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April 7th, 2014 - Washington D.C.  Vice President Biden outlined Monday the Obama administration's plan to boost community college graduation rates by giving college credit for job-training apprenticeships. Speaking at the annual meeting of the American Association of Community Colleges, Vice President Biden said apprenticeships provide "a pathway to the middle class" for working families and "a pipeline of skilled workers for employers," and must be expanded. The consortium will focus on building a system where people participating in apprenticeship programs can earn credit...

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Last month, I participated in a meeting at the White House at which time we discussed President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper.  As an African-American male with a strong family background and someone educated in public K-12 schools and public universities, some would say that “you made it” and others, no matter their family and life situation, should be able to do the same. I wish this were the case, but with friends and relatives who have not...

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today announced that $4.6 million in federal funds will be used to control erosion and prevent flooding of the Smale Riverfront Park at the Cincinnati Riverfront. The funding is allocated in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) FY2014 work plan. "The ongoing revitalization of Cincinnati¹s riverfront has been a great addition for the city. The Smale Riverfront Park is the newest crown jewel in the Queen City and I am pleased that the...

Over the last two months, and as recent as last week, I attended meetings in Washington focused on the importance of investing in research at the undergraduate level in order to advance STEM education. The need for additional resources and funding to advance STEM education is an issue I have continually advocated for throughout my career on behalf of minority serving institutions and community colleges, and one that I believe is truly critical to the nation’s economy and global competitiveness. Undergraduate...

Over the past 12 years as a lobbyist for public higher education, I have passionately advocated for a number of issues, from STEM and research and development, to teacher training and the prevention of childhood obesity. But, I have to say, one of the most exciting aspects of my current work is my continued advocacy on behalf of California State University, Fullerton and Lansing Community College in their efforts to educate and support veterans seeking higher education and job training. As...

When you are passionate about a cause, or responsible for an important remit, it is essential that your voice be heard and that you listen for informed opinion. Often, like-minds and those with similar goals will join together and seek to influence an outcome – much as fans pleading for their team to score a last minute touchdown, or a committee of concerned parents vying for higher standards at their district school. Whatever the cause, whatever the issue, those with the...

Why it is important to have a lobbyist on your team? Each day our government is making decisions with far reaching implications over your life. Whether you’re a business, an association, or a municipality you have already been affected by these actions: taxes you pay, regulations you adhere to, investment planning that might be an opportunity or threat – these are all subject to constant change. This is partly the reason why professional DC political consultants work so hard to keep atop...

A Business Week article by Bendan Greeley had us debating in the office earlier today about two topics close to our profession: earmarks and their possible role in effective governance. As a political consulting firm, our own clients’ interests are often highly localized, with only a few opportunities to move issues to the core of a Washington committee agenda for example, or rapidly through the bureaucracy of government. Earmarks have often provided one such opportunity that, when used to good effect, can streamline decision making...

After 15 years working with a leading lobbyist firm in DC, I had cut my teeth, proven my value, and created a way of doing things that was unique to me, worked for our projects, and paid dividends to the clients I managed. That solid business practice became a philosophy, an approach to navigating the challenges of lobbying government, and increasingly, it became the idea for Hamm Consulting Group. Starting a new firm is no easy thing. Alongside all of the practical issues such...

The President’s inauguration unites everyone in Washington DC by at least one measure – we all have an opinion on the Big Event. In Washington DC, the inaugural event is a Big Event – hundreds of thousands of people choose to attend for a multitude of reasons, but always with the spectacle of a Big Event firmly in mind. Inauguration day 2013 was also significant to many people since it occurred on the same day commemorating the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Of course,...