|MATR Newsletter - Tue Jul 11, 2006|
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"The most likely way for the world to be destroyed, most experts agree, is by accident. That's where we come in; we're computer professionals. We cause accidents." — Nathaniel Borenstein
Now that the kids have toddled off to college, my wife and I like to try and take in a Montana fair or rodeo as often as possible. Last week we dropped into the Rendezvous in Missoula and came across one of the most creative and unique craftsman we've seen in a long time. While Montana abounds with creative excellence, Rich Carlson of Carter, MT has developed a truly unique artform. "Montana is home to unique art born out of the "challenges" of farming. Rich Carlson of Charliwood Art" http://www.matr.net/ar ... .html
2006 Montana Elections
Montana Meth Project
- Gazette Opinion: Here's a Web tool to communicate with smart voters
One would think that those hoping to win a public office would welcome an opportunity to provide voters throughout the state with easy, instant access to their views.
- Young artists put colorful spin on group's anti-meth message. "Not Even Once" theme on display across Montana.
The "Paint the State" campaign is offering $300,000 in prizes. Each county will award three cash prizes to teens. Winners at the county level compete statewide for a $10,000 award.
- CED Releases Report on Economic Benefits of Investing in Preschool
American children, the United States’ economy and our society can greatly benefit from improved and expanded early childhood education programs.
- Montana Governor and State Superintendent Urge Students to Apply For New Grants
"Students can get a valuable head start on college by taking more challenging high school courses. Helping these students cover the costs of college will pay off big in the future," pointed out State Superintendent Linda McCulloch.
Montana Economic Development
- Globalization Partners International (GPI) wins two American Association of Webmasters (AAWM) World Wide Web Gold Awards
“The Gold Award represents Web Presence at its best. To achieve this award is truly an honor.”
- Montana Flathead Lake Biological Station (FLBS) puts price on Flathead Lake
"We need to understand what the value of this resource is in economic terms," he said, referring to the Crown of the Continent's "crown jewel" - Flathead Lake.
- Shepherd, Montana inventor, Bruce Kania says floating islands will clean pollution. Floating Islands International
His company, Floating Island International, started selling the islands last July. So far, the company has shipped about 1,100. Customers range as far as New Zealand and Europe, Kania says.
- Bozeman Bike frame builder, Dave Kirk uses traditional touch for global business. Kirk Frameworks
He may do everything by hand, but Kirk has sold more of his custom-made bicycle frames and forks in England than he has in Bozeman. "A quirk of fate," said Kirk, who has never promoted himself locally. Or perhaps this is small-town business in the globalized age of Internet marketing.
- Need a job? There are plenty available in the Flathead Valley of Montana
Local job services are swamped with requests from increasingly harried employers. Businesses in nearly every industry are displaying signs advertising available positions.
Developing Funding Opportunities in Montana
- FCC chair offers support for regional telemedicine advances
Bringing those advances to rural areas around the nation and Montana is a top priority of both the FCC and the Bush administration, Martin said.
- Montana Early Childhood Business Summit, 10/4, Missoula
The goal of this summit is to engage Montana’s business leaders in an early childhood agenda that will benefit Montana’s youngest citizens as well as create an environment in which current workers are more productive and efficient while their children are preparing to become our future leaders and contribute as an integral part of Montana’s future workforce.
- Growth Through Agriculture program A real bison booster boost
Growth Through Agriculture is a Montana Department of Agriculture program and receives about $1.25 million annually from the state's general fund.
Funding and Building your Business
- Seed and Venture Capital State Experiences and Options
This report serves as a starting point for more in-depth evaluation and design of state capital programs.
- More start-ups opting for 'virtual offices'
Research by Yac has found that because of their likelihood to relocate, most start-ups now prefer a ‘virtual working’ environment that does not tie them to one address.
- How to restart a startup
If at first you don't succeed, try a new business model.
- Libraries across the U.S. offer online resources for small businesses
Leslie Burger, president of the American Library Association, said many librarians have come to recognize the need to better serve businesses, largely because they are getting more requests for help from people who own small companies.
- Tough competitors always happy to teach you a lesson. Knowing your competition is just as important as knowing your customer.
Unless you have a unique product or service, or run a state-owned bakery in Fidel Castro's Cuba, competition is a fact of life.
- Pet-friendly workplaces keep productivity from going to the dogs
‘‘I think employers see it as a way to offer a less expensive benefit,’’ said Kay Luo, director of marketing for SimplyHired.com. ‘‘And smaller companies can compete for talent in a creative way.’’
- Ready to Sell Your Company?
This Collection includes articles and tools that focus on strategies and tasks involved in preparing for and finalizing your company's sale.
- When To Get Rid Of The "Best" People That Work For You
Perhaps one of the most interesting facts about this dynamic is that an employee’s ability to work well in any organization and thus, his or her value to it, can’t always be judged by the most obvious measures like individual performance, effort, innovativeness or even productivity.
- To land the client, be certain to avoid these telltale gaffes
Since many entrepreneurs consult or provide outsourced services to other companies, it's critical to know how to respond to ads and requests for proposals.
North Dakota Business and Economic Development
- Remote job clicks for John Kuc
He gets some wise guy grief from a few of his friends, John Kuc says. They go on about what a free and easy time he has of it - lolling around the house all day, working when he feels like it, kicking back, no stress, no problem.
- Offshoring: The Next Industrial Revolution?
Constant improvements in technology and global communications virtually guarantee that the future will bring much more offshoring of "impersonal services" -- that is, services that can be delivered electronically over long distances with little or no degradation in quality.
- 50 million gallon per year ethanol plant to be built near Trenton, ND
"There will be a ramp-up period for the production of corn in the area, but the availability of a local market for corn is expected to rapidly increase the corn acreage in the area," Mark Erickson, president of Charmark International, the lead consultant on the project, said.
Regional Economic Development
- Organic food production is behind demand
America's appetite for organic food is so strong that supply just can't keep up with demand.
- North Dakota ethanol plant has Montana backers
Investors from Montana and North Dakota are backing a 50 million gallon ethanol plant in Williston, after a Washington state company scrubbed plans for a smaller one earlier this year, officials say.
- Attracting the Young, College-Educated to Cities. Increasingly, prosperity depends on brainpower.
According to the research, two thirds of young professionals choose a city in which to live and then look for a job.
- Chancellor stresses flexibility in teaching. Links to Business Groups and Board Memberships Seen as Key in Nurturing Future Workforce
Do your education leaders sit on local business, civic and leadership boards?
Utah Economic Development
- Utah proves magnet for venture capital. Edge: A business-friendly stance is cited as a factor giving the state an advantage
Mark Heesen, President of the National Venture Capital Association, praised the Legislature's pro-business stance - especially its recent creation of a $100 million "Fund of Funds" designed to attract both dollars and venture capital firms to Utah.
- Utah-based taco chain, "The Taco Maker" becoming worldwide hit
‘‘The biggest question a lot of people have is, how did a Mexican food place get in Ogden, Utah?’’ said Steven M. Krolak, vice president of franchise development. But the answer is simple. * ‘‘Well, this is our hometown,’’ Krolak said. ‘‘This is where we live.’’
- World Trade Center Utah CEO named. Lew Cramer will help local businesses broaden international connections
"There is, I think, a time and a place for all communities to really begin to take globalization seriously," Huntsman said. "Through today's announcement, it is proof positive that we are in fact reaching out to find the best and the brightest to run our globalization and international trade efforts."
Washington State Business
- New biotechnology. Jerome, Idaho-based company, Microbial-Vac Systems Inc. — (MSI) debuts bio-hazard detection system
All of MSI’s grants are funded through the Small Business Innovation Re-search Program. The past 10 years have brought around $4 million to the program, and a pending $2.7MM federal grant is speculated to be the final necessary step for MSI to move into the phase of production.
- Preston, Idaho Seeks to Turn Film's Cult Status Into Prosperity. "Vote for Pedro"
"Napoleon Dynamite" is the story of an awkward small-town outsider trying to survive high school.
- Internet firms heading to Eastern Washington state in their quest for power
Their data centers — air-conditioned warehouses filled with thousands upon thousands of computer servers that talk to Internet users around the globe — are extraordinary power hogs. Microsoft says electricity consumption at its data centers doubled over the past four years and will triple over the next five.
- Startup that's still incognito gets $6.5 million. SecondSpace links people, services
Anil Pereira, president and chief executive, said Monday that the company will link individuals from two groups with certain businesses.
- Google to Put a Research Center in Michigan
Google plans to build an office and research center here that will have up to 1,000 employees, people who had been briefed on the plan said Monday night.
Universities and Economic Development
- Why's that kid talking to his hair? The latest ways to cheat at school.
Maybe schools need some of those jamming devices the good guys are always using in spy movies.
Montana Education/Business Partnerships
- How profits, research mix at Stanford
Stanford likes to point out, ``pound for pound'' it ranks among the very best, gathering more federal research funding per investigator than any other medical school, except for the much smaller University of Utah.
The Creative and Cultural Economy
- U of M to offer lab tech classes in Hamilton
The new program will make people more marketable in the laboratory fields.
- Montana is home to unique art born out of the "challenges" of farming. Rich Carlson of Charliwood Art
Before long he started using a variety of woods to make unique richly patterned bowls that are outstanding examples of incredible craftsmanship and innovation and are treasured pieces in museums and private collections.
- An Interview with Montana writer, Thomas McGuane. "Gallatin Canyon"
It would be difficult to overestimate the influence of Tom McGuane's writing on a generation of readers who dreamed of Montana as a place of anarchic freedom, of fast rivers and trout, the prime example of the un-bounded life promised by the American West.
- Housing Slowdown Can Curtail Careers But Opens Other Doors
Housing, the biggest generator of jobs in the current expansion, is running out of steam. As a result, tens of thousands of Americans, from bankers to hardware-store clerks, are likely to find themselves out of work over the next couple of years.
- Tech workers plugging back in, but for some jobs power has faded
The varying fortunes of tech workers in a healthy economy illustrate the paradox of an era in which highly skilled workers in a fast growing industry face challenges staying fully employed even in good times.
- Tips for online job searching. The game is changing
For one thing, the polite, waste-of-space traditional cover letter and boring, boilerplate résumé aren't effective anymore.
- Montana Nonprofit Association Online Career Center
Great thanks to everyone for making this THE place for nonprofit careers in Montana.
Connectivity & Communications
- Biodiesel topic of workshops
Sidney will play host to a Montana biodiesel production workshop, which has the goal of educating about oilseed production and the potential for a successful biodiesel business.
- Plants, grass on the rooftop? No longer an oddity.
Now other cities, hoping to cool and clean their air and help with storm drainage, are beginning to emulate Chicago, and the city is taking key steps to encourage - and in some cases require - private developers to follow City Hall's example.
- Biofuels Not The Answer To U.S. Energy Woes
To produce enough corn-based ethanol to meet current U.S. demand for automotive gasoline, we would need to nearly double the amount of land used for harvested crops, plant all of it in corn, year after year, and not eat any of it.
- 2 new services warn about sleazy sites on the Web. Scandoo and SiteAdvisor can help filter undesirable information from your computer
The World Wide Web is a marvelous thing. Because it exists, more people have direct access to more knowledge than at any time in history. But, by linking people everywhere, the Web has also spawned a new international criminal class and a related class of sleazy businesses.
- The Internet Is Not A Truck. Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) explained why he voted against the amendment and gave an amazing primer on how the internet works.
If you haven't been disheartened by the level of ignorance in Congress over the net neutrality debate, you should be. One of the key Senators in the debate has weighed in with astonishing ignorance, likening the Internet to "a series of tubes." And it goes downhill from there.
- Affordable citywide Wi-Fi experiment launched nationwide
Chaska is one of the first U.S. cities to offer almost all of its residents Wi-Fi. Users plug a city-supplied Wi-Fi receiver into their computers, allowing them to receive Web service through radio signals, thus untethering their machines from telephone cables and making them theoretically mobile.
- Adventure Town: The Missoula Mind-Set. In this cerebral Montana enclave, higher learning begins where the asphalt ends.
Missoula's residents rarely let rumination distract them from the dazzling Big Sky country just beyond their backdoors.
Cool Stuff That's Coming
- Business schools redefine their mission to society. Many have failed to define leadership in the context of the public good.
While trumpeting their production of leaders, they have failed to define leadership in the context of the public good and enshrined as their highest ideal the maximizing of shareholder value.
- How Important Is "Executive Intelligence" for Leaders?
As we select and train future leaders for all levels of our organizations, how much effort do we really spend assessing executive intelligence as opposed to personality and style?
- Growing New Brain Cells
Scientists hope that finding compounds that can enhance the brain's natural ability to grow new cells will provide a more effective treatment for neurodegenerative diseases and depression.
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