Robert Traynham:This past September, the unemployment rate for all US veterans dropped to three percent, a 16 year low. Hello and welcome to Comcast Newsmakers. I'm Robert Traynham. Joining me is Bill Metheny, Director of the Office of Field Operations for the US Department of Labor's Veterans' Employment and Training Service. Bill, welcome to the program.Bill Metheny:Thanks Robert.Robert Traynham:Let's talk about this unemployment rate. That's a good thing that I just mentioned a few moments ago, but there is always room for improvement, is that correct Bill Metheny:Sure, we're very excited that we're down to 3.0% and it's better than [00:00:30] the non-veteran counterpart. So, we're existed about that, but we know that there's still some folks out there that are struggling to get jobs, and so that's what we want to do in the Department of Labor and especially in the veterans' community through Veterans' Employment and Training Service.Robert Traynham:Okay, let's talk about the mission and the scope of your organization within the Department of Labor. What exactly do you do Bill Bill Metheny:Well what we do is, we focus on the Veteran Community and try to do whatever we can to help them get ready for jobs, get employed and then stay retained in those jobs. So, we have a few ways [00:01:00] we do that. As people are leaving the military we help prepare them for those civilian jobs, and that's both the service members and their military spouses.Robert Traynham: Could I pause there a second. You said something that's really interesting. So, they're still in uniform and you're working as they transition out. They're not technically veterans' yet Bill Metheny:That's right, and so we know that for them to be successful that preparation has to start early and so, we wanna get them as early as possible into the mindset and the preparation for when they take those boots off so they're ready to move right into civilian employment.Robert Traynham:When you [00:01:30] say mind set, what exactly do you mean Bill Metheny:Well, our service members go through a pretty rigorous program to become part of the military and that culture and all those values. We don't want them to give that up at all. Instead, we want them to build on that and transition back into civilian life. How they describe themselves, how they interact and so, we want them to start thinking about that in advance, rather than waiting till the last moment and then being surprised by how different some things might be in the work place.Robert Traynham:Bill, does it matter in your career [00:02:00] in the military Can you be perhaps maybe 50 years old and transitioning out Perhaps maybe 25 years old and maybe transitioning out Does it matter Bill Metheny:Well, it's a transition no matter where you are, and our younger service members face an interesting challenge, because some of them may have not had much experience in the work place before joining the military. So, this is a new experience for them, and then our older veterans' may have been in the military for 20 or 30 years and when they left the work place and put their boots on, it's a very different place. [00:02:30] So, we wanna help them wherever they are in their careers.Robert Traynham:I'm curious, why is this the Housing Department of Labor Bill Metheny:Well, the Department of Labor is what the US government has designed to support labor needs and employment needs across the country. So, we Veterans' Employment Training Service are a subset that focuses on that veteran community, but takes advantage of this network enterprise that all of the Department of Labor can bring to bear to help these military members, veterans' and their spouses.
As part of the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act, the Small Business Administration is studying how the practice of Multiple Award Contracts impacts the ability of women-owned and other socio-economic categories of small businesses to compete for government work. Jane Campbell, President of Women Impacting Public Policy discusses the SBA study, which is in response to a WIPP report regarding women owned businesses and government contracts.
The United States Census Bureau provides data about the nation’s people and economy. While that data is used by our government for planning and redistricting purposes, there are private sector applications as well – especially for businesses. DeVere Kutscher, Principal with Public Private Strategies discusses the importance of census accuracy and its effect on businesses making informed decisions.
In September 2017, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos rolled back guidance under Title IX regarding standards for colleges to prevent, respond to and investigate incidents of sexual assault on campus. The Department of Education has issued interim guidance, pending a public notice and comment period. Jenn Brown, of The United State of Women, discusses the roll back and encourages public awareness of the upcoming notice and comment period to assure that all voices are heard.
Latino youth lag behind in STEM education, while Hispanics are at the fastest rate growing mobile technology users. A discussion with Amy Hinojosa, President and CEO of MANA, a national Latino Organization on efforts to bridge the STEM gap with young Latinas through programs that teach web design and coding using the tools that students are familiar with - mobile phones.
On December 22, 2017, President Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act – the first comprehensive tax reform passed since 1986, under President Reagan. While charitable deductions have been preserved, some non-profit organizations are concerned about a potential drop-off in donations next year. An interview with Steve Taylor, Senior Vice President for Policy at United Way Worldwide.
There is a current trend toward incivility dominating public discourse in the United States. A grassroots campaign is working to reverse that trend, encouraging civility to improve collaboration, compromise and productivity in legislative bodies. Jody Thomas, Executive Director of the National Foundation for Women Legislators discusses efforts by NFWL and partnering organizations to encourage civil discourse for elected officials.
And the Winner is.... Tracy's Kids! Comcast Newsmakers highlights this 10th annual event for Tracy's Kids, an organization devoted to helping young cancer patients and their families to cope with illness through art therapy. For more information, visit Tracy's Kids at www.TracysKids.org.
With commentary from: David Cohen, Jeff Miller, Matt Gerson, Dr. Aziza Shad, Tracy Councill, Ryan Tomoff, Rebecca Wilson, Rep. Marsha Blackburn, Lisa Wilson, Devon Still, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, Rep. Tom Marino, Sen. Rob Portman.
A new report from Georgetown University analyzes public spending. Sonal Shah from the Beeck Center for Social Impact and Innovation at Georgetown University discusses ways to increase effectiveness while reducing cost. Visit the Beeck Center for Social Impact and Innovation on the web at www.DriveImpact.org
According to the Identity Theft Resource center, nearly 700 data breaches were reported in 2014. Sally Greenberg of the National Consumers League addresses consumer protection and privacy. Visit the National Consumers League on the web at www.NCLnet.org