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Youth Apprenticeship Week Spotlights Opportunities

(NewsUSA) - Youth Apprenticeship Week, an initiative of the U.S. Department of Labor, features a range of events and speakers at venues across the United States to showcase the many benefits of Registered Apprenticeship programs for youth and young adults ages 16-24.

The nationwide initiative takes place from May 5 – 11, 2024, and includes more than 300 events and over 70 proclamations intended to celebrate and educate the public about Registered Apprenticeships. Current apprentices and graduates of Registered Apprenticeship programs will share their experiences and success stories.

Youth Apprenticeship Week is an opportunity for employers, industry associations, labor organizations, community-based organizations, workforce partners, education providers, and government leaders to host events, launch new programs, and raise awareness of these life-changing Registered Apprenticeship career opportunities for youth and young adults and how they create a sustainable pipeline of skilled and diverse talent for the jobs of today and tomorrow for critical industries.

Attendees will hear how youth and young adults can utilize Registered Apprenticeships to earn competitive wages while obtaining training and skills to grow and advance in careers essential for today's workforce and jobs of the future. Registered Apprenticeships result in a nationally recognized credential and may include the chance to earn college credit and often a degree at no expense to the apprentice.

"Youth Apprenticeship Week recognizes the Biden-Harris administration's commitment to creating employment opportunities for youth and young adults and the critical role they play in our nation's workforce infrastructure," said Acting Secretary of Labor Julie Su in a statement announcing the event. "Youth apprenticeships are not just pathways to careers; they are bridges to futures filled with promise, opportunity, and endless potential," she emphasized.

The U.S. Department of Labor is hosting two events during Youth Apprenticeship Week, including a Kickoff event with Youth Apprentice Trailblazers on May 6 and a special Signing Day event with new youth apprentices on May 9. These events highlight careers in a range of fields important to America's success, including construction, transportation, advanced manufacturing and clean energy, education, cybersecurity, robotics, and healthcare. Youth apprenticeship is an earn-and-learn strategy that gives young people a pathway into a good job, and a jump-start into a well-paying career. Under the Biden-Harris administration, more than 1.4 million apprentices have been served, including more than 541,000 new youth and young adults ages 16 to 24 years, according to the US Department of Labor's Office of Apprenticeship, the government agency responsible for Registered Apprenticeship programs.

For more information about Youth Apprenticeship Week and how to participate, visit Spread the word on social media through #YAW2024 and #ApprenticeshipUSA.


Why Investors Take a Shine to Silver

(NewsUSA) - Silver is a part of everyday life in more ways than most people realize. Besides the more obvious industrial uses, silver is a key component in many products that people rely on every day. Your electric-powered car, the antibacterial thread in your sports gear, and even your smartphone all use silver.

Silver also factors in products ranging from solar panels to burn creams and water purification systems.

Silver is one of the most versatile elements; it can be ground into powder, turned into paste, shaved into flakes, converted into a salt, combined with other metals, flattened into printable sheets, drawn into wires, suspended within other materials, or even used as a catalyst in chemical reactions.

Key areas where silver shines include:

Automotive. Nearly 90 million ounces of silver is projected to be absorbed annually in the automotive industry alone by the year 2025, according to the Silver Institute, a nonprofit organization that informs the public about silver and its uses.

Medicine. Silver has a long and intriguing history as an antibiotic in human health care. Silver has been developed for use in water purification, wound care, bone prostheses, reconstructive orthopedic surgery, cardiac devices, catheters and surgical appliances. In addition, recent research suggests that silver’s long-lasting antibacterial power could improve the performance of medical products that help protect us from harmful pathogens.

Electronics/Technology. Silver’s excellent electrical conductivity makes it a natural choice for everything from printed circuit boards to switches and TV screens. Silver has become an important element in 5G infrastructure investment.

Silver also is a solid choice for savvy investors, as the demand will continue to rise. Currently, there is an abundance of silver, which has kept prices low.

Companies such as Vancouver-based Silvercorp Metals offer an opportunity to benefit from the investment value of silver. Silvercorp acquires, explores, develops, and mines precious and base metal mineral properties at its producing mines and exploration and development projects, primarily in China’s Ying Mining District, known as “The Silver Quadrant,” where it also produces gold, lead and zinc.  

Looking ahead, silver is an essential element of the “electrification economy,” and companies such as Silvercorp that are positioned for long-term growth and committed to responsible mining practices are worth watching.

Visit for more information.

Small Businesses Seek Talent, Technology to Succeed

(NewsUSA) - Starting and maintaining a successful small business is a challenge in any setting. For rural entrepreneurs, that struggle is even greater when it comes to accessing capital, high-speed internet and quality workers, according to a survey from SCORE, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping small businesses since 1964.     

SCORE’s Fall 2022 Megaphone of Main Street: The Small Business Rural/Urban Divide surveyed more than 3,000 entrepreneurs and discovered that population shifts away from rural areas are challenging small business owners in desperate need of reliable talent and technology.     

Rural business owners report higher expenses and fewer customers than non-rural counterparts, according to the survey.  Rising fuel costs (49.3%), slowing customer spending (48.6%), tight marketing budgets (47.6%) and a limited local customer base (34.6%) are their most vexing customer-related challenges. In addition, rural businesses are 26% more likely to have trouble finding qualified employees, says SCORE.     

Noting that the technology gap between rural and non-rural businesses persists, SCORE’s survey found that twice as many rural entrepreneurs (19.2%) compared to non-rural entrepreneurs (9%) struggle with access to broadband/high-speed internet, making it harder for them to conduct business, reach customers and grow. Small businesses in both rural and non-rural areas say they’re challenged by a lack of technological knowledge or assistance.     

“As a small business owner in a rural area of Erie County in Western New York, it has been challenging over the last decade to attract staff, being at least a 30-minute drive from the city of Buffalo and the surrounding suburbs,” says Kerry Planck of Alpine Made LLC in South Wales, N.Y. “My latest long-term employee, who lives 30-plus miles away, recently quit, due in part to the long commuting distance and higher gas prices,” she adds. “I generally give six-month raises to my employees; however, they have not kept up with current inflation levels.”     

Planck has worked with SCORE mentor David Bunis for 10 years, most recently on staffing- retention issues. “I was advised by SCORE to work with local colleges to recruit paid student interns,” says Planck. “This has helped me greatly throughout the last two years.”     

SCORE provides tangible solutions for all entrepreneurs in the form of free mentoring from small business experts, as well as online tools and workshops. Local SCORE chapters also offer in-person events and roundtable discussions. Since 1964, SCORE has helped 11 million entrepreneurs start or grow a business.     

Visit for more information and to download the complete Megaphone of Main Street: The Small Business Rural/Urban Divide data report.

Keep Quality Employees With Quality Benefits

(NewsUSA) - Small business owners know that one of the secrets to success is hiring quality employees and keeping them. One of the best ways to keep your best employees happy is by offering a robust benefits plan. In fact, 11 states now mandate that most small businesses offer employees a retirement plan, according to Value Point Associates (VPA), a national Employer Member Association that specializes in offering “large-company” benefits to small and medium-sized businesses.     

VPA leverages the size of its membership to negotiate affordable rates on top-notch employee benefits plans. These plans can be tailored to the needs of a range of small business models.     

“VPA’s association model is likely the easiest employee benefits arrangement in the country for small businesses,” says Michael Schifferle, director of sales and marketing for VPA.     

Some of the distinctive benefits of a VPA membership plan include:     

- Less stress. VPA handles the benefit package administration and design, and small businesses can choose from several programs to select the best fit.     

- More money. Many small employers feel they can’t offer a 401k plan to employees because of the high cost. With VPA’s incredibly reasonable rates, small businesses can offer the retirement savings plans that employees want, which helps them compete with larger businesses for top talent.     

- Less paperwork. VPA also assists its members with administrative tasks and services, including benefit package administration, coordination with payroll services, audits, and Form 5500 preparation and filing.     

- More security. Small business owners appreciate that VPA membership reduces personal ERISA fiduciary liability. By contrast, a larger employer offering a 401k plan serves as the plan’s sponsor itself, which increases liability.     

In addition to retirement plans, VPA offers affordable options for employee health insurance. Employers can explore both traditional group insurance and non-traditional coverage that provide the most flexibility and savings of time and money. VPA helps small businesses stay competitive on the health insurance front by offering employees ICHRA (Individual Coverage Health Reimbursement Arrangement), QSEHRA (Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangement), and other HRAs, as well as Health Savings Accounts and Flexible Spending Accounts.     

Visit for more information. 

AngelPay Returns Wealth and Power to the Creators of Value

Enter the AngelPay Foundation, a nonprofit payment processing company. The AngelPay team originally invented the first secure, scalable, and reliable Internet payment processing platform called Authorize.Net back in 1996.

Today, they provide the same tools and service, but they believe operating as a nonprofit helps to restore trust and integrity to the industry. It also gives the team an opportunity to give back to the merchant community that has been good to them over the years.

"Over the past couple decades, we've seen a lot of companies resort to shady tactics to satisfy shareholder demands. If you're operating as an aggressive for-profit company in this industry, there are just too many temptations to exploit your customers," says Ferris Eanfar, AngelPay's CEO.

"The credit card payment processing industry has not always treated merchants fairly, and we realized we could do something about that," says Jeff Knowles, AngelPay's CTO.

Payment processing can be a challenge for businesses large and small, nonprofits, and artists who need to accept credit cards. AngelPay recognizes that many merchants feel exploited by their existing payment processors, but they don't know where to go.

To this end, AngelPay believes that merchants can benefit from its payment processing program for the following reasons:

A Solution for Merchant Pain. AngelPay developed their "Pay-What-You-Can" pricing structure and "Emergency Contract Triage" program. "The Triage program started out as a way to add a little levity to the lives of our merchants, but we've been surprised at how many merchants have taken it seriously," says Eanfar. The programs help merchants manage their costs more effectively, in addition to revealing how they're being exploited by other payment processors.

Simplicity. One of the things that differentiates AngelPay from other payment processors is the simplicity of its fees and nonprofit cost structure. Anybody who has ever implemented credit card processing for their company knows that the complex fees of most processors can be frustrating.

Proven Experience. AngelPay was launched several years ago after the team sold Authorize.Net, but AngelPay has grown quickly and its mission - "Return wealth and power to the creators of value" - seems to be resonating with the merchant community. Given the cost advantages, it makes sense that merchants would choose a veteran team operating as a nonprofit provider over more aggressive financial companies that may not have their customers' best interests at heart.

To learn more about AngelPay, visit:

Gifts to Give on Administrative Professionals Day

Many people are confused about what is appropriate and how much to spend. According to Laura Jennings, the CEO of bespoke gifting company, $50 is the average price point for a gift and it's important to treat everyone equally.

"Salaries, titles, bonuses and office locations already build hierarchies," she says. "Gifts are the perfect opportunity to say thank you to everyone."

The best way to make your team members feel appreciated is to take the time to really think about the message you want your gift to convey. Jennings has three tips to help harness Administrative Professionals Day effectively:

1. Give items that stress the "professional" in Administrative Professional.

The workplace has thankfully evolved from the gender stereotyped world in which the original National Secretary's Day was launched in 1952. It's important to recognize all levels of professionalism in the office with appropriate gifts that express professional integrity. Leather journals, fine pens, and professional organization memberships are appropriate examples.

2. Think about giving gifts that add luxury, convenience or fun to a workday.

Your administrative professional may know almost everything about you; this is your opportunity to pay them the same compliment, while keeping it completely professional. Items such as desk accessories, water bottles, travel mugs, and other tools that add luxury, convenience or fun to anyone's work day are a good place to start. But stay away from flowers: nothing ranked lower than flowers in terms of employees' most requested employer gifts in the 2018 Business Gifting Satisfaction Report. You may want to consider gifts such as the The Sweet Life to beauty up their desk, Thanks-Olate Gift Set to say thanks, or Black Tie as a token of your appreciation, all available at

3. Remember that food and wine are always appreciated.

Gifts of food (and wine, if you know they are fond of the grape) are universally acceptable in the business-gifting world and are something that employees tend to use and love.

"Make it memorable, by adding something useful like a tea towel, cheese knife, serving bowl, corkscrew or cheeseboard to your food gifts," Jennings advises.'s Carnivore's Delight, Caffe Autentico and The Cheese Course are examples of decadent gifts that they'll remember long after the food has been consumed.

Gift cards are appreciated by employees of all ages and genders, although particularly so for women over 40. The only downside is that research shows they may be quickly forgotten - less than 40 percent of employees say that gift cards are "very memorable."

Lastly, data shows that a personally-addressed message is actually the most important element of your gift.

"It's really about the story. A personally-addressed gift message can increase the memorability of a gift and turn it into a special moment," Jennings says. "There is also nothing easier to do - and quicker - than dropping in a meaningful note."


Small Business Checklist for Tax-Time Technology

Some tips to make technology work for you at tax time:

- Digitize: Making the transition to digital documents can be a big step for a small business, but converting documents to digital is becoming increasingly simple and popular.

Advantages of scan-to-digital at tax time include less paper to sort through and easy access to a variety of records.

- Go mobile: Try using a mobile device or laptop and a portable scanner to digitize tax documents while on the road.

Portable scanners can save space in the office setting as well, by reducing the amount of space needed to store paper records and documents.

Printing from a mobile device or laptop to a wireless-enabled printer also helps save time, especially during tax season. And many printers have security features for output management and ease of use.

When choosing the right office products, key points to consider include:

- Convenience. Equipment that is easy to set up and use saves valuable time for small businesses. For those on the go, portable products such as the Canon imageFORMULA P-215II Scan-tini handle document scanning for individuals on the road or working remotely. A lightweight design allows for easy document digitization from a range of locations, such as a hotel, airport, offsite meeting venue, or a home office.

- Confidence. Investing in technology with a trusted reputation means less worry that an office solution - hardware or software - might fail at a crucial time. The technology of scanners designed for small businesses has improved in recent years.

"Small businesses with limited resources demand reliability and dependability in their document management technology," says Nobuhiko Kitajima, VP and general manager of Canon USA Inc.'s Business Imaging Solutions Group.

One example, the Canon imageFORMULA DR-M260 Office Document Scanner, provides small businesses with reliable and efficient performance, and comes with an industry-leading, five-year warranty.

- Protection. Data security is essential, especially for businesses that work in the cloud. Be sure to choose products with security features, such as password protection, multi-factor log-in and output file encryption.

For more information about optimizing technology for an easier tax season, visit


Can Capitalism Be Compassionate?

In his recent book, "Broken Capitalism: This is How We Fix it," Ferris Eanfar explains the state of the global economy and its key problems in a straightforward, accessible style.

"When the 10 largest corporations on Earth have more combined economic power than 92 percent of all countries on Earth combined, the 50 largest financial corporations control wealth equal to 90 percent of Earth's GDP [gross domestic product], the richest 1 percent of humans have more wealth than 99 percent of the world combined, and the eight richest humans have more wealth than the bottom 50 percent of Earth's entire population combined . . . it's safe to say humanity is in trouble," Mr. Eanfar says.

Mr. Eanfar's work is based on over 20 years of unique experience in economics, financial technologies ("FinTech"), blockchain/cryptocurrency development, artificial intelligence, and military and government affairs.

Three key points in the book deal with issues of defining value, following a vision, and managing innovation.

Value: Mr. Eanfar notes that money is not value itself; it represents value. Rather than focusing on money alone, he advises organizations to focus on theway value flows through their stakeholder ecosystems, which benefits all parties in the long run.

Vision: "In business and in life, having 'vision' is about accurately assessing current reality, defining steps to achieve specific goals, and building a bridge between vision and reality based on discipline and effective execution," says Eanfar.

Innovation: Artificial intelligence, cryptocurrency, and other technological innovations can be used for good or ill. Mr. Eanfar dedicates a chapter of the book to the impact of artificial intelligence [AI] on government and the economy.

"When lightning-fast A.I. controls the political and economic apparatus of countries through their automated manipulation of social media and web-based information channels, humans won't be able to easily differentiate between policy outcomes that serve their interests and policy outcomes that serve those who control the A.I. and their political patrons in the government," he says.

For more information about the book, visit:

Mr. Eanfar is also on Twitter: (@FerrisEanfar)

All book sales proceeds support the nonprofit AngelPay Foundation:

How This Startup Will Kill The Banner Ad

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In fact, if you asked the average consumer to recall a banner ad from the last website they visited, don't expect much. Why? Banner ads are notoriously tuned out by consumers because they don't engage their attention and emotions.

In addition, it's much easier now for consumers to avoid these ads with blockers and DVRs.

What does capture consumers' attention? A good story.

And savvy marketers are exploring new ways to use storytelling to attract and hold consumers' interest and influence their behavior.

This is more than a hunch. Science supports the power of emotions and stories to engage an audience.

With this in mind, Pressboard, an online content marketing platform, believes that stories are the most powerful way for brands to communicate with consumers.

When an individual hears, reads, or views a story, for example, it prompts an emotional connection. The brain releases oxytocin, the "feel-good" hormone associated with, among other things, sex and childbirth, that promotes a feeling of bonding and connection. Psychological research suggests that stories can influence an individual's actions and inspire them to make choices and change a behavior in response to a story.

Underscoring this concept, Pressboard launched an experimental website, titled, that offered users the chance to see pictures and videos of cats instead of banner ads. Not surprisingly, it proved popular, according to Pressboard CEO and co-founder Jerrid Grimm.

"Our not-so-secret goal is to help all companies market themselves through stories and in doing so, slowly rid the world of banner ads," says Grimm in an interview with Adweek.

"People just don't like ads, not advertisers, not publishers and definitely not consumers," he notes.

Meaningful content beats banner ads for communicating with consumers, according to Pressboard.

To this end, companies such as Pressboard provide a platform to link brands with media publishers and track what stories resonate.

Some tips for smart storytelling include:

* Engaging emotions with a personal story, such as a triumph over adversity;

* Developing a relationship with your audience by highlighting real people in your content, whether that's employees or customers;

* Using visuals that support the story and catch the reader's eye;

* Allowing yourself to be vulnerable and open with your audience, making your brand more relatable;

* Influencing public opinion of your brand by sharing the story on social media where discussion can happen.

In the end, changing behavior is the Holy Grail for marketers; but equally important is the ability to forge emotional connections with readers.

In this way, marketing companies can create a connection with their audience and turn them from interested parties to lifelong customers, in a way that no banner ad can match.

For more information about harnessing the power of stories to make a brand memorable, visit


Low-Cost Internet Program Helps Connect Families, Veterans

Unfortunately, many low-income households in this country aren't connected and they're missing out on the life-changing resources the Internet has to offer.

According to the U.S. Census American Community Survey, 81 percent of U.S. households have broadband Internet access, but only 63 percent of those with annual incomes of less than $35,000 do.

For the past seven years, Comcast has been on a mission to do something about this so-called "digital divide" through its acclaimed Internet Essentials program, which has become the largest broadband adoption program for low-income families across the U.S.

The program has had an enormous impact on families and their children and, since its inception, more than six million low-income Americans have been connected.

To put that in perspective, six million people is larger than the populations of each city in America except New York City. While the numbers can be numbing, the individuals who have benefitted all have their own stories to tell.

"Low-income people face problems when it comes to accessing technology and a lot of people are left behind," says Pam Ogglesby, an Internet Essentials customer.

"I signed up for the program and I now see what I was missing. I feel connected now and it's all because of Internet Essentials. I think this is going to change my life drastically. I intend to use the Internet to learn new things."

In the beginning, Internet Essentials was offered to low-income families with children eligible to participate in the National School Lunch Program. Eligibility has also been extended to low-income seniors in more than a dozen markets, as well as to those households receiving HUD-housing assistance, which includes HUD's Public Housing, Housing Choice Voucher, and Multifamily programs.

This year, the company is expanding eligibility again to low-income veterans living within the Comcast service area. About a third of the veterans in the U.S. do not have Internet access at home, and only about 60 percent even own a computer, according to the U.S. Census American Community Survey, creating a need for better options for the veteran community. As a result, more than one million veterans across Comcast's footprint are estimated to be eligible.

Comcast's Internet Essentials program works with community partners to break down the main barriers to Internet access - lack of affordable service; lack of a computer or other device; and lack of digital training by providing high-speed Internet service for $9.95 a month plus tax, the option to purchase an Internet-ready computer for less than $150, and free digital literacy training in print, in person, and online.

To apply, visit, or call 1-855-846-8376. For Spanish-only speakers: call 1-855-765-6995.


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