People Speak Out on Keystone Pipeline

After four-plus years of debate and frustration, many are aware of the possibilities of the Keystone Pipeline. The administration has a second chance to approve this important project. If it listens to the people. The American Petroleum Institute reports:

The Keystone XL pipeline makes sense to the nation. Sixty-nine percent of American voters favor building the pipeline, while 83 percent believe it would strengthen our energy security and 92 percent agree jobs are important when considering the project, according to a recent Harris Interactive poll.

Strong majorities of voters in both political parties and among independents support building the pipeline, the poll also found. And the vast majority of voters polled understand the need to link up Canadian crude oil supplies with U.S. refineries and consider it important that most dollars spent on Canadian oil by America return to the U.S. when Canadians use them to buy American goods and services.

Reps. Bucshon, Carson to Host Transportation Jobs Fair in Indy

A nice opportunity here from two Indiana Congressmen. Rep. Larry Bucshon's office writes: As many of you know, in the 112th Congress we passed several bills that make it easier for Veterans to obtain a CDL and additional transportation related jobs. We’re hoping to have a large turnout from potential employers and those who are looking for a job in the transportation industry. Here are the details:

When: February 21, 2013, 2 – 6 p.m. EST
Where: Ivy Tech Corporate College Illinois Fall Creek Center – 2532 N. Capitol Ave, Indianapolis, IN 46208
Hosted by: U.S. Congressman André Carson (IN-07) & U.S. Congressman Larry Bucshon (IN-08)
Please Note: There is no charge for participating in this event.
Employer Setup is noon – 2 p.m. the day of the event.

*Employers can register for the jobs fair by filling out the Job Fair Registration Form.

**For more information, please contact Erin Pugh at (812) 232-0523 or at [email protected].
 

Economic Energy? Look to Local Leadership

I read a recent post from the CEO of Gallup, who provided a good reminder that, like politics, ultimate business success is often locally driven. Yes, policies from Washington and state capitals make a big difference — but so does leadership in communities and companies.

A few highlights from Jim Clifton:

Throughout this year’s long election season, I was often asked: “Who will be better for jobs and the economy, President Obama or Governor Romney?” My reply most surely disappointed partisans from both sides: The president of the United States doesn’t make as much difference in terms of creating economic energy as you’d think, according to Gallup data.

In fact, if the president mattered that much, why is it that cities and states have such extreme variation in their local GDP and job growth? Shouldn’t they all go up or down together with each president?

Instead, Austin, Texas, and Nashville, Tenn., are booming, while Albany, N.Y., and Stockton, Calif., are failing. Texas is prospering while California is almost surely going broke. Austin’s jobless rate is around 5%, while the unemployment rate in Stockton is above 13%.

The difference, in my view, is that Austin has deeply caring, highly engaged business, political, and philanthropic leaders with principles, policies, beliefs, and values about human nature that work. They understand how to build a thriving, growing economy — one that welcomes business and entrepreneurship. Albany has the opposite, as I see it: Leaders with principles, policies, values, and beliefs that discourage business and entrepreneurship, if not outright scaring them away.

Cities across the country with great leadership are filled with booming startup companies, and those cities have thriving economies that create authentic, organically grown good jobs. These cities are saving America, while the others are letting the country down.

Great city leadership has never been so needed. Nationally, business startups are currently growing at under 400,000 annually. If this rate doesn’t double soon, in my view, absolutely nothing will fix our current nightmare of joblessness.

Of course good policy for small businesses is better than bad policy, but in my opinion, the estimated 10,000 business, political, and philanthropic leaders of all shapes and sizes who drive the performance of America’s top 100 cities are the most important people in our country right now. 

STEM Jobs Becoming Larger Emphasis in Indiana

Hannah Rozow is the student representative on the Indiana Commission for Higher Education. An undergraduate at Indiana University in Bloomington, she is pursuing a double major in economics and political science with a minor in Spanish.

Indiana needs more workers educated in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

According to a study by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, the demand for STEM jobs in Indiana will rise to 4% of the total workforce by 2018. Of those 115,570 jobs, 90% will require some postsecondary education, and 43% will require at least a bachelor’s degree. So what are colleges and universities doing about it?

Institutions across the state have launched initiatives to meet projected demand. Many of these efforts aim to meet the needs of a particular region, while some serve the state as a whole. Here are some of the projects underway in Indiana:

  • Purdue University College of Engineering introduced a plan to increase undergraduate enrollment by 10% and graduate enrollment by 25% to 30% over the next 5 years.
  • Ivy Tech Community College received a $3.1 million grant from North Central Workforce Innovation in Regional Economic Development (WIRED) to train 44,000 people of the North Central region for STEM-based careers over the next 5 years.
  • The University of Notre Dame’s Advanced Placement Training and Incentive Program in Indiana (AP-TIP IN) works to increase enrollment in AP courses – math, science and English – and increase the number of qualifying scores on AP exams at 33 Indiana public high schools.
  • In an effort to attract students at an earlier age, Ivy Tech-Northeast hosts Adventure and Imagination Summer STEM Camp for students ages 11 to 14. Similarly, Indiana University-Bloomington hosts Adventures in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math summer camp for middle school students.
  • Southwestern Indiana STEM (SwISTEM), through a partnership between the University of Southern Indiana and Ivy Tech-Southwest, aims to increase the number of students in STEM majors and educate those students in a hands-on, team oriented way.
  • The state funding formula for 2013-2015 includes a high-impact degree metric, meaning a portion of public research institutions’ funding will be tied to the number of STEM degrees produced.

While institutional initiatives are an integral part to increasing the number of STEM-qualified workers, their efforts are only part of the equation. Involvement from the business community is vital. By offering job-shadowing opportunities and school presentations to local students, businesses can incite student interest in STEM education at an earlier age. Additionally, businesses should partner with local colleges and universities to ensure that students graduate not only with a STEM degree but with the professional skills needed to be a good employee.

The state needs more STEM-educated workers, and if there is a collaborative effort between colleges, universities and businesses, demand will be met.

Sen. Coats Hosting Job Fair in Lafayette

Sen. Dan Coats is hosting the 2012 Hoosier Job Fair on May 30 in Lafayette. There are currently 70 businesses already signed up to participate from all across Indiana, offering over 2,500 jobs. This job fair will be advertised throughout the state and organizers expect job-seekers from across Indiana (as well as graduating students from Purdue University) to be in attendance. It is a FREE event for participating businesses and job-seekers alike.  If your business would like to participate, please call (317) 554-0750 or visit the web site at www.coats.senate.gov/jobfair.  Below is more information about this event.
 

  • WHEN: Wednesday, May 30, 2012
  • TIME: 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
  • WHERE: Tippecanoe County Fairgrounds, West Pavilion (1401 Teal Road, Lafayette)
  • COST: FREE
  • Businesses can sign up by calling (317) 554-0750, emailing [email protected] or logging onto our website at www.coats.senate.gov/jobfair.
  • PARTNERS: Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski, West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis, State Senator Brandt Hershman, State Senator Ron Alting , the Greater Lafayette Commerce, Lafayette WorkOne and the Tippecanoe County Commissioners

Job Numbers Predict Super Bowl Winner?

For those interested in the world of wagering, the Super Bowl is famous for its exotic opportunities — length of the national anthem, color of the Gatorade to be poured on the winning coach, etc. If you’re mainly interested in who wins the game, look no farther than unemployment statistics, according to an analysis by outplacement firm RiseSmart.

The team whose metropolitan area boasts the lower unemployment rate during the previous calendar year has won 17 of the past 20 Super Bowls – a remarkable 85 percent success rate.  Based on this correlation, the New England Patriots should claim the NFL championship over the New York Giants.  Through November, the 2011 unemployment rate for the Boston metropolitan area was 6.8 percent, compared to 8.5 percent for the New York metropolitan area.

On January 26, 1992, the Washington Redskins defeated the Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXVI; that year, the Washington, D.C. metro area’s unemployment rate of 4.6 percent was substantially lower than Buffalo’s 7.2 percent. So began the string in which 17 out of 20 times, the Super Bowl winning city had a lower unemployment rate than that of the losing hometown. The predictor has been correct in the past three championship games, including Super Bowl XLV, in which Green Bay (7.7 percent 2010 unemployment) defeated Pittsburgh (8.0 percent).

Other facts of note:

• On the seven previous occasions that both teams’ metro areas have had unemployment greater than 5.5 percent – as is the case this year — the team from the metro area with the lower jobless rate has won in every instance.

• During the five previous occasions when at least one team represented a metro area with 7+ percent unemployment – as is the case this year, with the New York Giants – the team with higher unemployment lost in every instance. 

• The Giants’ upset victory over New England in Super Bowl XLII, when the Patriots entered the game undefeated, represents one of the three times in the past two decades when the unemployment rate predictor failed to predict the outcome of the game.

“Correlation does not imply causation, of course. And there are exceptions to every rule,” says Sanjay Sathe, founder and CEO of RiseSmart. “But one should never underestimate the power of having a job.”

Brinegar: Focus Shines on Right-to-Work

Chamber President Kevin Brinegar explains how passing a right-to-work law will help enhance Indiana’s economy by attracting many new companies that currently won’t consider the state, according to site selection agencies. He also lays out the facts about right-to-work, noting how it does nothing to prevent unions from organizing; it just means workers won’t be forced to join to keep their jobs.  

Join the Team: Right-to-Work is Right for Indiana

As the country continues to battle through difficult economic conditions, Indiana has the opportunity to make our state more attractive to potential relocation and expansion prospects by becoming a right-to-work (RTW) state. Numerous site selection consultants have testified that Indiana misses out on competing for at least one-third of all company relocation opportunities because it is a non-RTW state. To create more jobs and expand our economy, our lawmakers must enact legislation in the 2012 Indiana General Assembly to make Indiana a RTW state. 

An Indiana Chamber study, published in January 2011, titled, “Right-to-Work and Indiana’s Economic Future,” examined results from various RTW and non-RTW states and found the following:

RTW states create more jobs than non-RTW states
– Growth in Jobs (1977-2008): Indiana, 42.8%; Non-RTW states, 56.5%; U.S., 71%; RTW States, 100%
– From 2000-2009, more than 4.9 million Americans moved from non-RTW states to RTW states

RTW states have faster growth in per capita income than non-RTW states
– Growth in Real Per Capita Income (1977-2008): Indiana, 37.2%; Non-RTW states 52.8%; U.S. 54.7%; RTW States, 62.3%

For more statistics from around the country, view this summary we’ve developed.

Now is the time to make Indiana a right-to-work state, but we can’t do it alone. To pass critical economic development legislation, it takes clout, resources and a strong, influential membership base. We need your membership support today. Membership is the driving force behind our ability to advance our pro-jobs, pro-economy agenda. Contact Tim Brewer at [email protected] to become a member and to help grow our right-to-work coalition. Membership is 89% tax deductible.

Brinegar Speaks on Chamber Support of Keystone XL Pipeline

Indiana Chamber President Kevin Brinegar speaks about the Canadian Keystone XL Pipeline Project, and the positive impact it will have on American energy and job creation (342,000 American jobs in the next five years). He also notes that the U.S. receives more oil from Canada than all of the Persian Gulf countries combined.

What Can be Done Now to Assist Job Growth?

The U.S. Chamber’s Campaign for Free Enterprise offers some thoughts on what President Obama can do right now to kickstart American job creation. (Note: As we are sometimes asked about it, we are not affiliated with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.)

Zero.

That was the number many Americans were talking about during the unofficial final weekend of summer, because that was the number of net jobs created in August.

Zero isn’t so much a number as the absence of one. It’s a void, a hole. Our economy is in a hole with millions of people unemployed, and millions more who have given up looking for work.

Lots of jobs plans will be bandied about, including one from the President in a speech to Congress on Thursday. The business community has to be part of the discussion. In an open letter sent to the Congress and the President yesterday, the Chamber offered six steps that should be taken now to spur job creation without adding to the deficit.
 

Expanding trade and global commerce

• Passing three pending free trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama could create 380,000 jobs;
• Modernizing export controls and could help create 340,000 jobs;
• Expanding U.S. exports by advancing the Trans-Pacific Partnership and initiate trade talks with the EU, our largest commercial partner, to eliminate all barriers to goods trade with Europe;
• Protecting 19 million IP-related jobs by cracking down on rogue websites and passing patent reform legislation.

Producing more American energy

• Opening up offshore resources could help create 144,700 jobs;
• Expanding access to federal lands for oil and gas exploration could add 530,000 new jobs;
• Promoting development of natural gas in resource-rich shale would create 116,000 jobs (in Pennsylvania alone);
• Approving the Keystone XL pipeline connecting Canadian oil fields to refineries in Texas, a project that would support 250,000 jobs.

Speeding up infrastructure projects

• Passing surface transportation, aviation, and water resource bills to enable communities to plan, hire, and prevent layoffs;
• Removing documented obstacles to 351 stalled energy projects, which could help create 1.9 million jobs annually;
• Removing impediments to private capital could add 1.9 million new jobs over 10 years;
• Fully implementing the Energy Savings Performance Contracts (ESPC) Program, which could create 35,000 jobs a year.

Welcome tourists and business visitors to the United States

• Removing the hassle factor by expanding the visa waiver program and streamlining the visa application process;
• Promoting American destinations and restore the U.S. share of the travel market to its 2000 level, which could help create 1.3 million jobs by 2020.

Streamlining permitting and provide regulatory certainty and relief

• Geting job-creating projects moving;
• An executive order prohibiting discretionary regulations with a substantial economic impact would give businesses certainty and help spur hiring;
• Taking up to $1 trillion in accumulated private capital off the sidelines and into business expansion by eliminating uncertainty caused by burdensome regulations.

Pass job-creating tax incentives

• Implementing a repatriation holiday and could lead to 2.9 million jobs over two years.
• Creating a corporate capital gains tax window in order to free up capital for investment and job creation.