Sunday, November 22, 2009

US Culture: A Family Celebration for the Thanksgiving Holiday

"Our heartfelt greetings to everyone in your Family and Friends during this 2009 Thanksgiving Day"

"This harvest meal has become a symbol of cooperation and interaction between English colonists and Native Americans. Although this feast is considered by many to the very first Thanksgiving celebration, it was actually in keeping with a long tradition of celebrating the harvest and giving thanks for a successful bounty of crops."

The Thanksgiving Story

"The Pilgrims who sailed to this country aboard the Mayflower were originally members of the English Separatist Church (a Puritan sect). They had earlier fled their home in England and sailed to Holland (The Netherlands) to escape religious persecution. There, they enjoyed more religious tolerance, but they eventually became disenchanted with the Dutch way of life, thinking it ungodly. Seeking a better life, the Separatists negotiated with a London stock company to finance a pilgrimage to America."

In the Modern American Society:
Every Thanksgiving Holiday, it has been passed through in American generations that it is time to visit families and friends across the globe.  This is the time of the year when many Americans celebrate the Thanksgiving Day with foods and revelry and most particular having a Turkey at the center of the festive table. 

Although some members of society, they do not celebrate Thanksgiving Day.  This is an optional celebration to some cultural clusters like celebrating Christmas Day or Hanukka and other cultural celebrations.

Planning your Thanksgiving Party?
We wish you the best of  fun and enjoyment ...  how about experimenting a dish with an 'organic apple butter'! that will complement your Turkey. And then report to us how was it and what did you cook?

Planning for your Thanksgiving Holiday Travels?
Be safe always

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

USA: Corporate Immigration Compliance

Corporate Immigration is one among the most challenging and complex pieces of workload in a Human Resources Department that are hiring foreign nationals and local residents regardless of functions and responsibilities. There are several functions in Human Resources that are strategically overseeing this compliance piece within an organization.

Oftentimes, the function that relates to Corporate Immigration Compliance in many medium size or bigger organizations is called Staffing Specialist. It is a role that is responsible with immigration cases management  where it plays a critical role in attracting highly quailified individuals with BS degree or higher succeedingly manages the multiple layers of cases for an appropriate visa acquisition. An organization that is knowledgeable and strategically positioning itself correctly, the management consider this role as their support and partner for their growth and advancement of the organizational critical talents. This role is staffing program function that is strategic provided the Staffing Manager or VP of HR acknowledge its value and utilize to its fullest capability in contributing to its strategic mechanisms within the Human Resources.

Sometimes this function is merged into the responsibilities of an Immigration / Relocation Specialist.  When an organization have a small or large number of visa holders within an organization or the organization is budget bound, the responsibilities include the management of domestic and expatriate relocations across cities, states and countries. This function is also very strategic in nature similar to the earlier because it will relate to a bigger picture that involves international operations. An overview of some of the functions covered are assessment of needs, execute methodologies in benchmarking, recommends budget and costs, meets with managers and executives to provide strategic guidance regarding specifics of plans pertaining to a hire or assignee whether a valuable option or a waste of time and money, manages external providers, review documentations for accuracy, audits cases, suggest alternative actions, and executes confirmation of approvals. Individuals who are experienced and holds a professional designation called GMS - Global Mobility Specialist are successful in the management of this function across cultures.

There are organizations however, that categorize this role as a Coordinator. As a Coordinator, the function is administrative based and tactical. It does not require a mindset that will assess the big picture and its role to the overall organization. The coordinator function receives instructions from an HR Manager or VP, an external provider such as an Immigration Attorney and Relocation Services Partner, collaborate with them in securing requirements from particular employees, and then send these to the requesting party for processing and application preparation, filing, approval and file maintenance.  This coordinator will not sit with managers and discuss options and suggestions however, liaises what are identified suggestions as options for a specific case.

Generally, each organization has its own position types and categories. Identified functions above were only specific examples of roles that are involved in the compliance requirements. Regardless of the role or functional title, Corporate Immigration Compliance will be dealt with by many other corporate functions that relate to Human Resources.

The responsible individuals will make sure that all of the compliance requirements relating to an employment visa for employment and employment eligibility were complied properly.  There are so many layers to pay attention to.  Depending on the nature of the organization, the position that is being filled by a foreign worker, the I-9 compliance, the classification of appropriate employment visa, the remuneration that are relevant to the visa of the intended hire, I-94 regulations, the maintenance of the employment visa, the compliance involving dependents of a visa holder and their origin country, the H-Public File, the processing of visas and their phases whether nonimmigrant, labor certification, immigrant, adjustment of status, consular processing, lawful permanent residency or naturalization.

Today, during the Press Release of the Department of Homeland Security.  Secretary Janet Napolitano recognized the efforts of several corporations who are engaged in the use of  "I E-Verify Campaign"

The "I E-Verify" campaign highlights employers' commitment to working with DHS to maintain a legal workforce and reduce the use of fraudulent identity documents through enrollment in the modern and effective E-Verify system.

"E-Verify is a smart, simple and effective tool that reflects our continued commitment to working with employers to maintain a legal workforce," said Secretary Napolitano. "The 'I E-Verify' program will let consumers know which businesses are working hard to follow the law and are committed to protecting employment opportunities."

"I E-Verify" will also recognize employers who are part of the ICE Mutual Agreement Between Government and Employers (IMAGE) Program—which requires E-Verify in addition to other best practice strategies designed to ensure compliance with employment and immigration laws. Under IMAGE, ICE provides employer training on proper hiring procedures, fraudulent document detection and how to use E-Verify. Member companies must enroll in E-Verify, undergo an I-9 audit, adhere to IMAGE best hiring practices and sign an official IMAGE partnership agreement with ICE."

To read the full Press Release click the link: Announced New Campaign to Recognize Employers Committed to Maintaining a Legal Workforce

Every organization must participate in the Corporate Immigration Compliance.  If you are not aware whether or not your immigration cases has complied with all the requirements from I-9 Eligibility for US Employment, Labor Condition Compliance, H Public File, Labor Certification, and up to AOS/LPR. Seek the guidance and assistance of a professional who is experienced in the environment of both immigration and global relocation.

Have your cases be audited to make sure they are compliant with the regulations. Compliance is not only based on having approval documentations on file, but it covers how it is done and demonstration of intent, demonstration of legal procedures pertaining to the content and how your systems work up to the exit of a visa holder from employment termination. It is important to learn the areas covered within this function and not only dependent on the instructions provided by external partners assisting your organization.

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Global: Expatriates Struggles caused by Missing Skills and Comptencies

Expatriates are one among the most active professionals that move from one workplace to another work location. At times they are the so called 'creme of the crop at a workplace' and they oftentimes the envy of others.

Opportunities to live, work and relocate in a new country are very exciting. New Job level, management or individual contributor category, single or with family. New places to go and visit. Meeting new friends. Tasting new types of foods, immersion to new culture, New school for children and many others.

Not long behold, there are few important skills that are missing. Few months after arrival at new location of assignment. Homesickness to friends and family back home starts surfacing. Strange behavior of people begin to appear in front of the expatriate's face. Foods are becoming a subject of irritation as they are not the same as he/she used to. Communicating with others particularly with nationals in the country of assignment was becoming a struggle. What are basics compared to complex and advanced knowledge and training about culture and adjust-ability becomes an apparent cause of additional confusion?

In order to read the full article, please click on the link Expatriate Struggles caused by Missing Skills and Competencies

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Sunday, November 8, 2009

Heatlhcare Informatics: Education is the Key to Competitiveness in the 21st Century

A colleague in the Healthcare Information Systems posted at Health Informatics Forum the 'Challenges in implementation of HIS'

Several professionals provided and shared their inputs.

Juntee Terrenal, MA, GMS participated in the forum and his thoughts were captured below;

"Reply by Juntee Terrenal MA GMS on July 11, 2009:
Great information about the challenges .. however, that is only the tip of the ice berg. It's not only in India that have these challenges but it is true globally.

In my perspectives, the real challenge that you might like to look at is by educating hospital management executives about the advantages of HIS. Majority of them are medical professionals and did not go to school about information technology. It is not in their line of lingo. Those that have taken personal initiatives to learn the complexity of technology can understand the "Geeky talk".

What I have noticed is that IT professionals outside hospital system who wanted to be withn the HIS tend to push immediately their technical expertise to the medical professionals and hospital administrators ..

If you take your approach strategically by influencing and educating those that make decisions through learning process and clear explanation about the advantages and efficiency .. not a 'geek speak' - most likely, they will adapt to the concepts of higher budget allocation and full computerization and technical integration into the hospital system.

Nursing and Pharmacy Informatics professionals who had hands-on patient care experience and have become technologically oriented and informatics educated have the adequate competencies, compassion and capabilities to underscore and influence the management because they can explain in detail the relationship of clinical information to the technical integration within a hospital system.

While most hospitals are still considering these concepts as new ideas and foreign .. assisting them to understand what it will facilitate toward progress and efficiency will be a priority goal. As the old saying says: Education is the Key to Competitiveness."

As of today, there are lots of buzz and interests in the Healthcare industry. Particularly with the advent of the US Healthcare systems revamp that will take place once the Healthcare Initiatives of President Obama will be successful to pass in the US Senate. The US House of Representative passed the Bill with final votes of 22O-215 as of November 7th 2009.


Many hospitals and facilities have implemented their own initiatives in upgrading their systems to compete in the 21st Century. Professionals in both technical and healthcare professions are scrambling to increase their competencies under the so called 'Informatics'. In that way, they will become indispensable in the next few years ahead. Statistics show that there is a scarcity of experienced informatics healthcare professionals. Personal experience show that when consulting with clients in healthcare staffing arena it validated the shortage of needed technically experienced professionals.

"Education and learning is the goal to become competitive."

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