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Brands Taking Notice of the Black Dollar

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Black consumers are speaking directly to brands in unprecedented ways and achieving headline-making results. Throughout 2017, popular brands witnessed the power of Black Twitter and the brand impact of socially conscious black consumers.

Through social media, black consumers have brokered a seat at the table and are demanding that brands and marketers speak to them in ways that resonate culturally and experientially—if these brands want their business. And with African Americans spending $1.2 trillion annually, brands have a lot to lose.

Mainstream manufacturers across other industries are also seizing the opportunity to create specific products that appeal to diverse consumers. Not so surprisingly, African Americans have cornered the ethnic hair and beauty market, ringing up $54 million of the $63 million total industry spend in 2017.

But marketers should find it interesting that black consumers aren’t just spending on products created specifically to appeal to them. In fact, in terms of sheer dollars, African Americans spent considerably more money in the general beauty marketplace last year. Black shoppers spent $473 million in total hair care (a $4.2 billion industry) and made other significant investments in personal appearance products, such as grooming aids ($127 million out of $889 million) and skin care preparations ($465 million out of $3 billion).

To learn more about the power of the black dollar, go here.

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Sleepiness a Common Occurrence Among Employees

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Drained at your desk? You’re not alone. Recent research from staffing firm Accountemps suggests feeling worn out at work is a common occurrence among U.S. employees. Seventy-four percent of professionals reported they operate while tired at least somewhat often.

  • Very often –31%
  • Somewhat often – 43%
  • Not very often – 24%
  • Never – 2%

According to the research, the sleepiest city is Nashville, followed by Austin, Denver and Indianapolis. View an infographic of the 15 cities that have the highest percentages of professionals who are exhausted on the job. Texas had two cities in the top 10 – Austin at No. 2 and Dallas tied at No. 8.

“Though often overlooked, sleep is a critical component of producing good work. Errors and ineffectiveness can occur when team members are running on empty,” said Michael Steinitz, executive director of Accountemps. “Consider the underlying causes of why employees are sleepy. If it’s because they’re stretched too thin, retention issues could soon follow.”

Accountemps offers the following tips to minimize working tired:

For Employers:

For Employees:

1.      Set a good example by working reasonable hours. Come to the office with adequate sleep and encourage your team to unplug after they leave the office.

1.      Ask for help before you burn out; your manager may be able to assist you with prioritizing or delegating tasks.

2.      Meet with your employees regularly to discuss their current projects and where they may need support.

2.      Leave work at the office door so you can recharge. Try going for a walk or attending a yoga class to clear your mind.

3.      Bring in temporary professionals to ensure staff aren’t overloaded or feel they need to put in overtime.

3.      Don’t bring your phone or laptop to bed. This can help ensure you get a restful night’s sleep and wake up refreshed.

 

 

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San Antonio Welcomes New Air Force Mission

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The U.S. Air Force decision to locate the Special Warfare Training Wing at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland is a big win for the city, according to city officials.

“San Antonio was one of eight locations competing for this crucial mission, and the selection of JBSA is a huge vote of confidence for Military City, USA,” Mayor Ron Nirenberg said in a press release.

The city of San Antonio’s Office of Military and Veterans Affairs led the effort to advocate San Antonio as the location for the consolidation of Battlefield Airman Training at JBSA – now called Special Warfare Training Wing. Battlefield Airman Training began in 2016.

The new wing headquarters will consist of approximately 135 personnel. Special Warfare Airmen are trained to solve on-ground problems with air power; often embedding with conventional and special operations forces. This special force has grown substantially since 2001, and consists of positions, such as combat rescue officer, special tactics officer, and special operations weather team.

San Antonio’s Congressional delegation and state officials also advocated for the new mission.

“San Antonio is known as Military City, USA for good reason,” said City Manager Sheryl Sculley. “The military is the number one employer in the region and Joint Base San Antonio has a significant impact on the local economy with more than 180,000 military and civilian employees.”

Major General Juan G. Ayala (USMC ret), director of the city’s Office of Military and Veterans Affairs, said this announcement is yet another example of the city’s importance to our national defense.

The wing will also focus on increasing retention rates and improving training through the Human Performance Support Group. This is a one-of-a-kind unit that integrates specialists from a variety of sports and medical fields into warfare training to improve physical and mental performance, reduce injury and speed rehabilitation.

 

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#FightFor15 Taking on McDonald’s

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The fight for higher wages among restaurant workers is ramping up across America with protestors recently arrested on Oct. 4 for standing their ground against food giant McDonald’s.

It’s reported that more than 50 protestors, under the theme #Fightfor15, were arrested at the McDonald’s headquarters in Chicago. Protestors are fighting that wages increase to $15 an hour and the right to unionize. Among the arrested were Illinois Rep. Jan Schakowsky and Service Employees International Union President Mary Kay Henry.

Senator Bernie Sanders recently tweeted, “If Amazon and Disney can pay $15 an hour, so can McDonald’s, which made $5.1 billion in profits last year. My message to McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook: No one in America, especially those working for a profitable corporation like McDonald’s, should be living in poverty.”

Amazon’s Oct. 2 announcement that it was raising its minimum wage to $15 an hour could put the pressure on other companies to increase pay, especially as retailers ramp up hiring for the holiday season.

A U.C. Berkeley Labor Center study in 2015 said that many restaurant workers could qualify for food stamps, Medicaid or other similar programs because they don’t make enough to cover basic living expenses. The study also said in addition to the food industry, other jobs that typically qualify for public assistance are child care workers and home health care workers.

In addition to McDonald’s, workers from TGI Fridays, UberEats and Wal-Mart have taken part in various protests across the nation.

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