WorkHappy Wrap: #TechTakeover, #TeacherShortage, #HoustonJobs, #WomensSummit

by Jennifer Sigler | September 12, 2017 | Workhappy Blog

Newsflash: The teacher shortage is real.

Fall is upon us! It is officially September, which means everyone at UpWrite is attacking life with a renewed sense of vigor — there is something about fall that never outgrows its feeling of back-to-school-ness.

Deutsche Bank is looking to replace people with machines, Amazon wants a second home, and Trump puts limits on America’s opportunities. Here is your weekly wrap, bringing you what’s happening in the news of jobs.

Tech takeover: The CEO of Deutsche Bank, John Cryan, announced last week that the bank won’t be needing as many people to fill positions in the near future — those positions will be filled by robots. The company’s embrace of the latest technology is in keeping with a “revolutionary spirit”, according to the executive.

While Cryan didn’t offer any specific numbers regarding how many employees will be affected, he did state it would be a “big number.” Last year, the World Economic Forum warned that these types of significant technological advances are pushing us into the fourth industrial revolution — affectively obliterating the labor market as we recognize it, predicting a net loss of more than 5 million jobs in 15 major developed and emerging economies by 2020.

No Big Deal.

What economy needs people to have jobs anyway? To paraphrase Jeff Goldblum as Dr. Ian Malcolm in Jurassic Park, this feels a little like a case of being so preoccupied with whether or not they could, that they didn’t stop to think if they should…

Amazon HQ2: Amazon announced last week that is searching for the perfect city to build a second headquarters. A metropolitan area with a population greater than 1 million is a must, as the city needs to be able to attract and retain the approximately 50,000 workers the new campus intends to employ.

This expansion seems to be par for the course for a company that is having a banner year. Earlier last month the company hosted job fairs at a dozen locations across the country, which resulted in thousands of new hires — just one example of the expansion of its domestic work force that has increased by 500 percent in the last six years.

The company also just successfully acquired Whole Foods — and their 87,000 employees, making their workforce number just shy of 500,000. BTW: there are more than 17,000 open positions listed on Amazon’s career page. Looking for a job? Amazon isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Dreamers, not necessary: At least, so says the current Presidential Administration. The administration announced last week its intent to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which affects approximately 800,000 people, known as “DREAMers,” who were protected when they entered the country illegally as children — and business leaders are calling him out on it.

CEOs of Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Wells Fargo, among 400 others have signed letters or urged the administration to protect these “Dreamers,” as they employ many of them. Executives of major corporations have really found their voices this year — and haven’t been shy about using them.

President Trump lost support from many of the country’s chief executives just a few weeks back as both business advisory councils disbanded — many choosing to step down after the President’s alarming remarks following the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Jury is still out on what is going to happen to DACA, as Congress has some decisions to make. But one thing is certain: The land of opportunity has its limits — President Trump is making sure of it.    

Community of leaders: Construction began this summer on what is hoped to be a community “for innovators, thought leaders, artists, scientists, and others to solve the world’s most pressing challenges, from environmental catastrophe to access to basic medical care.”

This residential think tank of sorts is the brain child of Summit — a collective of five friends who are looking to spur entrepreneurship and global change. The setting? 10,000 acres on Powder Mountain, Utah.

And architectural style is key, as Summit intends for the community’s overall design to reflect its intellectual goals. Time will tell if it becomes the compassionate capitalist utopia it intends to be.

Adults only: New York-based interior designer Dani Arps is changing the face of start-ups. In the last 20 years, start-up offices have taken to looking more dorm room than board room, with items like pinball machines and Ping-Pong tables appearing in offices in an attempt to appeal to a younger audience and in a display of almost forced creativity: We think outside the box here.

“Offices can be fun without being infantile,” Arps asserts. We totally agree. And apparently, so do her clients.

Arps’ projects have grown in size in the past three years, from an average of 3,000 square feet to 30,000 square feet — many of which are repeat clients who have grown their business and credit their productivity to their obviously successful workplace design.

Take control of “no”: Fast Company recently published a great read on taking control of the word “no.” The fact is, many of us are afraid, or at the very least hesitant, to say no. (I am definitely one of these people.) There are two main reasons for this hesitation: We dread conflict, or we dread disappointing others.

No matter if you are the former or the latter (or maybe both), it is what makes us take on responsibilities even when it is not in our best interest to do so. This piece outlines how to turn down requests in a way that respects both yourself and the requester. The magic words: “I don’t.”  Using the words “I don’t” rather than “I can’t” reclaims control over the situation and your authority over your actions.

Read the full article to see why — this simple switch will positively change your stress levels. Promise.

Teachers wanted: Literally across the country, in just about every subject (too many to list here). While teacher shortages may seem like old news, the Washington Post reports the deficit has reached a critical level in recent years due to “low morale over low pay, unfair evaluation methods, assaults on due-process rights, high-stakes testing requirements, insufficient resources and other issues.”

Author Valerie Strauss reports alarming numbers in the article, like a 35 percent reduction in teacher education enrollment between 2009 and 2014. So what is to be done? States like Arizona, Oklahoma and Utah, are attempting to fill the gap by loosening requirements — teachers who have no formal training can be hired so long as they have a bachelor’s degree in the subject and five or more years of field experience.

Hopefully, this problem was discussed at length in one of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ education roundtable meetings on Wednesday — but any real progress is dubious, considering no current students or teachers were invited to contribute to the dialogue…


Hurricane Harvey has delivered a devastating blow to the Gulf of Texas, destroying hundreds of homes, and displacing thousands of school children. There is nothing like a natural disaster to highlight the importance and dire need of relief effort work.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), signed into creation by President Carter in 1979, operates with a mission to prepare, prevent, respond and recover from such events — and they’re hiring.

The Agency’s need is strong, and positions are available from customer service to project management and community planning, to workforce planning. They pay well and come with government benefits, so you will be well taken care of as you take care of others.


Inc. Company is gearing up to host Women’s Summit — an opportunity to connect your brand with more than 200 female entrepreneurs from across the country. This one-day event will include a power-networking lunch, many high-profile speakers, panel discussions, and peer-to-peer education — culminating in a not-to-be missed cocktail hour!

Highlighted speakers include Sara Blakely, founder and CEO of Spanx; Angela Benton, Founder and CEO of Newme Accelerator; Marla Malcolm Beck, Founder and CEO of Bluemercury; Jenny Fleiss, Co-founder of Rent the Runway and Co-founder and CEO of Code 8; Jen Rubio, Co-founder of Away and so many more.

Seriously — this is a powerhouse list. Register ASAP, as they are expecting a sell-out event.

Jennifer Sigler is a Senior Writer with The UpWrite Group. Send a message to to see how she can help enhance your corporate or personal brand.

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