harnesses DEI And Started His Business Out Of Spite

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CJ Fairfield

‘I’m looking forward to really engaging on being a business owner. So really engaging, leaning forward to being that business owner and strategic leader, versus being influenced by everything else and being more reactive — really focusing on that proactive approach is what I’m looking forward to,’ says Paco Lebron, founder and CEO of Chicago-based MSP ProdigyTek.


Thirty-seven-year-old Paco Lebron started his MSP business out of spite.

He started his career in technology as a database manager and moved over to help a buddy with their break-fix and printing business.

“Through some disagreements, and out of spite, I ended up starting my own business so that I could do it better and prove that the way I envision an IT service business would run in that way,” Lebron (pictured), founder and CEO of Chicago-based MSP ProdigyTeks, told CRN. “It was myself from 2013 until about 2020. As unfortunate as COVID and shelter in place was, it allowed me to grow with a lot of the requests.”

Over the summer of 2020, Lebron hired five employees and is now running a seven-person shop. In fact, his entire team is Latino or Hispanic, with four of them being women, and he’s using Open AI to assist the team internally.

“I have a tech in Venezuela, I have a tech in Argentina and our dispatch coordinators are between Mexico and Texas,” he said. “What’s amazing about that is some of them are Spanish-speaking first and the English language comes second. When you Google translate something, it’s that literal Spanish whereas the [Microsoft] Bing AI can you help translate in dialects. That has really assisted my team talking to each other because some are Spanish-speaking first but

Mining boosts Australia business investment to 8-year high, outlook upbeat

Glencore's Mount Owen coal mine site in Ravensworth

Glencore’s Mount Owen coal mine is pictured in Ravensworth, Australia, June 21, 2022. Picture taken June 21, 2022. Picture taken with a drone. REUTERS/Loren Elliott Acquire Licensing Rights

SYDNEY, Nov 30 (Reuters) – Australian business investment rose to an eight-year high in the September quarter thanks to a rebound in mining, while plans for future spending were upgraded in a much-needed boost for economic growth.

Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Thursday showed private capital spending rose a real 0.6% in the third quarter from the previous quarter, led by a 5.6% increase in the mining sector.

Total spending of A$39.9 billion ($26.43 billion) was the highest since late 2015 and almost 11% higher than a year earlier, encouraged in part by tax breaks on new equipment.

Firms also lifted spending plans for the fiscal year to June 2024 to A$171.2 billion, up 8.5% on the previous quarter and just pipping analyst forecasts for $169 billion.

“The information media and telecommunications industry had a particularly large rise based on planned investment in new data centres,” noted Robert Ewing, ABS head of business statistics.

“The mining industry also raised its spending on iron-ore projects and battery-related mineral developments.”

That follows data showing surprisingly strong construction work for the third quarter, which also contained big upward revisions that left spending up more than 12% for the year.

Much of those gains came from a government splurge on infrastructure, which has become so large the IMF recently recommended some projects should be delayed to prevent costs blowing out and adding to inflation.

Demand running ahead of supply has become a real challenge with the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) citing it as a major reason inflation is proving more stubborn than hoped.

The central bank responded by lifting interest rates to

How Google Bard Utilizes Your Business’ Content (For Free)

How can I opt out of Google Bard’s LLM?

When it comes to large language models (LLMs), opting out can mean two things:

  • You don’t want your data to be used to train the LLM.
  • You don’t want Bard users to make queries on your website’s content without them actually visiting your site.

The difference between the two may seem subtle, but it is fundamental to the issue at hand. LLMs are trained on huge volumes of data. If your data are not included in the LLM training dataset, the LLM will answer less accurately for questions whose answer was only located on your website and was difficult to generalize from other sources in the training dataset.

However, there is nothing preventing the LLM interface UI—here, the Bard chat UI—to dynamically fetch content from URLs/pages in response to user queries, and to dynamically feed the content it retrieves to the LLM. Thus, even though the content of your site was not originally used to train the LLM, the LLM may still be able to use it to improve the quality of its inference. We discussed this use-case in the context of ChatGPT plugins.

Opting Out of Google Bard & Google Vertex AI

Google provides information on their developer website about crawlers such as the Googlebot, as well as other crawlers used by Google to collect information on the web. It can be helpful for websites to safely identify real Googlebots. Indeed, as we explained in a previous article, ~30% of traffic with the Googlebot user-agent is fake Googlebot traffic.

When it comes to Bard and other generative AI products such as Vertex AI, Google introduced a standalone product token named Google-Extended. It can be used by websites to control whether or not they want their data to

Today’s news: Trending business stories for November 28, 2023

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4:43 p.m.

Berkshire Hathaway’s Charlie Munger dies at age 99

Berkshire Hathaway's Charlie Munger
Charlie Munger, vice-chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, attends the annual Berkshire shareholders meeting in Omaha, Nebraska, on May 3, 2019. Munger died on Nov. 28, 2023, at the age of 99, according to media reports. Photo by JOHANNES EISELE/AFP via Getty Images

Charles Munger, the alter ego, sidekick and foil to Warren Buffett for almost 60 years as they transformed Berkshire Hathaway Inc. from a failing textile maker into an empire, has died. He was 99.

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