• Bakken energy processing developer Quantum Energy, Inc. (OTC PINK: QEGY), in conjunction with its joint venture partner, Native Son Refining, LLC, announced the filing of a minor source air quality construction permit application today with the North Dakota Health Department, Division of Air Quality.Quantum Energy is the company whose officials visited Billings over a year ago seeking other potential locations
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  • The purported gender gap in wages is real, according to economist Barbara Wagner of the Bureau of Business and Economic Research. Several factors contribute to the gap which in Montana means women are paid about 33 cents less per dollar than men. But, the reason for about 40 percent of that gap is not identifiable and leads to the conclusion
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  • Total taxable property value in Yellowstone County is eleven percent higher than last year.The Montana Department of Revenue notified Yellowstone County that the certified taxable valuation of property in the county is $345 million.
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  • The Billings Chamber of Commerce was designated as the top Chamber of Commerce in its category in the United States, according to the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE). The Chamber of the Year designation puts the Billings Chamber on the map as the best chamber among some 7000 comparable chambers nationwide.
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  • Employment in Montana’s manufacturing sector has grown at a faster rate than national manufacturing employment during a five year period between 2009 and 2014, according to the latest annual report from Montana State University’s Montana Manufacturing Extension Center.From the second quarter of 2009 to the third quarter of 2014, Montana manufacturing employment grew by 8.6 percent, while national manufacturing employment
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  • The annual Northern Livestock Video Summertime Classic Sale, at the Public Auction Yards in Billings on July 20-22, was the biggest sale ever – selling over 100,000 of cattle with receipts in excess of a $150 million.Prices were generally good, reported Bill Cook, General Manager for Northern Livestock, “It was very favorable for the market that we have had —
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  • The Annual Petroleum Industry Appreciation Day Luncheon will be held at the Crown Plaza Hotel, in Billings, on September 2 at noon. The event is part of the Montana Petroleum Associations Annual Conference which will begin at the Crown Plaza on September 1.Keynote Speaker will be Don Hrap, President, Lower 48, ConocoPhillips. The public is invited to the luncheon which
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  • First Interstate BancSystem, Inc.’s Board of Directors approved the appointment of Kevin P. Riley as President and CEO, effective September 23. Riley will replace President and CEO Edward Garding, who is retiring after 44 years with First Interstate BancSystem.
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  • When it comes to brewing quality beer, Montana is very important to Anheuser-Busch. Montana is one of three states which the company greatly relies upon for the barley they use in making their well-known Budweiser beers.Depending on the year and what they need, Anheuser-Busch contracts with some 150 to 250 barley producers in the Golden Triangle Area of Montana –
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  • Others have discovered what Montanans have known all along – Montana leads the nation in entrepreneurship. On a per capita basis, Montana has more new start-up businesses than any other state.The Kaufmann Foundation and The New York Times recently proclaimed that Montana is “a hotbed of entrepreneurship,” because of its ranking in the Foundation’s annual analysis of start-up activity in
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  • Projections for Montana’s economy in 2015 are being revised slightly upward as economists take a mid-year look at the factors that impact economic growth. Growth is being projected to end near three percent, slightly higher than the 2.8 percent earlier predicted.Yellowstone County is also projected to finish the year on a stronger-than- expected note.
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  • Montana is a state rich in natural energy resources. The eastern part of the state has greatly benefitted from the American energy revolution reports the US Chamber of Commerce’s Energy Institute on its new webpage. The webpage — http://www.energyxxi.org/states/ — measures how states compare on energy, showing where each state ranks in energy production (Montana ranks 21st) and facts about how the
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Montana is one of nine states selected to receive a two-year, $300,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to help create a more highly educated and diverse nursing workforce.

 

According to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the grants provide funds for nursing coalitions in each state to work with academic institutions and employers to help nurses earn advanced degrees. In particular, states will encourage strong partnerships between community colleges and universities to make it more efficient for nurses to transition to a baccalaureate degree and beyond. The ultimate goals are to improve patient care and help fill faculty and advanced practice nursing positions. In Montana, the goals for the first two years of the grant include improving incentives for nurses who seek additional education and removing barriers so registered nurses with associate degrees can progress toward a bachelor's degree in nursing.

The Montana grant will be made to the Montana Area Health Education Center in the MSU College of Nursing on behalf of the Montana Action Coalition. In addition to Montana, states chosen to receive similar grants are California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Texas and Washington.

The funding comes from a new Robert Wood Johnson Foundation program, Academic Progression in Nursing, or APIN, which is designed to respond to recommendations from the Institute of Medicine for improving health in the U.S.  

"The Montana Action Coalition is thrilled to have been chosen as a recipient of this grant," said Casey Blumenthal, vice president of MHA, An Association of Montana Healthcare Providers. "The goal of the Montana project is to build partnerships among nursing education and practice to help achieve the new national recommendations for nursing education."

According to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, about half of nurses in the United States have a bachelor's degree or higher, but the Institute of Medicine recommends that 80 percent of the nursing workforce have bachelor's degrees by the year 2020. 

"The nation needs a well-educated nursing workforce to ensure an adequate supply of public health and primary care providers, improve care for patients living with chronic illness, and in other ways meet the needs of our aging and increasingly diverse population," said Pamela Austin Thompson, national program director for APIN, chief executive officer of the American Organization of Nurse Executives and senior vice president for nursing at the American Hospital Association. "We have great confidence in the nine states that will receive these grants to implement bold and effective strategies that will work in their states and create models that other states can utilize."

In addition to awarding grants, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is supporting "The Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action," a collaborative effort to advance solutions to challenges facing the nursing profession. The campaign is coordinated through the Center to Champion Nursing in America, an initiative of AARP, the AARP Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. It supports 49 state-based action coalitions around the country that are leading the APIN work in each of the nine funded states.

APIN is run by the American Organization of Nurse Executives on behalf of the Tri-Council for Nursing. The Tri-Council for Nursing consists of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, the National League for Nursing, American Nurses Association, and the American Organization of Nurse Executives, which is leading the $4.3 million, two-year initiative. 

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on pressing health and health care issues in the United States and works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, measurable and timely change. For more information, visit www.rwjf.org.

 

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