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October 27, 2011

The American Association of Engineering Societies sent a letter to White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Director John Holdren requesting support for an Organization of American States funding proposal that would sustain and expand Engineering for the Americas' university-government-private industry partnerships. Engineering for the Americas is an international grassroots and governmental coalition that seeks to promote economic and social development in the Western Hemisphere by increasing the number of qualified engineers. NSPE is a member of the AAES International Activities Committee.

October 20, 2011

NSPE signed on to a Government Withholding Relief Coalition letter to the Senate supporting the Withholding Tax Relief Act of 2011 (S. 1726), which would repeal the 3% withholding tax enacted in Section 511 of the Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005 (PL 109-222). The Senate may vote on the bill at the end of October. The House is expected to vote on its bill repealing the 3% withholding mandate (H.R. 674) next week.

NSPE Executive Director Larry Jacobson and Senior Manager of Government Relations Sarah Ogden attended a Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future meeting. The Blue Ribbon Commission, which falls under the purview of the Department of Energy's Office of Nuclear Energy, has been tasked with conducting a comprehensive review of policies for managing the back end of the nuclear fuel cycle, including all alternatives for the storage, processing, and disposal of civilian and defense used nuclear fuel, high-level waste, and materials derived from nuclear activities. The commission issued a draft report of its findings in July.

October 18, 2011

Michael Molnar, P.E., has been appointed as the National Institute of Standards and Technology's first Chief Manufacturing Officer. The post was created to help accelerate innovation in manufacturing, enhancing U.S. competitiveness. Molnar earned a B.S. in mechanical engineering and an M.S. in manufacturing systems engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He currently serves as Director of Environmental Policy and Sustainable Development at Cummins Inc. in Columbus, IN.

October 13, 2011

The House Ways and Means Committee approved H.R. 674, which would repeal a requirement set forth in the Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005 (PL 109-222) that federal, state, and local governments must withhold 3% of all payments to engineering firms and other vendors as tax. If the requirement is not repealed, the tax will take effect on January 1, 2013. The bill next will move to the House floor for consideration. NSPE joined members of the Government Withholding Relief Coalition in sending letters to House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI-4) supporting H.R. 674. Read NSPE's letter here.

October 6, 2011

NSPE Senior Manager of Government Relations Sarah Ogden participated in a Brookings Institution webcast on "Education Technology: Revolutionizing Personalized Learning and Student Assessment," where a panel of government, academic, and private-sector representatives discussed how education technology can enhance K–12 student performance and engagement. Speakers included Secretary of Education Chief of Staff Joanne Weiss, University of Washington professor and Director of the Center for Game Science Zoran Popovic, ePals.com cofounder and Chief Learning Officer Nina Zolt, and K12 Executive Vice President of School Services Chip Hughes.

October 5, 2011

NSPE Senior Manager of Government Relations Sarah Ogden participated in a "Building Safety in the Face of Natural Disasters" congressional briefing, sponsored by the High-Performance Building Congressional Caucus Coalition and the Congressional Hazards Caucus Alliance. The briefing focused on the critical role of building codes in community resilience following disasters. Speakers included HPBCCC Cochair Rep. Russ Carnahan (D-MO-3), Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety President and CEO Julie Rochman, National Institute of Building Sciences President Henry Green, and Fairfax County building official and International Code Council Board member Guy Tomberlin.

October 4, 2011

NSPE Senior Manager of Government Relations Sarah Ogden attended the Alliance to Save Energy's annual Summit on Capitol Hill, "Driving Energy Efficiency as the 'Next Big Thing.'" Panels of government and private-sector representatives from across the globe discussed issues including how governments are investing in energy efficiency, implementation and finance of energy efficiency technologies, and the connection between water conservation and energy efficiency. Among the speakers were General Services Administrator Martha Johnson, Department of the Navy Assistant Secretary for Energy, Installation and Environment Jackalyne Pfannenstiel, Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE), Rep.

September 21, 2011

The Council on Federal Procurement of Architectural and Engineering Services hosted a Federal Markets Conference, where federal agency representatives discussed their programs, the outlook for FY12, and their anticipated needs for private-sector A/E services in the coming years. Speakers included:

September 19, 2011

NSPE Senior Manager of Government Relations Sarah Ogden attended an Afterschool Alliance congressional briefing on "21st Century Community Learning Centers: Improving STEM Education during Out-of-School Time." Speakers included Time Warner Cable Vice President of External Affairs and Policy Counselor Fernando Laguarda, who discussed Time Warner's Connect a Million Minds initiative; Science Club for Girls Executive Director Connie Chow; and Exploratorium Center for Informal Learning and Schools Director Bronwyn Bevan. The Afterschool Alliance recently released a report on STEM learning in informal education.

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