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Enterprising States 2014: Re-Creating Equality and Opportunity

July 23, 2014 Comments off

Enterprising States 2014: Re-Creating Equality and Opportunity
Source: U.S. Chamber of Commerce

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation has released its annual Enterprising States study, offering an in-depth look at the free enterprise policies being implemented to promote economic growth at the state and local levels.

Now in its fifth edition, the Enterprising States study measures state performance overall and across five policy areas important for job growth and economic prosperity. Those five areas include:

  • Talent Pipeline
  • Exports and International Trade
  • Technology and Entrepreneurship
  • Business Climate
  • Infrastructure

The 2014 report relates these policies and practices to the need for collaboration between education, workforce development, and economic development to positively combat the nation’s growing skills gap.

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The Emerging Role of Worker Centers in Union Organizing

January 21, 2014 Comments off

The Emerging Role of Worker Centers in Union Organizing</strong>
Source: U.S. Chamber of Commerce

This essay examines some of the actors, strategies and tactics behind the worker center movement in the United States, with a focus on the relationship between worker centers and traditional labor unions. Particular emphasis is placed on the activist foundations that fund a substantial portion of the worker center movement, and on exemplars of the centers themselves. The worker centers are seen as performing certain core functions, most notably organizing, that have historically been reserved for the unions themselves, but in social and economic spaces where most traditional unions have not been able to operate successfully. By reaching out to and through worker centers and their allied community organizations in the hope of capturing the benefits of this community-based grassroots organizing, and in some instances by mimicking center-like structures within the traditional union framework, the AFLCIO and various international unions are hoping to reverse the long-term adverse trend in union density that threatens their power. The essay concludes that, to the extent they are successful in achieving this, their efforts may have the unintended consequence of fundamentally altering the labor movement itself.

U.S. Chamber Report Makes Case for Higher Education Reform

June 20, 2012 Comments off

U.S. Chamber Report Makes Case for Higher Education ReformSource: U.S. Chamber of Commerce

The Institute for a Competitive Workforce (ICW), an affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce released today the third edition of its Leaders & Laggards series, “A State-by-State Report Card on Public Postsecondary Education.” The report examines public colleges and universities in all 50 states, including four-year and two-year institutions, and is designed to provide an in-depth evaluation of data and a careful analysis of postsecondary performance and policy across states.

“With tuition growing, debt loads increasing, students questioning the marketplace value of their degrees, and large amounts of taxpayer dollars invested, the business community and the public are starting to ask questions of policymakers and higher education leaders,” said President of ICW and former U.S. Education Secretary Margaret Spellings. “This report begins to look at how states are doing in preparing students for jobs after college and the value state taxpayers are getting in meeting the demands of local economies and employers.”

For the first time, Leaders and Laggards grades postsecondary institutions in the following six areas:

  • Student access and success
  • Efficiency and cost-effectiveness
  • Meeting labor market demand
  • Transparency and accountability
  • Policy environment
  • Innovation

The findings are sobering. Statewide completion rates at four-year public colleges typically hover around 50% and attrition is costly at a time when public and private resources are scarce. In fact, 33 states spend more than $50,000 in education and related expenses to produce a credential at a two-year college. In addition, while the need for skilled workers with high-quality postsecondary training has never been higher, most states have not developed the means to measure the quality of their programs – just 22 states have the ability to track the success of graduates once they enter the labor force and make those data public. Just four states allow students and taxpayers to compare labor market outcomes across both institutions and programs.

+ Report Card

Hat tip: PW

Kidnapper Who Sued His Victims Tops U.S. Chamber’s Annual List of 2011 Most Ridiculous Lawsuits

January 2, 2012 Comments off

Kidnapper Who Sued His Victims Tops U.S. Chamber’s Annual List of 2011 Most Ridiculous Lawsuits
Source: U.S. Chamber of Commerce

A lawsuit by a kidnapper against his victims for not helping him evade police tops the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform’s (ILR) survey of the Top Ten Most Ridiculous Lawsuits of 2011, released today.

ILR announced the top ten vote-getters from among those chosen throughout the year by visitors to the FacesOfLawsuitAbuse.org website. The lawsuits were selected from those featured in the website’s monthly polls for 2011. The Faces of Lawsuit Abuse campaign is ILR’s public awareness effort created to highlight the impact of abusive lawsuits on small businesses, communities, and individuals.

The top ten Most Ridiculous Lawsuits of 2011 are:

• Convict sues couple he kidnapped for not helping him evade police
• Man illegally brings gun into bar, gets injured in a fight, then sues bar for not searching him for a weapon
• Young adults sue mother for sending cards without gifts and playing favorites
• Woman disagrees with store over 80¢ refund, sues for $5 million
• Mom files suit against exclusive preschool over child’s college prospects
• Man suing for age discrimination says judge in his case is too old
• Obese man sues burger joint over tight squeeze in booths
• Woman sues over movie trailer; says not enough driving in ‘Drive’
• Passenger’s lawsuit says cruise ship went too fast and swayed from side to side
• Mother sues Chuck E. Cheese – says games encourage gambling in children

Links to the full news stories from which these were drawn and the complete results of the poll can be found at http://facesoflawsuitabuse.org/polls-archive.

Index of U.S. Energy Security Risk: Assessing America’s Vulnerabilities in a Global Energy Market

August 8, 2011 Comments off

Index of U.S. Energy Security Risk: Assessing America’s Vulnerabilities in a Global Energy Market
Source: U.S. Chamber of Commerce (Institute for 21st Century Energy)

Since the early 1970s, Democratic and Republican presidential administrations and other policymakers have made energy security a priority. Yet, we have lacked a tool to regularly measure our nation’s progress and thus assess the impact of policy decisions on America’s energy security. Indeed, energy is still recognized today as among the top challenges to our Nation’s future prosperity, national security, and way of life.

The Index of U.S. Energy Security Risk: Assessing America’s Vulnerabilities in a Global Energy Market is an annual energy risk indicator, which uses quantifiable data, historical trend information, and government projections to identify the policies and other factors that contribute positively or negatively to U.S. energy security. The Index provides a look at energy security retrospectively from 1970 to 2010 and prospectively from 2011 to 2035. From this data, policymakers and energy professionals can use the Index to track shifts in U.S. energy security over time and assess potential impacts of new policies.

+ Full Report (PDF)
+ 2011 Index of U.S. Energy Security Risk (interactive)

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