Scott was among seven individuals nominated or appointed to administration posts on Tuesday. In a statement released at the time of the announcement, Obama said "I am confident that these experienced and hardworking individuals will help us tackle the important challenges facing America, and I am grateful for their service. I look forward to working with them."
Scott has been involved in transportation policy and management for decades, serving as general manager of the MBTA from 2012 through April this year. Other positions she has held include CEO and general manager of the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (2007-2012); CEO and general manager of the Sacramento Regional Transit District (2002 to 2007); general manager of the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (1996-2002); as well as roles with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transportation Authority, the New Jersey Transit Corp., the Metropolitan Transportation Authority of New York, the New York Transit Authority and the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority.
The winter of 2014-15 brought record snowfall to Greater Boston, shutting down road and rail service of the MBTA for days. She resigned well before her contract was up after Mass. Gov. Charlie Baker expressed displeasure with the MBTA's performance during the winter storms. Scott responded by pointing to a lack of funding for maintenance and upgrades over the years, well before she took the job.]]>
In a mini-profile of the school, Forbes noted that Brown "has the reputation as the most eccentric and liberal of the Ivies," with no core curriculum requirements. Forbes also gave the institution an "A+" for financial health. The top 10 showing by Brown follows high rankings on other college and university lists within the last year, including placing:
No. 15 in the nation for return on investment over the 20 years following graduation by the 2015 PayScale College ROI Report
No. 16 on U.S. News and World Reports's 2015 Best Colleges list
No. 19 on Money Magazine's best overall school based on educational quality, affordability and career earnings
No. 19 on a list of the top 50 science research universities by Best College Reviews
No. 23 for the most powerful alumni network by Best College Values
No. 32 out of 736 colleges and universities ranked by Money Magazine for the best value for the money, using educational quality, affordability and career earnings as key metrics
Forbes' ranking of 650 school in the United States focuses on "output" versus "input," the media outlet said. Thus while many traditional college rankings look at how difficult it is for a high school student to be admitted to a given school, using class rank, standardized test scores and other such metrics, the Forbes methodology, applied in partnership with the Washington-based Center for College Affordability and Productivity, looks at student satisfaction, graduation rates, debt after graduation and post-graduate success, among other data.
Topping the list was Pomona College in Claremont, Calif., followed by Williams College in Williamstown, Mass., Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif., Princeton University in Princeton, N.J., and Yale University in New Haven, Conn. Rounding out the top 10 were Harvard University (No. 6), Swarthmore College (No. 7), Amherst College (No. 9) and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (No. 10).
Rankings for other schools in the region:
Providence College, No. 132
Wheaton College, No. 171
Stonehill College, No. 246
Bryant University, No. 282
Roger Williams University, No. 412
University of Rhode Island, No. 422
Rhode Island College, No. 547
To see the full list, click HERE.]]>
Although McGrory does not mention a specific number of jobs the Globe hopes to reduce through the buyout program, he said that "if we fail in our savings goal through buyouts, we'll be faced with the difficult prospect of layoffs in September."
McGrory went on to say that the company was still in the throes of moving to a "digital-first" approach to its journalism, and that it will be adding "more reporters and graphic artists who are native to the web."
All that said, McGrory went on to note that with the evolving approach, which includes the cuts, staff shuffling and new hires, the Globe is "simply looking to turn a modest profit, which the ownership will then invest in the enterprise."]]>
The Cranston Fire Department will receive $26,250 to train firefighters to become credentialed instructors with the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators' Boat Operations and Training Program. The department will use the grant to train a group of in-house instructors in the national standards, allowing the department to reduce costs and improve training for future firefighters.
The town of Narragansett will receive $24,000 for the same training, and $360,000 to acquire a fire, rescue and specialized services boat that is equipped to detect and respond to incidents involving chemicals, biological substances, and nuclear or explosive materials. The Narragansett Fire Department, the southernmost full-service fire department in the state, is responsible for Narragansett Bay, Block Island Sound and the Port of Galilee.
The grants were announced Thursday by U.S. Sens. Jack F. Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, and U.S. Rep. James R. Langevin.
"Our first responders need to be ready to deal with a multitude of public threats, from hurricanes to fires to hazardous spills or man-made disasters, and this federal funding will help provide the training and resources they need to be effective," Reed said, in a prepared statement.
The grants were made possible through the fiscal 2015 Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, approved by the U.S. Congress in February, which provided a total of $100 million in port security funds.]]>
PROVIDENCE - The Providence Athenaeum on Thursday named Matt Burriesci as executive director, filling a position covered on an interim basis since Alison Maxell left at the end of 2014.
Burriesci, who comes with extensive leadership experience and fundraising skills, according to Board of Directors President Candy Adriance, will replace Alayne Barnicoat on Sept. 1. Barnicoat took the interim position in April, following Mike Gerhardt, who served in an interim capacity starting in January. Maxell had held the post for 10 years before leaving the nonprofit library.
"The Search Committee sought an experienced executive to lead and inspire our talented staff; a dynamic ambassador to represent the library to external audiences; and a proven fundraiser capable of sustaining and expanding our institutional vision," Adriance said in an emailed letter to supporters announcing the hiring. "With Matt, we have found this rare combination of strengths."
Burriesci, an author of two books who currently lives in Alexandria, Va., was hired after a national search that began in April. He most recently served as director of advancement & strategic partnerships for the National Association of Chain Drug Stores Foundation. He helped raise funding for foundation's annual $2.5 million budget entirely through corporate and foundation gifts, according to Adriance.
He has also worked as executive director of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation and held the same position with the Association of Writers and Writing Programs.
"I'm humbled, honored and thrilled to be part of this enduring cultural treasure," Burriesci said in the announcement of his hiring to library supporters. His salary was not disclosed.
Alison Maxell's name was mispelled in a previous version of this story. And the current interim executive director of the Athenaeum was incorrectly identified: Mike Gerhardt was replaced in that position by Alayne Barnicoat in April.]]>
In addition, the MassBenchmarks Leading Economic Index for June was reported to be 4.8 percent, meaning that the authors of the report, the UMass Donahue Institute and the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, expect that state to expand at that rate for the balance of the year.
One result of the strong growth of the state's economy has been a continuing drop in the unemployment rate, which fell to 4.6 percent in June from 4.8 percent in March, well below the nation's 5.3 percent rate last month. In fact, employment grew at a 3.1 percent annual rate in the second quarter, nearly double the first quarter's 1.7 percent annualized growth.
"The rising tide appears to finally be lifting the boats of the long-term unemployed, even though conditions for these workers remain difficult," said Alan Clayton-Matthews, MassBenchmarks senior contributing editor and assistant professor of economics and public policy at Northeastern University.
For example, the U-6 unemployment measure, which includes part-time workers looking for full-time work and unemployed, fell significantly as well. "For the 12-month period ending in June, the Massachusetts U-6 rate fell to 10.4 percent, a 0.6 percentage point drop from the 12-month period ending in March. In June, Current Population Survey-based estimates put the Massachusetts U-6 rate at 9.7 percent. The corresponding U.S. rate in June was 10.5 percent," Clayton-Matthews added.
In addition to the second-quarter rebound from the weak, poor weather-induced performance in the first three months of 2015, personal income and spending showed strength as well. Using withholding tax revenue, the MassBenchmarks team estimated the wage and salary income grew at a 4.8 percent annual rate in the second quarter (following 4.8 percent growth in the first quarter).
But consumer and business spending, estimated by the state's regular and motor vehicle sales tax, grew at a 19.3 percent annual rate, following a 1.8 percent annualized growth rate in the first three months of the year. "The ability and willingness of households and businesses to spend reflects the underlying strength of the state economy and bodes well for future growth," said the report.]]>
The stopgap measure, passed 385-34 Wednesday, would extend highway spending authority through Oct. 29 to give lawmakers time to work on multiyear financing for the nation's roads and bridges.
The Senate plans to vote on the short-term House bill Thursday. Current funding authority would lapse after Friday.
"Improving bridges, roads and infrastructure is critical to our economy. But we're going to need time for the House committees to do their work" on a long-term plan, said Speaker John Boehner, an Ohio Republican, during a news conference.
The House measure, H.R. 3236, wouldn't revive the U.S. Export-Import Bank, whose charter expired June 30. The Senate plan would reauthorize the 81-year-old bank, which provides loans, loan guarantees and insurance to aid overseas sales by U.S. companies.
A failure by Congress to reauthorize and replenish the Highway Trust Fund would undermine the summer construction season by forcing reductions in payments to states for road and bridge projects.
The 18.4 cents-a-gallon federal gasoline tax that the Highway Trust Fund has relied on no longer covers the cost of the transportation program as Americans drive less and buy more fuel-efficient cars. Republicans have refused to consider raising the tax.
The last time Congress passed a highway funding measure that covered more than two years was 2005. The three-month measure would be the 34th stopgap highway law in the last six years, according to the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, which says it seeks long-term government fiscal solutions.
"Here we are with another short-term extension of the Highway Trust Fund," said Democratic Representative Jim McDermott of Washington. "How can businesses do any kind of planning in this country when they get one- and two- and three-month extensions?"
"It's time for a long-term funding bill and we should have done it this time," McDermott said. "We never fix anything here."
The three-month House bill would provide $6 billion for roads and $2 billion for mass transit, financed mostly by tightening tax compliance rules.
The Senate plans to vote Thursday to pass its version of a highway spending authority bill that lays out policy for six years and would deliver three years of funding. The vote on the House bill is set to occur shortly after.
Though the Ex-Im Bank has operated and been renewed for decades, it is now opposed by conservative Republicans who say it benefits only a few large corporations. In limbo, the bank can't approve new applications unless Congress acts to recharter it.
Democrats say House Republican leaders refused to take up the Senate highway bill in part because they want to avoid an internal party fight over the Ex-Im bank before the August break.
Second-ranking House Democrat Steny Hoyer of Maryland said even though Boehner has said he would let the House "work its will" on legislation, the Ex-Im extension wasn't included in the House bill because of opposition from Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling of Texas.
As many as 270 members of the 435-seat House would vote to reauthorize the bank, Hoyer said, adding, "I will yield to anyone on this floor who will say: Mr. Hoyer, you are wrong."
The House bill passed Wednesday includes language to allow the Department of Veterans Affairs to tap about $3.4 billion in funds set aside for other purposes to keep its hospitals open.
That funding was intended to be used by the department's "choice" program that allows veterans to receive care outside of VA hospitals.]]>
Gross domestic product rose at a 2.3 percent annualized rate, and a revised 0.6 percent advance in the first quarter wiped out a previously reported contraction, Commerce Department data showed Thursday in Washington. The median forecast of 80 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a 2.5 percent gain. Consumer spending grew more than projected.
The economy has moved beyond some of the early 2015 constraints including weather and port delays, while cooling global markets, a strong dollar and insufficient wage gains may continue to limit growth. Fed officials, considering when to begin raising rates this year, concluded on Wednesday that the U.S. is making progress.
"We have plodding, modest yet durable growth," Michael Gapen, the New York-based chief U.S. economist for Barclays PLC, said before the report. "A gradual raising of rates is reasonable" for the Fed.
Economists' estimates for GDP, or the value of all goods and services produced, ranged from 1.2 percent to 3.8 percent. The growth estimate is the first of three for the quarter, with the other releases scheduled for August and September when more information becomes available.
The Commerce Department also issued its annual revisions, updating the data back through 2012. The first-quarter's reading was revised up from a previously reported 0.2 percent drop.
The economic expansion over the past three years was weaker than initially projected, with the biggest revision coming in 2013. From the end of 2011 to the end of 2014, the economy expanded at a 2.1 percent annualized rate, compared to the 2.4 percent pace reported before. GDP grew 1.5 percent in 2013, the weakest since the throes of recession in 2009, compared with a previously reported 2.2 percent gain.
A separate report from the Labor Department Thursday showed fewer Americans than forecast filed applications for unemployment benefits last week. Jobless claims rose by 12,000 to 267,000 in the period ended July 25.
An improving job market is among reasons American households are underpinning economic growth. Consumer spending climbed at a 2.9 percent annualized rate following a 1.8 percent advance at the start of the year, Thursday's Commerce Department report showed. The Bloomberg survey median forecast was 2.7 percent. Purchases added 2 percentage points to growth.
Business spending remained a sore spot, with investment excluding housing falling at a 0.6 percent rate, the worst performance since the third quarter of 2012.
Government outlays were another source of weakness, rising just 0.8 percent after dropping 0.1 percent in the first quarter. A 2 percent gain among state local agencies was almost wiped out by a 1.1 percent drop at the federal level.
Two normally large swing factors, trade and inventories, were fairly stable last quarter and had little influence on growth.
For the first time, the Commerce Department also included a category aimed at providing a measure of private demand in the economy. The gauge reflects consumer and business spending and excludes that by governments as well as exports and inventories. So-called final sales to private domestic purchasers climbed at a 2.5 percent pace after a 2 percent gain.
The GDP report also showed price pressures picked up. A measure of inflation, which is tied to consumer spending and strips out food and energy costs, climbed at a 1.8 percent annualized pace compared with 1 percent gains in the prior two quarters.
Fed policy makers on Wednesday said the labor market and housing have improved, moving closer to ending an unprecedented period of near-zero interest rates without providing a clear signal on the timing of liftoff.
"Economic activity has been expanding moderately in recent months," the central bank said in a statement. At the same time, "business fixed investment and net exports stayed soft."
Economists project second-half growth will benefit from purchases by American households, boosted by rising employment and an unemployment rate at a seven-year low.
Automobiles remain a steady source of strength for growth in consumer spending and for factory production. June sales of cars and light trucks capped the strongest quarter since 2005, according to figures from Ward's Automotive Group.
The residential real-estate market is also in an upswing as low mortgage rates and easier lending requirements encourage prospective homebuyers. While the latest data on new home sales was weak, purchases of existing houses rose in June at the strongest pace since February 2007.
Harsh winter weather and West Coast labor disputes caused a slowdown in activity in the first quarter, and cutbacks in oil exploration and drilling in the wake of plunging crude prices also hurt the economy.
There are some signs business investment is set to recover from an early-year malaise, as American factories got more orders for capital goods such as machinery and fabricated metals in June.
Appliance maker Whirlpool Corp. posted second-quarter profit that topped analysts' estimates, and reiterated its annual earnings forecast.
In contrast, some industrial companies such as Caterpillar Inc. and 3M Co. are hurting because of weak global markets and the lingering fallout from a stronger dollar, even as the woes of the oil sector dissipate.]]>
The program developed by RISD and the U.S. Department of State is the first partnership of its kind in the country, RISD announced in a media advisory and a release on its website.
"This program plays to RISD's strengths," said Greg Victory, executive director of Continuing Education at RISD. "In partnering with the State Department for an immersive and collaborative experience, we aim to empower policy makers and strategists to be change agents who focus on the human aspects of every decision they make."
The idea was conceived last summer during a conversation with Amy Storrow and Paul Kruchoski at the State Department's Collaboratory in Washington, D.C., said Victory. The Collaboratory designs, pilots, and furthers educational and cultural diplomacy in new ways. Storrow is a senior adviser for innovation and director at the Collaboratory; Kruchoski is the agency's policy adviser and deputy director.
The week-long learning experience will be co-taught by State Department Senior Strategy Advisor Zvika Krieger and RISD faculty members Justin W. Cook and Enrique Martinez.
Martinez, a senior critic in architecture, says policy-making organizations "are still not inviting designers to the table where big decisions are made. Now is the time to explore how key strategists in these organizations can use design tools to their advantage in the work they do."
Some of the selected participants include members of: the Central Intelligence Agency, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., R.I. Department of Administration, the Franklin Project at the Aspen Institute, Toilet Hackers, the U.S. Department of Defense and the Yale School of Management.
During the program at RISD, participants will work with tools that help move collaborative innovation from an abstract idea into a replicable process. After an introduction to the design process, participants will grapple with a case study based on the decentralized models of electrical power supply challenging traditional electricity production globally. Work sessions will be based on site visits Tuesday to the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center of Boston, Greentown Labs of Somerville, Mass.; XL Hybrids of Brighton, Mass., and Ft. Devens Base Camp in Fort Devens, Mass.
Participant collaboration in groups is intended to yield possible solutions that will ultimately be presented to a panel of guest critics.]]>
R.I. businesses that have registered include Banneker Industries, American Cord and Webbing Co. (ACW) and Ametek.
The deadline to register is July 31, and the cost to participate is $1,100.
The conference will provide an opportunity for Rhode Island manufacturers serving the defense, aerospace, military and marine industries to network with Canadian prime contractors, supply chain managers and company officials, according to a press release about the event.
The U.S. Commercial Service will be present at the conference to facilitate meetings for all U.S. manufacturers wishing to attend.
The Chafee Center for International Business and the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation are encouraging local companies to attend. Small businesses in the state may be eligible for partial reimbursement of expenses through the RI STEP program.
For information or to register, contact Linda Woulfe at (401) 232-6525 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.]]>