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September 5, 2013 / Rebekah Seder

Hitachi Foundation report shows how business can do well and do good

COMMUNITY | The Hitachi Foundation has released a new report highlighting effective practices businesses have implemented that both support and retain workers and increase profitability — proving that these two goals don’t have to be in opposition to each other.

Says President and CEO Barbara Dyer in a press release (Hitachi, 9/5):

The future of the American economy will be shaped by business innovations that challenge conventional wisdom… These industry leaders do just that by investing in their workers because doing so generates major financial and strategic returns for the long-term.

The full report, Doing Well and Doing Good, is available here.

EDUCATION
– Eight D.C. schools are getting funds to establish “career academies” to provide high school students with training in the areas of hospitality, engineering, and information technology — fields in which there is a need for workers in the city. (WaPo, 9/4)

- Housing Complex asks, Can New Buildings Turn Around D.C.’s Public Schools? (CP, 9/4) The answer: maybe.

- Ever wonder what, exactly, the Deputy Mayor for Education does? (GGE, 9/4)

- Alexandria welcomes acting superintendent, days after Morton Sherman steps down (WaPo, 9/3)

POVERTY | A new study has found that the state of being poor can actually cause bad decision making because it limits the amount of “cognitive bandwidth” available to think about anything other than immediate financial concerns. The implications of this concept are pretty profound (Atlantic, 8/29):

The finding further undercuts the theory that poor people, through inherent weakness, are responsible for their own poverty – or that they ought to be able to lift themselves out of it with enough effort. This research suggests that the reality of poverty actually makes it harder to execute fundamental life skills. Being poor means, as the authors write, “coping with not just a shortfall of money, but also with a concurrent shortfall of cognitive resources.”

HOUSING | Arlington residents will have the opportunity this fall to vote on whether the county should establish a housing authority. Advocates for the measure believe that a government-run authority will increase the amount of affordable housing in the county, while opponents claim that it would add bureaucracy to a system that is already working. (WAMU, 9/5)

FOOD | Montgomery County is preparing to launch a county-wide food recovery network to connect unsold or unused food from grocery stores, restaurants, and big events to local nonprofit organizations. (Gazette, 9/3)

ECONOMY | Earlier this week, Mayor Gray warned that the sequester is beginning to negatively impact the District’s economy by slowing employment. (WaPo, 9/3)

Related: Sequestration’s impact on D.C., in four charts (WaPo, 9/3)

TRANSIT | Metro seeks long-term fix, considers possible shutdown of Red Line for water problems (WaPo, 9/5)


Instead of doing like everyone else and ripping into WMATA about the red line, I will try to be constructive. Here are some creative (and probably cheap) ways that WMATA could make our commutes just a tad nicer, by way of Shanghai and Copenhagen.

- Rebekah

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