Wolf Administration Welcomes 20 Students with Disabilities for Summer Internship Program SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Government That Works, Innovation, Press Release Harrisburg, PA – In support of the Employment First initiative to help people with disabilities find employment, the Wolf Administration is welcoming 20 Pennsylvania college students who will participate in summer internships with state agencies, while a first-of-its kind state partnership with Microsoft will promote accessibility best practices and tools.“Internships are an important way for students to gain experience in their field of study and establish relationships with potential employers,” said Governor Tom Wolf. “This program will provide valuable opportunities in public service to students with disabilities.”The students will take part in a 12-week paid internship in the Harrisburg area beginning this month. The interns will work in positions related to their academic backgrounds and career interests.Governor Wolf signed the executive order to establish the Employment First policy in March 2016 to increase competitive-integrated employment for people with disabilities and make Pennsylvania a model state when it comes to creating a climate hospitable to disabled workers.The internship program was developed by the Department of Labor and Industry’s (L&I) Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) and the Office of Administration (OA). OVR recruited college students for the inaugural class, while OA facilitated placement within state offices.“We want to thank the commonwealth’s leaders and supervisors for supporting the disability internship program and welcoming these students for the summer,” said Secretary of Administration Sharon Minnich. “We think it will be an enriching experience for everyone involved.”OVR provides vocational rehabilitation services to help persons with disabilities prepare for, obtain, or maintain employment. In 2017, the office helped place more than 9,300 OVR customers into employment, and connected with 6,000 Pennsylvania employers to achieve hiring results.“When it comes to providing employment opportunities to people with disabilities, we need to lead by example,” said L&I Secretary Jerry Oleksiak. “We are excited to work with the Office of Administration to offer this internship program for state government.”The administration also announced that Pennsylvania is the first state government to partner with Microsoft Corporation to provide training and other resources on accessibility to employees. The training will focus on tools available within Office 365 to make documents and other files accessible to people with disabilities, as well as features that can assist commonwealth employees who are themselves disabled. Employees will also have access to a help desk staffed by accessibility experts to answer questions and provide guidance. These services are being provided at no additional cost to the commonwealth.“We are incredibly excited about working with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to educate employees on how to be more inclusive and accessible using the built-in tools in Microsoft365,” said Megan Lawrence, Microsoft’s Accessibility Technical Evangelist. May 22, 2018
Source: Wates GroupJames WatesDirectors should foster effective stakeholder relationships aligned to the company’s purpose. The board is responsible for overseeing meaningful engagement with stakeholders, including the workforce, and having regard to their views when taking decisions.Boards should have a clear understanding of the views of shareholders including those with a minority interest. Boards will appreciate the importance of dialogue with the workforce and wider stakeholders around the company’s stated purpose and be proactive in ensuring it takes place.The board should establish clear policies on remuneration structures and practices which should enable effective accountability to shareholders.The board should present to stakeholders a fair, balanced and understandable assessment of the company’s position and prospects and make this available on an annual basis.Boards should ensure that there are channels to receive appropriate feedback from discussions with stakeholders.Wates said: “Good corporate governance is not about box-ticking. It can only be achieved if companies think seriously about why they exist and how they deliver on their purpose, then explain how they go about implementing the principles. That’s the sort of transparency that can build the trust of stakeholders and the general public.”Chris Cummings, chief executive of the Investment Association, the UK’s asset management trade body, added: “It is essential that both private and public companies operate with high standards of corporate governance to promote their long-term success and ultimately that of the UK economy. Recent instances of corporate failure and concerns over governance have damaged the public trust in business as a whole.“These principles provide an important framework for private companies to articulate how they are delivering good governance and will help to build trust and confidence in the UK business community and wider society.”The code is to take effect from 1 January 2019. The Financial Reporting Council (FRC), the UK’s audit regulator, has published a code for the corporate governance of large private companies aimed at helping them meet legal requirements and achieve long-term success.It comes in response to concerns that while privately-owned companies are not subject to the same level of reporting and accountability requirements as publicly listed companies, their economic and social significance can be as great – and when problems occur there are comparable risks to a wide range of stakeholders.The code was developed by a coalition established by the FRC and chaired by James Wates, chairman of Wates Group, the privately-owned construction company.It was intended to help companies comply with recent UK regulations on governance reporting, the FRC said, and applied to companies with more than 2,000 employees, or a turnover of more than £200m (€221m) and a balance sheet of over £2bn. The code listed six “Wates Principles”, covering purpose and leadership, board composition, director responsibilities, opportunity and risk, remuneration, and stakeholder relationships and engagement.Recommendations included:
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The estimated cost of the improvements is $135 million. But, the Northern Development Chair Evan Saugstad (and Mayor of Chetwynd) says that money could easily be recovered.He says the investment would help businesses claw back work in the B.C. oil and gas and forest industries, currently being done by Alberta firms.[asset|aid=2206|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=896d169230e15b117a8b913fde779481-Evan Saugstad 1_2_Pub.mp3]The report is now in Minister Shirley Bond’s hands. The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure will review the proposal, and determine whether to go ahead with the upgrades.For a copy of the Northern Development Initiative Trust Economic Assesment, click on the attachment below.Advertisement Other loads that have been rerouted through Alberta include compressor station components, combines, manufactured homes, large dozers, drilling tanks, bridge components, and coal and ore trucks used in the mining industry.Greg Hammond is the President of Greensmart Homes, which has offices in Dawson Creek and Fort St. John. He says if the existing low clearance overpasses are upgraded as recommended, his company would be able to bid competitively on large pre-manufactured structural building projects in the interior and northwest B.C.Hammond says currently, the majority of Greensmart’s opportunities for large projects are located in northeast B.C. and Alberta.[asset|aid=2205|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=896d169230e15b117a8b913fde779481-Greg Hammond 1_1_Pub.mp3]Advertisement Local businesses are backing the idea of improving sections of the Pine Pass.Just recently, the Northern Development Initiative Trust and the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure completed studies on the stretch of highway 97, between Quesnel and Dawson Creek.The studies focused on eight low clearance overhead railway crossings and the Salmon River and Parsnip bridges.- Advertisement -Several businesses in Northeast B.C. are forced to haul oversized loads of equipment through Alberta due to Highway 97’s height and width constraints.Bob Fedderly, of Fedderly Transportation in Fort St. John, says the propsed upgrades would benefit companies in the B.C. interior. Fedderly says those companies have been unable to competitively participate in the oil and gas industry in northeast B.C.[asset|aid=2204|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=896d169230e15b117a8b913fde779481-Bob Fedderly 1_1_Pub.mp3]Advertisement