Lt. Gov. Brian Dubie and Treasurer Jeb Spaulding Announce “Green Valley” Funding Initiative

first_imgLt. Governor Brian Dubie and State Treasurer Jeb Spauldingjointly announced a plan to invest $48 million in state employeepension funds in Vermont’s “Green Valley” – an economic development sectorcomprised of businesses dealing in environmental technologies, goods andservices.”It’s all about jobs and economic growth for our state in a dynamic newdirection,” Dubie said, “and it’s about devoting Vermont’s youthful energyand some of our resources towards making Earth a cleaner and healthier placefor everyone.”Spaulding noted that as State Treasurer, he is the custodian of Vermontstate employees’ pension funds. “Ever since I was elected,” he said, “I havelooked for ‘triple bottom line’ investment opportunities for our funds: onesthat are good for people and society, good for our environment and produce agood return on investment. Our investment board has made clear its desire touse 2% of our funds this way. When Lt. Governor Dubie proposed investing inVermont’s Green Valley companies, I was immediately excited.”Dubie, Spaulding and Economic Development Commissioner Mike Quinn have beenworking on a mechanism to distribute the funds, such as Vermont’s EconomicDevelopment Authority (VEDA). The final structure of that mechanism has yetto be determined.Dubie and Spaulding made the announcement at a forum on renewable energysponsored by the Vermont Environmental Consortium and Norwich University.”We have innovative people and companies right in our state developing cleantechnologies with the potential to provide these pension funds withpositive, long-term returns, and that can create jobs and economic growth inVermont for years to come,” Dubie said.”Everywhere on earth, from Shanghai to Montreal,” he continued, “demographictrends, public awareness, environmental crises and increased regulation aredriving the growth in the clean technology industry. I commend Treasurer JebSpaulding and look forward to working with him to harness that growth energyfor Vermonters.”last_img read more

Bernie Sanders on credit unions: Feeling the Bern with millennials

first_img 39SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Bo McDonald Bo McDonald is president of Your Marketing Co. A marketing firm that started serving credit unions nearly a decade ago, offering a wide range of services including web design, branding, … Web: Details (NOTE: Much like my last article on Donald Trump for Credit Unions, this is not an endorsement, nor is it even a political discussion. I’m simply looking at candidates and campaigns from a marketing stand point and slicing out the lessons we can learn from.)Millennials is the buzzword in every blog, article, and conference presentation in recent memory. “How can your credit union capture the attention of Millennials?” is the question on everyone’s mind. Despite the articles, blogs, presentations, and ideas, there aren’t too many credit unions that have been very successful with this challenge.How about we take a look outside to one brand that HAS been successful at getting the attention and support of Millennials? Who would that be? That would be the campaign of Bernie Sanders.According to a recent Reuters tracking poll, Sanders is leading Clinton 75 to 17 percent among voters under 30. Just months ago, at the beginning of 2016, the two candidates were tied among Millennials, each receiving 47 percent support from young voters. So how did Sanders, the oldest candidate in the race, grow to be so popular among the youngest voters?In a recent Washington Post article, a couple in their late 20’s who together hold just over $100,000 in college debt articulated why they support Sanders: “I can’t foresee a future where we’re going to buy a house. It’ll be 10 to 15 years. By that time, we’ll be too old to have children. I don’t know how people afford to have children these days. We’re exactly the kind of people who should be looking at a middle-class lifestyle.”Sanders’ message seems to resonate with this generation – the ones who grew up in the recession watching their parents struggle, and who are now nervous about their own futures. They are graduating from college with unthinkable debt. The uncertainties of finding a job as well as being able to afford comfortable housing are constant concerns. They have little faith in the government and other institutions they thought they could depend on (like banks). What part of Sanders’ message is grabbing the attention of young voters? “His idealism and authenticity – and his unvarnished take on their everyday realities,” said one young supporter.Politics aside, there’s much your credit union can learn from the Sanders campaign.Don’t act your age: Many credit unions are about the same age as Sanders, yet are considered “old and crusty” by the same generation that Sanders appeals to. This is also the same generation so many credit unions claim to want to serve. So what? Hillary Clinton doesn’t preach radical change. Barack Obama did. Bernie Sanders does. Millennials like that. You don’t need to get snared up in politics, but it’s time that your credit union takes on some radical changes to meet Millennials (and every consumer) where they are, not where is convenient for your operations.Be authentic: Sanders comes from modest means, and can speak about radical change based on his own experience. Those who are struggling financially can relate to him because of his authenticity. Who does your marketing serve? Are you taking the time to understand those you want to reach? Do you create a message and a brand that truly relates to that group? Or are you keeping your message generic to try and serve anyone that walks through your door? In trying to please everyone, you cannot please anyone.You have an audience: Sanders message is purely economic, based on the financial struggles of Americans. Hmmm, sounds like a message that a few people reading this article could help with. Based on research and interviews with young voters, they care deeply about the economy and how is affecting them. Again, politics aside, but your credit union has the ability to appeal to Millennials based on a message of financial hope. Instead of pushing products, services, and rates in your marketing, find out what financial struggles consumers are facing and craft your message around the solution you can provide.Done properly, not only could you appeal to the generation so viciously sought after by many brands, but you could create a passionate movement of people who believe you truly can help them and who will carry your message of financial hope to their friends. Considering that 9 out of 10 decisions about finances are made through personal recommendations of friends or family, that’s a not too shabby word of mouth marketing plan that requires very little budget.last_img read more

Schmidt proud but frustrated after All Blacks loss

first_imgThe All Blacks got revenge for the historic win in Chicago two weeks ago by coming out on top 21-9 at the Avia Stadium last night.Jonathan Sexton, Robbie Henshaw and CJ Stander went off injured for Ireland in the first half hour while there was controversy involving two of the three tries New Zealand scored.Schmidt says it’s disappointing.last_img

Unemployment Rate Falls To 13.3%, U.S. Adds 2.5 Million Jobs

first_imgASHINGTON (AP) — America’s workers likely suffered another devastating blow in May, with millions more jobs lost to the viral pandemic and an unemployment rate near or even above 20% for the first time since the Great Depression.Economists have forecast that the government will report Friday that employers shed 8.5 million more jobs last month on top of 21.4 million lost in March and April. A figure that large would raise the total losses since the coronavirus intensified nearly three months ago to almost 30 million — more than triple the number of jobs lost during the 2008-2009 Great Recession.The economy has sunk into what looks like a deep recession, and most economists foresee unemployment remaining above 10% — its peak during the Great Recession — through the November elections and into next year.A report Thursday on applications for unemployment benefits reinforced the picture of a bleak job market: The number of people seeking jobless aid last week was double the previous record high that prevailed before the viral outbreak occurred.Still, that report did offer a few glimmers of hope. As restaurants, movie theaters, gyms, hair salons and other retail establishments gradually reopen, job cuts are slowing and employers are recalling some of their laid-off workers. The total number of people receiving unemployment aid rose slightly, the government said, but stayed below a peak of 25 million reached two weeks earlier. And the number of laid-off workers applying for aid, while historically high, has declined for nine straight weeks.The economic shock, like the pandemic itself, has widened economic disparities that have disproportionately hurt minorities and lower-educated workers. More than 55% of African-Americans say they or someone in their household has lost income since mid-March, compared with 43% of whites, according to a weekly survey by the Census Bureau. For Hispanics, the figure is 60%. The pandemic has especially eliminated jobs, at least temporarily, at restaurants, hotels, retail chains and other lower-wage industries.The street protests over George Floyd’s killing that led to some vandalism and looting in dozens of cities won’t affect Friday’s jobs figures, which were compiled in the middle of May. But business closures related to the unrest could cause job losses that would be reflected in the June jobs report to be issued next month.A few businesses are reporting signs of progress even in hard-hit industries. American Airlines, for example, said this week that it would fly 55% of its U.S. routes in July, up from just 20% in May.And the Cheesecake Factory said one-quarter of its nearly 300 restaurants have reopened, though with limited capacity. Sales at those restaurants are at nearly 75% of the levels reached a year ago, the company said. Both companies’ share prices rose.Those limited gains may lead to more rehiring as companies slowly restart shuttered businesses. But economists say the pace of hiring will then likely lag as a severe recession and high unemployment hold back consumer spending, the main driver of the economy.Erica Groshen, a labor economist at Cornell University and a former commissioner of the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, said hiring could ramp up relatively quickly in coming months and reduce unemployment to low double-digits by year’s end.“Then my inclination is that it will be a long, slow slog,” she said.Overhanging the jobs picture is widespread uncertainty about how long the unemployed will remain out of work. Most of the layoffs in recent months were a direct result of the sudden shutdowns of businesses in response to the coronavirus pandemic.Though many of the unemployed have said they expect their layoffs to be temporary, many large businesses won’t rehire everyone they laid off. And some small employers might not reopen at all if the recession drags on. Until most Americans are confident they can shop, travel, eat out and fully return to their other spending habits without fear of contracting the virus, the economy will likely remain sluggish.Even if just one-third of the U.S. job losses turn out to be permanent, that would leave roughly 10 million people out of work. That is still more than all the jobs lost in the Great Recession. A hole that size would take years to fill. Oxford Economics estimates that the economy will regain 17 million jobs by year’s end, a huge increase by historical standards. But that would make up for barely more than half the losses.Gwyneth Duesbery, 22, returned this week to her job as a hostess at a steakhouse where she lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan, as the restaurant prepares to reopen. Duesbery said she is grateful for the opportunity, given that she hasn’t received unemployment benefits since the restaurant closed in March and has run through her savings.She will spend this week helping to clean the restaurant and setting tables 6 feet apart. The restaurant will be able to seat only about one-quarter of its usual capacity.The restaurant, Bowdie’s Chop House, has reservations for about 20 people for its opening night Monday and said it has drawn plenty of interest from longtime customers. Still, Duesbery worries about her health.“I am concerned that it will expose me to potential diseases, and expose others, no matter the precautions that we take,” she said. “It’s kind of uncharted waters.”last_img read more