Govt Focused On Growing Creative Industries

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first_img Related Items:creative industries, Minister ANTHONY Hylton Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppKINGSTON, July 6 (JIS): Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Anthony Hylton, says the Government is implementing measures to facilitate the growth and prosperity of the creative industries.The initiatives, he said, are in recognition of the creative industries as a generator of wealth for the mass of Jamaicans, and a driver of gross domestic product (GDP) growth.“This is why it is linked to the growth agenda…and captured in a number of things…like the Vision 2030 plan, the national growth agenda, and it is the reason why the Creative and Cultural Industries Commission was created,” Minister Hylton noted, while addressing a recent JIS News Think Tank.Among the measures being put in place to promote the creative industries, is the passage and enactment of the Security Interests in Personal Property (SIPP) Act. The legislation provides for increased access to financing by micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSME), by allowing personal property (non-real estate assets) to be used as collateral for loans.This means that owners of creative works, innovators and inventors, are now able to leverage their intellectual property (IP), such as copyright, patents and trademarks to be used as collateral.He informed that the National Export-Import Bank of Jamaica (EXIM) has been mandated to work with the Government in order to increase loan access, with other institutions slated to follow suit.“So, the banks need to get very creative and our traditional financial institutions should start soon to work with intellectual capital of various forms whether it be film, music, animation, art, drama,” he said.Minister Hylton informed that talks have been held with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) for assistance “to work with the banks and to help them with IP evaluation…so that they can mitigate the risks around that kind of activity to drive sustained growth and build inclusion.”As it relates to copyright, Minister Hylton told JIS News that the Ministry has accepted the Senate’s comments on the Copyright Act.“The amendments to the Act are tremendous and will give this creative economy a significant lift and part of the deliberate strategy to build a framework to move away from real estate-based activity as a source of access to capital,” he noted.The Bill, which was passed on June 9, 2015 in the House of Representatives, extends copyright protection from 50 to 95 years, for content belonging to corporations. Authors of literary works, dramatic, and musical creations will also enjoy the added protection. Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApplast_img read more


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first_img X Share Listen Harris Health had a rough year, but it looks a lot better now that it’s over. At the start of the fiscal year that that began last March, board members and executives faced a projected deficit of more than $70 million.“That was the result of what we call ‘the perfect storm,’ explained President and CEO George Masi. “Increased patient volumes, no expansion of Medicaid in Texas — and that had a profound effect on Harris Health — and just the inflationary factors associated with healthcare.”To cope, managers stopped filling vacancies, eliminated raises for most workers, and laid off almost 100 people. The personnel changes alone saved almost $17 million.Masi said it was painful to do: “These were real people, doing real jobs, with real work.”Managers also found savings in pharmacy, laboratory and supply chain costs.Masi says strategic streamlining also helped save money. For example, Harris Health is so overwhelmed with cases that managers had been paying other hospitals to perform certain surgeries on its patients. But it stopped that outsourcing last year, and saved more than $7 million from those contracts.“These are not emergent cases, these are cases like a gallbladder, maybe a hernia repair that could wait, sometimes wait inordinately long times, to be managed,” Masi said.“But we pulled those all back in, and actually just expanded our hours, worked harder, pushed the staff a great deal to get that done, and they did,” he added.  Finally, just a few weeks ago, there was what Masi calls a “February Christmas present” — $14 million more in tax revenues than expected.That eliminated the budget hole, with $1.1 million left over.“It’s like the little train that could,” Masi said. “There are not a whole lot of people who thought we could make up that kind of ground. It was a lot of sacrifice, on the part of a lot of folks associated with the organization, that allowed us to make that margin.”But the pressure isn’t off yet.This fiscal year, Masi faces a new deficit of $8 million. Even if he overcomes that, he’s not able to save and recapitalize for maintenance, new equipment and growth, he said. Too many years in that state are not sustainable, he said, and so he will continue to push Texas politicians to expand Medicaid using federal dollars. To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: 00:00 /01:38last_img read more


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first_imgAFRAM (formerly known as the African American Heritage Festival) is back.  This family-friendly event is a celebration of African-American life, music, and culture. This event will feature entertainment, children’s activities, arts, history, education, financial literacy, employment and job training opportunities. The AFRAM festival will take place Aug. 12 at The Bowl in Druid Hill Park.This year’s event has been significantly scaled back. In previous years, the free festival ran for two days in the parking lots between M&T Bank Stadium and Camden Yards with national artists such as Brandy, Chrisette Michelle, and Common headlining the festival which greeted over 35,000 revelers each summer. Mayor Catherine Pugh believes that scaling back the largest ethnic festival on the East Coast will help it return to its “original focus.”“Our hope is to restore the AFRAM Festival over time to its original core value of being the family-oriented, community resource event known for its good food, home-grown talent and wealth of information,” Pugh stated in a press release. This year’s one-day festival will include musical entertainment by local rappers YBS Skola and Tate Kobang. It will also include an Innovation Station for children. The Enoch Pratt Free Library’s mobile job center will also be parked there assisting the community with job training and employment opportunities.last_img read more


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first_imgShareRice to establish Institute for Chinese Language TeachingProgram will be only one in the SouthBY JESSICA STARKRice News StaffWith the support of a $400,000 grant from the Freeman Foundation, Rice University will establish the Institute for Chinese Language Teaching (ICLT) this fall. No other such certificate programs are offered in the South.Like many other large cities, Houston has a high demand for well-trained Chinese language teachers for its local schools, and this program will help meet that demand. This need was heightened recently when the Texas State Board for Educator Certification added Chinese to the certifications for Languages Other than English. The ICLT initially will train individuals who are already proficient in speaking Chinese, either through heritage or through education, and who want to teach in middle and high schools. The program eventually will recruit, train and produce teachers who can teach Chinese to kindergarten through twelfth grade (K-12). “Like other large cities in the U.S., Houston has a high demand for teachers of Chinese language and a ready, but largely formally untrained, supply of potential teachers,” said Lilly Chen, senior lecturer at the Center for the Study of Languages and director for ICLT. “One of the missions of Rice is to serve the community, and by establishing the certificate program, we are answering that call. We are so grateful to the Freeman Foundation for making this program possible and supporting our efforts.”ICLT will equip teachers with the best pedagogy to teach Chinese language in middle and high schools. A 2004 College Board survey showed that nearly 2,400 high schools would like to offer the AP Chinese course in 2006-’07 but do not have qualified teachers.“Right now, most Chinese teachers are teaching without formal certification and you need high-quality teachers, particularly for AP courses,” said Siva Kumari, associate dean at Rice’s Glasscock School of Continuing Studies. “With the Institute for Chinese Language Teaching, we want to fill the need for certified teachers with a high-quality program taught by Rice and other higher education faculty.”The ICLT will offer a low-cost, two-year summer program designed to fit into teachers’ schedules and budgets. The institute will not provide state certification; instead, it will prepare teachers to be certified through classes that aren’t offered elsewhere in the South and grant scholarships for them to pursue certification at Rice or elsewhere.Offering classes online and on campusThe Institute will include online and face-to-face courses and offer a wide variety of Web materials, integrating technology into Chinese language teaching.Rice already has significant strengths in Chinese language and culture thanks to its Center for the Study of Languages. Under Chen’s direction, the center has led annual workshops for area high school teachers of Chinese language. Rice’s Asian Studies program also conducts regular Freeman-funded seminars for Houston-area teachers, led by history professor Richard Smith. The AP Summer Institute, directed by Kumari, offered the first AP Chinese training in the Southern region last year. By combining its resources, Rice can now offer a comprehensive program in Chinese curricular development and Chinese language instruction.Building educators for the community“These programs are an important component of Rice’s efforts to expand on our current contributions to K-12 education,” Smith said. “We are committed to building synergistic, outreach-oriented programs.”The institute builds on the priority, set forth in the Vision for the Second Century, to make tangible contributions in the K-12 area and increase international understanding of and at Rice. “As our lives become more global and China continues to be a strong economic partner, our young people need to be equipped to collaborate across borders,” said Steven Lewis, director of Asian studies. “It is increasingly important for people to have a rich and deep understanding of other cultures. We want to prepare teachers to teach that understanding to their students who could work with Asia in the future.” Launching the ICLT will be shared by the School of Humanities, the Asian Studies program, the Center for the Study of Languages and the Glasscock School of Continuing Studies. The project team is also working with institutions around the state, including the Region IV Educational Service Center, the national Chinese Language Association of Secondary-Elementary Schools, and regional and local Chinese language teachers’ associations. Also, the ICLT plans to work with local schools to implement Chinese language courses beginning with their 2008 summer school programs.The program hopes to produce a pool of up to 30 certified teachers per year, with the first group graduating in the summer of 2008. Success will be measured by the number of students enrolled and graduated each year, placement into subsequent schools, the number successfully completing the external certification program and course evaluations. Participants will be required to complete a two-summer semester, four-course sequence taught by Rice faculty. Admission is selective and depends on the applicant’s proficiency in Chinese language and culture.  Applications for the first group of students are due Sept. 14.Find more details about the program at http://www.teachers.rice.edu.  FacebookTwitterPrintEmailAddThislast_img read more