This summer, President Obama is traveling across the country to meet with everyday Americans who have written him about what's going on in their lives.
Ahead of the President's trip to Kansas City this evening, White House Press Secretary and Kansas City native Josh Earnest called a few people in the area and invited them out to dinner with the President.
Labor Secretary Tom Perez is traveling with Education Secretary Arne Duncan to Toledo, Ohio, today to see first-hand model programs and partnerships that are equipping Americans with the knowledge, skills and industry-relevant education they need to get on the pathway to a successful career.
We want to make sure you see what they see, too. Follow along today to see live updates and highlights from their day.
First stop: The Toledo Technology Academy.
The path to good jobs begins in grade school. Students in grades 7 – 12 receive an intense integrated academic and technical education that prepares them for a rewarding, life-long career in engineering or manufacturing technologies. Along with more “typical” high school classes, they receive hands-on training in plastics technologies, automated systems, manufacturing operations, computer-automated design, electronics and other manufacturing technologies. The academy works closely with employers – including the local GM plant – to provide students with industry recognized credentials and certification. Students also can earn advanced credit at local 2- and 4-year colleges. In April, the Toledo Public School System was awarded a $3.8 million Youth CareerConnect grant that will expand the Toledo Technology Academy’s model to serve more students.
...Where students on the robotics team earn a varsity letter.
Today at the White House, I was delighted to host a roundtable discussion with leaders from across the aging community who came together to discuss the White House Conference on Aging, which will take place in 2015 – the 50th anniversary of Medicare, Medicaid, and the Older Americans Act, as well as the 80th anniversary of Social Security.
Just yesterday, the Medicare Trustees released their annual report finding that, since their report last year, the life of the Medicare Trust Fund has been extended by four additional years to 2030. When this Administration first took office, the Trust Fund was projected to go bankrupt more than a dozen years sooner, in 2017. The Trustees also project that – for the second year in a row – Part B premiums will not increase, allowing seniors to keep more of their Social Security cost-of-living increase.
Thanks in part to the Affordable Care Act, we have improved the affordability of the program, while at the same time helping Medicare work better for seniors. For example, we are closing the prescription drug coverage gap or “donut hole” to make medications more affordable for Medicare beneficiaries. Just today, we learned that 8.2 million seniors and people with disabilities saved $11.5 billion since 2010 – over $1,000 on average for people hitting the donut hole. Additionally, Medicare now provides coverage without cost-sharing for many preventive benefits to help keep older Americans healthy. The Affordable Care Act also responds to older Americans’ desire to remain independent in their communities by creating incentives for states to provide the services and supports that help people remain at home as they age.
Climate change is not a distant threat – we're already experiencing its harmful impacts. That's why President Obama has taken action to cut carbon pollution by moving to cleaner sources of energy and improving the energy efficiency of our cars, trucks, and buildings. But further steps are urgently needed to ensure that we leave our kids a planet that’s not polluted or damaged.
Today, the White House released a new report from the Council of Economic Advisers that breaks down the economic consequences of delaying action to combat climate change. The report finds that delaying policy actions by a decade increases total climate change mitigation costs by about 40%, and failing to take any action would risk substantial economic damage.
So how will this affect you and your community? Jason Furman, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, is taking to Twitter to answer your questions. Today, July 29 at 2:30 p.m. ET, join him for a Twitter Q&A on the economic impacts of climate change on his Twitter handle, @CEAChair.
Here's what you need to know:
Ask your questions now and during the live event on Twitter with the hashtag #WHClimateChat
Follow the Q&A live through the @CEAChair Twitter handle
The signs of climate change are all around us. The average temperature in the United States during the past decade was 0.8° Celsius (1.5° Fahrenheit) warmer than the 1901-1960 average, and the last decade was the warmest on record both in the United States and globally. Global sea levels are currently rising at approximately 1.25 inches per decade, and the rate of increase appears to be accelerating.
The scientific consensus is that these changes, and many others, are largely consequences of anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases that have led to a warming of the atmosphere and oceans.
The Council of Economic Advisers released a report today that examines the economic consequences of delaying implementing policies to reduce the pace and ultimate magnitude of these changes; the findings emphasize the need for policy action today. The report was written under the leadership of Jim Stock, who recently resigned as a Member of the Council of Economic Advisers to return to his teaching position at Harvard University.
KEY POINTS IN TODAY’S REPORT FROM THE COUNCIL OF ECONOMIC ADVISERS
1. Immediate action substantially reduces the cost of achieving climate targets. Taking meaningful steps now sends a signal to the market that reduces long-run costs of meeting the target. Such action will reduce investments in high-carbon infrastructure that is expensive to replace and will spur development of new low- and zero-emissions technologies. For both reasons, the least-cost mitigation path to achieve a given climate target typically starts with a relatively low price of carbon to send these signals to the market, and subsequently increases as new low-carbon technologies are developed and deployed. An analysis of research on the cost of delay for hitting a specified climate target suggests that net mitigation costs increase, on average, by approximately 40 percent for each decade of delay.
"The Dayton Flyers are the intercollegiate athletic teams of the University of Dayton of Dayton, Ohio. All Flyers intercollegiate sports teams participate at the NCAA Division I level. The football team competes in the Division I FCS non-scholarship Pioneer Football League, and women's golf plays in the Colonial Athletic Association, while all other sports compete in the non-football Atlantic 10 Conference.
The name is a reference and homage to Daytonians Orville and Wilbur Wright who pioneered heavier than air flight. Orville and Wilbur Wright designed the Wright Flyer I and fabricated many of its components, including the propellers and engine, at their bicycle shop in Dayton." (Source: Wikipedia)
Opinion/Notes: I can sort of see the "U" in the "D" (being the bottom half of the "D") but it's a bit of a stretch. The trailing wing on the "D" is kind of weird, it just feels tacked on, and when the wing element is removed as can be seen on the uniforms the remaining spiky slab serifs feel extraneous. Then there is the diagonal cuts on letters like the "Y" and "F" and the really heavy-handed "Y" ligatures… It's just odd in general. Colors are nice, though.
Select Quote: We worked closely with the UD Athletics staff and men's basketball coach Archie Miller to arrive at a look that is iconic and timeless, yet forward leaning. We wanted to elevate the brand to a level that matches the quality of this stellar program, as well as the Flyers' style of play: fast and fearless.
Building on the iconic "UD," the new mark incorporates a subtle "U" shape into the design of a block "D," enhancing brand recognition.
Wings trailing the "D" are a nod to the city of Dayton—the birthplace of flight.
The font choice — Vitesse, which is French for speed — supports the overarching brand narrative.
Today, in a major step to advance the President’s Climate Data Initiative, the Obama administration is inviting leaders of the technology and agricultural sectors to the White House to discuss new collaborative steps to unleash data that will help ensure our food system is resilient to the effects of climate change.
More intense heat waves, heavier downpours, and severe droughts and wildfires out west are already affecting the nation’s ability to produce and transport safe food. The recently released National Climate Assessment makes clear that these kinds of impacts are projected to become more severe over this century.
Food distributors, agricultural businesses, farmers, and retailers need accessible, useable data, tools, and information to ensure the effectiveness and sustainability of their operations – from water availability, to timing of planting and harvest, to storage practices, and more.
Nearly a year ago we reported on changes at the United States Postal Service (USPS) that involved renaming some of its services and the introduction of a freshly-designed set of boxes, envelopes, and tubes that were received with a modestly encouraging response. More interesting than the final result was that we were having a conversation about design and USPS at all. At the time, I closed my first paragraph of that post with "No credit given" for who had designed those well-intentioned boxes. New York, NY-based GrandArmy recently posted a comprehensive page with their work for USPS that shows a large breadth of work to reposition the visual retail presence and in-store experience of more than 30,000 locations. Included in the scope of work was the redesign of the packaging which, as you will see at the end of the post, had a little more flair to it than what was finally produced by another vendor. To continue the unexpected conversation about design and USPS here is a look at what is basically a complete redesign of the USPS (sans logo).
The United States Postal Service is one of America's great infrastructure achievements. In addition to being a technical marvel, it is also a storied and hallowed institution. From the Pony Express to the first letters sent by air-mail, few things are so uniquely American.
Plagued by budget woes in the modern era — the USPS sought to modernize its image, and more importantly, streamline the retail experience with clear signage, way-finding and packaging.
USPS retail locations manage to be some of the first world's most depressing "retail" experiences. They are drab, there are long lines, the clerks are rarely in a good mood, and there is too much information posted everywhere that makes little sense. Any small change that improves that experience would be a bonus. To the rescue: Gotham and a couple of condensed styles of Knockout. Perhaps a clear answer for us designers but, as GrandArmy tells me, it wasn't an easy sell to USPS: "Typography was a big part of the discussions. We had to spend a while justifying our choices and petitioning for them to purchase the right fonts — but in the end they were reasonable. They appreciate good design and were happy we cared so much about their brand."
GrandArmy developed a total re-design of the USPS in-store experience. A robust three-bar layout system was applied to all materials, from menu-boards to hang tags to welcome signs to kiosks and so on. This system holds together a huge variety of collateral. Ancillary materials include emotive creed posters, window clings, a mobile app, and shipping box design (since modified by an external team.)
We wanted to create a visual language that paid homage to USPS' heritage, but was a modern, clear and simple update. There are a lot of contemporary brands that try to wrap themselves in the American flag — but our case to USPS was that here is a brand that actually deserves it. So a contemporary update on Americana, with modern, clear grids and hard-working typography — that was our brief to ourselves. In the end, the system is extraordinarily simple. Red, white and blue color fields separate every piece along consistent ratios, and these ratios inform headline and body copy sizes.
From e-mail conversation with GrandArmy
Like the recent Domino's Pizza post about their type family, this isn't a straightforward identity redesign but its implications in how we perceive the USPS brand can be as significant as changing its logo. (Not quite, but you get my point). GrandArmy's guidelines and efforts in redesigning "boards" are about communicating in a clear, elegant, moderately exciting language. These are far and away more positive adjectives than anyone thinks of when thinking of the USPS's communication efforts. Without any overly fancy design tricks — this is basically a typographic, hierarchy exercise on steroids — GrandArmy has set up a lovely and clear system that is helpful and attractive.
I would love to do another follow-up post in a year and see if the boards above look as good in the actual locations as they do in these handsome photographs. My guess is "not as much" but I do think they have the potential of starting a broader transformation of the USPS in-store experience… that is, assuming there is any money for the poor organization to implement changes.
I should probably elaborate on the above but, no: Yeah!
Finally, we come to the boxes. I wanted to keep them at the end so you would see the progression and how they are the culmination of all of the more "basic" work, coming together in, well, a tight little package. Although the packaging that launched a year ago was a step up from its predecessor, the proposed and submitted designs by GrandArmy had that extra cohesiveness and (as evident in the two boxes directly above) more Pow. Yup, pow. More of it. With any luck some of the more expressive traits of these boxes will find their way to the real boxes. Probably not. But it's definitely encouraging to see the USPS even engaging a design firm and working to establish a contemporary presence.
2014-07-29 Rerun commentary: Hailing a barge is a lot easier than hailing a taxi. It's a lot harder for the driver to ignore someone when they can't roll their window up and their vehicle only moves at a speed of 3 knots.
As all software, it took longer than I expected, but today I tagged the first version of pettycoin. Now, lots more polish and features, but at least there’s something more than the git repo for others to look at!
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