Youth need work skills
From The News-EnterpriseOne of the most common workforce complaints in businesses of all sizes is deficient work ethic.In recent years, millennials especially have caught a lot of grief, being accused of lacking job commitment and having weak work habits.Some labor experts are quick to link entitlement attitudes — for which employers have little patience — to the hover parenting of today’s youth. It’s a clean cause-and-effect argument, but many studies conflict on whether there’s a real generational gap in work ethic. And many labor and demographics experts point out other generations have been labeled slackers at some point, too.Whatever the cause and whatever the age, the workforce is clogged with people who think their physical presence is enough.Locally, employers told Hardin County Schools Superintendent Nannette Johnston they need employees who are ready to work and ready to learn. School officials had been working with business leaders in planning the district’s Early College and Career Center, which opens next year.The district recently introduced a program intended to beef up students’ soft skills, giving them a perspective in line with what employers expect of the people they interview and hire.The Work Ethic Certification, which seniors can earn starting next school year, is based on eight criteria: attendance and tardiness, personal responsibility and accountability, academic performance, work habits and persistence, punctuality, preparedness and organization, respectful interactions and communication, cooperation and teamwork and community service.The certification will expose students to skills they’ll need throughout their lives no matter their chosen field, and it will tell employers they have been measured in these critical, but often overlooked traits. Employers should see a graduate with the certification as someone in tune with the importance of work ethic.The program, which will include elementary, middle and high school students, will hinge on strong partnerships with businesses. The Hardin County Chamber of Commerce and Junior Achievement are partners and many businesses already have come on board.Some have agreed to give certified students interviews. Whether or not the student is hired, the interview will provide great experience. This is the type of partnership the district is most looking for.But the district is open to businesses being involved in any way they like. A business in Bardstown that has several employees living in Hardin County, for example, approached the district about giving students work ethic awards to recognize their efforts along the way to the certification.The district is developing plans to apply the program to younger students and will need the business community’s help in that, too.These partnerships are encouraging news and business leaders who get involved are community-minded and forward-thinking folks. The program will serve students and employers alike and could aid efforts to strengthen the local workforce and economic development.As Ken Brune, plant manager at Matalsa, one of the district’s partners, said, “It’s a good investment in the youth and a good investment in the community.”
Friends of the Appalachian Mountains,After 9 years of travelling across America on the Mountaintop Removal Road Show, and after giving over 875 slide show presentations in 26 states to student, church and community groups about the destruction of the Appalachian Mountains in Kentucky, West Virginia and Virginia caused by mountaintop removal coal mining, I have decided to stop.
I was able to speak to tens of thousands of people over the past nine years - mostly college students - and I distributed nearly 4,000 free copies of my mountaintop removal DVD to students, teachers, public libraries and elected officials. I tabled at countless fairs and festivals, and distributed thousands of pamphlets and brochures about mountaintop removal. I mailed a monthly newsletter to over 25,000 people to keep them informed about important news and upcoming events. On the Mountain Justice You Tube channel that I created, I have gotten over 600,000 views. And images from my website have been featured in dozens of books, including several textbooks for school children. I was fortunate to have many wonderful travelling companions with me on the road, but I will always remember fondly the time that I spent travelling with the late Larry Gibson and Judy Bonds. To all of the other folks who ever travelled with me, or helped set up speaking engagements, or hosted me in your home or fed me over the past nine years, I offer my sincere gratitude. It's been a blast.Doing the road show for nine years as an unpaid volunteer has had many rewards and I have made so many good friends, but it has also been mentally, physically and financially taxing. I have slept in cars, tents, parking lots, spare bedrooms, and way too many cheap motels. There have also been a few bedbugs. But your kindness and generosity over the years has kept me going. I believe that we have successfully made mountaintop removal coal mining a well-known national issue. There have been countless books, magazine articles and films - and a really cool poster - made about the topic, and the state of the campaign against mountaintop removal is healthy. National environmental groups such as the Sierra Club and Rainforest Action Network have pumped major energy, resources, legal expertise and funding into the campaign. The use of direct action that was the hallmark of Mountain Justice in the early days has now spread to the anti-fracking and the tar sands campaigns. And students across America continue to organize and pressure their administrations to shut down their coal plants and switch to clean energy on their campuses. We haven't stopped MTR yet, but the tide has turned: The percentage of America's electricity generated by burning coal has now dropped from 50 percent to well below 40 percent. We have gone from a time when Vice President Cheney proposed building "one new power plant per week, every week, for the next twenty years" to a time when coal fired power plants are shutting down all over America. I hope it isn't too late. Other folks are still travelling and speaking - most notably Eric Blevins and the good folks at Mountain Keepers. If you would like to have a speaker from Appalachia come and speak to your student group, on your campus or at your church or community group, contact the Keepers of the Mountains by going to their website. This is Larry Gibson's organization and I encourage you to support it with a donation. Eric Blevins was my stalwart travel partner for many years and he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org I am still staying involved with the mountaintop removal issue by hosting students on Alternative Spring Breaks in eastern Kentucky. We have put together a great program that teaches students about coal and mountaintop removal, respect for the music, history, people and culture of Appalachia, and appreciation for the beauty of the mountains. We also do community service projects - planting trees on an abandoned strip mine site and weatherizing the homes of low-income residents to help reduce their electricity consumption.In March we hosted three weeks of student groups from Northeastern University, St' John Fisher College, Nazareth College, Drew University, University of Connecticut, University of Baltimore, UNC-Greensboro, and Harvard. We were fortunate to have some really great students this year. In May we will host Xavier University, then later in the year we will host the Gap Semester program for incoming students at Elon University, and also a group from Brandeis University.You can read more and see some pics from our alternative spring break program here. We provide safe, clean indoor lodging, with all meals and a full week of activities. Trips are available year-round. Right now I am planning the third annual Whippoorwill Festival - Skills for Earth-Friendly Living. This is a four day outdoor festival (Thursday - Sunday July 11-14) near Berea KY, that offers over 75 earth-friendly workshops, plus music and dancing in the evenings. You are invited! The goal of the Whippoorwill Festival is to encourage and teach simpler ways of living that consume less fossil fuels and promote a healthier mind and body. Using Appalachian traditions, we teach old time skills and encourage participants to envision a new way of living, where communities come ahead of multinational corporations, and where coal no longer dominates the political landscape in Appalachia. We have some great evening music at this year's festival, including Berea's The New Coon Creek Girls, Cincinnati's The Tillers, The New Old Cavalry from Bloomington Indiana, old time mountain ballads with Saro, and Possum Riot from Knoxville. There is also a contra dance Thursday night. This is a low-cost, family friendly festival with tent camping and meals are served. The first two years have been really fun, and this year's festival is going to the biggest and best yet.Here are the workshops already booked for the 2013 festival:Running a Successful Small Business in Appalachia * Indian Curry Cooking * Crocheting * Wilderness First Aid * Kefir * Songwriting Circle * Anarchy Discussion Group * Weeds * Old Time Ballad Singing * Roots & Non-Timber Forest Products * Making Salve from Herbs * Growing Herbs * Hide Tanning * Reading the Landscape & Developing Your Natural Senses * Movement Workshop * Cacao Ceremony * Earth Ovens Field Trip * Oyster Mushroom Inoculation and Cultivation * Hunting Edible Wild Mushrooms * Basic Bicycle Maintenance * Dumpstering Discussion Group * Deepening our Connections * Growing Strawberries * World Neighborhood Free School * Stick Tag * De-escalation * Story Sharing: Hitch-Hiking Tales * Forest Gardening * Fire Spinning/Poi * Discussion: Recycling Humanure * Fermenting Kim Che and Sauerkraut * Permaculture in Action: Off Grid, Natural Building & No-till Farming * Shade Tree Auto Mechanic Skills * Breadmaking on an Open Fire * Straw Bale Construction * Making Sandals and Shoes * Long Distance Travel by Scooter * Roadkill * Camping and Outdoor Skills * Living Off the Grid * Building a Small Cabin * Building a Hand-operated Clothes Washer * Jewelry from Recycled Materials * Shelter Building * Appalachian Style Cooking * Knitting * Baby Talk and Alternative Parenting* Make Your Own Rivercane Flute * Astronomy/Star-gazing * Repurposed and Reused Materials * Raised Bed Building * Primitive Nutrition * Traditional Fishnet Making * Cloth Diapers * Herbal Remedies and Tinctures * Tracking and Wildlife/Nature Awareness * Building Fire Without Matches * Gasifier Stoves and Biochar * Foraging for Beauty * Living Gluten Free * Growing Nut Trees * Egrets Cove Intentional Community Tour * Snakes and Salamanders of Kentucky * Raising Backyard Chickens * Tree ID and Forest Ecology/Ecological Design * Making Tulip Poplar Baskets * Growing Hot Weather Greens * Wool Sewing: Belt Pouches * Paper Making * Beneficial Bacteria and Healing the Gut * Soap-Making from Goats Milk * Living on the Road Discussion Group * Dutch Oven Cooking * Cooking on the Fire Without Tools * Community Gardens * Old Time Appalachian Hand Tools * How to Play the Banjo * Making Mead * Bokashi Composting * Wildflowers * more TBA...Registration is now live for the 2013 festival, so I hope to see you there!Dave Cooper
Nikita Khrushev Quote September 29, 1959
DO YOU REMEMBER WHEN HE APPEARED AT THE U.N. AND BANGED HIS SHOE ON THE PODIUM?
THIS WAS HIS ENTIRE QUOTE:
WE'RE ALMOST THERE!!!
Yep. I believe this Almost... Their message has a basis of truth, and will be seen as political positioning or a joke aimed at the President. But it's not political affiliation, or just this president. It is way bigger than that and is a growing cancer that appeared in the forties. I think the issue is the folks with big hearts that see wisdom in helping others with a myriad of 'governmental' social programs.
The point is that we definitely should help the unfortunate, but should do so through gifts and donations through our churches, our civic organizations (Lions, Kiwanis, Odd Fellows, etc.), and foundations. Those who have been blessed by the capitalist approach should build factories and businesses to hire the rest so that all may benefit and our great cities not decay nor become jungles of crime. America was great because of its resources and the gigantic building programs that employed millions. Those millions were the backbone of the economy, and saved us in two world wars. It is not a governmental function to provide life services, but to protect our freedoms.
The government is actually taking away our freedoms, all by powerful, well-meaning people intending to do good and to appease the masses. They aren't doing good and in the end they will not appease the masses. Socialism is evil and doesn't work. It's a pyramid system that will crash and destroy our economy, and, worse, our character.
When this happens, my friends, you will need your guns. I could not pass this on without personal comment. I remember the threat and I see it happening in nearly every walk of American life. I grieve for the basic principals of our forefathers and the greatness we once had. Not just a military power, but for lady liberty herself, lifting her lamp beside the golden door. That promise of gold is greatly weakened and like a dead general, it is fading away. May God bless America!
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