• What’s to happen to the vacant former federal courthouse – the old Battin Building — in downtown Billings? Are there future options for the downtown Billings post office building other than being a post office? Is it possible to extend the lending services of Big Sky Economic Development?These are among some of the issues discussed during the meeting of the
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  • Is a new power plant fired by natural gas in Northwestern Energy’s future in Montana?A very preliminary plan, which the utility is required to develop every two years, projects a natural gas fired plant, producing up to 250 megawatts, as a possible solution to fulfilling the company’s energy needs. The 2015 Electricity Supply Resource Procurement Plan, which was submitted in
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  • Montana has an estimated 508 middle market companies ($10 million-$1 billion in annual revenues), which make up .62% of all firms in the state according to the latest Middle Market Power Index from American Express and Dun & Bradstreet.
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  • As a participant in the February amicus brief of 166 business associations in support of the US Chamber’s legal challenge to EPA’s Clean Power Plan (CPP), The Montana Chamber of Commerce has provided an update on the case. As of the last week in May, the DC Circuit Court of Appeals decided to bypass oral arguments scheduled before a three-person
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  • Caterpillar Oil & Gas announced that it has signed a worldwide marketing agreement with GTUIT, a manufacturer of field natural gas treatment systems, based in Billings. Caterpillar will assist GTUIT with entering into marketing agreements with targeted Caterpillar Dealers worldwide to sell, market and service GTUIT products.GTUIT and Caterpillar have already initiated the process of working together by establishing direct
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  • While the decline of activity and jobs in the Bakkin have given Yellowstone County employers a little breathing room, demographics are stacking up to predict that finding qualified employees will become an even bigger challenge for employers in the future, reported Brittney Souza, Director of BillingsWorks.
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  • This comes from someone who often objects to the federal government poking around in local affairs, but there is a time now when they have a legitimate role to play — and, that is to clean up a mess which is wholly of their own making. The feds need to clean up their former property. They need to restore the
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  • Montana bankers, property owners, attorneys, developers, farmers, recreationists or anyone with an interest in water rights have a new resource at their disposal to help negotiate their way through the complicated world of water rights and water law.
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  • A new federal regulation that doubles the threshold for overtime pay is throwing employers and employees into turmoil and will increase the cost of doing business, say business organizations.
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  • Montana Family Business Awards sponsored by Montana State University’s Jake Jabs College of Business and Entrepreneurship and State Farm Insurance is seeking nominations for its annual family business awards. The deadline for nominations is June 10.
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  • The theme of the Montana Chamber Foundation’s 2016 Economic Update Series is “The Competition for Talent.” The annual program, offered by “Montana University (a subsidiary of the Montana Chamber Foundation), kicks off Thursday, July 28 in Kalispell and ends Thursday, August 11 in Missoula with five other stops in between.The seminar will be presented in Billings on Tuesday, August 9
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  • Brian Brown has been promoted to President of First Interstate Bank’s Downtown Branch.A Columbus native, Brown joined First Interstate Bank in 1998 as part of the Management Trainee Program. Since that time, Brown has held a number of positions within the Bank, including Credit Review Officer and Commercial Loan Officer. Most recently, Brown served as Senior Vice President and Banking
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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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