Governor Wolf Announces Google to Invest in Workforce, Business Development

first_img October 12, 2017 Economy,  Education,  Innovation,  Jobs That Pay,  Press Release,  Schools That Teach Pittsburgh, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today joined Google CEO Sundar Pichai, local officials, and state lawmakers to announce the company’s plans to launch a new digital skills initiative to help teachers, students, job seekers, and small businesses nationwide.“In Pennsylvania, we can speak firsthand to the importance of initiatives like this that unite resources and expertise from corporations, non-profits, and the public sector to create a big impact,” said Governor Wolf. “I want to thank Google for being our partner in the next era of Pennsylvania’s success and for their investment not just in our economy – but now our workforce as well.”The new initiative, Grow with Google, was created to leverage the company’s resources in an effort to support workforce and business development nationwide through resources such as:Funding for and partnerships with nonprofit organizations focused on creating economic opportunity, locally, and nationally;New resources to help small businesses harness the power of the web to grow and thrive online;New resources and partnerships to help more learn tech-related skills;And new resources and partnerships to help close the digital divide in schools.“Pennsylvania is home to many innovative and cutting-edge businesses, such as Google, and this new initiative pairs nicely with the adaptions that we’re making on the state level to ensure students and workers have the skills for today’s high-demand jobs and that Pennsylvania remains a leader in STEM education,” said Governor Wolf.The commonwealth has been recognized as a national leader in STEM education ranking 4th nationally in the number of STEM graduates, in the top 10 of states for technology and innovation, and is in the top 10 of states for STEM jobs.Pennsylvania has made important progress in delivering more resources to schools and classrooms, and fostering collaborative, cross-sector dialogue to support STEM education, work-based learning, career pathways, and college access and completion. Since 2009, the number of graduates from Pennsylvania’s 14 public four-year universities earning degrees in STEM and Health majors (STEM-H) has increased 37 percent. Today, nearly one in four bachelor’s degrees awarded by the State System are STEM-H degrees.While on site Google announced specific plans for the initiative in the Pittsburgh region, including a program that will allocate funding for Pittsburgh area nonprofits that use innovation and technology to grow economic opportunity in the area and a pilot program that brings coaching and technology to teachers at eleven schools in the Allegheny County. Governor Wolf Announces Google to Invest in Workforce, Business Developmentcenter_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

Nasty US flu season continues to intensify

first_img Nasty U.S. flu season continues to intensify Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country J. You/Science Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Flu vaccines contain up to four different subtypes of the virus, and it’s long been known that their effectiveness against H3N2 is particularly low, only protecting people from disease about one-third of the time. Part of the problem is that the vaccine is manufactured by growing flu viruses in chicken eggs, and when H3N2 from humans adapts to chicken cells, it mutates. These changes, in turn, ultimately weaken the protection given by the vaccine because of genetic mismatches between the vaccine virus and the circulating subtype (see this story). 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A tough year for flu This week, the percentage of U.S.outpatient visits for influenzalike illness reached the third highest level in the past 15 years. It’s week 10 of a flu season that may only be half over, and a wave of influenza across the entire United States has led to an alarmingly high number of sick people. Last week, 7.1% of all outpatient visits were for what’s classified as influenzalike illness (ILI), said Anne Schuchat, acting director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta in a telephone press conference this morning. That was a jump of 0.5% from the preceding week, indicating that this year’s flu may not have peaked yet.In the last 15 years, only two U.S. flu seasons had a week with a higher percentage of outpatient visits for ILI, which is used as a proxy for flu because few cases are actually tested for the virus. And, Schuchat added, “We are by no means out of the woods.”CDC has linked the high number of cases to the spread of an influenza variant known as Type A, subtype H3N2, which is both particularly virulent and hard to stop with the flu vaccine. A Type A subtype known as H1N1 also is circulating widely, as is a Type B virus. Australia, which already went through a flu season with an H3N2 variant similar to the one now in the United States, found that the vaccine was only 10% effective against that subtype. Last week, a small study that looked at interim data from this flu season in Canada pegged the H3N2 effectiveness at 17%. Schuchat said CDC is working on its own interim analysis of vaccine effectiveness for this flu season, but she urged people to get a flu shot regardless, as it can reduce the severity of illness even when it fails to prevent disease.Underscoring the importance of vaccination, Schuchat noted that 53 children have died of flu this season, and only 20% of those children had received the vaccine. “This season is a sober reminder of why flu is one of the biggest public health challenges,” Schuchat said.The last time outpatient visits for ILI exceeded last week’s percentage was in 2009–10, when a novel “pandemic” H1N1 subtype drove ILI visits to a peak of 7.7%. The last nonpandemic season that had a higher peak was 2003–04, when H3N2 also spread and visits reached 7.6%. As before, this year people over 65 years old are the most likely to go to hospital.Schuchat noted that flu seasons sometimes last much less than 20 weeks, and the spread may already be abating on the West Coast. “Things could level out and we might not have as bad a year as 2014–15, but as of this week it was pretty bad news,” she said.last_img read more