December 12, 2016 Whidbey Island marines train with Portuguese counterparts in Lisbon View post tag: US Navy View post tag: USS Whidbey Island Authorities U.S. marines aboard the amphibious dock landing ship USS Whidbey Island (LSD 41) completed a successful port visit to Lisbon, Portugal, on December 10.The embarked 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) welcomed members of the Fuzileiros- the Portuguese Marine Corps – aboard Whidbey Island for a visit and joint training.“We also demonstrated Marine Corps marital arts program moves, did some fast-roping exercises, and finished with a mud run over a series of obstacles with them,” said Sgt. Jonathan Swaffer, 3rd section leader for amphibious assault vehicle platoon. “It was a bit of a change of pace for us. It was a good time.”While in Lisbon, Whidbey Island’s sailors and marines took part in two community relations projects and tour the Portuguese countryside on a morale, welfare and recreation (MWR) trip.During the visit Whidbey Island took on fuel, supplies and mail.The ship and its embarked Marines departed Norfolk, Virginia, on June 25, 2016, for a regularly scheduled deployment as part of the Wasp Amphibious Ready Group (ARG). View post tag: Portugal View post tag: US Marines Back to overview,Home naval-today Whidbey Island marines train with Portuguese counterparts in Lisbon Share this article
Additional InformationSupervision ExercisedNot ApplicableSupervision ReceivedSystems Analyst for AISPhysical RequirementsWhile performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularlyrequired to sit.The employee is occasionally required to stand, walk, stoop, kneel,or crouch.The employee must occasionally lift and/or move items weighing upto 50 pounds.Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals withdisabilities to perform the essential functions.Work EnvironmentWork is performed in a standard office environment.Work-inside a well-lighted and air-conditioned area most of thetime.The noise level in the work environment is usually quiet tomoderate.SafetyRequired to work safely and follow safety rules.Report unsafe working conditions and behavior.Take reasonable and prudent actions to prevent others from engagingin unsafe practices.Special ConditionsImmediate supervisor may assign other duties.May be required to work outside regular working hours, asneeded.May be required to work at a different college work site or campusas needed.EEO StatementIn compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,Executive Order 11246 and Title IX of the Education Amendments of1972 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, LaredoCollege is open to all persons regardless of race, color, religion,sex, age, marital status, disability, or national origin who areotherwise eligible for admission as students. Furthermore, LaredoCollege is an Equal Opportunity Employer and no applicant oremployee will be discriminated against because of race, color,religion, sex, age, marital status, disability or national origin.This institution will not enter knowingly into any contractualagreement for services or supplies with any firm failing to followfair employment practices.Foreign DegreesForeign degrees require an evaluation for United States equivalencyfrom an approved stated education agency or having membership withthe National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES).Transcripts issued outside the United States of America require acourse-by-course analysis with an equivalency statement from acertified transcript evaluation service verifying the degreeequivalency to that of an accredited institution within the USA.This report must be attached to your online application at the timeof applying. For your convenience, we have provided the followinglinks to assist you in complying with this requirement. However,you may use any other certified transcript evaluation service.http://tea.texas.gov/Texas_Educators/Certification/Out-of-State_Certification/Foreign_Credential_Evaluation_Services/http://www.naces.org/members.htmDisclaimerThe above description is an overview of the job. It is not intendedto be an all-inclusive list of duties and responsibilities of thejob, nor is it intended to be an all-inclusive list of the skillsand abilities required to do the job. Duties and responsibilitiesmay change with business needs. LC reserves the right to add,change, amend, or delete portions of this job description at anytime, with or without notice. Employees may be required to performother duties as requested, directed, or assigned. In addition,reasonable accommodations may be made by LC as its discretion toenable individuals with disabilities to perform the essentialfunctions.Laredo College offers a comprehensive benefit package.To read moreabout our Benefits, please visit this page on our Collegewebsite Duties and ResponsibilitiesEssential Duties and ResponsibilitiesThe Programmer/Analyst is responsible for assisting with theplanning and development of Computer Information Systems requiredby the departmental functional users.Characteristic Duties and ResponsibilitiesProvide effective application support and programming servicesto the functional (various departments) users.Consult with user departments to establish goals and objectivesthat will address the user’s information management strategies.Coordinates services with other sections of the IT department andusers of the administrative systems.Analyze user documentation and procedures to ascertainfunctional requirements.Prepare system requirements, system designs, charts anddiagrams according to departmental methods and standards. Code,debug, and document programs and develop procedures.Develop, test and debug ARGOS report writer scripts fordepartmental functional users for increasingly difficultassignments.Prepare related operations documentation and assist operationsstaff as needed.Serve as the liaison with software vendors. Consult withsupervisor and end user management in developing test and rolloutplans for vendor provided software updates and enhancement.Consult with and assist the Systems Analyst for AIS withprioritizing multiple assignments to ensure deadlines are met.Practice Quality Assurance. MUST consult and plan with theSystems Analyst for AIS to ensure that ALL user requests are fullyunderstood and appropriate procedures are designed to accomplishtasks.Serve as a backup to the other Programmer Analyst by learningthe critical functions and daily processing routines of thefunctional areas as assigned by the Systems Analyst for AIS. Knowledge, Skills and Abilities Considerable knowledge of structured programming techniquesusing a computer language is required such as SQL, C/C++, VisualBasic, Java, Groovy, Grails or others.Competent in all phases of systems analysis and applicationsprogramming.ARGOS Report Writer experience and knowledge of databasemanagement systems is preferred Qualifications/Certifications/Licenses/SkillsNOTICE: Required DocumentsTo be considered for this position, you are required to upload yourresume and unofficial transcript(s). In addition, if a license orcertificate is required for this position, upload proof of yourcurrent license/certificate.Required:An associate degree in Computer Information Systems or closelyrelated field.Minimum two years of full-time employment in the computerinformation systems field with one year as an applicationsprogrammer.Bachelor’s or Master’s degree with emphasis in computerprogramming can substitute for one year of experience.Preferred:Bachelor’s degree or Master’s degree with emphasis in computerinformation systems or closely related field.Working knowledge of higher education processes.
HOBOKEN — According to a press release from the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, four Hoboken High School students have been charged in connection with the aggravated criminal sexual contact involving a 17-year-old female student on Nov. 30.The incident took place at the high school on Thursday, Nov. 30, when the female student was pushed into a room where she was allegedly fondled and forced to perform fellatio.Amir D. Goodwin, age 18, of Hoboken, was charged on Nov. 30 with one count of endangering the welfare of a child (possession of child pornography), one count of endangering the welfare of a child, one count of criminal sexual contact, and one count of criminal restraint. Goodwin allegedly video recorded the incident on his cell phone.Goodwin was additionally charged on December 12, 2017, with one count of aggravated criminal sexual contact, conspiracy to commit kidnapping, and conspiracy to commit aggravated sexual assault.Goodwin was released on Dec. 19 following his detention hearing in Superior Court.Two 16-year-old students and one 17-year-old student were arrested and charged on Nov. 30, in connection with the sexual assault.The 17-year-old juvenile is charged with one count of aggravated sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual contact and kidnapping. The two 16-year-old juveniles were charged with one count each of conspiracy to commit aggravated sexual assault, conspiracy to commit kidnapping, and aggravated criminal sexual contact.All three juveniles were released with conditions and their cases are pending in Family Court.“Due to confidentiality in juvenile delinquency matters, no additional information can be released,” stated the press release.“There will be a thorough investigation of this case which is deeply disturbing on so many levels; the ages of all the alleged individuals involved, the acts alleged, and the brazenness of where they took place. Children in school need to feel safe and parents need to feel confident of their safety,” said Prosecutor Esther Suarez in the release. “We will continue to investigate and will certainly prosecute this case to the fullest extent of the law.”CBS News posted a segment on Wednesday afternoon quoting the victim, a junior at the school, as saying the boys (allegedly) pushed her into a storage closet when she was between classes. She said that she told them “no” and tried to scream, but they pulled her shirt above her head.She also said she had told a school official in the past that she had had problems with the boys.Starting this past September, Hoboken High School was separated from the middle school, after a handful of incidents occurred at the high school/middle school building including the alleged assault of a 12-year-old girl by an older boy at the school in 2016.In May of 2016, a Hoboken High School student allegedly fondled a 12-year-old seventh grader in a school elevator. Days later, the 16-year-old boy was arrested and charged with criminal sexual contact and unlawful imprisonment in connection with the incident. The crime was defined as touching an “intimate part” over the girl’s clothing.The reporting on that incident can be found here: http://hudsonreporter.com/view/full_story/27196115/article-HOBOKEN-BRIEFS?instance=search_results.The schools superintendent and school board president have not returned messages as of this writing.We will post updates when they are available, and watch for this weekend’s print edition of the Hoboken Reporter.For earlier stories on this incident, see hudsonreporter.com
When you clean up around your property, please pick up litter with shovels, tongs, or other tools while wearing gloves and a face mask. Please place paper and cardboard refuse in the container you use for the paper/cardboard recycling pickup. Please place cans, bottles, and similar items with recycling numbers on them in the container you use for the cans/bottles recycling pick-up. Food waste and other garbage should be deposited in the plastic bags and barrels that you use normally for non-recyclable refuse. If you find discarded rubber gloves, please do not touch them with your bare hands. Instead, use tongs or other tools to pick up the gloves before depositing them in a plastic garbage bag.It would be great if you could clean up the part of your street that is right below the curb.Please email photos of your clean-up activities to [email protected] We would welcome pictures of both the cleaning and the results for Facebook. Thanks for doing your part for our planet and community. Earlier this year, we had big plans for a citywide Earth Day clean-up that would have involved groups of people working together, followed by a major celebration. Due to the Coronavirus, those plans had to be cancelled. We can still honor Earth Day. Although we cancelled plans for doing something big leading to a party at DiDomenico-16th Street Park, we can still do something local and effective. Put on a face mask and gloves, step outside, and clean up around your own home or business. Let’s try to keep at least the front of our properties tidy. This can make a big difference for our neighborhoods. The appropriate date for the Earth Day clean-up at home would be Saturday, April 25, with a rain date of Sunday, April 26. Make sure that you maintain a distance of at least six feet from other people. If you are also able to clean up in front of an elderly or handicapped neighbor’s home, that would be a great step for Bayonne unity.We need to clean up the community. Since we have cancelled mechanical street-sweeping during the Coronavirus emergency, litter has piled up on streets that are normally cleaned. Litter has also accumulated on side streets and other roads that are not part of the mechanical street-sweeping program. ×
Piles of paper on his desk reflect Dale Foster’s extensive duties as Cape May County engineer. By Donald WittkowskiSomewhere underneath a mountainous stack of papers about two feet high is Dale Foster’s desk. His desk and office have been buried in an avalanche of transportation studies, blueprints, architectural renderings, memos and myriad other documents.The massive clutter reflects his extensive duties as the Cape May County engineer, a position that he has held since 1994 and regularly produces 12-hour work days overseeing roads, bridges and construction projects.“There just isn’t enough time to finish everything. You have to jump into one thing after another,” he said, explaining the mess of papers.But there is one thing that Foster is about to finish. His lengthy career in Cape May County government is coming to an end. He promises that by the time Aug. 31 rolls around, his last official day before he retires, even the imposing pile of papers in his office will be cleaned up.“I have been working on getting it done,” he said, smiling.Although the 61-year-old Foster is retiring from the county, he will continue his career in the private sector as a senior project manager and vice president for Greenman-Pedersen Inc., a major engineering firm headquartered in New York.Post-employment ethics restrictions will prevent Foster from working on public projects in Cape May County for the next six months for Greenman-Pedersen, which serves as a county consulting firm for transportation and construction projects. However, he will be free to begin working immediately on public projects outside of Cape May County.Foster first came to Cape May County in 1979 while working as an engineer for HNTB Corp., a private construction and engineering company. His job with the company was to inspect county bridges.He humorously recalled how his boss at that time assured him that even in winter, the shore would be relatively warm. Needless to say, he was bundled up in big “puffy coats” while out on a boat to inspect the bridges in winter.In honor of his lengthy public service, Dale Foster receives a plaque from Cape May County Bridge Commission Executive Director Karen Coughlin.Foster began working for Cape May County in 1990 as an engineer for the Cape May County Bridge Commission, the agency that oversees a network of five bridges connecting the seashore towns along the scenic Ocean Drive.In 1991, he became Cape May County’s assistant engineer. He was promoted to engineer in 1994, a position that put him in charge of the county’s 212 miles of roads and 23 bridges. He is also involved with the engineering and maintenance of the bridges owned by the Cape May County Bridge Commission.All of his duties as county engineer mean that Foster is routinely working 12-hour days in the office and “many more hours” at his Seaville home, said Karen Coughlin, executive director of the bridge commission.During its Aug. 16 board meeting, the bridge commission honored Foster by presenting him with a plaque and a resolution. Coughlin noted Foster kept the bridges safe by completing numerous inspections and was instrumental in securing millions of dollars in grant money for county construction projects.“I wish I could do more, but I did the best I could,” Foster told the commission members while thanking them for the honors.Lately, Foster has been helping the bridge commission and county supervise the planned $8.6 million overhaul of the Townsends Inlet Bridge linking Sea Isle City and Avalon. Starting Sept 17, the bridge will close down for eight months to allow contractors to replace seven deteriorated spans on the Avalon side.Foster’s crowning achievement as county engineer was overseeing the construction of the approximately $60 million Ocean City-Longport Bridge, which opened in 2002, he said in an interview.The opening of the new Ocean City-Longport Bridge in 2002 was a highlight of Foster’s county career.Reflecting Foster’s prowess in securing grants, the county was able to obtain about $57 million in state and federal funding for the Ocean City-Longport Bridge. The county’s share of the project was only about $3 million, he said.In 1996, Foster pushed for federal grants for the Ocean City-Longport Bridge during testimony before the House Infrastructure and Transportation Committee. Foster gave expert testimony at the invitation of Rep. Frank A. LoBiondo, R-2nd, a member of the Infrastructure and Transportation Committee whose congressional district includes Cape May County.Now, all these years later, as he prepares to retire as county engineer, Foster said he has just one regret – not being able to complete all of the projects that he started.“You just never have the time to finish them,” he said.After Foster retires, Robert Church will become the new county engineer and Nancy Mauro will take charge as head of the engineering department. Lewis Donofrio was named engineer of the Cape May County Bridge Commission at the Aug. 16 board meeting.
Please check back regularly for updates, or register for the GCA newsletter to receive email updates of events. 19 Sept IGD Co-op Trade Briefing Registration from 8am Christine is attending to network with Co-op suppliers and get their thoughts on how well Co-op complies with the Groceries Supply Code of Practice. Register for tickets now GCA Webinar 11:30am Join Christine as she talks through the latest updates from the GCA office. Register your interest online Invite the GCA and her team to your eventThe Adjudicator and her team are keen to attend as many supplier events as possible. If your organisation is planning an event then please contact [email protected] to discuss whether we can attend.It would be helpful if you could provide full details of the event including timing and location as well as the audience involved. Date Event Start time What’s happening Other information 3 and 4 Oct Bread & Jam 9am both days Find out more about the work of the GCA by visiting the GCA stand at Bread & Jam 2019. GCA staff will be on hand to answer your questions about the Groceries Supply Code of Practice. Apply for a ticket online 23 Sept
Dependants and family members may be classified differently in the Czech Republic than the UK.Check with the local authorities when you register your S1 form.How to get an S1 formIf you have a UK State Pension, you must request an application form by phone from NHS Overseas Healthcare Services. Not all UK benefits that can be claimed while abroad entitle you to UK-funded healthcare. Read more about claiming benefits if you move abroad or contact Jobcentre Plus to ask about a benefit. joining the state health insurance scheme private health insurance using a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) for temporary stays registering a UK-issued S1 form with one of the insurance companies offering the state healthcare scheme Stay up to dateThis guidance will be updated if anything changes to how you get state healthcare in the Czech Republic.Sign up for email alerts NHS Overseas Healthcare Services Telephone: +44 (0)191 218 1999Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pmSaturday, 9am to 3pm employed by a Czech employer self-employed a permanent resident in the Czech Republic (you can apply for permanent residency after living there for 5 years) a dependant of the above Healthcare if you live and work in the Czech RepublicYou must register as a resident if you are planning to live in the Czech Republic for more than 90 days.You must have health insurance cover to live in the Czech Republic. The type of health insurance you need depends on your situation.You can join the state health insurance scheme if you’re either: This information is about living in the Czech Republic. There’s different guidance if you’re visiting the Czech Republic. a UK-issued EHIC for travel Once you have an S1 form, you must register it on the Czech system.This will mean you and your dependants will be entitled to healthcare in the Czech Republic on the same basis as a Czech citizen.You’ll also get: If you are none of the above, you need to have private health insurance that will cover you for 60,000 euros of healthcare expenses.There are 7 insurance companies (website in Czech) offering the state health insurance scheme. Most doctors are only contracted with some of the companies.If you already have a doctor, make sure you pay your health insurance contributions to a company they have a contract with.You may be entitled to a Czech EHIC for travel, including visits to the UK.You may also have the right to apply for a UK S1 if you start drawing a UK State Pension.How to register for state healthcareOnce you’ve registered as resident, you need to join one of the 7 health insurance companies offering the state healthcare scheme.If you’re employed by a Czech employer, they’ll arrange for you to join your chosen insurance company. Your monthly contributions will be taken out of your salary before you’re paid.If you’re self-employed or a permanent resident who’s not working, you can register directly with one of the 7 insurance companies. You’ll pay your monthly contributions to them.You can add your dependants on your insurance plan.Once you’ve registered you’ll get an insurance card.Show your insurance card with your passport when you register with a GP. You’ll need to find a GP that accepts new patients and has a contract with your insurance company.How much you’ll payIf you’re employed, 4.5% of your salary will automatically be deducted each month for health insurance contributionsIf you’re self-employed, you’ll need to pay 6.5% of your income after tax to your insurance company. There’s a minimum amount each month.If you’re a resident and not working, you pay fixed monthly contributions for state health insurance.Most healthcare is free if you have state health insurance.You need to pay part of the cost of certain medicines, but not during hospital stays.There’s a one-off charge of 90 Czech korunas for emergency care. Sometimes you can get the money back for this, for example if you’re admitted to hospital.You may have to pay a small charge for things like specialist tests, medical notes from your GP and health checks for your driving license application.You’ll need to pay something towards most dental treatment. Dental care is only part covered by the state insurance scheme.If your UK employer has sent you to the Czech Republic temporarily (‘posted workers’)A posted worker, also known as a ‘detached worker’, is someone employed or self-employed in the UK, but temporarily sent to a European Economic Area (EEA) country.UK posted workers can access healthcare in the Czech Republic using an EHIC, GHIC or S1 form.HMRC has a helpline for National Insurance enquiries from non-UK residents. They can answer questions about posted worker status and explain which documents you will need to get healthcare while posted.UK-funded healthcare: using an S1 form in the Czech RepublicThere’s different guidance if you have an S1 as a posted worker.You may be entitled to state healthcare paid for by the UK if you’re a Czech resident and receive a UK State Pension.You may also be entitled to an S1 form if you’re a frontier worker (someone who works in one state and lives in another). You must contact HMRC National Insurance enquiries to find out if you’re eligible.If you started living in the Czech Republic before 1 January 2021, you may also be entitled to an S1 if you receive some other ‘exportable benefits’. planned treatments in other EU countries You must have health insurance cover to live in the Czech Republic. Most healthcare is free if you’re insured, but you may still have to pay to use some parts of the healthcare system.UK nationals usually access the Czech healthcare system in one of these ways: How to use an S1 form in the Czech RepublicOnce you’ve registered as resident, you need to register your S1 form with one of the 7 health insurance companies (website in Czech) offering the state healthcare scheme.Once you’ve registered you’ll get an insurance card.This will show you’re entitled to healthcare on the same basis as a Czech citizen.Studying in the Czech RepublicYou can use an EHIC or GHIC to get medically necessary healthcare until the end of your study period.Getting treatment in the UKSome former UK residents do not have to pay for NHS treatment when visiting England. This includes UK nationals who started living in the EU before 1 January 2021.Read more about healthcare when you no longer live in the UK.If you return to live in the UK you’ll be able to use the NHS like any other UK resident.Read more about using the NHS when you return to live in the UK.
Hospitalizations for several common diseases—including septicemia (serious bloodstream infection), fluid and electrolyte disorders, renal failure, urinary tract infections, and skin and tissue infections—have been linked for the first time with short-term exposure to fine particulate air pollution (PM2.5), according to a comprehensive new study led by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.In addition, the study found that even small increases in PM2.5 exposure were linked with substantial health care and economic costs.The study was published online Nov. 27, 2019 in BMJ.“The study shows that the health dangers and economic impacts of air pollution are significantly larger than previously understood,” said Yaguang Wei, a doctoral candidate at Harvard Chan School and lead author of the study.Fine particulate air pollution is composed of tiny solids and liquids floating in the air that come from sources such as motor vehicles, coal-fired power plants, and wildfires. Previous studies have shown that, when inhaled, the particles can enter deep into the lungs and cause serious health problems. “For this study, we wanted to shed further light on the risks of exposure to short-term air pollution by searching for links between such pollution and all diseases that are plausible causes of hospitalizations,” said Joel Schwartz, professor of environmental epidemiology at Harvard Chan School and senior author of the study.Researchers classified the diseases into 214 disease groups. They then analyzed 13 years’ worth of hospital admissions records, from 2000 to 2012, from more than 95 million inpatient hospital claims for Medicare beneficiaries aged 65 and older. To estimate daily PM2.5 levels across the U.S., researchers used a computer model that predicts exposure using satellite-based measurements and a computer simulation of air pollution. They then matched the PM2.5 data with the zip codes of study participants.In addition to showing that short-term exposure to PM2.5 was associated with several newly identified causes of hospital admissions among older adults, the study confirmed previously identified associations between short-term exposure and hospitalization risk for a number of other ailments, including several cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, Parkinson’s disease, and diabetes.Notably, all of the associations remained consistent even on days when daily PM2.5 levels were below the WHO air quality guideline.In an economic analysis, researchers found that each 1 μg/m3 increase in short-term exposure to PM2.5 was associated with an annual increase of 5,692 hospitalizations, 32,314 days in the hospital, and 634 deaths, corresponding to $100 million annual inpatient and post-acute care costs, and $6.5 billion in “value of statistical life” (a metric used to determine the economic value of lives lost).“These results raise awareness of the continued importance of assessing the impact of air pollution exposure. The strong evidence of a link between exposure to PM2.5 and many diseases, even at levels below the WHO guideline and, nationally, the National Ambient Air Quality Standards in the U.S., suggests that both sets of guidelines should be reviewed and updated,” said Francesca Dominici, professor of biostatistics at Harvard Chan School and principal investigator of the study. Read Full Story
UGA CAES File Photo Walter Reeves. On “Gardening in Georgia” this week, host Walter Reeves has a little something for almost every gardener: controlling weeds, preparing soils for planting, feeding and attracting birds to your yard and more.Reeves shows how to make a giant paintbrush to “paint” weeds out of your lawn without hurting your grass. All you need is a rake, an old towel, some string and a herbicide.A popular gardening show in its third season on Georgia Public Television, this week’s show includes a couple of recipes. One is for preparing soil for planting. The other is for cooking homemade suet for the birds. Reeves takes a look, too, at the eye-catching purple hyacinth bean.Besides all that, guest Wayne McLaurin lists the best cucumber varieties for your backyard garden. And Jim Midcap shows the Lenten rose (Helleborus orientalis), a 1999 Georgia Gold Medal Winner.Wednesdays, Saturdays on GPTV”Gardening in Georgia” airs on Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m. and is rebroadcast on Saturdays at 12:30 p.m. on GPTV. The show is designed specifically for Georgia gardeners. It’s produced by the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and GPTV.
The U.S. Small Business Administration announced a new legislative proposal that is expected to add at least $3 billion in lending authority to the 7(a) loan program this year. If enacted, the bill would allow the agency to increase lending authority by more than 30 percent, providing money for thousands more small loans in fiscal year 2004. The bill would also remove the current lending cap of $750,000, and allow loans up to $2 million.”This proposal builds on the success of the SBA Express program, and by significantly increasing 7(a) lending authority, will allow the SBA to reach out to tens of thousands more small business owners every year,” SBA Administrator Hector V. Barreto said. “The legislation provides more money for small business loans this year, at a time when the program is facing unprecedented demand.”By expanding the SBA Express program, which allows lenders to apply for 7(a) loans using their own forms and processes instead of lengthy and burdensome government forms, the entire 7(a) program would move to a lower guaranty rate of 50 percent. This reform would allow the agency to increase lending authority by over 30 percent. Based on FY 2003 numbers, that increase could have resulted in more than 22,000 additional loans to America’s entrepreneurs. If enacted for FY 2004, the lower guaranty rate and increased number of loans could provide capital to create as many as 500,000 new jobs.The proposed changes have the added benefit of moving the 7(a) program toward the goal of a permanent zero subsidy level. Preliminary data indicates that if this proposal is passed and signed into law, 7(a) could move to zero subsidy with fees that are below current congressionally mandated rates, making 7(a) loans even more attractive to small business owners and lenders.