Out West (Presented by WGA)

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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.

Out West (#17): Electric Vehicles Roadmap Initiative, EVs in Rural Areas

Electric Vehicles in Rural Areas is the first episode in a series for the Electric Vehicles Roadmap Initiative of Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, which is focused on enhanced planning, siting and coordination of electric vehicle (EVs) infrastructure in the West. Consumer ownership of EVs is expanding across the West, but rural citizens face particular challenges with owning and operating the vehicles. Listen as WGA Policy Advisor Kevin Moss speaks with Alliy Sahagun, the Member Relations Supervisor at the Gunnison (CO) County Electric Association, and Roger Hoy, the Director of the Nebraska Tractor Test Laboratory, about barriers, as well as solutions, to more ubiquitous adoption of electric vehicles in rural areas, including rural industries such as farming and ranching.

Invasive Species Data (#16): Conservation Districts

Invasive Species Data: Conservation Districts highlights the importance of invasive species data for conservation districts. The episode of Out West is the first in a series for WGA's Invasive Species Data Mobilization Campaign, which encourages land managers, landowners, conservation groups, and NGOs to standardize and share invasive species data in the West. Bill Whitacre, Senior Policy Advisor at WGA, speaks with Keith Owen, the South Central Region representative for the National Association of Conservation Districts, about the impact of invasive species on the work of conservation districts and why it is important to share invasive species data.

Out West (#15): An Inclusive Economic Recovery for All Americans

COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted people with disabilities and changed the work landscape in ways that present challenges and opportunities for disability employment. WGA Policy Associate Lauren Cloward speaks with Andrew Houtenville, Research Director of the University of New Hampshire’s Institute on Disability, and Jill Houghton, President and CEO of Disabiity:IN, about how the pandemic has affected the workforce and ways to ensure an inclusive economic recovery for all Americans. 

Learn more about SEED’s ongoing work on disability employment by visiting its website.

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