Remote Jobs

USAC recap – July 28 – Daily Bruin

The Undergraduate Students Association Council is the official student government representing the undergraduate student body at UCLA. Council meetings take place every other Tuesday at 5 p.m. during the summer and are open to all students. Summer meetings will take place virtually on Zoom; links for the meetings can be found on the Internal Vice President’s Facebook page. Watch a livestream of the meetings on the USAC Live! channel on YouTube.

Public Comment:

  • Hailey Valles, a California Public Interest Research Group Students board member for the UCLA chapter and a third-year microbiology, immunology, and molecular genetics student, said CALPIRG has been focusing its efforts on the New Voters Project, which encourages students to vote. Valles added CALPIRG is working with the Bruins Vote Coalition to further institutionalize voting within the UCLA community. The BruinsVOTE! coalition, composed of 30 different student organizations, recently voted to incorporate a Suffrage in History of Voting education project to educate UCLA students on historical suffrage activism, Valles said.

Special Presentations:

  • Steve Catlin, the director of strategic partnerships at College Pads, said Associated Students UCLA should consider using College Pads to help students navigate the process of finding off-campus housing. The company gives students information on available rooms off-campus and provides additional housing assistance, Catlin said. He added that landlords must meet requirements set by ASUCLA to appear on the site and students can report issues with landlords through the website.
  • Ina Sotomayor, the director of Financial Aid and Scholarships, said some students who have not verified their housing statuses were denoted as commuter/remote learner by default. She added that aid for the UC Student Health Insurance Plan did not appear on some students’ financial aid notifications because these students are expected to receive other grants that cover the cost of UC SHIP in addition to their cost of living. Sotomayor said students need to submit a Housing Adjustment Form if their housing status on the FAN is incorrect. Sotomayor also said fewer students have filled out the paperwork required by the FAS office and the Department of Education to receive aid this year. Sotomayor said the FAS office hopes ASUCLA can provide remote jobs or relax health guidelines for students with work-study. If current work-study students are not able to get a remote job, they can convert their work-study status to a low-interest student loan, she added.
  • Quinn O’Connor, the USAC Facilities Commission chief of staff, and Carolanne Link, the UCLA Web Accessibility Initiative project manager, presented on the measures the council could take to ensure online accessibility for students with disabilities.
  • Kareem Elzein, the co-founder of the Bruin Excellence & Student Transformation Grant Program and a graduate student in the Graduate School of Education & Information Studies, said BEST’s funding was cut by outgoing Vice Chancellor of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Jerry Kang. Elzein said BEST fosters social justice leadership by coordinating and providing funds and opportunities to campus activists. Elzein added that without administrative funding, BEST will be forced to dissolve because of the lack of alternative sources of funds. The EDI vice chancellor cut funding for BEST before UCLA faced financial challenges incurred by the pandemic, he said.


  • The council allocated a total of $1,450 from the Contingency Programming Fund to non-USAC groups.
  • The council appointed Lauren Valles, a third-year political science student, to the University of California Student Association Board of Directors. Valles said she is passionate about advocating for expanding internet connection to address the inequities of distance learning. Valles added that she will prioritize marginalized and low-income students. She also said she will prevent potential cuts to student jobs on campus because of COVID-19 by advocating for online work-study positions.
  • The council appointed Melody Satele, a third-year environmental studies and sociology student, to the UCSA Board of Directors. Satele said she will prioritize the concerns of marginalized communities by improving access and retention programs for historically underrepresented groups.
  • The council appointed Carlos Herrera, a fourth-year biology student, to the Community Service Mini Fund. Herrera said he wants to increase the Community Service Mini Fund’s service commitments and its presence on social media.
  • The council appointed Ngan Tran, a fourth-year biochemistry and economics student, to the Community Service Mini Fund. Tran said she wants to increase transparency and the number of applicants.
  • The council appointed Michael Huang, a fourth-year computer engineering student, to the Cultural Affairs Commission.
  • The council appointed Rishika Voruganti, a second-year biology student, to the CAC as an alternate. Voruganti said she will promote equity in funding by collaborating with other council members to allocate resources fairly.
  • The council approved a resolution that calls on the UC to openly condemn the anti-terror law enacted in the Philippines and to express support for the proposed Philippine Human Rights Act, which would suspend United States security assistance to the Philippines until officials address human rights violations.
  • The council approved a resolution calling on USAC to enhance its accessibility and inclusivity online. The resolution said at least 15% of UCLA students are students with disabilities and are disproportionately affected by COVID-19. The resolution added that all registered student groups should aim to implement online accessibility in their communications and programming.
  • The council approved a resolution that supported the renaming of Janss Steps to Tongva Steps, in order to commemorate and acknowledge the Tongva people, the original inhabitants of the land.
  • The council approved the changes to the Travel Grant Mini Fund guideline proposed by the Academic Affairs Commission, which said in the case of a global pandemic and/or universitywide remote learning, the TGMF will also provide financial support to help students host virtual events and participate in programmings.


  • President Naomi Riley said her office and the Future Planning Task Force decided to change all on-campus housing to single occupancy rooms to prevent the spread of COVID-19. She added that her office is working on facilitating communication between students and UCLA administration about potential changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Internal Vice President Emily Hong Van Luong said her office is finalizing a draft for the public health ambassadors program that promotes adherence to public health and safety measures. She added that her office is working on creating resources and recommendations for students to foster a culture of compliance to public health guidelines. Luong said her office will prioritize the needs of immunocompromised students when making reopening policies.
  • External Vice President Aidan Arasasingham said his office met with UC Board of Regents Vice Chair Cecilia Estolano to discuss student priorities relating to the Thirty Meter Telescope, the new UC President and defunding the UCPD. He added that Campus Partnerships, an EVP office, collaborated with the American Indian Student Association to draft a resolution to rename Janss Steps. Arasasingham said his office presented policy briefs to the UCLA Federal Relations Team on issues such as the 2020 census, federal police reforms, the coronavirus pandemic and immigration executive orders.
  • General Representative 2 Justin Rodriguez said his office has held project meetings to advocate for Counseling and Psychological Services to redirect its resources to better serve students. He added his office is working to expand the Know Your Rights Camp, which works to support next generation Black, Indigenous and people of color leaders. Rodriguez also said his office is promoting ethical and sustainable purchasing by UCLA.
  • Facilities Commissioner Sachi Cooper said her office is addressing online accessibility, mobility mapping and van services to better serve disabled students. She added her office is advocating for the ethical sourcing of products sold on campus. Cooper also said her office is collaborating with the USAC student homelessness task force to provide resources that better serve the homeless community.
  • Financial Supports Commissioner Noe Garcia said his office has awarded $288,750 to 1,055 students through its relief fund. He added that his office is working to contact people whose information is incomplete so they can claim their awards.
  • Campus Events Commissioner Alice Naland said her office is working on programmings for the fall quarter. She added her office hopes to collaborate with CALPIRG to promote civic engagement and voter registration. Naland also said her office is brainstorming safe community-building events and entertainment for students living in the dorms.
  • Transfer Student Representative Zuleika Bravo said her office conducted its first New Student Advisor training on diversity and intersectionality. She added her office plans to add transfer student awareness training for other USAC offices. Bravo also said she is connecting with the EDI office to promote transfer student inclusivity in financial aid and housing.
  • Student Wellness Commissioner Christina Read said her office is collaborating with the IVP office to develop the public health ambassadors program. She added that her office is reviewing the COVID-19 attitude survey and will report on its findings.
  • Community Service Commissioner Jonathan Wisner said his office is working on training for applicants requesting funding for their community service initiatives. The applications are due at the end of August, he added.
  • Academic Affairs Commissioner Breeze Velazquez said her office is collaborating with different organizations to prepare for Social Justice Saturday. Velazquez also said she met with the libraries who will now connect students to resources such as open-source textbooks. Velazquez said her office’s anti-racist training was approved for the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs to use as a trial run in conjunction with diversity changes. She added that she is writing a syllabus to propose a new transformative justice minor to the dean of social sciences.
  • Cultural Affairs Commissioner Promise Ogunleye said her office is working on digitizing its work so students can access CAC’s resources while adhering to public health measures.
Digital Marketing

3 Digital Marketing Tools for Small Businesses – Business 2 Community

Digital marketing isn’t rocket science. If you have the right tools, that is.

Your digital marketing strategy will depend greatly on your overall business goals, but if you are just getting started — by moving an existing business online, starting your own business from scratch, or simply giving in (finally) to the fact that this stuff is important — you might have questions about where to even begin.

No need for fear. Here are three digital marketing tools for your small business and everything you need to know to get started using them, today.

Google My Business (GMB)

Having a Google My Business account is of the utmost importance in the digital age. It allows potential customers to search for and find your business while providing critical information such as adjusted hours, sales, additional photos, and other notable information.

Making sure you have a GMB account is the first step in strengthening your digital marketing strategies, especially for local businesses. It is this account that showcases your business as a card on the right-hand side of Google searches or in Google Maps. In most cases, this card is the first digital interaction potential customers will have with your business.

It is never too early to build your GMB account either. If you’re a new business owner just getting started, organize your account to let the public know your business is “Coming Soon.”


Canva is a powerful digital marketing tool with a great app that works well across iOS and Android platforms. Additionally, the desktop interface is equally as simple to use and Canva free offers more than enough capabilities to get you started.

We need not explain the importance of social media for your small business. But knowing why a gripping feed is important is very different than knowing how to make your profiles impactful.

A program like this — which is used to create high-quality visuals — is important to build a cohesive social media feed. With Canva, any layperson (non-graphic designer, in this case), can make an eye-catching graphic for any social media platform in a matter of minutes.

With pre-made templates or the power to create your own, import all types of static media (i.e. text, .png files, .jpg, etc.) this free app is easily worth the download if you are building your arsenal of digital marketing tools to help your small business grow.


While the first two digital marketing tools were pretty basic — focused on getting you started and drawing in an audience — this last one, Hotjar, is crucial in understanding your audience once they make it to your small business website.

Hotjar is an analytics tool designed to track a user’s movements and experience on your mobile or desktop website. With in-depth tracking, you can see how a user browses your site, where they get stuck vs. what draws them in most and much more.

By utilizing this tool, you can predict how customers will act when planning site updates and collect tangible evidence of how your current site and content is performing.

As you go about installing digital marketing tools into your regular workflow you may find some work better than others based on your needs and team’s skill set. Be sure to do some of your own research on other available tools to see what fits your small business best.

Digital marketing: Getting Started

Small businesses are different from larger corporations or organizations in many ways, but primarily in personnel power. That should never hold you back. Instead, you should look for ways to “work smarter, not harder” and explore programs like GMB, Canva, and Hotjar that will help you grow your small business and expand your digital marketing strategies without putting extra strain on your team.

In the world of digital marketing, there is a lot to learn, but by getting started with the basics and actually capitalizing on their strength your digital strategies will have a solid foundation for success. With these three digital marketing tools, a small business — no matter the age, prior digital marketing success, or size — can grow into a bustling eCommerce site.

Remote Jobs

As Schools Move To Remote Learning In Fall, Pennsylvania Families Concerned About Access To Reliable Internet – CBS Pittsburgh

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Pa. (KDKA) – As many school districts make the move to continue remote learning this fall, a number of districts in southwestern Pennsylvania don’t have the capabilities to do it.

“We discovered that so many families, not only don’t have internet access, they don’t even have a cellular signal,” said Setrak Haroutounian.

Haroutounian is the academic coordinator at McGuffey School District.

“In the spring, we had one group of students who are getting all their learning through Google Classroom and internet-based activities. And the other group, we were literally having to provide packets of information for them,” Haroutounian said.

Haroutounian told KDKA that the district immediately started a broadband task force to address the problem as the coronavirus pandemic continues. In a district-wide survey, the problem was clear.

“For 88 percent of the respondents, they felt they needed better internet access and 96 percent said they felt it was their local government officials jobs to facilitate that broadband connection,” Haroutounian said.

The task force has come up with some temporary fixes. In the spring, the district drove WiFi hotspots to different areas to help students with internet troubles. But administrators are looking to legislators for a long-term solution.

“We knew when we took this on it was like moving a mountain. There is no easy fix, one size fits all and you snap your fingers and everyone has broadband,” said Rep. Pam Snyder.

Snyder has been working to provide better broadband to rural communities for years. She said there are several pieces of legislation in Harrisburg and funding options that could help get better access for these families. But it’s just the beginning.

“That’s expensive. It’s just not cost-effective for a lot of these companies to go out there and do that. So we need to find a way for companies to be able to do that” Snyder said.

Snyder’s advice to parents is to be patient and know that school districts are doing their best to provide a good education to students during the pandemic.

Remote Jobs

10 Vancouver companies currently hiring in August | Venture – Daily Hive

Looking for new career opportunities?

There are Vancouver companies hiring this month, and to make it easier, we’ve compiled a list of positions you can start applying for right now.

So, what are you waiting for? Polish up that resume and apply for that dream job you’ve always wanted.


  • Who: Bench offers online bookkeeping for small businesses with a personal touch and a dedicated team that’s always ready to help clients who get too deep in the weeds.
  • Jobs: Bench is a place for people to take charge of their careers and do what’s never been done before. They are currently looking to fill a variety of positions in Accounting Operations, Sales, Marketing, Client Success and more! All 45 positions are fully remote.
  • Perks: Bench is proud to offer flexible vacation days and extended benefits. Once safe to do so, you’ll be able to work out of Bench’s downtown office with healthy goodies, JJ Bean coffee, beer on tap, plus a dog-friendly office and gender-neutral washrooms.
  • More: You can find more information about Bench on their Career Blog and all current openings on their careers page.


  • Who: With the mission of strengthening organizations to do heroic work, Galvanize delivers security, risk management, compliance, and audit software to some of the biggest and most well-known private and public organizations. Sure, they’re a software company, but they don’t just sell technology—they empower organizations to achieve great things and change the world in the process.
  • Jobs: Current openings include Corporate Communications Manager; Director, Product Marketing; Senior Marketing Operations Manager; Senior Python Developer; and Technical Writer.
  • Perks: Employee perks include industry-leading health benefits, RRSP matching, a generous healthcare/personal spending account, and 15 weeks of maternity and parental leave top up to 100% of base pay for new parents. Professional development and educational funding are offered at all levels. Their full games lounge with local craft beer on tap doesn’t get any complaints, either.
  • More: You can learn more about Galvanize openings on their careers page.


  • Who: Founded in Vancouver in 2008, Clio is transforming the practice of law by providing the most comprehensive yet easy-to-use cloud-based law practice management software in the world.
  • Jobs: Clio currently has several positions open at its Burnaby office, including software developers, and data engineers.
  • Perks: In addition to excellent health and dental coverage, vacation time, and education spending, employees receive RRSP matching, thoughtful parental leave options (for both moms and dads), and you’ll join a tight-knit group of bright, driven, and genuine individuals.
  • More: You can find full details about these positions on the Clio careers page.


  • Who: Founded in 2016 in Vancouver, FORM is a sports technology company with a simple mission: to break down the barriers between what swimming is and what it could be. FORM is led by Dan Eisenhardt, a former competitive swimmer and tech pioneer. Dan previously co-founded and ran Recon Instruments, which shipped the world’s first smart eyewear for sports in 2010 and was acquired by Intel in 2015. The FORM team is made up of an amazing group of people with the diverse backgrounds, skills, and personalities it takes to shake up an industry.
  • Jobs: FORM is looking for an Intermediate UX/UI Designer, Graphic Designer, QA Automation Engineer, Product Manager and Marketing Manager to join their team.
  • Perks: FORM team members enjoy a competitive benefits plan, flexible work environment, pool passes, a fully stocked snack cupboard, sparkling water on tap, beer and wine on Fridays and regular team retreats and parties!
  • More: You can learn more about FORM openings on their careers page.

Copeman Healthcare

  • Who: Copeman Healthcare strives to help people achieve a greater quality of life through physical and psychological wellness. Their core services are medically supervised programs of therapeutic lifestyle change. In the long term, Copeman Healthcare hopes to help create low-cost, high-value programs for all people – harnessing technology and the talents and expertise of non-physician health workers.
  • Jobs: Copeman has open positions for Nurse Practitioners and Lab Assistant/ Phlebotomist
  • Perks: Copeman Healthcare is looking for individuals who are dedicated in helping people achieve greater longevity and quality of life through physical, psychological and brain health. Because of this, they offer competitive salaries and benefits, with plenty of perks that make life a little easier and sweeter including health and wellness spending accounts, yearly professional development funds and days off, plus employee educational assistance.
  • More: To learn more about Copeman’s open positions, check out their careers page.


  • Who: Keirton is a leading solution engineer for commercial cannabis cultivation. They create custom engineered equipment for 80% of the cannabis industry’s leading legal cannabis producers across over 20 countries, but they’re also working to build a company culture that is fun, supportive and energetic. They strive to make a positive impact on an ever-changing industry. To top it all off, they’ve got great leadership and a CEO that was a finalist for Ernst & Young’s 2019 Entrepreneur of the Year.
  • Jobs: Current job openings at Keirton include Purchaser, Product Engineer, Technical Service and Support Manager, Quality Control Technician, Applications Technologist, and Drafting and Document Control.
  • Perks: From monthly BBQ lunches and beer Fridays to working with global clients in one of North America’s fastest-growing industries, Keirton prides itself on fostering an environment that supports growth and mental health. Perks include competitive salaries based on experience, a quarterly SMART goals bonus program, a profit-sharing annual bonus program, extended medical benefits, and SIMPLE IRA matching contribution.
  • More: To learn more about Keirton’s open positions, check out their careers page.


  • Who: Redbrick conceives, acquires, builds, and supports the evolution of strong digital brands, creating companies that consumers engage with and truly enjoy. The parent organization to a portfolio of digital companies, Redbrick operates within a unique, shared services model where it provides its portfolio companies with shared services (in marketing, design, and finance) and executive-level oversight that’s needed to scale and thrive.
  • Jobs: Redbrick is currently hiring for a Copywriter.
  • Perks: Redbrick invests in driven, tech-savvy individuals, who play as hard as they work. Redbrick offers its employees a variety of perks, including extended health benefits, an RRSP matching program, a fitness program allowance, parental leave, employee volunteer program, professional development allowance, as well as fresh fruits, snacks and coffee, a ping pong table, and more.
  • More: Check out Redbrick’s careers page for current openings.

Merchant Growth

  • Who: Merchant Growth is a national financial services company that provides working capital to small and medium-sized businesses throughout Canada. Their innovative approach blends thoughtful customer care, complete transparency, and the latest technology to provide fast accessible financing to businesses in Canada.
  • Jobs: Merchant Growth currently has openings for a Senior Accountant and a French Speaking Bilingual Inside Sales Representative
  • Perks: In addition to a workplace located in the heart of beautiful downtown Vancouver with views of Coal Harbour, Merchant Growth also offers competitive salaries, comprehensive group health benefits (Life, AD&D, Extended Health & Dental and Travel Insurance), company-wide lunch and learns, monthly team events and a collaborative team environment, an on-site fitness facility, education and learning benefits, flexible work schedules and a fully stocked snack room.
  • More: To learn more about Merchant Growth, visit their careers page.


  • Who: Thinkific is a fast-growing tech company in Vancouver with a software platform that enables entrepreneurs and businesses to create, market, sell, and deliver their own online courses. Thinkific’s award-winning team is made up of over 100 people who are building and expanding an incredible product that empowers course creators around the globe, while working collaboratively to learn and succeed together.
  • Jobs: Thinkific currently has multiple job listings on its site including positions in Finance, Growth, Marketing, and Product.
  • Perks: Thinkific offers competitive salaries, a comprehensive benefits package that includes $2,000 to support your mental health, a flexible work environment (work from home guilt-free), an open vacation policy, and an extra week off between Christmas and New Year’s. They also provide an educational fund, a technology bonus for when you need a new computer, a parental leave benefit, and of course, office dogs (just check out @dogsofthinkific on Instagram).
  • More: Learn more about Thinkific’s culture and find the latest job postings on their careers page. If you don’t see a fit for you right now, you can send in an application to the “Apply to Future Openings” posting.

Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH)

  • Who: Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) is a world class innovator in medical care, research and teaching, delivering service to more than one million BC residents living in Vancouver, Vancouver’s North Shore, Richmond, the Sea-to-Sky Highway, Sunshine Coast, and the Central Coast (Bella Bella and Bella Coola.)
  • Jobs: VCH is currently hiring dozens of positions ranging from health care to administrative professionals.
  • Perks: VCH offers a competitive benefits package, which could vary depending on collective agreement and employment status. Most packages include the following: health benefits, vacation, holidays and leave, relocation assistance, and pension.
  • More: Learn more about VCH’s current job openings on their hiring page.

* This indicates a sponsored placement. If you would like to be included in our next listing, reach out here.

Work from Home

Microsoft Extends Work-From-Home Option Through January – CRN: Technology news for channel partners and solution providers

Microsoft says it will allow many employees to continue working from home until at least January of 2021.

In a statement provided to CRN, the Redmond, Wash.-based company said it is extending its work-from-home option through Jan. 19, 2021.

[Related: Microsoft Sees Cloud Shift Accelerating, ‘Slowdown’ In On-Prem Licensing]

“On July 30th, we shared additional information on our hybrid workplace strategy with our global workforce and extended the option of working remotely through January 19, 2021 at the earliest in the U.S.,” a Microsoft spokesperson said in the statement. “We continue to review the situation on a local basis in each region/country/state where we work and will continue to adjust dates by country as needed.”

The statement followed a report Friday that Jan. 19, 2021, is the earliest date Microsoft is considering for fully re-opening its U.S. offices amid the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.

Microsoft is eyeing a phased re-opening of offices—eventually reaching an “open with restrictions” phase first before the full re-opening, The Verge reported.

The goal at that point is “to return to normal operations while being prepared to back off to an earlier stage, if a significant resurgence in the virus occurs,” a Microsoft executive wrote in an internal memo that’s quoted in the report.

Headquartered in the first U.S. region to see a major outbreak of the coronavirus, Microsoft was among the initial companies to allow employees to work-from-home, when it did so in early March.

Other tech giants have also signaled that work-from-home will continue for some time into the future.

For instance, most Google employees will have the option to work remotely through at least the summer of 2021, the company said this week–while Amazon last week extended its work-from-home option for many employees through Jan. 8, 2021.

Online Work

If public schools go virtual, what happens to private schools? And how well does online schooling work? – American Enterprise Institute

It seems lots of public schools will be totally virtual this fall because of the COVID pandemic. So what about private schools? Can they hold in-person classes even if the public schools in their district or country go online?  This bit of conversation from the AEI online discussion yesterday — “COVID-19 this fall: Public health, the economy, and schools” — might prove insightful on this issue. Here is an exchange I had with AEI education scholar Rick Hess:

Pethokoukis: What about private or parochial schools that want to stay open but they’re in districts or counties where they’re just doing distance learning? Will they be allowed to open their schools and have kids come in person?

Hess: It depends on the state. It’s going to be an executive power, statutory kind of question. Because there are two dimensions. It’s what the school feels comfortable doing and what families want, and there are also the larger public health ramifications.

One of the policy pieces of all this is that there are about 35,000 private schools in the US, and folks sometimes have this picture in their mind of the famous ones — the St. Albans or the Exeters, these places that have hundreds of millions of dollars in endowments and charge a ton of money. These are a tiny fingernail fragment of the 35,000. The vast majority of private schools charge less per year than the local public schools spend. Public schools across the US spend about $14,000 per year. Most private schools generally charge tuition that’s less than half of that. So these are schools that don’t have endowments — that are running pretty thin margins. If these schools don’t open this fall, there is a huge chance that hundreds or thousands of them won’t be around to reopen in fall 2021. And that would be a devastating blow to these communities, to these families.

So I think part of the conversation about federal education aid as we think about the bill that Congress is debating, is it’s really gotten framed as privates vs. publics. The point is that a small fraction of the money that we are talking about putting into public education — maybe 5 billion a year or 8 billion a year — could be a life saver for hundreds or thousands of these incredibly valuable community institutions that don’t have the wherewithal to figure out how to use PPP, which won’t be sufficient to see some of them through. But we’ve really got to be thinking, “What are the long term implications for education in these communities?”

Fairfax County school buses sit in a depot, a day after it was announced the county would begin the school year all online, in Lorton, Virginia, U.S., July 22, 2020. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

More generally, who is pushing to keep kids at home?

Part of what’s going on here is that the most vocal and influential interests in education have been saying, “Hey, let’s put our thumb on the scale of not opening.” So the teacher unions, for instance, have said, “Look, we want schools to reopen as long as they’re safe. But that’s going to cost hundreds of billions, it’s going to require extraordinary efforts. If there is any doubt in how we weigh this out, let’s not open.”

You’ve heard the same thing from superintendents associations. Parents themselves are justifiably nervous. So I think one of the things that’s happened in the calculation around schools, which has not happened with commercial enterprises, is we have had a lot of active, vocal interests raising all of the legitimate concerns, and there’s really not been any visible or organized or forceful push to say, “Well, wait a minute. We need to think about what it means for kids to not be in school.”

When you’re talking about groups pushing for online schooling, keeping the schools at least partially closed, where does potential counterweight come from?

It’s a great question. You know, President Trump obviously saw — his pollsters presumably saw — an opening here in July when he suddenly started demanding that we send kids back to school. But in classic Trump fashion, he did this in a reckless, unhinged way and was openly dismissive of the health concerns. In a way, he was presenting the folks nervous about going back to school with the perfect foil.

You’ve seen relatively few politicians stand up. Governor Polis in Colorado, I think, handled this real nicely, talking very deliberately in a disciplined fashion about, “Look, we can’t be scared out of doing what we need to do for kids, but we have to be cognizant of all the risks.” We’ve seen very little of that kind of political leadership.

Parents themselves are deeply split. Depending on how you ask the question, it’s really 50/50 between parents who want to send their kids back to school and parents who absolutely don’t want to send their kids back to school. So you haven’t seen a lot of energy there.

The advocacy and reform community is, right now, very caught up in questions of social justice, which turns out to play out very weirdly on this. On the one hand, as Mike mentioned, the kids who are suffering most from this are the kids who don’t have highly educated parents, don’t have a lot of resources to pay for supplemental materials, and are in small homes without good learning space. These are exactly the kids on the wrong side of the opportunity gaps. But these are also parents who in many cases are the most nervous about sending kids to school. So the reformers and the advocates are on the sidelines.

And then you’ve got a mass culture — you have these pods emerging — especially in affluent communities, where parents are getting together and figuring out how to pay money to hire tutors, to get their kids together. But instead of this being greeted as American ingenuity and parents being eager to stand up and find a way for their kids, what you’re generally seeing in the New York Times and in the NPRs, is these parents lambasted as selfish examples of everything that’s wrong with privileged culture. So it’s right now really hard to see where that leading edge on making sure we’re being fully cognizant of what kids need is going to come from.

How effective is virtual schooling?

The problem is it turns out to be really hard to design virtual education well under any circumstances. Most of what districts were offering in the spring and will be rolling out in the fall is duct-taped and stuck together with whatever they can get their hands on, with faculty who don’t know what they’re doing and are operating under collective bargaining agreements that are highly restrictive in the things you need to do to make this work.

And it turns out that while virtual learning environments work really well for some learners, for lots of students — especially young students — it’s the human dimension of schools that makes it all work. They go to school, and they kind of sit in class because they like to see their friends, because they like their teacher, because of all the other tissue that’s wrapped into schools.

Here’s a really simple example of this: About a decade ago, there was an explosion in higher education of these things called MOOCs. They were offered by faculty at places like Stanford and MIT. They were free online courses where you got to watch the video and take it. These were adult learners who are choosing voluntarily to take these courses. Tens of thousands of people signed up for some of the courses taught by the leading authority in the entire world. Generally speaking, when Harvard did an evaluation of its students, about five percent of students actually completed the courses. So even for motivated, interested adult learners, the rate at which people are actually able to lock in and benefit from virtual learning is quite limited and hugely dependent on design.

Now, we are asking schools in a helter skelter fashion to do this for tens of millions of kids with teachers who aren’t actually trained in it and may not be comfortable. I think when we think about the educational implications, for all the happy talk that folks are going to get from their local superintendents and their local teachers, I think they should be very concerned about how this plays out in practice.

Remote Jobs

The booming cybersecurity industry has 350000 open jobs in the US — here’s how to land one even if you lack experience – Business Insider

  • Simone Petrella, the CEO of the training firm CyberVista, recently coauthored a new cybersecurity jobs report.
  • In her 15-year career, Petrella has hired hundreds of workers — and trained thousands — in cybersecurity, which remains a booming jobs sector even in the economic downturn.
  • Many job seekers talk themselves out of applying for a job because they lack specific experience or don’t want to move: These are mistakes, Petrella says. 
  • Petrella’s five tips for landing one of the 350,000 open cybersecurity jobs posted on LinkedIn include remote-interviewing guidance.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Simone Petrella has hired hundreds of workers and trained thousands in the booming cybersecurity industry throughout her career at the Department of Defense, Booz Allen, and now as the CEO of the training firm CyberVista. To make her experience available to job seekers, she recently coauthored a new report that offers people guidance on how to land one of the nearly 350,000 open cybersecurity jobs in the US — even if they don’t want to move and lack specific qualifications.

As other industries have held layoffs, cybersecurity has added jobs during the pandemic as the shift to remote work has changed companies’ vulnerabilities, making it a rare bright spot in the country’s gloomy job market. More than 100,000 cybersecurity jobs were added to LinkedIn’s postings in June, the report found.

Many people talk themselves out of applying for openings because they lack experience or the job is in another city, Petrella said, but her firm found that more than half the current cybersecurity job openings across the country were entry-level positions.

The bottom line is that cybersecurity is a job market rich with opportunity — but many seeking a new job shy away from the industry because of misconceptions of what companies are looking for, Petrella said. Here are her five tips for job seekers.

Don’t fail to apply because you don’t meet all the criteria

“This may apply especially to women and minority candidates,” Petrella said. “It’s been well-documented that many job seekers fail to apply for a job because they don’t meet all the criteria for it or lack the years of experience a company says they are looking for.”

That’s a huge mistake in cybersecurity, where a longtime talent gap means companies have been unable to find candidates with the very experience they say they require.

“Many times the experience that companies say they need is just not there in the market. You may think you can’t apply for a job that requires 15 years of cloud-security experience,” she said. “Well, nobody has 15 years of cloud experience. Those jobs didn’t exist 15 years ago.”

Take the trainings you need now

Cybersecurity is an evolving industry in which workers learn new skills continually. It is also a rare sector where a wealth of resources are available online. (See bottom of article for more.) If job seekers are home with time on their hands, plunging into trainings is a great idea, Petrella said.

“Companies are looking for people with passion and interest. They are bound to be impressed by a candidate that is taking the incentive to grow professionally,” she said. “Hiring managers tell us all the time that they can mold a candidate who is willing to learn. Any candidate who takes the initiative — whether it’s through free training or pursuing a formal certificate of training and experience — indicates to hiring managers that they are someone who takes security seriously and are invested in pursuing this as a career. It’s a way of showing an employer you are willing to put in the work.” 

job openings chart

Recent data from LinkedIn shows cybersecurity jobs are moving from large tech hubs to smaller cities.

Apply for jobs in other cities – even if you don’t want to move

“Companies have made strides to make remote work a permanent solution for their employees while also cutting direct costs,” Petrella’s report said. “This has created an opportunity for employees.”

Applicants should apply for a job they’re interested in — even if they don’t want to move, they are likely to find ways to take advantage of that flexibility.

“Companies are starting to break down those geographical borders, which means a remote candidate can consider working from home and making the simple adjustment to working on a different schedule to match an employer’s time zone, as opposed to uprooting their family to move,” she said. 

The report also predicted there would be a long-term migration of cybersecurity jobs from big, expensive cities where tech hubs are established to smaller cities such as Denver, Austin, and Albuquerque. Other research backs that up, showing big spikes in cybersecurity job openings in certain cities across the country. 

Have a strategy for videoconferencing interviews 

Applying for jobs remotely means taking an interview via conference call, and applicants should plan ahead to make a good impression, Petrella said. 

“People are more relaxed in a work-from-home environment, and I think that’s perfectly acceptable in an interview. No one’s going to expect you to get dressed in a full suit — in fact, that might look a little odd in your own home,” she said. “But you should make sure that you are professional and that the environment that you’re interviewing in is professional, so that you can convey that you’re reliable and a steady contributor.”

That doesn’t mean hiding your life from your prospective new boss, she said.

“I know I certainly have been with my 2-year-old son on conference calls, and other people’s pets wander by,” she said. “That’s just the way the world is right now, and companies might actually appreciate getting a sense of who you are. Just don’t have your beer-can collection in the background.”

Practice good security hygiene in the application process

“Having basic online hygiene in the way that you communicate as a remote candidate needs to reflect that you will be a responsible employee to the company,” Petrella said. “And the reason I say that is, companies will have more remote employees for the foreseeable future. A new hire could potentially become part of their cybersecurity vulnerabilities.”

If employees convey that they understand how to safely work remotely — by setting up a conference call securely, making sure links are secure, or letting an interviewer know their home WiFi requires a password — they reflect a knowledge of remote cybersecurity.

It might be part of a new job to train other companies in safe remote work, so a blunder like forwarding an email from a reference — which could expose their personal information — would not go over well.

“It would be making a massive misstep on the security side that would not bode well for how you treat a company’s sensitive information,” Petrella said.

Resources for finding a job in cybersecurity:

  • Explore the Department of Homeland Security’s cybersecurity training courses, which include beginner courses.
  • Read Petrella’s new report, coauthored by Larry Whiteside Jr., the president of International Consortium of Minority Cybersecurity Professionals.
  • Explore the top 10 cities in the nation for finding a career in cybersecurity.
  • Look through the cybersecurity jobs tool kit CyberSeek, a government industry project.  
Work from Home

CIOs: After Pandemic Work From Home Levels Likely Over 50% – Forbes

I recently had a chance to poll about 100 global CIOs, and the majority of those polled foresaw growing budgets for digitizing operations and revenue streams. As part of that poll, I asked the CIOs when their executive teams believed business would return to normal, or at least what would pass for normal. Forty-four percent said within 12 months and 18% said six months. Only 15% believed it to be beyond 18 months away. Quite an optimistic point-of-view.

In a follow up to the same group, I asked the CIOs how structured their organizations’ approaches to assessing what the post-pandemic “new normal” will look like. Seventy-one percent of respondents indicated that their executive teams used a “structured” or a “very well-structured” format, typically with a specific framework, to draw their conclusions. These included analysis of progress relative to the development of a vaccine, and likely scenarios for when that will be broadly available. The framework also included an ability to build out an office infrastructure in which those people who would come into the office would feel safe. The CIOs also verified sentiments regarding the new normal by engaging with customers and suppliers for their opinions.

Sixteen percent of respondents indicated that their framework had no major changes to forward-planning. These companies indicated that they have assessed the “new normal” as they would any other business event. Finally, 13% of respondents admitted to an ad hoc approach in assessing the return to a new normal. The CIOs indicated that their companies were using a wait-and-see approach, keeping eyes open to the evolving situation, but not structuring the thinking to a great extent.

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As a related topic, I asked the group, the percentage of their teams they anticipated returning to work at the office after it is fully safe to to do so. No one polled anticipated that 100% of employees would be required to work from the company’s offices. Eight percent of them anticipate 75 to 99% of staff returning to the office. Ten percent thought it would be between 51% and 75%. Therefore, less than 20% thought that a majority of employees would be required to go back to the office. This is, in large part, due to the productivity gains that have been experienced during the forced work from home that many companies have experienced. It also highlights that virtual communications have been a meaningful substitute for in person meetings. Interestingly, two-thirds of respondents indicated that one to 50% of employees will be required to work from home. This suggests a much greater degree of flexibility than pre-pandemic. The remaining 8% of respondents indicated that no one would be required to return to the office.  

Prior to the pandemic, there were certainly pendulum swings from increased ability for many workers to take some time to work from home, and then some companies, famously Yahoo! among them, reversed the trend. Of course, the scale of the current experiment, and the resilience of a surprising number of companies may make this an indelible mark going forward.

In light of some of these changes, I also asked which technologies will receive the greatest levels of investment in the second half of 2020. Top on the list was data and analytics. These are of greater importance in light of the need to evaluate the health of one’s business, the health of the operations, the effectiveness of supply chains and the productivity of employees.

Next on the list was cloud technologies. An essential building block of digital transformations, the migration to the cloud, variabilizing cost structures, increasing flexibility while assisting with resilience make this of continued importance. Responses also take into consideration ongoing cloud migration activities.

Collaboration and security were each at 10%. This suggests some emphasis thought at lower levels largely because these were, for many, the top priority in the immediate aftermath of the onslaught of the pandemic and the massive migration from offices to homes for work in March. Last on the list at 7% was automation and robotic process automation. For some, the current crisis has made these activities more important, but for many companies these efforts are on hold as some of the other activities take precedence.

It is important to note that these investments are not mutually exclusive. Anecdotally, we learned that many companies are investing in all of the above, but these were the percentages where each was the top technology to focus on.  

Peter High is President of  Metis Strategy, a business and IT advisory firm. His has written two bestselling books, moderates the Technovation podcast series, and speaks at conferences around the world. Follow him on Twitter @PeterAHigh.

Southern recipes

Who Really Writes Chefs’ Recipes? – Food & Wine

Who Really Writes Chefs’ Recipes? | Food & Wine

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crawfish boil

Want to Bring the Beach to You? Try a Clambake – The Wall Street Journal

THE CLAMBAKE is a flexible feast. Most iterations include some type of potato; whether fingerling, red or Yukon Gold is up to the cook. Corn on the cob is a common element—white or yellow. One could easily go in a half-dozen different directions when it comes to clams alone.

“I don’t love the idea of sausage in a clambake,” said chef Barbara Lynch, a Boston native. “It takes away from the seafood. I like to stick to steamers, lobster and mussels.” Yet many Rhode Islanders consider chouriço sausage essential, lobster optional.