Labor Day Facts

Blog Labor DayLabor Day weekend is a great time to get together with your fellow Jaycees – fire up the BBQ, ice down some drinks, and remember all the fun and good moments you had over the summer. Historically, the first Monday in September is a day to celebrate the American labor movement and the contributions that workers have made to the strength, well-being, and prosperity of our nation.

First becoming a federal holiday in 1894, the Labor Day celebration traditionally includes a parade honoring workers of local union and trade organizations. Since its beginnings, the weekend has grown to represent a substantial retail component for many stores, second only to the Christmas season. As the weekend marks the unofficial end of summer, most children view it negatively, as school is just around the corner, if not already in session.

For your next get together, try throwing these facts around…it will, once again, make you the expert of the holiday!

  • As of 2013, there were about 155 million people in the civilian labor workforce
  • The 8-hour work day was established in 1916, under the Adamson Act
  • Henry Ford is credited with closing his plants on Saturday and Sunday – creating the 5 day work week
  • The largest single group of workers (retailers – about 4.3 million) are usually working on Labor Day
  • Traditionally, white should not be worn after Labor Day…however, that particular faux pas is becoming less socially enforced
  • The weekend brings the start of the college football season, with pro games following during the week
  • Another country celebrating Labor Day – China. They celebrate workers and unions on May 1st each year

Now that you’ve been educated with some quick facts to make you the instant expert, accept those party invitations with no fear! Tell us about your plans – relaxation or excitement? How will you finish off your summer? Our Facebook and Twitter pages are always open!

Back to School – As and Adult

One of the truly beneficial aspects of being a Jaycee is the interaction and friendships you develop with all different types of individuals. As the premier organization for the professional and personal development of young people between 18 and 40, many Jaycees may be active students or going back to school after a break of some length.  The experience can be intimidating, especially for those students who are starting a new program of study, or returning to what will be a different-looking classroom after being away from the school atmosphere for even just a few years. Whether you’re in a traditional academic setting, earning your Bachelors, Masters, or Ph.D., enrolled in a vocational-style training program, or completing continuous education credits for your current work assignment, there’s a few easy ideas to keep in mind that will help you start the semester on a positive note, and let you focus on getting the most out of your education.

  • Blog Back to School as an AdultUtilize new technology. From the classrooms to student services to available resources, technology plays a huge role in allowing students to access information and assistance that can be crucial in tasks from researching a paper to registering for classes. Almost all educational institutions will have an online account for every student. If you’ve never used one before, spend some time checking it out. You will most likely be able to view all aspects of your account (financial, registration, classes, etc.), and have the opportunity to learn more about how technology has changed for both the student and the administration in the education field.
  • Be pro-active regarding funding. According to org, the average masters degree will cost between $30,000 – $120,000, depending on the program and university. While most post-secondary institutions do offer some type of scholarship, the competition is very high for limited resources. There are loans and grants available from State and Federal programs, but the cost of repayment can be significant, especially for individuals with children and significant expenses such as homes. The best strategy is to find a mix of resources that concentrates the majority of your efforts on grants and scholarships, with loans as a last resort. Use online resources to quickly narrow your searches – there’s a lot of junk out there. Try this link from U.S. News and World Report for some good strategies.
  • Get involved in school activities. Find at least one club, organization, group, or team that you would like to be a part of. Universities and other educational institutions are a great place to be exposed to politicians, journalists, economists, doctors, and subject matter experts from almost every field possible. By getting involved beyond the classroom setting, you gain insight and knowledge into new areas and individuals that will help you in your personal and professional lives. As you probably learned from your local Jaycee chapter (and yes, you can certainly recruit new members from class!), networking has tremendous benefits, in this case, most probably inside and outside of class.

The fall semester will be here quicker than you realize. As you close your summer with some great memories, be prepared as a student to make some new ones. Whether coming back to school for a new program or moving towards completion of your current one, make this semester the one where you get involved and make the most out of your educational investment. Then tell us what you’re doing. We love suggestions. Share yours on our Facebook and Twitter pages. Your fellow students will appreciate your suggestions and words of encouragement.

Starting a New Project? Consider These Reminders

Blog Starting New ProjectsLike all summers, time seems to move more quickly the closer you get to the end. A quick review of all the projects you planned on completing versus what was actually done will let you know how close you came to a last few weeks of BBQs with friends and family, non-interrupted naps in the extremely comfortable hammock,  or perhaps even a weekend get-a-way.  An organized approach would all but insure you a reward of leisure, if you choose. Misappropriated time guarantees a destiny of long nights filled with paint cans for the unfinished room, unrealistic exercise regimes for the final few pounds, or paperwork for the assignment that you had built into your Friday afternoons work schedule over the duration of the summer.

Whether you succeeded in meeting all your summer goals, if you’re like most Jaycees, things only get busier in fall. Starting with an organized approach is critical to managing any project, and can be essential when you’re juggling the competing demands in school, work, family, and social lives. Entrepreneur and author Kevin Daum recently wrote about five great ways to make sure any project gets off to a great start. Check out the highlights from Inc.com below, and for the full article, follow this link.

  1. Do some homework – a little advance research, even as simple as checking out a website, can yield a wealth of information.
  2. Set up a basic plan – nothing too fancy if not necessary, but even the smallest project should have a basic structure or plan for completion.
  3. Recruit great people – there is no value to mediocre performers. Find and surround yourself with the best.
  4. Establish clear expectations – everyone on the team (including you) should know their roles and deliverables.
  5. Create communication protocol – develop communication guidelines and make sure people follow them.

There’s still time to end your summer with a bang – and with a little more attention to the start of your fall projects, you can have a more productive end to 2014. Tell us what your fall plans include. What kind of projects are you considering? How can Jaycee resources at the chapter, state, and national levels help you achieve your personal and professional goals? Remember, our Facebook and Twitter pages can be great points of support…check them out!

The 2014 Ten Outstanding Young Americans (TOYA) Show Jaycee Spirit

Blog TOYAAs Jaycees, it’s inspiring to learn about the activities and successes of fellow members. Each year, the United States Junior Chamber (JCI-USA) dedicates a portion of the national convention to celebrate individual accomplishments. This recognition serves as a reward for Jaycees making an exceptional difference in changing the world, and to motivate other chapters and members to be active and get involved. JCI-USA recently announced the winners of the 2014 Ten Outstanding Young Americans award at the 94th Annual Jaycees National Convention in Baltimore, Maryland. Joining a distinguished list of previous recipients such as Bill Clinton, Elvis Presley, John F. Kennedy, and Wayne Newton, this year’s nominees were selected for their service and dedication in exemplifying the highest levels of cultural, economic, and personal progress as one of our nation’s emerging leaders under 40 years old. Through a competitive process, honorees were selected by a panel of distinguished judges for their contributions in one of ten specific areas, and for their overall adherence to the principles embodied in the United States Junior Chamber Creed.

“Since the beginning of the Ten Outstanding Young Americans (TOYA) program, JCI-USA has recognized young men and women who are truly dedicated to the world around them.  Each class of winners represents the best of the best in a variety of categories, but they are all bound by one common belief – that service to humanity is the best work of life,” said Fay Poissant, President of JCI-USA.  “I have no doubt that the 2014 TOYA recipients will continue to create positive change through their selflessness and willingness to create sustainable solutions in their communities, much like the Jaycees have been doing for nearly 100 years.”

The JCI-USA’s Class of 2014 Ten Outstanding Young Americans includes:

Lauren B. Beach, 30, Lawyer & PhD Candidate
Minneapolis, MN

Taryn Davis, 28, Founder/Executive Director, American Widow Project
Buda, TX

Amelia Rose Earhart, 31, Aviatrix; Founder/CEO, Fly With Amelia Foundation
Denver, CO

Colmon Elridge, III, 32, Senior Advisor to the Governor of KY
Georgetown, KY

Lieutenant Commander Michael Files, 39, US Navy
Battle Creek, MI

Tevan Green, 36, President/CEO, Citadel Logic, LLC
Yorktown, VA

Jennifer L. Livingston, 38, News Anchor, WKBT
La Crosse, WI

Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr, 39, Entertainer
Logan, WV

Ruth Riley, 34, WNBA player
Miami Beach, FL

Michael Schultz, 32, Athlete; Founder/Inventor, Biodapt, Inc.
St. Cloud, MN

Learn more about this year’s winners and use their successes as motivation and a blueprint to begin your journey. We’d love to hear how you’re getting involved. Share your stories on our Twitter and Facebook pages and help inspire other Jaycees to be active.