The Corner

Spend 10 minutes on the corner of 124th Street and Lexington Avenue and you’ll get a quick glimpse into two longstanding issues in East Harlem: drug addiction and homelessness.

There are seven recycling machines stretched along the wall of the Rainbow clothing store on the corner, offering money in exchange for aluminum, plastic and glass. The most common visitors of the recycling engine, also known as a redemption center, are either homeless or living in local shelters, says manager Auto Ferril, and many of them are either still on drugs or recovering drug addicts. Ferril opens the center at 6 o’clock every morning. In some cases, the change his visitors earn in exchange for digging through garbage for recyclable materials is their only income. Continue reading

Career Planning in College: A Process, not an Event

As the economy continues to sputter through recovery, it’s more important than ever for college students to get serious about plotting a course toward employment. Patricia Imbimbo, PhD, director of Baruch College’s STARR Career Development Center, said students should think out how a major becomes a career sooner rather than later.

“It’s a process not an event, and it’s done in the context of who one is as a person,” said Imbimbo.

One mistake students make when choosing a major is considering future income independent of other factors, said Imbimbo. Instead, they should first consider their values and skills. Imbimbo uses finance as an example. The income is attractive, but students who value security should take stock of recent history. Continue reading

Just Horsing Around

The horse and carriage rides offered at Central Park made headlines once again last week. Nonprofit organization New Yorkers for Clean Livable and Safe Streets (NY-CLASS) unveiled a model electric car as potential replacement for the horse and buggy rides. Supporters of Intro 86, a 2010 City Council bill proposing the gradual elimination the carriages, embrace the idea.

The faux-vintage cars proposed by NY-CLASS aim to reinvent the feel of classic New York City for tourists without the use of animals. Each car holds up to six people with rates comparable to those of the carriage rides. Continue reading

From hoops to hire – Will the Barclays Center create jobs for Brooklyn residents?

Construction is underway for the new Barclays Center on Atlantic Avenue, and Brooklyn residents will soon have a new sports team, the Brooklyn Nets.

The Barclays Center website says the arena “will be a community centerpiece” for Brooklyn, and will offer local concerts and high school basketball games in addition to NBA events.

According to the Associated Press, part-owner Jay-Z announced plans to open the venue with a series of concerts next year.

The Brooklyn skyline will change, but will local economy improve? Can the new arena create jobs for Brooklyn residents in a down economy?

In a recent post, I spoke to Jose Reyes, a 28-year-old from Brooklyn about job creation in Sunset Park. Jose believes the new Barclays Center could boost the Brooklyn’s economy and potentially offer new jobs to people in his neighborhood. Continue reading

Five Ways to Ride Out Unemployment with Online Resources Between Jobs

This article was originally posted on

Unemployment over 9% is the stubborn bane of President Obama’s administration. We wouldn’t wait for his help as he pushes through the new $300 billion jobs plan.

Here’s some ways to take matters into your own online hands.

1. Degrees: Brand matters

“I’ve been researching employer acceptance of online degrees since 1989. In 1989, the first year surveyed corporations, less than 50% of managers rated a distance degree “as good as” a residential  degree. Today (2009 survey) more than 90% of corporate managers rate an online degree “as good as” a residential degree….. but only if 3 crucial characteristics are met,” said Vicky Phillips, Founder of

The most important factor is whether your future employer recognizes the name of your schoool.

Check GetEducated’s video for a more thorough discussion by Phillips.

2.  Who needs a degree, give me open source training.

Continue reading

A Bad “Good” Job Isn’t Worth the Money

This past May, for the first time since completing my undergraduate education, I found myself making a living wage.  But a week into my fancy Upper East Side job, I knew it wasn’t going to work out.  The simplest explanation I could offer friends and family was that it wasn’t worth my life.

It had taken me a bit longer to realize what Kaitlyn Kochany learned right out of the gates.

Like many Americans, I spent the last three years toughing out low wages, abusive supervisors, and high stress positions in the spirit of retaining a job during the recession.

What I learned at my fancy job was that more money wouldn’t compensate for the unprofessional environments I had endured at previous firms. Good wages wouldn’t suddenly make the same kind of position a good job. Even if walking away from gainful employment meant exhausting my savings and borrowing a pile of student loans, it was time to bet on myself. Continue reading