Posts tagged ‘Texas’

June 21, 2011

Texas is now the US’s second-largest economy

by thoughtfulconservative
Amplify’d from

Texas became the USA’s second-largest economy during the past decade — displacing New York and perhaps heading one day toward challenging California — in one of the biggest economic shifts in the past half-century.

The dramatic realignment of the nation’s economy was illustrated by North Carolina, Virginia and Georgia all overtaking one-time industrial powerhouse Michigan in economic size from 2000 to 2010. The economic winners of the last decade are states that focus on raw materials, government and senior citizens. The big losers are places that make things — industrial states and even California.



June 13, 2011

Tim Sullivan sure sounds like he’s running for something.

by thoughtfulconservative

In an address to civic leaders last Wednesday, Sullivan revealed that he had more success finding trained workers in Texas than Wisconsin.

A delegation of senior Texas government authorities met Sullivan at the airport, including the mayor of the town of Kilgore. In a one-hour lunch, they matched Bucyrus with a ready-to-occupy factory with every possible amenity.

More important, they asked Sullivan exactly what sort of workers he needed. Sullivan said 80 with specific skill. The state gave Sullivan a guarantee that the workers would be waiting when the doors opened at the expansion site in Kilgore. State officials customized a recruitment, training and certification program. One year later, when the expansion site in Kilgore opened its doors, the 80 welders were waiting. [Emphasis mine]

Impressive. He then contrasted that to what he found in Milwaukee:

What pained Sullivan most, the CEO said, was that the Milwaukee Area Technical College also said it would customize a welder training program for Bucyrus. But MATC never gave a guarantee as Texas did, Sullivan said. Nor did MATC deliver. Some didn’t finish training. Others were certified but failed a drug test.

But he didn’t blame MATC alone:

About 50,000 working-age residents in the city of Milwaukee cannot read beyond the third grade, Sullivan told M-7. In Wisconsin, meanwhile, some 710,000 working-age people did not finish high school.

Milwaukee is not alone in this:

According to federal data cited by the M-7, 32% of manufacturers nationally report unfilled jobs because they cannot find qualified workers. The nation has nearly 300,000 open positions in manufacturing.

So is he running?

On the subject of politics, Sullivan continues to hold open the option that he will run for the U.S. Senate seat that long-serving Democrat Herb Kohl now occupies, following Kohl’s announcement that he won’t seek re-election. Asked for his political affiliation, Sullivan replied: “I have none.”

We’ll just have to wait and see, I guess. But Sullivan is clearly eager to work on education reform:

Sullivan disclosed his investment in Texas, he said, to build his case for wholesale reform of Wisconsin’s job training and education system. Radical action is needed, he warned the M-7.

As chairman of the Governor’s Council on Workforce Investment, a state advisory panel, Sullivan wants Gov. Scott Walker to change how the state spends hundreds of millions of dollars each year in federal job training funds – and in the process, link the funds to reforms of local education programs. The proposals would change how workforce investment boards – regional training entities – apply for funds. They would need to justify each allocation with commitments to reform the curricula of each region’s kindergarten-through-12th public schools as well as each region’s technical colleges.

It’s a conversation that needs to take place.

I’m not one of those, “Blame it all on the teachers,” guys. Administrators, government leaders and “professionals,” must share in the blame, but those who are to blame the most are parents who are uninvolved in their children’s education and are neither demanding nor making sure that their kids get the education they need to compete in today’s society.

The reason we have breakfasts, lunches, sex-education programs, etc., is that schools are finding that parents are not doing it. And they are trying to fill a gap, however poorly we think they are doing.

Until parent involvement changes, especially in the inner city, any other reform will fall short.


More on Tim Sullivan:

Bucyrus CEO Discusses Possible Senate Run

“…we have got to change the way we’re doing things. This is not the way to run a country.”

Other reading I’ve done on education this week:

Montgomery’s $18 million schools ‘miracle’

5 reasons to believe progress is being made to address reading crisis

Milwaukee’s schools need creative thinking

February 17, 2008

Waukesha Carnival 02/17/2008

by thoughtfulconservative

Well, I had 21 posts marked for this week’s carnival. I don’t think I’m going to include them all. You can submit an post via Blog Carnival, or send them to me at thoughtfulconservative [at] yahoo [dot] com.

Ok, let’s see how many we can get to.

Shawn Matson at his new digs on WordPress, Cooler Near the Lake, has started a series on Senate candidates and has speculation concerning Wisconsin’s senator Herb Kohl.

I included this one from Asian Badger on migration patterns between the states because he and Dad29 have discussion in the comments.

Josh at Blog Waukesha posts on city employees, taxes and shoveling the sidewalks in front of your house.

In the interest of variety,

I include Bryon Houlgrave’s series on photography, The good, the bad and the ugly.

I had to include this one from Dad29 because we don’t often get to praise the work of the Wisconsin DPI.

Cindy Kilkenny gives good advice for giving to any charitable organization.

Jeff at Five Points has initiated a new series also, Five Questions @ Five Points. His first interview is with the owner of The Nice Ash Cigar Bar, Jeff Barta.

Sancho gives us another Hobo sandwich, his own collection of posts from the area.

Fox Head opines on an article suggesting Waukesha’s Super Wal-Mart may be in trouble.

James Wigderson gets criticized twice, from the right! Whoda thunk it?

Spring City Chronicle helps us get to the origin of the derivation of the city, county, town’s name.

Pete Fanning shows a popular Lincoln quote to be not really from Lincoln.

And we can’t go without touching presidential election politics (I think there must be a primary somewhere this week that I should do something about). Scott Feldstein has advice for Texans when they go to vote (Hey, don’t ask me; it’s his blog). Family Guy says, essentially (OK I may be taking some liberties here), I knew JFK and Obama is no JFK.

Whew! That’s all for this week. What? Isn’t that enough? Anyway, y’all keep writing and I’ll keep linking.

October 8, 2007

I thought it took millions of years

by thoughtfulconservative

But this gorge was formed in just three days. Click on picture to go to the Canyon Gorge web site.


A torrent of water from an overflowing lake sliced open the earth in 2002, exposing rock formations, fossils and even dinosaur footprints in just three days. Since then, the canyon has been accessible only to researchers to protect it from vandals, but on Saturday it opens to its first public tour.

The mile-and-a-half-long gorge, up to 80 feet deep, was dug out from what had been a nondescript valley covered in mesquite and oak trees. It sits behind a spillway built as a safety valve for Canyon Lake, a popular recreation spot in the Texas Hill Country between San Antonio and Austin.

Yes, it’s not the Grand Canyon, but I’m still amazed at how little time it takes for things can happen .