Business file for June 1

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Hughes becomes EcoBroker certified

Katie Hughes of Colorado Group Realty in Steamboat Springs has earned the EcoBroker Certified designation after completing a training program on the energy and environmental issues that affect real estate transactions.

National surveys indicate 80 percent of consumers consider themselves "green-minded," Hughes said.

"My EcoBroker training helps me ensure customer satisfaction, my No. 1 priority," she said. "From windows to moisture control to energy savings, I now have more resources at my disposal to help my buyers and sellers make better real estate decisions. The EcoBroker designation doesn't make me an energy and environmental expert, but it allows me to better understand the issues and to convey this understanding to my buyers and sellers."

Teen summer job forecast looking glum

The economic climate might prove disappointing to teens seeking summer employment, according to Junior Achievement, a group that works to prepare youths for the work force. Its 2008 Teens and Summer Jobs poll shows that 88.6 percent of U.S. teenagers plan to have jobs this summer, a 15 percent increase from the same poll conducted a year ago.

In the poll, retail/sales and restaurant/fast food jobs were the top two job prospects. Both sectors are being battered by the economic downturn. Higher energy prices and declining housing values have sliced consumers' discretionary income - a liability for retail businesses and restaurants that depend on residual consumer income, according to the news release.

Additionally, the retail sector is being pressured by overcapacity and a credit squeeze. Restaurants

are struggling with maintaining profit margins as food prices soar. Teens may find the supply of jobs fall this year "as employers adopt cautious hiring practices," according to Junior Achievement.

- Blythe Terrell/Staff

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