The White House launched the Equal Pay Pledge in June at the first-ever United State of Women Summit, encouraging companies from across the American economy to take action to advance equal pay. Today we are announcing new signatories to the White House Equal Pay Pledge and highlighting the critical role that businesses can play in reducing the national gender pay gap. These 44 newly-committed employers bring the total number to more than one hundred companies and organizations that collectively employ millions of Americans. The new commitments are from a diverse range of employers, including AT&T, eBay, The Estée Lauder Companies, InterContinental Hotels Group, Mastercard, Yahoo, Square and Zillow Group. Equal Pay has been an Administration priority since President Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act into law as his first piece of legislation. Policies that ensure fair pay for all Americans and that help businesses to attract the strongest talent can not only narrow the pay gap, but also boost productivity and benefit our economy. Today, women make up nearly half of the U.S. labor force and more women than ever are the breadwinners in their families. More women are also working in positions and fields that have been traditionally occupied by men. Yet in 2015, the typical woman working full-time all year in the United States earned only 80 percent of what the typical man earned working full-time all year. The pay gap is even greater for African American and Latina women, with African American women earning 63 cents and Latina women earning 54 cents for every dollar earned by a white non-Hispanic man. The gender wage gap continues to be a very real and persistent problem that continues to shortchange American women and their families. Employers for Pay Equity Business Consortium This year on Women’s Equality Day, a group of White House Equal Pay Pledge employers formed an independent business consortium, Employers for Pay Equity—to help private industry players share best practices and develop better hiring, promotion, and pay policies. Today, Employers for Pay Equity is announcing a partnership with Simmons College to carry the consortium’s work forward. Simmons College will play a leading role in hosting the consortium to establish pay equity as a best business practice and a means to grow a more equitable workforce for all Americans. These private sector companies and organizations share a commitment to equal pay and their pledges build on the Administration’s record of empowering women and girls. By signing the Equal Pay Pledge, these employers are: Acknowledging the critical role businesses must play in reducing the national pay gap. Committing to conducting an annual company-wide gender pay analysis across occupations. Reviewing hiring and promotion processes and procedures to reduce unconscious bias and structural barriers. Embedding equal pay efforts into broader enterprise-wide equity initiatives. Pledging to take these steps as well as identify and promote other best practices that will close the national wage gap to ensure fundamental fairness for all workers. We thank all who have joined in this pledge and encourage the business community to continue to implement and uphold pay equity policies. *** WHITE HOUSE EQUAL PAY PLEDGE The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was the first piece of legislation President Obama signed into law. Policies that ensure fair pay for all Americans and that help businesses attract the strongest talent can not only narrow the gender pay gap, but also boost productivity and benefit our economy. Yet, the typical woman working full-time all year in the United States only earns 80 percent of what a typical man working full-time all year earns. While the gap has narrowed slightly over the past few years, there is much more work to be done to ensure fair pay for all. Building on the Administration’s numerous actions to close the national pay gap, the White House challenged businesses to take the Equal Pay Pledge. Several U.S. private sector companies have come together in support of advancing equal pay. *** We received a very positive response to the pledge and welcome our new signatories, including the employers below. These signatories put forth their pledges as follows: Equal Pay Pledge Adobe is proud to join the list of companies committed to equal pay. Paychecks are important, not only because they cover the needs of employees and their families, but also because they are an important indicator of fair treatment. Gender should have no part in driving pay decisions. We have already reported our U.S. pay data relative to gender and race, and we will continue to report our pay data annually. This equal pay commitment is part of a larger diversity and inclusion strategy with three key areas of focus: building a diverse talent pipeline; broadening our recruiting efforts to ensure a diverse candidate pool; and helping all employees grow once they are part of Adobe. Investing to bring out the best in everyone, regardless of gender or background, contributes to the success of the business and the most important asset - our people. Amalgamated Bank is proud to take the White House Equal Pay pledge to keep compensation fair, to practice our own values of fairness, diversity and inclusion, and to never stop looking for ways to do better. We believe that pay equality isn’t an accomplishment, it’s standard operating procedure. For nearly 100 years, Amalgamated Bank has been the progressive bank for the progressive community. We strive to lead by example among financial institutions and ensure equal access to financial services for all people, which also means that our own employees receive equal pay for equal work. By helping those both inside and outside the bank who do good do better, we believe everyone benefits. AT&T's commitment to diversity and inclusion has been visible and steadfast for nearly half a century. It dates back to the establishment of our Supplier Diversity Program in 1968, and our first Employee Resource Group in 1969. Today, more than 120,000 employees have active memberships in our Employee Resource Groups and Employee Networks. Diversity and inclusion is essential to our culture and our success. It fosters big ideas, fresh perspectives and opportunities, and bold leadership. It plays an essential role in innovation, and it helps us play a more vital role in our communities. Engaging in practices that support diversity, inclusion, and equality is a basic part of how we do business. Signing on to the White House Equal Pay Pledge reinforces and validates what we already deliver to our employees: equal pay for comparable work, experience and performance, regardless of gender, race, religion, or age. We're proud to continue the practices that have created our fair and equitable workplace. Autodesk today announces that we are signing the White House Equal Pay Pledge. Autodesk looks at inclusion comprehensively—how we attract, retain and develop top talent; how we include the widest range of entrepreneurs and developers using our software in our ecosystem; and how we expand opportunity globally to underrepresented segments of society. Equal pay is at the foundation of inclusion—this means we consider all of our employees, with all of the dimensions of diversity that they bring, whole contributing members of our organization deserving of equal compensation. We currently conduct an annual review our compensation packages based on gender and ethnicity, but we recognize there is still much more to do and that signing this pledge is a commitment to ongoing self-reflection and analysis as an organization, which is why we do not take this lightly. In addition to a commitment to equal pay, our signature is also a commitment to creating and maintaining an inclusive environment where people can contribute fully and achieve personal and professional success. Colgate-US has long been highly committed to the principles of fairness and equity the White House Equal Pay Pledge serves to support and is proud to add its name to the number of organizations taking this pledge. eBay - For more than 20 years, eBay has sought to build a company that supports Connected Commerce – commerce that is enabled by people, supported by technology, and open to everyone. In accordance with our vision, we believe deeply that we must have a diverse workforce and an inclusive workplace to ensure we reflect the perspectives of the tens of millions of customers that we serve globally. That’s why eBay is proud to join with the White House in pledging to close the gender wage gap. We at eBay are committed to ensuring that we pay our people fairly based on their role, contribution and impact – not on factors unrelated to the work they do. We have supported strategic initiatives, like our Women’s Initiative Network (WIN) and eBay Women in Technology (eWIT), that aim to support gender diversity in our workplace and the ability of women to build lasting, successful careers at our company. Additionally, in early 2016, we undertook an extensive, global study of gender pay equity that considered the main components of compensation. We are pleased to report that our study found pay parity between male and female employees. Going forward, we are committed to conducting on-going reviews of our compensation practices and, when necessary, we will take appropriate action to make sure that our employees continue to be paid fairly and equitably. Ongoing commitment to equal pay principles is essential to ensuring we deliver on this pledge, and we will continue to review our practices globally to make sure we are creating the best possible workplace for all of our employees. Edison International, we understand that diversity of thought is fueled by diversity of people engaged in an inclusive and fair work environment. We are committed to ensuring that gender pay equity is a part of the fairness experienced by all of our employees. Therefore, we are pleased to sign the White House Equal Pay Pledge. We are a diverse company that succeeds when our employees are able to bring their best selves to the workplace. The ability to attract, retain, and develop a diverse workforce allows us to leverage our unique experiences, better reflect the communities we serve, and ensure equity and inclusion that benefits both our company and our customers. As part of our pledge, we commit to continue our annual review of compensation, which is used to understand any potential gaps in pay and to take action when appropriate. In addition, Edison International aims to further increase equal employment opportunities and to break down employment barriers by continually seeking diverse representation in our hiring and promotional opportunities. We continue to analyze and evolve our pay practices and market demands for talent and to foster an inclusive work environment where our employees can fully contribute, find opportunities for advancement, and feel valued. The Estée Lauder Companies is honored to partner with the White House in its effort to promote gender equality in the workplace. As a Company founded by a pioneering entrepreneur, Mrs. Estée Lauder, we are proud to continue her legacy of empowering women, supporting families, and promoting equality. Founded on strong family values 70 years ago, we have always believed that our people are our greatest asset. We take pride in maintaining a unique, creative and diverse workforce where everyone’s contributions are fairly rewarded. We are proud that women constitute 85% of our employees worldwide, with 50% of our senior vice president positions and above in the U.S. held by women. We understand that equal pay not only affects women but also their families, their communities, and our shared economy. By signing the Equal Pay Pledge, we are underscoring our commitment to ensure that all women and men are compensated fairly in terms of capabilities and experience. We remain committed to providing a dynamic and supportive workplace for all our employees to foster their growth, success and well-being. Exelon is pleased to sign the White House Equal Pay Pledge and we are committed to doing all we can to help close the national gender pay gap. Research shows that the typical American working woman makes 79% of what the typical working man makes – this translates to a loss of $500,000 over her lifetime. For Latino and African American women this cumulative loss nearly doubles. Diversity and inclusion is critical to Exelon's success and our workforce programs must include transparency and fairness. As a result, we are joining other leading companies and conducting an annual audit of compensation, hiring and promotion practices. Through these efforts, Exelon is stating unequivocally that we value every worker, male and female. Advancing pay equity is not simply good business practice, but the right thing to do. The Honest Company is honored to sign the White House Equal Pay Pledge and join the other companies who have taken on this economic and social imperative. Our mission – to empower people to live a happy & healthy life - is at the heart of our business, and our company culture embodies our name: Honesty, Transparency, Openness. This applies both to how we treat our consumers as well as our employees. Diversity and gender equity are strategic pillars for our organization, and we are committed to ensuring all employees benefit from a workplace that is inclusive and fair. We are proud to stand with the White House and other companies who share these values. InterContinental Hotels Group: Our ambition is to be number one for guests, owners and colleagues. A critical part of this ambition is our commitment to upholding equitable compensation practices regardless of race, gender or ethnicity. That’s why we are pleased to sign the White House pledge. Mastercard: We believe that diversity and inclusion are essential to creating an inclusive environment for our colleagues, helping them to better serve our customers worldwide. At the same time, to ensure that our employees reflect the customers we serve and today, we source talent from numerous industries and backgrounds. We are committed to this important pledge and will continue to review and enhance our policies and practices to ensure they reflect our values and connecting our employees to "Priceless Possibilities." Our "Whole You" program is based on the premise of providing benefits to employees at different stages of life both at work and outside of work. MWWPR was founded 30 years ago on progressive ideals that continue to fuel our vision, inspire our progress, and motivate our employees today. Our agency's ethos of "Matter More" serves as our guiding principle - we strive to not only help our clients matter more to the people who matter most, but to ensure that all our employees feel valued for the contributions they make. Engaging and retaining our incredible staff is our agency's highest priority, and demonstrating fairness and inclusion is fundamental to our talent strategy. Our management committee is comprised of a majority of women, many of whom actively mentor junior female colleagues, and we regularly review our hiring and promotion processes to ensure we are evaluating and rewarding all employees equally. For MWWPR, signing the Equal Pay Pledge is an important next step in demonstrating our commitment to our people, and we are honored to be the first public relations firm to take the pledge. We hope to inspire our colleagues in the industry to make a similar commitment, and are proud to stand with other leaders in the business community as we continue prioritizing equality and transparency across our agency. Nestlé in the US: At Nestlé, we value our employees’ health and wellness, which includes the opportunity to work in an environment where one feels empowered, appreciated and respected. Enhancing gender balance in our workforce is one of our company’s core societal commitments, globally and in the U.S., which is why each of our operating companies in the US is pleased to reaffirm our commitments by signing the White House Equal Pay Pledge. 2016 marks Nestlé’s 150th year in business and we know that in order to be in business for the next 150, we must promote inclusive opportunities that respect the contribution of all of our employees. Nestlé believes that striving towards equal pay, fair hiring, retention and promotion practices, and investing in leadership and professional development opportunities for women is good for our people, our consumers and our business. We remain dedicated to enhancing gender balance in our workforce. To that end, we will continue to invest in programs including providing support for dual-career spouses as part of our International Dual Career Network, hosting networking events in conjunction with the Network of Executive Women Leadership Summit, continuing to find opportunities to publicly celebrate the accomplishments of our women executives throughout our businesses and encouraging eligible employees to take advantage of our Parent Support Policy, which offers up to 14 weeks of paid leave for primary caregivers with the option of extending unpaid leave up to six months. Each Nestlé business in the US will continue to review its hiring practices, assessments, and promotion decisions at the business level on an annual basis and work towards improving our ability to achieve gender balance and foster an equitable environment for all of our employees. New Belgium Brewing is proud to sign on to the White House Equal Pay Pledge. As a 100% employee owned company, we know that when we take care of one another our workplace and our business are healthier. We’re proud to have women and men in every part of our company working side by side, earning wages that reflect our commitment to equal pay, advancement based on merit, and a spirit of community. SoulCycle: Led by a female CEO and founded by two women, SoulCycle's commitment to supporting and advancing women has always been part of the company's DNA. The support and respect that we extend to each rider who walks through our 67 studio doors extends to our company-wide culture. We're committed to nurturing the health and happiness of all of our team members, and that includes our hiring practices and compensation. As a company, we understand the importance of supporting and advancing women throughout their careers, and we know that our team thrives when they're compensated fairly for their contributions. We're proud that women make up 86% of our studio leadership. We applaud the White House for its efforts to eliminate the gender wage gap and promote equal pay. We pledge to continue taking action individually and collectively as a team to pay equality. Square is proud to sign the Equal Pay Pledge as a natural extension of our existing commitment to pay equity. Square was built on the principle of inclusion which is reflected not only in the products and services that we provide to our sellers, but also in our internal policies and work environment. We strive to recruit, retain, promote, and compensate our employees on the basis of their qualifications, performance, and potential. We also work with our managers and employees in efforts to prevent gender-based bias from entering the workplace. Most of all, we are committed to continually reviewing our policies and practices to identify and act upon further opportunities for improvement—we will always strive for inclusion, fairness, and equality. Workday - Since day one, we’ve embraced diversity – including different experiences, perspectives, insights, backgrounds, and skills – because it fuels innovation, and creates a broader connection to the world. We believe that all employees deserve equal pay, and an equal chance to succeed. That’s why we’re proud to join the White House in signing the Equal Pay Pledge, as it supports our ongoing commitment to close the gender wage gap. As part of this commitment, we’ve developed reporting capabilities within our product that can uncover and potentially address the gender wage gap. We and many of our customers use these reporting capabilities to evaluate our pay practices to ensure our employees are compensated fairly. Knowledge is power, and we believe that technology can provide the information organizations need to create a more equal and inclusive workplace. Yahoo, with more than one billion unique users across the world each month, has a distinct opportunity to leverage the power of our platforms to advance inclusion and diversity at the company, and across the tech industry. We recognize that building an inclusive and diverse workplace is more than a theoretical goal. It is a mission-critical business imperative that we must address with the same level of urgency and commitment that we apply to other strategic initiatives. And pay equity is a critical and inextricable component of this mission. We are proud to have been recognized in 2015-2016 for our strides in paving the way for gender equality (Watermark Index Award winner), for being a best place to work for LGBT employees (scoring 100% on Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index for the tenth year in a row), for being a best place to work for parents (named by Elle Magazine and Fatherly.com), and by being named as an employer whose work significantly impacts communication access for people with hearing loss (receiving the National Access Award by the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA)). Zillow Group is honored to sign the White House Equal Pay Pledge and join other companies who are committed to this effort. Zillow Group evaluates pay equity twice a year, is building out training to be aware of our unconscious biases, and reviews hiring and promotion processes. We are constantly striving to ensure that our compensation and benefits package matches our values of inclusion and equity. In addition to our generous maternity and parental leave policies, Zillow Group offices have designated nursing rooms, fully equipped with hospital grade pumps and fridges. Since 2010, we have offered free overnight breast milk shipping for nursing mothers on business trips. As a company, we invest in our people since they are investing in us. We believe the private sector plays a critical role in reducing the national pay gap and are proud of our internal efforts to provide gold-star benefits and gender pay equity for all our employees. WE ARE ALSO JOINED BY THE FOLLOWING BUSINESSES: Association of Equipment Manufacturers AttainIT Avanade Inc. Avila Retail Branding Brand Cava Grill DCode42 GBD Architects Incorporated Global Experience Specialists Harris Miller Miller & Hanson Inc Hired, Inc. Margaux's Bookkeeping, Inc. Omada Health Periscope Data RizePoint Robinson & Kardonsky, P.C. Spottswoode Winery Stanton Chase International Teslights LLC. Thrive Global Venesco LLC Vmware Vonage WP Engine BUILDING ON A RECORD OF SUPPORTING WORKING FAMILIES Since taking office, President Obama and his Administration have taken a number of actions to support working families and combat the pay gap, including: Publishing a final regulation by the Department of Health and Human Services to implement the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2014. The program provides subsidies to working families and last year provided services for roughly 1.4 million children aged 0-13, most of whom are younger than 5. The rule, which has not been comprehensively revised since 1998, will provide a roadmap to states on how to implement the new law and clarify ambiguities around provisions that deal with eligibility for services; health and safety requirements; and how best to support the needs of parents and providers as they transition to the new law. It also clarifies that worker organizations can provide professional development to child care workers and contribute to discussions around the rates states set for subsidies. Signing his first piece of legislation as President, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pair Act, in January 2009 making it easier for employees to challenge unfair pay practices. Creating the National Equal Pay Task Force in January 2010 to implement his pledge to crack down on violations of equal pay laws, which included representatives from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Department of Justice, the Department of Labor, and the Office of Personnel Management. The Task Force has issued reports on its progress, including Fighting for Equal Pay in the Workforce, Keeping America’s Women Moving Forward, and Fifty Years After the Equal Pay Act. In addition, since the creation of the Equal Pay Task Force in 2010, the EEOC has received over 18,000 charges of sex-based pay discrimination, and through its independent enforcement efforts, the EEOC has obtained over $140 million in monetary relief for victims of pay discrimination on the basis of sex. Calling on Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, commonsense legislation that would strengthen the Equal Pay Act of 1963 by closing loopholes in the defenses for equal pay violations, providing stronger remedies, and expanding protections against discrimination for employees who share or inquire about information about their compensation at work. Signing a Presidential Memorandum in May 2013 directing the Office of Personnel Management to develop a government-wide strategy to address the gender pay gap in the federal workforce, leading to a report in April 2014 and new guidance in July 2015—which cautioned against reliance on a candidate’s existing salary to set pay, as it can potentially adversely affect women who may have taken time off from their careers or propagate gaps due to discriminatory pay practices by previous employers. Issuing an Executive Order in April 2014 and publishing a Department of Labor rule in September 2015 prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating against employees who discuss or inquire about their compensation. Announcing a White House Equal Pay Pledge, with more than 50 leading businesses signing on to take action to advance equal pay. By signing the pledge, these companies are committing to conduct an annual company-wide gender pay analysis, review hiring and promotion processes, embed equal pay efforts in broader equity initiatives, and identify and promote best practices that will close the wage gap. Hosting a White House Summit on Working Families in June 2014, highlighting the issues that women and families face, setting the agenda for a 21st century workplace, and announcing of a number of steps to help working families thrive. Hosting the United State of Women Summit in June 2016, highlighting the progress that has been made over the course of this Administration and discussing public and private sector solutions to the challenges that still lie ahead. Signing a Presidential Memorandum in January 2015 directing federal agencies to advance six weeks of paid sick leave to federal employees with new children, calling on Congress to grant another six weeks of paid leave for federal employees, and calling on Congress to pass legislation that gives all American families access to paid family and medical leave. Publishing a final Department of Labor rule in May updating outdated overtime regulations, expanding overtime pay protections to 4.2 million additional Americans, boosting wages for workers by $12 billion over the next 10 years, and allowing workers to better balance their work and family obligations. Issuing an Executive Order in February 2014 requiring federal contractors to raise their minimum wage initially to $10.10 an hour, indexing it, and lifting the tipped minimum wage (which disproportionately impacts women)—and urging Congress, states, cities, and businesses to do the same. Issuing an Executive Order in July 2014 and publishing a Department of Labor rule in December 2014 prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating in employment on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Directing the Office of Personnel Management and federal agencies to enhance workplace flexibility for federal employees to the maximum extent practicable, including enshrining a right to request flexible work arrangements. Signing into law the Telework Enhancement Act of 2010, which requires agencies to support and establish policies for telework by eligible employees. Calling on Congress to pass the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, which would require employers to make reasonable accommodations to workers who have limitations from pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions (unless it would impose an undue hardship on the employer). The legislation would also prohibit employers from forcing pregnant employees to take paid or unpaid leave if a reasonable accommodation would allow them to work. Finalizing a Department of Labor rule updating its sex discrimination guidelines for federal contractors for the first time since 1978, to align with current law and address barriers to equal opportunity and pay, such as pay discrimination, sexual harassment, hostile work environments, a lack of workplace accommodations for pregnant women, and gender identity and family caregiving discrimination. Collecting summary employee pay data from certain employers to improve investigations of possible pay discrimination, which remains a contributing factor to persistent wage gaps. Starting March 2018, The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) will add the summary pay data to the annual Employer Information Report or EEO-1 report that is coordinated by the EEOC and the Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. Increasing investments to expand access to high-quality early care and education, including efforts under the Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge program, Preschool Development Grants, Head Start and Early Head Start, and a landmark proposal that helps all eligible working families with young children afford high-quality child care. Announcing the Department of Labor’s award of $54 million in “Strengthening Working Families” grants to help low- to middle-skilled parents access the affordable, quality child care they need to earn an education, participate in training programs, and compete for better-paying jobs in emergency industries. Expanding access for women to higher-paying jobs through a proposed rule updating equal employment opportunity requirements in registered apprenticeships and through a Mega-Construction Projects (MCP) Initiative at the Department of Labor.
Exelon (EXC) announced that its subsidiary Constellation has completed a 9.3 megawatt (MW) solar project in Tucson, AZ.
At the last minute, the Illinois State Legislature passed The Future Energy Jobs Bill (SB 2814) with less than an hour remaining in the legislative session, allowing Exelon’s Clinton and Quad Cities nuclear power plants to remain open, saving 4,200 jobs and over 22 billion kWhs carbon-free power/yr.
Everyone wants to have a niche. An area of expertise. Something that sets him or her apart from the crowd. I've seen this both in life and in business. Friday, Nov. 18 is Women's Entrepreneurship Day, a day meant to celebrate and uplift enterprising women. As a female business owner, I've learned that it's essential for women-owned, diverse, and small, local companies to come together and support one another. Sharing our stories inspires us to succeed. So, here's my small business story: I was born in the suburbs of Chicago, the youngest of six kids raised by a hardworking single mother. Early on, my mom was a model of strength, determination, and perseverance. She wrangled a boisterous bunch of children and worked three jobs, all while making sure each of us felt supported, encouraged, and, most importantly, loved. As time passed, my siblings all seemed to find a niche. One brother was an all-star baseball player. Another took to the mat as a wrestler. One of my sisters was a gymnast, one a spelling-bee champ. Another served as her high school's senior class president. And then there was me. I wanted so badly to be great at something, but figuring out what that something would be turned out to be a bit more difficult than I thought. Until one day, when my mother turned to me and said, "Why don't you go draw?" And I did. She enrolled me in art classes. I experimented with techniques and honed my talent on my own. And then, years later, I studied graphic design at Eastern Illinois University. My mom's inkling was right. I was--and still am--an artist. JAK Creative Design grew out of my passion. Getting my business where it is today wasn't without its challenges, though. Along the way, I've maintained the tenacity I inherited from my mother, and I've been fortunate enough to be part of a community of other business owners who support each other, fostering connections through NAWBO, the SBA, the WBENC, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, and other organizations. I started JAK Creative Design out of my home more than 20 years ago with just one client: American Express. Since then, so much has changed. JAK has developed long-standing relationships with more clients, like ComEd/Exelon/PECO and, most recently, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. We've moved out of my family's space and into our own place in Darien, Ill., and we're continuing to grow and expand. Good things are always happening at JAK, and it all began with one not-so-simple task: finding my niche. Actually, JAK's niche keeps changing as the graphic design field evolves--but for me, and my team, it's still about being great at doing what we love. In honor of Women's Entrepreneurship Day, I extend my wish to you that you find your niche, and that you tap into support from fellow entrepreneurs and other strong women around you to help that niche become something wonderful. This blogger graduated from Goldman Sachs' 10,000 Small Businesses program. Goldman Sachs is a partner of the What Is Working: Small Businesses section. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
SEATTLE, Nov 15 (Reuters) - General Electric Co has signed up U.S. energy utility Exelon Corp to use its full software set to analyze and manage power plants in 48 states, the largest GE deployment in the power sector so far, the companies said on Tuesday.
The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Medtronic, Chubb, Exelon, Check Point Software and Macy's
Exelon (EXC) benefited from new electric rates and above-average temperatures in its service territories.
Utility giant Southern Company (SO) reported strong Q3 numbers on robust wholesale performance and favorable weather.
Fidelity Telecom and Utilities Fund (FIUIX) a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) was incepted in November 1987 and is managed by the Fidelity Group
Let's take a look at a few utilities - CPN, POR, PNM - that are scheduled to report quarterly numbers on Oct 28.
Fact Sheet: Administration Announces Additional Economic and Workforce Development Resources for Coal Communities through POWER Initiative
As part of President Obama’s continuing efforts to assist communities negatively impacted by changes in the coal industry and power sector, today the Administration is announcing the second round of grants awarded this year as part of the POWER Initiative’s “POWER 2016” funding opportunity that invests in economic revitalization and workforce training in coal communities across the country. The awards announced today, totaling nearly $28 million, will support 42 economic and workforce development projects in thirteen states that are building a strong economic future in communities, and targeting various industry sectors, including manufacturing, information technology, agriculture, housing, and tourism and recreation. The awards are administered by the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA). The POWER (Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization) Initiative is a community-based Administration effort involving ten federal agencies working together to align, leverage and target a range of federal economic and workforce development programs and resources to assist communities and workers that have been affected by job losses in coal mining, coal power plant operations, and coal-related supply chain industries due to the changing economics of America’s energy sector. The POWER initiative exemplifies a collaborative approach to federal partnership with communities that President Obama and his Administration have steadily advanced, which focuses on improving coordination across federal agencies, tailoring federal support based on local needs and priorities, encouraging local long-term strategic planning, and relying on data and evidence to inform solutions that work. The POWER Initiative is the primary economic and workforce component of President Obama’s broader POWER+ Plan, part of his FY 2017 budget request to Congress. There is bipartisan legislation in Congress consistent with two of the President’s POWER+ proposals that could have a significant positive impact on workers, communities and retirees in coal country, and complement the POWER Initiative’s investments. 1.The Miners Protection Act (S. 1714) and its House companion, the Coal Healthcare and Pensions Protection Act (H.R. 2403),mirror the President’s proposal to transfer federal funds to strengthen the solvency of the largest multi-employer pension plan serving retired coal miners and their families, and to extend health care coverage to additional retirees, more than twenty thousand of whom will start to lose their existing coverage at the end of this year. 2.The RECLAIM Act (H.R. 4456), which is consistent with the President’s proposal to invest $1 billion in projects that link abandoned coal mine reclamation to economic development strategies, while stimulating economic activity and job creation in hard hit coalfield communities. Congress has the ability to pass this legislation before the end of the year and send it to the President’s desk for his signature. The awards announced today are from a competitive POWER federal funding opportunity that the ARC and EDA released in March of this year by to provide implementation, planning and technical assistance grants. POWER Implementation Award Summaries: $3,000,000 ARC grant to Friends of Southwest Virginia in Abingdon, VA for the Building Appalachian Spring: Growing the Economy of Southwest Virginia project. This comprehensive project will significantly enhance the outdoor recreation industry as an economic driver in a four-county region in southwestern Virginia. ARC funds will be used to develop four access points to the New River that strategically link the river to nearby communities’ hospitality and tourism services; construct a 4,000 square foot Gateway Center to the High Knob Recreation Area – providing visitors with more centralized access to numerous nearby recreation assets; build an Appalachian Trail Center in downtown Damascus; and create a 30-mile, multi-use trail connecting Breaks Interstate Park directly to downtown Haysi’s business district. The project will increase travel expenditures in project locations by $30 million over the next five years, create 60 new businesses and 200 new jobs, and is supported by funding from the Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission. $2,220,000 ARC grant to the Industrial Development Authority in Wise, VA for the Virginia Emerging Drone Industry Cluster Project. ARC funds will be used to position five counties in southwestern Virginia as a national destination for the development of a drone-operator workforce to support the emerging drone industry in the United States. The award will enable Mountain Empire Community College to offer courses that train students, including former coal industry workers, to operate drones and drone sensors to provide commercial and government services – including geospatial surveys, close-up inspections of fixed structures, and mapping. The award will train 64 new workers, leverage $15,000,000 in additional investment, and enable a private aerospace company in the region to perform work on a major contract – thereby creating 210 new direct and indirect jobs. $2,040,000 EDA grant to the City of Bluefield, WV to support development of the Bluefield Commercialization Station project. Under this project the city, in partnership with the Shott Foundation, will rehabilitate and transform an existing 50,000 square foot freight station into an incubator to serve new and existing businesses. This project will provide high-tech business services including prototype development, product design and development, retooling, and supply chain assistance. This project will support the creation and retention of 72 jobs, expand at least 12 local businesses, and leverage $510,000 in private investment. $1,800,000 ARC grant to the Appalachian Wildlife Foundation Inc. in Corbin, KY for the Appalachian Wildlife Center Infrastructure project. ARC funds will be used to install water infrastructure at the future site of the Appalachian Wildlife Center, a conservation education and research facility. The Wildlife Center facility -- located on 19 miles of reclaimed mine land -- will feature the largest elk restoration and viewing effort in the United States. The facility will be modeled on the successful Elk Country Visitor Center in Benezette, Pennsylvania. The project will position a 10-county region in the tri-state area of southeastern Kentucky, northeastern Tennessee, and southwestern Virginia as a national tourist attraction, and will create 86 new jobs. $1,747,806 ARC grant to the Center for Rural Entrepreneurship in Chapel Hill, NC for the Building Entrepreneurial Communities: The Foundation of an Economic Transition for Appalachia project. The project will build and strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem in an 18-county region covering southeastern Ohio, southern West Virginia, and southeastern Kentucky. Project activities include establishing a support system that can identify and develop new entrepreneurs; assisting new and expanding businesses with skill development; and connecting entrepreneurs with existing capacity-building resources in the region. The project will create 72 new businesses and 250 new jobs. $1,558,850 EDA grant to the City of Belpre, OH, which, in partnership with the Buckeye Hills-Hocking Valley Regional Development District, will implement an infrastructure improvement project and extend sewer service two miles north of the city along Ohio Route 7 to accommodate large employers and businesses in the area. The completed project is projected to contribute to the retention of existing jobs and the creation of up to 255 new jobs, and to leverage over $3 million of new private investments. $1,502,938 ARC grant to Marshall University Research Corporation in Huntington, WV for the Sprouting Farms project. The project will facilitate the development of a vibrant agricultural industry in a nine-county area in southern West Virginia by educating new farmers, launching farm businesses, and jump-starting wholesale market channels, all while encouraging business and farm sustainability. ARC funds will be used to implement workforce and farm business accelerator training programs; secure and upgrade the project site and facilities; and provide direct business support and employment to new agricultural businesses and program graduates. The project will create 20 new businesses and 33 new jobs, and leverage $961,475 in additional investment. Additional funding is being provided by the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation. $1,501,499 ARC grant to Marion County, TN for the Marion County Regional Center for Higher Education Phase II & III project. ARC funds will be utilized to construct a 30,000 square foot educational facility that will house new technology and industrial training programs. The project will also conduct outreach to displaced workers from the Widows Creek Power Plant – a coal-fired facility in the area that was recently retired. The project will train 109 people for careers in advanced manufacturing and information technology, and will improve 20 existing businesses in the region. $1,422,965 ARC grant to Hocking College in Nelsonville, OH for the Appalachia RISES (Revitalizing an Industry-ready Skilling Ecosystem for Sustainability) Initiative. The project will leverage the expertise of regional education, business, and government entities to deliver comprehensive workforce training services in employment fields that meet current and anticipated industry needs in North Central Appalachia – including advanced energy, automotive technology, petroleum technology, welding, and commercial driver's license (CDL). The project will train 306 workers over the life of the award, and primarily serve a 17-county region covering southeastern Ohio and central West Virginia. $1,420,219 ARC grant to Southwest Virginia Community College (SWCC) in Cedar Bluff, VA for the Southwest Virginia Regional Cybersecurity Initiative. The initiative brings together three colleges in southwestern Virginia – SWCC, Mountain Empire Community College (MECC), and University of Virginia’s College at Wise (UVa-Wise) – and aims to position this seven county southwestern Virginia area as a regional hub for the cybersecurity industry. Specific activities will include creating a certification/credential program aligned with industry needs and National Security Agency guidelines; providing support services to cybersecurity start-up companies that locate to the region; and expanding UVa-Wise’s existing bachelor’s degree program in cybersecurity through an accelerator space in which cybersecurity companies can co-locate research and development activities. Additional funding for the project is being provided by the Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission. The project will train 161 new workers, and retain 110 jobs. $1,000,000 ARC grant to the Federation of Appalachian Housing Enterprises, Inc. (FAHE) in Berea, KY for the Appalachian HEAT Squad project. ARC’s investment will be utilized to improve the energy efficiency of low-income homes in coal-impacted communities across a nine-county region in eastern Kentucky -- while also creating entrepreneurial and skills-based training opportunities in the area. The project will partner with Hazard Community and Technical College and the Mountain Association for Community Economic Development (MACED) to deliver the entrepreneurial education and construction training component, and with two other training organizations to increase the skill-base for private housing contractors operating in the region. The project will create or retain 119 jobs, increase the quality, affordability, and performance of over 270 homes, and leverage $525,000 in private investment. $790,118 EDA grant to the University of Utah, in Salt Lake City, UT, in support of the Coal Pitch Technical Plan. Working in partnership with the University of Kentucky, the University of Utah is addressing the regional and national contractions in the coal economy by examining new commercially-viable uses for coal byproducts. The project will evaluate the feasibility of converting coal pitch to carbon fiber to produce lightweight, high-strength composites that are increasingly in demand by manufacturers in automotive and other sectors. This grant will be used to produce, test and classify coal pitch carbon fiber, design a regional supply chain map, and pair workforce needs with the economic impact of the conversion process/market. $662,567 ARC grant to the Southwestern Pennsylvania Corporation in Pittsburgh, PA for the Southwest Pennsylvania Economic Gardening Initiative. ARC funds will diversify the business operations of supply chain industries in a 10-county region in southwestern Pennsylvania. Working with Catalyst Connection (the regional Manufacturing Extension Partnership), the project will focus on small manufacturing establishments (SMEs) in the coal supply chain by providing mini-grants to targeted firms that enable the most impactful business development strategies to move forward quickly and efficiently – with a specific emphasis on increasing access to advanced manufacturing technologies. In addition, the project will target freight and logistics firms operating along the waterways of southwest Pennsylvania to increase their competitiveness by identifying and prioritizing new markets and opportunities. The project will create or retain 330 jobs, serve 55 supply chain businesses, and leverage $25,000,000 in private funds. $649,958 EDA grant to Western State Colorado University, in Gunnison, CO, in support of the Innovation, Creativity, & Entrepreneurship (ICE) House and ICE Accelerator Innovation Center project. The ICE House will feature a collaborative co-working center and innovation lab for community and campus entrepreneurs to work together and support each other's creations. Grant funds will be leveraged to attract investment from angel networks and venture capital firms to create new job opportunities for the City of Gunnison's workforce, and provide stable and high-wage economic diversification beyond the coal and hospitality industries that the local economy is currently reliant on. $500,000 ARC grant to Innovation Works, Inc. in Pittsburgh, PA for the Revitalization of Southwestern Pennsylvania Coal-Impacted Communities through Innovation and Entrepreneurship project. ARC funds will be used to implement five different but complimentary programs designed to deliver a variety of benefits to entrepreneurs and small businesses in a nine-county region in southwestern Pennsylvania – including the provision of human resource services to early-stage, high-growth companies, and training services for existing small businesses. Programs will target entrepreneurs who were formerly employed in the coal industry, coal-fired power plants, and suppliers to those industries. The project will create 65 new jobs and 7 new businesses, leverage $1,100,000 in additional investment, and retain 30 existing jobs. $499,480 ARC grant to RAIN Source Capital, Inc. for the Appalachia Angel Investor Network project. ARC funds will enable the awardee to work with existing and new angel investment funds to enhance the capability of coal-impacted communities across 9 Appalachian states to make investments in start-up, early stage, and growth companies. Specifically, the project will create at least four new angel funds in target communities, and will provide tools, training, and support services to existing angel funds and networks already operating in Appalachia. The project will result in the creation of 20 new businesses and 100 new jobs, and will leverage $4,000,000 in private investment from 100 investors. $400,000 ARC grant to Erwin Utilities in Erwin, TN for the Temple Hill & Bumpus Cove Broadband project. ARC funds will be used to install 35 miles of fiber optic cable on existing pole lines – allowing business and residential subscribers in Temple Hill and Bumpus Cove access to broadband services. The area does not currently have cable broadband available and DSL service is not offered ubiquitously. Tourism expansion is a major economic driver in the area and increased bandwidth will help expand the tourism industry and revenue base. The project will serve 680 households and 30 businesses, and will act as an economic driver in a three county area in northeast Tennessee, which has been adversely affected by the closure of a major rail yard as a result of the decline in coal shipments. $362,989 ARC grant to the Center for Rural Health Development, Inc. in Hurricane, WV for the WV Rural Health Infrastructure Loan Fund project. ARC funds will assist in capitalizing a revolving loan fund designed to strengthen the health care industry in a 25-county region in central West Virginia. In addition, the award will provide technical and business development assistance to existing health care providers with business-related needs. The project will create or retain 65 jobs, yield $1,000,000 of financing for health care businesses, and provide 216 organizations with technical assistance. $353,086 ARC grant to the Town of Unicoi, TN for the Mountain Harvest Kitchen Incubator & Entrepreneurial Training Program. ARC funds will purchase equipment for a shared-use, commercial kitchen where value-added processing of locally-harvested products will take place. Entrepreneurial training will be offered by partner organizations including AccelNow, the Appalachian Resource Conservation and Development Council, and the University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension for start-ups and established businesses in the agricultural sector. The program will serve a nine-county region in northeast Tennessee and northwest North Carolina, create 30 new businesses and 60 new jobs, serve 91 trainees, and leverage $1,200,000 in private investment. $301,916 EDA grant to the Centralia College Robotics Workforce Training project in Centralia, WA. This award will help fund a workforce development project in alignment with a strategic plan designed by the Lewis Economic Development Council with support from an EDA POWER 2015 planning grant in response to the retirement of a local coal power plant. The project will support the acquisition of equipment for use in a workforce training program at Centralia College, which will train the region's workforce to use the most current robotics technology. Prospective employers and supporters of the program include The Boeing Company and the Fluke Corporation. POWER Planning Grant and Technical Assistance Award Summaries: $960,000 EDA grant to the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) in Harrisburg, PA, in support of the Repositioning Pennsylvania’s Strategic Assets project. In partnership with FirstEnergy, Exelon, regional and economic development organizations, and potential buyers, DCED will coordinate efforts to evaluate the potential of commercially repurposing retired coal-fired power plant sites throughout the state. These sites are often located on strategically valuable real estate located along rivers and often near downtown areas. They have critical infrastructure already in place and feature rail and road access, and water, sewer, and transmission lines, and therefore hold the potential for commercial redevelopment and subsequent economic diversification and job creation. $400,000 EDA grant to the National Association of Counties (NACo) and the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) in Washington, DC in support of the Technical Assistance for Coal Communities project targeting Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, and Utah. The project will provide technical assistance to communities whose economies have been severely impacted by the declining use of coal, and will build on the success of the Innovation Challenge for Coal-Reliant Communities, a program that the co-awardees jointly implemented from 2014 to 2016 with the support of the EDA. Community leaders will participate in intensive training workshops, and receive peer networking opportunities and mentoring resources related to economic diversification, job creation and long-term, place-based economic development strategies. $375,000 EDA grant to Citizens Energy Group, in Indianapolis, IN, in partnership with the City of Indianapolis, the Central Indiana Community Foundation and local community development corporations. The award will fund the development of a site assessment and reuse and implementation strategy for a former coke coal manufacturing facility located in the Indianapolis Promise Zone. The project will identify potential reuse strategies for the site, including redevelopment for manufacturing companies that support economic diversification and workforce development strategies to foster local and regional economic resiliency. $300,000 EDA grant to the Coconino County Career Center in Flagstaff, AZ, in support of the Northern Arizona Regional Resilience Initiative. The project will develop a strategic plan designed to strengthen regional economic resilience through reduced dependence on the coal industry and increased economic diversification. Project activities will include the identification of in-demand workforce development programs and training curriculum, examination of re-employment opportunities for workers in coal-related industries, identification of broadband opportunities, and development and promotion of industry sector strategies. Coconino County will leverage an additional $100,000 in U.S. Department of Labor WIOA funds. $150,000 ARC grant to Reconnecting McDowell, Inc. in Charleston, WV to develop an economic development and diversification strategy for the City of Welch and McDowell County centered on the Renaissance Village Apartments, a housing project that will develop rental housing in downtown Welch for teachers and young professionals employed in the area. Renaissance Village will serve as an anchor for redevelopment efforts in the downtown area and provide affordable housing. The planning project will assist with an entrepreneurship and small business initiative, along with financial and operations modeling for Renaissance Village. $140,000 ARC grant to the West Virginia Connecting Communities Inc. in Charleston, WV in partnership with the New River Gorge Trail Association for the development of an economic feasibility study for a regionally-connected bike trail system in Fayette and Nicholas Counties. The focus of the study will be the viability of linking over 500 miles of bike trails and the impact to small communities throughout the region. $123,488 ARC grant to the Region 4 Planning and Development Council in Summersville, WV to develop a strategic plan for the Upper Kanawha Valley. In partnership with the Center for Rural Entrepreneurship, the plan will include prioritizing economic strategies, building regional collaboration across counties, and assisting communities to create greater economic diversification that fosters sustainability. $119,460 ARC grant to Rural Action in The Plains, OH to develop a strategic plan and feasibility study for the Appalachian Ohio Solar Supply-Chain Initiative. This regional planning effort will focus on building a stakeholder partnership that will develop a regional solar manufacturing supply-chain in response to a major utility’s plan to deploy new solar resources in Ohio. $105,000 ARC grant to Williamson Health and Wellness Center in Williamson, WV to provide grant writing assistance, and develop a feasibility study, a strategic plan, and preliminary architectural design work for a vacant building in Williamson’s downtown, a former “pill mill.” If deemed viable, the building will be rebuilt as a one-stop facility that would provide workforce training, opioid addiction and substance abuse treatment services to assist individuals in recovery to become employment ready. The service area will include counties in both Kentucky and West Virginia. $93,495 ARC grant to the West Virginia Community Development Hub in Fairmont, WV, which, in partnership with the International Economic Development Council, will provide technical assistance to five coal-impacted counties (Boone, Greenbrier, Lincoln, McDowell and Wyoming) through economic development mentoring for local community teams. As a result of this investment, community teams will develop local economic diversification strategies. $90,000 ARC grant to Randolph County Development Authority in Elkins, WV to develop a strategic plan focused on the promotion and expansion of the hardwood industry cluster. In partnership with the Hardwood Alliance Zone, the strategic plan will assist in strengthening the economy of the nine-county region. The project will build on the recent EDA and ARC POWER grants that are enabling a local wood products manufacturer to expand its operations. $80,142 EDA grant to the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA, in support of a Plan to Sustain Small Businesses in the Coal Economy. Working with the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy, the Pennsylvania Small Business Development Center will spearhead the development of a plan to propose strategic responses that enable small businesses to successfully adapt to the rapid transitions occurring in the power sector and in coal reliant communities and supply chains. The plan will examine how technology commercialization and entrepreneurial opportunities for displaced workers can reinvigorate and diversify regional economies; it will also analyze opportunities to create linkages with accelerator programs and rapid prototyping centers, and to bolster industry sectors in manufacturing, electronics, energy innovation and cyber security. $69,831 EDA grant to Ohio University in Athens, OH, to conduct a Skillshed analysis that will identify and analyze the current skill sets of former coal industry employees, the skills requirements across various emerging and existing high-growth industries, and the gaps between these current skill sets and existing industry demand within a 32-county area and in partnership with four EDA Economic Development Districts. The findings of the final report will be used to inform the workforce development and economic resiliency strategies and projects of economic development organizations across the region. $60,000 ARC grant to Webster County Economic Development Authority in Webster Springs, WV to conduct a feasibility study for the development of a multi-county All-Terrain Vehicle trail system in five counties. This grant will assist in developing a major tourism asset for the region and create opportunities for local small businesses. The project will work in partnership with the Hatfield McCoy Trail Authority. $50,000 EDA grant to the Huron County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) in Bad Axe, MI, in partnership with the City of Harbor Beach, MI, in response the closure of the DTE Energy-owned coal power plant, which resulted in the loss of jobs and an important source of revenue for the local tax base. The project will support a feasibility study focusing on the viability of creating a local multipurpose space that could serve as an entrepreneurship and business start-up hub. The hub would share resources with local, regional and state organizations and entrepreneurs, while also serving the local needs of the business community. DTE is providing a $50,000 cash match to support this project. $50,000 EDA grant to the County of St. Clair in Port Huron, MI, which, in partnership with the Economic Development Alliance of St. Clair County, will conduct a comprehensive economic impact study of the planned retirement in 2023 of the DTE Energy-owned St. Clair Power Plant. The study will identify economic activity related to the plant and the impacts of its future retirement, provide scenario-based strategies for mitigating negative impacts of the plant’s closure, and recommend strategies for economic diversification and reinvestment. DTE is providing a $50,000 cash match to support this project. $50,000 EDA grant to the Southeastern Montana Development Corporation in Colstrip, MT. Colstrip Power Plant Units 1 and 2 will be retired by 2022. Between this anticipated closure and the resulting layoffs at the nearby Rosebud Mine, the total cumulative job losses are projected to have a significant impact on the regional workforce. This EDA investment will support the development of an economic development strategy that the City of Colstrip will use as its guide to diversifying and stabilizing the economy of Colstrip and the surrounding area that has historically depended on both coal mining and coal-fired power generation. $14,214 ARC grant to the United Mine Workers Association Career Centers, Inc. in Prosperity, PA to provide grant writing assistance to raise funds for the development of a training program at their Greene County, PA training facility. The program will emphasize high demand occupations such as commercial driver’s license, and heavy equipment and diesel mechanics. $11,108 ARC grant to Round the Mountain: Southwest Virginia’s Artisan Network in Abingdon, VA to provide grant writing assistance to raise funds for the creation of a regional craft beverage cluster that will strengthen Virginia’s agriculture industry and tourism in the region. The project will build off the extensive network cultivated by the Southwest Virginia Cultural Heritage Foundation. POWER Special Research Award Summaries: $497,000 ARC grant to the Region 1 – Planning and Development Council in Princeton, WV for the Coalfields Cluster Mapping Initiative research project. ARC funds will be used to map the extent of the coal industry supply chain across the tri-state region of Kentucky, Virginia, and West Virginia. The resulting detailed information on the supply chain will complement ongoing work undertaken by other ARC-funded projects, examining the extent of the decline in the coal economy and providing business technical assistance to aid the impacted supply chain firms in their return to growth and profitability. $349,999 ARC grant to West Virginia University Research Corporation in Morgantown, WV for the Economic Analysis of Coal Industry Ecosystem in Appalachia project. This study will examine the full ecosystem of the coal industry in Appalachia through in-depth quantitative analysis. Specifically, this research will identify, quantify, and map data on all relevant coal industry activity throughout the Appalachian Region. The three tasks of this research project are to: 1) identify all components of the coal ecosystem and estimate the supply chain impacts in Appalachia; 2) examine the implications of the coal industry downturn on freight rail, barge, and truck transportation in Appalachia; and 3) develop a typology of regional economies that surround the coal-fired plants in the Region using both econometric and input-output techniques. $149,998 ARC grant to Downstream Strategies in Morgantown, WV for the Strengthening Economic Resilience in Appalachian Communities project. This research will explore and document strategies and policies local leaders can use to enhance the future economic prospects of coal-impacted communities throughout the Appalachian Region. There are four key components to this research project: 1) develop a comprehensive, quantitative framework to explore economic resilience; 2) identify a series of best-practice strategies for strengthening local economic resilience; 3) conduct up to 10 in-depth case studies; and 4) produce a concise guidebook that interprets and integrates findings of the research, written specifically for local economic development practitioners.
Exelon (EXC) reported third-quarter 2016 adjusted earnings of 91 cents per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 74 cents by 23%.
Exelon (EXC) reported earnings of 91 cents in third quarter beating the Zacks Consensus estimate by 23%.
Photo: Tesla Owners Club of Australia The lack of a single question on climate change after four consecutive presidential debates is a painful reminder of how little political power climate hawks have really built. But while climate change is not a salient political issue clean energy is. According to polling conducted by Pew clean energy is a potential wedge issue with right leaning constituencies. That's because in places like California Republicans are 5 times more likely to own rooftop solar than their crunchy liberal friends. That's an important political opportunity in an increasingly polarized world. But more exciting than the ability to transcend the political divide is the opportunity to organize a politically potent constituency. With more than one million solar homeowners with 'skin in the game' when it comes to the clean energy transition we have the potential for something the left has never been able to build - the clean energy equivalent of the National Rifle Association (NRA). Take what happened with threats to rooftop solar in California for instance. When the California PUC considered changes to the net energy metering (NEM) policy that enables participation in the clean energy economy Solar City was quick to take action. The company sent email action alerts, much like an advocacy focused NGO might, to its customers asking them to tell the PUC to keep its hands off their solar. That simple act turned passive consumers into solar advocates and was a part of the successful effort to defend NEM in California. This of course is just one isolated example of the ability to organize and activate a solar constituency whose bottom line is directly affected by adverse changes to a clean energy transition. There are many others including the recent efforts to fight the Pepco-Exelon merger in Washington DC that relied on solar cooperatives to act as community advocates. Ultimately, what they have in common is the understanding that the true 'value of rooftop solar' is not in the cost savings or terrawatt hours produced, but in the political constituency it creates. But while the rooftop solar industry has recognized the political force at its fingertips electric vehicle owners are yet to be tapped. The reality is electric vehicles create a much more powerful connection with the clean energy economy than solar ever could. They become an integral part of daily life that taps into a deep-seated cultural connection with cars and the American road. Even better, they are increasingly associated with technological advances that can create powerful loyalty as evidenced by the cult like obsession many have with Tesla. Even better than the deep connection EV owners have with their cars is their sheer numbers. While rooftop solar homeowners are large and growing they are limited to those who own a home. EV owners on the other hand could literally be everybody in the country who already owns a car. While EV sales are small today, they are growing fast and set to leap into the mainstream with the most recent clean energy miracle - the Chevy Bolt. Imagine how powerful an email from General Motors to millions of Chevy Bolt owners would be if tax credits and subsidies were ever removed? But while we do have some early examples of electric vehicle owner organizing (see plug in America), we have yet to aggressively exploit the potential. Which brings us back to our current predicament. While we are rapidly approaching deadlines to decarbonize the world economy dictated by the tipping points in earths' natural systems we are slow peddling our approach to building the power necessary to avoid climate chaos. The reality is that the political institutions that have supported the progressive left in the United States like the Unions have seen their numbers dwindle from one in every three people in the country to less than one in 10. That is not only a threat to our ability to defeat a future Donald Trump, it's a threat to our ability to get climate change on the political agenda period. That's why it's vitally important we build new political constituencies as a part of the clean energy transition. Because the effort to halt climate change doesn't end when we swap out coal plants for solar and wind farms or gas guzzlers for electric vehicles. That is really just the 'low hanging fruit' of the deep decarbonization we need to undertake that will transform everything from the way industry manufactures our world to the way we heat our homes. Because the reality is without a robust political infrastructure created by organizing those who benefit from the transition we can win the clean energy battle but lose the climate war. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.