Press Releases

 

Wednesday
Jan142009

Office of Congresswoman Shea-Porter - Maine & New Hampshire Congressional Delegations Unite in Joint Effort to Create New Jobs at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard

Washington, D.C. –Today, the entire Maine and New Hampshire congressional delegations united in a joint effort to create new, good-paying jobs at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (PNS) in Kittery, Maine. In a letter to the Secretary of the Navy and the Chief of Naval Operations, the bipartisan group of lawmakers urged the U.S. Department of Navy to increase the permanent workforce at the Maine-based shipyard to help mitigate weakness in the regional labor market and increase overall employee productivity and quality of life.

 

“The cadre of nearly 4,000 journeymen, engineers and support personnel at PNS is recognized as the most efficient shipyard workforce in the nation,” the group wrote. “We are convinced that increasing their ranks will enhance the unmatched performance standard and cost-effectiveness set by the PNS, and reduce the dependence on overtime to meet unanticipated workload demands.”

 

A recent report by the Rand Corporation found that PNS has the highest overtime rates of all public shipyards, signaling a shortage in the workforce. According to the report, an increase in workers at the public shipyard could result in increased productivity at a lower cost than other management techniques, such as overtime, temporary or borrowed workers. The report further affirmed that in order to keep pace with shipyard retirements -- 50 percent of the workforce will be eligible for retirement within the next 10 years --PNS must hire 190 new employees every year for the next five years.

 

Today, the Maine and New Hampshire congressional delegations called on the Department of Navy to heed the recommendations of the report saying the new jobs would further enhance and contribute to an already strong and high-performing workforce.

 

“As the private sector sheds extraordinarily capable craftsmen as a result of the current economic environment, the Navy should take a leadership role to ensure that these professionals and their talents, which have been developed through decades of training and experience, are not lost forever as a national resource,” the members concluded.“We strongly believe that it will benefit the Navy significantly to preserve and leverage the abilities of these professionals by bringing them to the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard as quickly as possible.”

 

Signatories of the letter included: Senators Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine); Susan Collins (R-Maine); Judd Gregg (R-NH); Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH); and U.S. Reps. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine); Michael Michaud (D-Maine); Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH) and Paul Hodes (D-NH).

 

*Full copy of the letter follows:

 

January 13, 2009

 

The Honorable Donald C. Winter

Secretary of the Navy

1000 Navy Pentagon

Washington, DC 20350-1000

 

Admiral Gary Roughead

Chief of Naval Operations

1000 Navy Pentagon

Washington, DC 20350-1000

 

Dear Secretary Winter and Admiral Roughead:

 

We write today to urge the Department of the Navy to begin an aggressive hiring program to increase the government civilian workforce at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (PNS) in Kittery, Maine. The cadre of nearly 4,000 journeymen, engineers and support personnel at PNS is recognized as the most efficient shipyard workforce in the nation. We are convinced that increasing their ranks will enhance the unmatched performance standard and cost-effectiveness set by the PNS, and reduce the dependence on overtime to meet unanticipated workload demands.

 

A recent study by researchers at the Rand Corporation strongly supports an aggressive hiring program at the shipyard. In their report, “U.S. Navy Shipyards: An Evaluation of Workload- and Workforce-Management Practices,” the Rand Corporation found that increasing the size of the shipyard workforce would reduce the “excessive reliance” on overtime, which, according to the report, is a clear indicator that the shipyard workforce is undermanned.

 

The benefits to the Navy of increasing the workforce at PNS are clear. Increasing the workforce will increase the availability of submarines to the operational fleet, reduce costs resulting from emergency repairs or unplanned maintenance, and enhance project execution time. Unexpected repairs and unpredictable changes in work scope have dramatically increased the reliance on overtime to mitigate delays, increasing costs and, if resourcing routine activities, reducing overall employee performance.

 

 

The monthly average and peak overtime rates at the PNS were 40% and 65%, respectively, the highest of all of the public shipyards, and well in excess of the 10 to 15% overtime considered an effective management practice. The Rand Corporation concluded that it is more cost-effective and productive for the Navy to meet workloads through increases in the workforce rather than utilizing overtime, hiring temporary employees, or temporarily borrowing workers from other shipyards.

 

The Rand report also affirmed the need to begin an aggressive hiring program due to the increasing age of the workforce. At PNS, nearly 50 percent of the workforce will be eligible for retirement within the next decade. To replace this workforce, PNS must hire 190 employees every year over the next five years. Increases in the workforce will achieve improved levels of cohesion between conducting maintenance and employee training, which will enhance the skill sets and safety of the total workforce. These benefits will positively contribute to an already strong and high-performing workforce that continually exceeds the expectations and requirements of the operational Navy.

 

With such high performance standards in the submarine community, it is understandable that the submarine maintenance workforce must be composed of craftsman of the highest caliber. As the private sector sheds extraordinarily capable craftsmen as a result of the current economic environment, the Navy should take a leadership role to ensure that these professionals and their talents, which have been developed through decades of training and experience, are not lost forever as a national resource. We strongly believe that it will benefit the Navy significantly to preserve and leverage the abilities of these professionals by bringing them to the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard as quickly as possible.

 

Thank you for your attention to this important matter.

Wednesday
Jan142009

Londonderry Stimulus Project - Londonderry Seeks Federal Funds to open 1000 Acre Industrial Zone

Londonderry, NH -- The Town of Londonderry, New Hampshire submitted to their US Senators and Congressional Delegation a Pettengill Road project improvement plan seeking Federal funds. The economic stimulus funds are expected to be released shortly after the new Obama administration starts work next week. According to Community Development Director Andre Garron, "This project best aligns with the goals of the proposed economic stimulus package which is aimed at creating construction jobs, improving infrastructure and stimulating economic development, ultimately leading to permanent jobs."

As outlined in the application the Pettengill Road project will:

  • Open up over 1,000 acres to economic development
  • Allow 4.6 million square feet of new building construction
  • Create hundreds of infrastructure construction jobs
  • Lead to 4,000 to 6,000 permanent jobs
  • Connect to the Airport Access Road
  • Access the largest industrial land area in Southern New Hampshire


"The cost of the project is $12.3 Million. If the economic stimulus funds become available, Londonderry has a project ready, with plans and engineering complete. This regional development will ultimately result in a 1000 acre industrial park adjacent to the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport." said Dave Caron, Londonderry Town Manager.

 


The vacant land in the vicinity of Pettengill Road is considered among the best industrial property in Southern NH. However, the lack of access to a major arterial road makes this land challenging to develop. The upgrade of Pettengill Road and connection to the Airport Access Road (under construction) will correct this problem and will act as a catalyst towards continuing private commercial and industrial development.

 

Over one million square feet of investment has been made in the area since 2000, including new construction or expansions at Insight Technology, Stonyfield Yogurt, Buderus, SIS Inc., Penske, Harvey Industries and Coca Cola.


Londonderry, New Hampshire is a community of 25,000 located in Southern New Hampshire 45 miles north of Boston. The community is a blend of farmland, homes, commercial and industrial development located on interstate 93. Town and School services are award winning in the region for innovation and excellence in the public service area

 

Wednesday
Jan142009

Blackwell For RNC Chair - RedState Endorses Ken Blackwell for RNC Chairman

Highlights of the endorsement from The Directors at RedState.com

"We make no secret that we are conservatives before we are Republicans. Ken Blackwell is a conservative. He is not just a conservative, but of all the men in the race, Ken Blackwell has run and won elected office on his own....

"In addition, Ken Blackwell got into the race for Chairman by surrounding himself with extremely competent, principled people. This is a sign both of his understanding the needs of the RNC and of his commitment to the cause....

"Ken Blackwell is fundamentally a conservative first and knows the party grassroots extremely well....

"We believe Ken Blackwell would be an excellent, innovative choice for Chairman of the RNC who would run the party competently and conservatively. We encourage the 168 members of the RNC to vote for him."


____________________________________________________

 

Republicans Need a Shareholder Revolt


By Star Parker


The first Gallup poll out on President-elect Barack Obama's stimulus plan shows a divided country, with Republicans in a distinct minority and in opposition.

Democrats support the $750-billion plan (67 percent to 19 percent) as do Independents (54 percent to 37 percent). But Republicans stand in opposition (56 percent to 34 percent).

But taking a look at Republican Party reality inside the Washington beltway, we see a rudderless ship, out of touch with the grass roots of its own party.

Our Republican president - yes, he is still president - has taken himself out of the discussion. And on Capitol Hill, the Republican leadership appears quite comfortable with the initiative in principle, expressing reservations only in regard to its form and content.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell called it an "obvious need" but expressed concern about the massive spending proposal translating into "long-term systematic changes ..." House Republican leader John Boehner appealed to the importance of finding "the right balance."

Pretty tepid stuff, given the severity of the times and the underlying ideological implications of where Obama and his Democratic cohorts in Congress plan to take us.

Where is the Republican leader who is going to challenge the basic premise upon which our president-elect is rationalizing this massive new government intrusion into our economy and our lives?

Mr. Obama said it quite clearly. "...at this particular moment only government can provide the short-term boost necessary to lift us from a recession this deep and severe. Only government can break the cycle that is crippling our economy..."

The fact that there does not appear to be a single Republican leader who is capable or ready to challenge the assertion that "only government" can put our sputtering economy back on track shows we need a rebirth of the Republican Party. And that this rebirth must come from the grass roots.

Those 56 percent of Republicans that said "no" in this latest Gallup poll are looking for a leader. And that leader certainly does not seem to be in Washington.

The Wall Street Journal tallies up that when all is said and done, with the latest round of bailouts and the spending that Obama is putting on the table, the federal government will be sucking out 28 cents of every dollar produced in the American economy. The word "unprecedented" should be on our minds here.

Since World War II, the federal government take has averaged about 20 cents on the dollar. Now, take the 28 cents and add in state and local government spending and we arrive at about 40 cents of every dollar we produce that will be going to government.

Is this really the formula for restoring American greatness and prosperity?
Despite Senator McConnell's stated reservations about this spending tsunami becoming "systematic" and Obama himself saying "I'm not out to increase the size of government long-term," it's impossible to take these disclaimers seriously.

History shows that every expansion of government stays permanent.

Until now, the greatest expansion was under Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal that our president-elect seems to be taking as his model. At the beginning of the 1930s total government take was about 12 cents from every dollar. By the beginning of the 1940s it more than doubled to 25 cents of every dollar.

As Harvard Economist Greg Mankiw points out, the massive expansion of government during those years was supposedly to deal with temporary problems - the depression and then the onset of World War II.

But there was never a subsequent cut back. The expansion just continued to where we are today.

As the political class in Washington transforms our once great, prosperous, and free country into a lumbering socialist mediocrity, a voice of dissent is needed.

In this sense, I like what Ken Blackwell is proposing in his run for RNC Chairman. Blackwell is calling for a "shareholder revolt" within the Republican Party and to move power, money, and influence to State organizations.

We do need a shareholder revolt in the Republican Party followed by one in the country as a whole.

http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2009/jan/13/star-parker-republicans-need-a-shareholder/

____________________________________________________


Please also see, Red County: "BLACKWELL: "We can't campaign like Reagan and govern like Carter""

 

Wednesday
Jan142009

Daily Grind: Schwarzenegger Rolls Back Green Regulations to Pave the Road to Progress

Hit the Road, Jack!
In a rare move, Governor Schwarzenegger tells California environmentalists to hit the road.

 

Capitol South
The Senator conveys his (guarded) jubilation about the looming inauguration.

 

“Vital Measure” Would Force Unions Down Workers Throats
The SEIU wants you to believe that union card check would “boost” the economy. Who knew?!

 

ALG President Bill Wilson ERISA Audio Interview
ALG’s Bill Wilson discusses ERISA violations and green union pension raid.

Wednesday
Jan142009

NetRight Daily - Pork Bowl Sunday Wrap-Up

Pork Bowl Warp Up: Yesterday, while America watched their heroes of the gridiron battle it out over yards and inches, there was another battle being waged in the hallowed halls of Congress. And as usual, it was between the few who wish to protect the American taxpayer, and those who wish to take him and her for every cent their worth. It wasn’t even close.

 

Union Backed Ponzi Scheme: Great video, make sure to pass this around to everyone you know!

 

Rescinding Promises: Mr. Obama is not even sworn in yet and he is already making changes to the platform of issues that he promised he would deliver to the American people.

 

Roy Blunt (R-MO) Rejoins House Leadership: Both Politico reports and Roll Call have reported that Republican Leader John A. Boehner (OH) rewarded Missouri Rep. Roy Blunt this weekend for making that decision by formally naming him to a newly established leadership post.

 

The NetRight Union News Daily Update: In this edition we show you how union-backed fraud group buries democracy, expose another corruption union politician and an anti-social justice experiment comes to an end.

 

A Call to Action: Every day in Washington’s political citadels, a new coalition triumphantly announces its emergence as the self-anointed savior of the increasingly moribund conservative movement. Or, some old organization “re-invents” itself and declares that it is now ready to lead as never before