|MATR Newsletter - Fri Jan 27, 2006|
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As we kick off the election process, I thought this was appropriate.... “I’m not running for reelection, so this is my last time to address you. But I’ll still be a part of this conference. I’ll probably be doing valet parking out front next year.” Washington, D.C., Mayor Anthony Williams, to other mayors attending the United States Conference of Mayors meeting in Washington
If you would like to see a better funding environment for startups in Montana, please get involved..."Montana Needs to Develop a More Robust and Active Funding Environment for Entrepreneurs and Startups" http://www.matr.net/article-17845.html ........."Venture capital sends cash to Utah businesses. $40 Million here...$45 Million there. Pretty soon you're talking about real money. $249 million in '05. Now that's economic development!!" http://www.matr.net/article-17858.html
Come Home Montana
MEDA Entrepreneur Working Group
- The Focus Issues of Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer - Attract New Business Investment and Capital to Montana
“It’s still small businesses, it’s still people that are rapidly growing their businesses, it’s bright people with new ideas that are starting new businesses,” Schweitzer said. “I want to continue to encourage and foster the growth of small businesses because it’s those businesses that are employing less than 10 people in Montana that are really our big hope for the future.”
- Stevensville, Montana has done wonders through the Community Assessment Program. Is your Community a Candidate?
Montana Resource Teams are a community based planning and assessment process involving interviewing a large number of people in the community, recording their suggestions and having a team of experts write-up implementation plans for community use.
- Montana-Jobs.net Featured Career ~ Transportation Engineer
Salary $60,000 - $70,000 - Location Montana.
- Montana-Jobs.net Featured Talent ~ Desired Field: Sr. Network Engineer
Corporate experience: Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, State of Texas, Avnet ESD (formerly Kent Electronics)
- 150 high schoolers vie in Business Professionals of America professional competition
The contest matches smarts and business prowess in individual and team competitions, such as business management, entrepreneurship and public speaking. Twenty events are judged.
- How much education funding should go directly to classrooms? A '65 percent solution' is picking up steam in some states.
The concept is taking hold: The "65 percent solution" has already swept through state capitol domes in Texas, Kansas, and Louisiana. Earlier this month, Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue (R) introduced legislation, joining 17 other states that have proposed bills to meet that 65 percent threshold.
- Teach students how to use skills to serve their community
Why is it true, nationwide, that the 18-25 age group votes the least and does the least civic service?
- University of Montana to emphasize academic honesty
“All students must practice academic honesty. Academic misconduct is subject to an academic penalty by the course instructor and/or disciplinary sanction by the university.
- Is increased spending the solution to a quality education?
Here’s a modest, progressive suggestion for educational reform: give vouchers equal to 50 percent of governmental funding to the parents. This will provide the incentives to create an educational environment that rewards good teaching, encourages parental involvement, rewards positive innovation, and gives our most disadvantaged hope for the future.
- State of education: Who makes the grade?
It's difficult to prove what actually makes one state outperform another. Key factors such as per-pupil spending and student demographics vary widely, even among top-performing states.
- Idaho's 2-year college plans on track. Oregon college's efforts haven't derailed BSU
Gov. Dirk Kempthorne and Boise State University will stay the course on their plans for community colleges in Idaho, regardless of whether an Oregon-based school opens in the Boise-Meridian area this fall.
- Early education essential, pays off
Many believe in one specific education and economic development strategy that will, by itself, do more than any other strategy to break the cycle of poverty as well as optimize future economic growth in the United States. That strategy is to invest significantly in quality early education and preschool programs.
- Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer angers education groups
"If the governor really believes he's done, he's the only one who thinks he's at the finish line that I know of," said Lance Melton, executive director of the Montana School Boards Association.
Montana Economic Development
- Smurfit-Stone: Chairman of the Board
One strategy is to invest in high-speed corrugators in certain strategic geographic markets that are capable of producing large volumes of linerboard. This move will allow the company to eliminate 10 to 15 corrugated-container plants, and help focus its production on maximizing machine utilization.
- Rep. Denny Rehberg, R-Mont., tours Zoot Enterprises in Four Corners, Montana
Zoot does instant credit applications for customers and as Nelson showed Rehberg around the building, the congressman asked how the company might apply its computer technologies in new ways. For example, Rehberg wondered if Zoot's technologies could be used for managing federal programs, such as a trust fund for American Indians.
- Para-rescuers go underground for training in Butte, Montana
Men and women training with the military contractor are the cream-of-the-crop, and the Butte setting provides a variety of training experiences. And Alne pointed out that with the tragic outcome of recent coal mining disasters in West Virginia, exercises like those practiced in Butte Wednesday are especially critical.
Developing Funding Opportunities in Montana
- Choteau applies for Main Street Montana project
Fairview and Choteau are two of 13 communities in the state that has applied to be one of two pilot communities in the Montana Department of Commerce’s Main Street program.
- U.S. Attorney: Tom Maclay Illegally Cut Trees in Research Natural Area. The Bitterroot Resort Saga Continues. --- Maclay Responds
Maclay admitted to Forest Service officials to clearing the roads and cutting the trees, according to the complaint.
Funding and Building your Business
- Montana Needs to Develop a More Robust and Active Funding Environment for Entrepreneurs and Startups
Each day we read about startups in Seattle, Silicon Valley and many other communities receiving substantial funding from either Angels or Venture Capital Firms but not in Montana.
- Angel Groups Beginning to Work with University Technology Licensing Offices
"Matching a technology still in the lab to an entrepreneur, then possibly tapping alumni to fund the deal can be a very proper way to get businesses started."
- What Do Gen Xers Want? Here's how some of FORTUNE's 100 Best Companies to Work For keep young up-and-comers happy.
"The top three things they want in a job, we found, are positive relationships with colleagues, interesting work, and continuous opportunities for learning."
- Bitterroot Valley Business Networking Group - Outcome Driven Innovation, 2/2, Hamilton, Montana
The presentation is designed to walk the audience through basic principles of Outcome-Driven Innovation and invite participants to share their thoughts and views regarding issues surrounding innovation in their business environment.
- The Art of Bootstrapping
“The leading cause of failure of startups is death, and death happens when you run out of money.” As long as you have money, you're still in the game.
Regional Economic Development
- Telecommute: What traffic?: Workers with high-tech skills stay home, bypassing urban sprawl and being paid well, too
Nearly 12 percent of Florida's salaried work force, or 850,000 people, do most of their work from home.
- Call Centers Tap People For Work at Home
The development, driven by expanded broadband access to the Web, cheaper computer technology and improved call-routing systems, has opened the door to an entirely new group of at-home workers.
- Telecommute: What traffic? Workers with high-tech skills stay home, bypassing urban sprawl and being paid well, too.
"Telecommuting is probably consistent with the work and play [philosophy]," Flood said. "The quality of life goes up . . . if you provide different opportunities for your employees."
- Montana Congressman Denny Rehberg vows to continue CDBG funding
"Providing assistance for development and sustainability for Montana's communities is essential," Rehberg said. "The program strengthens our communities and provides an opportunity for growth and development, which across parts of Montana is a priority."
- Sen. Max Baucus of Montana develops bills that target energy, education
Placing his highest priority on education, Baucus would provide free tuition for science and engineering students, raise starting teacher salaries and create partnerships with employers and continuing education centers to teach technology skills.
Utah Economic Development
- Venture capital sends cash to Utah businesses. $40 Million here...$45 Million there. Pretty soon you're talking about real money. $249 million in '05. Now that's economic development!!
This is what I call economic development. Why not in Montana? Russ
- Officials pushing program to help farmers. Utah's Own label: Agriculture execs want help from the Legislature
"Agriculture creates new wealth because farmers are producing something that didn't exist until they grew or produced it," said Rep. Michael Noel, R-Kanab. "There's no better way to help rural communities than to buy the goods they're producing."
South Dakota Economic Development
- Idaho Commerce & Labor Connections - January 2006
" Today's changing work force demands employees with strong math and science skills. Approving standards to increase required math and science classes will go a long way toward ensuring a strong economic future for Idaho's next generation." -- Roger B. Madsen, Idaho Commerce & Labor Director
- Group gives Idaho B in job creation, F in pay
The state was ranked sixth in the nation for the number of jobs produced, but among the lowest in the nation in the criteria used to identify quality jobs, including average pay (46th), annual pay growth (48th), number of working poor (41st), and the number of people who have to accept part-time work because full-time jobs are not available (33rd).
- IdaCorp subsidiary pulls out of broadband over power line (BPL) business
The company has abandoned BPL after seeing that electric utilities were not immediately embracing the technology.
- Genesis of Innovation for South Dakota - Board of Directors' Meeting Notes (Outstanding Efforts!)
A large number of South Dakota companies export products. As posited in Thomas Freidman’s book “The World is Flat”, the interstate highway system of the global market place is being built now, and the question becomes whether South Dakota will have an on-ramp. South Dakota must take responsibility and elevate its approach.
- Hell's Angels welcome, say Cody, Wyoming merchants
"We have some of the most scenic riding and driving trips there are in the country," he said. "And of course, that's going to attract specific groups such as motorcyclists."
- Tech Talkin' Governors 2006, Part Two. What does your Governor want to accomplish?
"In addition to attracting new business and supporting existing firms, we must also look to the connection between higher education and economic strength to help the regions of the state that face the greatest economic challenges ..
Montana Education/Business Partnerships
- The New Boom. Silicon Valley is roaring back to life, as startups mint millionaires and Web dreams take flight. But, no, this is not another bubble. Here's why.
Booms - with their more rational allocation of capital - are better.
- Businesses fund UM projects through the Business and Campus Drive by the UM Foundation
“We like to support the local University,” said Orange Street Food Farm assistant manager Tommy Hendrix.
- U of M launches new paleontology center. Center could help revitalize the economy of the Fort Peck area.
“This should put UM on the map for being a center of excellence for paleontology,” said George Stanley, a UM geology professor and director of the new center.
Connectivity & Communications
- What to Do in the First 100 Days
You’re starting a new job. You have to make a great impression, but exactly what do you need to do and how?
- The Ultimate Stress Reliever
GOT some public speaking to do? Here is a tip to keep stress at bay:
- The Unwired Future, On Hold
The issue of broadband wireless spectrum is especially pertinent to the Rocky Mountain West, where rugged topography and geographical distance make stringing fiber-optic cable an unrealistic prospect for many thriving, but remote communities.
- WiMAX Forum Announces First Certified Products
The WiMAX Forum is an industry-led, non-profit corporation formed to help promote and certify the compatibility and interoperability of broadband wireless products using the IEEE 802.16 and ETSI HiperMAN wireless MAN specifications. The Forum's goal is to accelerate the introduction of these devices into the marketplace.
- Study: Internet expands social contacts
Further rebuking early studies suggesting that the Internet promotes isolation, Pew found that it "was actually helping people maintain their communities,"
- Pew Internet: The Internet Improves Americans' Capacity to Maintain Their Social Networks and Get Help
With the help of the Internet, people are able to maintain active contact with sizable social networks, even though many of the people in those networks do not live close to them.
- Blazing Wi-Fi Zips Toward Reality
Yeah ... you know you want it.
- Jared Diamond On Environmental And Social Sustainability. The Rise and Fall of Civilizations
If you look at fresh water around the world today, something like 70 percent of the world's fresh water supplies are already being fully utilized. And don't be happy that 30 percent remains unutilized, because that 30 percent is in places like far northern Canada, Iceland and Northwest Australia. It's unutilized for good reasons.
City Club Missoula
- "Building An Engaged Campus Conference", 2/3, Montana State University-Billings
The conference will include sessions on motivating and engaging the electorate, holding effective forums, setting goals, advocating for education and scholarship awards, appreciative inquiry, and moving from civic awareness to engagement.
- Montana Mayors' Academy set Feb. 1-3 at MSU
"The academy will also help the mayors create a network of peers, which will reinforce best practices, and it will increase awareness of the resources available to them and reduce risk exposure and legal liability," Jelinski said.
Cool Stuff That's Coming
- City Club Missoula “Liberty Can Wait” By UM Journalism Professor Clem Work , 2/17, Missoula, Montana
"Two weeks after the United States declared war on Germany in 1917, the town of Lewistown, Montana, held a patriotic parade. Less than a year later, a mob of 500 Lewistown residents burned German textbooks in Main Street while singing The Star Spangled Banner.
- Earth could warm up faster than previously thought
Recent studies of some of nature's environmental "records" show that global warming can penetrate deep into the ocean faster than scientists have realized. In fact, some such penetration may have already begun.
- Robot set loose to film your insides
The robot is only 15 millimetres in diameter, allowing it to be inserted through the small incisions in the abdomen used for keyhole surgery. It is controlled from a console equipped with a joystick.
- World's largest plastic display - 10 inches diagonally -could be ready in 3 years and has the resolution of a normal computer screen
According to Mills, the company has already demonstrated displays with a resolution of 300 pixels per inch and that they will have a letter-sized prototype by the middle of next year.
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