Census Bureau extends deadlines
The Census Bureau yesterday announced that is would a delay the timetable for collecting and delivering census data from the 2020 count. According to an article published in the New York Times, “The bureau ... said it would extend the deadline for collecting census data, now Aug. 15, to Oct. 31, and would begin reopening its field offices — which have been shuttered since mid-March — sometime after June 1.” This is good news for New Mexico, as it provides additional time to encourage full participation in the census among the many hard to count sectors of the population in San Miguel and other rural counties.
A slow recovery and a time for professional development
While the past week saw some of the highest peaks for hospitalizations and deaths from the coronavirus, it also saw signs of hope in what appears to be a small leveling in the growth of new virus cases in some places. Infection rates have declined in Washington and California, and even New York, while still showing high numbers overall, appeared to be slowly beginning to flatten the curve. Yet for other areas, the number of cases is just beginning to grow. In an interview with Jake Tapper on CNN, Governor Lujan-Grisham predicted that New Mexico might not hit its peak of cases until late in May.
As we have become more accustomed to staying home, social distancing, and limiting our person-to-person interactions, we have also begun to look ahead and prepare for some degree of “return and recovery.” Most of us understand that this process will be gradual, partial, and staged, impacting each state, sector, and locale differently, but we may find it more challenging to know how to adapt to this uncertain forecast. As business and employment systems continue to be disrupted, it now appears that the wide gaps in our days and lives will persist into the future, making it difficult to discern viable paths forward into unknown circumstances.
It can be helpful to reframe these openings as an opportunity, a time in which to pursue the professional development training that we may have been wanting or needing for some time. When we fill the open spaces in our work day schedule with strategic, targeted learning related to our employment or business goals, the learning can provide a sense of engagement and control that few of us have felt during the past month. Gaining new skills and enhancing our knowledge can also help us to feel more positive about our circumstances, making it easier to face the future amidst its unpredictability.
There are several websites that offer access to free online professional development training courses. Some learning portals, such as EdX and Coursera, collect large numbers of courses and include some that are more academic in focus. But they also offer many classes in basic business and leadership skills. Other sites, such as LinkedIn Learning, offer a more curated and targeted range of professional development learning opportunities. However, LinkedIn Learning has a per month charge that applies after the first month, which is offered free. The Small Business Administration provides courses and guides targeted to starting and managing a small business and geared to specific “hands-on” skills.
For a more developed list of free online professional development trainings, please visit our “Programs” tab of the main navigation bar at the top of the page.
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