Minority Businesses Continue To Drive Economic Growth, Revitalize Nation’s Communities


Minority-owned firms employ millions of workers and generate more than $1 trillion in economic output, revitalizing our communities and driving our growth. In recognition of the contributions of minority enterprises, Oct. 23 through Oct. 29, 2016, is Minority Enterprise Development Week (MED Week), which calls upon all Americans to celebrate with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.

Celebrating the Contributions of Minority Businesses

Through the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), the Obama administration has led efforts to promote growth and competitiveness. Through BusinessUSA, the administration is helping more enterprises get information about federal contracts and connecting to resources to help develop and grow a business.

MBDA is gearing up for the MED Week conference in Washington, DC. The theme of this year’s conference is “Emerging Markets and Industries: A Blueprint for Success.” MED Week will also feature roundtables featuring CEOs from Hyatt Corp., Costco, MasTec, and Superior Communications. If you’re seeking to expand your business through mergers and acquisitions, MED Week will provide in-depth training sponsored by the Alliance of Merger and Acquisition Advisors, according to the MBDA. What’s more, if you’re pursuing opportunities in the automotive, aerospace, manufacturing, construction, utilities, and green economy, there will be informative, industry-specific workshops. For those interested in making a foray into foreign markets, the embassies of both Brazil and India—two countries with rapidly growing markets—will be hosting business-to-business networking events.

Connecting Minority Businesses to Contracts and Resources

“We are helping streamline the process of starting a company and investing in entrepreneurship training and skill building for more Americans,” the president said in his proclamation announcement. “In today’s global economy, minority-owned businesses are essential to our country’s success. They are twice as likely as other businesses to export their goods and services, and I am working to encourage entrepreneurship and innovation through a smart trade agenda that will allow us to sell more goods, boost economic competitiveness, and help more of our entrepreneurs thrive,” the president added.

“Under President Obama’s leadership, America has moved from recession to recovery to expansion, and through it all, minority-owned firms have been integral to our nation’s success,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker in a press statement. “MED Week gives us a chance to celebrate that success and to strategize with industry leaders about the future. At the Commerce Department, we remain committed to building on our recent gains and helping more entrepreneurs from minority communities compete in today’s global economy.”

Pritzker is attending the 2016 National Minority Supplier Development Council Conference and Business Opportunity Exchange in Chicago, which attracts more than 6,000 corporate CEOs, procurement executives, entrepreneurs, and supplier diversity professionals. The conference is held in conjunction with MED Week. Since 1983, every president has issued a Presidential Proclamation designating a National Minority Enterprise Development Week.

How To Use Technology to Find Jobs In Hollywood

Celebrity Personal Assistants, Inc. (CPAI) is shaking up the recruiting industry once again with the availability of “Interview Now” an option on its website allowing applicants to immediately interview for open positions. The agency is using SparkHire’s recordable video technology software for this solution. Applicants can interview from their computer or any iOS or Android device, including smartphones and tablets.

“Video interviewing is the future, with nearly 60% of North American companies currently using it in their recruiting process,” said Dr. Dionne Mahaffey, a business psychologist and the CEO of Celebrity Personal Assistants, Inc. (@Celebrity_PA). “The adoption of this innovative technology has been reserved for large enterprise companies with even larger budgets. It is rare to see a small boutique firm like ours—serving a very unique market —to leverage technology in this way. The video interviewing platform allows our agency’s recruiters to quickly identify and engage with the most suitable candidates for existing vacancies.”

CPAI is no stranger to technology. Founded in 1999, the agency conducts nationwide searches to recruit the perfect business savvy professionals to aid celebrities, professional athletes and other high-profile individuals in their lifestyle management needs. Several years ago the agency provided a technology-based concierge management solution to the National Football League’s Players Association (NFLPA); and offered online training classes to aspiring personal assistants for more than a decade. Known in “entertainment circles around the world” as the ”staffing agency to the stars,” CPAI has found a unique, first-of-its-kind niche in the staffing industry.

“We receive hundreds of applications for each job that we post, said Tiffani Johnson, director of recruiting. “To remain competitive and to respond to the needs of our clients it is critical for us to continuously increase our productivity. It’s impossible for us to contact everyone that applies for a position. Our recruiters can’t be stuck going through hundreds of résumés and phone screens in the search for talent. This technology really increases our productivity and offers us the ability to eliminate the initial phone screen. We can now watch the candidates’ interviews and then contact the individuals that we want to present to our clients.”

The video interviewing process is simple:

1.      Applicants visit www.CelebrityPersonalAssistants.com

2.      Click on “Find a Job” and then “Interview Now.”

3.      Register for the video interviewing platform.

4.      If using a computer, verify that the webcam and microphone will work with the system.

Applicants are encouraged to record their interviews at a time when they are dressed professionally and have no distractions. With SparkHire’s recording technology, CPAI can also share the one-way video interviews with their clients. There is also a live interview option. The technology’s features allows CPAI to rank the interviews, add notes, and save each candidate’s interviews for future opportunities.

“Furthermore, by utilizing video interviews we can build a long-term sustainable pipeline of qualified candidates. Just because a candidate is not a fit for one client, it doesn’t mean that we will discard their interview. They may be suitable for another opening and having access to hundreds of saved interviews is an amazing feature,” Johnson concluded.