– Economy: National unemployment rate pushes up in May
– Local News: Staunton water plants win recognition
– Local News: Tip a Cop to help Special Olympics
– Politics: Clark endorses Signer
– Capitol Hill: Perriello veterans legislation gaining support in Congress
Economy: National unemployment rate pushes up in May
Nonfarm payroll employment fell by 345,000 in May, pushing the national unemployment rate from 8.9 percent in April to 9.4 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported on Friday.
The number of unemployed increased by 787,000 to 14.5 million in May. Since the start of the recession in December 2007, the number of unemployed persons has risen by 7.0 million, and the unemployment rate has grown by 4.5 percentage points.
Local News: Staunton water plants win recognition
Dr. Wesley Kleene, Director of the Virginia Department of Health Office of Drinking Water, announces the water treatment plants that earned the Excellence in Granular Media Water Treatment Plant Performance Awards for calendar year 2008.
The purpose of the awards is to recognize those water treatment plants that have voluntarily produced water with a quality that exceeds minimum regulatory standards (i.e. at least three times cleaner than required) and which operate in an exemplary manner.
The awards go to 77 of 132 water treatment plants in Virginia that use granular media gravity flow filters to clean surface water and groundwater under the direct influence of surface water. Background information is attached for your review.
Local News: Tip a Cop to help Special Olympics
Waynesboro Police will serve as waiters and servers in an event to benefit Special Olympics today at Mossy Creek Café located at 1761 Jefferson Highway, Suite 104 in Fishersville.
The law-enforcement officers will be participating in the Tip-A-Cop fundraiser from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Donations in the form of tips will benefit local Special Olympics programs and the Law Enforcement Torch Run.
The Torch Run is part of a year-round grassroots fundraising campaign by law enforcement agencies to benefit their local Special Olympics program. The support of businesses such as Mossy Creek Café is invaluable to the success of the Torch Run and Special Olympics.
Politics: Clark endorses Signer
Gen. Wesley Clark (US Army, ret.) endorses Mike Signer for lieutenant governor. “I know Mike from my 2004 presidential campaign in Virginia and his work on national security issues. Mike Signer has the strength and leadership that Virginia needs and I wholeheartedly endorse his candidacy for lieutenant governor,” said Gen. Clark.
“The problems facing Virginia and this country are so urgent, that they demand strong, courageous leadership to carry us forward. Mike sees the office of Lieutenant Governor as more than just a placeholder position, but rather an opportunity to seek progress on the most pressing issues. Mike is focused on the future of Virginia, not the past. His approach to the office and his leadership on every issue from jobs and the economy to veterans issues and moves to the strengthen our democracy make Mike the clear choice on June 9th.”
“Gen. Clark has served his country bravely and tirelessly,” said Mike Signer. “Gen. Clark is a model citizen, exemplary public servant, and beacon of honor. I am honored to have his endorsement. As lieutenant governor, I will be a public advocate for working Virginians and shine a spotlight on problems we’ve ignored for too long.”
Clark was a four-star general in the U.S. Army and NATO Supreme Allied Commander, Europe. He was a 2004 presidential candidate for the Democratic nomination.
Capitol Hill: Perriello veterans legislation gaining support in Congress
The Veterans Worker Retraining Act of 2009 (or VET-WORK bill) authored by Congressman Tom Perriello to increase on-the-job training benefits for veterans has gained the backing of four key Veterans’ Service Organizations. In subcommittee hearings, the American Legion, AMVETS, the Paralyzed Veterans of America, and Disabled American Veterans all expressed their support for Perriello’s legislation. Today, the bill cleared the Economic Opportunity Subcommittee and will now go to a vote before the full Veterans’ Affairs Committee, on which Perriello sits.
“Our veterans deserve the tools they need to rejoin the civilian workforce, particularly as we face double-digit unemployment among our returning soldiers,” said Perriello. “I’m heartened that this legislation is advancing with the support of our top veterans’ service organizations. These groups fight to protect the men and women who have fought to protect us, and I’m glad to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with them to expand economic opportunities for our vets.”
Local veterans have expressed their support for Congressman Perriello’s bill as well. “Offering enhanced GI Bill benefits for skilled labor positions focuses the training and education where it is most needed,” said Bill Wellman, a retired naval officer from Buckingham County and a member of Congressman Perriello’s Veterans Advisory Board. “Apprenticeship programs offer a tangible benefit to employers and the local economy, as well as helping veterans, and they help to create skilled workers filling the exact jobs needed in our economy. As a veteran myself, I applaud Congressman Perriello for understanding the needs of our returning troops, and working tirelessly on their behalf.”
Perriello’s legislation (H.R. 1098) would provide 570,000 unemployed veterans and members of the Guard and Reserve more assistance in securing employment in today’s challenging job market. On-the-job training and apprenticeship programs typically lead to full-time, permanent employment at their conclusion.