Word on RealStreet!

 

Have you been dreaming about a new opportunity? Now's the time to act! After all, spring is a time of growth. Here at RealStreet, w e can  help you grow your architecture, engineering or construction career.  Contact us  today to get started! 

Best wishes, 
  
Katy Cook, CSP
Marketing Coordinator
 

What's Happened at RealStreet?
March Madness!
Did you participate in RealStreet's March Madness bracket contest for a chance to win 3 awesome prizes!? Check out the current standings and cheer on your team during the last few games.  

The RealStreet March Madness Bracket: 
Winners will be announced after the championship game and contacted directly via the email used to login to the bracket contest site. Good luck to all those who are left in the running!

Benefits Enrollment
The current RealStreet health benefits period ends April 30, 2018. Be on the lookout for renewal information, it will arrive via email. Please ask any questions ahead of time and make sure to return your information by April 25, 2018 to  Michelle Talbert .

We Need Your Help
As a FEMA Public Assistance Technical Assistance Contractor (PA-TAC), RealStreet has provided Disaster Recovery Technical Specialists to FEMA since 2004. We continue to provide the best, highest qualified technical specialists to support the various recovery efforts.
 
As one of the lead companies supporting the 2017 hurricane recovery efforts, we and those affected have a great need for skilled architects, engineers and construction professionals to assist in this critical mission.
 
We are currently seeking qualified candidates for the Hurricane Maria Recovery efforts. Positions include: 
If you need more information, we encourage you to check out the job posting on our  website or look us up on CareerBuilder. Resumes can be submitted via e-mail to  Maria2017@RealStreet.com   or online.

F eel free to pass this email along to anyone you know who might be a good fit for this vital mission. Thank you!




CELEBRATIONS!

RealStreet wishes you a very 
HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
  • Kristin S. - 4/10
  • Antonika F. - 4/12
  • David F. - 4/13
  • Krystal M. 4/15
  • Viet D. - 4/17
  • Garret K. - 4/22
  • Funmi A. - 4/25
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Interesting Industry Information
How Does the Job Market Look?
For another look at the information, check out the BLS' interactive graphs.
The U.S. Department of Labor - Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes a "M onthly Jobs Report"  soon after the beginning of each month. Each report describes the previous month's employment situation, based on data such as the number of jobs that were added to the economy and the unemployment rate. According to t he  February Jobs Report,  t he US economy saw an increase of 313,000 jobs last month and the unemployment rate remained at 4.1% for the 5th consecutive month. 
  
Overall, February's report was viewed positively. For example, as a recent NY Times article pointed out: 
  • Job creation greatly surpassed expectations
  • Job growth has been consistently strong in recent months 
  • The labor force participation rate is back up to 63%
  • Average hourly earnings rose 2.6% year-over-year

All in all, the synopsis is: "the economy is humming."


Architecture, Engineering & Construction (AEC)  Industry 

The BLS showed an increase of 61,000 jobs within the construction industry. In fact, as stated in a recent Construction Dive article, the  construction industry had its  strongest month of job growth since 2007, and wa s responsible for a fifth of the new job creation.

As stated in a recent Architect Magazine  article, which features the charts shown below and to the right, the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry as a whole is trending upward.  For example: 
  • Architectural and engineering services added 5,600 jobs  
  • Nonresidential building construction jobs increased by 8,900
  • Heavy and civil engineering construction increased by 7,500 jobs

The  Dodge Momentum Index tracks and measures the initial reporting of non-residential building projects. With the increase in non-residential construction projects, the Dodge Data & Analytics ' Momentum  Index increased .5% in February to 146.9. C ommercial building saw a decrease of 4.8% and the institutional building an increase of 8.2%. 
HOT JOBS!
How many job seekers do you know? Would they be a good fit for one of these positions? 

 To see all of our open positions, check out the  RealStreet Job Board !

RECENT PLACEMENTS
RealStreet has recently filled the following positions!
  • Project Coordinators
  • Writers / Editors
  • Mechanical Inspector
  • Project Manager
IT & Cyber Security
Could Blockchain Technology
Play a Role in Cyber Security?
What is Blockchain?

According to CSO Magazine, "b lockchain is a decentralized, distributed electronic ledger built on the model of offering absolute security and trust. Using cryptography, transactions are recorded chronologically and publicly, each one time-stamped and linked to the previous one. Critically, these digital 'blocks' can only be updated through the consensus of all participants, with data interception, modification and deletion near impossible."

How Could it Play a Role in Cyber Security?

Jay Clayton, the chairman of  the  Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and a number of other highly regarded individuals spoke out regarding blockchain in a Congressional Hearing last month. As stated in a recent publication in the Observer, they believe that there is an opportunity to use this technology to aid cyber security efforts. 

According to IoT for All, the foundational concepts at the heart of blockchain are:
  • Distributed data storage
  • Cryptographic security that protects that storage from unauthorized modification
  • Synchronized, consensus-based third-party validation on every recorded transaction
The aforementioned CPO article suggested a few ways blockchain could provide cyber security solutions. Potential benefits of this technology include:
  • Creating peer-to-peer consensus mechanisms to reduce fraud
  • Deterring data tampering
  • Ensuring that there is no single point of failure
  • Creating end-to-end privacy and encryption
  • Removing the human factor
This is due to the fact that is decentralized. A hacker would not be able to break into a single system or database to steal information. They would need to access numerous databases, (possibly hundreds or thousands) each of which would notify the chain if a successful breach had been made. 

What are the Risks?

According to the article in the Observer, the two risks involve control and unknown risks.  

1. Control
According to the article, "i nstituting a decentralized safety networks eliminates the need for a central authority who controls a database."  Jason Kichen, a former U.S. government intelligence officer who is now the director of security operations and research at a private company called Versive, points out how a security officer may perceive the change as a loss of power. 

2. Unknown Risks
As with any new technology, not all of the risks are known. Blockchain is not just new, it's untested at such a large-scale. As government agencies avoid risk, we may see its first large, real-world, applications in the private sector. 

What is the Future of Blockchain in Cyber Security?

At this point, it's too early to do much more than speculate. However, with the vast number of security risks faced by individuals, organizations and governments each day, it will surely be a technology that is not ignored. It may end up being the future of cyber security, only time will tell. 
Featured News Post
Creating a Career Strategy:
How to Break Down Your Career Goals
by Tactics and Benchmarks

Aspiring professionals look to the future. They have a destination - well beyond where they are today - in mind. While having long-term goals is a great start for overall success, they are only helpful if you can create actionable steps that will propel you towards the desired outcomes.

Read the  full article to learn how to get started!


Financial Advice From Your Future Self 
Start Saving a Little More Today
It Will Go a Long Way!
Quick Tip: Consider increasing your contributions on an annual basis.

A small increase in contributions over the short-term could really add up and help you move closer to your retirement goal. If you're not sure how much you are currently contributing, or you would like to make a chance to your ongoing contribution amount, go to www.jhpensions.com and select "My Contributions" or speak with your plan administrator. 

Employees: remember that RealStreet matches employee 401K contributions 1:1 up to 7%!

Need to Register?

Go online to: www.jhpensions.com and click on "Register"
  1. Enter your contract number, last name, social security number and date of birth
  2. Enter your email address and create your username and password
  3. Choose challenge questions and answers
Track your progress towards retirement at any time! 
Four Tips to Make Filing Your Taxes, Less Taxing
For many individuals and families, taxes are far from fun. Since it is a dreaded task, many procrastinate. They wait until the last minute, only then conducting a scramble to gather, organize, fill out and submit their taxes. 

Once  Tax Day is a behind you, it might be tempting to simply sit back and say, "I'm so glad I don't have to go through this again until next year" and with a sigh of relief put the task out of your mind completely.  Avoid the annual stress-fest by becoming more organized. The following four tips will help you stay on top of your tax preparations throughout the year, so you can file with ease:

1. Get Organized 
Create a personal tax organizing system. One method is to set up folders on your computers to save all necessary paperwork and information relating to your taxes throughout the year.

2. Scan Everything 
If you are overwhelmed with a shoe box of receipts, consider using a tool or app to scan and save your receipts. Make it a habit to save receipts accordingly as you receive them. This method can also help track your charitable contributions throughout the year so you know exactly what you donated. If you do not receive a receipt, then write it down and save it. It is hard to rely on your memory alone, and much more difficult to verify, should it get questioned.

3. Retrieve Tax Documents Electronically 
Why wait for the snail mail when you can download most tax documents, (such as 1099's and W-2's) online. This method will help you gather your documents sooner to avoid last minute preparation.

4. Check Your Pay Stubs 
Do you usually receive a tax refund or a tax bill? Look at your pay stub and see what income tax you have elected withhold. Make adjustments to avoid owing an overwhelming tax bill next April.

Practicing these simple methods throughout the year will help you stay organized, be more efficient and avoid owing a large sum of money to the IRS next spring.

Information courtesy of The Prosperity Consulting Group, LLC.

Seasonal Safety
Top 10 Driving Tips for Spring Break Travelers
Planning to take a spring trip? Remember that Spring Break is a popular time to travel and that many of the vacationers are novice drivers. Before you get behind the wheel, consider the following ten suggestions.

1. Working as usual? If your kids are old enough to be trusted and ignored, you'll find your usual commute lighter and quicker. Fewer cars on the road, and you'll see what our highways were actually designed to accommodate. Enjoy the week, but remember the longer days. Make sure you have your sunglasses, even if you're not at the beach.

2. Home with the kids? Planning activities is a good way to keep everyone moving. If you're exploring new places, give yourself some extra time to anticipate parking in unfamiliar areas.

3. Gas is expensive, so plan some car-free days to enjoy in your own city or town. Kids often enjoy traveling on trains and subways, especially if they can help in the navigation. Make the journey part of the adventure!

If you're renting a car, remember:

4. Before you drop it into "drive," familiarize yourself with the vehicle. Thoroughly. I recommend reserving a car from the same manufacturer as the one you normally drive. Chances are good the lighting system, wipers and controls will be more comfortable. Renting on holiday may be a good time to explore a new car, but after a stressful flight with out-of-sorts kids, it might not be the best time.

5. Before you leave, check with your insurance and credit card companies about insurance you already have in place while renting a car. No sense duplicating and falling for fear coverage.

6. Try not to overextend your planned driving times. It's hard on the driver as well as the passengers. Take frequent breaks and involve the children in your decisions. It's more important to make great memories than good time.

7. Different countries, and jurisdictions, have different rules of the road. Familiarize yourself with the local laws ahead of time to avoid issues.

8. A GPS is useful and fun, once you figure it out. However, they're all different. Enter your destination while parked to ensure you have the time and attention span to focus on the task at hand. In unfamiliar territory, don't surrender your common sense to a gadget. Stop and ask for directions if you get lost.

9. Top up the rental with gas just before you return it. If not, they'll helpfully do it for you and charge you a fortune.

10. No matter where you are, keep in mind that your children are seeing their first and most frequent example of how to become a good driver. Put down your phone, don't mess with the GPS while driving, and focus. 

These tips are courtesy of Lorraine Sommerfield at Wheels Canada.
Keep in Touch!
Feedback Wanted! 
We Value Referrals!
Would you mind taking a moment to  write a few sentences  about your experience working with RealStreet?
Thank you!
Who in your network is looking for a new opportunity? 

Check our  open positions to see if any are a match to the job seekers that you know. At RealStreet we value great candidates and when it comes down to it, we know you're the Real Deal! We have a great referral program that compensates you for every qualified referral you provide us.