|MATR Newsletter - Mon Jun 6, 2005|
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We've had enough requests that we post the newsletter twice (Monday and Friday) a week that we want to want to try it. Hopefully this will make the letter easier (read shorter) to get through to find those articles that have the most interest for you. Please let us know what you think. Thanks, Russ@matr.net
Come Home Montana
- Unsettling times: Main Street - Scobey, Montana
Like many rural towns in Eastern Montana, Scobey has seen businesses close as its population dropped.
- Study: Recruiting Retirees to Come Home Has Value - Each retiree household is equivalent to 3.7 factory jobs.
A university study suggests that retiree recruitment translates into economic impact.
- Liberal arts majors toughen up at new 'business boot camps'
The business boot camp, one of a handful like it across the country, aims to give liberal arts students a grounding in basic business concepts. It tries to make them better candidates for corporate jobs or starting their own business.
- 2-year degrees pay off, are in demand
Looking for a good job in Montana? A two-year education might be your ticket into a higher tax bracket.
- Private Money for Public Schools
Taxpayers have a stake in public eduction and need to hear from elected officials what core subjects and skills are being taught. They may not directly decide the academic content of schools, but since local property taxes make up anywhere from a one-third to half of a school budget in most states, taxpayers do exercise a form of veto.
Montana Economic Development
- In search of a better life
The Wongs' life in Helena hardly resembles their years in China where they lived under the rule of Mao Zedong and his Cultural Revolution.
- Merger of Montana companies enhances telecommunications - Montana Advanced Information Network Inc. will become a division within Vision Net Inc.
Vision Net was originally built to provide educational services, namely videoconferencing to rural schools in the area served by Vision Net's telephone cooperative owners. It started with a network for 50 schools and universities, Warnick said. It has grown to approximately 150 video conferencing sites used in the education, medical, financial and legal fields.
Developing Funding Opportunities in Montana
- Plant not generating much action in Great Falls, MT
A NorthWestern spokesman says the company is still working to sell the plant and its equipment. Roger Schrum said the company expects a deal on the generation-related equipment in 30 to 60 days.
- Top students hopeful about region's future
Several of the brightest sons and daughters of northcentral Montana are confident, or at least hoping, their parts of the state won't fade into the sunset.
Funding and Building your Business
- How Successful Angels and Venture Capitalists work together best. Communication is the key
VCs have a very positive view of angel investors, with 94% of those surveyed agreeing that angels are beneficial to the VC business.
- Senate Bill 511 Veto upheld by a 71 to 70 split. It was specifically aimed at early stage investment in privately-held, small Montana corporations.
What are your thoughts and recommendations?
Regional Economic Development
- Cargill program is incubating innovation in a corporate culture
The goal is to create independent business units within Cargill that can immediately contribute to the bottom line.
- Google CEO vows one right answer for every search and universal reach "we'll get them all, even the ones in the trees"
If a shipment of lava lamps arrives at your company... you've been googleplexed.
- The Design of Innovation
If you have a product that's successful, and understand why, what made it unique, and how it worked for every stakeholder, then you can extend it and grow your business into a world-renowned brand.
- Manufacturing labor pool said to lack skills
“It’s a general statement, but the education system is not preparing people for the work force,” Ingbretsen says. “There is no easy solution to what I personally think is a societal problem. We can all look in the mirror.”
- Leaders look beyond front yard - Alliance oversees creation of Regional Business Plan
In today’s world and today’s economy, no city in a metropolitan region is an island.
- Idaho wants a slice of Hollywood's millions - Task force hopes state can emulate strategies that worked elsewhere
"I think Idaho could become attractive to the film industry," Hoffman said. "No question."
Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR)
- 600 Wisconsin plastics companies uniting into a knowledge-based industrial cluster
That same kind of an initiative to center a fragmented national industry in this state is well under way in the Wisconsin Printing Cluster.
- States try to ease property-tax rise
"Almost every state is looking at some form of property-tax cap," says Myron Orfield, an expert on property taxes and a law professor at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. "It's a 'perfect storm' for property taxes: There are rapidly increasing home values while states are not keeping up with their contributions to school districts."
Incubators and R&D
Montana Education/Business Partnerships
The Creative and Cultural Economy
- ‘World of Work' class exposes middle school kids to trades
"The real beauty is seeing these generations working together," said Brennick.
Small Diameter Timber Utilization
- On the trail of Montana's dinosaurs
"We wanted every facility (listed in the brochure) to be a 'Wow,' " said Anne Boothe, executive director of the PhillCo Economic Growth Council, who worked to create the trail.
- Missoula Cultural Council - Some news and upcoming events for the week of June 6, 2005
- Missoula company finds alternative wood sources to protect old growth
"We're cranking out a lot of shingles now," Hisel said. "My hope is that the sale of this product will help support more job training in the future - not to mention more conservation of cedar forests and landfill space."
Connectivity & Communications
- Efficient energy to take spotlight
"The focus of the conference is to educate the community about renewable energy technologies and policies," said Renee Azerbegi, president of the society. "There also is focus on sustainable buildings and energy-efficiency programs."
Space and Zero Gravity Research
- MATR Newsletters now archived and available
What else would you like to see on MATR to make it more valuable to you?
- Popular website Craigslist launches environmental nonprofit network.
"Social capital is the most important asset that these efforts build," Stahl said. "The most important part of it is building trust among the human beings involved."
- Theft of a legislator - Former lawmaker who crafted ID theft legislation gets his ID stolen
"The main thing is to protect your identity in every sense of the word. You have got to put your guard up and make sure the information is not easily accessible. You have got to look at your bills and protect yourself and get on it immediately," Hansen said. "ID theft is becoming so accessible you've got to protect yourself in every way."
- Corporate bloggers bypassing media
The Internet journal format, they find, lets businesses expand their reach, generate product buzz, and encourage consumer loyalty -- while bypassing traditional media.
- Skype Takes VOIP Upscale after it tops 100 Million free downloads
The company that makes the Skype software that lets internet users call one another for free anywhere in the world is launching two premium services, as the number of downloads topped 100 million on Friday.
- S.F. startup to take citizen journalism to cable TV
Citizen journalism is based on the idea of average people dictating news coverage by creating news reports themselves or helping choose the content.
- Citizen journalism takes root online - Just plain folks can create their own news sites
Parr's new calling is known as citizen journalism, an intriguing concept that is deceptively simple. Average people write their own news items on the Internet and comment on what other people post. In the process, an interactive, democratic form of media is created.
- Partnership Promises VoIP to Rural Communities
Filling a void in a world where the big telecommunications players generally ignore the needs of rural areas, Camvera has developed a specialty in bringing smaller towns into the 21st century.
- NASA challenges inventors to make breathable air from dirt
Scientists believe it's possible to extract oxygen from the lunar regolith, the layer of dust and dirt coating the moon. The goal, however, is to design equipment that astronauts could use on the surface to make air for breathing or perhaps oxygen that could be used as a propellant.
Cool Stuff That's Coming
- Why Great Leaders Don't Listen to "Yes"
It's essential for leaders to spark conflict in their organizations, as long as it is constructive.
- Firm brings brainpower to bear - Applied Minds has plethora of projects spanning tech fields - "The Cone of Silence" lives!!
Babble, which is intended to function as a substitute for walls and acoustic tiling, is an example of a new class of product that uses computing technology to shape sound.
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