Archive for the 'Employment' Category

Rumors of our death are greatly exaggerated…

No, Iwanna isn’t going out of business.

That’s the short answer to an awful lot of questions being tossed our way after WLOS-TV Channel 13 broadcast a news item this week about the impending closure of the Iwanna press facility. For some reason, people equate the Iwanna printing plant with the published Iwanna newspaper products.

They’re not the same.

Our plant at 991 Sweeten Creek in Asheville has printed newspaper-like products for many years — including the weekly Iwannas in Asheville, Greenville, Hickory and Spartanburg. But we’ve also printed Iwanna specialty publications — including the growing and popular Sophie Magazine for women — at other locations. Lately, we’ve been test printing some regular issues of the Iwanna at other locations as well.

The Iwanna press facility is aging, and in many cases, it no longer meets the needs of customers who want a lot of color and more sophisticated print quality.
So, we’ve decided to consolidate the printing of our Iwannas and associated publications at the modern press facility of Fayetteville Publishing, our corporate parent in Fayetteville, N.C. It prints color-intensive products like USA Today.

Tragically, that means the end of 12 full-time and 12 part-time jobs at the Asheville Iwanna printing plant. The press facility will close at the end of August, and the employees working there will get severance packages depending on their length of service at Iwanna. Job assistance is being offered to some of the skilled press operators.

But as far as the Iwanna newspapers: You’ll still be able to find them, as always, at your local newstand or convenience store.

And soon, you’ll see a new cutting-edge website at Iwanna.com. But more on that later.

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Most searched items on Iwanna in 2009

A Yorkie Puppy

A Yorkie Puppy

More than 98,000 unique items were searched on Iwanna.com in 2009. Pets, cars and recreational equipment represented the most searched terms.

The single most searched term? Dogs. With puppies close by. The most sought breed in the Asheville area? Yorkie.

The most popular car model on Iwanna.com was Mustang, followed by Jeep and BMW.

And the hottest recreational items included kayaks, canoes and campers.

Here are the Top 10 most searched items on Western North Carolina’s most popular user-generated shopping network for 2009: dogs, pets, boats, puppies, guns, jobs, kayak, campers, mustang, cars.

Asheville builder makes the best of a bad situation

Opportunities often spring from the misfortune of others in tough economic times. But innovative solutions can also spring from financial setback.

A case in point is Asheville builder John Erwin, who will run an unusual auction this weekend to sell one of his larger, newer houses to spare damage to his business and credit rating.

“While the economy has crushed the short-term real estate market here in Asheville it has also devasted the construction industry–which is where we earned our living. As a result we have to get out from under the payments on this nearly-new home (only 6 years old).”

via Beautiful Asheville Home in Financial Distress

The take-notice part of this short sale is the starting price of $118,500 — for a 2100 square feet, 4BR and 2.5BA home with cherry hardwood floors and a nice back deck.

Home prices have plummeted lately due to the deflation of the housing bubble, which was brought on by loose credit, but it’s hard not to see a lot of room for value in this low starting bid. And Erwin’s hope is that it brings enough interest to get him the best out of a bad situation. (Disclosure: He’s advertising the sale on Iwanna.com.)

What’s the market value of Erwin’s home?

Buncombe County tax records value the property at $264,280.
Trulia.com lists the market value as $224,500
Zillow’s “zestimate” is $266,500
Cyberhomes says it’s worth $249,900.

You can read more about the auction here: www.beautifulashevillehouse.com

Don’t expect to move in anytime soon, however. Erwin’s bank must approve the highest bid; so, like with any short sale, the process could take some time to complete. Short sales can take six months or longer to complete.

Erwin gets props for his innovative auction concept — which may keep the sale away from the courthouse steps, where foreclosures are usually finalized.

Meanwhile, Wall Street roars. The DJIA crossed 10,170 today for the first time in a year. And the unemployment rate (officially announced at 10.2% last week, but 17.5% when including Americans who have given up looking for work) continues to rise alongside foreclosures and bankruptcies.

In the comments below, tell us what you’re doing to make lemonade out of lemons in this economy.

Asheville: One of the best places to work, if…

Asheville gets props from financial website Mint.com for being the best place in America to work…

if you’re a claims adjuster.

The Mint Blog rates Asheville as tops in the Claims Adjuster salary category of Business and Financial Operations — at $87,410 annually. Anybody know of any claims adjuster job openings?

Not happy with your present salary? Wondering what city holds the gold at the end of the rainbow? We’ve done the research for you.

Follow the Money: The Best and Worst Places to Work by Average Salary | MintLife Blog | Personal Finance News & Advice.

In a nutshell: If you’re a graphic designer, don’t work in Florence, Alabama. And if you’re a surgeon, move to Panama City, Florida.

And if you’re looking for a job in the Carolina mountains, try the Iwanna classifieds.

Salary Comparison at Mint.com

Asheville vs. Portland debate rages

A long and interesting debate has sprung up on Reddit about the comparative virtues of Asheville vs. Portland, Ore.

A good plug for Asheville:

Portland has trees in the mountains. NC has trees on the way to the grocery store.

A counterpunch by a left-coaster:

Not to say everyone who lives there is weird, but I’ve seen some strange toothless wonders in mountains of NC. So, if you move there don’t leave the city without protection.

via Portland, OR or Asheville, NC. Planning to move to one of them, any advice from reddit? : AskReddit.

Housing costs, music and entertainment scene, employment opportunities, and lifestyle all get touched in the thread on Reddit, a popular social news website. The discussion got started when one member — trying to decide on which place to live — requested advice.

Reddit logo

Tracking celebrity foreclosures

Celebrity foreclosures have become popular gossip news during the economic downturn over the last year or so. The latest is former heavyweight champ Evander Holyfield’s woes down in Hotlanta.

Zillow is keeping a running tally:

04/15/09: Former major league baseball player Lenny Dykstra facing foreclosure
05/12/09: Victoria Gotti’s Growing Up Gotti house in foreclosure
12/09/08: American Idol star Fantasia Facing Foreclosure
6/4/09: Victoria Gotti Cuts Deal with Feds to Avoid Foreclosure0
6/12/09: Stephen Baldwin Losing Nyack Home for Foreclosure

via Celebrity Foreclosures | Zillow Blog – Real Estate Market Stats, Celebrity Real Estate, and Zillow News.

American Idol judge Simon Cowell was reported to have stepped in earlier this year to save Fantasia from her troubles in Charlotte.

Unemployment is the single biggest factor for typical borrowers to default on loans, but even overextended, brand-name celebrities are at risk in this economy.

Recovery will be a long slog for Asheville

IHS Global Insight forecast for Asheville

A leading economic forecaster predicts Asheville will be one of the slowest metropolitan areas in the country to return to pre-recession employment — putting Western North Carolina in the same boat as Rust Belt towns such as Flint and Detroit, Mich.

IHS Global Insight estimates Asheville won’t recover fully until the third quarter of 2014.

Most of the country — 286 of 325 metro areas covered in the IHS analysis_ aren’t likely to regain their pre-recession employment levels until at least 2012. Of these areas, 112 probably won’t return to their recent peaks until 2014 or later. These include Rust Belt towns such as Cleveland, Dayton and Akron, Ohio; Detroit, Warren and Flint, Mich.; the hurricane-ravaged Gulfport-Biloxi, Miss., area and the greater Los Angeles region, where the housing bubble and high unemployment have strangled the local economy…..

via naked capitalism: Prospects for Employment Recovery: Less Than Cheery?.

The Sacramento Bee’s website has a good interactive graphic detailing the IHS data. You can find it here.

Stay on top of jobs in Western North Carolina at Iwanna’s new online Business & Agriculture section.


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