• Deputy Secretary Graves Leads U.S. Delegation to ITU and Addresses Importance of Closing the International Digital Divide and Electing U.S. Candidate Doreen Bogdan-Martin as ITU Secretary-General
    by ASowah@doc.gov on October 5, 2022 at 3:04 pm

    Deputy Secretary Graves Leads U.S. Delegation to ITU and Addresses Importance of Closing the International Digital Divide and Electing U.S. Candidate Doreen Bogdan-Martin as ITU Secretary-General October 5, 2022 ASowah@doc.gov Wed, 10/05/2022 - 11:04 From September 25—29, 2022 U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves traveled to Bucharest, Romania to serve as the Senior U.S. Representative on the high-level U.S. delegation to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) 2022 Plenipotentiary Conference.  In the official U.S. policy statement to over 3,000 delegates from over 180 countries, Graves stressed the U.S. Government’s commitment to working with the international community on closing the digital divide. He also met with ministers and regulators to successfully gain support for Doreen Bogdan-Martin as the next ITU Secretary-General. During his remarks at the ITU, Deputy Secretary Graves also announced plans for the United States. to increase their contribution rate to the ITU and additional U.S. resources to the Partner2Connect Digital Coalition (P2C) to assist people around the world that need internet connectivity the most.  The United States will remain among the very top contributors to the UN specialized agency. The P2C is a new coalition of UN agencies, governments, and the private sector launched by the ITU to foster meaningful connectivity and digital transformation globally, with a focus on hardest-to-connect communities. “P2C is not just an extraordinary achievement for an international organization – it shows us what can be accomplished when we come together to tackle global problems,” said Graves. In addition, Graves' remarks stressed the need to close the worldwide digital divide. “We are committed to working with the international community to achieve universal affordable connectivity; to close digital divides—including the gender digital divide—and to equip people with digital skills,” said Deputy Secretary Graves. “We must continue to work together to connect the unconnected.” The Plenipotentiary Conference is the ITU’s largest decision-making conference convening hundreds of senior and Minister-level foreign government officials, technical experts, private sector, and NGO representatives. Graves was the senior-most official of the U.S. Government attending the conference.  Participants are focusing on resolving connectivity issues, supporting advancements in telecommunications and ICT technologies, their applications, and promoting the digital skills needed to use them in all countries and communities of need. During his time in Romania, Deputy Secretary Graves also engaged with ITU members and leaders representing over 20 countries to confirm and gain support for Doreen Bogdan-Martin as ITU Secretary-General and stress the United States’ commitment to increasing economic and commercial relationships. During his bilateral meeting with Romania, Graves also discussed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine including American business and government response, the war’s impact on Romania’s role as a regional leader, and resultant vulnerabilities in energy security. Members of the ITU elected Doreen Bogdan-Martin as Secretary General of the ITU. Deputy Secretary Graves joined Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo in praising this historic election of Doreen as the first woman Secretary General in the 157-year history of the ITU. Doreen has worked for the ITU since 1994 and is a former Telecommunications Policy Specialist with Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). “Doreen is the right person at the right time to lead the ITU,” said Graves. “She will work hard to bridge the digital divide to connect the 2.7 billion people globally who do not have access to the Internet.”   Deputy Secretary Graves also met with the outgoing ITU Secretary-General Houlin and thanked him for the great changes the telecommunications sector has seen over the last 24 years during Mr. Zhao’s tenure. To conclude his trip, Deputy Secretary Graves participated in the AmCham U.S.-Romania Economic Celebration of 25 years of Strategic Partnership. During his remarks, Deputy Secretary Graves praised Romania for their commitment to strengthening the U.S. Romania Strategic Partnership and furthering the U.S.-Romania economic relationship. Graves also highlighted some of the many successes between the U.S. and Romania on critical areas such as defense, nuclear energy, climate change, ICT communications, women’s economic empowerment, and on Russia’s military attacks on Ukraine. Graves also commended Romania for pushing back on Chinese influence in critical security sectors such as telecommunications infrastructure, the civil nuclear sector, and in its own state procurements. “Over the past 25 years, the primary focus of the Strategic Partnership has been national security and defense,” said Graves. “I believe that we can tackle the range of 21st-century global threats and regional conflicts while strengthening our commercial relationship and supporting workers and businesses in both of our countries.”

  • Job Quality Toolkit: Recruit and Retain Great Workers
    by KCPullen@doc.gov on September 28, 2022 at 6:28 pm

    Job Quality Toolkit: Recruit and Retain Great Workers September 28, 2022 KCPullen@doc.gov Wed, 09/28/2022 - 14:28 Investing in communities and workers Manufacturing Workforce Development The following is a cross-post from the National Institute of Standards and Technology Is your organization, like so many others today, struggling to recruit and retain a well-qualified and high-performing workforce? Are your workers excited to be a part of your team and motivated to serve your customers? Do they care for one another and the success of your business? Or do you feel like they are just going through the motions and punching the clock, unhappy, disengaged and eager to find something else? If you think your workforce is more like the second example, you probably already know you have a problem. You have likely been dealing with high(er) levels of employee absenteeism and turnover; maybe more accidents, injuries and workers compensation claims and perhaps even an increase in product and service defects, customer complaints and loss of business. But what can you do about it? You may have tried putting in a break room, hosting happy hours, recognizing the employee of the month, or even raising wages and salaries a bit, but none of it seemed to help — at least not for very long. Our world has changed dramatically over the past two-and-a-half years. And so have the needs, desires and expectations of the people you hope to hire and retain. If you haven’t tried to understand how these changes affect your people and their satisfaction with their overall work experience, now would be a really good time to do so. To help organizations of all kinds improve their ability to recruit and retain great workers, the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program and the U.S. Department of Commerce, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor and around 60 industry representatives, developed the Job Quality Toolkit. The toolkit is derived from the globally emulated Baldrige Excellence Framework and incorporates insights from numerous job quality experts. The toolkit describes eight key drivers that influence how workers perceive the quality of their jobs, which of course impacts their satisfaction with and commitment to those jobs. It also offers suggestions for strategies and actions and provides resources that can help you move the needle on those drivers and improve the quality of the jobs you offer, and ultimately increase worker retention, productivity and the success of your business. No organization has the resources to implement all the strategies and actions in the toolkit. It also is not necessary. Prioritize the ones that work for your organization. You need to know that the relative importance of those eight drivers, which include pay, benefits, organizational culture, job security, and working conditions, among others, will vary across employee groups, organizations and even across industries. Therefore, a critical step is ensuring you understand what your workers need, expect and desire before making significant changes. It is also important to understand that sometimes the missing ingredient to your mix of strategies and actions to enhance job quality is not something that necessarily will cost a lot of money. Among the top reasons people have quit their jobs in the past two years are not being respected and not feeling care and compassion from leadership. So, what are you waiting for? Download your free copy of the toolkit now. It is short and easy to read. Think about those eight drivers and the various strategies and actions. Talk to your people. Try to get a baseline on their perceptions of the quality of their jobs or, at the very least, identify your current level of attrition. Show them you care about their needs and desires. Get your workers involved in the process to identify potential changes. Make a plan. Take action. And measure the results. If you are a manufacturer and would like assistance in using the Job Quality Toolkit, reach out to your local MEP Center. The MEP National NetworkTM has successfully offered guidance on developing attractive benefit packages and implemented mentorship programs. They will be happy to help. You can learn more about how the MEP National Network has applied these drivers to real world manufacturing challenges with this infographic.   If you would like to share feedback on the toolkit or an example of how you have improved the quality of your jobs and the impact the toolkit has had, please send your remarks to jobquality@doc.gov. If you would like more information on how to get started using the Baldrige Excellence Framework itself, reach out to your local Baldrige-based program. Bureaus and Offices National Institute of Standards and Technology Tags Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award

  • Congratulations to the 2022 Class of Sustainability, Energy, and Environmental (SEE) Ambassadors!
    by ASowah@doc.gov on September 22, 2022 at 11:30 am

    Congratulations to the 2022 Class of Sustainability, Energy, and Environmental (SEE) Ambassadors! September 22, 2022 ASowah@doc.gov Thu, 09/22/2022 - 07:30 First row: Dominica Zhu, Census; Erica Dintaman, NOAA; Commander Lecia Salerno, NOAA; Dr. Derek Manzello, NOAA; Dr. Matthew Lauretta, NOAA; LTJG Luke Evancoe, NOAA. Second row: Chris Doninger, USPTO; Greg Gabel, USPTO; Adam Yuhas, NIST; Avi Gopstein, NIST; Benjamin Bullock, NIST; David Yashar, NIST; Dawn Carroll-Amin, NIST. Third row: George Tehan, NIST; Phillip Neuberg, NIST; Saul Roberts, NIST; Susan Cantilli, NIST; Wayne Appenzellar, NIST; Andrew Daniels, NIST. Not pictured: Bernard Brusko, NIST; Philip Kaiser, NIST. The Sustainability, Energy, and Environmental (SEE) Ambassadors program recognizes individual Departmental employees for their outstanding performance in implementing exceptional cost-saving projects and/or programs that help improve the Department’s sustainability, energy and water efficiency, climate change adaptation, resilience, and environmental performance. On behalf of the Department’s Deputy Chief Sustainability Officer, the Office of Sustainable Energy and Environmental Programs is proud to announce the Department of Commerce 2022 Class of SEE Ambassadors: Census Dominica Zhu: For her thoughtful leadership in supporting the creation and execution of The Opportunity Project’s Natural Environment Sprint, which engages dozens of public and private stakeholders to address federally recommended priorities around reducing ocean plastic pollution, increasing awareness of transportation emissions’ effect on air quality, and developing markets for recycled materials. Ms. Zhu has made it her mission to ensure indigenous voices are prioritized regarding climate-related issues as their traditional ecological knowledge is crucial to biodiversity and ecosystem protection. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Erica Dintaman: For her exceptional leadership on climate issues, including her vision, organization, and leadership in bringing together experts from every NOAA line office for NOAA’s Climate-Ready Nation initiative, creating a cohesive, inclusive vision to deliver NOAA's climate data and services to the nation. Commander Lecia Salerno: For her commitment to pursuing several changes onboard NOAA Ship Thomas Jefferson to improve the vessel's sustainability, including implementing a more sustainable food waste disposal solution alongside the Deck and Stewards department; supporting the ship in using a composting company to minimize waste sent to landfill; and leading an initiative to switch to compostable cups, prep gloves, and food waste bags. Dr. Derek Manzello: For demonstrating significant scientific expertise and organizational excellence on behalf of NOAA through his leadership of NOAA's Coral Reef Watch, a free online tool that provides a global analysis of sea surface temperature and outlooks to identify coral reefs that are at risk of bleaching. Dr. Matthew Lauretta: For his excellence in explaining complex concepts regarding the intersection of fishery science and management to U.S. stakeholders, particularly commercial and recreational fishermen, strengthening their understanding of Atlantic bluefin tuna stock assessments and implications.  LTJG Luke Evancoe: For his leadership and commitment to facilitating environmental stewardship, including assisting with the three-day cleaning of NOAA Ship Oscar Elton Sette prior to the ship sailing into the protected waters of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands of Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument; cleaning the ship’s hull is critical to protecting the biosecurity, sustainability, and environmental management of the islands. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Chris Doninger: For leading the effort to eliminate the printed Trademark registration certificate and transition it to an electronic format, working tirelessly to shepherd the project from concept to reality and devise a solution that worked for Trademark customers and stakeholders. Greg Gabel: For his technical acumen and persistence in conducting several technical proofs of concept to support the development of the new digitally signed electronic Trademark registration certificate and demonstrate its feasibility. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Adam Yuhas: For overseeing the replacement of the roofs on two NIST Gaithersburg lab buildings—representing a combined 90,000 square feet at a cost of $2.6M—while improving the sustainability and extending the life of these two mission-critical research facilities. The following individuals, for their commendable work collaborating with an architecture and engineering firm to develop documents that will be used as the basis to construct new research laboratory, office, and warehouse buildings. These individuals embrace sustainability and the spirit of Executive Order 14057 to the maximum extent possible as they pursue Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification for all new construction and total modernization projects: Avi Gopstein Benjamin Bullock David Yashar Dawn Carroll-Amin George Tehan Phillip Neuberg Saul Roberts Susan Cantilli Wayne Appenzellar The following individuals, for their daily commitment to providing active oversight of the NIST Gaithersburg Central Utility Plant (CUP) to optimize operations, improving energy efficiency, and maximizing NIST’s energy dollars: Andrew Daniels Bernard Brusko Philip Kaiser

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