Wyoming Invests in Community Supervision, Behavioral Health Supports

In 2019, more than half of all prison admissions in Wyoming were due to probation and parole revocations, highlighting the need to address ineffective and costly responses to supervision violations. To tackle this issue, the Wyoming legislature appropriated over $3 million to the Department of Corrections between 2019 and 2020 to improve community supervision practices through changes to the state’s incentives and sanctions system. House Enrolled Act 53, which mandates these changes, is one of five pieces of legislation enacted in 2019 and 2020 as part of Wyoming’s participation in the Justice Reinvestment Initiative. 


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Wyoming Representative Mike Yin Elected 2023 CSG West Vice Chair

During the Annual Meeting each year, the CSG West Executive Committee elects an incoming vice chair based on the recommendations of the Nominating Committee. It is our pleasure to congratulate and introduce the newly elected 2023 CSG West Vice Chair, Wyoming Representative Mike Yin.

Representative Yin has been an active member of CSG West. In 2021, he was selected by his peers as the 2021 Western Legislative Academy (WLA) class president and will return to Colorado Springs this December to welcome the 2022 WLA class. In January, Representative Yin will become an CSG West Officer, continuing the legacy of the WLA as a strong leadership pipeline for leadership opportunities. We look forward to working with Representative Yin in bringing valuable programming and services to Western state legislatures.

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Workforce Development Session Recep

Connecting People with the Dignity of Work Aligning Postsecondary Education with Employer and Industry Needs

Idaho Workforce Development Council and College of Western Idaho partner on multiple initiatives to match industry-specific training with high-priority workforce areas.Initiatives include cybersecurity workforce training and expedited construction training to support rapid growth.Council grants target healthcare workforce and expand training for tribal students.

During this session, co-presenters Wendi Secrist and Gordon Jones examined multiple initiatives from The Idaho Workforce Development Council (WDC) and College of Western Idaho (CWI), whose partnership seeks to design postsecondary education that reflects the complex needs of Idaho’s employers.

Secrist and Jones highlighted WDC’s recent implementation of a cybersecurity job training initiative, which operates in partnership with CWI. A response to Idaho’s growing need for cybersecurity professionals – far outpacing the number of those available and qualified for these roles – the program pairs cybersecurity students with rural communities and businesses that may lack infrastructure for these services while offering students real-world experience.

Other initiatives discussed were CWI’s Construction Career Launcher, featuring eight-week training designed to prepare students to begin a career in Idaho’s rapidly growing construction industry. Session participants learned about the Idaho Opportunity Scholarship for Adult Learners, accessible through CWI, that targets workforce engagement for the estimated 165,000 Idahoans who have earned college credits but lack a degree.

Secrist also shared with participants a wide range of industry-specific job training grants targeting Idaho’s highest priority workforce areas. Highlights included a recent investment to prepare 480 nursing graduates and 525 nurses for transition to virtual patient health care and the implementation of certified nursing assistant, dental assistant, and engineering technician training for members of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes.


WDC Training Initiative #1WDC Training Initiative #2

Related Articles:

“A word with Wayne Hammon, Idaho AGC CEO” (Idaho Business Review)“Idaho schools looking to help fill cybersecurity workforce need” (KTVB 7)


Wendi Secrist
Executive Director
Idaho Workforce Development Council

Gordon Jones
College of Western Idaho

Supply Chain: History, Current Obstacles & Time-Tested Solutions

Rapid growth in e-commerce increases urgency to meet supply chain challenges.Strategies discussed include federal program utilization and fourth-party logistics solutions.Merging education and industry may be a critical step toward effective management of supply chain conditions.

During this session, presenter David Harlow delivered historical context for present-day supply chain conditions, and participants examined strategies for navigating current challenges. The initial discussion centered around key focus areas of supply chain strategies, including GPS tracking, automation, fulfillment, and carrier transport processes.

Harlow incorporated data illustrating dramatic increases in E-commerce volume from 2019 through the present, which includes 44.5% growth between 2019-2021 and its implications for containerized imports and exports.

Also addressed were supply chain obstacles presented during the pandemic, including surges in demand, pandemic-related labor shortages, capacity limitations for the ocean and air transportation, and resulting impacts on the trucking and warehouse industries.

In discussing strategies for addressing current supply chain challenges, principal focus areas were fourth-party logistics (4PL) solutions, federal program utilization, and integrating education and industry. Participants considered potential advantages associated with Foreign-Trade Zones, bonded warehouses, and CFS (container freight station) programs, as well as Federal Assistance Programs related to the Small Business Association (SBA) and Small Business Development Network (SBDC).

Additional focus areas included merging academia with industry through on-the-job training and internship industries to establish the labor capacity needed to manage rapid E-Commerce growth.


Presenter Email: [email protected]


David Harlow, LCB
President & CEO
ITC-Diligence, Inc.

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Westrends Board Session Recap

The Future of State Government Workforce: Opportunities & Challenges

Gerald Young, the Senior Research Analyst with MissionSquare Research Institute, which promotes excellence in state and local government to attract and retain talented public servants, provided policymakers insights on a current state and local government workforce survey.

The survey highlighted many workforce changes that spiked during the Covid19 pandemic. These include an increase in the number of public employees resigning or retiring. However, as of April of this year, the full-time workforce in the public sector had grown since 2021, particularly in the health care (nursing), engineering, policing, dispatch, and building permitting and inspections fields, among others.

Mr. Young also discussed the impacts of technology, particularly the fields susceptible to automation, which include customer service, clerical, transportation, and management/supervision.

Concerning necessary skills in new hires, public employers seek analytical/critical thinking, interpersonal, management, and technology, which are the top four areas. Also, employees shared that higher salaries, bonuses, appreciation and recognition, and increased benefits are factors they highly consider in determining whether to remain with a particular agency or department.

Shay Baker, Program Manager for Return Utah, highlighted this innovative state program’s scope and goals for adults looking to re-enter the workforce after an extended absence. Ms. Baker stated that they structure opportunities as return-to-work positions that provide the experience, training, skills, and mentoring an individual needs to return to the workforce without starting from the bottom of the career ladder.

The program helps returnees to reacquaint with a career or allows them to explore a new career path, as well as to help returnees feel ready and more confident to return to the workforce.


Future of State Government Workforce (Gerald Young, MissionSquare Research Institute)Return Utah (Shay Baker, Return Utah)


Shay Baker
Program Manager
State of Utah

Gerald Young
Senior Research Analyst
MissionSquare Research Institute

Practical and Innovative Solutions to Address the Housing Affordability Crisis

Dr. Vanessa Crossgrove Fry, Interim Director of the Idaho Policy Institute and Associate Research Professor for the School of Public Service at Boise State University, provided an overview of the severity of the housing affordability crisis, including the gap in rental homes affordable units for low-income renter households across the country. She also discussed approaches and interventions that state and local governments could take to address housing shortages.

The list of potential policy tools includes:

Researching and educating on the housing issues Establishing goals and metrics Preserving the existing affordable housing stock Investing in public housing trust funds Providing fee waivers Expediting permitting, inclusionary zones Establishing multisector partnerships


Practical & Innovative Solutions to Address Housing Affordability (Dr. Vanessa Crossgrove Fry)


Vanessa Crossgrove Fry
Interim Director
Idaho Policy Institute

David Garcia
Policy Director
UC Berkeley Terner Center for Housing Innovation

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Public Safety Committee Session Recap

Drug Trafficking and Threat Assessment

There is an overproduction of marijuana in Oregon and inadequate resources for monitoring compliance with state marijuana laws.Overproduction of marijuana has resulted in an increase in human and labor trafficking. Living conditions for these individuals is neither safe nor sanitary.Gun violence is on the rise, but gun violence prevention legislation is slowly making it through legislatures.

Chris Gibson, Executive Director at Oregon-Idaho High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA), gave an overview of HIDTA’s mission: to facilitate, support and enhance collaborative drug control efforts among law enforcement agencies and
community-based organizations, thus significantly reducing the impact of illegal trafficking and use of drugs throughout Oregon and Idaho.

Threat based approach that begins with a threat assessment moves to strategy development and funding of intelligence and enforcement initiatives to address the threat. The primary strategy is to conduct intelligence led investigations with the goal of reducing drug supply by disrupting and dismantling DTOs.

Methamphetamine will remain highly available, inexpensive, and, along with fentanyl, will be the most serious drug threat in the Oregon-Idaho HIDTA region.

The proliferation of fentanyl has likely created a decrease in the demand for heroin. Heroin demand, and accordingly supply, will likely continue to decrease in the coming year.

The overproduction of marijuana in Oregon, coupled with inadequate resources for monitoring compliance with state marijuana laws, will continue to contribute to illegal sales of excess marijuana and marijuana products trafficked across the United States.

Based on the continued increase in cocaine seizures in the region, the availability of cocaine in the region is likely to remain stable. Cocaine use in the HIDTA will remain low in the near term based on user cost and the high availability and low cost of methamphetamines.


2021 Southern Oregon Illegal Marijuana – YouTubeSession Presentation PowerPoint (PDF)


Chris Gibson
Executive Director
Oregon-Idaho High Intensity Drug
Trafficking Area (HIDTA)

Public Safety Session Moderator:

Representative Matt Bundy
Idaho House of Representatives

Human and Labor Trafficking

There is an overproduction of marijuana in Oregon and inadequate resources for monitoring compliance with state marijuana laws.Overproduction of marijuana has resulted in an increase in human and labor trafficking. Living conditions for these individuals is neither safe nor sanitary.

Representative Lily Morgan (OR) described the dire situation of human and labor trafficking related to harvesting marijuana in her Southern Oregon district. Laborers are subject to unsanitary eating conditions and unhygienic sleeping and storage areas. endemic to her district in southern Oregon. Marijuana growing sites are being discovered everywhere – in some cases next to schools. Representative Morgan shared this video to illustrate the magnitude of the situation:



Representative Lily Morgan
Oregon House of Representatives

Gun Rights and Gun Violence: What States Can Expect and Pursue Following Recent Federal Activity on Gun Safety Policy

Gun violence is on the rise, but gun violence prevention legislation is slowly making it through legislatures.

Peter Vujovic and Sarah Sumadi, Everytown for Gun Safety, gave a brief overview of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act. Changes to federal law include: enhanced background checks for buyers under the age of 21, addressing the dating partner loophole, clarity about who under federal law is required to conduct a background check, and stricter scrutiny on interstate gun trafficking.

New Funding for states includes $750 million to implement extreme risk laws, $250 million in grants to combat gun violence in our cities and communities, and new investments in mental health services and access, and school safety funding.

S. Sumadi reviewed executive actions state administrators can take to improve gun safety. Recommended actions included (1) removing illegal guns promptly with a statewide program to identify prohibited gun owners and ensure they are disarmed, (2) distributing public materials through the schools and other channels to educate gun owners on the dangers of unsecured guns at home and in vehicles, (3) launching an education strategy and a government task force to increase the use of extreme risk orders, and (4) establishing an Office of Violence Prevention.

See how your state state stacks up: everytownresearch.org/rankings

Assemblymember Mike Gipson (CA) concluded the session by reviewing his bill (AB 1621) regulating ghost guns which was recently signed by Governor Gavin Newsom. AB 1621 further restricts ghost guns – firearms that are intentionally made untraceable – as well as the parts used to build them. Ghost guns have been called an “epidemic” by the Los Angeles Police Department, contributing to more than 100 violent crimes in Los Angeles last year alone.

Assemblymember Gipson noted that “no region or demographic is exempt from gun violence – hospitals, grocery stores, schools, and even places of worship, are no longer safe. The proliferation of ghost guns, which are intentionally untraceable weapons to evade law enforcement, has only worsened the issue.”


Peter Vujovic
Associate Regional Director
Everytown for Gun Safety

Sarah Sumadi
Associate Regional Director
Everytown for Gun Safety

Assemblymember Mike Gipson
California State Assembly

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Health Committee Session Recap

Expanding Office-based Opioid Use Disorder Treatment to Save Lives

“Opioid addiction does not discriminate.”

Frances McGaffey and Glenn Wright from the Pew Charitable Trusts gave an overview of office based opioid disorder treatment. In short, there were over 80,000 opioid overdoses in the 12 months ending January 2022. One of the most important things we can do to prevent these deaths is improve access to and use of medications for opioid use disorder.

According to the National Academies, medications for opioid use disorder save lives. Right now there are three medications approved by the FDA: methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone. Evidence shows that using these medications, especially methadone and buprenorphine, can reduce a person’s risk of overdose. But according to federal data, only 11% of people with OUD received one of these medications in 2020 and research has demonstrated that people of color are especially at risk for not receiving these life-saving medications.

F. McGaffey focused most of the presentation on buprenorphine. Buprenorphine is a highly effective medication and could be made available in many places people already receive care, like community health centers and mental health clinics because it doesn’t need to be delivered in a specialized facility. Anyone operating within their state’s scope of practice laws can provide it, as long as they have a DEA license.

A recent change to federal policy means that any provider who meets those criteria – doctors, nurse practitioners, physician assistance – can treat up to 30 patients just by notifying the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration that they intend to do so. If they want to serve more patients, they need additional training. Once they complete that training, they’ll have a “waiver” to prescribe buprenorphine.

It’s worth mentioning that these training requirements could be removed if Congress passes the MAT act – which has passed the house and is waiting for action in the Senate.

F. McGaffey concluded the presentation by comparing data from Colorado, Missouri, and Washington. Full data can be accessed in the “Resources” section.


Medications for Opioid Use Disorder Improve Patient Outcomes – A review of the medicationsPolicies Should Promote Access to Buprenorphine for Opioid Use Disorder – A discussion of policy options for low-barrier treatmentState Policy Changes Could Increase Access to Opioid Treatment via TelehealthPresenter PowerPoint


Frances McGaffey
Associate Manager
The Pew Charitable Trusts

Glenn Wright
Associate Manager, Substance Use
Prevention and Treatment Initiative
The Pew Charitable Trusts

Recruitment and Retention of Nursing Professionals and Nursing Faculty

Recruitment and retention of nursing professionals is complex and mostly due to lack of teaching faculty and the lucrative travel nurse programs.

Senator Tom Begich led a conversation regarding the nursing shortage. He emphasized that the shortage of nursing was not due to a lack of willing candidates or nursing programs; rather, there are not enough faculty to teach. It is far more lucrative to practice nursing than it is to teach it.

Dori Healy, Clinical Nurse Specialist, St. Luke’s Health System; Adjunct Professor, Idaho State University, remarked that the small bump in salary from adjunct professor to professor was not worth the burdensome workload. According to her, there is no incentive to ascend in academia, save a love of teaching. Attendees agreed that this is a concerning trend and will start thinking of ways to bridge this gap.

Some members expressed concern that traveling nurses are partly to blame for retention issues. The pay for traveling nurses is markedly higher than a standard nurse. Jason Richie, Associate Director, State Policy, American Nurses Association, informed the group that traveling nurse agencies can take up to 30% of the cut.

Update on Usage of ARPA Funding for Health Initiatives

COVID has put a magnifying glass up to the issue of Mental Health. Many states are allocating ARPA funds to address mental health as it pertains to the workforce, juveniles, and the homeless.“You can’t address mental health without putting in mental health dollars.”

Representative Laurie Lickley (ID) was invited to present at a Route 50 Webinar. Though she was ultimately unable to attend, she gave an overview of her prepared remarks regarding mental health initiatives in the state of Idaho.

Assemblymember Mike Gipson (CA) added that in California, a significant amount of funds have been allotted to mental health and the legislature is actively finding ways to combat mental health issues in the homeless population.

Senator Tom Begich reported that Alaska is approaching use of ARPA funds in a similar manner. He emphasized that use of the funding is guided by the fact that this is one-time funding. Alaska is being conscientious about spending the money on short-term projects rather than creating programs that will require ongoing funding.

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Energy & Environment Committee Session Recap

Drought, Extreme Weather Events and Other Climate Risks & Challenges to Energy Generation and Infrastructure in the West

Disruptive and destructive impacts on infrastructure are accelerating. Depending on where you are in our nation, too much heat, freezes, flood, drought, storms with higher velocity winds, and melting permafrost is already here and likely to occur faster than traditional infrastructure planning cycles can handle. The western energy grid is at elevated risk this summer, meaning that drought and extreme heat threaten reliable power generation, and capacity shortfalls and transmission trouble are likely. To protect energy infrastructure, we must recognize that the built environment was designed for a climate that no longer exists and takes steps to build resiliency into our infrastructure.

Nationwide, more than 70 percent of the 1,100 gigawatts of U.S. power plant capacity requires cooling, and half of that supply comes from fresh surface water. All told, power plants use almost half of all the freshwater used nationwide. The operation of these water-cooled power plants can be curtailed if water levels in reservoirs, lakes, or rivers drop too low or if discharges of heated water from these plants raise water temperature too high.

Climate impacts on water infrastructure include stronger storms and flooding, sea-level rise and storm surges, more frequent and severe drought, saltwater intrusion, and degraded source water quality. These impacts pose water management challenges; for example, U.S. dams and levees need billions of dollars of repairs to make them safe for the conditions of the previous century, not current or future projected climate conditions.

Energy assets in need of defense from climate change include Generation (coal, natural gas, nuclear, geothermal, hydro, wind, and solar), Electricity Transmission and Distribution (substations, transformers, transmission lines, distribution feeders, and towers), Natural and Liquid Gas Transmission and Distribution (compressor stations and pipelines), Control Centers (electric, natural and liquid gas), and Energy Storage (pumped hydro, compressed air, battery, and hydrogen).

Planning methods are proving inadequate to defend these assets. An alternative framework for protecting assets would be to:

1) Prioritize infrastructure assets for defense based on their importance to or (in the case of failure) consequences to national security, the economy and public health.
2) Perform a predictive risk assessment on the assets, considering physical climate risks and geo-temporal climate models.
3) Include an interdependency analysis of the asset(s), which considers the affected resources (no power for hospitals, national command centers, gas stations) and the hazards created by a climate-caused failure or destruction of the asset(s).
4) Consider the resilience measures and functional adaptions needed to protect the asset(s). The framework concludes with a cost-benefit analysis to guide decision-makers in identifying the energy infrastructure assets that must be protected first and best.

We cannot protect everything, but if asset protection, functional adaptation, and siting selections are based on what matters most, we will make the best use of scarce resources.


Drought, Extreme Weather Events and Other Climate Risks & Challenges to Energy Generation & Infrastructure in the West​


Andrew Bochman
Senior Grid Strategist Idaho National Laboratory
Non-Resident Senior Fellow
Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center

Heat Pump Technology

Today, we have various options and technologies to heat and cool our living and working environments. As we experience more heat and cold in our climate, reliable sources of heating and cooling are needed more than ever. Geothermal Heat Pumps offer a renewable, efficient option to homeowners and builders.

Geothermal heat pumps take advantage of the nearly constant temperature of the Earth to heat and cool buildings. Even though our climate changes with the seasons, a few feet below Earth’s surface, the ground temperature remains relatively constant, between 50 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature is warmer than the air above it and cooler in the summer.

A geothermal heat pump uses this by exchanging heat with the Earth through a ground heat exchanger. The heat exchanger is a series of pipes called a loop buried in the shallow ground near the building. A fluid – usually water or a mix of water and antifreeze – circulates through the pipes to absorb or release heat within the ground.

In the winter, the heat pump removes heat from the heat exchanger and pumps it into the indoor air delivery system, moving heat from the ground to the building’s interior.

In the summer, the process is reversed, and the heat pump moves heat from the indoor air into the heat exchanger, effectively moving the heat from indoors to the ground. The heat removed from the indoor air during the summer can also be used to heat water, providing a free source of hot water.

Geothermal heat pumps have many benefits as a renewable energy source because they:

Use much less energy than conventional heating systems, since they draw heat from the ground Are more efficient when cooling your home Save energy and money Reduce air pollution Are suitable for all areas of the United States.


Achilles Karagiozis
Building Technologies and Science Center
Director, National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Jon Winkler
Senior Research Engineer National Renewable Energy Laboratory

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Education Committee Recap

“Educator Teams”: A Collaborative Approach to Addressing Teacher Shortages

Arizona State University’s Next Education Workforce is working with schools and districts to implement “educator teams” centered around distributed expertise.Presenter Brent Maddin argues that the “one-teacher, one-classroom” model is unsustainable in light of increased vacancies and demands.Key aims of the team-based model include greater adaptability to workplace changes and reduced teacher burnout.

“What if we don’t just have a teacher shortage problem, but also a workforce design problem?” Presenter Brent Maddin led the Education Committee session with this question, sharing his assessment that issues driving the teacher shortages are not simply limited to labor supply.

Drawing from his experience as a practicing teacher and his leadership at the Next Education Workforce, Maddin painted a broader picture of the education profession itself. He emphasized its dwindling public appeal with a PDK Poll indicating 54% of parents would not like one of their children to take up teaching in public schools as a career – a majority response to this question for the first time since 1969.

Maddin illustrated a teacher workforce in crisis, highlighting a 35% decline in enrollment in teacher-preparator programs, alarming numbers leaving the field, and low student achievement in critical areas such as third-grade reading proficiency.

With 3.5 million classes staffed daily, Maddin argued that the “one-teacher, one classroom model” is unsustainable, as growing vacancies and subsequent staff demands have compounded teacher overwhelm and isolation.

Maddin proposed a vastly different approach and demonstrated the educator “teams” that Next Education Workforce has been implementing in Arizona school districts since 2018.

The team-based model involves a range of educator roles working in collaboration with one another, with primary roles including “education leaders,” “professional educators,” “community educators,” and “paraeducators.” Maddin underscored the model’s greater flexibility in response to workplace vacancies or short-term changes, and its capacity for a more personalized learning experience.

Since Fall 2019, Arizona State University and The Next Education Workforce has helped implement this model in 60 Arizona schools across 8 districts. To date, 150 educator teams serve approximately 13,000 students.


Sustainable Financial ModelsPartnership with School Superintendent’s AssociationNext Education Workforce: All ResourcesPresenter Email: [email protected]


Brent Maddin, Ed.D.
Executive Director
Next Education Workforce
Arizona State University | Mary Lou
Fulton Teachers College

Addressing the Teacher Shortage Through Non-Traditional Educator Preparation

College of Southern Idaho has implemented a Non-Traditional Educator Program (CSI-NTEP), designed to meet the education workforce needs of rural districts.The program features multiple entry points and pathways regardless of education level.CSI-NTEP offers a customizable and affordable platform, accessible to students anywhere in the state.

As has been the case in many Western states, Idaho’s rural districts have experienced increased difficulty in maintaining a teacher workforce. This session focused on the College of Southern Idaho’s Non-Traditional Educator Program (CSI-NTEP), designed to assist rural districts in identifying, training, and retaining quality teachers.

In 2018 the Idaho State Board of Education adopted a flexible, performance and competency-based, INTASC-aligned model for teacher preparation. The following year, the College of Southern Idaho (CSI), a community college, was awarded a $1 million grant to operationalize its Non-Traditional Educator Program (NTEP).

The program’s target population is career changers and paraprofessionals, featuring multiple entry points and pathways regardless of education level and focusing on recruiting teachers of color to better reflect student demographics.

CSI-NTEP delivery is through the customizable TeachForward platform. Candidates are assigned a mentor, online courses can be recorded and viewed at the user’s convenience, and a third party assesses performance. CSI-NTEP intends to be affordable and accessible anywhere in Idaho.

Presenter Katie Rhodenbaugh underscored the need for a “deep partnership” with state and local leaders, community members, and school staff to establish committed buy-in. Notable partnerships include the Idaho Workforce Development Council, Idaho Commission on Hispanic Affairs, and Mission 43, which assists US Veterans with an NTEP pathway to earning teacher certification.

Additionally, CSI-NTEP has teamed with Idaho Business for Education to develop the Youth Apprenticeship Program, facilitating career training and placement for candidates aged 16- 24, while connecting apprentices to funding for needs such as childcare.

Since its inception, CSI-NTEP has grown from 18 candidates to over 100 consistently enrolling in new cohorts each semester. The program has also begun implementing pathways for federal funding after the recent designation of teaching as a federally approved apprenticeship option.


Non-Traditional Educator Preparation Program: College of Southern IdahoPresenter Email: [email protected]


Katie Rhodenbaugh
Coordinator, Non-Traditional
Educator Preparation
College of Southern Idaho

Legislator Panel: Western Leaders Discuss Recent Legislation Addressing Teacher Shortage

During the final segment of the Education Committee session, a panel of Western legislators offered participants more profound insight into state policies recently enacted to address the teacher workforce.

Representative Cathy Kipp (Colorado) led the panel by discussing HB22-1220, titled “Removing Barriers to Educator Preparation.” Sponsored by Kipp and passed into law during Colorado’s 2022 legislative session, the bill creates a student educator stipend program where eligible students placed in a 16-week or 32-week academic residency may receive stipends ranging from $11,000 to $22,000.

HB22-1220 also creates an educator test stipend program to reduce financial barriers associated with required student assessment of professional competencies during the teaching licensure process.

Senator Tom Begich (Alaska) described SB 225, which he co-sponsored and introduced during the 2022 legislative session. Key components of the bill include creating a teacher registered apprenticeship program, a teacher residency program, and a paraprofessional training program.

Sen. Begich also discussed using State-Tribal Education Compacting to enhance the educator workforce among indigenous peoples of Alaska.

Representative Troy Hashimoto (Hawaii) described HB 1736, which temporarily allows licensed teachers who have retired to be employed as teachers during a state of emergency and within twelve months of their retirement.

Rep. Hashimoto also described elements of Hawaii’s state budget (HB 1600) which pertain to the teacher shortage, including $150M allocated to compensate teachers based on years of experience, and $35M for increased compensation to teachers in hard-to-fill positions, such as Special Education.

Representative Wendy McKamey introduced participants to Montana’s “Grow Your Own” program, initially implemented through HB 420 in 2019 and since expanded. The bill addresses educator recruitment and retention struggles in rural Montana and Indian Country, establishing a “grow your own” grant to strengthen the state’s teacher pipelines.

Key components of the legislation include the ability to take dual credit courses in education while in high school, to engage in work-based learning opportunities in the field of education, and collaboration with higher education institutions in developing a career pathway for education.


Senator Tom Begich
Alaska State Senate

Representative Cathy Kipp
Colorado House of Representatives

Representative Troy Hashimoto
Hawaii House of Representatives

Representative Wendy McKamey
Montana House of Representatives

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Canada Relations Recap

Western Association of Canadian Studies utilizes a novel approach to help those interested gain understanding of the Columbia River Treaty.

Consul General Mia Yen of the Consulate General of Canada in Seattle highlighted common areas of priority with the United States, such as security and defense, the Arctic, and the Columbia River Treaty. She also underscored the region’s critical economic drivers, such as the cruise industry and agricultural trade.

Boise State University Professor Dr. Ross Burkhart and David Hill, from the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, focused on water. Dr. Burkhart shared the role of the Western Association of Canadian Studies (WACS) in adding perspectives to discussions regarding the renegotiation of the Columbia River Treaty in which input from tribes, First Nations, and local communities living in the Columbia Basin had been absent from the original agreement.

In 2019 Canada invited three Columbia River Basin Indigenous Nations as observers. The 13th round of Canada-U.S. negotiations to modernize the Treaty took place on August 10 and 11.

David Hill urged us to consider ways to move from conflict to collaboration and cooperation on water issues. He provided, as an example, a study titled “The Future of the South Saskatchewan River Basin: Stakeholder Perspectives,” in which a group made up of nine graduate students interviewed and filmed 42 water users within the basin.

Interviewees included members of the First Nations, farmers, small business owners, land developers, persons affiliated with conversation groups, environmentalists, staff from cities, provincial government, and water districts, as well as scientists from the University of Lethbridge, the University of Calgary, and the University of Alberta.

When reviewing the videos, they discovered that these intentional conversations paired with active listening resulted in agreement upon 95% of values-based issues and only 5% disagreement, which is where negotiation could be focus.


Water Across the Nations: A Field Course On The Columbia River Treaty.


Mia Yen
Consul General of Canada in Seattle,
Consulate General of Canada

Ross Burkhart
Boise State University

David Hill
Research Associate, Agriculture Research,
Transitio at University of Lethbridge

Meeting hydrogen demand requires coordinated public-and-private-sector action.

Andrew Place provided a global perspective on Zero Carbon Fuels but paired it with North American insights. Andrew is the U.S. State Climate and Energy Policy Director at Clean Air Task Force; he shared that the International Energy Agency (IEA) predicts that global hydrogen demand will increase from 90 Mt/y to 530 Mt/y by 2050.

However, costs, infrastructure development, and markets are some of the biggest challenges. The prices make competition with high-emitting fuels impossible without public policy support.

He assures that developing and deploying a sufficient volume of clean and affordable hydrogen fuels will also require leadership, oversight, and resources from the public sector.

CRC Canada Co-Chair MLA Nathan Neudorf provided a local perspective from the province of Alberta. The Government of Alberta has taken a strategic, coordinated, and collaborative approach to advance cleantech innovation, a Clean Technology Road (CTR) Map guided by the Alberta Research and Innovation Framework (ARIF), and the Climate Change Innovation and Technology Framework (CCITF) informs.

Last year a new blue hydrogen energy complex was announced with a $1.3 billion investment by Air Products, an American-based multinational corporation to be in operation by 2024.

Alberta is allocating $15M to the project, which is also expected to create 2,500 construction and engineering jobs and intends to capture 95% of its carbon emissions.

Due to its ample natural gas supply, Alberta is well suited to develop blue hydrogen production, which utilizes natural gas, carbon capture, and storage technology.


Zero Carbon Fuels – A Global perspective with Contemporary North American insights​ Alberta Clean Technology Roadmap


Andrew Place
U.S. State Climate and Energy Policy
Director, Clean Air Task Force

Nathan Neudorf
Legislative Assembly of Alberta

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Agriculture & Water Committee Recap

Drought and Other Climate Risks to Water, Agriculture, and Rangelands in the West

How and where we store water – surface water in reservoirs and groundwater in aquifers – are vital to informing effective, sustainable water use and management strategies.A systems-level understanding of where the water is going is essential. Satellite-based consumptive use maps are powerful tools but are currently under-utilized.Western water needs increased flow monitoring across irrigated systems.A complete understanding of water rights is critical.A clear understanding of water terminology is essential for good communication about water use.High variability of rangelands means there is no one approach for effective rangeland management.

Changing climate stresses water, agriculture, and rangelands in new and sustained ways. The warming weather and decreased precipitation have exacerbated invasive and noxious weeds proliferation in some areas, creating stress on rangeland ecosystems and ranching dependent upon rangeland for forage and water.

Traditional water storage – snowpack, surface water reservoirs, and groundwater aquifers are impacted. Agricultural irrigation practices can influence reservoir and aquifer water quantity and quality. For example, highly efficient pivot irrigation (90% plus water use) means less water percolates for aquifer recharge. In contrast, the least efficient crop irrigation method – flood irrigation – is highly effective for aquifer recharge.

Where surface water reservoir conservation is critical, water-efficient pivot irrigation makes sense. Where aquifer recharge is a priority, other approaches to irrigate crops – while less efficient
in consumptive use- return more water to the
aquifer. Water use and management must
therefore be conjoined with agricultural
irrigation practices.
Rangelands are changing as the climate does.
Ranchers are employing new or different
approaches to livestock grazing depending upon
the condition of the land. Rotational
grazing practices are proving effective at
protecting riparian rangeland areas and streams.
creeks and rivers. Other sites benefit most from
a “no management” approach. The ecosystem
has balance and self-correcting mechanisms to
contain potential threats – the absence of
cheatgrass and sufficient forage for livestock and
Local flexibility to manage climate threats is vital,
coupled with expanded use of satellite
monitoring of water and rangelands to detect –
and adapt- to conditions on the ground.

Managing Water Quantity and Quality in
the West

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