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Daily Archives: December 2, 2013

Training for Success: A Policy to Expand Apprenticeships in the United States

Apprenticeships, though underutilized, are a highly effective method of training and education that delivers a big return on public investment. By Ben Olinsky and Sarah Ayres | December 2, 2013

“Apprenticeships are not a familiar concept to many Americans, but expanding the use of this highly effective training model can help our nation meet the demand for skilled workers, create pathways to well-paying careers for unemployed young workers, and give American businesses a competitive edge in the global marketplace. Apprenticeships have been a tried and true method of educating and training workers since the Middle Ages, and they continue to enhance productivity and boost workers’ earnings in many countries around the world today. At a time when too many American workers lack the education and training to secure well-paying, middle-class jobs, and American businesses increasingly rely on high-skill workers to innovate and expand, we believe that apprenticeships hold great promise for addressing our nation’s economic challenges. In this report, we will discuss America’s insufficient workforce training system, demonstrate that apprenticeships are a time-tested solution to our workforce training challenges, and propose a set of policies to expand apprenticeships while addressing the reasons they have not yet been widely adopted in the United States.”

New figures reveal poaching for the illegal ivory trade could wipe out a fifth of Africa’s Elephants over next decade

News release: “As delegates gather to discuss the plight of the African Elephant at a summit convened by the Government of Botswana and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) new analyses released today find that if poaching rates are sustained at current levels, Africa is likely to lose a fifth of its elephantsContinue Reading

World Bank – Food Price Watch November 2013

“Prices of internationally traded food commodities continued to decline—by 6%—between June and October. These declines have added to the falling price trend since the all-time high of August 2012. Record harvests in wheat, maize and rice, along with stronger global stocks, a weaker dollar and releases of public stocks of rice, have driven down prices. Yet, international pricesContinue Reading

NY Fed – Recent Developments in Monetary Policy Implementation

Simon Potter, Executive Vice President, Remarks before the Money Marketeers of New York University, New York City, As prepared for delivery, December 2, 2013. “My remarks this evening will focus on the role played by the New York Fed’s Trading Desk (the Desk) in the implementation of monetary policy and how our operational tools have evolved in recentContinue Reading

EPA Study: Mercury Levels in Women of Childbearing Age Drop 34 Percent

News release: “Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a study showing that blood mercury levels in women of childbearing age dropped 34 percent from a survey conducted in 1999-2000 to follow-up surveys conducted from 2001 to 2010. Additionally, the percentage of women of childbearing age with blood mercury levels above the level ofContinue Reading

New GAO Reports – Federal Real Property, Employment, Workforce Investment Act

FEDERAL REAL PROPERTY – GSA Should Clarify Savings Goals for the National Broker Contract Program, GAO-14-14, Oct 31, 2013 FEDERAL REAL PROPERTY – Improved Standards Needed to Ensure That Agencies’ Reported Cost Savings Are Reliable and Transparent, GAO-14-12, Oct 29, 2013 EMPLOYMENT – Results for Survey of Workforce Investment Boards (GAO-14-20SP, December 2013), an E-supplement to GAO-14-19, GAO-14-20SP, Dec 2, 2013Continue Reading

OECD – Fiscal Federalism 2014: Making Decentralisation Work

“Hundreds of thousands of elected sub-national governments worldwide provide services and levy taxes on residents and companies. The trend towards decentralisation over the past 20 years has increased their capacity to affect the economic and fiscal course of their country, while the global economic crisis has created new challenges for balancing budgets at all levelsContinue Reading

HealthCare.gov Progress and Performance Report

CMS.gov: “In mid-October, the Obama administration conducted an assessment of the site HealthCare.gov.  The assessment was conducted by experts from across government and private sector.  The team identified the problems and necessary fixes and determined that HealthCare.gov was fixable, but only with significant changes to the management approach, and a relentless focus on execution. ThisContinue Reading

“Investigative journalism – the immune system of a functioning democracy – is broken”

“Uncoverage is a connector between journalists who believe in revealing new information in the public interest, and backers like you who can make investigations and stories happen. Journalists with proven track records will be vetted into the platform. Approved journalists will associate themselves with topics they believe in, and work with topic editors to craft pitches andContinue Reading

Transportation Apps and Vehicle-Sharing Tools that Are Giving More Americans the Freedom to Drive Less

A New Way to Go The Transportation Apps and Vehicle-Sharing Tools that Are Giving More Americans the Freedom to Drive Less. U.S. PIRG Education Fund Frontier Group, Tony Dutzik and Travis Madsen, Frontier Group, Phineas Baxandall, Ph.D. . U.S. PIRG Education Fund. Fall 2013. Among the findings cited in the report: Public transit enhancements – A majority of U.S. transit systems makeContinue Reading