Thursday, October 23, 2008

The New York Times, October 23, 2008, Thursday

Copyright 2008 The New York Times Company

The New York Times

October 23, 2008, Thursday

Late Edition - Final

HEADLINE: Working Longer As Jobs Contract



IN recent years, many retirement experts have been giving the same unwelcome advice: American workers who are not as rich as Warren E. Buffett should retire three or so years later than they had planned -- to ensure that they have a large enough nest egg.

But now, in these extraordinarily turbulent times, with the stock market declining sharply and millions of 401(k) plans plunging in value, many workers are suddenly facing a starker situation -- they worry that they might have to work 5, 7, even 10 years later than planned, perhaps well into their 70s.

But that's not the only problem. Even as workers in their 40s, 50s and 60s accept having to work years longer than anticipated, many companies are laying off employees amid the economic downturn. This often means that older workers are pushed out first, because they are usually the highest-paid employees.

''You have 401(k) plans going into the tank and the cost of health insurance rising, so many people see they need to work longer,'' said Karen Ferguson, director of the Pension Rights Center, an advocacy group for retirees in Washington. ''At the same time, many employers don't have money to hire people, and they're getting rid of their more expensive employees, so it's kind of a perfect storm.''

A recent AARP survey found that the economic slump has been badly squeezing the nation's 78 million baby boomers, those born between 1946 and 1964. In the survey, 20 percent of boomers said they had stopped contributing to retirement plans, 34 percent said they were thinking of delaying retirement and 27 percent acknowledged problems paying rent and mortgages.

The Congressional Budget Office reported two weeks ago that the nation's pensions and 401(k) plans had lost around $2 trillion over the last 15 months, with many 401(k)'s dropping by 20 percent or more. And a survey done last year, well before the market turmoil, found that two in five retirees expected to outlive their savings.

Financial planners, economists and retirement experts offer little comfort for older workers, along with blunt advice.

With regard to investments, Teresa Ghilarducci, an economics professor at the New School in New York, said, ''Right now the practical thing for older workers to do is to not sell their assets in their 401(k) plans at rock-bottom prices.''

She said workers in general should not let Wall Street's sharp drop persuade them to stop saving for retirement, especially because many 60-somethings have nest eggs that are disconcertingly small. Professor Ghilarducci said that if workers were alarmed by sagging stock prices, they should steer their future 401(k) contributions into bonds or money market funds.

Jack L. VanDerhei, research director of the Employee Benefit Research Institute, said workers would be making a big mistake if they became so frightened of 401(k)'s that they did not take full advantage of their employer's 401(k) match. ''That,'' he said, ''would be leaving money on the table.''

As for advice on jobs, Cecil Hemingway, the United States retirement practice leader with Aon Consulting, said: ''Your best defense, whether you're ready for retirement or not, is you have to be sure that you have valuable, usable skills. That probably applies to everybody, even if you're a college graduate. If you don't have valuable skills, you're going to have a problem.''

At age 57, Nicolette Toussaint, associate vice president for communications at Alliant International University in San Francisco, is taking this advice to heart. She acknowledges that she is too frightened to open her I.R.A. and 401(k) statements, but she knows she is not going to sell off her stocks.

''It's a roller-coaster ride, and it might come back,'' she said. ''I can't pull it out now. It would be stupid to do that.''

Ms. Toussaint reckons that the $250,000 she had in savings in January has shrunk to $200,000. ''My financial planner keeps telling me that $250,000 is not enough, and you don't know how long you're going to live,'' she said.

Figuring that she might retire from her university job in 10 years, Ms. Toussaint is preparing for a second, part-time career. She is taking courses in interior design at the extension school at the University of California, Berkeley.

''I sort of assumed that I would probably retire around 68, but with what's happened recently, I'm thinking I might work until 75 or 77, so long as I'm healthy,'' she said. ''I've tried to figure out what can I do as I get older that I wouldn't be dependent on someone else to hire me. I figure I could start my own little business.''

Americans who heed the advice to work several years beyond the current average retirement of 63 could face some resistance from employers reluctant to keep them. Not only do companies typically pay higher salaries to older workers, but they also frequently pay more for their health insurance than for younger employees.

''The way many companies see it, older workers' productivity is steady to down and their compensation is steady to up,'' said Alicia H. Munnell, director of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. ''That doesn't make older workers attractive.''

Robert M. Hutchens, professor of labor economics at Cornell University, said, ''The aggressive pushing out of older workers is a selective process.'' He said employers favored keeping older employees who did not need supervision and worked extra to get the job done.

Some companies are eager to hire such workers. Tim Driver, chief executive of, a Web site for job seekers over 50, said H&R Block, Safeway and Travelers were among them. ''Because we're in a service economy, not a manufacturing economy,'' he said, ''80 percent of jobs can be performed by people well into their years.''

Deborah Russell, director of work force issues for AARP, pointed to several factors that make older workers less attractive to retain or hire -- many resist training, dislike answering to younger bosses or have poor computer skills.

Regina White, 68, of Geneva, Ill., a former special assistant to the vice president of taxes at Sears, Roebuck & Company, is searching for a position for the first time since she was downsized out of a job and retired in 1995. Her retirement portfolio has dropped 35 percent in value, and food and fuel prices have climbed. ''I've had to change my lifestyle,'' she said, noting that she quit her $70-a-month gym. She lives mainly on her annual $17,000 in Social Security payments and withdrawals from her retirement account.

''It's degrading to look for work after you've stayed away from the work force as long as I have,'' she said. ''You've lost your skills. I'm not up to date on computers.''

When she applied recently for a mail-sorting job with United Parcel Service, she was mystified when the company hired several far younger applicants instead of her.

''I'm being interviewed by kids who could be my grandchildren and competing with them,'' she said.

Millions of workers are in Ms. White's predicament because 401(k)'s have supplanted traditional pensions as the main retirement vehicle for America's work force, even though many experts say there are huge problems with the 401(k) system. With traditional pensions, employers contribute the money and shoulder the risks; with 401(k)'s, workers are responsible for most or all of the contributions and all the investment risk.

More than one in five workers at companies that offer 401(k)'s do not even sign up. A study by the Congressional Research Service found that the median amount that workers age 55 to 64 have in their 401(k)'s is just $61,000; another study by the Employee Benefit Research Institute found that 43 percent of workers age 55 and over have less than $50,000 in their 401(k)'s and other savings and investments. Moreover, the institute found that 27 percent of workers in that age group invest more than 90 percent of their 401(k)'s in stocks, a comparatively volatile investment.

The law that established 401(k)'s was not designed to help the typical worker, but rather to help top executives shield part of their high income from taxes. But over the last two decades, companies have aggressively shifted from traditional pensions, which guarantee a particular amount each month, to 401(k)'s, largely because this shifts retirement costs from companies to employees.

When they lay off older workers, many employers insist they are focusing not on the workers' age but on their lack of up-to-date skills or their lagging motivation. As the number of age discrimination lawsuits has swelled, there has been an increase in monetary judgments and settlements, and some employment experts predict bigger severance packages as a way to nudge out more older workers voluntarily.

Mr. VanDerhei, of the Employee Benefit Research Institute, said, ''For the vast majority of people, if they think they have enough to get out of the work force at age 65, they're fooling themselves.'' More and more workers apparently agree, because the percentage of workers age 65 and over in the labor force has climbed to 17.3 percent in 2008, from 12 percent in 1999.

Debra Villacis, owner of an Internet company in St. Louis that handles documents for hospitals, appears to have reached that conclusion. Ms. Villacis, 59, said she had invested in growth stocks when she was younger and switched to stable, blue-chip holdings as she aged.

''Everything was pretty much on track,'' she said. ''But now everything's been hit.''

She figures that her retirement portfolio has shrunk by $150,000, or 25 percent. Before the market sank, she was thinking of retiring in her 60s, but now, she said, ''I'll probably retire at 72 or so. It's going to take a long time for the market to recover. After the Depression, it took 25 years for the stock market to get back.''

Even many younger workers are rethinking their retirement plans.

Tim Shull, 45, of Cuero, Tex., is executive director of business development for a pharmaceutical company, and until recently had planned to retire in a decade or so. He and his wife, Kathryn Weber, had more than $500,000 in retirement investments early this year, but he said they had taken a 20 percent hit, while some of his friends had lost 40 percent.

''I'm not panicked,'' he said, adding that he and his wife say: '' 'We'd love to retire between 55 and 58.' But now do the math. We're probably looking at the early 60s.''

Each year Mr. Shull puts 13 percent of his pay into his 401(k). ''I've done all the right things you're supposed to do,'' he said. ''But then you hear the horror stories about people who are in their 50s and haven't saved a penny. I feel for those people.''

Professor Munnell of Boston College said that staying in the labor force longer is the key to retirement security.

''The reason is you will not get reduced benefits under Social Security,'' she said. ''Two, you allow your 401(k) assets a chance to bounce back, and you can contribute more. Three, it reduces the period during which you have to support yourself.''

Retirees receive reduced Social Security benefits if they retire at 62, but benefits rise by 8 percent a year for every year a worker delays retirement until age 70. To maintain living standards after they retire, workers need post-retirement income of 70 to 80 percent of their income before retiring, many experts say.

Mr. Hemingway of Aon Consulting estimated that someone earning $75,000 a year would need $40,000 a year on top of Social Security. He recommended annuities and said that at age 70, $500,000 could be converted into a lifetime annuity of $40,000 a year.

Professor Munnell advised aging workers to make clear to their supervisors that they plan to remain on the job. ''If you're a 55-year-old worker, you want to tell your company that you intend to be there at least 10 more years, that you want to be considered for training and promotion and that you're actively involved in your job.''

She said too many older workers suddenly and capriciously quit their jobs, leaving themselves with little saved for retirement, because they became frustrated by a new boss or another issue.

''It basically comes down to sucking it up,'' she said.


GRAPHIC: PHOTOS: CAREER PLANNING: Nicolette Toussaint, 57, thinks she might retire from her university job in 10 years and is preparing for a second, part-time career.

WAITING OUT THE TURMOIL: Debra Villacis, 59, planned to stop working about age 72. ''It's going to take a long time for the market to recover,'' she said.

TIMETABLE PUSHED BACK: Tim Shull and his wife, Kathryn Weber, who live in Cuero, Tex., had hoped to retire between ages 55 and 58. ''But now do the math,'' he said. ''We're probably looking at the early 60s.'' Added Mr. Shull, who is 45, ''I'm not panicked.''(PHOTOGRAPHS BY JIM WILSON/THE NEW YORK TIMES)(pg. F8) DRAWING (DRAWING BY PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY TONY CENICOLA/THE NEW YORK TIMES)

CHART: Little Savings, More Work for Those Over 55: A January 2008 survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute found that 28 percent of respondents over age 55 had saved less than $10,000 for retirement. At the same time, the percentage of 55- to 64-year-olds in the workplace is rising.(Sources: Employee Benefit Research Institute, Bureau of Labor Statistics) Chart details line graph.(pg. F8)

LOAD-DATE: October 23, 2008

The Ambler Gazette, October 22, 2008, Wednesday

The Ambler Gazette

October 22, 2008, Wednesday

The Ambler Gazette

Taylor fights for his seat in Harrisburg

By Terri Alderfer, Staff Writer

Democratic incumbent Rick Taylor believes that his track record of fighting for his constituents in Harrisburg is what will get him re-elected to the 151st District Nov. 4.

Taylor is running against Republican candidate Todd Stephens, a Montgomery County assistant district attorney and former federal prosecutor from Horsham Township, in the 151st District, which includes parts of Abington, Horsham, Lower Gwynedd, Montgomery and Upper Dublin townships, as well as Ambler Borough.
Since he took office in 2006, Taylor said he has offered the most constituent service hours of any legislator in Pennsylvania, including making house calls to those who are not able to leave their homes.
"Constituent services has been a strong suit," he said of his first term in a phone interview Oct. 20.
Originally from Minnesota, where he once interned for Sen. Paul Wellstone, Taylor has lived in Ambler Borough for more than eight years with his wife, Jeanne, and his two children, Amelija, 15, and Freddie, 8. He attended the University of Minnesota, where he studied political science and American government, and later went on to receive his master's degree in industrial and labor relations from Cornell University.
Taylor, who said that he stands toward the right of center fiscally and describes himself as socially moderate, got into politics because of a natural inclination he had.
After working in the private sector for a number of years, he said it was at the conclusion of the last presidential election that he felt "frustration with the direction that the country was going in," and decided to do something about it. Taylor said that his position in global compensation for IMS Health required him to travel and apply diplomacy with clients, and that prepared him for his role in government.
Taylor said he recognizes that the issue of most concern to his constituents in this election is the slumping economy, and he proposes a number of strategies to help families and individuals who are suffering.
"I've been one of the leaders championing PA ABC, which is health care insurance for those who do not have insurance," he said.
Taylor added that he would fight for an energy policy that continues to focus on renewable and sustainable options, and create "green collar jobs here in Pennsylvania."
As a representative on the state level for Ambler Borough, where he once served on borough council, Taylor said that he would like to see the BoRit asbestos site placed on the Environmental Protection Agency's National Priorities List and remediated properly and "make that space available for open space." Taylor said he is against building on the site, and added that he was one of several residents who helped prevent the construction of a 17-story high-rise being built on the site in 2004.
In his first term, Taylor supported legislation preventing the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Willow Grove from becoming a civilian or commercial airport, implementing the statewide smoking ban, making college more affordable for students and families by increasing funding for the Dual Enrollment Program and allocating funding for The Hazardous Sites Cleanup Act.
Taylor is a member of the House Finance, Children and Youth, Insurance and Aging and Adult Services committees.

©Montgomery Newspapers 2008

Chicago Tribune, October 21, 2008, Tuesday

Copyright 2008 Chicago Tribune

Chicago Tribune (Illinois)

October 21, 2008, Tuesday

HEADLINE: With college grads earning less and tuition rising, it pays to weigh debt against earnings

BYLINE: By Megan Twohey, Chicago Tribune



CHICAGO _ Kelly Stevens is suffering from buyer's remorse.

The 29-year-old from Fargo, N.D., took out more than $60,000 in loans to pay for a bachelor's degree in fashion marketing from the Illinois Institute of Art. She was convinced it would allow her to open her own store or work for a major fashion company _ basically, to make more money.

But nearly a year after graduating, she is waiting tables at a comedy club. Every week, she gets rejected from half a dozen marketing jobs. She can no longer make payments on some of her loans. She can barely scrape by.

"I can't open my own store in this economy," Stevens said. "Marketing jobs are among those that have been hardest hit. Sometimes it feels like I should never have gotten that degree."

Money is only one of the reasons to go to college, of course. But with college costs skyrocketing and the economy worsening, the question of whether higher education is a worthy financial investment is no longer a no-brainer.

For decades, the earnings gap between college graduates and high school graduates grew and grew. Get a bachelor's degree, and you were almost guaranteed to be a lot better off.

But the gap in income has started to shrink in recent years. U.S. Census data show that in 2007 people with a bachelor's degree earned 90 percent more than high school graduates, down from a 96 percent gap seven years earlier. Meanwhile, more students are taking on debt. The debt levels are growing. And some graduates are unable to land jobs that allow them to pay back their loans.

Most experts insist that going to college is generally worth it. College graduates still earn substantially more than high school graduates on average: $59,365 annually compared with $33,609.

But they caution that some college choices are no longer a wise investment. Students destined for low-paying careers, they say, simply cannot manage certain debt levels. Loans can surpass $100,000 depending on the school and the borrower.

"If you're going to be a nursery school teacher your whole life, you should not be taking out a lot of loans," said Sandy Baum, senior policy analyst for the College Board and an economics professor at Skidmore College. "That's the problem. It's an investment people make without knowing how they will pay it off."

People in business jobs can manage $46,000, according to calculations the Chicago Tribune made with a formula created by Baum. So for Stevens, paying back nearly $65,000 in loans was almost certain to be a struggle. Now that she is stuck in a low-paying service job, it's become impossible.

Meanwhile, about one-third of college students drop out _ dashing any return on their investment.

Does attending an elite college make a difference? The answer is unclear. While some researchers have found that graduates of top schools earn more on average than those from less prestigious institutions, others have found no difference.

Debbie Quinn, director of guidance at West Aurora High School, said she doesn't dissuade students from going to college because of the cost. But she encourages them to think about their career path and potential earnings.

Recognizing that the cost of college could steer students away from important but low-paying professions, Congress passed legislation last year that will gradually cut interest rates on certain government loans, allow borrowers to make smaller loan payments if they are earning less, and forgive the loans of students who serve in public-service careers for 10 years.

Private colleges are increasing the assistance they offer, so fewer students are required to take out loans and those who do will take on less of a burden, said Ron Ehrenberg, director of Cornell University's Higher Education Research Institute.

"The concern was that with high loan burdens, we were influencing the professional outcomes of students," Ehrenberg said.

Experts point out that the college experience is not just about financial rewards. There is also that business about learning a few things. Students are able to explore their interests. They often become inspired by subjects they never knew existed and are able to view the world through a broader lens.

"There's value added when it comes to critical thinking and moral reasoning," said Ernest Pascarella, a University of Iowa professor who has studied the effects of college.

The education also extends outside the classroom, through exposure to classmates from different backgrounds and participation in extracurricular activities.

And the rewards might just keep on coming, according to the College Board. During their working lives, college graduates are more likely to engage in organized volunteer work, vote, donate blood and live healthy lifestyles _ though it's possible that people in those categories also were more likely to attend college in the first place.

Priscilla Adeniji, 22, a finance major at Chicago State University, says her choices at college appear to be paying off.

Scholarships have covered almost the entire cost of her education, making this the first year she's had to take out a loan, for $5,000. She graduates in December, and the Big Four consulting firms already are dangling jobs with salaries starting at $55,000.

Adeniji said she also gained a lot from her classes and participation in a sorority and other activities.

"Career-wise, college has been very important for me," she said. "But it's also about knowledge. If I wasn't in school, I wouldn't be able to understand what's going on with the economy and with other things that affect my life."


(Chicago Tribune correspondent Jo Napolitano contributed to this report.)


(c) 2008, Chicago Tribune.

Visit the Chicago Tribune on the Internet at

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.


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LOAD-DATE: October 21, 2008

PR Newswire, October 21, 2008, Tuesday

Copyright 2008 PR Newswire Association LLC.

All Rights Reserved.

PR Newswire

October 21, 2008, Tuesday

HEADLINE: Former Wynn Resorts Human Resources Chief Joins Board of Strategic Development Worldwide, a San Diego Based Consulting Firm


SAN DIEGO, Oct. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Arthur "Arte" Nathan, one of the nation's foremost human resource professionals has joined the board of Strategic Development Worldwide, a San Diego based business multi-practice consulting firm specializing in organizational and individual development, turnaround practices, CEO, management and employee leadership training and education.

Nathan, who directed the human resources programs for casino impresario Steve Wynn for more than 20 years at the Golden Nugget, Mirage, Treasure Island, Bellagio and the new Wynn Resorts properties in Las Vegas and Macau, before becoming the VP of human resources of the Resort Property Division of the Irvine Company, of Orange County, Ca., will lend his expertise in human resource solutions and strategy to Strategic Development Worldwide.

A 1972 graduate of Cornell University, Nathan joins SDW principals Don Zillioux, Ph.D., SDW's founder, and Darrell Luery, a noted "turnaround" CEO and marketing strategist, in structuring a host of direct consulting and web-based educational and training programs for individuals and businesses across a broad range of industries, including gaming and hospitality.

Widely honored for his progressive approach to human resource management, Nathan has been awarded the Award for Professional Excellence by the Society of Human Resource Management and has chaired the Nevada Governor's Workforce Investment Board. He currently serves on the Advisory Board of the UNLV School of Hotel Administration and the Cornell School of Industrial and Labor Relations, and is a board member of the Greater Santa Ana Business Alliance.

"We are honored that someone of Arte's stature in business and human resource management will contribute to our company's future development," said Zillioux. "Throughout his career, Arte has been recognized as the ultimate human resource professional and has advanced the most progressive human resource practices, resulting in a high-performing staff everywhere he has been."

Nathan is a frequent guest lecturer at colleges and universities and is expected to participate in select seminars with other SDW principals in San Diego and elsewhere.

CONTACT: Don Zillioux of Strategic Development Worldwide,

+1-760-402-0226, Fax, +1-619-374-7083,

Web site:

SOURCE Strategic Development Worldwide


LOAD-DATE: October 22, 2008

Targeted News Service, October 20, 2008, Monday

Copyright 2008 HT Media Ltd.

All Rights Reserved

Targeted News Service

October 20, 2008, Monday

HEADLINE: AERA, NAEd Launch Assessment of Education Research Doctorate Programs

BYLINE: Targeted News Service



The American Educational Research Association issued the following news release:

The American Educational Research Association (AERA) and the National Academy of Education (NAEd) announce a ground-breaking study in the field of education research. Undertaken jointly by these two scholarly and scientific organizations, a first-time-ever assessment will examine education research doctorate programs in graduate schools and colleges of education in the United States. The National Science Foundation (NSF) through its competitive award process has made a three-year continuing award effective September 15, 2008 to support this project.

In a field as large and robust as education research that produces approximately 1,800 doctorates each year, there has been no prior comprehensive assessment of doctorate programs. This assessment will examine the national picture for programs in 16 major fields of education research that have distinct programs of doctoral study, including mathematics and science education, teaching and teacher education, curriculum and instruction, educational psychology, education measurement and statistics, higher education, and educational policy. This assessment focuses on the research doctorates offered through over 900 programs in approximately 120 universities. The study parallels an ongoing National Research Council (NRC) assessment of research doctorate programs in other arts and sciences fields.

The AERA-NAEd assessment begins with preliminary work in cooperation with participating institutions during the 2008-2009 academic year with the surveys of programs, faculty, and students planned for 2009-2010. It is directed by AERA Executive Director Felice J. Levine, Principal Investigator, and NAEd President Lorrie Shepard, Co-Principal Investigator, with a study director and project staff to be located at AERA in Washington, DC. As with the NRC assessment, Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. will conduct the data collection for the study.

"The assessment is central to understanding the substance and quality of education research doctorate programs. Scholars trained through these programs are central to advancing our knowledge about education in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) sciences and in other fields of learning," said Dr. Shepard.

In addition to the Principal Investigators, an AERA-NAEd Advisory Committee for the Assessment of Education Research Doctorate Programs has been named: Bruce Alberts, University of California and Editor-in-Chief, Science; Camilla P. Benbow, Vanderbilt University; Ronald G. Ehrenberg, Cornell University; Adam Gamoran, University of Wisconsin, Madison; Paul W. Holland, Educational Testing Service (retired); Vinetta C. Jones, Howard University; Marcia C. Linn, University of California, Berkeley; Shirley M. Malcom, American Association for the Advancement of Science; and William F. Tate, Washington University, St. Louis.

With considerable attention paid to assessment of research doctorate programs in other arts and sciences fields in recent years, there has been almost none directed to doctorate programs in education research fields, despite a history of examination of graduate programs dating back nearly one hundred years. The American Council on Education oversaw early studies, followed by the Conference Board of Associated Research Councils undertaking studies led by the National Research Council prior to the current NRC assessment. More recently, the Carnegie Initiative on the Doctorate included research as part of an overall effort to reexamine and change doctorate programs in six fields (including education) at 44 universities.

The AERA and NAEd received a planning grant from The Spencer Foundation to develop this study and undertake the pilot work that led to the NSF award. "This research is extraordinarily important. It will provide critical data and findings that can be used to establish benchmarks and quality criteria to advance and improve education research doctorate programs nationally and to prepare high-quality education research scientists," said Dr. Levine.

TNS gv51gv-081021-1942361 18MASHGema

LOAD-DATE: October 21, 2008

The Buffalo News, October 15, 2008, Wednesday

The Buffalo News

October 15, 2008, Wednesday

The Buffalo News

Engine plant looks safe as GM cuts back; Plant not tied to doomed factories


General Motors is hastening cutbacks in some of its manufacturing operations as it copes with an enduring slump in auto sales, but the decisions are not affecting its Town of Tonawanda engine plant.

GM will close a stamping plant in Michigan at the end of next year and stop SUV production at a Wisconsin plant by the end of this year, sooner than expected. Earlier this month, GM said it would accelerate the previously announced closing of an assembly plant in Moraine, Ohio.

GM has been mum on any plans for additional factory closings. While the Tonawanda plant on River Road supplies engines to several vehicle assembly plants, the factories in Janesville, Wisc., and Moraine, Ohio, headed for shutdown are not among them, said Nina Price, a spokeswoman for the Tonawanda engine plant.

GM previously announced the Wisconsin plant would close by 2010. This week, the automaker said a sharp dropoff in SUV sales prompted it to act more quickly. While SUV production will end there Dec. 23, the plant will maintain a small work force until May or June 2009 as it finishes filling orders for Isuzu.

As for the Grand Rapids stamping plant, 40 percent of its parts were for large pickups and SUVs and mid-size SUVs. GM said it has less need for those parts as demand for those vehicles has fallen.

Whenever GM makes significant changes in production, questions typically arise about how the Tonawanda engine plant might be affected. And with good reason: the plant has nearly 1,400 hourly and salaried employees, a key part of the region’s auto manufacturing base.

“We’re pretty steady on our production numbers,” Price said, adding that none of the plant’s workers is presently on layoff.

Sal Morana, president of United Auto Workers Local 774, which represents hourly workers at the plant, said he was encouraged that some of the vehicles it supplies with engines, such as the Chevrolet Cobalt, have seen an uptick in sales amid a tough climate.

“Right now, we’re OK,” Morana said.

But at the same time, he said, he feels anxiety based on the economy’s health. “You have some nervousness because we have product lines that are scheduled to be OK for a few years, but that can change in a heartbeat because of the state of the economy,” Morana said.

Art Wheaton, director of labor studies at the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations in Buffalo, said he doesn’t consider the Tonawanda engine plant at risk of being shut down, but he feels it could see continued worker attrition or production cutbacks if GM’s overall sales don’t improve.

“I think the Tonawanda plant should be OK,” Wheaton said. “I don’t think there will be a large-scale reduction.”

A few factors are in the Tonawanda plant’s favor, he said. For one, it isn’t too far from some of GM’s operations. GM said the Grand Rapids plant’s long distance from other GM plants, compared to some other stamping plants in its network, was one reason for its impending shutdown.

The Tonawanda plant also has a diverse mix of engines, so its fortunes aren’t dependent solely on the popularity of trucks and SUVs, he said. “You can adapt” with such a lineup, Wheaton said.

In contrast, the Janesville, Wisc., assembly plant primarily makes large SUVs.

The Tonawanda site also has in its favor a highly skilled worked force and has earned a reputation for labor-management cooperation over the years, Wheaton said. The Harbour Report, an industry scorecard, has given the plant high marks for its efficiency.

The plant has been able to secure new engine lines as older engines are phased out, maintaining its viability. It was awarded a diesel engine for trucks that is expected to go into production next year. But earlier this year, GM pulled the plug on a new V-8 engine line also scheduled for

Tonawanda, citing high gas prices and tougher fuel economy standards.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Sun-Sentinel, October 12, 2008, Sunday

Copyright 2008 Sun-Sentinel Company

All Rights Reserved

Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Florida)

October 12, 2008, Sunday

Broward Metro Edition

HEADLINE: Programs Aim To Help Students With Disabilities; Training Focuses on Transitions, Planning

BYLINE: Rachel Hatzipanagos Staff Writer



Like many 18-year-olds, Bryan Siravo is eager to get out of the house and work on his own.

Like many parents, his mother, Maura, is nervous for him.

"I'm an overprotective mother," Maura Siravo said.

Part of that is because Bryan has cerebral palsy, a neurological condition that affects his motor skills. But it does not affect his independent streak and desire to get a job. He is enrolled in Sheridan Technical Center in Hollywood, studying information technology.

"I don't think of myself as having a disability," Bryan Siravo said. "I look normal, I act normal."

Bryan's attitude has helped him succeed when many who are disabled find it hard to transition to the real world. Programs for special-needs students in high school evaporate when they age out.

Last year, 37 percent of those between the ages of 21-64 with disabilities were employed, compared with 80 percent without disabilities, according to the Cornell Employment and Disability Institute.

To prepare for the transition, on Saturday, mother and son attended the DisAbilities Expo, a conference at Nova Southeastern University, where they sat in on a session called "Transition from School to Work."

In the Broward County School District, planning starts for students who are disabled at 14, said county transition specialist Lou Ruccolo.

"We ask them, 'Where do you want to be five, 10 years from now?' " Ruccolo said.

For some students, it's vocational training. For others, it's college, where students can hit a standstill.

Stephanie Zakheim, 21, has dropped out of two colleges. She has Asperger's syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder affecting her ability to communicate and socialize.

"I didn't have any friends," Zakheim said. "You can have all the tutoring you can get, but if you don't have friends, you just want to sit at home on the couch and do nothing."

Earlier this year, Zakheim enrolled in College Living Experience, a Davie program for students with special needs where they receive training in social skills and independent living.

"It's made a big difference," Zakheim said. Now, she is enrolled at Broward College.

Like Bryan Siravo, she doesn't think a disability will affect her job search.

Siravo's mother, however, is worried.

"He isn't concerned, but it's a concern for me," Maura Siravo said. "I worry about him being able to afford living by himself in Broward County; it's very expensive."

"Computer programmers start out at $80,000 to $100,000 a year," Bryan said.

"He doesn't have his driver's license," Maura said.

Bryan's reply: "Not yet."

Rachel Hatzipanagos can be reached at or 954-385-7946.

People at work

37% Percentage of those ages of 21-64 with disabilities who were employed in 2007

80% Employment rate for people without disabilities


GRAPHIC: Photo(s)

Angelina Smith, Cindy Holding and Joann Block communicate with sign language at NSU's DisAbilities Expo. Mike Stocker, Sun Sentinel

LOAD-DATE: October 12, 2008

Rocky Mountain News, October 11, 2008, Saturday

Rocky Mountain News

October 11, 2008, Saturday

Rocky Mountain News

'Right to work' a biased tag; Media's label for Amendment 47 is anti-union propaganda

By Jason Salzman, Rocky Mountain News (Contact)

I hate it when journalists report spin as if it were neutral language.

That's what reporters at the dailies are doing by describing Amendment 47 as a "right-to-work" measure.

The phase "right to work" has been promoted since the 1940s by union opponents who back laws, like Amendment 47, that - they say - give workers the "right to work" without joining a union or paying union dues, according to professor Richard Hurd, of the School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University. "The phrase was adopted to make their side sound good," said Hurd.

Labor supporters say workers have the "right to work" whether laws like Amendment 47 are on the books or not.

They argue that "right to work" makes good PR for the anti-union crowd, but it's the wrong description of Amendment 47, which would ban union shops that require workers to pay for union representation. (Disclosure: A client works for unions.)

The labor movement uses "right-to-work-for-less" to describe measures like Amendment 47 because in states that have such laws, wages are lower, even controlling for other factors, than in states without them, according to Hurd. But labor's phraseology hasn't stuck, he said.

And so it goes in Denver. In 29 of 33 articles over the past month, the dailies have used the phrase "right to work" as a shorthand description of Amendment 47.

To its credit, the Rocky Mountain News always puts "right to work" in quotation marks or refers to it as the "so-called right-to-work" amendment, while The Denver Post did so in only five of 18 articles.

Still, whether it's in quotation marks or not, the effect is the same: "Right to work" promotes the anti-union position on Amendment 47.

Reporters at the dailies said they use the phrase mostly because it's common language.

"That's what it's always been referred to nationally and historically," the Post's Andy Vuong told me. "In the 22 states that do have these laws, they are called right-to-work laws."

He agreed that the phrase isn't neutral, but he doesn't think it's particularly slanted either.

No? Would you rather vote for a "right-to-work" amendment or a "right-to-work-for-less" amendment?

Rocky reporter Joanne Kelley told me she and others have been "really careful to describe how the laws work and what it all means." That's true. But labels matter, and Kelley and Vuong said I was raising a valid issue.

Kelley puts "right to work" in quotation marks to "signal it's been dubbed with that label by others." Kelley points out that she's even seen a union use the term.

So what? The goal should be the pursuit of fairness, and I suggested to Kelley that, to be fairer, she should alternate between using "right to work" and "right to work for less" as descriptions for Amendment 47.

Overhearing my conversation with Kelley, Rocky business editor Rob Reutemann rejected my suggestion because "one is an editorial comment [right to work for less], and one is not [right to work]."

To me, both "right to work" and "right to work for less" are editorial comments, particularly because "right to work" isn't even part of the Amendment 47's actual ballot language.

Journalists would be more fair and accurate to use both of them alternately or drop "right to work" completely, unless it's attributed to a partisan.

Fluffy profiles. The Rocky's short candidate profiles are sort of like everything-was-great obituaries.

And I reluctantly admit I've enjoyed them.

Managing editor Deb Goeken's explanation for this approach makes sense.

She wrote that a "shorter, more-accessible format" is better because "in the changing world our readers can easily find every story we've written about the candidates during this campaign and through the years." She added that Rocky resources were better used to cover candidates on the campaign trail.

Not shaky. The Rocky Truth Patrol explains whether election-related statements are "Rock Solid," "Shaky" or "Just Wrong."

What does "shaky" mean anyway? Closer to true or closer to false?

The Truth Patrol would be more effective if it added "Probably Right" and "Probably Wrong" and got rid of "Shaky."

The Truth Patrol is supposed to clear up uncertainty, not create more with unclear labels.

Jason Salzman, president of Effect Communications, is the author of Making the News: A Guide for Activists and Nonprofits. Reach him at
Subscribe to the Rocky Mountain News

Las Vegas Sun, October 10, 2008, Friday

Las Vegas Sun

October 10, 2008, Friday

Las Vegas Sun

If a hospital is unionized, might care be better? One study says yes, and suggests higher wages and pushes for nurse-to-patient ratios are key reasons
By Megan McCloskey

Fri, Oct 10, 2008 (2 a.m.)

Sun Archives
SEIU picketing St. Rose Dominican hospital (10-2-2008)
At stake in nurse union fight: Patient care (9-11-2008)
Board: St. Rose favored rival union (8-12-2008)
When labor contract negotiations with hospitals progress slowly — much like the current stalemate at St. Rose Dominican Hospitals — nurses and their unions often launch public relations campaigns.

This classic union tactic is designed to try to tip the balance of power at the bargaining table. But union ploys aside (last month there was a candlelight vigil), the public might have a reason to pay attention to organized workforces in health care. New studies show that unions in hospitals make a difference in the quality of care.

One recent study found that hospitals with unionized registered nurses have 5.5 percent fewer deaths from heart attacks than nonunion hospitals. That mortality rate is a key statistic used to evaluate a hospital’s performance.

The study, conducted independently and without union funding, was by an economics and public policy professor at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and a community health professor at the University of California, San Francisco. Published in Cornell University’s “Industrial and Labor Relations Review,” the study looked at many variables that could affect quality, including how better wages might increase productivity. It concluded that the presence of unionized workers meant higher quality of care.

Health care is one of the few sectors showing signs of growth in union membership, but only about 12 percent of the industry is unionized, according to Ariel Avgar, an associate professor at the University of Illinois who studies labor issues in the health care industry.

Hospitals argue they don’t need union workforces because they have a built-in motivation for taking good care of patients: In this fiercely competitive industry, a hospital that does a poor job will lose customers to better hospitals. (In fast-growing Southern Nevada, a shortage of available beds weakens that argument.)

The reasons unions improve patient care are difficult to pinpoint, but the study found they involve more than wages. Altruistic or not, unions also are leading advocates in some areas of patient care, forcing debates that hospitals sometimes don’t want to enter.

The most prominent of those is nurse staffing levels. Nursing professional standards call for specific nurse-to-patient ratios, but health care experts say nurses are often overworked and assigned to too many patients.

As a result, care can suffer.

Unions have made the issue slightly more complicated in Nevada. Two unions are locked in a local turf war over nurses. Whether the Service Employees International Union or the California Nursing Association ends up the dominant union could influence whether state government decides to regulate staffing levels, as has been the national trend. The CNA is pushing for such legislation. The SEIU emphasizes high-level partnerships as opposed to regulation.

It is easy to be skeptical about a union’s motivation. For example, during previous major contract negotiations with Valley Health Systems hospitals, the SEIU marched under the banner of patient care and then settled for large raises but few gains for patients.

Still, with or without a union, nurses are front-line staff and in a good position to advocate for patients.

Many Las Vegas-area nurses have said they are burdened with work that isn’t traditionally their responsibility, such as changing linens, and that these tasks are eroding their ability to perform their nursing duties well. Addressing these kinds of working conditions is not only a union’s bailiwick but also promotes better quality of care for patients, Avgar said.

That’s not to say that unions are necessarily the right or only path. Nonunion hospitals could adopt the practices of union hospitals that improve patient care.

But for health care consumers, unions might be more relevant to patient care than they thought.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Entertainment Business Newsweekly, October 12, 2008, Sunday

Copyright 2008

Entertainment Business Newsweekly

October 12, 2008, Sunday


HEADLINE: NEW YORK TITANS; Aaron Jones Named New York Titans President

Aaron Jones, a former NBA and NFL executive and an All-American lacrosse player at Cornell University, has been named Team President of The New York Titans ( replacing Timothy Kelly. Jones will report directly to team ownership and will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of lacrosse and business operations.

"Aaron's love of the game and his background in the world of professional sports and entertainment management will be invaluable in our efforts to grow the franchise and the popularity of lacrosse in one of the most diverse sports and entertainment markets in the world," said New York Titans owner Gary Rosenbach. "With the addition of Ed (Comeau) as our head coach we are also looking forward to another successful season on the field this year as well."

Jones brings more than two decades of sports and entertainment industry experience to the Titans and a compre-hensive knowledge of marketing, brand development and professional franchise management. Prior to joining the Titans, Aaron ran Jones Marketing & Management (JMM), a full-service marketing firm he launched in 2002 specializing in sports, entertainment and corporate initiatives. Mr. Jones also served as the Team President for the National Basket-ball Development League's franchise in Greenville, SC. In addition to his NBA experience, Jones spent ten years with the National Football League, five years as Senior Manager of the Club Marketing division of NFL Properties where he was responsible for developing programs to enhance local marketing efforts, further brand development and increase promotional opportunities for NFL's business partners and teams. Jones also served a five year tenure with the NFL Players Association as the Assistant Vice President of Players Inc., the marketing company for the NFL player's union.

A native of Long Island, NY, Jones received his Bachelors of Science degree at Cornell University's School of Industrial and Labor Relations
and also a Masters of Science from the University of Massachusetts.
Keywords: New York Titans.
This article was prepared by Entertainment Business Newsweekly editors from staff and other reports. Copy-right 2008, Entertainment Business Newsweekly via

LOAD-DATE: October 2, 2008

The Post-Journal, October 8, 2008, Wednesday

The Post-Journal

October 8, 2008, Wednesday

The Post-Journal

Board Names New Human Resources Director
By Kristen Johnson

After searching for a candidate for a year to fill a position that has been vacant for more than a year and a half, the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities on Tuesday announced it has hired a new human resources director.

David Watkins, who previously spent 14 years as the director of personnel and safety for the city of Binghamton, began work Tuesday as the BPU's new human resources director. He fills a position vacated in 2007 by Ward Near, who resigned shortly before former general manager Wally Haase did in May 2007.

Near's position was filled on an interim basis by Bill Wright Jr., the BPU's attorney.

During an interview Tuesday, Watkins said he was drawn to the BPU during the interview process, during which he said the BPU's management team ''really impressed me.''

''The concern they have for their employees was really exhibited to me during that process, and I really felt it would be a great place to work,'' he said.

As Binghamton's director of personnel and safety, Watkins was the responsible for all labor and employee relations matters including recruitment, compensation, labor negotiations, grievances and wellness.

Asked about any challenges he felt he'd face in his new position, Watkins said he felt confident about his new role and said he could foresee very few challenges.

''To tell you the truth, I think the issues remain the same, but only the faces change,'' he said of his experience in municipal government. ''At both the city level and at a place like the BPU, your most paramount concern is the cost to the taxpayers or to your customers.''

Watkins said he is ''excited'' about the opportunity to work at the BPU, since he felt it might present him more opportunities to be innovative.

''At the municipal level, your hands are pretty well tied on most things,'' he said. ''I think there are fewer constraints here, as far as that goes, and I think there are a number of opportunities to be creative.''

A graduate of Cornell University's School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Watkins has also held various director and vice president level positions in human resources. He has worked with the Special Children's Center in Ithaca, at Mercy Hospital in Watertown, and at Hahnemann Medical University in Philadelphia, Pa.

Watkins began his career in labor relations positions with the University of Illinois and Temple University.

''We're pleased to have someone with David's broad range of experience join the BPU,'' Dave Leathers, BPU general manager, said in a prepared statement. ''The human resources department interacts with each of the five divisions and supports all our employees. Having David in this position certainly strengthens our management team.''

The Cornell Chronicle, October 7, 2008, Tuesday

The Cornell Chronicle

October 7, 2008, Tuesday

The Cornell Chronicle

'The Early Show,' live from Ithaca, is a hit

By Mary Catt
What's a guy with an ILR School degree doing on the Arts Quad before sunrise with 120 students on hand?

He's getting them to laugh out loud. He is Dave Price, ILR '87, the weatherman from "The Early Show" on CBS.

Live from Cornell on Oct. 6, Price reported on college costs and admission trends across the nation, in addition to giving Florida's foggy forecast. He also worked in lots of Big Red bits: Check out the clock tower, he told millions of viewers, and listen to Cayuga's Waiters, Cornell's all-male a cappella group.

In an interview between tapings, Price said he gained 40 pounds his freshman year, flunked statistics and found his dormitory shower so "groaty" on day one at Cornell that he asked his parents if he could shower in their hotel room.

"I don't regret a minute it of it," he said of his four years at ILR. "I'd come right back. I use the skills I learned at the ILR School each and every day, whether it's negotiating a contract or [understanding] organizational behavior."

A few feet away, Ernest Meadows '11 called his mother and asked her if she would like to talk to Price, then handed the phone over to him. "Hi, Mom, send cash," Price told Pamela Scott, who was in Brooklyn. Her son beamed, and sighed, "What a great morning."

Accelerated by the promise of free coffee and donuts, word of "The Early Show" filming at Cornell spread among students and staff via Facebook and e-mail.

Sarah Boxer '07 of CBS set up the date. ILR Student Government Association President Heather Levy '10 found such students as Eleanor Carmeli, ILR '11, to hold ILR banners, which made their way onto national TV as the sun rose Monday.

"This," Carmeli laughed, "is my moment of fame."

Mary Catt is a writer for the ILR School.

The Star-Ledger, October 5, 2008, Sunday

Copyright 2008 Newark Morning Ledger Co.

All Rights Reserved

The Star-Ledger (Newark, New Jersey)

October 5, 2008, Sunday



HEADLINE: TOP COURT TO RULE: DOES 'RAT' HAVE RIGHTS?Inflatable rodent pits union vs. town



He's treated like any other member of the picket line.

When Mercer County electrical union workers line up to protest businesses paying nonunion wages, he holds a sign aloft and tries to get the word out to anyone passing by.

But nothing his sign says grabs people's attention more than his simple presence. He's The Rat, the union's 10-foot inflatable balloon with beady eyes, pointy claws, chewed-up ears, buckteeth and a festering pink belly.

"He's quiet. He doesn't say much," said Wayne DeAngelo, assistant business manager of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 269 in Lawrence Township. "But he really gets our message out. Visibility is important. Without the rat, we're wasting our time."

The inflatable rat is synonymous with union protests, from the Statehouse in Trenton to the picket lines at the writers strike in L.A. The rodent has become a shorthand for showing the disgust workers have for the way they are being treated, part of a union tradition of employing theater to get the message across.

Fame has its price, however. The union rat has found itself at the center of legal battles around the country - most recently in New Jersey, where the state Supreme Court heard arguments two weeks ago about whether the one at DeAngelo's local is protected speech under the First Amendment.

The 5-year-old rat is at the center of the case because Lawrence Township prohibits the use of balloon signs, except for those used at store grand openings.

Union lawyer Andrew Watson argued the law bars the kind of protest that goes to "very heart and core of the constitution."

"There is no other way to reach a broader audience. This is a cheap and effective means of communication. It is a powerful, symbolic message," he said.

But John Dember, who represents the town, said the law doesn't stop anyone from handing out leaflets or protesting to get a message across.

"The ability to attract attention of passers-by is little affected by restrictions on using an inflatable rat," Dember said.

The case dates to April 2005, when the electrical workers local staged a protest outside a Gold's Gym when the business had electrical work done by nonunion laborers.

Four men took up positions on the sidewalk out front, handing out leaflets. The rat was anchored to a grassy spot considered part of the public right of way.

It got the attention of passers-by - and police. The rat was removed, and, when the union brought it back later, police gave DeAngelo a summons, saying he violated the ban on inflatable signs.

After a trial, DeAngelo was convicted and agreed to pay a $133 fee and court costs. A split state appeals court panel upheld the town's sign ban. The Supreme Court has yet to make a decision.

The Mercer County controversy is the latest in a string of attempts to exterminate inflatable rats from public displays. Elsewhere, businesses sued unions, arguing the rodents shouldn't be considered protected speech. First Amendment scholars counter they fall into the category of "pure speech" that deserves protection akin to political and religious speech.


The inflatable rat idea was first pumped up in 1990, when a Chicago union asked an outdoor advertiser to come up with a flashy way to catch the attention of nonunion employers. The owners of Big Sky Balloons and Searchlights, of Plainfield, Ill., which made the first rodent, called it "Scabby the Rat." Today, they sell rats up to 25 feet tall, charging as much as $8,950.

The rat in New Jersey's debate gets out about 50 times a year. It is inflated by a small electric blower that can be hooked into a car's cigarette lighter. When not on the picket line, it deflates to a storage bag that resides - fittingly - in the union's boiler room next to an inflatable pig that goes out when the rat is double-booked.

Union officials say they first try to talk to business owners to resolve the wage issues. The rat is a tool of last resort. "If they say `Hey, leave us alone' then we bring out our friend," said DeAngelo.

Some unions also use other animals - a cockroach, a skunk - to get their message out, said Kate Bronfenbrenner, director of labor education research at Cornell University. She said street theater has been a part of union demonstrations for centuries.

"It's people's lives," said Bronfenbrenner. "There's a lot of passion, so it's a perfect thing. You've got a perfect villain and a perfect hero. It's a natural."

William Shakespeare and Charles Dickens wrote about labor issues. Rallies in the 1800s involved workers acting out skits about conditions. During the 1912 "Bread and Roses Strike," the female workers at a Massachusetts textile mill wrapped themselves in the American flag after the company accused them of being un-American.

"They carried them. They used the American flag in everything they did. . . . They literally wore the American flag in showing their patriotism," said Bronfenbrenner

Today, protest theater finds unions storming the stage at major shareholder meetings or interrupting online corporate gatherings.

In New Jersey, rats are still in vogue. In total, about a dozen inflatable rats make regular appearances in the Garden State.

The keepers of the Lawrence Township rat are anxious to see the case end, saying banners just don't cut it.

Until then, the rat can only make guest appearances out of town.

"He can't get blown up in his own home town," said DeAngelo. "It's sad."

Kate Coscarelli may be reached at or (973) 392-4147.


Graphic Credit: SOURCES: The Star-Ledger; "Rats" by Robert Sullivan

GRAPHIC: 1. Wayne DeAngelo, of IBEW Local 269 in Lawrence, inflates the union's rat, which is at the center of a free-speech case being decided by the state Supreme Court.LIST: Rats!An inflatable rat used in union protests has sparked a battle that has reached the New Jersey Supreme Court. Some facts about these rodents: The rat in question When inflated, 10 feet tall. Can gain that stature in about 30 seconds with an electric blower that can hook into a cigarette lighter. Weighs 40 pounds without the hot air. About 5 years old, costs about $3,500 but has no official name. The rat's mission: Get attention. Show what union members think of those they are protesting. Has been used for union rallies across New Jersey, making about 50 appearances a year. Its uninflated home: a boiler room at IBEW Local 269 headquarters in Trenton, in a bag next to a less controversial inflatable pig. The questions about the rat Does Lawrence Township have a right to ban the rat under an ordinance that says inflatable creatures and signs can only be used for store grand openings? Does the ban violate the First Amendment right to free speech by roving rat-toting union members? Real rat facts Rats have long been a feature of union rallies. In 1963, Jesse Gray organized a rent strike in NYC and asked 13,000 tenants to bring a rat to court. They came with rats alive and dead. The tenants won. In one year, a female rat can produce up to 12 litters of 20 rats. One pair of rats has the potential for 15,000 descendants annually. Rats make appearances in "Watership Down", "Ratatouille", "Ben" and many other books and movies. Rats arrived on ships around the time of the American Revolution. In the 19th century, rat fighting was a popular form of entertainment where dogs competed to kill the most. The world's record was set by Jocko the Wonder Dog, who is said to have killed 100 rats in 5 minutes, 28 seconds.

LOAD-DATE: October 6, 2008

UNI (United News of India), October 5, 2008, Sunday

Copyright 2008 UNI
All Rights Reserved
UNI (United News of India)

October 5, 2008, Sunday


BYLINE: Report from UNI brought to you by HT Syndication.


New Delhi, Oct 5 (UNI) Emergence of a ''green economy'' is now clearly visible and efforts to tackle climate change could result in millions of ''green jobs'' in India and other countries, says a UN sponsored report. India could generate 900,000 jobs by 2025 in biomass gasification of which 300,000 would be in the manufacturing of stoves and 600,000 in the fuel supply chain and other areas. As many as 600,000 people in China are already employed in solar thermal making and installing products such as solar water heaters.

In Nigeria, a bio fuels industry based on cassava and sugar cane crops might sustain an industry employing 200,000 people; and in South Africa, 25,000 previously unemployed people are now employed in conservation as part of the 'Working for Water' initiative. The new report entitled Green Jobs: Towards Decent work in a Sustainable, Low-Carbon World, says changing patterns of employment and investment resulting from efforts to reduce climate change and its effects are already generating new jobs in many sectors and economies, and could create millions more in both devel-oped and developing countries. The report was funded and commissioned by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) under a joint Green Jobs Initiative with the International Labour Office (ILO), and the International Trade Union Con-federation (ITUC) and the International Organization of Employers (IOE), which together represent millions of workers and employers worldwide. It was produced by the Worldwatch Institute, with technical assistance from the Cornell University Global Labour Institute. It says that the global market for environmental products and services is projected to double from 1,370 billion dollars per year at present to 2,740 billion dollars by 2020, according to a study cited in the report. Half of this market is in energy efficiency and the balance in sustainable transport, water supply, sanitation and waste management. In Germany, for example, environmental technology is to grow fourfold to 16 per cent of industrial output by 2030, with employment in this sector surpassing that in the country's big machine tool and automotive indus-tries. Sectors that will be particularly important in terms of their environmental, economic and employment impact are energy supply, in particular renewable energy, buildings and construction, transportation, basic industries, agriculture and forestry. Clean technologies are already the third largest sector for venture capital after information and biotech-nology in the United States, while green venture capital in China more than doubled to 19 per cent of total investment in recent years. As many as 2.3 million people have in recent years found new jobs in the renewable energy sector alone, and the potential for job growth in the sector is huge. Employment in alternative energies may rise to 2.1 million in wind and 6.3 million in solar power by 2030. Renewable energy generates more jobs than employment in fossil fuels. Projected investments of $630US billion by 2030 would translate into at least 20 million additional jobs in the renew-able energy sector.
Published by HT Syndication with permission from UNI.

LOAD-DATE: October 5, 2008