Jeb Bush to Serve as Chairman of the Foundation for Excellence in Education

(TALLAHASSEE, Fla.) -- The Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd) announced on May 24, 2016 the election of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush as Chairman and President of its Board of Directors. Governor Bush replaces Dr. Condoleezza Rice, who has served as Chair since January 2015 and remains a member of the Board of Directors. 

“One of the greatest challenges and opportunities we have in America today is to create a 21st century education system that ensures all students have the skills, teachers and educational options they need to succeed in life,” said Governor Bush. “Too many children right now are failed by a deeply flawed bureaucratic system, but I’m optimistic about the future because I’ve seen the great results produced by states across the country. It is an honor to rejoin ExcelinEd as we continue to support states in bringing choice, innovation and accountability to the classroom. I am thankful to Dr. Rice and this exceptional board for their leadership over the past year.” 

Since 2008, ExcelinEd has worked in 48 states across the country to champion state-driven, proven transformational education reform policies that lead to rising student achievement. Because of these reforms and hard work by state leaders and educators, students have achieved remarkable academic success. Last year, as a result of active engagement by ExcelinEd and ExcelinEd in Action, 43 education laws were adopted in 15 states to improve or enact new reform policies.  

Governor Bush also has been elected to the Board of Directors of Excellence in Educationin Action (ExcelinEd in Action). The sister 501(c)(4) organization to the Foundation for Excellence in Education, ExcelinEd in Action helps advance legislation at the state level to improve the quality of education for every child. Governor Bush launched ExcelinEd in Action in 2014 and will serve as the organization’s Chairman and President.

For more on the ExcelinEd Board of Directors, visit For more on ExcelinEd in Action, visit


BIOGRAPHY: Governor Jeb Bush

Jeb Bush was elected the 43rd governor of the state of Florida on November 3, 1998, and was re-elected by a wide margin in 2002. His second term as governor ended in January 2007.

Jeb earned a bachelor’s degree in Latin American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin and moved to Florida in 1981. With partner Armando Codina, he started a small real estate development company, which grew to become the largest, full-service commercial real estate company in South Florida.

Jeb served as Florida’s Secretary of Commerce under Bob Martinez, Florida’s 40th governor. As Secretary of Commerce, he promoted Florida's business climate worldwide. Following an unsuccessful bid for governor in 1994, Jeb founded the nonprofit Foundation for Florida’s Future, which joined forces with the Urban League of Greater Miami to establish one of the state’s first charter schools. He also co-authored Profiles in Character, a book profiling 14 of Florida’s civic heroes–people making a difference without claiming a single news headline.

After his election in 1998, Governor Bush focused on reforming education. Florida students have made the greatest gains in achievement, and Florida is one of a handful of states that have narrowed the achievement gap. In addition, he cut taxes every year during his tenure as governor, and Florida led the nation in job growth seven out of eight years. Governor Bush put Florida on the forefront of consumer healthcare advances by signing Medicaid reform legislation “Empowered Care” in June 2006.

Before launching a run for the Republican presidential nomination in June of 2015, Governor Bush led his own successful consulting business, Jeb Bush and Associates, whose clients ranged from small technology start-ups to well-known Fortune 500 companies. He also served as the chairman of the Foundation for Excellence in Education; co-chairman of the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy; and chair of the National Constitution Center. 

He is the co-author of Immigration Wars: Forging an American Solution (2013) and author of Reply All (2015).

Governor Bush is the son of former President George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush. He lives in Miami with his wife, Columba. They have three children and four grandchildren.


The Foundation for Excellence in Education is transforming education for the 21st century economy by working with lawmakers, policymakers, educators and parents to advance education reform across America. Learn more at

CSU-Global Campus Partners with Skillful

On March 17, 2016, Colorado State University-Global Campus joined hundreds of local students, government officials, community leaders, and education providers at the national launch of Skillful held at the Emily Griffith Technical College in Denver, Colorado.  Skillful, a new career platform, creates collaboration between educational providers, job seekers, and companies. The platform’s purpose is to aggregate resources, and ultimately broaden the employment discussion to include skills, rather than degrees-only. As part of the pilot program, CSU-Global joined forces with founding partners LinkedIn and the Markle Foundation on this groundbreaking initiative.  

One of the Skillful kickoff event’s attendees was Jeff Wasden, president of the Colorado Business Roundtable, a local business advocacy organization. “This new platform will transform the job search,” said Wasden. “From a business perspective, we are excited to have a tool that will assist local businesses in finding the right talent, with the right skills, to help businesses continue to grow the economy.” 

The most innovative aspect of this partnership is the LinkedIn training finder, which creates a direct link between jobs, skills, and employers. This tool allows job seekers to view current openings, skills required, and educational programs for the required skills. CSU-Global’s certificate programs are listed there. For each course listed, the site indicates which companies have direct relationships with the program. This includes being on an advisory board, informing curriculum, providing internships, or directly hiring from the program. 

“Our Skillful and LinkedIn partnership fits with CSU-Global’s skill-based learning focus,” said Takeda-Tinker. “Our coursework teaches students industry-identified skillsets, which we track using endorsements and awards. This makes it easy for students to add these valuable skills to their resumes, LinkedIn profiles, and demonstrate value to their current employers.”  

Similar to the training finder, CSU-Global works with affiliates to complement its programs. The university utilizes programmatic advisory boards comprised of industry experts and hiring managers to obtain industry insight from the field, and uses this feedback to refine and assess courses biannually. Importantly, these boards identify key skills that industries require. These skills have been identified and integrated into the LinkedIn training finder, allowing job seekers to view CSU-Global programs and specific outcomes. 

At CSU-Global, students can pursue Certificates of Completion, in addition to bachelor and master’s degrees. These short programs, typically consisting of five courses, are also aligned with Skillful’s initiative by focusing on short-term, skill-based learning, rather than traditional bachelor’s and master’s degree programs.  

“Our Certificate of Completion program allows students to gain new skills and qualifications without committing to a full degree program,” said Dr. Becky Takeda-Tinker, CSU-Global Campus president. 

An additional functionality of the Skillful platform is the ability to search for training programs and potential careers by sector, view career earning potential, and see local in-demand jobs and employment rates. Other resources include interview tutorials, free career coaching, and a skill-mapping tool that connects your abilities to potential careers. The site also hosts a job personality quiz, and a list of local career-oriented events. 

For more information about CSU-Global’s online certificate programs, click here. For more information about Skillful, click here

CBCA Announces the 2016 Cultural Leadership Award Recipients

For Immediate Release

DENVER – Colorado Business Committee for the Arts (CBCA) announces the recipients of the 2016 Cultural Leadership Award. The Cultural Leadership Award recognizes outstanding alumni of CBCA’s Leadership Arts program who have made a significant impact on arts & culture in Colorado through a personal commitment to the arts. The initiative was led by the Leadership Arts Alumni Network and a committee of Leadership Arts alumni.

2016 Cultural Leadership Award Recipients
Christin Crampton Day (Leadership Arts 1997-1998)
Christin participated in one of the earliest Leadership Arts classes and has been serving the arts community ever since. She served on the Board of the Colorado Ballet for 13 years, stewarding growth for the organization during her tenure. In 2011, she was recruited to be Executive Director of Ballet Nouveau Colorado before their transition to Wonderbound.  Her philanthropy and volunteer leadership expands to Denver School for the Arts, Denver Art Museum’s Salon D’Arts/Salon du Musee, Metro Denver Sports Commission, and Denver Metro Chamber Foundation.  Professionally, Christin is Senior Director of Public Relations at Barnhart Communications.

Carol Wolf (Leadership Arts 2007-2008)
Carol served on the Board of Curious Theater Company for a decade (2005-2015). She has been instrumental in several milestones for Curious, including making “lead gifts” for the purchase of their building in the Golden Triangle and recent capital improvements. She is a model board member, inspiring others to support the organization and serving in a variety of leadership positons. Carol is currently on the Board of Trustees for the Academy of Chinese Culture and Martial Arts and the Women’s Foundation of Colorado. Carol retired from OppenheimerFunds three years ago.

The recipients will be honored at the annual CBCA Leadership Arts Board Fair and Graduation Luncheon onWednesday, May 4 at the Lakewood Cultural Center. The luncheon is an invite-only event.
For two decades, CBCA’s Leadership Arts program has trained professionals to serve on nonprofit Boards of Directors and increase their civic engagement in the arts.  This unique nine-month program equips individuals to be effective leaders in serving their community. Leadership Arts is the only program of its kind in the region that focuses on arts & culture. Applications for Leadership Arts 2016-2017 will be available in early June and due byAugust 12, 2016.
The Leadership Arts Alumni Network offers regular social gatherings, networking with community leaders, and ongoing board education. There are 700 graduates who have served in almost 650 volunteer leadership positions, including governing and advisory boards, committees, and pro bono work. 

Colorado Business Committee for the Arts (CBCA) advances Colorado’s creative economy by connecting business and the arts through advocacy, research, training, volunteerism and arts engagement.  CBCA is a nonprofit member organization of leading companies from all sectors choosing to be at the exciting intersection of arts and business in Colorado. Learn more at

For photos or additional information contact:
Meredith Badler
Program Manager, CBCA

Dream It. Do It. Colorado Onboards with Statewide Info Sessions

Colorado Business Roundtable is bringing to Colorado a manufacturing sector workforce education program of the Manufacturing Institute called Dream It Do It Colorado. We are the 40th state to join this national initiative.

From March 8-10, 2016, representatives from the national office of Dream It. Do It. will be joining us to onboard the program. This includes the first formal meeting of the steering committee which brings together many involved in workforce education and/or manufacturing. Onboarding also includes several information sessions held statewide to manufacturing companies.

Other organizations so far involved include Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry;; Colorado Advanced Manufacturing Alliance; City and County of Denver Office of Economic Development/Division of Workforce Development; Community College of Denver; Douglas County School District; Colorado Workforce Development Council; and US Brazil Connect.

Contact Program Coordinator Tara Alexander at 303-394-6210 or if you have any questions. Click the locations below for flyers, or register for the meeting as indicated. Sign up here to join the Dream It Do It Colorado email list. For more on the national Dream It. Do It program, click here

Steering Committee Meeting
March 8, 2016 from 1:30-4 PM

Click here to register

Manufacturers Meetings
March 9, 2016 from 9-11 AM
Click here to register


March 9, 2016 from 3-5 PM
Colorado Springs
Click here to register


March 10, 2016 from 2-4 PM
Grand Junction

Click here to register

Posner Center Announces Second Annual International Collaboration Fund Winners

Doug Vilsack, Executive Director
Posner Center for International Development

February 24, 2016

Posner Center Announces Second Annual International Collaboration Fund Winners

The Posner Center for International Development's International Collaboration Fund supports innovative projects designed to foster partnerships between Colorado-based international development organizations working to combat global poverty. Projects selected for funding from the Posner Center's network of 57 Tenants and 100+ Members demonstrate creative approaches, risk-taking, and the opportunity for increased impact.

The Posner Center is pleased to announce the awardees of the second annual International Collaboration Fund. These grants are generously supported by CoBank, Harvey Family Foundation, Joanne Posner-Mayer, the Shuyler Family, and Western Union. For information on how to support the International Collaboration Fund, including targeted funding for projects in agriculture, water, energy, infrastructure, health, education, children, and many more areas, contact: Doug Vilsack, Executive Director at 719-647-7365.

The 2016 Collaboration Fund winners and projects:

Children’s Future International, Sustainable Schools International, Empowering Youth in Cambodia, Trailblazer Foundation, and Asian Foundation - $3,450
Colorado is home to a strong community of organizations working in Cambodia. The ICF-funded Colorado-Cambodia Consortium will foster collaboration between these organizations by promoting sharing of resources and best practices, reducing duplication of effort, and identifying future avenues for partnership.

Children’s Future International and Write Our World - $5,250
Children’s Future International (CF) and Write Our World (WOW) will collaborate to implement WOW’s ebook authoring project at CF’s Learning Center in Battambang, Cambodia during the 2016 summer session. WOW is working alongside the CF teachers to lead the initial ebook creation project and is also training them to implement future ebook projects independently. The students at the Learning Center will generate creative bilingual materials that will be shared in the WOW ebook library and will be made available to individuals worldwide.

Denver Urban Gardens, Friends of ENCA Farm, and Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance - $10,000
Denver Urban Gardens (DUG), Friends of ENCA Farm (FoE) and the Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance (RMSA) will conduct seed-saving educational, training, and capacity-building programs in the Philippines and Denver throughout 2016. This partnership will support the creation of appropriate seed-saving curricula, a one-day seed school in Denver serving
Burmese farmers and Women, Infants and Children (WIC) participants, a farmer-to-farmer exchange between Denver and the Philippines, and a seed school in the Philippines.

Edge of Seven, AfricAid and eight additional Posner Center Tenants - $8,500
Led by Edge of Seven and AfricAid, this cohort of Posner Center Tenants will pilot a shared fundraising effort, dubbed the 'fundraising event support test,' or 'FEST.' This grant will fund dedicated support for soliciting in-kind donations, sponsorships, and event marketing on behalf of the group of 10 organizations. The aim is to develop processes that create efficiencies and therefore improved returns for the test group and help identify the utility of such a service.

iDE and Engineers Without Borders - $20,000
iDE and Engineers Without Borders (EWB) will accelerate the design, testing, and construction of a post-harvest cooling and storage system for use by smallholder farmers in Mozambique who have little or no access to grid power. In rural communities worldwide, there is often large post-harvest crop spoilage that results in income loss for farmers and reduced access to nutritional produce for families. The planned design addresses the three critical steps in the supply chain, thereby maintaining an unbroken cold chain: onsite field storage, crop transportation, and cooling at a large collection center.

Into Your Hands-Africa, AfricAid, Africa Development Promise, Edge of Seven, and Global Livingston Institute - $20,000
Building upon a 2015 ICF scoping grant, this group of five organizations will implement the Women's Entrepreneurial Training Program (WETP) and create additional tools as a resource for organizations delivering business trainings. They will use a human-centered design approach to revise and customize the existing curriculum for delivery in two locations
in Uganda. In addition, they will develop a replicable implementation framework which will serve as a tool to support organizations in successfully delivering business trainings across a variety of contexts and geographies.

Technology Partnership, Hope Online Learning Academy, and Cleo Parker Robinson Dance - $5,000
Technology Partnership is collaborating with two local organizations, Hope Online Learning Academy and Cleo Parker Robinson Dance, to create a cross-cultural exchange between Denver and Meru, Kenya using dance and the arts as a catalyst. Utilizing the IEEE Global Classroom at the Posner Center, the group will conduct four dance exchanges, supplemented with facilitated pen-pal relationships. Through this project, participants from diverse communities locally and internationally will have the opportunity to change their views about technology and their own abilities, and begin to see broader opportunities for themselves in a global world.

World Child Cancer USA and Project C.U.R.E. - $5,000
World Child Cancer USA and Project C.U.R.E. are partnering to deliver a 53-foot shipping container of medical supplies and equipment to the Hospital de la Niñez Oaxqueña (HNO) in Oaxaca, Mexico. The goal of this project is to strengthen the medical infrastructure at HNO, to outfit the new pediatric oncology ward to care for more childhood cancer patients, and to improve outcomes for all children treated at the HNO. The partners will work directly with hospital staff to deliver capacity building training and implement effective systems for monitoring and evaluating long-term health outcomes.

Library Journal Names Arapahoe Libraries' Davies as 2016 Librarian of the Year

January 6, 2016




Nicolle Ingui Davies, executive director of Arapahoe Libraries, has been named the 2016 Library Journal Librarian of the Year. This annual award recognizes one talented individual for transforming their library and community, and leading the profession toward innovation, and it is the first time that a librarian in Colorado has earned this honor. Davies is notable for building a committed and energized staff and implementing a forward-thinking strategic plan to move the library from “nice to essential” – while helping to reimagine how the library as a brand is considered in her community and beyond.

Soon after Davies became executive director in 2012, she worked with the board and her staff on developing a new strategic plan. Together, they established four pillars in the system’s rebranding strategy: deliver very important patron experiences, surprise and delight, make every experience matter and strive for simplicity. This patron-focused model creates a memorable experience when users come through the doors or interact with the Arapahoe Libraries out in the community. 

“I think all of us are aware of the kind of antiquated perception of libraries that we have to battle. Over the past five to seven years this has become ever more challenging. As e-content became so pervasive, we had to carve out our niche, our relevance,” Davies says in Library Journal’s January issue. “It was also about reworking the way that we tell our story to turn the perception of libraries people have on its head.”  

In her previous role as Arapahoe Libraries’ deputy director, Davies began the evolution of the libraries into community centers with a focus on easy access to resources and technology. Arapahoe Libraries is the local leader in providing access to cutting-edge technology, featuring products in their early development. Arapahoe Libraries takes on the costs and risks of early adoption, providing such new technologies as 3-D printers, Go Pro cameras, Oculus Rift Virtual Reality headsets, and many more. 

Arapahoe Libraries takes on an educator role with its Tech Road Shows, taking these technologies throughout the Denver area to local businesses, professional and social associations, museums, and business groups. 

“Nicolle brings both a strength of leadership and a refreshing spirit that is exciting for libraries and transformative for her community,” said Rebecca T. Miller, editorial director of Library Journal. “She represents the kind of library leader our communities need and deserve, and we couldn’t be more pleased to name her the 2016 Librarian of the Year.” 

The award is celebrated in a cover story in the January issue of the magazine and at a special reception during ALA Midwinter in Boston, MA. Read the full story at


About Library Journal

Founded in 1876, Library Journal is one of the oldest and most respected publications covering the library field. Over 75,000 library directors, administrators, and staff in public, academic, and special libraries read LJ. Library Journal reviews over 8000 books, audiobooks, videos, databases, and web sites annually, and provides coverage of technology, management, policy, and other professional concerns. For more information, visit Library Journal is a publication of Media Source Inc., which also owns School Library Journal, The Horn Book publications, and Junior Library Guild.

About Arapahoe Libraries

Arapahoe Libraries serve 250,000 patrons and include eight community libraries, a jail library and a Library on Wheels in Arapahoe County, Colorado. For more information, visit

Erik Mitisek Appointed Co-Chair of Quarterly Forum


Quarterly Forum
Ryan Heckman, 303.330.6929,
Kelly Brown, 303.204.1542,

Erik Mitisek Appointed Co-Chair of Quarterly Forum

DENVER — Feb. 12, 2016 — Local business leader Erik Mitisek has been appointed co-chairman of Quarterly Forum, a nonprofit organization that works to connect, educate and inspire leaders in Colorado. Effective March 1, Mitisek will share oversight of the leadership organization with fellow co-chairman Ryan Heckman. 

In his co-chairman role, Mitisek will provide strategic direction and work with the Quarterly Forum board of directors, partners and members to continue building the organization into an impactful leadership organization for the state of Colorado – developing the next generation of state leaders across the business, nonprofit and government sectors. This new partnership between Heckman and Mitisek comes at a momentous era for Quarterly Forum with increasing membership, new leadership and civic engagement programs tailored to the development of the state’s best emerging leaders. 

“Erik truly embodies the spirit of leadership, entrepreneurship and innovation that is propelling Colorado forward,” said Heckman. “He is a model of what Quarterly Forum is becoming... a civic platform to develop the next generation of Colorado leaders who will truly make a difference in our state together.” 

Mitisek is a long-time advocate for business and innovation in Colorado. He is the CEO of the Colorado Technology Association and helped lead the 2015 opening of the Commons on Champa, a collaborative effort between the Downtown Denver Partnership, Colorado Technology Association and the City and County of Denver. The Commons on Champa is a public campus for entrepreneurship and a gathering place for business builders and innovators. Heckman, in the name of Quarterly Forum, underwrote the creation of the “QF Innovation Lounge” at the Commons on Champa, and that gift connects Quarterly Forum members directly to the entrepreneurial community. 

Mitisek is also founder and co-chair of Denver Startup Week, co-chair of Startup Colorado, chairman of Built In Colorado, an alumnus of Leadership Denver, and a board member of the Governor of Colorado’s Colorado Innovation Network. In addition, Mitisek is an appointee to the Information Technology Economic Development Advisory Committee for Colorado.

Mitisek said, “The importance of giving back to the community has always been central to my beliefs. I am also deeply passionate about applying entrepreneurial principles to those efforts, which is what Quarterly Forum is largely about. When you can bring together the public, private and nonprofit sectors under an entrepreneurial umbrella, amazing change can happen.”

With a 17-year history of convening thought leaders and leadership development, Quarterly Forum recently expanded its mission to include The Leaders Initiative, which promotes and activates citizenship and service to the state of Colorado through a fellowship program, and the Colorado Governors Citizenship Award, which under Executive Order by Governor Hickenlooper debuted in December 2015 and recognizes Colorado residents and organizations from diverse sectors that have worked to strengthen Colorado communities and develop new opportunities for Coloradans throughout the state. 

The QF Innovation Lounge at the Commons on Champa will host the Governors Fellowship Program beginning in mid-2016. Meegan Moszynski, who previously served as the ideas director of the Biennial of the Americas, was recently named executive director of The Leaders Initiative and will oversee its various programs. The Leaders Initiative is sponsored by the Colorado Business Roundtable and is supported by Governors Hickenlooper, Owens and Ritter who are inspired to increase engagement between business leaders and public service.

In addition to fostering leadership among the public, private and nonprofit sectors, Quarterly Forum also supports our state’s future leaders through scholarship programs including a program with the state that sends 30-plus first generation college students to college tuition-free each year, the Mike Fries Emerging Artist Scholarship and the Scott Reiman Emerging Leader Scholarship. The Quarterly Forum scholarship program gifted approximately $200,000 in 2015 and complements the organization’s mission of seeding future leadership in the state of Colorado.

About Quarterly Forum

Quarterly Forum is a Colorado-based leadership organization that connects, educates and inspires the state’s emerging leaders. The organization has a 17-year history of providing a place for developing executives to dream more, learn more, do more and become more by fostering strong ties among the business, government and nonprofit sectors in Colorado. Quarterly Forum is a non-partisan and by-invitation membership-based community that represents diverse industries including health care, energy, agriculture, private equity, nonprofit, professional service providers, restaurants, consumer products and services, hospitality, real estate, building products, media, technology and telecom.


Leeds School of Business Takes Leadership Role in UN Education Initiative

Dr. Mark Meaney, Executive Director for the Center for Education on Social Responsibility, 303.492.3937
Ms. Zeel Patel, Director of Marketing & Communications, 303.492.6397

The Leeds School of Business takes leadership role in the United Nations Principles for Responsible Management Education Initiative.

Dr. Mark Meaney accepts leadership position with newly formed North American chapter involving over 150 business schools.

BOULDER, Colorado – Feb 3, 2016 – The Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado, Boulder, announced that Dr. Mark Meaney, Executive Director of the Center for Education on Social Responsibility (CESR), was elected as Chair of the newly established North America Chapter of the United Nations Principles for Responsible Management Education (UN PRME) initiative. Dr. Meaney was also appointed to the UN PRME International Advisory Board.

Launched at the 2007 United Nations Global Compact Leader’s Summit in Geneva, the UN PRME initiative focuses on inspiring and championing responsible business management education, research and thought leadership globally. UN PRME Chapter North America is comprised of 18 Canadian and 138 US business school signatories, and is part of a collective of over 600 business schools world-wide.

Key areas the North America Chapter will focus on include developing resources to foster student experiential learning in business ethics, and establishing and sharing best practices to align with UN sustainable development goals. Dr. Meaney remarked, “This is a significant opportunity for a vast network of educational leaders to collaborate and make a difference in critical areas of student learning such as business ethics, corporate social responsibility, and sustainability. We have an opportunity to develop widely accepted best practices and contribute on a global scale.” Dr. Meaney will be presenting at UN PRME’s 2nd North American meeting hosted in Atlanta, GA, February 4 to 6 to further establish the Chapter’s focus and engagement across participating schools.

Dr. Meaney has over 20 years of experience and an international reputation in business ethics. He is currently the Executive Director at the University of Colorado Boulder’s Leeds School of Business, Center for Education on Social Responsibility, which was founded through the support of the Leeds family. Under Dr. Meaney’s leadership, the Center focuses on developing socially conscious, values-driven business leaders to manage the ethical challenges of a global economy. Learn more at

COBRT President Makes the Business Case for Early Childhood Education

Colorado Business Roundtable President Jeff Wasden recently spoke to the New Mexico State Chamber regarding the importance of early childhood education and the business case for making these critical investments. 

Study after study show a compelling case that early investments in our youth is the best return on investment we can make in education. Ensuring all students enter school with the right skills and tools to learn show dramatic results-lessened cases of grade retention, less drop out, higher graduation rates, less cases of special education needs, and lowered risk for juvenile delinquency and arrest. 

Students without a quality early childhood program can already enter kindergarten up to 30% behind their peers. The United States spends significantly less than other industrialized nations and then there are some that cannot make the correlation behind why our students are scoring lower in math, science and reading than other nations. “Ensuring all students have access to a quality early childhood program will create a larger pool of educated, qualified workers entering the job market and allow business to continue to innovate and prosper and remain competitive in this increasing competitive global market,” states Wasden.

To learn more about why early childhood education is good business, visit ReadyNation, a national organization that understands good schools is good business.

Major Businesses Offer Employees Free Program to Earn GED Credential

Contact: CT Turner | Public Affairs | 202/471.2228
October 29, 2015

WASHINGTON, DC— GED Testing Service has partnered with some of the nation’s largest employers and most recognizable brands— including Walmart, KFC, Taco Bell and Southeastern Grocers— to create GEDWorksTM, a comprehensive program free for employees who want to earn their GED credential.

The GEDWorks program includes everything an employee needs to successfully prepare for and pass the GED test. Students are provided access to a GED advisor, online GED study material, connections to local adult education programs, practice tests, and more. GED advisors are a key element of GEDWorks and help guide, engage, and motivate students. GEDWorks also helps keep graduates moving forward after completing the tests by connecting them with college and career pathways tools on 

GEDWorks is one indicator that national employers understand the value of the new GED program, which is focused on better preparing learners to compete in today’s job market and to successfully enter post-secondary education programs essential to most 21st century jobs. This effort also marks the first time national employers have banded together to support a program aimed solely at decreasing the number of adults without a high school diploma, an important step in improving the country’s economic competitiveness.

“Employers have invested in this national program with GED Testing Service to boost the education levels of their employees because they recognize the benefits of the enhanced GED program and the importance of education in the lives of their employees. The program offers a cost-effective way for employers to help adult learners achieve their goals and invest in their futures. Students earning a GED credential enhance their career prospects and earning potential,” said Randy Trask, President of GED Testing Service. 

The support that employers show their participating employees is another key element of the GEDWorks program. “Taco Bell believes in helping our Team Members get more out of life— starting with an education,” said Frank Tucker, Global Chief People Officer at Taco Bell. “GEDWorks is great because it gives our employees everything they need to prepare for and pass the GED test on their own flexible terms. Not only are we developing our Team Members and creating an engaged workforce, but we’re also inspiring these valued Team Members to champion their potential, education and future.”

“Walmart believes that education is key to an associate's personal and professional
development,” said Michelle Knight, Vice President of Talent Development for Walmart U.S. “The opportunity to earn a market-valued credential helps our people gain skills to advance their career. Achieving success with the GEDWorks program is a gateway to opportunity.”

The program is completely free for learners. It is fully funded by employers or, in the case of KFC, by the associated charity, Kentucky Fried Chicken Foundation. The only investment needed by students is time and energy to prepare for the test. “Restaurant operators love that the GEDWorks and other Foundation programs help them recruit and retain high quality employees who are interested in working hard to improve themselves. The KFC Foundation is proud to be able to support them, and continue Colonel Sanders’ legacy of helping people be their best selves through education,” said Krista Snider, Managing Director of the KFC Foundation.

"Now that I have my GED, it takes away that little bit of shame and embarrassment [of not having graduated from high school],” said Courtney, an employee of Winn-Dixie/Southeastern Grocers in Alabama and one of the first graduates of the GEDWorks program. “My GED advisor was very encouraging and friendly throughout the process— she addressed all of the concerns I had along the way. I think others should go for it as well!”

For more information visit the GEDWorks Media Kit web page, which includes: GEDWorks Press Release in English and Spanish, GEDWorks Infographic, Soundcloud Audio Clip, First GEDWorks Graduate Video, GEDWorks Student Profiles/Stories, Link to the GEDWorks Website.


About GED Testing Service
The GED test has opened doors to better jobs and college programs for more than 20 million graduates since 1942. The GED test is accepted by virtually all of U.S. colleges and employers. As the creator of the one official GED test, GED Testing Service has a responsibility to ensure that the program continues to be a reliable and valuable pathway to a better life for the millions of adults without a high school diploma. GED Testing Service is a joint venture between the American Council on Education and Pearson.

About the GED Program
The goal of the GED program that launched in January, 2014 is to better prepare adult learners for today’s jobs and for entry into career and college training programs. The new GED test has two performance levels – one that is used to certify high school equivalency, and another optional level that indicates readiness for college-level coursework.


Five Ways To Thrive In A Hyper-Connected World

At the inaugural Colorado STEM Summit, Thomas Friedman Shared

Five Ways To Thrive In A Hyper-Connected World

    1. Think Like a Hungry Immigrant

How can a Perkins Server inspire us to Thrive in a hyper-connected world?

How can a Perkins Server inspire us to Thrive in a hyper-connected world?

          In a tip of his hat to  Sheryl Sandberg, Friedman advises both men and women to "Lean In" and embrace this new, dynamic world of hyper-connectivity. He urges audiences to think similarly to new immigrants by being "paranoid optimists". He calls them paranoid in the sense of knowing the challenges and the threats that exist out there in the world. They're optimistic in the sense that they've already seen how circumstances can improve, and they're always keeping their eyes out for further opportunities for improvement. 

    2. Think Like An Artisan

          Inspired by the Steve Jobs biography, Friedman says you should do your work every day with so much pride and extra effort that you'd want to carve your initials into it, as an artisan would. The idea is to not produce an overly commoditized product/service, but rather to create your own unique value-added brand. 

    3. Always Be in Beta

          Be a work in progress and iterate quickly in the style of Silicon Valley startups. Always be re-learning and re-engineering. He credits LinkedIn's founder Reid Hoffman with saying, "for entrepreneurs, finished is an F-word... We are all works in progress. Each day presents an opportunity to learn more, do more, be more, grow more in our lives and careers. You will need to adapt and evolve forever – that’s permanent beta."

    4. Be Persistent and Curious

         Friedman gave the model PQ + CQ > IQ to show that one's curiosity combined with one's persistence, is greater than one's intelligence alone. While the entrepreneurial STEM world is full of bright students, the desire to learn and the grit to stay the course matter even more than raw smarts.

    5. Think Like a Perkins Server

          In Friedman's hometown of Minneapolis, a waitress at the local Perkins became an unexpected source of inspiration... by serving him extra fruit.  While he says she didn't control much in this world, she did have control over the fruit ladle. And by giving him extra fruit, she ended up earning a hefty tip. Friedman advises others to learn three lessons from this savvy purveyor of pancakes: (a) be relentlessly entrepreneurial, (b) change whatever you have control over, and (c) find that new business or opportunity. 

Thomas Friedman on STEM Education

Speaking to an audience of over 600 people interested in advancing Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education, New York Times columnist and bestselling author Thomas Friedman shared his perspective at the inaugural Colorado STEM Summit hosted by the South Metro Denver Chamber. Despite being a humanities major himself, the writer Thomas Friedman had some thought-provoking things to say on the subject of STEM education. In summary, he not only emphasizes the importance of STEM education, but also adds that it needs to be combined with the social skills necessary to understand and communicate effectively with other people. To Friedman, this "STEMpathy" model is an important solution for the future.

Firstly, to set the context of his speech, he offered insights from STEM experts he's worked with in doing his journalistic research.  He discussed the amazing rate of recent technological advances and the significance of compound growth by referencing his reading of The Second Machine Age, written by MIT’s Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee. They found that amid the new riches that modern technology provides, professions of all kinds are being completely upended. Their insights combined with Friedman's real-life experience of riding in Google's autonomous vehicles led him to wonder: "Who will be the last human taxi driver?" "What about the last human __fill in the blank__ ?" 

He then talked about crowdsourcing and 3D printing, using GE's Bracket Challenge as an example of how one person in a remote place like central Indonesia can beat GE's in-house team of professional engineers. He did this by entering the online challenge and creating a strong and lightweight bracket design for mounting an aircraft engine. With 3D printing, the bracket design could be sent over the internet and printed on the opposite side of the planet. As more and more people become empowered and connected, these sort of amazing crowd-sourcing feats will become more and more common. 

He also declared that "guessing is over." With big data technologies advancing, finding a needle in the haystack will become the new normal. He shared a story of how fitbit-like technology showed farmers some intriguing insights about when their cows are in heat and ready to reproduce. What had been done in the past with guessing and intuition can be automated and have surprising new accuracy. The researchers found that changes in the number of steps cows took not only signaled exactly when cows were entering heat, but also the optimal times to have the highest odds of producing either a male or a female offspring - depending on the farmer's needs. "Artificial Insemination powered by Artificial Intelligence", or "AI with AI" as he called it.

On the topic of jobs, Friedman says we'll continue to see high-wage, middle-skill jobs disappear. He described a model in which jobs are being stretched in multiple directions. Jobs are being pulled upwards as jobs require more and more skills.  They're being stretched sideways as more competition enters the market. And, finally, jobs are being pulled downwards as more and more jobs are becoming obsolete. This is where he really dove into why science, technology, engineering, and mathematics are important, though he expanded the well-known STEM acronym to describe the importance of what he calls STEMpathy - a combination of STEM and empathy. 

Computers and algorithms can be trained to do almost anything, though they have no inherent social and interpersonal skills. Therefore, being able to work in STEM areas and also being able to communicate and collaborate with other humans is a key advantage for individuals entering an increasingly competitive job market. He believes it's an important model for America's leaders to consider when addressing education and workforce development policies: pursue STEM education along with empathetic social skills.



Colorado June Jobs Report Analysis and Other Economic Indicators—July 21, 2015

By Brian Lewandowski, Associate Director, Business Research Division, Leeds School of Business

The June state jobs report was released today, with the preliminary numbers showing a month-over-month increase in employment (11,300 jobs, 0.4%) and a slight downward (-200 jobs) revision to the May estimates. According to data from the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), June recorded 65,400 more jobs than the same month in 2014, increasing 2.7% year-over-year—an acceleration from May. 

After growing more than 3% for 16 consecutive months, Colorado has been firmly entrenched in 2% growth for four consecutive months (2.8%, 2.6%, 2.5%, and 2.7% year-over-year March through June). Year-over-year growth in June ranked Colorado 8th nationally, and monthly growth ranked the state 3rd. 

Colorado employment grew year-over-year in all of Colorado’s metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs); however, five of the seven MSAs recorded slower year-over-year growth in June compared to the same period a year ago. Industry growth was recorded in 10 of the 11 industries in the state year-over-year, and growth was recorded in eight industries month-over-month. The velocity of growth slowed in six industries. 

Three ups 

  •  State employment was among the fastest growing in the nation in June, and showed an acceleration from May.
  •  Colorado’s labor force over the last 8 months averaged higher than any previous period.
  •  The tourism industry (Leisure and Hospitality) was the second-fastest growing (6.3%) industry in the state in June, increasing the pace of growth for three consecutive months, and recording strong growth in both subsectors (Accommodation and Food Services and in Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation). 

Three downs

  •  Mining and Logging employment has dropped 4.7% since January.
  •  Employment growth in Professional and Business Services has slowed for 6 consecutive months, measuring just 0.5% year-over-year in June. Though, the Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services subsector remained strong.
  •  Retail Trade employment was flat year-over-year in June, and the three-month moving average points to a general slowing of growth for the past year. 

June State Employment Growth, Year-over-Year


Data Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, CES, Seasonally Adjusted.

Year-over-year growth was recorded in all of Colorado’s MSAs: Greeley (4.8%), Fort Collins-Loveland (3.5%), Denver-Aurora-Broomfield (3.2%), Pueblo (2%), Grand Junction (1.3%), Boulder (1.2%), and Colorado Springs (1%). 

The greatest year-over-year percentage gains continued to be recorded in the Construction industry (8.2%), followed by Leisure and Hospitality (6.3%) and Education and Health Services (5.3%). The weakest sectors for growth included Information (-3.3%); Other Services (0.2%); and Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (0.4%). Compared to May, the strongest month-over-month growth came from Leisure and Hospitality and from Financial Activities.

Growth in Colorado’s Manufacturing Sector continued to rank among the best states for industry growth—5th nationally—with 2.9% year-over-year growth in June, according to the seasonally adjusted statistics. The sector gained 0.7% from May to June. The Construction industry showed the greatest pace of job growth year-over-year in Colorado. The industry grew 8.2%, which leaves Colorado 16,500 construction jobs (9.7%) below the previous industry peak in 2007. 

The Mining and Logging sector in Colorado is predominately related to oil and gas activities (drilling, extraction, and support activities). The commodity price decline has driven down drilling applications, rig counts, and employment. Industry growth of 2.4% was recorded year-over-year in June, but employment declined 0.9% from May to June (month-over-month). The sector has now recorded five consecutive months of employment losses. Likewise, the pace of growth in the Greeley MSA, while strong year-over-year, slowed for the fifth consecutive month. Of the 42 states with published seasonally adjusted Mining and Logging employment, only four states marked monthly employment growth in June, and four recorded year-over-year growth. 

Two of the states showing monthly growth, Texas and Oklahoma, may suggest the impact of the oil price decline is abating. 

The June unemployment rate rose one-tenth of a percent for the second consecutive month, to 4.4%, ranking Colorado 14th-lowest nationally. At the low end, Nebraska and North Dakota ranked 1st and 2nd, at 2.6% and 3.1%, respectively. At the high end, Nevada and West Virginia ranked 49th and 50th, with 6.9% and 7.4% unemployment, respectively. Year-over-year growth (0.3%) in the Colorado labor force ranked 35th in percentage terms and 32nd in absolute growth.

When compared to other states, Colorado ranked 4th for growth above the previous peak, behind only North Dakota, Texas, and Utah. Colorado now measures 6.9% above 2008 peak employment compared to 2.5% for the nation. National job growth was 2.1% year-over-year in June and 0.2% month-over-month, with the United States adding 223,000 jobs compared to 254,000 in May. The three-month moving average ending in June was 221,000 compared to 284,000 a year ago. 

The July national jobs report will be released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday, August 7, 2015. The July state jobs report will be released August 21, 2015.