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CACI councils offer a unique opportunity for CACI members to add their expertise and judgment to our policy-making and influence legislation and regulations that impact business. Council meetings provide an open and frank dialogue between our members, key legislators and state agency leaders. Councils always meet from Noon to 1:15 p.m. in the CACI Conference Room: 1600 Broadway, Suite 1000, Colorado State Bank Building. For more information or to RSVP for a council, please visit our online calendar.
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Governor Announces Workforce Development Initiative for Long-Term Unemployed
Yesterday, Governor John Hickenlooper announced a new effort to help the long-term unemployed return to work. Here’s the news media release from the Governor’s Office:
DENVER — Thursday, Jan. 8, 2015 — Gov. John Hickenlooper today joined the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade and local business leaders to announce the launch of a $3 million program that will assist Colorado’s long-term unemployed in getting back to work.
The program will be administered by the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) and its funding will support a variety of assessment and training efforts and wrap-around support services at workforce centers statewide.
“Getting Coloradans back to work, especially those sidelined for more than six months, is a priority for the state,” Hickenlooper said. “As part of this new program, we are offering incentives to Colorado businesses who have job opportunities and equally important, we will be making sure that Coloradans have the skills to fill those jobs.”
Inherent to the program are two outreach campaigns:
Outreach to Employers
It’s been called a Catch-22: the longer you are unemployed, the more unemployable you may seem to be. At the new website, www.hireforcolorado.com, employers who can look past a long stretch of unemployment will be asked to sign an “employer pledge,” telling those job seekers that if they have the right skills and the capacity to learn and grow, they will be given a fair shot.
At the website, employers can explore options for hiring targeted groups, post jobs and learn about work experience and on-the-job training incentives that will give them the opportunity to try out a candidate.
Outreach to the Long-Term Unemployed
Struggling job seekers will receive customized assistance to increase their ability to get back into the workforce Some may need to enhance their résumé writing or job interviewing skills to better market themselves. Others may be seeing a lack of demand for their current skills and will need some upgrading or on-the-job training to ensure they are fully prepared for the future. The website will get them connected with workforce specialists who can provide them with assessment, training and intensive services.
The most current data from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Current Population Survey (December 2013 through November 2014) shows approximately 47,200 Colorado job seekers have been unemployed for 26 weeks or longer. The numbers are edging downward but slowly – the annual average from December 2011 to November 2012 showed 81,600 long-term unemployed and from December 2012 to November 2013, there were 69,400 long-term unemployed in Colorado.
Hickenlooper said the persistence of any level of long-term unemployment as job vacancies continue to rise must be addressed. “We’re committed to helping these job seekers get back into the labor force. When you have thousands of Coloradans and their families struggling, local communities will struggle as well. This new statewide program is an urgent step in putting a full workforce contingent in play, keeping Colorado strong.”
To learn more
This new program is based on federal discretionary funds and establishes individual accounts for those who meet eligibility criteria. For long-term unemployed job seekers and employers with job openings, start by going to www.hireforcolorado.com.
Business Groups Sue NLRB to Stop “Ambush Election” Rules
On January 5, 2015, a coalition of business associations sued to stop the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) from implementing new rules allowing “ambush elections.” The coalition includes the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and the US Chamber of Commerce, both organizations of which CACI serves as the exclusive Colorado affiliate.
The “ambush election” rules were issued on December 12, 2014, and would, among other things, reduce the amount of time that an employer has to react to a union election to as little as ten days and require employers to provide personal contact information for all employees to the NLRB, which would in turn provide the information to the organizing union. More information about the rules can be found in the December 12, 2014 Capitol Report.
Linda Kelly, NAM Senior Vice President and General Counsel, said of the new rules, “With this rule, the Administration has made clear that it plans to pursue a partisan agenda to overturn longstanding and effective labor policy. It is déjà vu with the NLRB, and American employees are hurt the most by these recycled policies. Manufacturers will no longer be held hostage by the NLRB, and we are committed to fighting this rule in court to provide certainty for manufacturers and employees alike.”
To learn more about the NAM’s efforts to stop NLRB overreach, visit: http://www.nam.org/Issues/Labor/Ambush-Elections/.
Does Your Business Trade Overseas? Do Your Trading Partners Respect Intellectual Property?
The U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) and the NAM are looking to hear from companies who answer ‘yes’ to this first question & ‘no’ for countries respecting Intellectual Property. The USTR is asking for business input to,
“Identify countries that deny adequate and effective protection of intellectual property rights (IPR) or deny fair and equitable market access to U.S. persons who rely on intellectual property protection.”
Through the firsthand experience of businesses, the USTR will update a list of trading partners which disregard or hinder IP protections. Bad actors will be placed on one of two lists: the “Priority Watch List” and the “Watch List”. Trading partners on the watch list are designated so because of existing IP problems to be monitored for improvement, while those on the priority list are elevated to the level of bilateral attention from USTR in trade negotiations.
If your company specifically trades with India, the NAM is looking to compile comments and specific stories/examples of the need for better intellectual property protections with this U.S. trade ally. Your comments will be shared with the USTR and India ahead of President Obama’s state visit on January 26, 2015.
For the bigger picture of international intellectual property rights and trading, the NAM is putting together a summary of intellectual property protection needs and grievances with aggregated member comments to be officially submitted with the USTR. If you would like to contribute your story, please contact NAM’s Chris Moore or CACI’s Leah Curtsinger by January 22nd. Learn more about USTR Watch Lists from the Federal Register or share your comments directly with USTR at www.regulations.gov and enter Docket number USTR–2014–0025, specifying ‘‘2015 Special 301Review’’ in the ‘‘Type Comment’’ field.