ISP Reinstitutes “Fast Track” Program to recruit current certified Police Officers — Page 2 Week of July 10, 2019
| Vol. 55 | No. 15 | www.thechicagocitizen.com
HEIGHTENED ILLINOIS GAS TAX GOES INTO EFFECT, WILL BENEFIT INFRASTRUCTURE IN CHICAGO
Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker recently signed into law a new capital investment plan, affectionately named the Rebuild Illinois Capital Plan, that outlines an investment of $45 billion in state-wide infrastructure over the next six years. Funding for the new capital investment comes in part from an increased tax on gasoline in Illinois.
Illinois Governor, J.B. Pritzker (pictured), recently hosted a press conference alongside the Mayor of Chicago, Lori Lightfoot, to discuss the new Rebuild Illinois Capital Plan. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Governor J.B. Pritzker
Local Theatre Company Makes A Big Move To The South Side PAGE 3
Small Business Job Growth Slows in June, While Wage Growth Increases
Check out our real estate listings for important foreclosure information
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NEWS briefly EDUCATION
UNITEDHEALTH GROUP ANNOUNCES ATLANTA HBCU PARTNERSHIP, $8.25 MILLION INVESTMENT IN THE EDUCATION OF FUTURE DATA SCIENTISTS UnitedHealth Group and the Atlanta University Center Consortium (AUCC), the oldest and largest consortium of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), are partnering on a new initiative. The five-year, $8.25 million investment by UnitedHealth Group is part of an ambitious collaboration with AUCC and its membership: Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, Morehouse School of Medicine and Spelman College. The investment will fund the launch of the AUCC Data Science Initiative, which will offer technical classes for students who want to specialize in data science or learn data analysis to give them a competitive edge when they look for jobs in their field of study.
PEAK SUMMER: MORE THAN ONE IN SIX PEOPLE LIKELY TO GET FOOD POISONING An estimated 48 million Americans, or one in six, get sick from food poisoning each year, many suffering from violent vomiting, diarrhea or even death in rare cases according to the Centers for Disease Control And Prevention. “Fresh produce is catching up with poultry as a leading cause of infections, but undercooked chicken is still the most common cause of death from food poisoning,” says Colin Zhu, DO, a board-certified family and lifestyle medicine physician who has additional training as a chef and health coach. “While produce will show no signs of infection, meats that appear undercooked should be avoided,” he said. According to an American Osteopathic Association (AOA) press release, consulting a food thermometer will ensure foods reach appropriate internal temperatures high enough to kill bacteria. The AOA also advises refrigerating leftovers within 2 hours of cooking or within 1 hour if the food was served in temperatures reaching 90°F.
LAW & POLITICS
FEDEX SHAREHOLDER INVESTIGATION: CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT FILED Thornton Law Firm LLP recently announced that it has filed a lawsuit against FedEx Corporation on behalf of FedEx shareholders (NYSE ticker: FDX). FedEx investors who have purchased at least 500 shares of FedEx stock between September 19, 2017 and December 18, 2018, and are interested to learn more about the case are encouraged to contact the Thornton Law Firm at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 617-531-3917. Interested FedEx shareholders have until August 26, 2019 to apply to be lead plaintiff. The lawsuit alleges violations of the federal securities laws, and the class has not yet been certified. Until certification occurs, you are not represented by an attorney. If you choose to take no action, you can remain an absent class member.
Heightened Illinois Gas Tax Goes Into Effect, Will Benefit Infrastructure In Chicago Continued from page 1 BY KATHERINE NEWMAN
Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker recently signed into law a new capital investment plan, affectionately named the Rebuild Illinois Capital Plan, that outlines an investment of $45 billion in state-wide infrastructure over the next six years. Funding for the new capital investment comes in part from an increased tax on gasoline in Illinois. “We are investing $45 billion over six years to repair what’s broken and build whats needed all while supporting hundreds of jobs throughout our state. We are reshaping our state for the future and we are rebuilding Illinois. The vast majority of the Rebuild Illinois budget, $33 billion, is dedicated to the day to day needs of our family which includes transportation to work, to visit family members, to go to school, to see a doctor, and so much more,” said Pritzker. Of the $45 billion included in the Rebuild Illinois plan, $33.2 billion has been allocated
specifically for transportation needs including $14 billion for new roads and bridges, close to $11 billion for the Illinois Department of Transportation, $4.5 billion for mass transit, including the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), Metra, and Pace, and $1 billion for passenger rail, including Amtrak and other inter-city rail projects, according to the Rebuild Illinois Capital Plan. “Ten years in the making, this capital bill has the potential to be completely transformative of everything we are doing in the city. Not just in transportation, but other vital important investments that can really make a difference in the quality of life for people all over in our neighborhoods,” said Mayor of Chicago Lori Lightfoot. During a recent press conference about the project, Gov. Pritzker indicated that this plan includes $60 million to rebuild the CTA Green Line’s Cottage Grove stop and $80 million for the CTA Blue Line’s O’Hare station. “This plan includes over $1 billion to improve and expand our rail systems. Chicago is the
ISP Reinstitutes “Fast Track” Program to recruit current certified Police Officers The Illinois State Police (ISP) is reinstituting the “Fast Track” Program that provides an opportunity for certified police officers to become Illinois State Troopers through participation in an accelerated training program. The duration of a Fast Track Cadet Class will be slightly less than half of the standard 26-week Cadet Class. In order to be eligible for a Fast Track Cadet Class, applicants must be a current certified police officer, having graduated from an accredited law enforcement academy, and have at least two years of experience while employed as a full-time sworn police officer. Applicants will be required to provide proof of successfully completing the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)/International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) approved DWI/ DUI Detection and Standardized Field Sobriety Testing training program, or an approved equivalent, prior to starting a Fast Track Class. Officers must also meet all pre-employment requirements and standards established by the ISP Merit Board and successfully complete the application process. The pre-employment requirements, vision standards, hearing standards, and fitness standards are available on the ISP Merit Board’s website at https://www.illinoistrooper.com under the Recruitment menu. Upon completion of the application process, applicants will be screened to determine if they meet the additional eligibility requirements to be considered for a Fast Track Class.
In addition to the ISP Merit Board’s requirements, all candidates eligible to participate in a Fast Track Class will be required to successfully pass a Fast Track written examination. When a Fast Track Class schedule is finalized, qualified applicants will be contacted by the Illinois State Police to complete the Fast Track Examination. Applicants who have met all ISP Merit Board standards and requirements and have successfully passed the Fast Track Examination will be considered for placement in the Fast Track Class. Regardless of the future availability of a Fast Track Class or the score the applicant achieves on the Fast Track Examination, the applicant will remain in the Merit Board’s applicant pool and be eligible for certification for placement into a full length Cadet Class. Individuals interested in applying for a future Fast Track Cadet Class must complete the online application on the ISP Merit Board’s website at https://www. illinoistrooper.com/online-application/. The ISP is currently planning to conduct a Fast Track Cadet Class in the spring of 2020. To be eligible for the spring class, individuals must complete the ISP Merit Board’s online application by September 30, 2019. Individuals who are not Fast Track eligible may still apply to be considered for a potential summer 2020 full 26-week Cadet Class. To be in consideration for the summer 2020 class, applications must be received by November 29, 2019.
worlds third largest intermodal port and keeping the city’s trains running on time is key to the success of our economy,” said Pritzker. Prior to this plan taking effect, the base motor fuel tax in Illinois was 19 cents per gallon for gas and diesel and base motor fuel taxes had not been increased since 1990. Following the capital plan taking effect at the beginning of this month, the base gas tax rose to 38 cents per gallon, according to the Rebuild Illinois Capital Plan. On the south side of Chicago, $400 million of funding from the Rebuild Illinois plan has been reserved for the Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency (CREATE) Program’s 75th Street Corridor Improvement Project. “This is not just an investment in our physical buildings, it’s also an investment in the people that call Chicago home. I want us to rebuild a city where opportunity is available not just to some but literally to every resident. This legislation paves a way for equitable investments that are not going to be limited by zip code,” said Lightfoot.
CMS Commits $50 Million to Assist States with Substance Use Disorder Treatment and Recovery The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced a Notice of Funding Opportunity that provides State Medicaid agencies with information to apply for planning grants that will aid in the treatment and recovery of substance use disorders (SUDs), including opioid use disorder (OUD). Fighting the opioid epidemic is one of CMS’s top priorities, and the planning grants are an important step in that effort. The planning grants are intended to increase the capacity of Medicaid providers to deliver SUD treatment or recovery services through an ongoing assessment of the SUD treatment needs of the State; recruitment, training, and technical assistance for Medicaid providers that offer SUD treatment or recovery services; and improved reimbursement for and expansion of the number or treatment capacity of Medicaid providers. To apply, State Medicaid agencies are required to submit an 18-month proposal by August 9th to increase the capacity of Medicaid providers throughout the State and quickly deliver SUD treatment or recovery services within local communities. CMS will review all of the applications and select at least 10 proposals, with awards totaling $50,000,000. “CMS is pulling every lever to combat the opioid epidemic, and increasing access to treatments for Americans suffering from substance use disorder is essential to addressing this issue,” said CMS Principal Deputy Administrator for Policy and Operations Kimberly Brandt. “State-level innovation has been and will continue to be key in addressing the opioid crisis and this funding opportunity provides states with a significant opportunity to expand access to critical treatments for their citizens.”
CITIZEN | Chatham Southeast | Week of July 10, 2019
Local Theatre Company Makes A Big Move To The South Side BY KATHERINE NEWMAN
Collaboraction Theatre Company recently announced that it will hosts several of its 2019-20 season performances in Englewood at Kennedy-King College. The theme of the upcoming performance season is We Are Each Others Business. The 2019-20 season for Collaboraction will include The Light, a new summer youth festival, the fourth annual Peacebook Festival, Book of Peace at Cloudgate Plaza, a holiday play called All I Want for Chicago Is…, the Encounter Series, and the world premiere of Red Island by Anthony Moseley and Carla Stillwell. The Peacebook Festival, Encounter Series, and Red Island will all take place in the 292seat state-of-the-art theatre at Kennedy-King College, 740 W. 63rd St., in Englewood. The move to Englewood is a critical part of Collaboraction’s One City plan that aims to use theater to encourage healing and transformation in Chicago, according to information provided by Collaboraction. “At Collaboraction, we use first-person authentic-voice narratives that we cultivate through talking with people in Chicago. We go deep in these neighborhoods to hear stories about what it’s like to live with, live around, and live under the kind of pressure that people
Local theatre company, Collaboraction, recently announced that it will host several performances during the 2019-20 season at Kennedy-King College in Englewood. Photo Credit: Collaboraction
experience surrounding race, gender, identity, class, poverty, and all that kind of stuff. We then tell those stories in a way that gets to the humanity of it all and we connect those stories
to people who ordinarily would be disconnected from the realities of what goes on in these neighborhoods,” said Dr. Marcus Robinson, managing director of Collaboraction.
Robinson is a resident of Englewood himself and is elated to have his professional work in performance art overlap with his passion for making an impact on the community that he has chosen to call home. “This is my opportunity to deliver what I consider to be my life’s work in community development, community transformation, and personal transformation with the way I’m organized as a professional,” said Robinson. “I’m able to put my professional life in alignment with my personal life and in alignment with my own values.” Each performance for this entire season will conclude with a Crucial Conversation, moderated by Robinson and Collaboraction’s Artistic Director, Anthony Moseley. The conversations will dive into the themes of the shows and allow audience members to reflect on what they have just seen and share their own ideas on how to heal the City of Chicago from its history of oppression, segregation, and systemic racism, according to information provided by Collaboraction. “Our idea is that every story will lead to a conversation about what we can all do to make Chicago a better place to live in terms of race relations and a better place to live in terms of class and economic development,” said Robinson. For more, visit collaboraction.org or call the Collaboraction box office, (312) 226-9633.
Black families have a dime for every dollar held by Whites BY CHARLENE CROWELL NNPA Newswire Contributor
If you’re like me, every time you hear a news reporter or anchor talk about how great the nation’s economy is, you wonder what world they are living in. Certainly, these journalists are not referring to the ongoing struggle to make ends meet that so much of Black America faces. For every daily report of Wall Street trading, or rising corporate profits, you’re reminded that somebody else is doing just fine financially. To put it another way, ‘Will I ever get past my payday being an exchange day…when I can finally have the chance to keep a portion of what I earn in my own name and see how much it can grow?’ When new research speaks to those who are forgotten on most nightly news shows, I feel obliged to share that news – especially when conclusions find systemic faults suppress our collective ability to strengthen assets enough to make that key transition from paying bills to building wealth. Ten Solutions to Close the Racial Wealth Divide is jointly authored by the Institute for Policy Studies, Ohio State University’s Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity, and the National
Community Reinvestment Coalition. This insightful and scholarly work opens with updates on the nation’s nagging and widening racial wealth divide. It then characterizes solutions offered as one of three approaches: programs, power, and process. According to the authors, programs refer to new government programs that could have a major impact on improving the financial prospects of low-wealth families. Power refers to changes to the federal tax code that could bring a muchneeded balance to the tax burden now borne by middle and lowincome workers. Process refers to changes to the government operates in regard to race and wealth. “For far too long we have tolerated the injustice of a violent, extractive and racially exploitive history that generated a wealth divide where the typical black family has only a dime for every dollar held by a typical white family,” said Darrick Hamilton, report co-author and executive director of the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at The Ohio State University. From 1983-2016, the median Black family saw their wealth drop by more than half after adjusting for inflation, compared to a 33 percent increase for the median White households. Keep in mind that these
years include the Great Recession that stole nearly $1 trillion of wealth from Black and Latinx families, largely via unnecessary foreclosures and lost property values for those who managed to hold on to their homes. Fast forward to 2018, and the report shares the fact that the median white family had 41 times more wealth than the median Black family, and 22 times more wealth than the median Latinx family. Instead of the $147,000 that median white families owned last year, Black households had $3,600. When Congress passed tax cut legislation in December 2017, an already skewed racial wealth profile became worse. “White households in the top one percent of earners received $143 a day from the tax cuts while middleclass households (earning between $40,000 and $110,000) received just $2.75 a day,” states the report. “While the media coverage of the tax package and the public statements of the bill’s backers did not explicitly state that it would directly contribute to increasing the racial wealth divide, this was the impact, intended or otherwise.” With the majority of today’s Black households renting instead of owning their homes, escalating rental prices diminish if not remove www.thechicagocitizen.com
the ability for many consumers of color to save for a home down payment. As reported by CBS News, earlier this year, the national average monthly cost of fair market rent in 2018 was $1,405. Recent research by the National Low-Income Housing Coalition on housing affordability found that more than 8 million Americans spend half or more of their incomes on housing, including over 30 percent of Blacks, and 28 percent of Hispanics. Homeownership, according to the Center for Responsible Lending, remains a solid building block to gain family wealth. But with an increasing number of households paying more than a third of their income for rent, the ability to save for a home down payment is seriously weakened. CRL’s proposed remedy in March 27 testimony to the Senate Banking Committee is to strengthen affordable housing in both homeownership and rentals. To increase greater access to mortgages, CRL further advocates low-down payment loans. “The nation’s housing finance system must ensure access to safe and affordable mortgage loans for all creditworthy borrowers, including low-to-moderate income families and communities of color,” noted Nikitra Bailey, a CRL
EVP. “The lower down payment programs available through FHA and VA, provide an entry into homeownership and wealth-building for many average Americans.” “Government-backed loans cannot be the only sources of credit for lowwealth families; they deserve access to cheaper conventional mortgages,” added Bailey. “Year after year, the annual Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data reveals how consumers of color, including upper-income Black and Latinx households are disproportionately dependent on mortgages that come with higher costs. Our nation’s fair lending and housing finance laws require that the private mortgage market provide access for low-wealth families. We need additional resources for rental housing to address the affordability crisis that many working families face.” There’s really no point in continuing to do the same thing while expecting a different result. When the status quo just isn’t working, change must be given a chance. Charlene Crowell is the Center for Responsible Lending’s deputy director of communications. She can be reached at Charlene.crowell@ responsiblelending.org.
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The national index declined 0.45 from the previous month and is down 1.09 percent from June 2018.
Hourly earnings growth rose for the third consecutive month, now 2.65 percent above a year ago
Small Business Job Growth Slows in June, While Wage Growth Increases
The Paychex | IHS Markit Small Business Employment Watch for June shows slowing small business job growth accompanied by continued steady wage growth, together indications of an increasingly tight labor market.
The Paychex | IHS Markit Small Business Employment Watch for June shows slowing small business job growth accompanied by continued steady wage growth, together indications of an increasingly tight labor market. The national jobs index fell 0.45 percent from the previous month to 98.32 in June. Conversely, with a three-month annualized growth rate near three percent, hourly
earnings growth during the past quarter is the strongest since 2017. Hourly earnings growth rose to 2.65 percent ($0.70) in June, while weekly earnings growth fell to 2.02 percent due to a continued decrease in hours worked from a year ago. “The two-year long, gradual slowing of small business job growth took on a more rapid pace in June with the index declining to 98.32,” said James Diffley, chief regional economist at IHS Markit. “The jobs index is still reflective of employment growth, though at a slower pace than recent years,” said Martin Mucci, Paychex president and CEO. “With hourly earnings growth increasing, it appears the challenging hiring environment is finally starting to push wage growth higher for small business workers.” Broken down further by geography and industry, the June report showed:
l The South continues to lead regions in employment growth; the West remains the top region for hourly earnings growth. l Texas holds the top spot among states for small business job growth; Illinois held its lead among states for wage growth. l Dallas is again the top metro for job growth; San Diego continues to lead metros for wage growth. l Falling to 97.75, job growth in Leisure and Hospitality slowed the most in June at 0.85 percent. The complete results for June, including interactive charts detailing all data at a national, regional, state, metro, and industry level, are available at www.paychex. com/employment-watch. For more information about the Paychex | IHS Markit Small Business Employment Watch, visit www.paychex.com/employmentwatch and sign up to receive monthly Employment Watch alerts.
Average New-Car Prices Up 3% Year-Over-Year for June 2019 The valuation analysts at Kelley Blue Book recently reported the estimated average transaction price for a light vehicle in the United States was $37,285 in June 2019. New-vehicle prices increased $1,131 (up 3.1%) from June 2018, while decreasing $67 (down 0.2%) from last month. “Transaction price growth accelerated in June, climbing 3% as demand for trucks and SUVs pushed sales and prices up in those segments. Light trucks and SUVs are expected to account for about 71% of sales in June, up from 68% a year ago,” said Tim Fleming, analyst for Kelley Blue Book. “Overall, SUV prices were up 4% and trucks rose 3%, while car prices were flat (and still lost market share). Luxury and mainstream mid-size SUVs are showing the most strength right now, with brand new models such as the BMW X7 and Kia Telluride driving incremental sales and price growth for their brands.” www.thechicagocitizen.com
CITIZEN | Chatham Southeast | Week of July 10, 2019
More Women and Minorities Needed for Financial Planning Jobs StatePoint - Americans’ need for competent and ethical financial advice continues to grow, but the population of professionals who can provide such advice is shrinking. At the same time, the demographics of wealth in the U.S. are shifting. The average net worth of African American families increased by 30 percent from 2013 to 2016, according to the Federal Reserve. Women now control more than one-third of wealth in the country, according to The Boston Consulting Group. And an “InvestmentNews” report found the top-fifth of Latinos, or more than 2.1 million households, have an average wealth of more than $400,000. Not reflecting these changes, however, are the demographics of today’s financial planning workforce. Less than onefourth of the more than 84,000 Certified Financial Planner (CFP) professionals are women, and only 3.6 percent are Black or Latino. The gap between the current state of the financial planning profession and what is needed in this shifting landscape presents big career opportunities for aspiring CFP professionals, particularly female and minority candidates. “We need more financial planners,” says Brittney Castro, a Los Angeles-based Latina CFP professional. “It’s such a great career. You’re helping people with their money, you make good money, and
you have ultimate freedom over your time. That’s a win-win-win.” Financial planners earn a median pay of $89,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which also projects that job opportunities within the financial advisory industry are expected to grow by 15 percent between 2016 and 2026. This means CFP professionals can enjoy lucrative careers with longterm opportunity and room for growth, all while helping others. The ways in which diverse financial professionals benefit their communities is multifaceted, according to Justin Sullivan, CFP, an African American investment advisor for a wealth management company in Atlanta. Giving back is a central part of the work, he says, whether through formal financial planning services or simple conversations with people in the community. “I think we take for granted what people know, especially when you talk about groups that have not historically been exposed to wealth.” Becoming a CFP professional also provides opportunities to serve as a mentor for future generations of financial planners and encourage even greater diversity in the profession. “There are not many of us -- women of color -- who are financial planners, so I have a responsibility,” says Rianka Dorsainvil, a CFP professional in Washington, D.C. “I have to volunteer and raise my hand for
leadership positions so other women of color can say, ‘I see her in me, so I can do that too.’” To learn more about financial
Financial planners earn a median pay of $89,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which also projects that job opportunities within the ﬁnancial advisory industry are expected to grow by 15 percent between 2016 and 2026.
planning careers, visit cfp.net/ become-a-cfp-professional. Today’s CFP professionals take pride in meeting the growing need
for financial advice, helping people in their community achieve their financial goals, and making a positive difference in their clients’ lives.
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Airline Satisfaction Climbs to Record Highs Is this the golden age of air travel? According to the J.D. Power 2019 North America Airline Satisfaction Study,SM released recently, a combination of newer planes, better ticket value and improved customer touchpoints have driven overall satisfaction with airlines to its highest point in history, up 11 points (on a 1,000-point scale) from last year’s record-setting performance. The surge is driven by significant improvements among traditional carriers, while satisfaction slowed with low-cost carriers. “Airlines continue to deliver on the operational side of air travel,” said Michael Taylor, travel intelligence lead at J.D. Power. “New technology investments have dramatically improved the reservation and check-in process. Fleets are newer and travelers generally feel that they are getting great value for their money. These improvements have been most profound in the traditional carrier segment, where customer satisfaction has climbed considerably. “While low-cost carriers have historically had the highest levels of customer satisfaction in our study,
“AIRLINES CONTINUE TO DELIVER ON THE OPERATIONAL SIDE OF AIR TRAVEL. NEW TECHNOLOGY INVESTMENTS HAVE DRAMATICALLY IMPROVED THE RESERVATION AND CHECK-IN PROCESS. FLEETS ARE NEWER AND TRAVELERS GENERALLY FEEL THAT THEY ARE GETTING GREAT VALUE FOR THEIR MONEY.” MICHAEL TAYLOR Travel intelligence lead at J.D. Power. due to a strong sense of value for money among customers, that line is starting to blur as traditional carriers improve their services and operations,” Taylor added. “The one area where both traditional and low-cost carriers can still improve, however, is in in-flight services. It continues to be the lowest-ranked factor in the study, as many airlines still struggle with in-flight entertainment, connectivity, in-seat power and food service.” Following are some of the key findings of the 2019 study: l Record-high customer satisfaction: Overall satisfaction with airlines increases 11 points to 773, continuing an eight-year trend of satisfaction improvement. l Improvement driven by tradi-
tional carriers: This year’s significant gains in customer satisfaction are driven by the traditional carriers, whose segment satisfaction score improves 22 points from 2018. The low-cost segment—while still having higher overall satisfaction than the traditional carrier segment—declines 6 points from 2018, thus driving a segment convergence in satisfaction. l Tech investments in reservation and check-in systems pay off: The reservation and check-in experiences are the most satisfying portions of the airline experience, driven by investments in digital check-in technologies, self-service kiosks and a concerted effort among airlines to improve the efficiency of the preflight process.
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l In-flight service remains a stumbling block: In-flight services, such as seatback entertainment, food service and Wi-Fi continue to be the lowest-ranked part of the air traveler experience. Specific in-flight amenities that have the greatest positive effect on customer satisfaction are fresh food, seatback games and seatback live television.
Study Rankings Among traditional carriers, Alaska Airlines ranks highest for the 12th consecutive year, with a score of 801. Delta Air Lines (788) ranks second and American Airlines (764) ranks third. Among low-cost carriers, JetBlue Airways (817) and Southwest Airlines (817) rank highest in a tie. For Southwest, this is the third consecutive year at the top of the J.D. Power ranking. Among Canada-based airlines, Air Canada (729) saw its customer satisfaction score decline 5 points
from 2018. WestJet (758) saw its score increase 11 points but remains below the low-cost carrier average. The North America Airline Satisfaction Study, now in its 15th year, measures passenger satisfaction with airline carriers in North America based on performance in seven factors (in order of importance): cost and fees; in-flight services; aircraft; boarding/deplaning/baggage; flight crew; check-in; and reservation. The study measures passenger satisfaction among both business and leisure travelers and is based on responses from 5,966 passengers who flew on a major North American airline between March 2018 and March 2019. The study was fielded from April 2018 through March 2019. For more information about the North America Airline Satisfaction Study, visit https://www.jdpower. com/business/resource/jd-power-north-america-airline-satisfaction-study.
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StatePoint) The job market is rapidly changing, thanks to new and emerging technologies. As a result, job training has become highly specialized, even at the high school level. While young people living in urban and suburban communities often benefit from on-site access to the specialized education that they will need for future career success, those living in rural areas must sometimes rely on distance education to get the same training, as smaller rural schools can’t always realistically offer a wide range of specialized coursework. With this in mind, a recent report from NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association, highlights the need for high-speed Internet access in every community nationwide to meet the demands of tomorrow’s job market. With two job categories poised for demand, middle-skill and STEM jobs, experts say that reliable rural broadband access will help ensure that there are enough trained workers available to fill the next generation of American jobs, while also helping to expand job opportunities for a greater number of young people. Rural broadband providers continue to play a vital role. By leveraging their networks and working closely with local educational institutions, they are providing fiber connectivity and broadband to schools in harder-to-reach locations. As a result of these initiatives, a greater number of communities and schools can offer specialized coursework, career guidance and more to their students, helping to build local career opportunities and strengthen local economies. Those who have directly benefitted from rural broadband echo this sentiment. “High-speed internet service in my rural area allowed me to participate more fully in high school and gave me the chance to explore more opportunities after graduation. I am so grateful for the access it provided me, I am now actually working at a broadband company myself and plan to study business management and marketing at school,” says Devin Bryant, a young adult living and working in Abbeville, S.C. “Good service allows me to stay in my rural area near family and friends and still pursue the job opportunities I want.” With an effort already underway by NTCA to build smart and connected rural communities, experts say you can expect to see expanded educational opportunities and strengthened local economies nationwide. To learn more about these efforts, visit ntca.org. Access to reliable broadband is vital for today’s young people in their search for education and job training. __________________________________
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12 | CITIZEN | Chatham Southeast | Week of July 10, 2019
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