The Vinyl Institute Praises Work on U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement

WASHINGTON (PRWEB) December 13, 2019

The Vinyl Institute welcomes the announcement that the White House and Congress have agreed on a revised United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) on trade. The USMCA will replace the 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement and modernize laws governing trade between these countries. It also protects the American vinyl resin industry’s tariff-free access to the Mexican and Canadian markets.

About 1/3 of the vinyl polymer produced in the United States is exported to foreign trading partners. According to the U.S. International Trade Commission, in 2018, U.S. domestic vinyl manufacturers exported 17 percent to Canada and 8 percent to Mexico. U.S. vinyl resin exports are expected to grow by more than 4.9 percent by 2022, creating thousands of new jobs.

“The Vinyl Institute commends both Republican and Democratic leaders in Washington for their hard work on USMCA and urges Congress to pass this agreement and President to sign it promptly,” said Ned Monroe, VI President/CEO. “USMCA is a win for American workers and businesses and will help create a prosperous environment for the American vinyl resin industry for years to come.”

About the Vinyl Institute:

The Vinyl Institute (VI), founded in 1982, is a U.S. trade association representing the leading manufacturers of vinyl, vinyl chloride monomer, vinyl additives, and modifiers. The VI works on behalf of its members to promote the benefits of the world's most versatile plastic, used to make everything from PVC piping to flooring, roofing and vinyl siding. The vinyl industry in the United States employs over 350,000 highly skilled employees at nearly 3,000 facilities and generates an economic value of $54 billion. For more information, visit

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The Volcker Alliance and City University of New York Celebrate Inaugural Winners of the Paul A. Volcker Careers in Government Essay Contest

NEW YORK (PRWEB) December 13, 2019

The Volcker Alliance and the City University of New York (CUNY) announced the inaugural winners of the Paul A. Volcker Careers in Government Essay Contest, Arslan Mohamed and Jason Waitkus. The Volcker Alliance hosted this contest in partnership with CUNY to recognize and support students who aspire to pursue careers in public service.

With the passing of the Alliance’s founder, Paul A. Volcker, earlier this week, the award breakfast has taken on even greater significance as a tribute to Mr. Volcker’s legacy of leadership and service.

“Though Paul Volcker is remembered by many for his brilliance as an economist and financier, his life passion was public service and restoring public trust in our government institutions. For this reason, it is fitting that we are here this week to celebrate each of the six finalists of the Paul A. Volcker Careers in Government Essay Contest,” said Thomas W. Ross, Volcker Alliance President.

The winners of the contest exemplify the kind of commitment, passion, and talent the public service so badly requires. Arslan Mohamed is a student in the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education at the CUNY School of Medicine, majoring in biomedical sciences. He is a native New Yorker, born and raised in Queens. Mr. Mohamed aspires to work at the intersection of public service and healthcare and is fueled by his focus on advancing healthcare access and education for all.

Jason Waitkus is a Macaulay Honors College student at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. He is working towards a bachelor’s degree in forensic psychology and a minor in criminology. Mr. Waitkus is currently doing research in state prisons, surveying and interviewing correctional officers and prison chaplains to understand recruitment into white supremacy groups and the most effective measures that can be taken to counter it. As a John Jay student, he describes himself as “a fierce advocate for justice, dedicated to changing the way in which our criminal justice system works.”

“We are incredibly proud of Mr. Mohamed, Mr. Waitkus, and all of the contest finalists–they are rising leaders, passionate about giving back to their communities and making government work better for its citizens,” said José Luis Cruz, CUNY Executive Vice Chancellor and University Provost.

The two winning students will each receive $5,000 cash; a year-long, paid internship with a local government agency; a monthly unlimited MetroCard for their internship duration; and an expense-paid trip to a public-service related conference.

The award breakfast celebrating the essay contest winners and finalists was attended by several distinguished public servants and high-ranking CUNY officials. The ceremony’s keynote speech was delivered by Anthony Foxx, Chief Policy Officer and Advisor to the Co-Founders of Lyft, former US Secretary of Transportation, and former Mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina. José Luis Cruz delivered an address on strengthening public service through higher education.

The essay contest finalists were Quymbee Chen of Hunter College; Maria Jacome of Baruch College; Stephanie Lovett of New York City College of Technology; and Abdul Samed Walker of Baruch College.

The Volcker Alliance advances effective management of government to achieve results that matter to citizens. Our founder, Paul A. Volcker, envisioned a public sector workforce with the experience, preparation, and commitment to ensure that government is accountable and delivers with excellence. Visit to learn more. Follow us on social media @VolckerAlliance and subscribe to the Volcker Alliance newsletter for the latest news and developments. The Volcker Alliance is a 501(c)(3) organization.

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WYDOT Contracts with Woolpert to Map Landslide-Prone Areas Along Continental Divide

DUBOIS, Wyo. (PRWEB) December 13, 2019

Woolpert was contracted by the Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) to perform aerial mapping services to assess three landslide-prone areas along a 10-mile stretch of U.S. 26 in northwest Wyoming. The region is near the Shoshone National Forest boundary, east of Togwotee Pass and west of Dubois. The site is close to Yellowstone National Park and along the Continental Divide.

Geologic conditions have caused multiple landslides in this region over the past decade, with some areas showing up to a foot of geologic movement in that span. Woolpert was brought in to utilize the firm’s aircraft, its Leica TerrainMapper lidar sensor and its in-house acquisition services to deliver classified lidar data and aerial imagery, which WYDOT can use to evaluate, prioritize and mitigate possible landslide events.

“Multiple passes were made over these three areas to collect data that met or exceeded the requested 50 points per square meter,” Woolpert Project Manager Chris Raml said. “The extremely dense, raw and bare-earth point clouds that we produced enabled WYDOT’s Photogrammetry and Surveys Section to create well-defined digital terrain models (DTMs) and triangulated irregular network (TIN) models specific to the needs of the department.”

These models created a detailed baseline of valuable data that will be compared to models created through future acquisitions to determine the slide movement, volume and rate at which the earth is moving.

Raml said TerrainMapper’s integrated RCD30 camera simultaneously acquired high-definition, 3-inch ground sample distance imagery that was rectified and used to colorize the lidar point cloud.

WYDOT Photogrammetry and Surveys Engineer John Goyen said, “WYDOT performed an independent check and compared over 120 individual point cloud elevations from field collected points. The average elevation difference of 3.6 centimeters exceeded the requested 5-centimeter vertical accuracy.”

Tom Ruschkewicz, Woolpert Roads and Bridges geospatial practice leader, said advanced mapping data like this has become essential to multiple local, state and federal applications, including disaster resilience.

“With highly accurate, linear-mode lidar sensors like TerrainMapper and the custom data they produce, the demand for this versatile information continues to grow,” Ruschkewicz said. “We are excited to be able to support WYDOT with this project and to continue to apply new geospatial technologies to scenarios outside of traditional applications for our clients around the world.”

About Woolpert

Woolpert is committed to a vision to become the premier architecture, engineering and geospatial (AEG) firm, and one of the best companies in the country. It’s a vision we’ve been fine-tuning for decades. It guides our decisions and investments, provides our clients with optimal solutions and offers our employees unrivaled opportunities. Woolpert is recognized as a Great Place to Work by its employees and is America’s fastest-growing AEG firm. With more than a century of experience, close to 1,000 employees and 30 offices, Woolpert supports public, private, federal, and U.S. military clients nationally and around the globe. For more information, visit and connect with us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

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