Financial literacy: Improving the numbers for people with disabilities

Mother going through bills with daughter

“Despite the Americans with Disabilities Act being signed into law 24 years ago, those of us with disabilities remain significantly less financially stable than those without.” – Kathy Martinez, assistant secretary of labor for disability employment policy.



Contact staff email

Three whistle blowers receive nearly $1M in compensation staff report

Pontiac, Michigan – One foreman and two truck drivers working for a Michigan asphalt company received nearly $1M in compensation after losing their jobs for whistle blowing about safety violations at the company. The three men raised safety concerns related to rest periods for drivers, exceeding legal overtime and lack of vehicle maintenance.

Asphalt Specialists Inc, headquartered out of Pontiac, Michigan, was found in violation of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act by the U.S. Department of Labor’s OSHEA for wrongfully terminating employees who had raised safety concerns.  The STAA covers private-sector drivers and other employees of commercial motor carriers who resist working in unsafe working conditions and report safety issues to OSHEA.

“It is illegal for an employer to retaliate against employees who report work-related safety concerns or violations of federal transportation regulations, which require drivers to have a minimum 10-hour rest period between shifts,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Dr. David Michaels.

In a news release from the U.S. Department of Labor, Asphalt Specialists Inc was ordered to reinstate the three employees to their former positions with all pay, benefits and rights.  The company will pay close to $944,000 in damages, $250,000 in back wages and $110,000 in compensatory damages and $600,000 in punitive damages.



To contact the editor of, email

Bank of America to pay nearly $17B in mortgage pact, says CBS News

Are American banks redeeming themselves by paying billions in financial settlements back to the U.S. taxpayers?  CBS News reports on one U.S. Department of Justice investigation led to the largest settlement so far in 2014.



Contact at

Is technology replacing the human workforce?

By Sharon Dunten, editor of

If you look forward to the next 50 years you might not like what you see when it comes to the American workforce. The workforce could be robots and not humans. I am not trying to bring up a Dooms Day scenario, but computer technology has grown so rapidly that humans don’t seem to be catching up — but the robots are and so are the corporations that might see the future human workforce as a liability or poor investment in labor.

After watching the video below I became concerned more about the low-wage worker as they might be replaced by a “bot” at a favored fast-food joint or industrial manufacturing job for more efficiency. The initial investment of a bot may be substantial, yet in the long run, it could pay for itself. Through bot technology, corporations don’t have to worry about wages, medical insurance or staff vacations. So where do the low-wage workers go for jobs in the future?

Not only low-wage workers should be concerned about the bots. As computers get smarter and continue to retain more information, computer problem-solving white collar workers could be replaced by hardware and software workers, namely advanced super-computers. So where do the higher salaried white collar workers find jobs in the future?

As Americans we have become more and more dependent on computer technology. We love our smart phones, tablets and laptops. These instruments have made our lives easier and computer technology has infiltrated into every aspect of our lives: cars, refrigerators, maps, education, publishing, supermarkets, advertising, social groups, farming, advanced manufacturing.  Americans are capable of producing more crops, goods and information than in anytime in human history. And we are enjoying the comforts of this technology.

But at what point will computer technology replace the jobs Americans hold today? What will a child born in 2014 need for education and job training to provide for their families – shelter, medical needs and food on the table?  It is something to seriously contemplate, or maybe you should just Google it.



To contact staff of, email


Milennials. Try moving away from home to find your first job

More and more post graduates are finding it hard to find their first job. Photo by

The state of Georgia is just one example of where the Millennial generation is having a hard time finding employment.  As covered by CEO Columbus’ Michael E. Kanell and Nicholas Fouriezos, Milennials: Big Numbers — And Jobless,  acquiring post-graduate employment is tough.  Many Milennials might have to literally to move away from their comfort zone to find their first job out of college.  This may include moving to a different part of the country.

Moving away from family and friends will probably be stressful and costly, but a Milennial might have to consider this option to gain experience and then later reexamine coming back to their hometown. Erin Kennedy, an international certified resume writer, has five points to consider if a Milennial is looking beyond Georgia for employment.

  1. Some states have better economies than others, some have not seen the tremendous job loss and mass exodus that states like California have seen–or my home state of Michigan at 10.5% as of June 2011– and other states have a robust economy with opportunity for job growth. With unemployment averaging over 9.0%, finding the right job can be frustrating and time consuming, but one thing you might consider is looking out of state for employment options. You could find a job that suits your skill set, while allowing you or your family to branch out into a new area.
  2. Yes, it can be scary to pick up and move to a completely new place, but you’ll meet new people and have a new experience that changes your life in a positive way. So how do you know if you should move out of state for employment? Well there are a lot of different things to think about before you decide to move. Take your time when considering the move and try to follow some of the following ideas.
  3. Before you decide exactly where you’re going to move send out some resumes to different business in that area. Pick at least 5 different locales that would suit your job needs and start sending out resumes to them. If you have a degree that’s more popular in one area, you might consider moving to that area to take advantage of higher job growth. If you have a degree in engineering and can not find anything but a servers position, then look at what areas around the country have a high need for engineers. There is a lot of opportunity out there, but you may need to look high and low for it.
  4. Consider contacting a headhunter. If you’re serious about finding employment in a new area, then find a headhunter who knows the city and can find you a position that would match your work experience. A temp agency might be one option but you want to find full time employment and most of these only offer contract work. They can be a good stop-gap option for you while you’re getting your feet wet in the new town, but a lot of people are wary of moving without full time employment.
  5. How do you move when you have a family? One option is to pack early and get all that out of the way. You might want to have your spouse or significant other stay with the children before your start your new job. You should go and get settled before moving the family to you. This allows them to step into their new situation with the house in order and avoids any culture shocks. Make sure you do a lot of research on your new location – read the newspaper online, listen to local radio shows online or just Google your new city. There’s so much information to be found online and you should take advantage of that.

Good luck Milennials!

– Sharon Dunten, editor of,

Twitter:  @survivingtimes

New film to help students take action on global water crisis

– staff report

We take it for granted when we turn on the faucet and clean drinking water  appears and is plentiful.  Yet, throughout the world more than 1 billion people do not have clean drinking water.  The Thirst Project, an proactive student organization hitting the clean water problem head on, says  80 percent of global diseases are water-borne and result from drinking contaminated water.  These diseases kill more than 2.2 million people per year.

In a new movie, “Earth to Echo,” the stars of the film receive “distress signals” on their phones from someone who needs their help.

Students can join The Thirst Project and “Earth to Echo” to take action against the global water crisis without having to give, donate, or raise any of their own money. All you have to do is TEXT the keyword ECHO (in all caps) followed by your message for hope and encouragement to someone in a developing community without safe, clean drinking water to 51555. For every message we receive, the movie “Earth to Echo” will donate to The Thirst Project to build wells to give clean water to those who need it most. Not only that, but we will capture the actual messages we receive and install them on murals on the wells funded by this campaign. Then, go see the movie “Earth to Echo” in theaters everywhere July 2014. Visit to learn how you can get involved today!


Twitter:  @_survivingtimes


Hunger group provides way for gardeners and farmers help food pantries

As the weather becomes consistently warmer throughout the nation, many gardeners’ and farmers’ minds turn to the land and the spring planting season. But their thoughts also make considerations for the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization, Feeding America, where food and grocery products will help feed more than 37 million low-income Americans through a network of more than 200 food banks in the U.S.

If gardeners and farmers wish to help their local food banks, Feeding America suggests the following steps:

Contact the local Farm Bureau’s Young Farmers and Ranchers organization and help contribute a bushel, a dollar or an hour. The organization provides 33 million pounds of food, volunteer hours and has given more than $800,000 to local food banks and pantries in 2013.  Contact for more information.

Farmers and families that live in rural areas might consider designating acres to donate their crops to local food banks or maybe taking a portion of their crop’s sale and donating it to local book food pantries.

Also, with more than 84 million households with gardens in the U.S., many gardeners are planting an extra row of produce for soup kitchens and food pantries to help feed the hungry. Plant A Row hotline is (887) 492-2727 to find a campaign in the area.

Feeding American is a nationwide network of more than 200 food banks that leads the fight against hunger in the United States. The organization provides food to more than 37 million people through 61,000 food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters in communities across the U.S. Feeding America also supports programs that improve food security among the people they serve; educates the public about hunger issues; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry. Visit Feeding or go on or go to Twitter at America.


Twitter:  @_survivingtimes