Who Needs a Cubicle? Tennessee Takes Teleworking to the Max

For Tennessee state employees, the concept of individual offices, cubicles, and desks, adorned with family photos and mementos, is becoming a thing of the past. The state's ambitious new approach to the workplace, Alternative Workplace Solutions (AWS), goes far beyond traditional telecommuting - and in addition to boosting employee morale and productivity, it's saving the state millions of dollars. According to Governing: In exchange for giving up their desk or office, participating employees can work…

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Supreme Court: Age Discrimination Law Applies to All Public Employees

All state and local governments need to comply with the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, no matter their size. The Supreme Court ruled unanimously Tuesday that local governments with small workforces must comply with a federal law against age discrimination. The justices ruled Tuesday in favor of two Arizona firefighters who claimed they were laid off because of their age when their local fire district faced a budget crisis. According to Route Fifty:…

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Secretary Schulz Visits Charles to Discuss Economic Development

The Charles County Economic Development Department held its annual fall meeting this week to explore ways to grow and maintain a successful workforce in Charles County. Influential community leaders from the public and private sectors participated in panel discussions to share their experiences with educating, training, and sustaining the workforce. Kelly Schulz, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation, served as the keynote speaker. According to a press release: “This year’s meeting was…

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Conduit Street Podcast: New Laws Take Effect, Internet Regs Spark Latest Clash Over States’ Rights, & More!

On the latest episode of the Conduit Street Podcast, Michael Sanderson and Kevin Kinnally discuss a handful of new Maryland laws, which took effect this week, explain why California's new net neutrality law sparked the latest debate over states' rights, and examine the impact of congressional action (or inaction) on state laws. Listen here: MACo has made the podcast available through both iTunes and Google Play Music by searching Conduit Street Podcast. You can also listen on our Conduit…

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NAFTA 2.0?

After nearly a year of high-level negotiations, the United States and Mexico announced a preliminary agreement on a major overhaul of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), a trilateral accord negotiated by the governments of the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Meanwhile, Canadian officials are in Washington to try and salvage the 24-year-old accord that accounts for more than $1 billion in annual trade. NAFTA’s terms, which were implemented gradually through January 2008, sough…

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Howard County Announces Trade Apprenticeship Program

Howard County Executive Allan H. Kittleman today announced plans for an apprenticeship program, starting in 2019, to fill electrical, plumbing and HVAC-R jobs in Howard County. Howard County is among a handful of jurisdictions that recently earned approval from the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLLR) to use registered apprenticeships to attract skilled workers in needed employment areas. According to a press release: “Howard County, among other jurisdictions, is losing some of its…

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Washington & Frederick County Youth Apprenticeship Program Gets Boost

The Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation announced that the FirstEnergy Foundation has once again offered $15,000 to Washington and Frederick County businesses to support the hiring of youth apprentices through the successful Apprenticeship Maryland Program (AMP). According to a press release: “We knew that youth apprenticeship would help businesses build a pipeline of talented, energetic employees,” said Maryland Labor Secretary Kelly Schulz. “What we didn’t know is the profoundly positive impact that youth…

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WMATA Strike Threat + Big Ballgame = OMG, Traffic!

The Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689 members have authorized a strike against the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) - a move which could leave All-Star Game attendees at Nationals Park in the lurch, and obviously, significantly impact traffic in the D.C. metropolitan region.  According to a union press release, organization officials are meeting with WMATA management on Tuesday to have a genuine conversation about the issues that got us to this point. it is not our intention…

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State Revs Up Corrections Recruitment Efforts

Acknowledging a years-long problem with understaffing at state correctional facilities, the State Division of Corrections plans to step up its recruitment efforts. The Division continues to hold job fairs and testing all around the state, and most recently announced that it plans to hire a private recruiting firm to fill vacancies. Herald-Mail highlights frustration from unions, correctional officers, and state elected officials relating to the staffing shortage: "I don't understand why we're having this conversation…

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Feds Report More Jobs, Slight Increase in Unemployment Across US

The Department of Labor Statistics reports 213,000 jobs gained, and 4% unemployment during the month of June. As reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 213,000 in June, and the unemployment rate increased to 4.0 percent. Job gains occurred in professional and business services, manufacturing, and health care, while retail trade lost jobs. Incorporating revisions for April and May, which increased nonfarm payroll employment by 37,000, monthly job gains have…

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