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Exam Code: AWS-CSAP Practice exam 2022 by Killexams.com team
AWS-CSAP AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Professional (SOP-C01)

Format : Multiple choice, multiple answer
Type : Professional
Delivery Method : Testing center or online proctored exam
Time : 180 minutes to complete the exam
Language : Available in English, Japanese, Korean, and Simplified Chinese

The AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Professional (SAP-C01) examination is intended for individuals who perform a solutions architect professional role. This exam validates advanced technical skills and experience in designing distributed applications and systems on the AWS platform.
It validates an examinees ability to:
 Design and deploy dynamically scalable, highly available, fault-tolerant, and reliable applications on AWS.
 Select appropriate AWS services to design and deploy an application based on given requirements.
 Migrate complex, multi-tier applications on AWS.
 Design and deploy enterprise-wide scalable operations on AWS.
 Implement cost-control strategies.
Recommended AWS and General IT Knowledge and Experience
 2 or more years of hands-on experience designing and deploying cloud architecture on AWS
 Ability to evaluate cloud application requirements and make architectural recommendations for implementation, deployment, and provisioning applications on AWS
 Ability to provide best practice guidance on the architectural design across multiple applications and projects of the enterprise
 Familiarity with a scripting language
 Familiarity with Windows and Linux environments
 Familiarity with AWS CLI, AWS APIs, AWS CloudFormation templates, the AWS Billing Console, and the AWS Management Console
 Explain and apply the five pillars of the AWS Well-Architected Framework
 Map business objectives to application/architecture requirements
 Design a hybrid architecture using key AWS technologies (e.g., VPN, AWS Direct Connect)
 Architect a continuous integration and deployment process

Domain 1: Design for Organizational Complexity 12.5%
Domain 2: Design for New Solutions 31%
Domain 3: Migration Planning 15%
Domain 4: Cost Control 12.5%
Domain 5: Continuous Improvement for Existing Solutions 29%
TOTAL 100%

Domain 1: Design for Organizational Complexity
- Determine cross-account authentication and access strategy for complex organizations (for example, an organization with varying compliance requirements, multiple business units, and varying scalability requirements)
- Determine how to design networks for complex organizations (for example, an organization with varying compliance requirements, multiple business units, and varying scalability requirements)
- Determine how to design a multi-account AWS environment for complex organizations (for example, an organization with varying compliance requirements, multiple business units, and varying scalability requirements)
Domain 2: Design for New Solutions
- Determine security requirements and controls when designing and implementing a solution
- Determine a solution design and implementation strategy to meet reliability requirements
- Determine a solution design to ensure business continuity
- Determine a solution design to meet performance objectives
- Determine a deployment strategy to meet business requirements when designing and implementing a solution
Domain 3: Migration Planning
- Select existing workloads and processes for potential migration to the cloud
- Select migration tools and/or services for new and migrated solutions based on detailed AWS knowledge
- Determine a new cloud architecture for an existing solution
- Determine a strategy for migrating existing on-premises workloads to the cloud
Domain 4: Cost Control
- Select a cost-effective pricing model for a solution
- Determine which controls to design and implement that will ensure cost optimization
- Identify opportunities to reduce cost in an existing solution
Domain 5: Continuous Improvement for Existing Solutions
- Troubleshoot solution architectures
- Determine a strategy to Excellerate an existing solution for operational excellence
- Determine a strategy to Excellerate the reliability of an existing solution
- Determine a strategy to Excellerate the performance of an existing solution
- Determine a strategy to Excellerate the security of an existing solution
- Determine how to Excellerate the deployment of an existing solution

AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Professional (SOP-C01)
Amazon Professional information
Killexams : Amazon Professional information - BingNews https://killexams.com/pass4sure/exam-detail/AWS-CSAP Search results Killexams : Amazon Professional information - BingNews https://killexams.com/pass4sure/exam-detail/AWS-CSAP https://killexams.com/exam_list/Amazon Killexams : 5 Amazon product listing optimization must-haves

What exactly does it mean to have your Amazon product listing be fully optimized? And why does it matter?

Every aspect of the product listing page can be seen as an opportunity for optimization:

  • Product titles.
  • Descriptions.
  • Bullet points.
  • Images.
  • Keywords.
  • Vital product information.
  • Additional manufacturer’s information.
  • Reviews.
  • And everything else on the page. 

It isn’t just about making sure the visitors have enough information to make a purchase decision or even being persuasive with these elements to increase your sales (although it matters). 

The content on these pages is also a big contributor to where your product list will rank on Amazon search based on their A10 algorithm.

Just like with Google, most Amazon shoppers aren’t going past the first results page. So a higher ranking means more visibility for your product with shoppers.

Amazon product listing optimization should be ongoing, but the following are the must-haves to get you started (or continued) in the right direction. 

1. Optimizing your product title on Amazon

An optimized title for your product helps both with text match relevancy and click-through rate (CTR). Considering both are significant factors in ranking, this makes it one of the most important elements to optimize. 

Shoppers will be reading your title on the results page to see if your product matches what they are looking for. You want to be accurate here in your description to ensure your product detail page has a high conversion rate for the A10 algorithm.

Here are some tips to make sure your title is optimized:

  • Include your keywords and keep them at the beginning.
  • Avoid all caps but capitalize the first letter of every word.
  • Review the category-specific guidelines for length. Keep in mind mobile breaks as well.
  • Don’t use symbols.

2. Using images on your product detail page

As important as the title is, your sales will be close to zero if you don’t have any images. But bad images can be just as hurtful to your sales.

The brain processes images exponentially faster than it does words. Attractive photos often make the difference between a buyer choosing your product over a competitor.

As advanced as smartphone cameras have become, professional photos still make a difference. It is often due to the capabilities of the person behind the camera more so than the hardware.

The most important image is your main image. This is what shoppers see on the search results. This should be your product against a white background, showing exactly what the product looks like. The right image here will lead to a higher relevant CTR.

Besides the main image, you will want a combination of infographic and lifestyle images:

  • Infographic images allow you to include text on your images that highlight the benefits or certain characteristics of your product. 
  • Lifestyle images show your product actually being used. This helps potential buyers imagine what it would be like if they had the product. 

Pay attention to demographics for both infographics and lifestyle photos. Shoppers will identify with people like them and it will make your product more relatable and appealing.

3. Optimizing your bullet points

Bullet points are there to highlight and provide quick information to shoppers. You should be descriptive and provide strategic information to help in purchase decisions and differentiating factors.

You want to keep your bullet points clear and concise. There is no need to stuff with keywords and provide fluff words here.

Many shoppers are in the skimming mindset and are looking for fast, easily digestible information. That is why we also recommend capitalizing the first letter of the word and keeping the overall character count less than 1,000 for all five of the bullet points.

Try to test using emojis at the beginning of the bullet points. This can help draw the eyes in even more and provide a visual to aid the text and comprehension.

4. Product description optimization

Here is where you can provide detailed information about your product and its features. This information can help reinforce the product’s features and uses. It also provides an area for product information not found in other areas. 

Any relevant details about the product should be mentioned here. This includes:

  • Brand names.
  • Sizes.
  • Materials.
  • Colors.
  • Quantity. 

While the product description is important, when having an A+ page, it can take a backseat to the enhanced brand content available.

5. A+ content

Registered brands on Amazon can take their product descriptions to the next level with A+ content. 

A+ content allows sellers to add additional images, text and videos to their product detail pages. This even includes comparison charts of competitors.

The content here instantly grabs the shopper’s attention and makes all of the product’s features easier to skim.

The additional content also helps to preemptively answer questions the buyer may have.

All of which will lead to an improved conversion rate. 

Putting it all together

All of the different elements on the product listing page work together on Amazon. Missing any of them will lead to your product listing looking incomplete and hurt your sales.

Not only does the loss of sales hurt your bottom line, it also hurts your ranking on Amazon. Well-optimized products sell more and Amazon rewards those high converting sellers with higher rankings. 

By putting it all together you can capitalize on the A10 algorithm and increase your sales and visibility on Amazon.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.

New on Search Engine Land

About The Author

Evan Facinger is a digital marketer with 15 years of experience and is the Director of Sales and Marketing at Foremost Media, a full-service digital marketing and web development agency. Evan has a robust background that includes; Amazon optimization, search engine optimization (SEO), conversion rate optimization (CRO), marketing automation, and pay-per-click management. He has helped hundreds of clients realize their business goals through digital marketing.

Tue, 02 Aug 2022 22:00:00 -0500 Evan Facinger en text/html https://searchengineland.com/amazon-product-listing-optimization-must-haves-386902
Killexams : Amazon Posts: A Way To Get Free Traffic

CEO & Founder of AMZ One Step | Amazon Creatives Agency | Helping Amazon Sellers Succeed.

It’s no surprise that the competition on Amazon is fierce—after all, it’s the world’s largest marketplace. Just to get seen, retailers have to pour money into PPC campaigns and Buy Box bids, and the high-traffic keywords are already dominated by big brands with bigger wallets. Luckily, there’s a little-known shortcut to getting traffic without the cost, and it’s been right under our noses this whole time.

Amazon Posts first launched in 2019, but as of this writing, it’s still in beta. Amazon is still working out the kinks of this hybrid between social-style content and on-site advertising, so they’re holding off on the publicity for now. That means you can still get in on the ground floor (as long as you meet the criteria).

Below, I’ll outline what online retailers need to know about this potentially game-changing feature: what it is, how it works, and whether or not you meet the requirements. If all goes well, you could be looking at a whole new avenue for Amazon traffic, and for free.

At AMZ One Step, we have created over 80,000 images for Amazon Posts. Most of our clients are taking advantage of this feature and are generating free traffic to their listings. We have seen up to a 15% increase in traffic if Amazon Posts are utilized frequently.

What Are Amazon Posts?

Amazon Posts allow sellers to share content about their products in the same style as social media, such as images with captions. Shoppers can simply click on your Post and a link takes them directly to the product page. This allows retailers to increase both visibility and traffic (and sales, by extension) without having to bid or buy ad space.

Posts are uploaded just like social media posts, although the user doesn’t get to choose where or when they appear. Amazon’s algorithm automatically assigns Posts to pages that are most relevant, typically by product category.

How Do Amazon Posts Work?

At the moment, Posts appear in four separate locations:

• Your product detail pages.

• Product detail pages of related brands.

• Category feeds.

• Your own brand feed.

At the bottom of product detail pages for you and related brands, a picture carousel displays your Posts with interactive swiping so that shoppers can scroll through them horizontally. If your Posts are enticing enough, you’ll be able to attract customers from competitors’ pages or inspire shoppers to buy more of your products.

Based on what you’re selling, Amazon also assigns your Posts auto-tags like “baby playmats” or “cutlery and knives.” Shoppers can click on these tags to bring up an entire feed of Posts for that category, allowing shoppers to browse new products and brands. Similarly, each brand has its own feed with all its Posts. Loyal customers will want to keep an eye on your brand to see what’s new.

Each Post consists of five parts:

• Brand information: The top of your Posts shows your brand name and an icon for your logo.

• Image: Your photo fills up the majority of your Post so shoppers can easily see it.

• Caption: Write a caption of up to 2,200 characters to describe your product; the finished Post shows the first two lines by default.

• ‘Show product’ tab: Clicking on this tab reveals product information like its full title, rating and price. Clicking on this information takes the shopper to your product page.

• Tags: The Post’s category tags are listed at the bottom and take shoppers to the category feeds when clicked.

Aside from the tags, sellers are free to set all these parts how they like. The image, in particular, can be used strategically; savvy sellers can upload attention-grabbing visuals to ensure they get noticed whenever they pop up.

Who Can Use Amazon Posts?

Unlike Amazon’s other invite-only programs, Posts are comparatively much more open. To be able to use Posts, you must be one of the following:

• Enrolled in Amazon Brand Registry.

• A member of the Vendor programs.

• An agency representing a Vendor.

Considering the emphasis on branding, it makes sense that only registered brands can participate. This allows you to group all your products and Posts together under the same banner to encourage customer loyalty.

However, because it’s still in beta, Amazon Posts are only available in the U.S. Based on how Amazon’s other features have rolled out, it’s safe to assume that once Posts gets further along, it will become accessible to other countries and their marketplaces.

Better Visuals Make Better Visibility

Because Posts are reliant on visuals, the images you post are going to make all the difference. Amazon is a competitive marketplace, so I would recommend doing proper research before working on your creatives. This research must include reading reviews and commonly asked questions on your existing listing and/or your top competitor’s listings. Amazon Posts could be white background, infographics or lifestyle images. Invest in a high-quality camera and work with a professional editor.

If you’re not confident in your product pictures or want to leverage the touch of an expert, a lot of sellers rely on Amazon product photography services.

Amazon Posts are still a very underutilized feature of your storefront. If you are not posting frequently, you are missing out. It increases your brand awareness and free traffic, which will potentially increase your sales on Amazon.


Forbes Agency Council is an invitation-only community for executives in successful public relations, media strategy, creative and advertising agencies. Do I qualify?


Sun, 31 Jul 2022 23:45:00 -0500 Kamaljit Singh en text/html https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesagencycouncil/2022/08/01/amazon-posts-a-way-to-get-free-traffic/
Killexams : Practically Everyone I Know Wanted a Massage Gun on Amazon Prime Day — and This Best-Seller Is 35% Off Now

Going to a professional for a deep tissue massage requires a lot of time and money that some of us don't have, but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy the benefits at home. I talked to a variety of people who said they were after a massage gun during Amazon Prime Day for these reasons and I just so happened to find a best-seller that's 35 percent off right now.

The Toloco Massage Gun comes in a set that includes a carrying case and 10 attachments that allow you to use a variety of techniques to target specific muscles and pain points. It also has a touchscreen display that shows the speed and power, which can be adjusted to fit your needs. We suggest starting with a low level to warm up your muscles before working your way up to level 20, which is a "professional mode," according to the brand.

Amazon

Buy It! Toloco Massage Gun, $129.99 (orig. $199.99); amazon.com

With so many massage guns on the market, it can be hard to know which model is actually worth the money. Thankfully, this one is backed by more than 20,900 five-star ratings and it's a number-one best-seller, so you really can't go wrong.

One reviewer described it as "life-changing" and "extraordinary" for its long battery life and attachments. Another shopper loved that it's "compact and lightweight" so they can easily put it in their gym bag to use after a workout.

Similar to a professional massage, you should limit how much you work your muscles to avoid causing more harm than good. Moderation is key and it's important to provide yourself a break to avoid bruising and increased tightness. According to the Mayo Clinic, a typical massage lasts between 10 to 90 minutes and has several benefits like reduced stress, increased relaxation, improved circulation, and reduced pain.

If you were like many other people and weren't able to get your hands on a massage gun during Prime Day, this is your chance to get a quality product for way less. There's no telling how long this deal will last, so don't hesitate to add the Toloco Massage Gun to your cart while it's on sale.

Do you love a good deal? Sign up for PEOPLE's Shopping newsletter to stay up to date on the latest sales, plus celebrity fashion, home decor and more.

Fri, 05 Aug 2022 07:30:00 -0500 en text/html https://people.com/lifestyle/toloco-massage-gun-sale-amazon/
Killexams : Amazon launches AWS Skill Builder training subscriptions

Amazon Web Services (AWS) expanded its AWS Skill Builder training service with premium subscriptions for people and organizations wanting to expand their cloud services expertise

Amazon Web Services Skill Builder, a web-based learning facility with numerous free cloud technology courses, now features paid subscription services. According to Amazon, AWS Skill Builder learning services begin at $29 every month.

What content will be offered to Amazon Skill Builder subscribers?

Subscriptions to AWS Skill Builder provide certified companies and communities with information that gives them access to developer-specific learning resources. In addition to almost 600 free workshops, a variety of new learning experiences are offered to AWS subscribers.

Individual service offerings include three standardized test prep classes, three AWS Certified solutions and over one hundred AWS Building Company Labs. Individual policy content and daily updates of more than 140 complexities as part of AWS Jam events are included in monthly team subscriptions.

Key takeaways

It’s important to note that over the years, each of the big three cloud industries — Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform — launched a variety of training programs in an attempt to attract new developers and businesses to join their firms. Although these three offer many subscription programs, the courses have mostly been free, as there is a shift toward cloud businesses.

Wed, 03 Aug 2022 21:26:00 -0500 en text/html https://www.techzine.eu/news/infrastructure/85200/amazon-launches-aws-skill-builder-training-subscriptions/
Killexams : Momentum Commerce Launches New Amazon Search Trends Tool

Free Amazon Search Trends Tool Reveals Patterns in Consumer Search Behavior by Brand and Category –

BOSTON, Aug. 3, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Momentum Commerce, a modern digital retail consultancy, today announced the launch of its Amazon Search Trends Tool. The free interface provides comprehensive views into what search terms are most associated with a certain brand's products on Amazon, what search terms present the biggest potential opportunities for a brand, along with individual search term volume on Amazon over time.

Momentum Commerce (PRNewsfoto/Momentum Commerce)

The free Amazon Search Trends Tool provides comprehensive views into Amazon search behavior across key metrics

In this way, the Amazon Search Trends Tool by Momentum Commerce addresses a major blind spot for brands. Many brands and investors are accustomed to using Google Trends data to plan new product development or inform their merger and acquisition strategy. However, transactional search activity has increasingly migrated from Google to Amazon, creating a gap in the market for this type of intelligence. 

Amazon's own reporting on search frequency is limited to simple ranks on a monthly, weekly, or daily basis, with no ability for brands or investors to truly discern how many real times a given term is searched, and how that shifts over time. This presents understandable roadblocks when setting a strategy around modifying product detail page content to maximize discoverability, where to focus additional advertising spend, or researching a product or brand's trajectory on Amazon.

"Many of our strategy consulting clients rely on Amazon search data to inform strategic decision making surrounding what products to develop or brands to acquire," said Eileen Devor, Head of Strategy at Momentum Commerce. "The new Amazon Search Trends tool unveils this data quickly and simply, speeding up that research and decision-making process."

Users of Momentum Commerce's Amazon Search Trends Tool simply select one of over 50,000 brands selling on Amazon. Momentum Commerce's expansive data set and advanced data science capabilities then provide a series of breakdowns around that brand's presence and opportunity on Amazon.

Each of these breakdowns comes with real monthly search volume estimates since October 2021 attached, with full data tables and interactive visualizations:

  • All Terms – all search terms where the selected brand's products appear on the first page of results, along with search terms where highly relevant competitive products appear
  • Brand Terms – search terms where the selected brand's name is in the search query itself
  • Direct Terms – all search terms where the selected brand's products appear on the first page of results
  • Opportunity Terms – all search terms where the selected brand's products do not appear on page 1 of the search results, but highly relevant competitive products do appear

"Our team manages hundreds of millions of dollars in Amazon Advertising spend on behalf of our clients. Getting the results they are looking for requires staying continually ahead of the curve," said Noah Jones, Lead Retail Media Analyst at Momentum Commerce. "While we cannot directly control how often consumers search for our client's products, if we measure activity changes carefully, it's easier to confidently adapt our approach to Excellerate marketing outcomes." 

The Amazon Search Trends Tool sits alongside Momentum Commerce's well-known free Amazon Brand Index, which ranks tens of thousands of brands based on paid and organic share of voice on Amazon.com by week over the past year. The new interface's launch comes just weeks after Momentum Commerce's interactive Prime Day Brand Scoreboard, recapping the activity of hundreds of thousands of different brands across more than 1,500 categories during Amazon Prime Day 2022.

"Amazon remains a proverbial black box across a number of areas. Our experience in building tools that illuminate these sources of intelligence is that it helps makes brands and investors better informed, and naturally make better decisions," said John T Shea, CEO and Founder of Momentum Commerce. "The Momentum Commerce Amazon Search Trends Tool, and our decision to provide this technology to the market for free, is just one step further in our mission to become the most respected consultancy in data-driven eCommerce sales and marketing."

The Amazon Search Trends Tool is available for free with no sign up required and can be found at https://app.momentumcommerce.com/apps/amazon-search-trends

About Momentum Commerce

Momentum Commerce is a modern consultancy offering brands flexible technology and professional services to grow sales on digital retail platforms such as Amazon, Walmart.com and Target.com. Comprised of half technologists and half consultants, Momentum Commerce's team provides unrivaled data assets with a scientific approach to retail media management, insights services, and bespoke projects brands need to meet their growth goals. With a mission to be the most respected firm in the space, Momentum Commerce brand clients include emerging and enterprise brands such as Crocs, Chaps, Lush Decor, Level Home, XMONDO and many more. For more information, please visit https://momentumcommerce.com.

The Amazon Search Trends Tool by Momentum Commerce helps brands discover where their products appear on Amazon, along with competitors, and the best opportunities for expansion. (Photo: Momentum Commerce)

Cision View original content to download multimedia:https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/momentum-commerce-launches-new-amazon-search-trends-tool-301598884.html

SOURCE Momentum Commerce

Wed, 03 Aug 2022 04:00:00 -0500 en text/html https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/momentum-commerce-launches-new-amazon-search-trends-tool-1031646027
Killexams : Morgan State chosen for Amazon’s Employee Career Choice Program

Offered in collaboration with Morgan State University’s College of Interdisciplinary and Continuing Studies (CICS), the Career Choice program now allows Amazon hourly employees in Maryland and neighboring states to select Morgan as a destination to pursue a degree or learn new skills, with pre-paid tuition covered by Amazon. (Photo courtesy of Amazon)

Morgan State University on Wednesday announced a partnership with Amazon naming Maryland’s largest historically Black college and university (HBCU) as a new ‘education partner’ for the company’s Career Choice program.

Offered in collaboration with the University’s College of Interdisciplinary and Continuing Studies (CICS), the Career Choice program now allows Amazon hourly employees in Maryland and neighboring states to select Morgan as a destination to pursue a degree or learn new skills, with pre-paid tuition covered by Amazon. Morgan is one of three Maryland universities to be designated an Amazon Career Choice institution and the first four-year HBCU in the program’s network.

Amazon’s Career Choice program has a rigorous selection process for third-party partner educators, choosing partners that are focused on helping employees through their education programs, assisting them with job placements, and overall offering education that leads to career success. At present, there are more than 140 universities and colleges participating nationwide.

Morgan, by way of its newly launched College of Interdisciplinary and Continuing Studies, will offer participating Amazon employees with more than 60 transfer credits up to eight interdisciplinary bachelor’s degree program options, online learning opportunities and support from dedicated advisors who are paired with each candidate to steward successful matriculation. Amazon employees, without any college credits and just starting to pursue their degree, will also have the option to enroll in any of the University’s nearly 60 other available undergraduate degree programs.

Amazon’s Career Choice program is an education benefit that empowers employees to learn new skills for career success at Amazon or elsewhere. The program meets individual learners where they are in pursuit of their education through a variety of education and upskilling opportunities including pre-paid college tuition, industry certifications designed to lead to in-demand jobs, and foundational skills such as English language proficiency, high school diplomas and GEDs.

In the U.S., the company is investing $1.2 billion to upskill more than 300,000 employees by 2025 to help move them into higher-paying, in-demand jobs. Amazon currently has more than 750,000 hourly employees in the U.S., 15,000 of which work throughout the Baltimore metropolitan area.

Morgan’s CICS and Amazon’s Career Choice as both are rooted in addressing the professional and educational aspirations of today’s workforce. The Amazon employees coming to Morgan will first interface with CICS for an assessment of their educational aspirations and guidance for enrolling as a beginning student seeking to pursue an undergraduate degree or as a college reentry candidate for the “Morgan Completes You” initiative.

Morgan Completes You offers eight available degree tracks with an interdisciplinary curriculum for students with more than 60 transfer credits seeking to complete their degrees. Amazon employees can pursue bachelor’s degrees in Interdisciplinary Engineering, Information, and Computational Sciences; Interdisciplinary Sciences; Interdisciplinary Health and Human Sciences; Interdisciplinary Organizational Administration; Interdisciplinary Educational Studies; Interdisciplinary Technology Services; Interdisciplinary Studies in Societal Equity, and Urbanism; or Interdisciplinary Global Perspectives and Practices.

Launched in fall 2021, CICS provides a range of degree programs to meet the needs of a diverse student body. Program degree requirements are structured to offer maximum flexibility to a wide range of students, including non-traditional students, returning students, working adults, and students who need or prefer distance education. The interdisciplinary nature of these degrees permits students to draw from expertise and resources across campus to design a program of study aligned with local, national and global workforce opportunities.


Wed, 03 Aug 2022 05:44:00 -0500 Daily Record Staff en-US text/html https://thedailyrecord.com/2022/08/03/morgan-st-chosen-for-amazons-employee-career-choice-program/
Killexams : An Amazon warehouse builder with ties to polygamous cult is under investigation
  • Oregon State is investigating an Amazon warehouse builder linked to the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS). 
  • The state's investigation centers around allegations of child labor and wage theft violations.
  • Other FLDS-linked companies have a string of similar violations.

The state of Oregon has subpoenaed the employee and payroll records of a construction company with ties to a fundamentalist Mormon offshoot as part of an ongoing investigation into whether the company is violating child labor and wage theft laws on an under-construction Amazon warehouse, according to documents obtained by Insider through public records requests.

The company, BZI Construction, has worked as a subcontractor on warehouses and big-box stores for household-name brands, including Amazon, Walmart, Lowe's and Kroger, according to media reports and a review of its website. BZI was involved in the construction of at least three other Amazon warehouses, two in California and one in Washington State.

Oregon's investigation, launched in April, focuses on a BZI jobsite in Woodburn, Oregon, where the company is a subcontractor on an under-construction Amazon warehouse developed by Trammell Crow Company, the documents show. Utah-headquartered Layton Construction is the general contractor on the site. Trammell Crow and Layton did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

The investigation, by Oregon's Bureau of Labor and Industries, is open and the state has not yet reached any determinations, agency spokesperson Duke Shepard said. In an email, BZI human resources director Bob Hester said that the company "operates within and follows" federal labor law.

BZI "strives to operate legally and ethically — in all aspects of the business and in all of our dealings with our employees, partners, vendors and customers," Hester wrote. "Any claims to the contrary are unfounded and unsubstantiated."

A review of employee records and business documents shows that BZI's CEO and some of its employees have deep ties to the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS), a radical polygamist group led by imprisoned "prophet" Warren Jeffs. Jeffs is serving a life sentence plus twenty years for presiding over arranged marriages between underage girls and FLDS members, and for sexually assaulting two underage girls he claimed were his "spiritual wives." 

The FLDS is a splinter group of the mainstream Mormon church. The Mormon church abandoned the practice of polygamy over a century ago and is not affiliated with FLDS.

Previous federal Department of Labor investigations, state investigations, and media reports have described a pattern of child labor and wage theft violations at FLDS-linked companies. 

Such businesses have employed children from the church and underpaid employees, the investigations found. Federal labor investigations and media reports have described how FLDS companies employed teens as young as 13 to use heavy equipment on construction sites.

Jeffs' son Wendell Jeffson previously told Insider how, starting from age 14, he was forced to work for FLDS-affiliated companies on construction sites around the country.

"I was kind of freaked out when I was 14 and they told me, 'go jump in this big piece of heavy equipment,'" Jeffson told Insider. "I was pretty scared and I remember I didn't want to, but at that point, I was like 'I got to learn sometime' so I just did it and overcame the fear."

FLDS-linked companies have previously under fire for child labor violations. Brothers of FLDS leader Warren Jeffs Lyle, foreground, and Nephi, are pictured leaving a federal courthouse in Salt Lake City during a 2015 trial over allegations that a company used child church members to labor on pecan farms.
Rick Bowmer/AP

BZI's CEO, James Barlow, was formerly an executive of another construction company, Phaze Concrete, with a string of child labor and wage-theft violations to its name. The Salt Lake Tribune reported in 2015 that Phaze was funneling profits into the FLDS.

BZI declined to make Barlow available for an interview. Hester said in an email that BZI does not have a relationship with "any religious or political organization." Asked in an interview about Barlow and other employees' links to the church, Hester said that he could only speak to the business. "To the individuals, that's personal. I respect their beliefs," he said.

Insider emailed Jeffs through the Texas penitentiary system but did not receive a response.

Amazon does not "tolerate any illegal labor practices," spokesperson Alisa Carroll said in a statement. Amazon expects "all contractors and suppliers doing business with Amazon to treat their workers with respect and dignity and to abide by respective local, state, and federal laws," Carroll said. If issues do arise, Amazon "is prepared to thoroughly investigate, and take action if substantiated." 

Walmart, Lowes and Kroger did not respond to a request for comment. 

Oregon's investigation was sparked by a complaint from the Ironworkers union, which has protested Amazon's use of non-unionized labor on its job sites. (BZI's workers are not unionized.) 

Construction-sector unions stood to benefit from Amazon's pandemic-fueled logistics expansion, which resulted in a doubling of the company's warehouse footprint between 2020 and 2022. While Amazon has recently pulled back on building new warehouses amid softening demand, executives have said they anticipate the construction pause is temporary.

The Ironworkers' complaint is part of a nationwide onslaught of labor activism targeting Amazon. The Teamsters have sought to derail the construction of new Amazon warehouses in protest over what that union calls the company's resistance to warehouse worker organizing. Amazon is also facing union organizing campaigns, coordinated walkouts and other worker activism at roughly a dozen warehouses in the U.S.

In its subpoena, issued July 14, the state requested unredacted copies of BZI's employee and payroll records, which the company had twice refused to provide "out of concerns to maintain employee confidentiality," a BZI attorney wrote to the state in May. The state told BZI in June that the excuse was unacceptable, according to correspondence obtained through a public records request.

"​​We cannot conduct our review without full employees' contact information and being able to reach out to them without the employer's facilitation," a state investigator wrote to the BZI. "You must provide the agency with unredacted records, including the name and contact information for BZI employees." 

The state also requested proof that BZI is depositing workers' wages in their bank accounts. 

BZI complied with the subpoena last week, according to Shepard, the Oregon labor agency spokesperson. In an email, Hester said that BZI "has always timely complied with any request issued by a governing body." 

BZI CEO James Barlow's previous company, Phaze Concrete, settled a child labor and wage theft case with the Department of Labor in 2016. The agency alleged that between 2011 and 2014, Phaze employed two children under the age of 16 to work in construction, paying them less than minimum wage. Phaze admitted no wrongdoing but paid $144,000 in back wages and damages.

Washington state's workplace regulator again cited Phaze for 11 child labor law violations in 2019. Phaze paid an $11,000 penalty.

Phaze did not respond to a request for comment.

Big, national contractors that hire FLDS-linked companies may benefit from cost savings, said Utah private investigator Sam Brower, who has written a book and produced two documentaries about the church, most recently Netflix's "Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey." FLDS-linked companies keep wages low by employing mostly church members, who are willing to accept lower pay on the understanding that their work is benefiting the church, Brower said.

Most of the 95 people employed by BZI at Woodburn are earning between $30-35 an hour, according to wage agreements BZI submitted to Oregon's workplace regulator, well below the state's $41.13 minimum hourly rate for ironworkers on public construction projects. BZI didn't specify a job title for every employee at Woodburn, but for the 17 employees listed as ironworkers, the median pay rate was $30 an hour. For the 24 employees listed as welders, BZI paid a median of $35 an hour.

Hester said in an email that BZI's competitive advantage lies in proprietary technology and processes that provide "significantly safer working environments for thousands of construction workers across the country." 

One BZI employee died in 2020 after plummeting 41 feet while building an Amazon warehouse in Visalia, California, according to federal injury logs. Otherwise, BZI's federal injury reporting indicates that its workers get hurt at a rate well below the industry average for structural steel contractors. 

In accurate years, church-linked companies have grown larger and more professional, Brower said.

"Like the mob, they're trying to go legit," Brower said in an interview with Insider. "They just get better at what they do."

Do you work at Amazon? Got a tip? Contact reporter Katherine Long via the encrypted messaging app Signal (+1-206-375-9280) or email (klong@insider.com).

Tue, 26 Jul 2022 21:00:00 -0500 en-US text/html https://www.businessinsider.com/amazon-warehouse-builder-investigated-for-child-labor-and-wage-theft-2022-7
Killexams : Amazon Smart Thermostat vs. Nest Thermostat: Which Should You Buy?

The Amazon Smart Thermostat currently holds the top spot as our favorite smart thermostat, while the Nest Thermostat snagged "best design" in our list of best budget models. Both smart thermostats have a lot going for them, so we thought we'd compare the two directly to see if one makes more sense for your home. Will it be Amazon or Nest? Let's find out. 

Read more: Lower Your Summer Electric Bill by Setting Your Thermostat to This Temperature

Adam Oram/CNET

Amazon's Smart Thermostat is the first true budget smart thermostat from a major brand. While Nest and Ecobee are still selling their smart thermostats for well over $100, Amazon decided to offer its first model for just $60.

For your $60, you get a nice design, simple installation and streamlined smart connectivity to Alexa-enabled smart speakers and displays via the Alexa app. The Amazon Smart Thermostat isn't compatible with Google Assistant or Siri voice commands, though, so you won't be able to ask your Google Nest or HomeKit smart speakers or displays to adjust the temperature for you.  

You'll also want to check whether your current HVAC system is compatible with this model before you buy. Your purchase doesn't include a C-wire adapter, which you'll need to buy bundled with the thermostat for $75 instead of the standard $60 price if your thermostat wiring doesn't include a C-wire. 

Read the full Amazon Smart Thermostat review

Adam Oram/CNET

Google's most affordable smart thermostat, the Nest Thermostat, is currently on sale for $100 (it's usually $130). With a typical retail price at more than double the Amazon Smart Thermostat, the Nest Thermostat really needs to offer something unique to make it worthwhile. 

Overall, it's a solid smart thermostat that works in the Google Home app and with both Alexa and Google Assistant smart speakers and displays. However, like the Amazon Smart Thermostat, it doesn't work with Apple HomeKit. (At least, not yet.)

Its main standout feature is the design. The Nest Thermostat has the same rounded shape as the flagship Nest Learning Thermostat and comes in four finishes: snow (white), sand (rose gold), fog (a light blue-green gray) and charcoal (dark gray). The touch control on the right side of the thermostat isn't as functional for lefties as the Learning Thermostat's dial, but it worked well enough in my testing. 

This is also an excellent option if you're set on Nest as your smart home platform of choice. That way, you can control all of your various connected devices from the same Google Home app and even create advanced automations in the app or with a Google Assistant voice command. 

Read the full Nest Thermostat review

Read our Nest Thermostat (2020) review.

The takeaway

There isn't a right or wrong answer here. As with most purchases, your choice will largely depend on your unique circumstances and needs. If you're looking for an affordable smart thermostat that masters the basics, the Amazon Smart Thermostat is a great choice. If you like the look of Nest's thermostats, but don't want to spend a whopping $250 on the Learning Thermostat, the Nest Thermostat is a strong alternative that also integrates particularly well with other Nest devices.

Still unsure? Check out our lists of the best smart thermostats and the best affordable smart thermostats for more information. 

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Mon, 25 Jul 2022 00:00:00 -0500 See full bio en text/html https://www.cnet.com/home/energy-and-utilities/amazon-smart-thermostat-vs-nest-thermostat-which-should-you-buy/
Killexams : Amazon Selects Morgan State University as First 4-Year HBCU Education Partner for Employee Career Choice Program

Morgan State University announced a new partnership with Amazon naming Maryland’s largest Historically Black College and University (HBCU) as a new ‘Education Partner’ for the technology company’s Career Choice program.

Offered in collaboration with the University’s College of Interdisciplinary and Continuing Studies (CICS), the Career Choice program now allows Amazon hourly employees located throughout Maryland and neighboring states to select Morgan as a destination to pursue a degree or learn new skills, with pre-paid tuition covered by Amazon. Morgan is one of three Maryland universities to be designated an Amazon Career Choice institution and the first four-year HBCU in the program’s network.

Amazon’s Career Choice program has a rigorous selection process for third-party partner educators, choosing partners that are focused on helping employees through their education programs, assisting them with job placements, and overall offering education that leads to career success. At present, there are more than 140 universities and colleges participating nationwide. Morgan, by way of its newly launched College of Interdisciplinary and Continuing Studies, will offer participating Amazon employees with 60 plus transfer credits up to eight interdisciplinary bachelor’s degree program options, online learning opportunities and support from dedicated advisors who are paired with each candidate to steward successful matriculation. Amazon employees, without any college credits and just starting to pursue their degree, will also have the option to enroll in any of the University’s nearly 60 other available undergraduate degree programs.

“Through strategic partnerships and initiatives like Amazon’s Career Choice Program, Morgan is working to expand opportunities for even more adult learners to pursue degree attainment and have access to in-demand programs that can lead to higher paying careers and advancement,” said David K. Wilson, president of Morgan State University.

“Morgan is proud to be an Amazon educational partner and we look forward to playing a role in the educational journey of their employees. Whether we are talking about an adult learner at the beginning of the process toward earning a college degree or looking to leverage the college credits they already have to get over the finish line, we’re committed to working with them and getting them to where they want to be. It is our hope that partnerships like this, between corporations and institutes of higher education, can serve as a blueprint for how we can transform the way we meet the expanding needs of the nontraditional, adult student.”

Amazon’s Career Choice program is an education benefit that empowers employees to learn new skills for career success at Amazon or elsewhere. The program meets individual learners where they are in pursuit of their education through a variety of education and upskilling opportunities including pre-paid college tuition, industry certifications designed to lead to in-demand jobs, and foundational skills such as English language proficiency, high school diplomas, and GEDs. In the U.S., the company is investing $1.2 billion to upskill more than 300,000 employees by 2025 to help move them into higher-paying, in-demand jobs. Amazon currently has more than 750,000 hourly employees in the U.S., 15,000 of which work throughout the Baltimore metropolitan area.

“We’re looking forward to Morgan State University coming on board as an education partner for Career Choice, adding to the hundreds of best-in-class offerings available to our employees,” said Tammy Thieman, global program lead of Amazon’s Career Choice program.

“We’re committed to empowering our employees by providing them access to the education and training they need to grow their careers, whether that’s with us or elsewhere. We have intentionally created a partner network of third-party educators and employers committed to providing excellent education, job placement resources, and continuous improvements to the experience. Today, more than 80,000 Amazon employees around the world have already participated in Career Choice and we’ve seen first-hand how it can transform their lives.”

Morgan’s CICS uniquely aligns with Amazon’s Career Choice as both are rooted in addressing the professional and educational aspirations of today’s workforce. The Amazon employees coming to Morgan will first interface with CICS for an assessment of their educational aspirations and guidance for enrolling as a beginning student seeking to pursue an undergraduate degree or as a college reentry candidate for the “Morgan Completes You” initiative.

Morgan Completes You offers eight available degree tracks with an interdisciplinary curriculum for students with 60 plus transfer credits seeking to complete their degrees. Amazon employees can pursue bachelor’s degrees in Interdisciplinary Engineering, Information, and Computational Sciences; Interdisciplinary Sciences; Interdisciplinary Health and Human Sciences; Interdisciplinary Organizational Administration; Interdisciplinary Educational Studies; Interdisciplinary Technology Services; Interdisciplinary Studies in Societal Equity, and Urbanism; or Interdisciplinary Global Perspectives and Practices.

Launched in fall 2021, CICS provides a range of degree programs to meet the needs of a diverse student body. Program degree requirements are structured to offer maximum flexibility to a wide range of students, including non-traditional students, returning students, working adults, and students who need or prefer distance education. The interdisciplinary nature of these degrees permits students to draw from expertise and resources across campus to design a program of study aligned with local, national and global workforce opportunities.

For more information on Amazon’s Career Choice, visit: https://www.aboutamazon.com/news/workplace/career-choice.

For more information on Morgan’s Amazon Choice program and enrollment details, visit: https://www.morgan.edu/amazoncareerchoice.

Thu, 04 Aug 2022 03:00:00 -0500 en-US text/html https://www.blackenterprise.com/amazon-selects-morgan-state-university-as-first-4-year-hbcu-education-partner-for-employee-career-choice-program/
Killexams : These Clear Scratching Shields Prevent Cats from Ruining Furniture, and They're on Sale for $14 at Amazon No result found, try new keyword!The Stelucca Amazing Shields Cat Scratch Deterrent is an easy and affordable way to stop cats from scratching furniture. The furniture protectors come in a pack of six and prevent cats from ruining ... Fri, 05 Aug 2022 21:30:00 -0500 en-us text/html https://www.msn.com/en-us/lifestyle/shopping/these-clear-scratching-shields-prevent-cats-from-ruining-furniture-and-theyre-on-sale-for-2414-at-amazon/ar-AA10n9Aq
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