Day: July 29, 2022

Construction Industry

Entrepreneurs in the construction industry deserve

An optimistic small-business owner in New York, Henry Kaiser’s life changed when he asked his girlfriend’s father for permission to marry her. Kaiser’s future father-in-law said he’d permit no wedding until Kaiser had saved enough money and built a house for his bride. He left Kaiser with one piece of advice: Move west. Kaiser did just that. His company built roads in the Pacific Northwest, created dams in California, and played a key role in the construction of the Oakland-San Francisco Bay Bridge. Construction is a hard business, but to Henry Kaiser, problems were “only opportunities in work clothes.”

Entrepreneurs continue to play a key role in building America today. General contractors deal directly with the government to build schools, highways and other public works. But general contractors don’t do it all. Instead, they delegate portions of each assignment to subcontractors who have honed their area of specialization — paving, fencing, trucking, or some other niche. 

These subcontractors often face racial discrimination when competing for jobs. Government policies (federal, state and local) today require general contractors to devote a percentage of their subcontracts, commonly called “set-asides,” to companies owned by racial minorities. They create an unconstitutional barrier to opportunity.

These set-aside requirements force general contractors to discriminate against subcontractors who are not certified as minority-owned. This can lead non-minority-owned subcontractors in some specialties to be shut out of public jobs altogether. For example, Alameda County has a pair of programs that call for 15 percent of each project to go to minority-owned businesses. A general contractor may do some work and divvy the rest among various subcontractors. Suppose that general contractor routinely employs the same minority-owned subcontractor in trucking to meet a portion of the goal. In that case, non-minority-owned subcontractors in the same field will be prevented from working

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Software

SCDC Inmates receive software development training

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) – Seven female inmates of the South Carolina Department of Corrections (SCDC) received full-stack certification in software development on Friday.

The training was provided by Persevere Now, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit built on carrying inmates from prison to prosperity.

Training began in January of 2020 and was originally set to be a 12-month program. But after three prison lockdowns due to COVID-19, the course was extended to 14 nonconsecutive months.

“Even during quarantine, [Persevere Now] would bring out books to us so we could study. It was very challenging, but it taught us to be humble,” said a graduate.

This inmate was incarcerated in 2005 and is set to be released this December. She reportedly starts an apprenticeship in January of 2023.

“Before this program, I was very passive. But it taught me the difference between aggressive and assertive. Now, I choose to be assertive. A leader, not a follower,” continued the graduate.

While the program started with 100 inmates, over 90 percent either dropped out or were released from prison before completion.

Six inmates received their certificate of completion from Preserve Now during a commencement ceremony in the Camille Griffin Graham Correctional Institution. Four former inmates celebrated remotely.

“They’re starting their careers here in prison. Which is amazing considering they ended up here for breaking the law. It’s hopeful for me, hopeful for the department and hopeful for the state,” said SCDC Director Bryan Stirling after the ceremony.

According to SCDC, South Carolinian has a 19.2% recidivism rate which is the lowest in the country.

All but one of the incarcerated graduates will be released from prison and working a computer programming job within the next eight months.

Copyright 2022 WIS. All rights reserved.

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Technology Business

So Much Tech. So Few Winners.

We know that in the 15 years since the iPhone went on sale, technology has seeped into every crevice of our lives. Tech has reshaped politics, industries, leisure time, culture and people’s relationships to one another — for better and for worse.

The march of technology has also come with this puzzling reality: Hardly any technologies of the iPhone era have been an unqualified success.

I would argue that just one smartphone-age consumer internet company has emerged as a no-doubt winner in popularity and financial vitality: Meta, with its Facebook and Instagram apps.

(The company was founded in 2004, but I’m classifying it as iPhone age because Facebook really took off when smartphones did.)

Every other consumer internet company of the iPhone epoch gets an incomplete grade because of relatively small numbers of users, questionable finances, uncertain growth prospects, the risk of dying or all of the above. And even Meta is worried that it might not stay healthy, as my colleague Mike Isaac wrote on Tuesday. Also, uh, Meta has contributed to some serious problems in our world.

I know this sounds ridiculous. In the past 15 years tech won everything. How can there be so few tech companies that we can be relatively confident will stick around to middle age?

I’m going to spend the rest of this newsletter making my case. Feel free to agree with me or shout (respectfully!) at [email protected]

First, I’m making a big leap to exclude from my assessment Google web search, e-commerce sites like Amazon and Alibaba, and Netflix streaming video. They are probably long-lasting tech winners, but they belong to the internet’s first generation. I’m also not counting technology used mostly by businesses. I’m looking only at consumer companies that were toddlers or weren’t born yet when smartphones first hit our

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Branding

What is the Difference and Why Does it Matter?

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Successful branding is one of the keys to attracting customers and consistently growing a business. Most marketers would say that their brand strategy is at the core of their marketing strategy.

But are they referring to their corporate branding strategy or personal branding efforts? How will these answers affect the company’s overall strategy? Here are the answers.

Corporate vs. personal branding

Traditionally, the term branding is associated with large companies like Coca-Cola, Apple and Marlboro. These companies are arguably some of the United States’ most recognizable corporate brands. Their brand represents the identity of the company.

In the words of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, a brand is much more than a logo. It is “the set of physical attributes of a product or service, together with the beliefs and expectations surrounding it.” Put simply, successful corporate branding evokes an idea in the audience’s mind that reaches beyond the corporate identity and includes the values and propositions the company stands for.

A personal brand might incorporate the same elements but it stretches to include the person, their skills, their qualifications and the beliefs and expectations their audiences attach to them.

Related: Six Reasons Branding Is More Important Than Ever Before

Connecting personal and corporate branding

Just a few decades ago, very few CEOs of leading brands were widely known to the public. There are only a handful of notable exceptions like Apple founder Steve Jobs, whose personal brand has been inextricably linked to the Apple brand.

The advent of social media and digital marketing has changed the playing field for corporate and personal branding. Traditional company leaders who used to live in relative obscurity have become far more visible to a wider audience. Unintentionally, they developed a personal brand by default, which

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