Friday, July 17, 2009

College grads still scoring okay salaries

The National Association of Colleges and Employers just released a report showing the current recession hasn't had a particularly negative effect on starting salaries for college grads.

According to NACE's release:
NACE’s Summer 2009 Salary Survey report shows that the average starting salary offer for new college graduates now stands at $49,307. That’s off less than 1 percent from the average $49,693 that 2008 graduates posted last year at this time.
Looks like engineering grads bested most other grad groups with an average increase of 3.7 percent in starting salaries.

And for parents who lamented their sons and daughters getting liberal arts degrees, no need to fear. Overall, liberal arts majors saw less than a 1 percent decline in starting salaries. On a positive note, English, history and psych grads actually saw slight increases. Looks like there's still value in learning about iambic pentameter.

NACE does point out, however, that many grads are still looking for jobs.

(H/T to UW for pointing out the Puget Sound Biz Journal article on this topic.)

New law helps halt financial exploitation of vulnerable adults

Chalk another one up for people doing the right thing. State Rep. Jim Moeller’s continuing work to quash financial exploitation and other wrongful, nefarious treatment of elderly and vulnerable citizens passed legislative muster earlier this year. The 2009 measure prevents an abusive person from inheriting anything from a deceased person who was ever the victim of financial exploitation by the abusive person. It goes into effect July 26.

Vancouver attorneys Jim Senescu and Jessica Dimitrov and other members of the Clark County Vulnerable Adult Task Force in recent years have worked with Moeller to craft the best possible standards to protect vulnerable adults. Washougal police detective Allen Cook also testified for the legislation in committee hearings. Moeller emphasized that “concerned citizens invested a lot of time and effort into developing this vital new policy. This new state law is a very important tool to protect and support our most vulnerable citizens.

“So many folks save their entire lives so they can spend their golden years in a safe and comfortable retirement,” Moeller continued. “Naturally, most all retired folks take a lot of pride in making their own decisions, just like anyone else. At some point, though, they generally have no choice but to put their lives and financial resources into someone else’s hands. As we age, we become more dependent upon people close to us for taking care of our basic necessities. Yet sometimes some of the very people closest to us, sometimes even our own family members, take illegal advantage of the situation.”

The Vancouver Democrat has sponsored several measures in recent years to help protect the life, limb and property of vulnerable adults. These standards must always meet the goals both of protecting vulnerable citizens and of surviving any potential legal challenges. The idea behind this year’s legislation is to establish a mechanism to make sure that an abusive person doesn’t inherit anything from the vulnerable adult who was victimized by the abusive person.”

Monday, July 13, 2009

Rep. Williams to hold virtual town hall on Tuesday

Residents of the 22nd Legislative District - which includes the northern portion of Thurston County and the cities of Lacey, Olympia and Tumwater - will have the opportunity to participate in a virtual town hall with Rep. Brendan Williams on Tuesday, July 14.
At around 6:00 p.m., Rep. Williams will call nearly 30,000 households in the district and invite them to stay on the line with him for a live town hall. He will update participants on the state budget and the recently-concluded 2009 Legislative Session. Participants will also have the opportunity to press *3 to ask Rep. Williams a question directly.
The more technically-inclined can follow the town hall right here on The Advance and post questions for Rep. Williams on the liveblog.
Virtual town halls - also known as "tele town halls" - aren't a replacement for traditional in-person meetings. But they offer elected officials another method to communicate with constituents, and make it easier for people to have a chance to speak directly with their state representative without having to drive anywhere or arrange for child care. Other House members who have taken advantage of this new technology include Rep. Marko Liias, Rep. Laura Grant, Rep. Larry Seaquist and Rep. Deb Wallace.