Companies cultivating laid-off, but not by hiring

    According to a story by Dennis Nishi in the Wall Street Journal (Sept 15, 2009), some suppliers are offering laid-off clients courses and other perks looking to the day when these people get jobs and can order from them again.

    Example: Mohawk Industries, the floor people. They are bringing in speakers and hosting seminars and webinars for laid-off interior designers and architects to help them keep their skills fresh. Mohawk itself was hit hard by the housing flop and is operating at a loss—they need people to get jobs and buy their carpets!

    Although each seminar attracts 80 people or more, they probably have not borne fruit for the company—yet.

    Lexis-Nexis is offering lawyers laid off from firms of 50 or more lawyers free access to Martindale-Hubbell—the gold standard listing of firms.

    Autodesk is another company trying this. They make computer-assisted design software. It has seminars and also lets unemployed architects download some of its programs free for 13 mos. One program costs almost $4,000—so this is a plus.

    Even the Stamford (CT) Blood Center has gotten a better idea. Free career counseling in exchange for a blood donation.

    Hey, eat a cookie—you might have learned a thing or two.

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