• It’s not without its critics. The tax abatement program that Yellowstone County and the City of Billings use to incentivize business growth, expansion and recruitment is often viewed as a “free pass” for some businesses, but it is anything but that according to city and county officials.“It’s an incentive to succeed,” described County Commissioner Denis Pitman.
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  • Stockman Asset Management, an independent Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) and a provider of integrated wealth management solutions has changed its name to Stockman Wealth Management. The change was enacted to better describe the company’s “client-first” service philosophy, detailed financial planning services and investment management focus. Stockman Wealth Management offers services in Billings, Helena, Missoula, and Conrad.
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  • Roughly half of all small business owners say regulations are a “very serious” or “somewhat serious problem,” according to new research made public recently by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB).
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  • Every year, thousands of participants fill the streets of downtown Billings, wearing the current Montana Women’s Run t-shirt. This year, the streets will be filled with walkers and runners wearing the 2017 berry shirt.
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  • The Montana Petroleum Association (MPA) testified in support of a bill recently to require full disclosure of chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing. Last legislative session, MPA opposed a bill requiring full disclosure on the grounds that Board of Oil and Gas Conservation (BOGC) could not adequately protect trade secrets if the bill became law. Montana’s Uniform Trade Secrets Act protects
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  • The opening of new companies has been driving Montana manufacturing since 2010, keeping the rate of growth in manufacturing above the national average ever since the recovery of the Great Recession began in 2010. Montana manufacturing employment grew at 4 - 5 percent annually while the US was posting increases in the 2-3 percent range, according to economist Paul Polzin in
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  • Some days one has to wonder what we are doing to our children.At every turn young people are stymied in pursuing anything which might help them understand the world in which they live, get to know themselves or to build a future.
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  • State lawmakers heard several hours of testimony on a proposal to establish public charter schools in Montana.The House Education Committee held its initial hearing on House Bill 376, sponsored by Democratic Rep. Jonathan Windy Boy of Box Elder.
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  • Just in time to provide fodder in support of increasing Montana’s gas tax, The National Transportation Research Group has released a report called TRIP that concludes that Montana will face an $874 million annual shortfall through 2021 in improving road, highway and bridge conditions, traffic safety and modernizing its transportation system.“While the state will be able to address some needed
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  • The Montana Chamber of Commerce recently reported on what it sees happening during the first half of the Montana State Legislature, and what its experience has been in supporting and opposing various pieces of legislation. It’s a good insight for business people.
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  • Over the years in reporting on business in Montana, and as once more I see the dismal rating of Montana in the SBE study about the kind of environment in which entrepreneurs must function, I am struck at how little difference reality makes in political circles.
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  • For a state that has the highest ratio of entrepreneurs, Montana does not rank well in how it treats those entrepreneurs, and the impacts of those policies are far reaching for every citizen.
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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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