INL News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nov. 5, 2019
NEWS MEDIA CONTACTS:
Julie Ulrich, 208-520-1139, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sarah Neumann, 208-526-0490, email@example.com
Four from INL selected as Women Worth Watching awardees
Four from Idaho National Laboratory have been selected as Women Worth Watching by Profiles in Diversity, a national publication dedicated to promoting and advancing diversity and inclusion in the corporate, government, nonprofit, STEM and higher education sectors.
The list of Women Worth Watching contains leaders from a variety of industries throughout the U.S. and the world. The recognition is designed to recognize and publicly celebrate the achievements of women who are “leading the way to excellence in the workplace, marketplace and the world.”
Each awardee is featured in a full-page highlight in the fall issue of Diversity Journal. Congratulations to the four INL winners:
• Dr. Anne M. Gaffney, chief science officer and Distinguished Laboratory Fellow (p. 40)
• Dr. Monica C. Regalbuto, Nuclear Fuel Cycle Strategy director (p. 33)
• Dr. Erin Searcy, Institutional Planning and Programs director (p. 30)
• Virginia L. Wright, Energy Cyber Portfolio manager (p. 39)
“We’re proud to have four outstanding leaders at Idaho National Laboratory recognized as Women Worth Watching. This national recognition is a testament to the talented workforce we have at INL and encouragement that our inclusive employment policies are making a difference,” said Ron Crone, Materials & Fuels Complex associate laboratory director and Women in Leadership Council executive sponsor.
You can view the full issue of the online magazine issue here. https://issuu.com/diversityjournal/docs/women_worth_watching_2019?fr=sMzUzOTcyNjQ5
INL is one of the U.S. Department of Energy’s national laboratories. The laboratory performs work in each of DOE’s strategic goal areas: energy, national security, science and environment. INL is the nation’s leading center for nuclear energy research and development. Day-to-day management and operation of the laboratory is the responsibility of Battelle Energy Alliance.
Profiles in Diversity Journal, a quarterly publication, is dedicated to promoting and advancing diversity and inclusion in the corporate, government, nonprofit, STEM and higher education sectors. Since 1999, Diversity Journal has helped stimulate organizational change by profiling the visionary leadership, innovative programs, and individual commitments to making it happen.
See more INL news at www.inl.gov. Follow us on social media: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.
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McKnight has more than 25 years’ experience working with research parks, technology commercialization, business incubation, government relations, business and economic development. She previously has held economic development-related jobs in Utah, Montana and South Dakota. Prior to REDI, she worked as director of Incubation Enterprise and Technology Outreach for the Utah Science Technology and Research Initiative at the University of Utah.
REDI works to “build the region’s economy through retention and expansion of existing industry, attraction of new employers, and diversification of the economic base while promoting talent development, attraction and retention,” according to its website.
McKnight recently participated in an email question-and-answer with the East Idaho Business Journal.
East Idaho Business Journal: What do you think are the most significant achievements for REDI so far?
Teresa McKnight: REDI’s main focus is to become a trusted voice in the region. To that end, REDI has produced research supported by data, which identified key industries and clusters central to the region’s growth. Eastern Idaho has a number of exciting business sectors well positioned for the future. Our research has also identified growth opportunities in other sectors such as the SMR and cybersecurity that have high growth potential.
Based on this research, REDI recently completed an economic strategic plan. Because the potential is regionwide, regional cooperation and collaboration is necessary. Fortunately, relationships between REDI, city and county representatives, higher education leadership and business and industry leaders continue to strengthen. With a solid strategic plan and closer cooperation throughout the region, we will now begin the work necessary to strengthen and market the region.
REDI has also partnered with several organizations around the state of Idaho and nationally. For example, REDI partnered with the Idaho Technology Council to address the growth of a knowledge-based economy in eastern Idaho.
EIBJ: What concrete goals do you aim to accomplish in your first year on the job?
McKnight: Over the past three months I have met with civic, business, and community leaders up and down eastern Idaho’s I-15 Corridor.
I am focused on:
Moving REDI’s activities to be more targeted and strategic in nature and to base REDI’s services on market-driven data for the industry clusters identified.
Marketing the competitive advantages of the region and each community within the region.
Increasing eastern Idaho’s competitiveness by building connections, relationships and partnerships between government, public institutions and private sector in identified strategic areas and activities. This means an understanding of the value chain for each cluster identified, as well as the relationships of the clusters combined with capital, support services, workforce and policies.
Creating a collaborative regional strategy that “levels the playing field” between the communities, as well as between business and industry.
Allowing region and industry stakeholders to understand the structure and nature of the identified clusters, their strengths and weaknesses in the market and with the competition.
Continued work with local economic development representatives to develop and implement regional initiatives based on the target industry clusters.
Filling the gaps through business retention, expansion and attraction and workforce recruitment programs.
Creating better linkages among existing support services and increase services to better meet business needs.
Providing research and intelligence services, networking, workshops, and site hosting opportunities.
Most important, work to diversify the economy, increase the number of high-paying jobs, develop and strengthen identified target clusters to ensure return on investment and, on an annual basis, evaluate and benchmark results.
EIBJ: Has the regional economic development model demonstrated that it is superior to the local economic development model that was employed before the creation of REDI?
McKnight: Local economic development efforts are vital to the success of a community. A regional economic development organization like REDI develops the research, data and marketing reach that is not possible at the local level. It also plays an important role in growing regional economies because it provides the ability to bring leadership together to draw upon a larger pool of resources, labor and assets — making individual communities stronger as a unified economic ecosystem.
The benefit of doing business attraction on a regional basis — simply put — will improve eastern Idaho’s ability to compete in a competitive global economy. The decision to expand for an existing company or for a site selector to choose a location is dependent on a strong, local, economic development organization. Those organizations may be community based, city based or county based. REDI works in partnership with these organizations to showcase regional strengths.
EIBJ: Are the area’s other ongoing economic development efforts working in conjunction with REDI or do those efforts divert from REDI’s goals?
McKnight: Working together is imperative. REDI meets on a consistent basis with city and community leaders, as well as regional economic development leaders. REDI takes a leadership role in projects and initiatives that are regional in nature to develop efficient systems to avoid duplication of efforts.
REDI also partners on and supports projects that are developing in individual communities in the region.
Public-public and public-private partnerships are proven models to strengthen regional economic development efforts and build a more sustainable economic ecosystem. When regions progress and succeed, it’s because leaders at all levels come together, unify in efforts, and leverage the assets of their communities to benefit the region.
EIBJ: What lessons did you learn as director of the Utah Incubation Enterprise and Technology Outreach Program that are applicable to your new role?
McKnight: The lessons learned, not just in my previous position with the state of Utah, but in the past 25 years I have spent working in economic development is patience. It takes time to build a strong economic ecosystem. Leadership always wants to see quick results. They look at neighboring states that are succeeding and want the same results. Helping leaders understand and appreciate the time and work it takes behind the scenes, and helping them remain patient through the process to reach success, is one of the greatest lessons I have learned in my career path to-date.
EIBJ: Has the recent turnover at REDI’s helm — three CEO leaders in less than two years — slowed the organization’s growth or goal achievement?
McKnight: Change in leadership always impacts an organization on some level … With Jan’s past experience in economic development, and Dana’s federal, state and local government experience, each played a role in laying the groundwork required to push REDI forward.
I am thrilled to use my experience to build upon the great work to-date. To bring forward new programs and initiatives to strengthen eastern Idaho. To recruit, retain and expand business and industry in the sectors we have identified. To partner with universities, colleges, business and industry to develop new workforce recruitment and retention programs, and to work with entrepreneurs and incubation organizations to develop new ideas, expand research capabilities, and build a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem in the region.
EIBJ: What significant challenges still must be overcome for REDI to be considered a success?
McKnight: REDI has developed an Economic Strategic Plan, which is a living document that addresses workforce needs, education, access to jobs, transportation, broadband, employer needs and partnerships required to advance collaboration efforts and address regional issues. The plan sets the foundation. The plan will be refined and updated.
Economic development is about setting a nimble set of strategies that are constantly updated and realigned, in partnership with, and in support of both the public and private sectors.
East Idaho’s economy is strong. We are witnessing rapid changes in several technology sectors (ag, advanced manufacturing, energy, health care and information technology). The benefits of REDI, and the development of a regional economic development strategic plan to steer the course and generate results, demonstrates eastern Idaho’s desire to maximize economic growth and protect the prosperity of future generations to come.
INL News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oct. 29, 2019
NEWS MEDIA CONTACTS:
Julie Ulrich, 208-520-1139, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sarah Neumann, 208-520-1651, email@example.com
Editor’s note: Images of the NOD seal are attached.
Idaho National Laboratory named 2019 NOD Leading Disability Employer
INL recognized for exemplary disability hiring and employment practices
IDAHO FALLS — The National Organization on Disability (NOD) has named Idaho National Laboratory a 2019 NOD Leading Disability Employer. Now in its fourth year, the NOD Leading Disability Employer seal recognizes companies that demonstrate exemplary employment practices for people with disabilities.
This annual recognition is designed to applaud those organizations that are leading the way in disability hiring. The organization also encourages additional companies to tap into the many benefits of hiring talent with disabilities, including strong consumer preference for companies that employ individuals with disabilities and greater employee engagement across the workforce.
The winning organizations were announced at NOD’s Corporate Leadership Council Annual Forum, Shifting the Talent Paradigm: Inclusive Culture for a Modern Workforce, hosted by lead sponsors PwC and Charter Communications – Spectrum.
“These winning organizations understand that by welcoming people with disabilities, they reap the benefits of a more productive and engaged workforce,” said NOD Chairman Governor Tom Ridge. “The preeminent challenge before us is to ensure that people with disabilities enjoy full opportunity for employment, enterprise and earnings, and that employers know how to put their talents to work. We thank Idaho National Laboratory for their leadership and for their commitment to hiring people with disabilities.”
The NOD Leading Disability Employer seal is awarded based on data furnished by companies in response to the NOD Disability Employment Tracker, a free and confidential assessment that benchmarks companies’ disability inclusion programs in the following areas:
• Climate & Culture
• Talent Sourcing
• People Practices
• Workplace & Technology
• Strategy & Metrics
• Veterans Employment (optional)
While the Tracker is confidential, organizations may opt to be considered for the NOD Leading Disability Employer seal. Responses are scored, taking into account both disability employment practices and performance. Scoring prioritizes practices that are associated with increased disability employment outcomes over time, and companies receive additional points based on the percentage of people with disabilities in their workforce.
“Winning this award for a second year in a row solidifies INL’s position as an employer of choice and a leader in inclusion,” said Dr. Todd Combs, INL’s Energy & Environment Science & Technology associate laboratory director and Veterans & People with Disabilities Leadership Council executive sponsor.
The full list of 59 companies named 2019 Leading Disability Employers is available in the National Organization on Disability news release.
INL is one of the U.S. Department of Energy’s national laboratories. The laboratory performs work in each of DOE’s strategic goal areas: energy, national security, science and environment. INL is the nation’s center for nuclear energy research and development. Day-to-day management and operation of the laboratory is the responsibility of Battelle Energy Alliance. See more INL news at www.inl.gov. Follow us on social media: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.
The National Organization on Disability (NOD) is a private, nonprofit organization that seeks to increase employment opportunities for the 80% of working-age Americans with disabilities who are not employed. To achieve this goal, NOD offers a suite of employment solutions, tailored to meet leading companies’ workforce needs. NOD has helped some of the world’s most recognized brands be more competitive by building or enriching their disability inclusion programs. For more information about NOD and how its professional services, Corporate Leadership Council and Disability Employment Tracker can help your business, visit www.NOD.org.