Out West (Presented by WGA)

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Out West (#27) Strengthening the State-Federal Relationship

The new episode of WGA’s Out West podcast, Federalism, the Genius of American Democracy, explores the work that Western states and organizations are undertaking to strengthen and rebalance the states’ relationship with the federal government. Listen in as WGA Senior Policy Advisor Kevin Doran speaks with Matt Morrison, CEO of the Pacific NorthWest Economic Region Foundation, Edgar Ruiz, Director of the Council of State Governments West, Jonathan Shuffield, Associate Legislative Director for Public Lands and Liaison to the Western Interstate Region for the National Association of Counties, and WGA Executive Director Jim Ogsbury about their collective work to protect and promote state authority.

Out West (#26) Moss Balls and Emergency Invasive Species Responses

The new episode of WGA’s Out West podcast, Moss Balls and Emergency Invasive Species Responses, explores the collaborative efforts of western states and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to address the recent discovery that Marimo moss balls, which are often used in aquariums and sold in pets stores nationwide, harbored invasive zebra mussels. Listen in as WGA policy advisor Laura Cutlip speaks with Brian Nesvik, the Director of Wyoming Game and Fish, Joshua Leonard, the Statewide Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator for Wyoming Game and Fish, and Eric Anderson, an officer with the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife, about the strategies they developed to meet this surprising threat and the importance of effective state-federal partnerships in the rapid response to invasive species management.    

Out West (#25): Diversifying the Cybersecurity Workforce

In honor of Cybersecurity Career Awareness Week and National Disability Employment Awareness Month, the new episode of WGA’s Out West podcast, Diversifying the Cybersecurity Workforce, explores the efforts to address workforce shortages in the cybersecurity field by expanding the talent pipeline and actively training un- and underemployed populations, including those with disabilities. Listen in on the conversation between, WGA Policy Advisor Lauren Cloward, Jeff Rangel, the Senior Director of Global Corporate Responsibility at Palo Alto Networks, and Patrick Romzek, the CEO and Founder of Bridge to Opportunity. 

Out West (#24): The Western Governors’ Association 2021 Annual Report

The Western Governors’ Association recently released its 2021 Annual Report, which highlights the Western Governors’ past year’s policy work and paths to continue that work. The conversation in this episode includes topics such as broadband connectivity, workforce development, COVID-19 response and recovery, cybersecurity, wildfires and species management. Listen in to the conversation between WGA Executive Director Jim Ogsbury, WGA Senior Policy Advisor Lauren DeNinno, and Director of Federal Relations and Strategic Initiatives Troy Timmons.

Out West (#23): Meet the winners of the 2021 Celebrate the West regional art competition

The Western Governors’ Foundation recently announced the winners in the sixth annual Celebrate the West regional art competition, which challenged high school students to create two-dimensional artwork inspired by their state. This year nearly 400 works of art were entered. Listen in as Foundation Advisor Anna Thielen talks with First Place winner Isabella Tarantino from New Mexico, Shaw Y. Hu of Arizona (Second Place), and Alain Soltys-Gray of Alaska (Third Place) about their inspiration and artwork.

Out West (#22): Electric Vehicles Roadmap Initiative Special Report with Oregon Governor Kate Brown

The Chair's Initiative of Oregon Governor Kate Brown sought to achieve an expanded regional agreement on electric vehicle charging infrastructure across the West to bolster current economies and create a roadmap to the future. Gov. Brown discusses outcomes of the Initiative contained in the Special Report on its work with WGA Policy Advisor Kevin Moss.

“Out West (#21): Electric Vehicles and Economic Development Opportunities

Electric vehicles (EVs) are becoming more common, but a lack of charging infrastructure – especially in rural areas – continues to be a barrier to adoption. This Out West episode highlights how everyone from cities to manufacturers can generate significant economic opportunities by developing a robust charging network. Listen as WGA Policy Advisor Kevin Moss speaks with Scott Bricker of Destination Development at Travel Oregon, and Jim Chen of Rivian.

Out West (#20): Invasive Species Data Collection and Coordination

Invasive species are a complex and costly issue throughout the West. To properly address the issue, it’s imperative that the various states, agencies and stakeholders working on it have access to accurate data. This episode features an interview with Annie Simpson, a data coordinator for the Biofoundational Data Team in the Science Analytics & Synthesis Program with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. She details both the importance and the difficulties in accumulating quality data for such a vast number of species and organizing that data into a database that can be used by several different agencies.  

Out West (#19): Electric Vehicle Research and Innovation

Electric vehicle (EV) technology is advancing rapidly. Innovations in battery technology, infrastructure modeling analysis, and fleet charging and fueling systems are enabling more diverse and lower-cost uses of EV cars, trucks, and buses. This episode, the second in a series for the Electric Vehicles Roadmap Initiative of Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, highlights researchers and companies working at the forefront of EV technologies in the West. Listen as WGA Policy Advisor Kevin Moss speaks with: Alex Keros, Lead Architect for EV Infrastructure at GM; Kim Okafor, Strategic Business Development Manager, Trillium; Eric Wood, Research Engineer, Center for Integrated Mobility Sciences, National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Out West (#18): Get to Know the Western Governors’ Foundation: Governors Dennis Daugaard, Steve Bullock, David Ige

The Western Governors' Foundation leverages the collective influence of former and current Western Governors to promote the welfare of the West. In this episode of Out West, WGA Executive Director Jim Ogsbury discusses the impetus behind the creation of the Foundation with current board Chair Dennis Daugaard, the former Governor of South Dakota, and two of the Foundation’s sitting directors, Steve Bullock, the former Governor of Montana, and David Ige, the Governor of Hawaii. The group also highlights the merits of the Foundation’s regional art competition, Celebrate the West, and the Foundation’s new initiative, the Western Governors’ Leadership Institute.

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