Weekly News from COBRT - June 12, 2018
June 12, 2018
Trump, Kim Commit To Future Meetings After Cozy Encounter
President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Tuesday signed a joint agreement, after meeting in person for only a few hours, in which Kim promises to work toward ridding the Korean Peninsula of nuclear weapons. But the text of the agreement contained few concrete steps to achieve that goal other than a commitment "to hold follow-on negotiations...at the earliest possible date," according to a photo of the document. 

Gov. John Hickenlooper on Tuesday participated in the final public bill-signing of his eight-year term as Colorado's highest elected official, and he also signed into law another bill that could pump significant money into the fight against opioid abuse. 

For a moment, it looked like an intense ideological battle for Colorado's future began today. Or maybe it was over as soon as it started: The man behind the polarizing "Initiative 66" campaign tells Denverite that he's giving up. The conflict has been brewing for months, since Daniel Hayes unveiled his plan to slow down the growth of the Front Range. If he succeeded, the state's voters would decide whether to implement strict new limits on residential construction in Denver and neighboring counties. 

Pinnacol Assurance Partners With Colorado Apprenticeship Program To Build Workforce Of The Future
While enjoying a healthy, robust economy and low unemployment, Colorado faces a challenging paradox. According to the Colorado Talent 2016 Pipeline Report, by 2020 nearly 74 percent of all jobs within the state will require some type of post secondary education. At the same time, only 23 percent of Colorado's graduating high schoolers are earning a college degree. This gap in career-readiness is putting local students at a severe disadvantage as they enter the workforce. At the same time, it's making it difficult for area employers to attract qualified workers, as well as create a pipeline of steady recruits for the thousands of job opportunities in the state. 

Colorado Securities Commissioner Gerald Rome expected only five people to show up to a panel on cryptocurrency regulation at a recent industry conference. He instead found more than a hundred people waiting to hear him speak. "The atmosphere was just electric," Rome said. "The folks that are into cryptocurrency and ICOS are true believers, and being in the securities industry for as long as I've been in it, you realize that with all that enthusiasm, people are going to be more apt to not be careful when they are investing."

If you live in the Denver Metro area, it's no surprise that the construction industry is booming. Take a quick scan of the city skyline and you'll count a handful of cranes on any given day. What's less apparent, however, is that many Colorado construction companies are desperately struggling to find workers. In fact, a recent survey of industry professionals shows that 56 percent of Colorado construction firms list worker shortages at the top of the list of concerns.  

Colorado's biggest utility company on Wednesday released details of its $2.5 billion proposal to become a cleaner power generator, retiring two coal-burning plants and by 2026 replace them with projects generating nearly 55 percent of its electricity from renewable sources. Xcel Energy submitted its plan to the Colorado Public Utilities Commission late Wednesday, laying out extensive options how it could source electricity to meet growing Denver metro-area demand in coming years. 

You've heard of smartphones, smart appliances and smart TVs, and now you're hearing about things getting "smart" on a much larger scale. The smart city buzz has officially arrived. Governments and private investors alike are suddenly racing to turn their cities into connected, high-tech hubs. But while we're suddenly hearing so much about it, the basic concept behind smart cities is nothing new. As the Colorado Smart Cities Alliance website says, "Examples of cities, towns, and regions being intelligent about their growth, focused on quality of life, and their envisioned futures exist from 100, 500, even 1000 years ago."

The Administration should not impose Section 301 tariffs on Chinese goods as long as the country is willing to have a constructive dialogue with the United States on making systemic reforms to its market, Business Roundtable said today in a statement. In anticipation of the G-7 meeting in Quebec, the Roundtable also urged the Administration to work with its allies on China issues. "However, this remains difficult with the Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum currently in place," the statement said. "The Administration should terminate these tariffs, complete negotiations for a modernized NAFTA and get to the most important business of building a strong and fair-trading relationship with China." 

What If Colorado Schools Were #1 Communications Toolkit
Colorado Business Roundtable has joined forces with 19 statewide groups and the Denver Business Journal to ask: What if Colorado students obtained the levels of education needed to compete in today's economy? Our coalition recently launched a new resource for Colorado employers, voters, and the gubernatorial candidates to make our state's schools the best in the nation: A Business Guide for Colorado's Next Governor. We are excited to share this interactive online tool to help Coloradans make an informed decision on June 26th, our state primaries. 

Dimon Counsels Against One-On-One Trade Deals
President Trump's preference for bilateral trade agreements could prove contrary to U.S. interests, Chairman Jamie Dimon said in his CNBC interview Thursday, noting the opposition of Business Roundtable to new tariffs. "What we're doing in some of these places has now opened the door for much more complicated trade negotiations with our allies," Dimon said. "We should be working with our allies because we have a common interest." 

Cybersecurity is a cost of doing business with government-but it doesn't have to be an unreasonable financial hit. The most important message about being compliant with the NIST 800-171 guidelines is simply "get started". Put your action plan together and work the plan! This workshop will walk you through the cybersecurity guidelines, talk you through a preliminary self-assessment, and offer templates to help you define and implement your security program. Questions addressed during the workshop include the following:
  • Why should we care about cybersecurity and NIST 800-171?
  • What is at risk (business and contractual impact)?
  • What are current and emerging supply chain threat exposure concerns?
  • Which areas did DOD identify in recent audits as the most common for noncompliance?
  • Where do we start?
Let Manufacturer's Edge help you boost your cyber (and business) resiliency and defend your competitive position within the aerospace and defense supply chain. Don't be the weak link!

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