Doctors can feel their patients’ pain

first_imgA patient’s relationship with his or her doctor has long been considered an important component of healing. Now, in a novel investigation in which physicians underwent brain scans while they believed they were treating patients, researchers have provided the first scientific evidence indicating that doctors truly can feel their patients’ pain — and can also experience their relief following treatment.Led by researchers at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and the Program in Placebo Studies and Therapeutic Encounter (PiPS) at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC)/Harvard Medical School (HMS), the new findings, which appear online today in Molecular Psychiatry, help to illuminate one of the more intangible aspects of health care — the doctor/patient relationship.“Our findings showed that the same brain regions that have previously been shown to be activated when patients receive placebo therapies are similarly activated in the brains of doctors when they administer what they think are effective treatments,” explained the first author, Karin Jensen, an investigator in the Department of Psychiatry and Martinos Center for Biological Imaging at MGH and a member of the PiPS. Notably, she added, the findings also showed that the physicians who reported greater ability to take things from the patients’ perspective, that is, to empathize with their feelings, experienced higher satisfaction during patients’ treatments, as reflected in the brain scans.“By demonstrating that caring for patients involves a complex set of brain events, including deep understanding of the patients’ facial and body expressions, possibly in combination with the physician’s own expectations of relief and feelings of reward, we have been able to elucidate the neurobiology underlying caregiving,” added the senior author, Ted Kaptchuk, director of the PiPS and an associate professor of medicine at HMS. “Our findings provide early evidence of the importance of interacting brain networks between patients and caregivers and acknowledge the doctor/patient relationship as a valued component of health care, alongside medications and procedures.”Previous investigations have demonstrated that a brain region associated with pain relief (the right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex, or VLPFC) and a region associated with reward (the rostral anterior cingulate cortex, or rACC) are activated when patients experience the placebo effect, which occurs when patients show improvement from treatments that contain no active ingredients.Although behavioral research has suggested that physicians’ expectations influence patients’ clinical outcomes and help determine their placebo responses, until now little effort has been directed to understanding the biology underlying the physician component of the clinical relationship. Jensen and her colleagues hypothesized that the same brain regions that are activated during patients’ placebo responses would similarly be activated in the brains of physicians as they treated patients. They also hypothesized that a physician’s perspective-taking skills would influence the outcomes.To test these hypotheses, the scientists developed a unique equipment arrangement that would enable them to conduct functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) of the physicians’ brains while the doctors had face-to-face interactions with patients, including observing patients as they underwent pain treatments.The experiment included 18 physicians and two women who played the role of “patients” and followed a rehearsed script. The experiment called for the participating physicians to administer pain relief with what they thought was a pain-relieving electronic device, but which was actually a non-active “sham” device.To ensure that the physicians believed that the sham device really worked, the investigators first administered a dose of “heat pain” to the physicians’ forearms to gauge their pain threshold, and then “treated” them with the fake machine. During the treatments, the investigators reduced the heat stimulation, to demonstrate to the participants that the therapy worked. The physicians underwent fMRI scans while they experienced the painful heat stimulation so that investigators could see exactly which brain regions were activated during first-person perception of pain.In the second portion of the experiment, each physician was introduced to a patient and asked to perform a standardized clinical examination. (The clinical exam was performed to establish a realistic rapport between the physician and patient before fMRI scanning took place, and was comparable to a standard U.S. doctor’s appointment.) At that point the physician also answered a questionnaire, the Interpersonal Reactivity Index, used to measure the participant’s self-reported perspective-taking skills.During the third step, “The physician went inside the scanner and was equipped with a remote control that could activate the ‘analgesic device’ when prompted,” Jensen explained. Mirrors inside the scanner enabled physicians to maintain eye contact with the patient, who was seated on a chair next to the scanner’s bed and hooked up to both the thermal pain stimulator and the pain-relieving device.Then, in a randomized order, physicians were instructed to either treat a patient’s pain or to press a control button that provided no relief. When physicians were told not to activate pain relief, the “patient’s” face registered pain while the physicians watched. When the physicians were instructed to treat the patients’ pain, they saw that the subjects’ faces were neutral and relaxed, the result of pain relief. During these doctor-patient interactions, fMRI scans measured the doctors’ brain activations.As predicted, the authors found that while treating patients, the physicians activated the right VLPFC region of the brain, a region previously implicated in the placebo response. Furthermore, Jensen said, the physicians’ ability to take the patients’ viewpoints correlated to brain activations and subjective ratings; physicians who reported high perspective-taking skills were more likely to show activation in the rACC brain region, which is associated with reward.“We already know that the physician-patient relationship provides solace and can even relieve many symptoms,” said Kaptchuk. “Now, for the first time, we’ve shown that caring for patients encompasses a unique neurobiology in physicians. Our ultimate goal is to transform the ‘art of medicine’ into the ‘science of care,’ and this research is an important first step in this process as we continue investigations to find out how patient-clinician interactions can lead to measurable clinical outcomes in patients.”last_img read more

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Vidalia Onion crop hits market

first_imgAfter a soggy winter, spring and start to harvest, Georgia’s famous Vidalia Onion crop is hitting markets and looking good, according to a University of Georgia onion expert. Southeast Georgia, the state’s onion belt, weathered almost 20 inches of rain during planting time in November and December. Despite the wet weather, farmers are reaping good prices now at harvest, said Reid Torrance, the UGA Cooperative Extension coordinator in Tattnall County, where almost half of the crop is planted.Farmers getting good price“The crop is coming in better than what we feared and the prices are just a bonus,” he said.Farmers are getting $22 to $24 for a 40-pound box of Vidalia Onions at market this week. When the market opened the third week of April, prices started at $30 a unit. Over the season, prices typically average between $14 and $16 per 40-pound box, but this year that average likely will be in the mid-$20 range, he said. “There is an onion shortage all over the world, now Georgia growers are benefiting,” Torrance said.May bring in $150 million Farmers each year plant an estimated 12,000 acres of Vidalia Onions, Georgia’s official vegetable. At current prices, Torrance estimates the 2010 crop will be worth $120 million to $150 million. “We will end up with about as much as last year, maybe a fuzz better, remembering last year 20 percent of the crop stayed in the field due to excessive spring rainfall,” he said. “We couldn’t get onions out of the field with bulldozers pulling the tractors. That’s only the second time I’ve seen that in 30 years.”Harvest began in April, ends in June Half of the crop has already left the field and harvest should be complete in three weeks. “We’ve been in the fields about a month. By the first week in June it will get so hot, we’ll have to get them out or forget them,” Torrance said.All onion varieties are ready for harvest now, he said. When they are pulled from fields, they are either sold on the market or held in cold storage to maintain quality until they are sold. The onions going into cold storage will earn even more at market and should all be sold by September. There has been relatively little crop loss. What has been lost has been due to localized bacterial disease or to onions producing a seed stalk in fields, or what is called bolting, rendering them unmarketable. “Neither problem has been significant,” Torrance said. “Some of the late crop, the jury is still out on some of those acres. It may be a little early to tell.”last_img read more

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$2.5 million stimulus grant launches e-Vermont: the Community Broadband Project

first_imgA $2.5 million federal Stimulus Grant from the federal Agency of Commerce, announced today, completes the funding to launch the $3.8 million e-Vermont Community Broadband Project. This major campaign to stimulate broadband use in 24 Vermont towns will be produced by a partnership of organizations dedicated to expanding broadband access and its practical use. The “e-Vermont Partnership” will be led by the Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) over the next two years. VCRD is a non-profit organization dedicated to the support of the locally-defined progress of Vermont’s rural communities. Additional support for this project came from Vermont philanthropists and corporate associates.By reaching the bedrocks of Vermont communities—schools, businesses, municipal government, libraries, health and social services groups—the e-Vermont Project will drive the benefits of the digital age to parts of the state that have been left behind, both economically and in digital culture, and are just now getting broadband services.In addition to VCRD, the e-Vermont Partnership is made up of the Vermont State Colleges, the State Department of Libraries, Vermont Small Business Development Center, the Snelling Center for Government, Front Porch Forum and Digital Wish. Their application has been financially supported by the Evslin Family Foundation, Vermont Community Foundation, the Jan and David Blittersdorf Foundation, UVM’s Center for Rural Studies, the Vermont Rural Partnership and by donated services and equipment from Dell, Microsoft, and Comcast.“The federal stimulus money provides a tremendous opportunity for Vermonters to ensure that our communities take full advantage of broadband technology, including advancing the bottom line of our businesses,” said VCRD Executive Director Paul Costello. He emphasized that none of the 24 towns are selected yet, but will be through a competitive application process that will be announced soon.Vermont’s congressional delegates have been strong supporters of the e-Vermont concept. Senator Leahy pointed out: “The impact of e-Vermont will yield both short-term and long-term community development benefits, creating new jobs, educating children and using technology to improve Vermonters’ lives.”e-Vermont Partners worked closely with Vermont’s stimulus office through the application process. According to Governor Douglas, “This effort is a key part of the SmartVermont strategy. In order to reach our goals in e-Education, e-Health, e-government, and e-Energy, we need to remove all obstacles to Internet use for Vermonters. Even when the problem of access is solved, other challenges like lack of equipment and training remain.”“e-Vermont,” will help municipal, school, community and business groups in rural Vermont towns design and implement ways to expand the use of digital tools and resources to serve a wide variety of local needs including downtown marketing, community engagement, business development, and school innovation. Local committees in these towns will work with VCRD staff to customize a two year plan from a menu of e-Vermont programs and services such as:· e-government – training and consultation on podcasting, on-line meetings, community scheduling, website development· Front Porch Forums that link neighbors to each other and to local services· Computers and training for libraries and senior centers· Free Netbook computers for 4-5th graders and extensive teacher training to imbed technology in the curriculum· Specialized classes ranging from basic computer literacy to advanced applications to meet the range of community and business needs· e-commerce classes and one-to-one counseling for local businesses· Building community calendars, business directories, buy-local maps, arts and crafts tours, sports schedules, ride shares, and a variety of new locally-driven digital applications· Expanding on-line computer health information and opportunities· Expanding the use of web-based tools to facilitate community engagement and advance locally-designed initiativesThe e-Vermont project will learn from each of the selected towns and share these best practices in the uses of digital tools through symposia and conferences statewide.Municipal leaders and other local organizations that are interested in adding their community to the list of towns to be considered should contact VCRD at 802-223-6091 or by email at info@vtrural.org(link sends e-mail). Details on the applications process will be announced soon and posted at www.vtrural.org(link is external).Source: VCRD. 3.25.2010-30-last_img read more

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Tioga Central senior dies in motocross accident

first_imgThe school says a crisis team is available by phone, zoom or in person to support staff and students. More information and arrangement details are to follow, the school says. Booser stood out on his football and baseball teams. The school district says senior Mason Booser died as a result from injuries suffered in a motocross accident. (WBNG) — Tioga Central School District is mourning the loss of one of its students Monday. A candlelight vigil is planned for Booser at the Tioga Central High School baseball field fence at 9 p.m. Monday. “Mason Booser was a very kind soul and loved by every student in the high school he was bright he was going to go into the marine corps,” the Tioga Central High School Principal told 12 News. “He will be very missed.”last_img

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Govt opts to postpone deliberation of controversial bill on Pancasila amid backlash against House

first_imgThe government has rejected a plan to deliberate a bill initiated by the House of Representatives on Pancasila Ideology Guidelines (HIP) amid outcry from members of the public questioning the urgency and some of its contentious articles.Coordinating Legal, Political and Security Affairs Minister Mahfud MD announced on his Twitter account @mohmahfudmd that the government had decided to postpone deliberation of the bill, arguing that it would focus more on handling the COVID-19 pandemic.“We asked the House as the initiator [of the bill] to have more dialogue with the public and take their wishes into account,” he tweeted on Tuesday adding that he was assigned to deliver the news. The decision came in light of growing criticism from scholars and various organizations lamenting the House for endorsing the HIP bill amid the current pandemic.The bill, supported by the ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), aims to regulate the values of the Pancasila ideology and the functions of the Agency for Pancasila Ideology Education (BPIP). The party’s chairwoman and former president Megawati Soekarnoputri serves as the steering committee head.Indonesian Legal Aid Institute (YLBHI) chairwoman Asfinawati expressed concerns that the bill could harm freedom of expression, alleging that there was an effort to monopolize the interpretation of the Pancasila in Article 45 of the draft bill, which regulates the BPIP’s tasks.She also highlighted Article 48 of the draft bill on BPIP steering committee elements that could be filled by the active TNI and police personnel. Topics :center_img  “As if the meaning of the Pancasila is merely a matter of state security as the TNI and police could have the right to interpret it,” she told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday.Constitutional law expert from Jakarta-based Jentera School of Law Bivitri Susanti suggested the House drop the bill, saying the bill could reduce the value of Pancasila in the 1945 Constitution.“I don’t think we need the bill. I can’t see its urgency by looking at the contents. The lawmakers should focus on handling COVID-19 and the problems following the pandemic instead,” she said.Read also: ‘Pancasila’s biggest enemy is religion’: Indonesia’s ideology chief’s comment sparks outcryDiscussions of the bill, led by deputy chairwoman of the House Legislative Body (Baleg) Rieke Diah Pitaloka, who is a PDI-P politician, has also sparked an outcry among Islamic organizations, which questioned the draft bill’s failure to include the Temporary People’s Consultative Assembly Decree (TAP MPR) No. 25/1966 on the banning of communism in Indonesia.Islamic organizations, ranging from the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) and Muhammadiyah to the hard-line Islam Defenders Front (FPI), have called on the House to drop the bill, saying it would open the door for communist ideology to reemerge in the country.Retired military and police personnel have echoed similar sentiments against the House’s plan to endorse the bill.House deputy speaker Sufmi Dasco Ahmad said that seven out of nine factions at the House had agreed to continue the deliberation of the bill. The House is still waiting for the presidential letter (Surpres) to give the green light for the deliberation.“We are still waiting for the Surpres. We haven’t begun the deliberation process […] We also need to hear the public opinions,” the Gerindra Party politician said on Tuesday.MUI secretary-general Anwar Abbas said the MUI rejected the entire contents of the draft bill, saying the main concern was not only the absence of the 1966 decree, but it was also deemed to be “secular and atheistic” as it degraded the Pancasila ideology itself.Anwar noted Article 7 of the bill, which stipulates the “trisila” (three principles) concept as the basic characteristic of Pancasila, which consisted of socionationalism, sociodemocracy and cultural divinity. All the values should also be crystallized in “ekasila” (one principle) of gotong royong (mutual cooperation), according to the draft.”Those concepts have degraded the main ‘belief in the Almighty God’ in the first principle of Pancasila. The bill stipulates a cultural concept of God instead while the only cultured creature is humankind. In the trisila, we must obey human authority rather than God,” he said in a written statement on Monday.“Degrading Pancasila into trisila and ekasila is a betrayal of the nation. Pancasila consists of five principles that cannot be separated and changed,” he added.Muhammadiyah secretary Abdul Mu’ti also questioned the bill’s urgency and significance, noting that especially there were several existing laws as the legal basis of Pancasila, namely MPRS Decree No, XX/MPRS/1966, MPR Decree No. IX/1978 and MPR Decree No. III/2000.“Pancasila doesn’t need a legal basis anymore,” he said.Factions at the House are divided over the bill, with only the PDI-P and the Gerindra Party that do not share the concerns of the others about the exclusion of the anti-communism stipulations based on the 1966 TAP MPR.last_img read more

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Russian parliament begins legalizing ban on same-sex marriage

first_imgEnshrining a de facto ban in the constitution means any potential successors would find it hard to legalize same-sex marriage even if they wanted to.The draft legislation, which is expected to be swiftly approved by the State Duma, the lower house of parliament, explicitly bans gay marriage and outlaws same sex couples adopting children, something they cannot now do in practice anyway.Elena Mizulina, a senator and one of the authors of the legislation, said the marriage and adoption ban would also extend to transgender people, the Interfax news agency reported.Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the legislation was part of what he called a formalization of new laws following the constitutional vote. Russian lawmakers late on Tuesday submitted draft legislation that would ban same-sex marriage after voters backed changes to the constitution which define marriage as a union of a man and a woman only.The changes, championed by President Vladimir Putin, were overwhelmingly approved by voters this month in an exercise that opened the door to Putin staying in power until 2036. Critics said the outcome was falsified, something authorities rejected.Putin, who has aligned himself with the Russian Orthodox Church and sought to distance Russia from liberal Western values, has said he will not legalize gay marriage as long as he is in the Kremlin. Topics :last_img read more

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Cedric Soares provides positive injury update to Arsenal fans

first_imgAdvertisement Soares is currently injured (Picture: Getty)Cedric Soares sent a message to Arsenal fans as he continues to recover from injury.The full-back signed on loan from Southampton in January and was a shock addition considering he was injured before the transfer was completed.Soares was brought in as defensive cover by Mikel Arteta, but it is unclear when the 28-year-old might be able to make his debut for the Gunners.Arsenal’s first-team are in Dubai for the winter break and Soares posted on social media about his recovery.ADVERTISEMENT Coral BarrySunday 9 Feb 2020 12:02 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link7.1kShares Cedric Soares provides positive injury update to Arsenal fans Visit Advertiser website GO TO PAGE Skip Ad SPONSORED Full Screen About Connatix V67539 Read More Read More Read More Coming Next Rio Ferdinand tells Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop struggling He said: ‘Using the sunny energy in Dubai to recover strong.‘I can’t wait to be back on the pitch and help the squad achieve our goals. Let’s go Gunners.’Pablo Mari is also in Dubai with Soares and their new team-mates, but Arteta admitted he has to manage his new signings carefully.AdvertisementAdvertisement‘This is what I want to create [a group dynamic],’ he added.‘The new players that we have, it is a great opportunity for them to spend time together with the other players, get to know each other, live together – the same with the backroom staff as well.More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man City‘I think it will be a very important break.‘With Pablo a little bit more than Cedric, but we have to go step by step.‘He is a new player and I am sure he is very excited and wants to prove everything in three days, so we have to manage him wisely.’Arsenal are back in action next Sunday against Newcastle before the first leg of their last-31 Europa League tie against Olympiacos.MORE: Arsenal’s Kieren Tierney making good progress on return from shoulder injuryMORE: Shkodran Mustafi takes aim at former Arsenal manager Unai Emerycenter_img Comment Manchester United captain Harry Maguire 1 min. story Skip 1/1 by Metro Read More Advertisement Top articles Read More PLAY Video Settings / last_img read more

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BLOG: Gov. Wolf Announces Plow Truck Tracking Now Publicly Viewable Through 511PA (ROUND-UP)

first_img January 12, 2016 By: Megan Healey, Deputy Press Secretary Government That Works,  Infrastructure,  Innovation,  Round-Up,  The Blog,  Transportation As part of an expanded technology pilot, the public can now view hundreds of plow trucks on interstates and expressways this winter at www.511PA.com, Governor Tom Wolf announced yesterday. The announcement is part of the Automated Vehicle Location (AVL) system pilot first announced by the governor in October, which improves PennDOT’s information on vehicle movement and usage of winter materials.Check out the coverage:WTAJ: VIDEO: New technology tracks snow plows“Snow is coming our way, which means you’ll see more plow trucks out on the roads. Now, you can also track them online. Wondering if the roads have been salted or plowed recently?  PennDOT has you covered.”WJAC: VIDEO: PennDOT Goes Live With Plow Truck Tracking“PennDOT is now going live with its new plow truck tracking system. Governor Tom Wolf announced the new Automated Location System on Monday. The system is meant to improve PennDOT’s information on vehicle movement and usage of winter materials within 700 plow trucks in Pennsylvania, PennDOT officials said.”York Dispatch: You can now track PennDOT plows“Should wintery weather finally reach York County, you’ll be able to find out which highways are being cleared by state-operated plow trucks. The public can view the near real-time location of hundreds of snow plows by going online to 511Pa.com. The program is part of the Automated Vehicle Location system pilot first announced by Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf in October, according to a news release issued by the governor’s office on Monday.”LNP: Near real-time tracking of PennDOT plow trucks available online“If it ever snows this winter, you’ll be able to monitor the work of hundreds of the state’s plow trucks as they clear interstates and major expressways. At www.511PA.com, the public can view the near real-time location of more than 500 state Department of Transportation plow trucks and some 200 contracted rental trucks.”York Daily Record: Public can track state plows online this winter“When it finally snows this winter, you might be able to see if a state plow truck is rumbling your way. Through the Automated Vehicle Location System pilot, the public can view the location of more than 500 PennDOT plow trucks and more than 200 contracted rental trucks through the 511PA website this winter, according to a news release from Gov. Tom Wolf’s office.”Carlisle Sentinel: Pa. introduces plow truck tracking“Gov. Tom Wolf Monday announced a new system that will allow residents to track more than 700 plow trucks this winter. The public can now view hundreds of plow trucks on interstates and expressways this winter at www.511PA.com. Wolf said this is part of the Automated Vehicle Location system pilot, which was first announced in October and improves PennDOT’s information on vehicle movement and usage of winter materials.”Tribune-Review: PennDOT website to track where trucks clear snowy roads“With a few clicks of a mouse, motorists will get information about where PennDOT trucks are plowing snow on interstates and other expressways. As part of a pilot program anticipated to expand during the next few years, the state transportation agency will display plows at work via the website www.511pa.com. Transportation officials said they get a better look at their winter maintenance operation through the automated vehicle location system. Motorists get the added benefit of seeing where truck operators are toiling.”Daily Item: New app shows where trucks are plowing snow“With winter weather comes the annual annoyance of time spent dusting off your car, scraping your windshield and waiting patiently for the roads to become passable. Wait no longer: You can now monitor hundreds of the state’s plow trucks remotely, and in real-time, as part of a new Pennsylvania Department of Transportation pilot program, the Automated Vehicle Location system.”Titusville Herald: New PennDOT app lets you see where the plows are“Want to know if PennDOT plows are headed to your area? There’s an app for that. As part of an expanded technology pilot, the public can now view hundreds of plow trucks on interstates and expressways this winter, Gov. Tom Wolf announced Monday.”Northcentral PA: Gov. Wolf Announces Plow Truck Tracking Now Publicly Viewable Through 511PA“As part of an expanded technology pilot, the public can now view hundreds of plow trucks on interstates and expressways this winter at www.511PA.com, Governor Tom Wolf announced today. The announcement is part of the Automated Vehicle Location (AVL) system pilot first announced by the governor in October, which improves PennDOT’s information on vehicle movement and usage of winter materials.”WKBN: Ohio and Pa. road crews preparing for snowfall“As part of an expanded technology pilot, the public can now view hundreds of plow trucks on interstates and expressways this winter at www.511PA.com, Governor Tom Wolf announced on Monday. The announcement is part of the Automated Vehicle Location (AVL) system pilot first announced by the governor in October, which improves PennDOT’s information on vehicle movement and usage of winter materials.” Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolfcenter_img BLOG: Gov. Wolf Announces Plow Truck Tracking Now Publicly Viewable Through 511PA (ROUND-UP) SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

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Governor Wolf Creates Keystone Economic Development and Workforce Command Center

first_imgGovernor Wolf Creates Keystone Economic Development and Workforce Command Center Economy,  Education,  Press Release,  Workforce Development Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf is taking significant action to strengthen Pennsylvania’s workforce. Today, the governor signed an executive order to create the Keystone Economic Development and Workforce Command Center. The command center will expand the collaboration between government and the private sector to address the skills gap and worker shortages.The governor was joined by commonwealth, legislative, labor, and business leaders for the signing in the state Capitol Rotunda.“Our commonwealth is on the comeback and more people are working than ever before,” said Governor Wolf. “Businesses are hiring and cannot find the trained workers to fill open jobs. And too many people are stuck in low-wage jobs without the training to advance.“Our economy is transitioning and it’s a race to keep up. We either strengthen workforce development or we risk falling behind. We must be bold and ambitious and break from the status quo.”The governor appointed three leaders from the private sector and three cabinet secretaries to lead the command center. They are:Gene Barr, president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry;Tony Bartolomeo, co-chair of Team Pennsylvania;Rick Bloomingdale, president of the AFL-CIO;Acting Secretary Kathy Boockvar, Department of State;Secretary Dennis Davin, Department of Community and Economic Development;Secretary Jerry Oleksiak, Department of Labor & Industry.Governor Wolf wants Pennsylvania to build the strongest workforce in the nation. To advance that effort, the command center will address workforce shortages to help Pennsylvania compete. It will recommend ways to better coordinate workforce and economic development programs across state agencies and identify barriers that may prevent someone from working or prevent businesses from hiring skilled workers.Examples include lack of child care or transportation, as well as outdated professional licensure, certification and continuing education requirements. The command center will also review the recommendations of the Auditor General and implement those that will deliver the best results.Finally, it will monitor implementation and progress of the various workforce and education proposals outlined in the governor’s Statewide Workforce, Education, and Accountability Program (SWEAP) proposal to hold the commonwealth, and our private partners, accountable in strengthening our workforce and making Pennsylvania a better place to live and work.“The jobs skill gap is a growing concern among the Commonwealth’s employers – as evidenced in the PA Chamber’s 28th Economic Survey in which, for the first time ever, job creators listed difficulties finding skilled and qualified employees to fill open positions as the biggest problem facing their companies,” said PA Chamber of Business and Industry President and CEO Gene Barr. “We’re pleased to join with the Wolf administration, lawmakers from both sides of the aisle, and our partners in the education and labor communities to address this issue in order to ensure that Pennsylvania’s workforce is prepared to meet the needs of the evolving jobs market.”“The Pennsylvania AFL-CIO is honored to take part in establishing Governor Wolf’s Workforce Command Center,” said Pennsylvania AFL-CIO President Rick Bloomingdale. “We know that the future of work in our commonwealth depends on investing in the working people across Pennsylvania. Workforce development programs that train and support workers in their careers, and not just meet the needs of employers, move Pennsylvania forward in attracting the jobs of the future.”“I look forward to getting to work with the administration and the other members of the command center on addressing the workforce challenges of the commonwealth by bringing together the public and private sectors and identifying efficient, employer-focused solutions,” said Anthony Bartolomeo, Team Pennsylvania co-chair and president and CEO of Pennoni Associates, Inc.House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody added, “Our state government and employers in the private and public sectors are working together to knock down barriers and get people into jobs. This is a serious effort to develop and match the skills of Pennsylvania workers to today’s jobs.”SWEAP, unveiled with the governor’s budget proposal, builds on the success of PAsmart to create opportunities for Pennsylvanians from birth to retirement. The bold plan expands early childhood development programs, increases investments in schools and educators, and partners with the private sector to build on the groundbreaking PAsmart initiative.“We see companies across industries that say they need more of the right people in the pipeline for careers now and in the very near future,” said Jessica Trybus, a member of the Pennsylvania Workforce Development Board and Founder and Chief Games Officer of Simcoach Games, a company that uses video games to inspire youth to careers. “We need to empower people to know what the jobs are, envision themselves in those environments, then show them how to get there.” February 19, 2019center_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

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Not many ratepayers spared rises in new financial year across state

first_imgBundaberg was among the areas impacted by heavy rains off Cyclone Debbie this year. COUNCIL 2017-18 RATE RISES: Bundaberg (3.45%)Moreton Bay (3.99%)More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home3 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor3 hours agoIpswich (2.95%)Western Downs (2.9%)Redland (2.73%)Brisbane (2.4%)Sunshine Coast (2.3%)Gold Coast (1.8%)Cairns (1.75%)Logan (1.7%)Townsville (1.48%) (Source: QEAS) Follow Sophie Foster on Twitter @SophieFoster Get The Courier-Mail’s real estate news direct to your inbox for free The average rate rise in Brisbane is 2.4 per cent.COUNCIL rates are on the rise in the new financial year beginning July 1, with not many ratepayers spared across the state.Of 11 major local governments in Queensland, the biggest rise has come out of the rum capital of the state, Bundaberg, according to a Queensland Economic Advocacy Solutions statement.The Bundaberg Regional Council will administer an average rate rise of 3.45 per cent in the 2017-18 financial year. That will see a rate of 1.2663 cents in the dollar of property value with a minimum general rate of $1,083 for urban residential land and 1.0893 cents in the dollar or $1,087 minimum for rural residential land, according to council documents.Two greater Brisbane zones delivered the second and third highest average increases in rates – Moreton Bay (3.99 per cent) and Ipswich (2.95 per cent).Brisbane’s own increased rate rise of 2.4 per cent was sixth highest of the 11 councils listed.QEAS director Nick Behrens said the council increases were among “numerous fresh arrangements coming into operation” from July 1 including federal and state changes.last_img read more

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