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Redfin Reports Home Prices Surge 17% Amid Historic Housing Shortage News Update 2021

SEATTLEApril 16, 2021 (NASDAQ: RDFN) — The median home-sale price increased 17% year over year to $341,250—an all-time high—according to a new report from Redfin, the technology-powered real estate brokerage.

Below are other key housing market takeaways for more than 400 U.S. metro areas during the 4-week period ending April 11.

Note that at this time last year, pandemic stay-at-home orders halted homebuying and selling, which makes year-over-year comparisons unreliable for select housing metrics. As such, Redfin has broken this analysis into two sections: metrics that are acceptable to compare to the same period in 2020, and metrics for which it makes more sense to compare to the same period in 2019.

Metrics to compare to 2020:

  • Asking prices reached an all-time high of $353,750.
  • Homes that sold during the period were on the market for a median of 23 days, the shortest time on market since 2012. This was 15 days fewer than the same period in 2020.
  • 43% of homes sold for more than their list price, an all-time high. This was 17 percentage points higher than the same period a year earlier.
  • The average sale-to-list price ratio—which measures how close homes are selling to their asking prices—increased 2.1 percentage points year over year to an all-time high of 100.7%, meaning the average home sold for 0.7% more than its asking price.
  • 59% of homes that went under contract had an accepted offer within the first two weeks on the market. This is a new all-time high (Redfin’s data for this measure goes back to 2012).
  • 46% of homes that went under contract had an accepted offer within one week of hitting the market, an all-time high.

Metrics to compare to 2019:

  • Pending home sales were up 22% from the same period in 2019.
  • New listings of homes for sale were down 13% from the same period in 2019.
  • Active listings (the number of homes listed for sale at any point during the period) fell 47% from the same period in 2019 to a new all-time low.

“The Easter holiday may have contributed to the latest decline in new listings, as many Americans were spending time with family instead of putting their homes on the market. The overall lack of homes for sale is limiting how much home sales can grow,” said Redfin Lead Economist Taylor Marr. “However, Redfin’s homebuyer demand index is up 4.3% from a month ago, revealing that house hunters are still out in full force. They’re jumping on low mortgage rates, which are sliding back down toward 3%, and bidding up prices of the homes that do hit the market. The good news for buyers is that they should start to see more homes listed now that Easter is behind us.”

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Faber-Castell significantly lowers corporate carbon footprint

STEIN, GermanyApril 16, 2021 Thanks to 10,000 hectares of company-owned forests, Faber-Castell has already been producing in a climate-neutral way for years. According to a recent TÜV audit, Faber-Castell has been able to reduce its emissions by a further 26%. The pencil manufacturer predominantly sources renewable energy for its activities across the globe.

In the 2019/20 fiscal year, carbon emissions from Faber-Castell production sites were reduced by 26% or 12,000 tonnes compared to the previous year. This equals about the same amount of CO2 as a typical passenger car driving around 70 million kilometres. In relation to the quantity of products produced globally, emissions were reduced by 20%. For one million pieces produced, emissions fell from over 13 to just under 11 tonnes. This is a successful development that can be attributed mostly to the increase in the share of electricity from renewable energy sources.

In addition to Brazil and Austria that have covering their needs with 100% green electricity for some years, Peru and Germany have now also switched to exclusively green energy. A lower number of air freight shipments has also contributed to the reduction. As always, these calculations were audited by TÜV and offset through carbon stored in the company’s forests planted in Brazil.

Globally, Faber-Castell factories now use a total of almost 85% of thermal and electrical energy from renewable sources. For the last few decades, the company’s German headquarters in Stein has even been a producer of green electricity thanks to a water turbine. The Faber-Castell plant in Brazil, the world’s largest pencil producer and exporter of writing and drawing instruments to over 70 countries, has been purchasing energy from renewable sources for more than 15 years. Since 2019, the plant has been using only green electricity and has made significant improvements through ambitious environmental targets in the area of wastewater and waste disposal.

Faber-Castell’s global production companies in nine countries manufacture in a climate-neutral way thanks to the company’s own 10,000 hectares of planted pine forests in Brazil – a unique model in the stationary industry. The 100% FSC-certified forests provide the raw material for the Brazilian pencil factory and can cover up to 80% of the Faber-Castell Group’s global wood demand. All other wood used for pencil-making is also FSC- or PEFC-certified. Hence, the 2.3 billion pencils and colour pencils produced annually are coming from 100% from sustainable sources.

Faber-Castell regularly publishes its group-wide environmental indicators, thus ensuring transparency in sustainability reporting. With the use of almost 85% renewable energy sources and demonstrably climate-neutral production using its own forests, Faber-Castell remains one of the industry pioneers in climate protection.

About Faber-Castell:

Faber-Castell is one of the world’s leading companies for high-quality products for writing, drawing and creative design as well as decorative cosmetic products. With more than two billion pencils and coloured pencils per year and around 6,500 employees, Faber-Castell is the world’s leading manufacturer of wood-cased pencils. Nowadays the company is represented in over 120 countries and has its own production sites in ten countries as well as sales companies in 22 countries. Founded in 1761, Faber-Castell is one of the oldest industrial companies in the world and has been owned by the same family for nine generations. The company owes its leading position on the international market to its traditional commitment to the very highest quality, environment and the large number of product innovations.

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Boston Cannabis Delivery Company, Zip Run, Secures $2.3 Million Seed Funding 2021 News

BOSTONApril 16, 2021 Zip Run, the first social equity company to create a cannabis delivery platform, announced today the completion of a $2.3 million seed funding round led by Mollitiam Capital. Zip Run is on track to become the first adult-use cannabis delivery company in Boston.

“This raise accelerates the product development of our consumer-friendly e-commerce platform and advances our mission of helping social equity companies gain ownership in the cannabis industry,” said Gabe Vieira, CEO and co-founder of Zip Run. “Mollitiam Capital has deep experience in cannabis delivery and saw the value in our team, proprietary software, and first to market community leadership. They also share our commitment to supporting communities in Massachusetts and beyond who have been disproportionately affected by marijuana prohibition and enforcement.”

Zip Run is completing the final approvals for adult-use delivery of cannabis in Boston, making the startup the first licensed delivery service in the city limits. The company will hold both marijuana courier and marijuana delivery operator licenses in Massachusetts – only available to social equity applicants in the state. With both licenses, Zip Run can pick up and deliver through dispensary partners and buy wholesale products from cultivators for delivery through its Boston warehouse opening this summer.

Zip Run is currently preparing for its pickup launch, allowing customers to place orders via the Zip Run website with an opportunity to earn credit toward deliveries in the future. Berkshire Roots, the award-winning Pittsfield, Massachusetts-based cannabis cultivator and dispensary operator, is Zip Run’s first retail partner offering a full menu of products from its East Boston store. Pre-verification via Zip Run will be available for Massachusetts cannabis consumers beginning April 20, with pickup set to launch days later.

Zip Run’s proprietary e-commerce platform is a one-stop-shop that integrates with retailers’ inventory systems and provides a seamless experience for consumers to order products directly from the Zip Run website. The best-in-class technology also provides Zip Run with a meaningful way to connect like-minded dispensaries and social equity entrepreneurs through delivery services and partnerships. Social equity members will be eligible to license Zip Run’s technology services at reduced rates to support delivery within Massachusetts or expand to other states.

The four co-founders of Zip Run are a young, diverse team of entrepreneurs, developers, and business leaders who share a vision for bringing purpose to cannabis and giving back to the community: Chief Growth Officer Elis Omoroghomwan; Chief Technology Officer Michael Gordon; Chief Operations Officer Christian Nicholson; and Vieira, who grew up in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston and holds Zip Run’s social equity membership.

Mollitiam Capital is a U.S.-focused cannabis private equity fund founded by industry veterans Ross Bevevino and Tyson Macdonald.

About Zip Run
Zip Run is the first social equity company with a state-of-art, proprietary platform for cannabis delivery. The company’s e-commerce technology integrates with retailers for a seamless and consumer-friendly experience for cannabis delivery in Boston and surrounding Massachusetts areas. To prevent the continuation of an inequitable status quo in the cannabis industry, Zip Run partners with dispensaries that support social equity members and helps social equity entrepreneurs grow their businesses. For more information, visit

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A New Survey Reveals Top 10 Sexual Kinks During COVID-19 Lockdown 2021 Update

TORONTO, Life is lived online, that is, one of the most radical change COVID-19 lockdown has brought. From the way we learn, work, to the way we satisfy primal urges, everything has gone virtual in the past few weeks. Even BDSM play has moved online as people turn to cybersex during COVID-19 lockdown. A recent survey from a BDSM dating app KinkD finds that, virtual kinky play topped the list of 10 top kinks during COVID-19 lockdown.

Top 10 Kinks
Top 10 Kinks
According to KinkD, 3495 users on its app took the survey, responding to selection for the most-practiced one out of 18 common kinky plays during COVID-19 lockdown. Results reveal that, virtual sex led the list, with almost one fourth of respondents voting for it.

As illustrated in the graph below, the 10 top kinks during this special period, in order are: Virtual Sex, Dom/Sub, Orgasm Control, Bondage, Anal Play, Age Play, Foot Fetish, Role Play, Voyeurism and Sadism/Masochism.

“It is a little bit unexpected, but still make sense. In fact, virtualization of BDSM play was well underway before this coronavirus pandemic, but it’s now accelerating because of this crisis,” said John Martinuk, co-founder of KinkD app.

Virtual sex, in general, is any kind of sexual activity practiced via internet or other communication methods. In the context of BDSM, it is more about a remote form of power exchange, better known as cyber play or virtual domination. “Unlike real life play, cyber play allows you to indulge in Dom/Sub scene or relationship merely through technological means, with no face to face communication,” John explained.

Not everything can go virtual, of course, but this pandemic has raised the question of what we can benefit from modern technology during crisis moments. This recent list of top 10 kinks makes clear how the kink community is finding ways to adjust to the current situation. “I’d say, while the coronavirus outbreak has forced everyone to stay at home, on the other hand, it also brings us a new way to enjoy life’s simple pleasures through the use of modern technology,” John added.

At the time of this writing, a number of countries around the world have begun to lift lockdown restrictions, but that doesn’t mean the virus has gone away. And, KinkD team advised that, “It’s still not safe yet, remember to take your return to hookups slowly.”

John Martinuk


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Getty Images Announces $85,000 in Grants for Photojournalists Update News

NEW YORKApril 15, 2021 Getty Images, a world leader in visual communications, has today announced a number of financial grants in support of photojournalism and inclusive storytelling which shines a light on the important issues of our time. The new look Getty Images Editorial Grants will support both individual photojournalists and organizations which enable documentary photography, while the Getty Images Inclusion Scholarships return for a second year to support emerging storytellers within underrepresented groups.

“At Getty Images, we believe in the power of editorial imagery to ask the questions, press the issues, challenge attitudes, to move the world for the good of society” said Pancho Bernasconi, VP Global News at Getty Images. “With the new Editorial Grants and returning Inclusion Scholarships we are committed to supporting editorial storytellers at every level and enabling the production of inclusive, socially significant stories from around the world.”

Getty Images Editorial Grant for Photography Programs
Getty Images is offering two $15,000 grants for organizations that support documentary photography and its practitioners, either through public engagement or professional development. These project-based grants are intended for educational programs, workshops, exhibitions and other initiatives that reinforce the power of photography as a journalistic medium.

The grants are open to non-profit organizations of any size, worldwide. Please see here for further

Getty Images Grant for Editorial Photography: Community Resilience
Continuing Getty Images’ tradition of supporting in-depth photojournalism through its Editorial Grants program, Getty Images is offering three grants of $5,000 each to photographers and videographers reporting stories of community resilience in the wake of the covid-19 pandemic. Within this theme, judges will be looking for visual journalists to show how communities around the world are recovering from the pandemic’s far-reaching impact on public health, jobs, education and other aspects of human welfare. Grant submissions should focus on how individuals, businesses, volunteer organizations and local governments are helping communities recover from, and adapt to, the long-term disruptive challenges posed by the pandemic.

The submissions will be judged by a prestigious panel of industry experts including:

  • Pete Souza, former Chief Official White House Photographer
  • Jessica Lim, Director of Angkor Photo Festival
  • Katherine Pomerantz, Director of Photography, TIME Magazine
  • Walter Astrada, Photographer

For  further information and to apply,

Getty Images Inclusion Scholarships  
Launched in 2020, the Getty Images Inclusion Scholarships are open to emerging photographers around the world with the aim of promoting greater diversity and inclusion within the photographic and media industries.

Together with a selection of prestigious photography and journalism associations, Getty Images aims to support emerging editorial talent within underrepresented groups and offer aspiring photojournalists the financial means to pursue education that will enable careers within the industry.

Getty Images will partner with the organizations; Women PhotographNational Association of Black JournalistsAsian American Journalists Association and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists to award the following four scholarship grants of $10,000 each:

  • Getty Images Inclusion Scholarship – Women Photograph
  • Getty Images Inclusion Scholarship – National Association of Black Journalists
  • Getty Images Inclusion Scholarship – Asian American Journalists Association
  • Getty Images Inclusion Scholarship – National Association of Hispanic Journalists

For further information and to apply,

The Editorial Grants and Inclusion Scholarships are part of Getty Images’ wider grants program, which since its inception has donated over US$1.8 million to photographers and videographers around the world.

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152 Mayors Send Letter to U.S. Senators Urging Action on Gun Violence Prevention Legislation Update news

WASHINGTONApril 14, 2021— 152 mayors, including Democrats, Republicans and Independents, sent a letter today to members of the United States Senate, urging immediate consideration of two pieces of legislation to prevent gun violence: HR 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act, and HR 1446, the Enhanced Background Checks Act. Both bills would strengthen our nation’s gun background check system, a policy that is supported by an overwhelming bipartisan majority of Americans.

The letter comes on the heels of mass shootings in GeorgiaColoradoTexas, and South Carolina, and follows President Joe Biden’s recent executive actions to address gun violence.

In their letter, the mayors write, “Americans are increasingly alarmed by mass shootings and by the steady increase in homicides and shootings plaguing too many neighborhoods. As mayors, it is our top priority to ensure public safety; protecting our residents from gun violence is at the very heart of this commitment. It is time for our federal partners in Congress to take long overdue action to reduce gun violence and the terrible toll it takes on our cities and in our nation.”

The full text of the letter can be found here and below:

Dear Senator:

We write to register the strong support of America’s mayors for HR 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act, and HR 1446, the Enhanced Background Checks Act. We urge the Senate to schedule a vote on these bills as soon as possible and ask for your support for both pieces of legislation. An overwhelming majority of our constituents support these bills that can help save lives by ensuring that individuals who are prohibited from owning firearms cannot circumvent the system. We cannot afford further delay on Capitol Hill on these bills, which will help prevent violence and better protect the American public.

The U.S. Conference of Mayors has had strong policy for many years in support of strengthening the background check system, which HR 8 would do. It would close serious loopholes in the background check system by requiring all firearm purchases—both handguns and long guns—to undergo a NICS background check, help prevent dangerous individuals from circumventing the laws on the books and obtaining deadly weapons, and reduce firearms trafficking by prohibiting unlicensed transfers through unregulated secondary sales. The legislation would also help improve the ability of law enforcement to trace guns involved in crimes, a process dependent on the review of sales records from licensed gun dealers.

HR 1446 would further strengthen the background check system by helping us to ensure that background checks are completed before weapons are sold and that dangerous individuals who should not have them are unable to purchase them. If this bill had been law in June of 2015, the terrible tragedy that occurred at the Emmanuel AME Church in Charleston could have been avoided.

Americans are increasingly alarmed by mass shootings and by the steady increase in homicides and shootings plaguing too many neighborhoods. As mayors, it is our top priority to ensure public safety; protecting our residents from gun violence is at the very heart of this commitment. It is time for our federal partners in Congress to take long overdue action to reduce gun violence and the terrible toll it takes on our cities and in our nation.

We believe that HR 8 and HR 1446 are sensible gun safety bills that will make our cities safer and in no way compromise gun owners’ rights. The nation’s mayors call upon you to pass them now.

  1. About the United States Conference of Mayors — The U.S. Conference of Mayors is the official nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. There are more than 1,400 such cities in the country today, and each city is represented in the Conference by its chief elected official, the mayor. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

SOURCE U.S. Conference of Mayors

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Rowdy Energy Announced as Official Energy Drink of the Texas Rangers News Update

MOORESVILLE, N.C.April 13, 2021 — Today, the new, better-for-you energy drink, Rowdy Energy from NASCAR Driver, Kyle Busch, and entrepreneur, Jeff Church, has been named the official energy drink of popular MLB team, 7x AL West champions, and 2x American League champions, the Texas Rangers. Each season fans look forward to new concessions and new partnerships and this year can expect to see Rowdy Energy throughout the ballpark at several retailers, within in-game promotions, on-site activations, and more.

Texas is an important market for us as a brand and this collaboration will further solidify our positioning and presence there,” said Hallie Lorber, Vice President of Marketing for Rowdy Energy. “Not to mention, we love the state and its people, which makes this partnership a dream come true.”

Rowdy Energy is now available at Globe Life Field in two of the brand’s signature flavors, Strawberry Lemonade (KETO-friendly, zero sugar) and Orange Citrus (60% less sugar than leading brands) in 16oz cans and for those 21+, in exclusive vodka cocktails at stadium bars. The beverage is unlike any other energy drink on the market, featuring precise time-released caffeine, sugar-reducing ingredients, hydration levels above the leading sports drink and to top it off, an amazing taste. In the state of Texas, Rowdy Energy is available at 7-Eleven (currently select locations, in June statewide), HEB, Tom Thumb, Camping World, Albertsons and QuikTrip locations.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Rowdy Energy as the Official Energy Drink of the Texas Rangers and give fans the chance to get their hands on an industry-leading, quality energy drink,” said Jim Cochrane, Senior Vice President of Partnerships for the Texas Rangers. “With the help of Rowdy Energy, fans can look forward to exciting in-park promotions, digital content and more.”

As the official energy drink of the team, fans can look forward to in-game promotions with the beverage including the “Get Rowdy Energy Free Energy Inning” which will take place during the 2nd inning in each game. If the Rangers hit a home run, the “Get Rowdy Energy Free Energy Inning” is activated, and all fans will receive a free can voucher to be used in any Rowdy Energy retailer. Further promotion includes digital signage throughout the ballpark, concourse, and exterior displays, collateral available for fans, social media promotion, sweepstakes opportunities, PA announcements, and more.

Rowdy Energy will be available at all national events at Globe Life Field including baseball home games, national rodeos, college baseball, Army vs. Air Force football games, concerts, Camp Gladiator events, large auto shows, high school football games, and high school graduations as well as college graduations.

For more information on Rowdy Energy please visit RowdyEnergy

About Rowdy Energy

Rowdy Energy was founded in 2020 by accomplished NASCAR driver, Kyle Busch and notable entrepreneur, Jeff Church with a focus on wellness. The beverage is comprised of precise time-released caffeine, sugar reduction ingredients, amazing taste, and hydration levels above leading sports drinks. A can of Rowdy Energy has 160mg of naturally occurring caffeine. Derived from green tea, Rowdy Energy pairs their caffeine with the nootropic L-Theanine giving you a powerful lift without the unwanted and irritable crash. The beverage is currently available in seven flavors – Cherry Limeade, Peach Mango, Sour Green Apple, Orange Citrus, Cotton Candy, Chiseled Ice, and Strawberry Lemonade – (five of which are sugar-free and KETO certified). Rowdy Energy is available for purchase online and in select grocery and convenience stores nationwide.

About the Texas Rangers

The Texas Rangers are celebrating their 50th season in Arlington, Texas since the American League franchise moved from Washington, D.C. in September 1971. Since 1996, the Rangers have won seven A.L. West Division titles and two A.L. pennants in 2010 and 2011. In 2020, the Rangers opened a beautiful state-of-the-art ballpark, Globe Life Field, a retractable roof facility which serves not only as the club’s home field but also as a multipurpose sports and entertainment venue year-round.

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Oracle Helps Organizations Enhance the Employee Experience with Oracle Journeys Update

AUSTIN, TexasApril 12, 2021 Oracle today announced a new platform to deliver a more intuitive, personalized, and streamlined employee experience within Oracle Fusion Cloud Human Capital Management (HCM). Oracle Journeys helps organizations create a one-stop shop for employees as they navigate all aspects of work and complete complex tasks. The new capabilities enable HR teams to create, tailor, and deliver step-by-step guidance to walk employees through events as diverse as onboarding, having a baby, returning to the workplace, launching a new product, or growing their career.

“With our homes doubling as offices over the past year, we’ve grown accustomed to the way technology improves our lives as consumers, and employees want that same experience at work,” said Chris Leone, senior vice president of development, Oracle Cloud HCM. “As offices reopen, it will be critical to provide consistent and positive experiences both in the office and for remote workers – but it doesn’t stop there. Organizations need to provide guidance throughout an employee’s entire career, from training to finding a mentor, returning to the workplace, and eventually traveling safely. Oracle Journeys will help HR teams provide value beyond traditional HR processes by tailoring unique experiences for their workforce.”

Oracle Journeys guides employees through tasks and key milestones while delivering quick access to resources they need across HR and the entire organization. It also makes it easy for employees to take action as they move through various events. The new features in Oracle Journeys help HR leaders by enabling them to move beyond standard HR workflows to create personalized, step-by-step guidance for any task – be it personal, professional, operational, or administrative. By providing easy access to AI-recommended processes tailored to individual needs, the solution helps employees save time and improve productivity. The latest innovations within Oracle Cloud HCM include:

  • Journeys LaunchPad: Delivers a single destination for employees to explore, launch, and share Journeys tailored to their needs. It can host any Journey applicable to an employee, assigned by their manager, or recommended by AI based on previous actions, events, or career progressions. For example, newly-promoted employees may see a New Manager Journey, those planning to return to the office may get prompted with a Return to Work Safely Journey, or those relocating to a new facility may receive a Relocation Journey and be guided through next steps – all directly within their LaunchPad. Employees can access and complete their Journeys on any device including desktop, mobile, chat applications, or Oracle Digital Assistant.
  • Journeys Creator: Allows HR teams and managers to create, modify, and assign Journeys across the enterprise. HR leaders can access a library of pre-built Journey templates, which can be tailored to the unique needs of the organization, workforce, and individual teams. This allows Journeys to be designed to meet specific company requirements, policies, and brand guidelines – all within minutes and without the need for IT or any coding. Organizations can also adapt them to include cross-enterprise tasks, and create Journeys like Manage My Expenses or Launch a New Product. Available templates include Onboarding, Return to the Workplace, Parental Leave, Relocation, Illness or Injury, and Return from Leave.
  • Journeys Booster: Helps integrate HR processes and other business functions such as finance, operations, and facilities management with third-party systems and external applications. This enables end-to-end process completion in a single experience, supported by the process automation capabilities of Oracle Process Cloud, with minimal coding needed. Journeys Booster automates requests and services across HR, IT, and other work systems and can also be expanded via HR Helpdesk when additional support is needed within workflows.

Supporting Quotes:

“Employee experience is a critical, multi-disciplinary challenge and employee needs vary widely,” said Josh Bersin, global HR industry analyst. “Companies desperately need easy-to-use, highly customizable platforms to design, measure, and integrate employees’ digital lives. Offerings like Oracle Journeys are becoming the hottest part of the human capital systems market.”

“The employee experience is easy to take for granted, but it pays dividends when invested in properly. Companies that make deliberate efforts to make tasks quicker and easier with positive experiences for their workforce will reap the benefits of increased satisfaction, engagement, and productivity,” said R. “Ray” Wang, principal analyst, Constellation Research. “Customers seek the ability to manage their own journeys in their core HCM systems. This not only helps organizations better manage and grow their workforce during challenging times, but also enables HR to serve as an innovation center for the entire business.”

“The needs and expectations of employees have changed drastically. Now more than ever, our workforce needs personalized guidance, support, and motivation,” said Jacely Voon, chief people officer, People Culture & Corporate Social Responsibility, Fujifilm. “Oracle Cloud HCM provides a single HR platform that allows us to better manage our teams and keep up with their evolving expectations. No matter what further changes we see in the workforce, we will be ready to deliver a positive employee experience for our 14,000+ team members across the region.”

See here for more information about Oracle

To learn more about Oracle Fusion Cloud HCM, please About Oracle
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