JNR Spotlight: Labor Day

As we look forward to a day off next Monday for Labor Day, it is important to recognize and celebrate the contributions and dedication of the American work force. Men and women all over the country work tirelessly in their individual jobs that sustain the overall well-being of the country and the nation’s economy. While relaxing on the beach or barbequing in the backyard, take a moment to remember those who fought the important fight to give workers their rights and those whose continuous efforts keep progressing this country forward.

Although Labor Day is often considered the official end of summer, here are some statistics to be happy about.

  • Summer does not officially end until September 22, 2016.
  • Officially, this is the 122nd Labor Day.
  • President Grover Cleveland signed into law an act to make Labor Day a federal holiday in 1894. We have been celebrating ever since.
  • This year, we celebrate the 5 million people in the American labor force
  • Employment has risen 9% since December 2014 bringing our unemployment rate to just 4.9%.
  • Every year there is a Labor Day parade in New York City to commemorate the 1882 march that started it all.

Specifically in the Meetings Industry we can be especially proud of our contribution.

  • Meetings employ nearly 1.8 million people and generate $235 billion in total labor income.
  • The Meetings and Events Industry directly and indirectly supports 6.3 million jobs and generates almost $1 trillion a year.

We hope you and your friends and family have the opportunity to barbeque, spend time on the beach, lay out by the pool and just enjoy the long weekend.  Refresh and get ready to head back to school and work all while being grateful that we have a great country made up of great people.

Happy Labor Day!

 

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JNR is a full service, globally recognized leader in the incentive industry offering solutions for Meetings and Conferences, Incentive Travel, Special Events and Entertainment, Prepaid Card Services and AXS Contact Center Solutions. We have over 35 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies across many industries. Our clients trust our comprehensive suite of solutions that offer a better way to reach performance, productivity and loyalty objectives. JNR tends to every detail of your program to ensure an extraordinary experience for your customers, employees and participants and a favorable return on your investment. We allow you to step away from the logistical details and let you focus on what you do best.

 

What is Memorial Day?

Memorial Day is an American holiday observed on the last Monday of May, which honors our U.S. military men and women who died while serving our nation and protecting our freedom.

Memorial Day was officially proclaimed by General John Logan on May 5, 1868 and was observed on May 30 when flowers were placed on the graves of both Civil War Union and Confederate soldiers who were buried at Arlington National Cemetery. In 1968, Congress established Memorial Day as the last Monday in May; the change went into effect in 1971. The same law also declared Memorial Day a federal holiday.

Memorial Day is a time to enjoy the company of family and friends and to celebrate our nation’s freedom. However, it’s a lot more than a day off from school or work, it is one of the most significant holidays we have, a day of remembrance, especially if you or a family member has served our country.

Our U.S. Armed Forces go where they are sent and deserve our full support.  Memorial Day is a time to remember all those Americans who have fought in the past to keep our country safe and free. It is a day to honor and respect those who have died.

Children observe and retain far more than they are given credit for and they need to know the true meaning of this day. So, this year, while surrounded by family and friends, take a moment to teach the meaning of Memorial Day. Let children know what this holiday means to you and why it means so much to our nation’s history, and our military families. Talk and reflect on those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Spend time teaching children about patriotism and why we celebrate our nation’s freedom.  Memorial Day activities can have a long lasting impact and give young children a greater appreciation for our country. Building a sense of pride with patriotism is important!

No matter your political views, military heroes deserve our respect. There are many ways to teach children to honor our nation’s defenders.  Children know that people die and explaining that some die while bravely protecting others gives meaning.  You’ll find that children will be interested in learning about history and how important it is to recognize our heroes; to remember them with honor and respect the ultimate sacrifice they have given to protect America and our freedom.

In the morning, fly our flag proudly at half-mast, a position reserved only for days when the entire country is in mourning, and raise it high at noon to honor the living. Then gather at 3:00 PM to silently observe our National Moment of Remembrance.  When informed, kids will understand the importance of keeping quiet for this minute.

Memorial Day is about remembering those who have given their service and their lives for our country, but there are soldiers in the field right now. Thousands of American men and women soldiers are serving in danger zones overseas. Many are lonely, afraid, they miss home and the comforts of little things like magazines, snacks, personal hygiene products, paper and pens, and cheery letters and pictures. There is no better lesson in American citizenship than having a child write a letter to a deserving soldier. Think of ways to contribute to today’s veterans. Go to http://www.anysoldier.com/index.cfm and https://www.dav.org/ to see how you can help.

Don’t allow children to think that Memorial Day is just another day off school or just another holiday. Teach children the history and importance of Memorial Day and remember our past American heroes together.  What you teach them today will make a difference tomorrow.

Written by LuAnn Jalet

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JNR Incorporated is a globally recognized leader specializing in creating custom programs that motivate, engage and reward the employees, customers and channel members of our Fortune 1000 clients. For over 35 years, JNR has designed and delivered a comprehensive suite of solutions including incentive travel, prepaid reward and gift cards, meetings and conferences, events and entertainment, technology solutions and marketing communications.  Our programs produce measurable results and are proven to increase performance, loyalty and revenues.

Photo by: “American Flag” by Peter Miller is licensed under CC by 2.0

World Cup Spotlight: America’s Hopes for Victory

After a nail biting tie between USA and Portugal, it is clear that team USA has matured into a formidable team with a real chance of holding the FIFA World Cup trophy – a feat never completed by an American team.

The nineties brought about a shift for the country and we began to embrace soccer in ways that extended beyond adolescence.  Twenty years ago, America played host to the 1994 FIFA World Cup, an event that thrust soccer into the hearts and desires of many young children whose older brothers and sisters had been brought up to play mainstream American sports. Finally, the sport could be viewed on television and a younger generation was introduced to stars like Eric Cantona and Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima (the original Ronaldo) and idolized them with equal adoration to Michael Jordan and John Elway. This passion has grown since then with many people believing that our current team is the best we have ever had.

For USA midfielder Graham Zusi, life has come full circle since the age of seven when he was chosen to take part in the opening ceremony of the World Cup matches in Chicago two decades ago.

FIFA’s surprising choice of the United States as host was one that paid off. The professional league of soccer in America had collapsed ten years earlier and all that was left were indoor leagues. World Cup fever struck after Brazil won the challenge and the professional league was reestablished. Fast forward to last Sunday’s nail biter of a game and we have the most viewed soccer game in US history.

These children of the 90’s have now grown into athletes in the prime with a thirst for World Cup glory – as was seen in the 2-1 win over Ghana. This match showed how far our team has come over the last few decades, but the conditions in Brazil favor those teams used to high temperatures and high humidity.

A Brazilian court ordered FIFA to introduce mandatory ‘water’ breaks for all players in matches with high temperatures last week. This new rule enforced for the first time in America’s game against Portugal on Sunday resulted in extra time being added to the stoppage time at the end of the game, ultimately allowing Portugal to equalize in the last seconds of the match. The heat was obvious from the sidelines with spectators’ face paint running down their faces. Now imagine that heat and humidity for a player that runs an average of six miles a game.

So, in which scenarios can America advance into the next round?

The basic FIFA World Cup scoring system is easy enough to understand. Three points for a win, one point for a draw and zero points for a loss. Things get more complicated if, at the end of all games in a round, two or more teams have the same amount of points and the tiebreaker scoring process is implemented.

Goal differential is taken into account first. Overall goals scored are subtracted from goals allowed in all group games. If this does not yield a winner then the total of all goals scored in all group games is counted. If these two options still do not find a winner then there are four more steps FIFA uses: 1) Greatest number of points gained in the group matches between teams of that group 2) Goal differences resulting from the group matches between teams of that group 3) Greatest number of goals scored in all group matches between teams in that group 4) Drawing of lots by the FIFA organizing committee.

As you may know, only two teams per group are heading through to the next round. How can America be one of those two from group G, also known as the ‘Group of Death’ due to Portugal, Germany and Ghana’s perceived toughness?

America will advance if we win or draw against Germany today but, there is still a chance to advance if we lose. If Ghana and Portugal draw and America loses we will advance and if America loses and Portugal wins, we have a chance of advancing as long as we have a better goal differential than Portugal. The last option we have to advance is if we are defeated by Germany and Ghana beats Portugal by only scoring one goal (a 1 – 0 win) as we would win the second tiebreaker of most overall goals.

There is still hope for America and our dreams of a FIFA World cup victory.  Due to the complicated scoring system though, let’s just hope for a win against Germany, giving us better seeding in the next round.

Go team USA!

By JNR Incorporated

Written by Stephanie Thomas

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JNR Incorporated is a results-based, globally recognized leader that specializes in creating custom travel, meeting, event, prepaid card and merchandise programs that motivate, engage and inspire the employees, customers and channel members of our clients. We have over 30 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies of many diverse industries. Our programs are tailored to fit the specific needs of marketing, sales, management and human resource professionals. The unique solutions we apply are measurable and proven to increase performance, loyalty and revenues.