Friday, June 1, 2012
Why Corporate Social Responsibility is Important,
No-Cost Continuing Education,
Congratulations to This Month's Winner,
The Cost of Raising a Child Soars,
Connect with Orion
Why Corporate Social Responsibility is Important
Corporate social responsibility is more popular than ever. Giant retailers like Walmart and Apple have entire departments dedicated to the effort. They ensure that environmental issues and other important social issues/matters are addressed in an acceptable manner. They are, in fact, part of the public relations façade of the company, with more of a focus on customer-care.
Today’s consumer is concerned with environmentally friendly and socially responsible goods and services. They expect what they buy to adhere to these standards. Companies, therefore, must deliver on this promise as consumer demand for it rises. Hence the reason companies are forming corporate social responsibility departments.
Companies can meet this demand in many ways. Sometimes they pay their employees more, and the employees, in turn, provide a wonderful shopping experience for their customers. Other companies, such as Whole Foods, provide only organic foods and environmentally friendly products. Burt’s Bees touts natural products. There are companies that have dedicated re-cycling programs. GE is known for its Ecomagination program that includes products that improve customer’s environmental performance. It increases awareness of how the company is utilizing renewable energy and reducing carbon emissions. Clean products have also become popular, such as Starbucks’ responsible brewing and Tom’s Shoes giving back through philanthropy.
While companies do garner good will through social responsibility, corporate social responsibility benefits the consumer and our environment in a positive way.
No-Cost Continuing Education
Most people know that one of the keys to getting ahead in life is a good education. And many veterans make use of the various education benefits associated with the military, including the GI Bill, ROTC, and Service Academies. However, if these avenues have been exhausted and you are still interested in continuing education or professional development, there are many free resources available through reputable institutions of higher learning.
Some examples include:
• MIT, Tufts, Yale & Harvard Medical School OpenCourseWare: Each of these highly prestigious institutions offers free web-based access to much of their coursework. Some even include lectures and other class materials.
• AMSER (the Applied Math and Science Education Repository): This is a portal to resources for use by those in community or technical colleges, but is free for all.
Science.gov: This site searches websites and databases from federal agencies and contains over 200 million pages of U.S. government science information, including R&D.
• U.S. Small Business Administration Training Network: They offer free coursework on starting a business, management, and everything in between.
• The Free Nonprofit Micro-eMBA: This contains educational modules designed for earning an MBA, with an emphasis on nonprofit.
• Wikiversity School of Social Sciences: Wikiversity provides learning resources, projects, and research for use in education. It also includes professional training.
• Case Western Reserve University School of Law: You can access lectures and podcasts on different law topics.
While this list is not exhaustive, it gives an idea of the quality of educational resources that are available for those who are interested in continuing their education. You can utilize the Internet and call a program or university to ask if they have any free programs or courses that would benefit a particular area of study. A thorough list can be found at: .
Congratulations to this Month's Winner
The Cost of Raising a Child Soars
The U.S. Department of Agriculture tracks the expenditures on children by families each year. Over the past decade, the cost of raising a child has blasted upwards by twenty-five percent. According to the most recent report, a middle-income family whose child was born in the year 2010 can expect to spend $226,920 for food, shelter, and other necessities over the next seventeen years. This number represents a two percent increase over the previous year. The increases were attributed primarily to transportation, childcare, education, and health care.
According to the report, “A family earning less than $57,600 per year can expect to spend a total of $163,440 (in 2010 dollars) on a child from birth through high school. Similarly, parents with an income between $57,600 and $99,730 can expect to spend $226,920; and a family earning more than $99,730 can expect to spend $377,040.” The single largest expenditure for middle- income families is housing, which averages $69,660 (31% over 17 years). The next largest expenses were childcare, education, and food. This does not include post-secondary education.
The report does take into account geographic variations. Expenses are the highest for families in the urban Northeast, followed by the urban West and urban Midwest. Families in the urban South and rural areas have the lowest child-related expenses.
The courts and states utilize this report, which is issued annually, for guidelines regarding child support and foster care. But, individuals can also use it as a tool to determine their financial readiness for raising a child and family resource planning. The report is based on the information obtained in the “Consumer Expenditure Survey”, which is the most complete source of data available, by the Federal government on household expenditures. More information and a unique calculator for determining the cost of raising a child can be found on the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion’s website.
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