Thursday, October 29, 2009

Job Loss Offset by Strategic Planning...

A key component to the geospatial market place is city, county, state, and federal agency business. The activity occurring today originated with opportunity tracking in administrations that have long since expired. Future business is being secured now in strategic planning sessions that are establishing contracts that will carry organizations offerings through the next decade.

Engineers and architects, GIS analysts and developers, all face a tough job market, but thanks to the long term contracting vehicles awarded in the previous decade, geospatial employment has been less volatile as say publishing jobs that are disappearing because companies have cut back on advertising spending and readers are increasingly turning to the Internet for free content.

Last week at the 2009 GEOINT Symposium, exhibiters highlighted the future of geospatial technology and the continuing need for geospatial information. 3D holographic imaging, launched satellite images, and earth measuring instrumentation are developed to meet long term demands of governments around the globe.

Today's total unemployment numbers reported by the Department of Labor show that there were 530-thousand initial jobless benefits claims filed last week, only one-thousand fewer than in the previous week. The total number of unemployment claims for the week ending October 17th, including continuing claims, is down to about 5.8 million. That's a drop of 148-thousand, the lowest level for continuing claims this year since March. The biggest improvement in the numbers is found in Wisconsin, New York state and Pennsylvania.

This quarter has shown an uptick in geospatial job prospects and a renewed enthusiasm for this sectors work and technology is echoed by the earnings reported by publicly traded imagery providers, imagery information product companies and image processing services organizations. It's been a tough year but job losses have certainly been offset by the strategic planning sessions that secured dependable business.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Hot Job Market For Global Mobile Applications...

Human demand for superior communications won't subside until every inch of the world has access to digital communication. Enovation in voice, video, and Internet communications services is at an all time high, which is why mobile phone subscriptions now outnumber fixed-line subscriptions in several markets. Many third world countries have bypassed wired communications all together. This kind of growth is good news for surveying companies and GIS communities who will play major roles in developing this entirely new framework.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment numbers for mobile service workers will grow because technological advances will expand the range of services offered. Wireless jobs only account for 21% of the telecommunications industry which provided 973,000 wage and salary jobs in 2006. Half of telecom workers are employed by businesses with 5 to 249 employees and with continuing deregulation there is even more opportunity for small contractors.

Geospatial related companies from Brazil, Bosnia, Finland, Czech Republic, Germany, and Australia have all penned major infrastructure development contracts for mobile GIS in 2009. Yesterday, Iridium Communications Inc. received authorizations to operate, provide and sell mobile satellite services (MSS) in Mexico. Low-earth orbiting (LEO) satellite constellations provide service where no other means of communication exists. Demand is responsible for modern world networks like GSM, GPRS, 3G and now 4G to carry GIS applications geared toward industries and government agencies that require reliable communications at all times.

Greater demand for an increasing number of geospatial related services in every vehicle, home, building, aircraft, and ship, will cause overall employment in the global mobile applications market to increase. In addition, many job opportunities will result from the need to replace a large number of communication workers who are expected to retire in the coming decade. With a growing number of retirements and the continuing need for interested, qualified, and available candidates, new job opportunities will be available for individuals with up-to-date technical skills and geospatial knowhow. It’s a hot market for global mobile applications. Jobs prospects will be best for those with 2 or 4-year degrees.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Excellent timing!

The geospatial community is turning attention away from last week's Location Intelligence 2009 conference held in Denver to the GEOINT 2009 Symposium in San Antonio, Texas. These events provide tremendous networking opportunities for both attendees and exhibitors. They highlight the advances in geospatial technology. These events showcase cutting edge technologies that significantly improve performance, productivity, and geospatial ability across industry, academia, government, professional organizations and individual stakeholders.

These particular conferences seemed to have timed the market duri
ng an uptick. The Dow Jones Industrial Average edged closer to the 10000 level this week and economists report rising confidence about an economic recovery. Geospatial companies like DigitalGlobe made news when it's new WorldView-2 satellite launched into space last week from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Perenco (an oil and gas exploration and development company) just contracted Fugro EarthData, Inc. to provide detailed topographic mapping of a proposed oil pipeline route in northern Peru. Airport technology company Faith Group LLC including Woolpert Inc. was awarded a $378,000 contract to conduct an information technology master plan for the Cleveland Airport System (CAS).

The geospatial community is well positioned to capture its fair share of the economic rebound. I should caution that although many economists now believe the national recession has ended, experts also think the economic rebound will be drawn out over many months. Still, according to The Monster Employment Index, the fall job search season is kicking into high gear at all levels from entry-level jobs on up to management-trainee, technical and professional full-time careers. The Index rose in August, seeing its highest monthly rate of improvement in four years. It dipped slightly in September but the October numbers are expected to ri
se again.

This ongoing economic volatility will continue and it will result in new challenges for organizations that need to be aggressively courting
the best talent available. Organizations will need an updated plan and strategy for recruiting talent as the economy turns around. Experienced, targeted, community specific recruiting firms will be more valuable in planning and developing the next workforce than ever before. The geospatial community is showing off some exciting technology and the development has created some outstanding career opportunities. Excellent timing!

The Monster Employment Index is a monthly gauge of U.S. online job demand based on a real-time review of millions of employer job opportunities culled from a large representative selection of corporate career Web sites and job boards, including Monster. This month, the GeoSearch job board had the highest monthly rate of job posting increases since August 2007.

Friday, October 9, 2009

When It Rains...

US stocks have been pushing higher and words like optimism, confidence, and even growth have been used to describe our current economy. This week at the Location Intelligence Conference in Westminster Colorado, several companies repeated the same story to the question "How's business?". The story included how difficult the first quarter of 2009 was and how the second quarter was equally bad. Then, sometime near the end of the third quarter orders started being generated and then business started to develop. For many, the third quarter matched the revenue for their 1st and 2nd quarters combined. One exebitor said that "With all this water in the atmosphere, it means its going to rain!" (Joe Francica, Conference Chairman pictured above)

GeoSearch provided the conference employment workshop where industry executives and employment specialist provided job seekers strategies to find employment in this tough job market. During this workshop, weekly initial jobless claims fell to the lowest level since the start of the year, signaling an improvement in economic activity.

One breakout session discussed location tracking and the mobile workforce. The three presenters included Robert Laudati from Trimble, David Hemphill from ObjectFX, and Ziv Baum from Zipano. The discussion detailed workforce tracking systems technically comprised with a combination of global positioning systems (GPS) and mobile phone technology using the internet and digital mapping to display data in real time. Each presenter discussed the topic from different perspectives. Trimble highlighted the hardware involved and some feature/benefit capabilities for workers in the field. ObjectFX discussed the 3D location abilities and the public safety vertical market that is interested in expanding this technology. Zipano focused on the social network applications of tracking friends, coworkers, and family and the privacy issues involved. The interest in this topic is hot. Interest in all of this technology is hot and these companies are adding staff. The CEO of Zipano - Zip Baum put it bluntly when he said "We need people".

Monday, October 5, 2009

Location Intelligence Conference 2009... Panel on Geospatial Jobs.

GeoSearch hosted and moderated the geospatial Jobs and the 2009 Economy workshop.

The Panelists included Richard Serby - President of GeoSearch in Colorado Springs.
Brian Soliday - President of Global Sales, Revenue Compass, Greater Denver Area.
John Corbett - CEO, aWhere in Golden CO.
Michael Bullock - VP Consumer Electronics and President, Intermap
Greater Denver Area.
Joe Berry - Principal, BASIS and Keck Scholar in Geosciences, University of Denver.

The workshop focused on individual employment concerns and questions. More details to come...

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The New Energy Economy... Time to recruit!

There is an emerging need to recruit in what is called the "New Energy Economy"!

Let me explain... Analysts at the research group (New Energy) track worldwide investments into clean energy. On Friday, those analysts said that this year, $13.3 billion was invested in the first quarter, $28.6 billion in the second quarter, and thanks to "green" stimulus dollars pledged by major economies, investments in the third quarter reached $25.9 billion. They also revised their full year forecast to $115 billion from $95 billion. If the forecast holds, the 2009 investment levels would still fall short of 2007 and 2008 totals but the outlook for 2010 is positive. According to New Energy, pledges for worldwide Government stimulus spending equals about $163 billion on programs to promote renewable energy.

The New Energy Economy is the result of a global resolve to improve utility systems that deliver energy. US renewable-energy construction projects in Nevada are creating a demand for workers trained in emerging electrical systems. A $14.6 million smart Grid water power project funded by the DOE was just awarded in Palo Alto, CA. A portion of this funding is for developing a GIS-based dataset and software tools. Wide varieties of projects from coast to coast are starting to receive funding and will fuel the job growth for The New Energy Economy.

Vishal Shah of Barclays Capital in New York City published a Solar Energy Handbook in May and noted that solar’s dominant technology – crystalline – has realized a significant price drop that makes solar more competitive with fossil fuels. As the credit market starts to ease, Shah believes that starting in 2010, the volume of solar panels being shipped will triple during the next four years. This change in the market will trigger demands for workers and management.

Kevin Doyle, principal of Green Economy and co-chairman of the New England Clean Energy Council, said at a Mass Green Conference last week that for every $1 million invested in energy efficiency, almost 36 jobs are created. And while Alan Greenspan said today that the latest job report showing the nation’s unemployment at 9.8 percent was “pretty awful” and that he expected the figure to climb even higher, it doesn’t mean that some sectors will recover faster than others. Are you prepared to staff in the New Energy Economy?