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Sanders focuses on Vermont jobs in keynote speech at energy conference

first_imgUS Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) delivered the keynote address Tuesday at a conference on a cutting-edge Vermont initiative to improve energy efficiency, save consumers money and create good-paying jobs.Vermont was awarded $69 million in federal funds in 2009 to match an equal investment by the state’s utilities to develop a more efficient and more reliable electric system. The so-called smart-grid project will make Vermont the first state in the nation to provide high-tech meters in virtually all businesses and homes. By 2013, real-time information on energy consumption will let consumers make smarter choices.Sanders spoke at the conference hosted by the University of Vermont and Sandia National Laboratory, a world leader in energy research working with the state on implementation of the smart grid.‘I am excited about the partnership with the Sandia National Lab because of what that partnership can do to not only make us a leader in energy efficiency and sustainable energy but also in the process to create good-paying jobs for Vermonters,’ Sanders said afterward.A member of the Senate energy committee, Sanders has been instrumental in persuading the New Mexico-based national energy lab to open a New England satellite center at the University of Vermont.‘This is a big deal. We have before us an extraordinary opportunity â ¦ to be a leader for the nation,’ Sanders told the conference. ‘If we can pull off half of what I think we can, this will be a significant step forward.’A new Sandia-Vermont Center for Excellence would conduct advanced research that will bring the nation closer to energy self-sufficiency, increase energy efficiency, and develop a new green economy. This partnership will work with businesses and academic researchers to develop new technologies, new policies and new procedures.‘What Vermont offers Sandia, the Department of Energy, and the nation is a real-world model for this new research and technology,’ Sanders said.‘Over the long-term, this center will help create jobs and new educational opportunities for Vermont students and workers. It will make Vermont’s and America’s businesses more competitive both in the new technologies of the smart grid and locally distributed sustainable energy.’  Source: Sanders’ office. BURLINGTON, Vt., May 17, 2011last_img read more

Germany Mulls Easing Immigration Norms for Non-EU Skilled Workers

first_imgIn a bid to overcome the chronic shortage of skilled labor in the country, the German Cabinet is looking at a proposal to ease immigration and work permit process for skilled workers coming from outside the European Union.The German Interior, Labour and Economy ministries have agreed to recruit more foreign skilled labor to the country, Reuters reported on the basis of a paper it went through.If the recommendations mentioned in paper get the Cabinet’s approval, non-EU foreigner graduates and workers with vocational training will be allowed to come to Germany and look for a job within a certain period of time provided they fulfil the qualification and language related criteria.During the period of job search, immigrants will not be entitled to social welfare benefits. However, they will be allowed to take up jobs, for which they are overqualified, to get some money, according to the report.The paper proposes that the government will no longer insist that the companies prefer German citizens before looking at non-EU foreigners to fill vacancies. The other measures suggested in the paper are speeding up the qualification recognition procedures in Germany and a possible advertising campaign in selected countries, the news agency said.Citizens of the European Union are allowed to move freely in the bloc for labor purposes but that is not the case for workers from other nations. The new proposal may carry a positive chance for immigrant workers but its approval may turn into a sensitive issue due to the prevalence of anti-immigration sentiments in the country, where the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party has managed to gather public support on the basis of its hardline policy on the issue.Germany is facing a shortage of skilled labor and young workers who would be ready to take up on-the-job training for almost three and a half years. This shortage is causing a huge gap between the demand and supply of workforce in the country. The Federal Labour Office reported a record 1.2 million vacant positions in Germany, the report added.Germany wanted to fill the gap in the workforce with the help of over a million refugees who arrived in 2015, but was unable to do so as most of them did not possess good German-language skills or were unable to prove the required qualifications.Germany already has a “blue card” system that makes the hiring of foreign academics and professionals easier for companies. The EU blue card enables third-country nationals who are university graduates or who have a comparable qualification to receive a residence title for the purpose of employment suiting their qualification. It is a residence permit which, when issued for the first time, is valid for a maximum of four years.The number of qualified Indian professionals in Germany is witnessing a rise. There were 169,602 Indians in Germany in 2017, the Ministry of External Affairs told the Lok Sabha last year.In the first half of 2016, the top five nationalities that received the EU blue cards were India with 22.1 percent, followed by China (8.7 percent), the Russian Federation (7.9 percent), Ukraine (5.3 percent) and Syria (4.7 percent), according to the German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF). Related ItemsEmploymentEuropean UnionGermanylast_img read more