The Bullseye - December 2009

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

In This Issue:
Is a College Degree Worth It?,
Alumni Update,
Overview of U.S. Economy Late Fall 2009,
Monthly Contest Winner,
What to Do if Your Bank Fails,
Network with Orion

Happy Thanksgiving

Orion is grateful for the opportunity to help you

find your civilian career.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving from all of us here at Orion!

Is a College Degree Worth it?

Is A College Degree Worth It?Perhaps you are tinkering with the idea that getting a college degree might be worth the investment. Your company does have a great tuition reimbursement plan after all, and your years in the military will qualify you for special veteran discounts. The real question you have is will it be worth it?

Career and guidance counselors will say that the value of a college education is about $1 million over a person’s lifetime. However, a recent study by the College Board and economist Sandy Baum reports a more accurate value of approximately $300,000. Each year college graduates out-earn their non-degreed peers by $20,000. Taking into account inflation, that number is around $450,000 over a forty-year career period. Add in the cost of tuition at a public university and the figure is reduced to $300,000.

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in October 2009 that the unemployment rate for those with college degrees was 4.9%. That is low compared to the unemployment rate for those with just a high school diploma, which stood at 10.8%.

Not only do the degree holders earn $300,000 more over a career, they are also more likely to be offered employer sponsored health plans. In addition, they have the ability to earn advanced degrees, therefore increasing earning potential from $51,000 to $100,000 per year. College graduates also feel that expanding their social network aided in their ability to earn more through networking practices. It is also easier to find and retain a job and studies have shown that parents with college degrees are more likely to raise children with college degrees.

While the cost of tuition for higher education has reached costly levels, experts agree that the benefits outweigh the cost. So if you are considering using the new GI Bill, or your company's tuition reimbursement plan, you will most likely see a significant return on your investment in the future.

Alumni Update

Orion International Alumni Update

Orion International exposed me to greater hiring opportunities than what I would have found through my own career search.  The hiring conference was a great experience and resulted in Trane hiring me within one month of my initial interview.  I would never have thought about this business sector for employment had it not been for Orion International and JP Sniffen. 

Since my hiring as a Project Manager for Trane’s Global National Accounts Team, I have, with the support of my employer, been able to pursue and earn my Project Management Professional Certificate with PMI.  The company has given me greater responsibilities as a Project Manager with the local contracting team as we develop the General Contractor side of the business.


- Scott A. Eisenhauer, Project Manager, Western Washington/Alaska, Trane Commercial Systems

Do you have an update to share with us?  Did you get promoted, have a new addition to your family or any other news you’d like to share?  Click here to tell us about it

Overview of U.S. Economy Late Fall 2009

Overview of U.S. Economy Late Fall 2009The U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) watches and produces economic statistics that are influential across many sectors. The BEA’s mission is to "promote a better understanding of the U.S. economy by providing the most timely, relevant, and accurate economic data in an objective and cost-effective manner”. The BEA regularly provides an analysis of the U.S. economy through several key indices.

An overview of National Economic Accounts provided an advanced estimate that indicated gross domestic product (GDP), which measures economic performance, increased at an annual rate of 3.5 percent from the second to third quarter of 2009. The second estimate (based on more complete information) is to be released at the end of November.

The BEA also released personal income figures for September 2009. In that month, real disposable personal incomes decreased by 0.1%. Wages and salaries, which make up the largest component of personal income, decreased 0.2%. Real consumer spending fell 0.6%, and personal savings of disposable incomes was 3.3%.

U.S. current account deficit, which is defined as “the combined balances on trade in goods and services, income, and net unilateral current transfers”, decreased in the second quarter to -$98.8 billion. This amount reflects the smallest deficit since the fourth quarter of 2001. Other key reports showed:

An international trade in goods deficit decreasing to $115.5 billion
The surplus on international trade in services increasing to $32.5 billion
The surplus on income decreasing to $26.4 billion

More detailed information will be available towards the end of November when up-to-date financial information is released and evaluated.

Congratulation to This Month's Winner


Jay Morgan won the Job Seeker Referral monthly drawing and is the winner of a $50 gift card.  
Ready for your chance to win a $50 gift card? You’ll receive an entry into our monthly drawings for Client and Job Seeker referrals for each referral that you submit – good luck and thank you for the referral!.

What To Do If Your Bank Fails

What To Do If Your Bank FailsYes, the economy is on it’s way up, but banks are still closing at record rates. According to Eileen Connelly an Associated Press (AP) personal finance writer, the number of banks that have closed since January is 115. That’s a four-fold increase over 2008 and the most since the 1992 savings and loan crisis. That crisis alone wiped out more than 1000 lending institutions and cost taxpayers around $125 billion. Most of the banks expected to close in the future will be smaller community banks, which will be forced to close due to unpaid loans.

If your bank is one of the unlucky ones, rest assured that your money is likely safe. The majority of banks are members of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), which covers money deposited in savings and checking accounts and CD’s up to $250,000. FDIC does not insure mutual funds, stocks, annuities, and bonds, as well as the contents of a safety deposit box. If your bank is not FDIC insured, you might want to consider a bank that is.

Banks generally close on a Friday, this allows FDIC time over the weekend to sort things out and hopefully restore order by Monday. Most of the time this involves transferring monies/deposits to another bank that is taking over for the failed institution. Even if this happens, customers can still use their ATM, debit cards, and checks as if nothing has happened. It isn’t as if the customer has no access to their funds.

If no other bank is taking over your bank, the FDIC will likely send a letter explaining how to remove property. Most people can expect to be paid back by FDIC within a few days. If no other bank option is available, FDIC will issue a check to each depositor.

The FDIC always issues a letter letting customers know if their bank has been “closed”. It is important to know that there are many “scams” out there (especially through e-mail) that are fraudulent and are not from the FDIC. When in doubt, FDIC has a website and toll-free number to call. Also, they never send e-mail notifications, only hard copies.

Network with Orion


Are you LinkedIn to Orion International's Alumni Group? Our LinkedIn group allows Alumni to keep in touch with Orion and fellow alumni that have been placed through Orion International.  

Click here to join Orion International's Alumni Group today.


Become an Orion fan on Facebook! Check out our page for links of interest, pertinent discussions, Orion news and stay in touch with Orion and other Orion Alumni. We’d love to have you as a fan!

Orion is Hiring

If you are currently in between careers and seeking a new Sales opportunity, here is your chance to work with other veterans and find employment for those transitioning from service, while working in a team-driven sales environment. We are currently seeking a Service Academy graduate with prior military experience and a background in Sales, for a career as an Account Executive in our Austin, TX office.

Orion offers its employees competitive salaries and benefits, including paid holidays, vacation and sick leave; medical, dental and vision coverage; short- and long-term disability; health savings account (HSA) and 401(k) retirement plan.

If you are a Service Academy Graduate with a background in Sales who is seeking a new career opportunity in Austin, TX, please contact Bob Berkholz to learn more about this opportunity.