Oracle Corp. ORCL, +0.39% laid off hundreds of employees this week as the business software provider prioritizes its healthcare IT services and cloud businesses, according to people familiar with the company’s actions.
The job cuts principally hit staff at Oracle’s advertising and customer experience group, the people said. The group sells services to help clients analyze data about their customers and target advertising to those customers.
Oracle’s job cuts come as the company is putting increased emphasis on cloud healthcare services after recently receiving regulatory approval for its $28.3 billion deal for electronic-medical-records company Cerner Corp. They are hitting a unit that has become less central to the company at a time the digital ad market also is in turmoil. The layoffs were earlier reported by The Information.
The Austin, Texas-based company is the latest in the growing field of tech companies across an array of activities to slow hiring or cut staff. Last month, Microsoft Corp. MSFT, +0.71% said it would be cutting less than 1% of its total workforce of about 181,000 employees.
Robinhood Markets Inc. HOOD, -5.43% this week said it was slashing about 23% of its full-time staff as the online brokerage reacts to a sharp slowdown in customer trading activity. In June, Netflix Inc. NFLX, -1.52% said it was laying off about 300 employees, following a round of layoffs of 150 people in the previous month.
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WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic representatives are widening their scrutiny into the role of tech companies in collecting the personal data of people who may be seeking an abortion, as lawmakers, regulators and the Biden administration grapple with the aftermath of the Supreme Court ruling last month ending the constitutional protections for abortion.
In a new volley of congressional letters, six House Democrats have asked the top executives of Amazon’s cloud-service network and major cloud provider Oracle about the companies’ handling of consumers’ location data from mobile phones, and what steps they have taken or planned to protect the privacy rights of individuals seeking information on abortion.
The decision by the court’s conservative majority to overturn Roe v. Wade has resulted in strict limits or total bans on abortion in more than a dozen states. About a dozen more states are set to impose additional restrictions. Privacy experts say that could make women vulnerable because their personal data could be used to surveil pregnancies and shared with police or sold to vigilantes. Online searches, location data, text messages and emails, and even apps that track periods could be used to prosecute people who seek an abortion — or medical care for a miscarriage — as well as those who assist them, experts say.
Privacy advocates are watching for possible new moves by law enforcement agencies in affected states — serving subpoenas, for example, on tech companies such as Google, Apple, Bing, Facebook’s Messenger and WhatsApp, services like Uber and Lyft, and internet service providers including AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Comcast.
“Data collected and sold by your company could be used by law enforcement and prosecutors in states with aggressive abortion restrictions,” the House Democrats, led by Rep. Lori Trahan of Massachusetts, said in the letters. “Additionally, in states that empower vigilantes and private actors to sue abortion providers, this information can be used as part of judicial proceedings.
“When consumers use apps on their phone and quickly tap ‘yes’ on ‘use geolocation data’ pop-ups, they should not be panic about the endless sale of their data to advertisers, individuals or law enforcement. And it most certainly should not be used to hunt down, prosecute and jail an individual seeking reproductive care. Companies can take action today to protect individual rights.”
The letters also went to executives of Near Intelligence Holdings and Mobilewalla. Along with Oracle and Amazon Web Services’ Data Exchange, the companies were described as leading data brokers — businesses that gather, sell or trade location data from mobile phones, which could be used to track people who have visited abortion clinics or have gone out of state seeking abortion services.
Five other Democrats active in tech issues signed the letters with Trahan: Reps. David Cicilline of Rhode Island, Yvette Clarke of New York, Debbie Dingell of Michigan, Adam Schiff of California and Sean Casten of Illinois.
Spokespeople for Amazon and Oracle didn’t respond to requests for comment from The Associated Press.
Also this week, Massachusetts’ two U.S. senators, Democrats Elizabeth Warren and Edward Markey, sent letters to four companies raising concerns that the software they use to monitor students’ online communications could be used to punish students who seek information about abortion services and reproductive health care. They asked the companies — Bark Technologies, Gaggle.net, GoGuardian and Securly — whether their software flags students’ online searches for abortion and other related terms.
“It would be deeply disturbing if your software flags words or activity that suggest students are searching for contraception, abortion or other related services, and if school administrators, parents and even law enforcement were potentially informed of this activity,” Warren and Markey wrote.
Generally, the so-called “ed tech” companies say the monitoring is intended to stop the next school shooter or student suicide, and that the scans are mostly limited to school e-mails or activity on school computers or internet networks, not private accounts.
Earlier this month, President Joe Biden, under mounting pressure from fellow Democrats to be more forceful in response to the Supreme Court ruling, signed an executive order to try to protect access to abortion. The actions Biden outlined are intended to head off some potential penalties that women seeking abortion may face after the ruling, but his order cannot restore access to abortion in the more than a dozen states where strict limits or total bans have gone into effect.
Biden also asked the Federal Trade Commission to take steps to protect the privacy of those seeking information about reproductive care online. On June 24, the day the high court announced its decision, four Democratic lawmakers asked the FTC to investigate Apple and Google for allegedly deceiving millions of mobile phone users by enabling the collection and sale of their personal data of all kinds to third parties.
In May, several Senate Democrats urged the CEOs of Google and Apple to prohibit apps on the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store from using data-mining practices that could facilitate the targeting of individuals seeking abortion services.
Follow Marcy Gordon at https://twitter.com/mgordonap
CINCINNATI, July 14, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR), America's largest grocery retailer, today announced its participation in the National Convening to Inform the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health at the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington, D.C. This one-day event serves to bring together critical viewpoints to identify and discuss solutions for the crises the nation faces around hunger, nutrition and diet-related chronic disease.
"Kroger's position at the nexus of fresh food and healthcare gives us a unique perspective on the role nutrition plays in prevention and mitigation of chronic illness," said Rodney McMullen, Kroger's chairman and CEO. "We are proud to share what we have learned through our Zero Hunger | Zero Waste commitment to help create communities free of hunger and waste as well as our Food As Medicine platform that helps people lives healthier lives. We thank the Bipartisan Policy Center and the Task Force on Hunger, Nutrition and Health for inviting us to participate in this important conversation."
"The centerpiece of Kroger's comprehensive ESG strategy is our Zero Hunger | Zero Waste social and environmental impact plan," said Keith Dailey, Kroger's group vice president of Corporate Affairs and chief sustainability officer. "We are making strong progress against our ambitious goals to direct more than three billion meals by 2025 to feed hungry families in America and to provide not just more food, but more fresh and nutritious food through associates who are rescuing and donating surplus fresh produce every day across our family of stores."
Alongside its Zero Hunger | Zero Waste platform, Kroger has long empowered its customers to explore the ways nutrition positively impacts health outcomes through its Food as Medicine platform and through its network of pharmacies and health clinics, which make health care more accessible and affordable for more Americans.
"Today, more Americans are sick than are healthy," said Colleen Lindholz, president of Kroger Health. "Simply put, this is unacceptable, and we thank the Task Force for taking action. At Kroger, we aspire to make a real difference in the lives of our customers and associates by making it easier to access, choose and enjoy healthy foods, while connecting them to expert and trusted health care providers."
The one-day national convening event on July 14 brought together scientists, nonprofits, community organizations, industry representatives and Congressional leaders to move the nation closer to the goals of ending hunger, improving nutrition and reducing diet-related chronic disease in the United States by 2030. The outcomes of the convening will be delivered to the Biden-Harris Administration to inform the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health taking place in September.
This event was not organized or endorsed by the White House, but represents an independent effort to convene voices from across the nation to help solve the issues at the heart of the Conference's focus.
At The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR), we are dedicated to our Purpose: to Feed the Human Spirit™. We are, across our family of companies, nearly half a million associates who serve over nine million customers daily through a seamless digital shopping experience and 2,800 retail food stores under a variety of banner names, serving America through food inspiration and uplift, and creating #ZeroHungerZeroWaste communities by 2025. To learn more about us, visit our newsroom and investor relations site.
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SOURCE The Kroger Co.
There was a time when customers relied on one bank for all their needs, and each generation remained loyal to the institution their parents used.
Those days are rapidly coming to an end.
A accurate report from the Bank Administration Institute (BAI) found that less than half of Gen Z and millennials used the same financial institution as their parents in 2021. That's a significant drop compared to 61% of Gen Z and 54% of millennials in 2020.
With younger customers fully aware of their wealth of options — and valuing very different things than their parents — big banks will need to catch up to remain relevant.
Although Gen Z and millennials do value low fees (31% and 36% respectively) more than any other factor, they don't prioritize them as much as older generations.
Meanwhile, over 60% of Gen Z and millennials would consider switching for better mobile banking apps or digital capabilities. Other factors include better rates and cash incentives and rewards.
Mark Riddle — director of research and content delivery at the BAI — notes that younger Gen Zers, who may not have income of their own, are less likely to care about rates and less likely to own a credit card.
The younger generations were also much more likely to consider banking with a non-traditional player, such as Amazon, Google or PayPal.
Riddle adds that the rise of online banking means younger Americans are less loyal to one financial institution and often have accounts with multiple institutions, which means increased competition for big banking players.
For Carissa Cabrera — a 28-year-old marine conservationist based in O'ahu, Hawaii — choosing the right bank comes down to its values.
“It's extremely important to me that the company shares the same values in environmentalism,” Cabrera says in an email. “At this point in my life, I don't support brands or products that don't include some form of sustainable and ethical practice.”
She says the main thing she considers in a financial institution is whether or not it is funding the fossil fuel industry.
The BAI reports that over half of Gen Zers and millennials would switch financial service organizations for a higher commitment to ESG and DEI. In comparison, only a third of Gen X and less than 20% of boomers say they would do the same.
ESG (environmental, social and governance) is a system for measuring a company’s commitment to bettering society, while DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) refers to measures that are specifically meant to promote inclusion for groups such as people of color and the LGBTQ+ community.
Cabrera currently uses the Bank of Hawaii for her business — an environmental media company called The Conservationist Collective — and a local credit union for her personal accounts.
She adds that members of The Conservationist Collective may also have accounts with institutions like Aspiration, a green banking alternative.
Sustainable banking means different things to different people, notes Pete Hellwig, co-founder of Atmos.
“When I say sustainable banking, I'm referring to the act of using your money to support environmentally friendly or environmentally positive projects or assets,” he explains.
Atmos is a digital banking solution that funds climate-positive infrastructure and gives you cash back on sustainable brands.
Hellwig notes that the average customer is in their late 30s, but clients range from 18 to 80.
“I mean, [young people] are changing the world, right?” says Riddle. “It's no longer acceptable for publicly traded companies not to address ESG or DEI. And the younger generations are just more in tune to … social justice.”
Riddle says it may be difficult for financial institutions to measure and prove these commitments, however.
You can check a bank’s certifications if you’re looking for a socially responsible institution.
For example, Atmos is fossil-free certified and is a member of the Conservation Alliance. Amalgamated Bank is a Certified B corporation, a designation that indicates high transparency and social and environmental performance, and is part of the Global Alliance for Banking On Values.
Only a third of Gen Z completely agreed with the statement that their financial service organizations were effectively meeting their needs.
The biggest business challenges for bankers in 2022 is to Excellerate the customer’s digital experience and acquire new customers, reports the BAI.
By 2024, customers expect 61% of their banking business to be digital and 39% human-assisted.
Riddle emphasizes that banks need to invest in multiple channels — they can’t solely prioritize digital, for example — and have to cater to all generations.
As for Cabrera, she says younger generations have inherited a dying planet, and it’s their responsibility to find solutions to the climate crisis.
“We know that if we don't do something now, we will lose the chance to do anything at all.”
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This article provides information only and should not be construed as advice. It is provided without warranty of any kind.
For the first time since 2013, Networks Northwest conducted a survey of northwest lower Michigan to determine how much money workers in different industries were making.
The survey launched in March through Survey Monkey and was sent to employers at businesses of all sizes, as well as schools and nonprofit organizations to get a full scope of data. Links to the survey were sent out through Constant Contact and through direct email. Email lists from Networks Northwest and eight other partners were combined to create a list of survey recipients.
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After sending the survey link to thousands of employers across the 10 county region, they received 448 total responses, a 40 percent increase over the 2013 survey. Networks Northwest was able to compile data for 29 job families with a total of 677 jobs.
“I think we learned a lot from the (survey) we had done in 2013. We had started planning and developing this survey back in April 2021. We pulled together focus groups and we took steps to be very intentional, partnering with our local economic development organizations, our chamber of commerces, I think we took better strides to increase participation,” said Chief Program Officer for Networks Northwest Jessica Willis.
“I think there was a real hunger for it as well. People were very interested in it. So I think it was a combination of a couple of things; getting the word out, being more intentional, but also there was clearly a need in the community to want to get this information.”
According to the Department of Technology, Management and Budget unemployment report released on July 28, northwest lower Michigan experienced a 10 percent increase in unemployment in the month of June, but employment has increased by about 5 percent over the year.
“Most of Michigan’s regional jobless rates saw typical June increases,” said Wayne
Rourke, associate director of the Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic
Initiatives, in a press release. “June nonfarm jobs increased throughout the state as seasonal hiring continued across multiple industries.”
The Networks Northwest survey reflected growth over the last nine years as the size of industries and types of jobs increased since the survey in 2013, which had 22 job families and 406 occupations.
The top three industries identified in the survey were manufacturing, not-for-profit and hospitality/food service/personal care. The top three occupations fell under office administration, executive management and finance.
Networks Northwest has put significant energy into expanding the manufacturing industry in the region as a way to diversify the economy and expand beyond reliance on seasonal industries like tourism.
According to the most accurate job report, northwest lower Michigan’s civilian labor force has increased by 3 percent since last year, going from 150,500 in June 2021 to 155,000 in June 2022. This is supported by the 2020 census, which showed a 4.3 percent increase in Emmet County’s population since 2010.
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The goal of the wage survey is to allow employers to compare themselves to other local employers in the same industry.
“We look at it as just one tool, a very important tool, for businesses to use in order to attract talent, as well as to retain talent. That's really important right now,” Willis said.
“But I also like to look in longer terms as well, this can be useful for even training providers, educators, colleges to really look at the industries and (provide) career pathways, career training programs that can meet that need that we see out there. So I think there's kind of an immediate application that businesses can use it for, but I think it's also a really good planning tool for that sector of our workforce, the career and training providers.”
Willis said Networks Northwest is aiming to do a similar survey every two to three years in order to get a more accurate look at changes in employment and specific industries, especially during major events like the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is really our first step in trying to continue on a cycle so that in another two, three years, we'll have a better comparison to see which industries are growing, which are declining, it will just be a clearer picture than comparing from 2013,” Willis said.
Contact reporter Tess Ware at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter, @Tess_Petoskey
This article originally appeared on The Petoskey News-Review: Networks Northwest completes first wage survey since 2013
(MENAFN- Colombo Gazette)
Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Samantha Power, noted that unrest forced former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to flee Sri Lanka.
Speaking on the state of global food security and nutrition, Power said that Sri Lanka will not be the last Government to fall.
She said that unrest fuelled by a mix of corruption and inflation forced Sri Lanka's President to resign and flee.
“If history is any guide we know it wont be the last Government to fall,” she added.
The Administrator shared bold steps the US Government is taking to combat the worsening hunger and malnutrition crisis for the world's most vulnerable.
Power was joined by senior representatives from private philanthropy pursuing public-private investment in the fight against hunger and malnutrition. (Colombo Gazette)
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By Laura Sanicola
(Reuters) - Demand for transportation fuels remains strong despite mixed signals from inventory data collected by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), U.S. fuelmakers said on Thursday.
Fears that the U.S. economy is heading into a recession have sent crude oil prices lower as recessions are usually followed by periods of lower fuel demand.
Demand for gasoline has remained below the five-year seasonal average since early June, according to EIA data. U.S. gasoline demand rebounded by 8.5% last week after falling in early July, the data showed.
"Through our wholesale channel, there's really no indication of any demand destruction ... in June, we actually set sales records," Gary Simmons, Valero Energy Corp executive vice president, told analysts on the company's second-quarter earnings call on Thursday.
He added that the company sold 911,000 barrels a day in the month of June, surpassing a previous record in August 2018.
"Our seven-day averages now are back to kind of that June level, with gasoline at pre-pandemic levels and diesel continuing to trend above pre-pandemic levels," Simmons said.
PBF Energy Inc executives also said on a Thursday earnings call that wholesale demand has remained strong.
"We’re at the same levels we’ve been for the past 90 days," said PBF Chief Executive Tom Nimbley.
Average gasoline prices, a major contributing factor to U.S. inflation, have come down 15% in the past month, according to data from the American Automobile Association.
Refiners say that even if the United States is to experience a recession, refiners will still need to churn out fuel to restock inventories depleted during the first half of 2022.
"Inevitably inventories will need to be replenished from these extraordinary low levels ... this will require refineries to continue running at high levels of utilization," Nimbley said.
U.S. refiners will also be able to sell fuel to South America at competitive prices even if demand falls in the United States due to a recession, according to Simmons.
U.S. distillate inventories are at 111.7 million barrels, well below the 10-year seasonal average. In May, distillate inventories fell below 105 million, the lowest level since 2005.
Due to a accurate recovery in jet fuel demand, U.S. refineries are shifting fuel yields away from making gasoline and prioritizing jet fuel and ultra low sulfur diesel, Simmons said.
More diesel is also being pulled into the marine sector due to shipping rules that took effect in 2020 which required vessels to use low sulfur marine fuel, he added.
(Reporting by Laura Sanicola in New York; Editing by Matthew Lewis)
As a marketer, you have been exposed to a variety of different terms that define what is done in building both business and nonprofit awareness. Many individuals view marketing and branding as one in the same. But they are different. Branding is focused on the heart and marketing is focused on the mind. Branding is linking values, emotions and connections. Marketing is making sure that buyers understand and believe in the brand and what it offers.
In the 1950’s Philip Kotler at Northwestern University coined the word “marketing”. He defined it as everything an organization does from the time it perceives the need for a product or service until it is in the hands of the ultimate consumer.
Marketing drives awareness of an organization’s brand. Its role is to build awareness in the mind of buyers so they see no suitable substitute for the product or service that is being offered.
Branding is the personality of an organization and marketing is how the brand is communicated.
It is commonly understood that there are seven "P"s of marketing. They are: product, price, promotion, place, people, process and physical evidence. There are four types of brands: corporate, personal, product and service brands. We are going to focus on corporate, product and service brands.
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Even though branding and marketing are different, they support one another. Branding is what decides how your audience feels about your company. It's the core tenet to brand or company loyalty. A great promotion or marketing campaign may be enough to get a new customer through the door, but it's how that customer feels about the brand that determines whether or not they'll return or recommend it.
When creating a brand there are five elements that need to be considered: position, promise, personality traits, story and associations.
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What position do you want to hold in the mind of buyers or potential buyers so they seek you out for a solution to solve a problem?
What promise are you going to make to get them to take the action you want?
What personality traits are you going to display that potentially align with your buyers?
What stories can you tell that resonate with buyers so they connect with you emotionally and then physically?
And, how will you connect buyers with others who have already “bought into” your brand messaging?
Branding is why a buyer should consider a product or service to solve a problem for them. Marketing is how a buyer becomes aware of the solution.
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Branding is long-term. It is all about positioning in the mind of the buyer to generate a preference.
Marketing is short-term. It is about a specific campaign to raise awareness and building understanding of solutions being provided. Marketing initiatives include campaigns, content, public relations and interactions with your target audience or customer.
Branding is macro; it concerns itself with big picture.
Marketing is micro; it applies to tools that are used to generate awareness, understanding and believability.
Branding defines trajectory. It is the direction the organization is taking and the position in which it wants to reside in the mind of potential buyers.
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Marketing defines the tactics that provide the direction. It defines what tools, i.e., traditional or digital, will be used to achieve a preferential position in the mind of consumers.
Branding builds loyalty, while marketing generates a response. Loyalty is built by generating preference via linking values that appeal to buyers, while marketing tactics create action on the part of buyers.
Branding creates value, while marketing extracts value. Brands represent the values that the provider has applied to the product, service or organization providing the solution. Marketing is the way that values are communicated and positioned so that buyers are attracted to the brand.
Branding is about being, while marketing concerns itself with doing.
Contributed by Marc L. Goldberg, Certified Mentor. SCORE Cape Cod & the Islands, www.capecod.score.org, email@example.com, 508-775-4884. Source: Sarah Sarwar, Content Creator, UI/UX Designer. /Thesis Agency- Branding vs. Marketing.
This article originally appeared on Cape Cod Times: Small business tips: Branding, marketing are keys to business success