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Alaska State Chamber of Commerce E-News November 1, 2010


CNBC Analyst for "America's Top States for Doing Business"

Legislative Tie-In Key Note Speaker October 27

Alaska ranked last in CNBC report.


CNBC analyst, Scott Cohn, was the keynote speaker during the Alaska State Chamber's annual Legislative Tie-In meeting Wednesday, October 27 at the Captain Cook Hotel. CNBC's Scott Cohn led the analysis ranking business climates in the U.S., in which Alaska was ranked "dead last." The State Chamber facilitated discussion during its lunch program to help members understand what this ranking means to our economy and criteria used to determine competitive business climates.


"The Alaska State Chamber is determined to improve the 'Dead Last Business Ranking' for Alaska," said Kip Knudson, State Chamber Board of Director's Chair.


Hosting Scott Cohn to discuss CNBC's analysis of business environments at the Chamber's annual legislative priorities event was perfect timing as the membership discussed and voted on establishing priority positions for the State Chamber.


"Legislative priorities brought forward are aimed at advocating for a competitive and attractive business climate in Alaska to spur investment and business growth," said President/CEO, Wayne Stevens. "These priorities will serve as the cornerstone of our advocacy efforts during the upcoming legislative session."


Issues addressed by State Chamber legislative priorities - several of which are categorized in CNBC's report - include an array of topics such as taxation policy, access to natural resources, strategic infrastructure investment, streamlining government processes, initiatives to reduce business costs in Alaska, labor or regulatory policy.


"More than ever, the State Chamber will take a lead role in advocating for a competitive business climate in Alaska and economic growth," Knudson said.


See a video news report from KTUU Channel 2 about Mr. Cohn's presentation by Clicking Here


A copy of the report ranking all 50 states is on our website Here.


Do your Part! Get out and Vote on Tuesday

Private sector economic growth in Alaska continues to face a number of challenges. To help ensure that state government enacts policies, which encourage investment and job creation, we need elected officials who understand and support business. The Alaska State Chamber works hard to "promote a positive business environment in Alaska". Now it is your turn to help make a difference. Make voting on Tuesday, November 2 a priority task for the day.


On Tuesday, Alaskans will vote in the General election for candidates for U. S. Senate, U. S. House of Representatives, Governor, Lt. Governor, 40 Representatives, 10 Senators and 2 important ballot initiatives. The polls are open from 7:00 am - 8:00 pm, ample time to stop and vote.

For a list of all candidates for all seats, visit the State of Alaska Division of Elections website

Candidate List. Not sure where to go to vote? Here is a tool to use to look up your location of where to vote. On-Line Polling Place Look Up Here is a link to read information about the two initiatives on the primary ballot. Ballot Measures Appearing on general Election Ballot

Encourage your employees to vote. Research proves that employees and associates rate their employers as the most credible source of information on issues and elections. Companies can implement a year-round communication effort for issues and elections. Employees and associates will appreciate this continual correspondence and will come to rely on it for making their political decisions. You are not telling them how to vote, you are sharing information to help them make informed choices.

Alaska business needs a legislature and administration that is working to create a positive business environment in our state. It is time for voters to hold their elected officials to performance standards that relate to the priorities of Alaska's business community. Elected officials need to focus their efforts on the following broad policy areas ­ 1) Government Spending, 2) Regulatory Streamlining, 3) Tort Reform, 4) Business Taxes, 5) Open and Transparent Government, 6) Energy Policy and 7) Leadership.

There must be a healthy business community for governments at all levels, if they are going to have the funds to accomplish the services they provide. Successful businesses pay taxes on profits, not on losses. Taxes fund government services. Successful businesses are a necessary component for a healthy community. It is all connected. We need your help to make sure we elect people who understand that connection.

It is your turn to help make a difference. Don't forget to Vote on Tuesday November 2!

US Department of Labor Launches

Veterans Hiring Toolkit for Employers

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Labor today announced the availability of a new online toolkit to guide employers through the process for hiring veterans. The free toolkit is designed to assist and educate employers who have made the proactive decision to include veterans and wounded warriors in their recruitment and hiring initiatives.

"Many employers have told us that they are interested in developing or enhancing a veterans hiring initiative for their company, but that they don't know where to begin," said Ray Jefferson, assistant secretary for the department's Veterans' Employment and Training Service. "This toolkit was created with these employers in mind. It's designed to simplify the process and put valuable, vetted resources at the employer's fingertips."

Developed as part of the department's "America's Heroes at Work" initiative, the Veterans Hiring Toolkit features a straightforward six-step process pinpointing helpful tools for a business to design a veterans hiring initiative. These steps include creating an educated and welcoming environment for veteran employees; actively recruiting veterans, wounded warriors and military spouses; learning how to accommodate qualified veterans and wounded warriors in the workplace; and promoting an inclusive workplace to help retain veteran employees. The toolkit also helps employers navigate the plethora of resources for hiring veterans available to them.

"The launch of this toolkit is especially timely given the October observance of National Disability Employment Awareness Month," said Kathleen Martinez, assistant secretary for the department's Office of Disability Employment Policy. "Disabled veterans, including those experiencing the 'invisible' wounds of war like traumatic brain injury and combat stress, are an important segment of the disability population that needs our support when transitioning to civilian employment."

The final section of the toolkit features a quick reference list of reputable online resources to help users find and welcome talented and skilled veterans into their companies. Examples include links to veterans employment service organizations, places to receive consultations on workplace accommodations and answers to common employer questions about hiring veterans and wounded warriors. Whether users are looking to create a veterans hiring program from scratch or retool existing efforts, the toolkit can help them design and implement a customized initiative.

To access the toolkit, visit http://www.AmericasHeroesAtWork.gov/forEmployers/HiringToolkit.
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