Jon Fishman Talks Mixing Politics With Phish, Ranked-Choice Voting On Maine TV Talk Show [Watch]

first_imgOn Saturday evening, Phish drummer and standing Lincolnville, ME selectman Jon Fishman made an appearance on Bangor, Maine-based late-night talk show, The Nite Show with Danny Cashman. After being introduced by the show’s host, Danny Cashman, Fishman strolled out to the desk as the house band played an instrumental snippet of Phish’s “Bouncing Around The Room”.The interview began with a discussion of Phish’s connection to Maine, from small club shows years ago to large festivals like The Great Went, Lemonwheel, and It. As Fishman explained, “It’s my home now. And the memories from the festivals are incredible. It’s been funny, since moving here, I realize that the whole state knows our band probably more than our home state of Vermont, because people would say ‘oh you’re that band…we couldn’t get beer for a week!’ It’s funny, most of the people I’ve met who know of us, it’s not because they listen to the music. They know about it from that situation.”Fishman also discussed what his role is like as a town selectman.”It’s like you’re a parent for a town…and everyone’s a teenager.” he laughed. “But I do love it. It’s a great way to get to know your town, it’s truly public service, and it’s humbling in that way. It’s good.” Cashman then asked about Fishman’s previous political experience, leading into the topic of his outspoken support of Bernie Sanders for president in 2016:As you might know, and as probably people have criticized me for [laughs], I was a huge supporter of Bernie Sanders in the last election. I was asked by the Sanders people to participate in getting people signed up to vote, so I got out there and did that as much as I could.Fishman also spoke about his busy schedule of music-based campaign events for Sanders. As he noted, “I had this one great day, I sat in with, I think, 9 bands in 12 hours from Portland to Fort Kent. It was a whole big sit-in, and to get people to sign up. I met a lot of musicians in Maine that day.” When Cashman commented on the potentially fraught relationship between the divisive nature of politics and the unifying nature of music, Fishman explained:That is exactly the reason that the band I’m in [Phish] doesn’t get into the political arena. Amongst my bandmates, there’s always been a debate about this. I’m kind of the activist in the group, although everybody is pretty active in their own, private ways. … I really wanted to do a Bernie Sanders benefit, but the band [said] exactly what you said: ‘Politics are divisive, and music is supposed to bring people together.’ There has to be a place for art for the sake of art. And I agree with that as well. And so, as a little mini-democracy that the band is, I’m the odd man out there [laughs]. But it’s okay because I do agree with that sentiment at its heart.Diving further into Phish, Cashman asked if Jon still felt excitement at toward their upcoming tour, even after all these years. “Yea, now more than ever,” Fish responded. “I’m 53 years old and I feel like I’m actually starting to get good.” He continued, after pausing for laughs:No, seriously, I’m starting to really break ground into areas of drumming that I haven’t heard from other people yet. And the band, I think, is starting to… We broke up from ’04–’09, and it took us some years to get back [to] where we left off. And I feel like we’re starting to get into new levels of listening and improvisational abilities and stuff that surpass where we left off in ’04, and it’s very exciting.When asked about his favorite style of music to play, he responded, as he has previously, by quoting James “Blood” Ulmer—”Jazz is the teacher, funk is the preacher, and one without the other you have nothing but the blues.”Finally, Fishman got to the political meat of his appearance, campaigning for public support of ranked-choice voting, which allows voters to rank their candidates in the order in which they would want them. The people of Maine have voted “yes” on the issue of keeping ranked-choice voting permanently multiple times, but the legislature continues to impede its implementation, calling new ballot referenda. As Fishman explains ranked-choice, “Rather than going and voting out of fear against the thing you’re scared of, you can vote for what you want and not be afraid that if that person doesn’t get elected, they will be a pariah or a vote-splitter…that you voting for someone you want causes something you don’t want.”You can watch all three released clips from Jon Fishman’s appearance on The Nite Show below via TheNiteShowMaine on YouTube:Opening Segment, Jon Fishman on Being in MaineNite Show Highlight: Jon Fishman on Phish Upcoming TourJon Fishman On Ranked Choice Voting[H/T Jambase]last_img read more

Lettuce Shares Full Pro-Shot Video Of Tour-Closing 2017 Halloween Show [Watch]

first_imgToday, Lettuce has given their fans something funky to get excited about: a full pro-shot video of their October 31st, 2017 performance at Asheville, NC’s New Mountain Theater. The performance marked the final show on their extended fall tour and saw the band work a Halloween-appropriate jam on the Stranger Things theme song into their mid-set “Trap”. You can watch a pro-shot video of the performance below (video by Barry2theB):Lettuce – Asheville, NC – 10/31/17 [Pro-Shot][Video: LettuceFunk]Setlist: Lettuce | New Mountain Theater | Asheville, NC | 10/31/17Set: Requiem, Blaze, Prince SMNZ, Trillogy, 116th St., House U, By Any Shmeeans Necessary, Ready To Live, Trap > Stranger Things Theme > Trap, Chief It Up, Purple Cabbage, Sounds Like A Party To Me, SquadliveLettuce is set to perform on Friday, May 25th at Summer Camp Music Festival, followed by performances at Candler Park Music Festival in Atlanta, GA (Friday, June 1st) and Purple Hatter‘s Ball at the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, FL (Saturday, June 2nd). The following weekend (Friday, June 8th), Lettuce will return to Red Rocks Amphitheater in Morrison Colorado for their annual Rage Rocks celebration, this year with co-headliners The Floozies and support acts JAW GEMS and The Funk Hunters.Following a run of dates in the Northeast from June 20th–23rd, Lettuce will begin their intimate residency at the iconic Blue Note Jazz Club in New York City’s West Village. The residency will see the band play multiple separately-ticketed shows per night over the course of 5 nights, with a total of 12 sets planned in all.For a full list of Lettuce’s upcoming tour dates, head to the band website.last_img read more

Which digital ads most positively impact your financial institution?

first_imgThere are MANY different kinds of digital ads out there… including everything from programmatic placement of display ads, to Google Search Ads and Social Media boosted content. But how can you really tell which of these types of ads work best for your Bank or Credit Union? Well here are five ways to measure results that will demonstrate the true impact of digital ads to your FI’s bottom line!1. Look at Conversion Rates on PPC and Social Ads ThemselvesLooking at conversion rates is the first step to assessing how successful a digital ad campaign is. But there’s one key to accurately tracking conversions that many financial institutions struggle with… you have to be able to track a user all the way through the application process to the Thank You page (TYP). This way you can put your final conversion tracking code on this TYP and see exactly how many people started AND also finished your application or target conversion.If your website works with third party application providers, who often make this type of tracking difficult or even impossible, we recommend that you create a Thank You Page on your site where you can place tracking code. Then you can send users back to this page AFTER they finish the application, even on a third-party site. Most of these application providers will allow for you to redirect traffic back to a chosen URL after the application is complete.With accurate conversion tracking you will be able to see exactly how much you paid for each new application, which makes it easy to see if your campaign is running a positive return on investment (ROI). 2. Look at New Lead Conversions from all Your Paid TrafficIn addition to setting up accurate conversion tracking, as explained above, it’s also important to compare one campaign to another. For example, we have found that capturing new leads tends to be much less expensive using social media ads, but these conversions are not always ready to purchase a financial product or open a new account. So often they are what we call Top of the Funnel leads that need to be nurtured with emails and other useful content. Think of them as potential new customers or members who barely know the name of your credit union or community bank. You need to educate them about your mission and how you are different from the larger national financial institutions or online lenders.3. Remember that Not all Paths to Conversion are StraightNow when trying to track ROI of a digital campaign it’s also important to set goals around traffic, brand awareness, and the quality of new visitors. This is because not all leads from paid campaigns are going to convert immediately. And when they don’t these new customers or accounts won’t be easily trackable.We recommend that you also analyze the quality of the paid traffic you’ve generated in addition to trackable conversions. It is common for new visitors to your website to want to spend some time getting to know your brand, BEFORE they make a buying decision. This important brand awareness time should translate to lower bounce rates and increased time on page for those users who aren’t converting. So, set goals around these metrics as well to ensure that when people aren’t ready to buy immediately they are at least familiarizing themselves with your products and services.4. Define What Success Looks Like BEFORE You Start Your CampaignsJust like any marketing or sales campaign, it’s essential that you create goals so that you know what you are trying to achieve with your campaign. You will need to answer the question… ‘what would success look like for this ad campaign?’Keep in mind that paid digital efforts can have impacts on many of areas of your business, from general branding to specific product conversions. You can use paid ads to drive new contacts or leads and to boost future organic traffic to a new page or content pillar page. All of these progress metrics have a place in a well-rounded marketing approach. So, make sure you define your objectives carefully when creating digital ad campaigns.5. Measure General Revenue Lift During and Right After CampaignsFinally, it’s important to measure lift during and AFTER your digital ads campaigns. For example, if you are running a home equity loan ad promotion on Google AdWords you’ll need to take into consideration the closing timeframes for these products when assessing full impacts. If the typical home equity loan takes 45 days to close at your institution you should wait this amount of time AFTER the campaign ends to fully close any remaining loans that have come in, BEFORE you measure the final lift to home equity revenue.Likewise, we suggest using paid search ads to help boost organic results for pages, and you so you should look at the organic lift of traffic to a target page during the campaign but also for 1-2 months after the campaign is over to see if you’ve achieved your goals.Our final recommendation with digital ads is to constantly reassess and remain agile in your approach. With budgeting for the year, give yourself a pool of digital ad funds to work with, but then remain flexible as to what specific areas you will focus spending and be willing to try new approaches when you see results beginning to wane.Want to learn more? Visit the FI GROW Blog today or download our FREE Ultimate Guide to Successful Inbound Marketing for Financial Institutions. 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Meredith Olmstead Meredith Olmstead is the CEO and Founder of FI GROW Solutions, which provides Digital Marketing & Sales services to Community Financial Institutions. With experience working with FIs in markets of … Web: Detailslast_img read more

This week: Congress works to end gov’t shutdown, committees plot priorities

first_img continue reading » The House and Senate are in session this week, though much of their focus will likely be on trying to come to an agreement to end the partial government shutdown that is now approaching its third week. In addition, party leaders in both chambers are wrapping up committee assignments for the 116th Congress.Over the weekend, House Democrats unveiled four separate spending bills to fund departments such as Treasury, Agriculture, Interior, Transportation and Housing and Urban Development, and some other agencies through Sept. 30. This piecemeal strategy comes as the Senate and President Donald Trump said they would not support a funding package passed by the House last week that included six full-year appropriations bills and a continuing resolution through Feb. 8 for the Department of Homeland Security. The president has said he will not sign a bill to fund the government unless it provides money for his proposed wall along the border of Mexico – the House has not allocated such funding.NAFCU will keep credit unions updated as government funding discussions continue. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Texas court dismisses CU’s ADA lawsuit

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas has dismissed a lawsuit filed against Smart Financial Credit Union related to website accessibility requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act. NAFCU had filed an amicus brief in support of the credit union in this case.In its decision, the court found that the plaintiff did have standing as he seemed to fall in the credit union’s field of membership; however, the court determined that a website is not a physical place and the credit union would not be liable under the ADA.“This decision reinforces the need for the Department of Justice to provide clarity on ADA website requirements as different courts continue to come to different conclusions,” said NAFCU Executive Vice President of Government Affairs and General Counsel Carrie Hunt. “NAFCU will continue to press the department for guidance to ensure credit unions feel confident in their website offerings.”NAFCU has filed 16 amicus briefs in seven different states to support credit unions targeted by ADA website accessibility litigation. So far, nine of the complaints in which NAFCU has supported the credit union have been dismissed, though many of the courts determined that the plaintiff lacked standing. continue reading »last_img read more

Texas court dismisses CU’s ADA lawsuit

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas has dismissed a lawsuit filed against Smart Financial Credit Union related to website accessibility requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act. NAFCU had filed an amicus brief in support of the credit union in this case.In its decision, the court found that the plaintiff did have standing as he seemed to fall in the credit union’s field of membership; however, the court determined that a website is not a physical place and the credit union would not be liable under the ADA.“This decision reinforces the need for the Department of Justice to provide clarity on ADA website requirements as different courts continue to come to different conclusions,” said NAFCU Executive Vice President of Government Affairs and General Counsel Carrie Hunt. “NAFCU will continue to press the department for guidance to ensure credit unions feel confident in their website offerings.”NAFCU has filed 16 amicus briefs in seven different states to support credit unions targeted by ADA website accessibility litigation. So far, nine of the complaints in which NAFCU has supported the credit union have been dismissed, though many of the courts determined that the plaintiff lacked standing. continue reading »last_img read more

Jakov Vetma, Municipality of Klis: In case of continuing to achieve excellent tourist results, we will reduce the prices of kindergartens in Klis

first_imgIn 2018, the Klis Fortress and the Municipality of Klis are making great strides in the direction of revitalization and valorization of cultural and historical heritage, which are bringing very good results. In the first four months of this year the fortress even achieved 76 percent more visits compared to the same period in 2017.In accordance with the excellent tourist results, the Mayor of Klis Jakov Vetma announced that in the case of continuing to achieve excellent tourist results, which are primarily generated by the Klis Fortress, the prices of kindergartens in Klis will be reduced. “I want all locals to feel the benefits we make by working on our cultural heritage. ” points out the chief of Klisa, Jakov Vetma.This announcement is the result of many years of efforts by the Municipality of Klis to revitalize the fortress and Klis cultural heritage with the aim of launching cultural and historical tourism in one of the oldest and most important Croatian historical cities. “Our work gives results! In recent months, we have witnessed a great tourist rise of the Klis Fortress and we want all the residents of Klis to feel that profit. Therefore, if the results continue to move in this direction, I plan to propose a reduction in kindergarten prices which will help all our families with children to provide their children with the best possible care at a lower cost. Of course, we do not intend to stop there and our plan is to continue with the development of tourism in the Municipality of Klis with a special focus on cultural and historical heritage, active holidays and gastronomy, and we are supported by a great traffic position. ” said Vetma, motivated by the great results of Klis Fortress.By the way, in May 2018, the Government of the Republic of Croatia decided to give the Municipality of Klis the use of the Klis Fortress for the purpose of implementing projects related to the revitalization, care and preservation of the fortress, ie promoting the cultural development of the Republic of Croatia. Shortly afterwards, the new visual identity of the Klis Fortress was presented, based on its history, position and cultural symbolism.In the near future, the opening of the Klis Interpretation Center is planned, in which the rich historical and cultural heritage of Klis will be presented through simulated holograms, as well as the gastronomic and oenological peculiarities of the Klis region and many other tourist facilities. In addition to all the above, it is to be believed that the Klis Fortress will have a long and successful season, for the benefit of all the inhabitants of Klis, but also many visitors.Some will say it’s populism, but…                                                                        Surely there will be many who will look at this move through a political context, ie populism. But let’s not forget that it makes sense to generate tourist consumption through tourism and invest it in raising the quality of the tourist product, but also to increase the quality of life in the city.Namely, not everyone lives from tourism, nor does everyone have an apartment for rent, so due to the tourist season, apart from crowds, higher prices and the burden on the city infrastructure, they have nothing from tourism except the lack of quality of life. Especially when we talk about excessive tourism, such as in Dubrovnik, where citizens no longer have a city, but it is left to tourists. What is the quality of life in such a city? How citizens can quickly get to the doctor, to the kindergarten, where they can park, is there a place for prams on the city streets… the rhythm of the city is determined by cruisers, because when a cruiser arrives with thousands of tourists no one is crazy a visit to a pharmacy, etc.… What does a citizen of Dubrovnik, if he is not lucky enough to be able to live from tourism, have from it? Just problems.That is why tourism is not and must not be an end in itself, it must be a means to achieve a better quality of life. The generated income from tourism should be invested in improving the quality of life in the city through investments in infrastructure, from construction of roads, sewers, kindergartens, schools, etc. to free textbooks, kindergartens, libraries, construction of children’s playgrounds and all other elements that make the city.Precisely in order to compensate the local population for the crowds and all other misfortunes due to the development of tourism. What does a cashier have from tourism? Or a postman? Or an employee in a kindergarten? Of course, the development of tourism is not controversial and for some it is a “lifeline” and an excellent added value, but only if it is developed strategically, planned and sustainably.For years, I have been wondering why successful Croatian tourist destinations for which tourism is the main lever of development do not have the best kindergartens, schools, free textbooks – a much better and higher quality of life. They earn quite a solid income from tourism so that they can develop and grow well, and the goal is to increase the quality of the local population. After all, that’s how the population is kept, because if we all move out, we become just a backdrop. We already live practically the most from rent, we encourage imports instead of domestic production. Also, tourism is not one industry, but horizontally and vertically connects all other industries, and it is imperative to include as much as possible the domestic component, ie the local economy so that tourism can benefit the wider community, through the development of micro and small entrepreneurship. We need thousands of family farms, not one Agrokog. This is how the population is kept.The city is the people, not the walls.The very essence of tourism is to get to know new ways and culture of living, and if there is no local population, there is no tourism, except through the development of closed resorts. Also, accommodation is not a motive for travel, but precisely the content, diversity and primarily the authenticity of the destination.So, to conclude, if this is a populist move, then I hope that there will be more and more such “populists” who build kindergartens, playgrounds, give free textbooks, kindergartens, encourage small and medium enterprises, etc.… Increasing the quality of life must be imperative , not instant and short-term earnings.last_img read more

Delancey to ditch surveying firms

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

Remarks by Governor Wolf at 2019 Budget Address

first_img February 05, 2019 Budget News,  Economy,  Education,  Remarks Governor Tom Wolf2019 Budget AddressTRANSCRIPT:Lieutenant Governor Fetterman, Speaker Turzai, President Scarnati. . .Leader Corman, Leader Costa, Leader Cutler, Leader Dermody. . .Members of the General Assembly, invited guests, friends and family, especially my wife Frances… and my fellow Pennsylvanians,This is my fifth budget address, and for the last four years sitting to my left was Karen Coates: a trusted advisor to Speaker Turzai, a friend, mother, sister, daughter, and respected member of our community.And for the same four years, I would look out into the chamber and see Flo Fabrizio, Mike O’Brien, and Sid Kavulich. This year, they are not with us. Let us all remember their lasting impact, commitment to service, and carry forward in their memory.Three weeks ago, I had the honor of taking the oath of office for another term as Governor.I spoke of a Commonwealth on a comeback – a Pennsylvania on a path to a more functional government, a more prosperous economy, and a brighter future for our children.The people of our Commonwealth have proven that, despite the challenges we face, Pennsylvania remains a place worthy of its history – a place where people can find good work, strong communities, and opportunity for their kids.And, here in Harrisburg, we’ve proven that despite our differences, we remain capable of doing what Washington just cannot seem able to do: tackle big challenges, put aside petty partisanship, and serve the public interest.We must never forget that embedded in Pennsylvania’s history is the fact that not one, but two noble experiments were launched here.First, there was William Penn’s “Holy Experiment”.Second, the Founders launched their own experiment in self-government.Both of these are perpetual experiments.When we reaffirm our commitment to these experiments we honor both our history and those Founders.And we show our constituents that, whether they voted for us or not, those experiments are in good hands and their government is worthy of their trust.Now, we have a chance to show that good faith once again.In proposing and debating this budget, we get to the heart of our perpetual experiment in self-government.We show the Founders that we can govern ourselves.Today, I put forth my budget proposal.And let me cut to the chase.This proposal asks for no new taxes. Not one dollar. Not one dime. Not one penny.At the same time, this budget proposes to do a number of things aimed at improving the lives of our fellow citizens. The people of Pennsylvania have made substantial sacrifices in recent years to help our state get up off the mat – and despite a budget that asks for no new taxes, we now have a chance to continue making some important new investments on their behalf.Investments in our schools. Investments to make sure more Pennsylvanians of all ages have real choices when it comes to their health care decisions. Continued investments to reinforce our commitment to the battle against the opioid epidemic that has claimed the lives of so many of our neighbors. Investments to support our farmers and agricultural producers so they can continue to sustain our rural communities for generations to come.In the coming weeks, we’ll have the chance to discuss, debate, and negotiate the details.And I will ask for your partnership in ensuring that this important work continues and that we maintain our commitment to advancing this experiment in self-government.My administration has worked hard to make these investments possible – striving to run our government not just more ethically, but more efficiently, so that it is worthy of the public trust and capable of advancing the public interest.We’ve saved billions of taxpayer dollars and reduced the number of state employees – without furloughs, all while improving customer service.We’ve gotten rid of facilities and leases that we don’t use or need while consolidating commonwealth operations within the capitol complex.We’ve made the procurement process smarter and more efficient.And we will continue to look for ways to streamline government so we can invest in the things that matter to Pennsylvanians while at the same time serving them better.Today, however, I want to focus on the most significant element of this budget proposal – a comprehensive plan for preparing Pennsylvanians to compete, and win, in our rapidly changing economy.A plan to create a new generation of prosperity in our commonwealth by building the strongest workforce in the nation.The credit for our economic success has always belonged to the people of Pennsylvania,the innovators who turned new ideas into new industries, the business leaders who built great companies large and small, and the working women and men who toiled in fields and mines and factories – not to mention research labs and classrooms and cubicles.There’s a reason Pennsylvanians know names like Carnegie, Hershey, Westinghouse – and a reason why we believe so strongly in the power of our work ethic and the importance of individual responsibility.That’s who we are.But, in the background, government has been there working on our behalf: building canals and highways so manufacturers could get their goods to market, protecting the integrity of the marketplace to ensure fair competition, and helping to unlock the potential offered by our abundant resources.In the end, however, our most important economic resource has always been our people.It’s always been workers that have propelled our prosperity.That’s why we’ve always made sure to invest in public schools, universities, and training centers.The path to prosperity begins with an educated workforce.That’s as true today as it’s always been.But while that principle remains intact, a lot about our economy has changed.New businesses. New industries. New technology. New competition.And with all that, we have a need for new skills.Over the last four years, Pennsylvania has created more than 12,000 new businesses, and more than 239,000 new jobs.We’ve begun to match and advance beyond our neighbors.Now it’s time for us to really pull ahead.Today, I present a comprehensive plan to help grow our economy by continuing to invest in our workforce.This plan calls on contributions from the business community, labor unions, educators, research institutions, students, parents, and adult workers.And it increases opportunity for every Pennsylvanian at every stage of life – from birth to retirement.I’m proposing a package of policies and investments called the Statewide Workforce, Education, and Accountability Program.It’s the next step we can take together to build on all of the work we’ve done over the past four years.Consider just how far we’ve already come.We’ve made Pennsylvania a leader in computer science education by establishing a workforce development initiative that invests in computer science and STEM education programs for K-12 students.We’ve increased the number of career and technical education students earning industry-recognized credentials by 34 percent and increased the number of credentials earned by students enrolled in career and technical education programs by 27 percent.We’ve provided high school students options to demonstrate graduation readiness as alternatives to high-stakes standardized testing.We’ve increased participation to nearly 800 registered apprenticeship programs and almost 17,000 active apprenticeships.And we’ve assisted nearly 3,000 companies in training more than 145,000 incumbent workers across the commonwealth to help employees develop new skills to thrive in their jobs.But we know there is more to do.When Amazon made its decision not to locate its second headquarters in Pennsylvania, it cited workforce concerns as a main reason. And in western Pennsylvania, we’ve struggled to find Pennsylvanians to fill the jobs as welders and pipefitters at the Shell Cracker Plant.Across the commonwealth, we have workers aging out of our workforce, and too often the next generation of worker is not there or doesn’t have the skills to replace them.If we can’t strengthen our workforce, we will fall behind.And we cannot let our government’s response to this problem be handcuffed by stale habit.We need to continue to break down silos.We need to inject our efforts with common purpose.And we need to make sure that, as leaders, we are providing direction and giving teeth to our workforce efforts.That’s why we are going to do something a little different.Starting immediately, we are going to put together a Keystone Economic Development and Workforce Command Center.Agency secretaries are going to meet each week with plans in hand and sit together to make sure no workforce effort walks alone or falls through some crack in the state government.If the Department of Community and Economic Development knows a company that needs 20 welders and the Department of Labor and Industry has a welding program, we’re going to connect them.Those connections within state government are valuable and necessary.But we also need to hear from businesses and labor. Not just when they’re upset, and not just when we tour a facility in a hard hat. We need to hear from them constantly.We need to know when there is a problem right away so we can fix it.If a labor union is having trouble establishing a training program because of antiquated procedures, then we need to fix it.We need to get those workers trained and into the workforce.If a business can’t hire a worker because of an out-of-date or unnecessary rule or regulation, we need to know about it so we can take action.If medical professionals are concerned about a licensing backlog, they need receptive ears in state government.We’re also not going to try to solve every workforce problem on our own.The command center will have a first-of-its-kind Employer Fund, a public-private partnership that empowers businesses to address the skills gap from their end and encourages them to share their best ideas and best practices so that we can scale them up and learn from their success.After all, government doesn’t have a monopoly on good ideas for addressing these challenges – but it can serve as an incubator for the best ones, and a partner for putting them into action.The Command Center is going to be led by the secretaries of the departments of Community and Economic Development, Labor & Industry, and State, three agencies that have the largest impact on Pennsylvania’s workforce and business development.We are also going to bring outside voices in.My friends Gene Barr and Rick Bloomingdale will also be co-chairs. They co-chaired my Middle Class Task Force which helped launch many of the workforce development ideas we implemented last year and that I’m proposing to build on in this plan.And they’ll be joined by Tony Bartolomeo of Team PA and Auditor General DePasquale who has worked on these issues and will have important recommendations.But we need to do more.We need policies that start at the very beginning, and end with every Pennsylvanian receiving an excellent education and the opportunity to land a good job.Last year, I convened a Ready To Start Task Force, charging it with finding ways to improve the lives of children under three and their families.I know that no new parent looks at their baby and sees a spreadsheet, but the fact is that preparing our kids for success starts long before they ever enter a classroom or even take their first steps. And providing services for children helps to get parents into the workforce and fight poverty.That’s why this new program includes funding for home visits to support vulnerable pregnant women, new mothers, and at-risk infants and toddlers.Home visiting programs promote healthy relationships and safe and stable home environments.They’re proven to work in preventing adverse childhood experiences, giving children and their parents the skills they need to reach their full potential and lift families out of poverty and into good jobs.You know: we already have programs like this working in Pennsylvania.Misericordia University is home to one of only eight programs in the country that helps single mothers who are struggling economically to complete a college degree.The program provides counseling, housing, and other services to help mothers get into the workforce.We plan to replicate this innovative job training program all across the commonwealth.And this program leverages federal funds to improve our child care system, so we can get more kids off of waiting lists and into high-quality support systems – and help more parents make their way into the workforce.Pennsylvania’s children deserve every opportunity to succeed when they enter our public school system.And they deserve to enter a public school system that isn’t just adequate, but world-class.Restoring $1 billion in funding to our schools was an important first step. But now we need to go further.We must continue to increase funding for education – starting with pre-K and culminating at the end of a student’s journey.But that’s not all.It’s time to lower the age of compulsory attendance to age 6, bringing our commonwealth in line with the vast majority of other states.And we should consider going even further – with a careful study of the costs and benefits of moving to universal free full-day kindergarten for every 5-year-old in Pennsylvania.Meanwhile, we should increase the minimum dropout age to 18, and partner with school districts to keep our graduation rate rising.Of course, no Governor or legislator can do more for a child than a teacher can. And my program empowers teachers to do even more through a program called TeacherWORKS that provides them with workplace experience in Pennsylvania businesses so they can better understand the needs of employers.We ask a lot of our teachers. And if we’re going to prepare the next generation of Pennsylvanians for the jobs of the future, we’re going to be asking even more of those teachers – including more training, and more accountability.Teachers, on the other hand? They just want safe schools to work in; support from administrative staff; a fair wage for the important work they do. That’s not asking a lot.But the law governing teacher pay hasn’t been updated since the 1980s. And so our classroom teachers have been too often getting the short end of the stick.I don’t think anyone here in Harrisburg would say that we shouldn’t value the contributions our educators have made over the last 30 years – and I don’t think anyone would disagree that they have a critical role to play in securing our prosperity over the next 30.And yet, our government has failed to address this injustice.That ends now.My plan increases the pay floor for teachers to $45,000 a year. This is a real investment in our future.It’s an investment the state – not local school districts – will make – and it’s included in this budget.This is a fully funded mandate.We are going to start competing to recruit and retain the very best education professionals, not just in well-funded suburban school districts, but in every community – every zip code in our Commonwealth.This could be a game-changer for our schools – especially for our communities that are struggling to attract and retain the next generation of educators.In fact, most districts that cannot afford to pay their teachers more are located in the heart of rural Pennsylvania, and it is time to make sure we are investing in educators in those areas today to prepare our kids for the competitive world of tomorrow.We’re also going to do more to recruit students – ambitious, brilliant, creative young women and men who are looking for the next step in their education.Our commonwealth is blessed with a terrific system of colleges and universities – including community colleges.We all know that our post-secondary institutions are laboratories for innovation.But they are also launchpads for job creators and the skilled workers that will fill those jobs.That’s why my plan creates a new grant program for students who graduate from a Pennsylvania community college with an associate’s degree or other industry-recognized credential – and then stay in Pennsylvania to start their careers. If you’re willing to put your newly-acquired skills to work here in our Commonwealth, the least we can do is help you avoid carrying around a crushing burden of student debt.And if you’re a parent who wants to trade up from a job that pays the bills to a job that can sustain your family, my plan includes a Parent Pathway initiative designed to help you get the education you need to get ahead even while you prepare your own kids for success.Indeed, my workforce program isn’t just about the jobs of tomorrow.It’s about the jobs of today.Last year, we launched PAsmart, a comprehensive, new initiative focusing on STEM skills, apprenticeships, career counseling, and public-private partnerships.No matter how old you are, now is a great time to acquire new skills – and we want to make that opportunity available to every Pennsylvanian.As part of the PAsmart initiative, we just launched a new website – PA SMART DOT GOV – that consolidates workforce resources and information for Pennsylvanians who want to get training and education to enter the workforce or expand their skills.It’s similar to the Business One-Stop Shop we built last year, and that we’re still improving upon.We need comprehensive digital portals for both businesses and workers that gets them all the information they need in one place, and breaks down agency barriers.This year, I’m proposing $10 million in new funding for PAsmart so we can fill more advanced manufacturing positions, help more non-traditional students obtain the training they need to compete in the job market, and create more jobs at better wages for more Pennsylvania workers.This program also includes funding to help returning veterans get the training they need to continue their contributions to our commonwealth as members of our workforce – and, even better, that funding is transferable, meaning that veterans can use it to help their kids get a college degree or career credential, as well.It’s a GI Bill for Pennsylvania.One more thing.We cannot comprehensively address our workforce development system without fixing our criminal justice system.Tens of thousands of Pennsylvanians are shut out of our workforce or underemployed because of mistakes they’ve made in their past.Families are being denied providers. Employers are being denied skilled workers.We’ve already passed clean slate legislation, making us the first state in the country to do so.But we need to go further and make our criminal justice system more equitable and fair while helping people who have made amends enter the workforce.Indeed, even as we work on this budget, we also have to improve reentry programs and make it easier for those who have done their time to succeed in the workforce and their daily lives.Our challenge demands an all-hands on deck approach.And this budget proposal itself asks Pennsylvanians to come together – business leaders, educators, students, parents, workers – to address the challenge of renewing our prosperity for another generation.In my inaugural address, I asked us to do our best – right here in Harrisburg – to do two things.First to ensure that the interests of all Pennsylvanians are reflected in the policies we pursue.And, second, to show the world that Pennsylvanians know how to make representative democracy work.This budget is the embodiment of that noble effort.It asks for no new taxes – no new burdens on our citizens – while at the same time increasing dramatically our investments in the public goods that will make life better for all Pennsylvanians.This budget recognizes that government should not try to do everything; we have a long-held faith in our tradition of limited government and individual responsibility.But it also recognizes that government should not do nothing either.The public goods government invests in should make the lives of our fellow citizens better; public goods that give Pennsylvanians the skills they need to thrive in our 21st century economy; public goods that promote their safety and health; public goods that connect them more seamlessly with each other; public goods that keep our air and water clean.That’s what this budget aims to do.It makes investments in workforce readiness: our early childhood system, our schools, our universities, our community colleges, our apprenticeship training programs.It makes investments in ensuring that Pennsylvanians of all ages have real choices when it comes to their health care decisions.And, it continues to prioritize the fight against the opioid epidemic that has destroyed the livesof so many of our friends and neighbors.But above all else, this budget proclaims to the world that right here in Pennsylvania we do not indulge in the sterile politics of anger and insult; that here we know how to engage in the respectful and honest give and take that must stand at the heart of a functional democracy.While the rest of this country – and indeed the rest of the world – descends into divisive, nasty, and unproductive bouts of shouting, we are showing everyone else how democracy is supposed to work.So this is our challenge.It’s not just about yet another budget, it’s about our democracy.Let us show the world – along with the rest of our country – that right here in Pennsylvania we are making this experiment work; that we are re-dedicating ourselves to this noble experiment in democratic self-governanceLet’s show that in the way we tackle the challenge of preparing our Commonwealth for a brighter future – starting with this budget.This – and no less than this – is our task.This is also our privilege.May God bless us in this task.And may God bless the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.Thank you. Remarks by Governor Wolf at 2019 Budget Addresscenter_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

Excelerate Launches In-House Ship Management Services

first_imgProvider of floating storage and regasification units (FSRUs) Excelerate Energy has secured the relevant documentation enabling the company to manage its entire FSRU fleet. Namely, the company’s subsidiary Excelerate Technical Management (ETM) received Interim Documents of Compliance (DoC) under the International Safety Management (ISM) Code from the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Government of Belgium.The compliance documents come on the heels of an audit of ETM’s safety management system, confirming compliance with ISM standards which ensure the safe operation of its crew and vessels.“Excelerate has achieved a company milestone with the successful launch of our ship management services. The compliance certification is tangible evidence of the forward-thinking, dedicated effort of our team. We are pleased to offer our clients the advantages of integrated service as a fully independent provider of floating LNG solutions,” stated Excelerate President and Managing Director Steven Kobos.Excelerate’s FSRU Experience is the first of its vessels under ETM ship management. The vessel recently left Navantia dry docks in Fene-Ferrol, Spain, on February 6, 2020, where it underwent scheduled maintenance and upgrades.Also, while in dry dock, the FSRU was rebranded and painted in Excelerate’s brand colors and design, the first of the fleet.Excelerate plans to transition its entire fleet to ETM ship management by the end of 2020. The fleet will be repainted in the new colors as part of scheduled maintenance.“The physical rebranding of the fleet in our own colors reinforces that the Excelerate fleet as part of one effort and one culture committed to our core values,” Kobos explained.last_img read more