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2014 Founders’ Fellows: Working Across all Levels of Government

Multi-level Governance: Would a Local Governance Role Improve Temporary Immigrant Worker Programs?
By Grant E. Rissler, Virginia Commonwealth University

Critics of temporary worker visa programs in the U.S. call current policy to task for creating a situation of isolation and powerlessness for workers, which often allows abuse by some employers to proceed unchecked. Other critics point to the lengthy application process for employers or the lack of protection for native workers who might otherwise fill the jobs. Most suggestions for reform focus on increased federal inspections of conditions and vetting of employers, detaching visa petitions from one specific employer and increasing opportunities for workers to sue in cou. A common thread running through these proposed reforms is their incrementalism as they seek to resolve problems through greater federal government involvement.

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Sources of Community Resilience: The Challenge of Working Across Levels of Governments and Sectors
By Kyujin Jung, University of North Texas

Building sources of community resilience is often a complicated process to be gained by interorganizational collaboration. Since patterns of interorganizational relations among governments and sectors are constantly changing due to internal and external factors in the field of emergency management, understanding the dynamic nature of interorganizational collaboration is a critical step for improving a community’s ability to bounce back from a catastrophic event. This essay aims to examine the challenge of working across levels of governments and sectors in building a resilient community by focusing on (1) the concept of community resilience; (2) interorganizational collaboration as a source of community and organizational resilience; and (3) application of social network analysis. Through the Institutional Collective Action framework, this essay attempts to demonstrate that the key to building community resilience is the locally formulated close-knit structure, which can secure redundant pathways for organizations to find appropriate information and resources.

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Ensuring Our Future: The Rise of Teleworking in the Federal Government
By Sarah Towne, American University

Managers continue to search for innovative methods beyond compensation to motivate and engage employees and increase individual performance. Sometimes, organizations may pursue progressive workplace policies for quick and easy solutions to complex, “wicked” problems, which could lead to disastrous outcomes, and costly legal ramifications. Scholars feel compelled to be proactive in the research and should draw attention to the growing trend of telework in the Federal government and possible legal implications that could arise in the near future. This growing trend in the public sector is a result of a “windows of opportunity” whereby many significant events and ideas converged producing a new policy and practice. Telework, particularly in the federal government, exemplifies a contemporary human resources management issue in 2014, the 75th year anniversary of ASPA.

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Postmodern Review of Florida’s Department of Children and Families
By Diane Benitez, Florida International University

Like many children service programs around the United States, Florida’s Department of Children and families (DCF) has had periods of difficulty and reorganization focused on their roll to protect children placed into state custody. As with other public agencies this is to be done with scant resources. The intent of this paper is not to minimize the magnitude of the work that DCF does nor the difficulties that are inherent in doing such work, but to discuss the possibility of doing this work with a postmodern approach.

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The Heartland Corridor: Crossing Mountains, Crossing Sectors
By Nathan Dorfman, University of Pittsburgh

The Heartland Corridor is a public-private partnership between corporate and public stakeholders including the federal government, the Commonwealth of Virginia, the states of West Virginia and Ohio, as well as railroad corporation Norfolk Southern. This public-private partnership, in which all stakeholders contributed funding and faced financial risk, has enabled double-stacked container trains to efficiently travel between the Port of Virginia and Columbus, Ohio.  The rail corridor functions as a gateway between the East Coast and the Midwest, and makes it possible for goods to be shipped between these regions in less time than was otherwise possible beforehand. Before the Heartland Corridor was built, insufficient vertical clearances forced double-stacked container trains to take indirect routes between the Atlantic coastline and the Midwest. Construction for the project began in October 2007 and was completed in September 2010. This paper will use a case-study approach to understand how stakeholders in the public and private sectors collaborated within two components of the Heartland Corridor’s construction: first, the Heartland Corridor Clearance Project, and second, the Rickenbacker Intermodal Terminal.

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Networked Governance: The Challenges of Working Across Levels of Government and Sectors When Externalizing State Departments of Transportation
By Nolan Ritchie, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation

Sustainable public programs, services and products depend on networked governance, which “moves from vertical to horizontal approaches to decision-making and is characterized by systems of communications, knowledge, exchange and dialogue” (International Institute for Sustainable Development, 2013). Networked governance is particularly evident in the field of transportation policy with the advent of State Transportation Innovation Councils (STIC) at state Departments of Transportation (DOT). The STICs “bring together representatives from all levels of the transportation community to work together… and develop plans for implementation and adoption into current and future transportation projects” (Bergeron, 2013). Partnerships within the transportation community are strengthened and new horizontal governance structures are forged. However, these dynamic partnerships present challenges when public managers advance stakeholder engagement. The central argument of this paper is novel solutions exist with innovative leadership and advanced technology to overcome challenges in networked governance.

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Information Technology: Confronting Crime
By Dr. M. Venkat Ram Reddy, Osmania University
By Dr. D Paul Sugandhar, Osmania University

The police perform a variety of duties ranging from the detection and prevention of crime and the keeping of law and order and public peace, to the regulation of traffic, the verification of the antecedents of citizens and immigrants for various official purposes and the execution of various orders of the judiciary. Many of these functions involve gathering, sharing and analyzing information about crime and people. Information technology has a crucial role to play in these functions since it can help in handling the ever increasing amount of information with reference to its systematic storage as well as the speed with which it can be retrieved, shared and analyzed for quicker and better decision support. 

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City Limits: Working with Federal and State Actors in the Successful Implementation of Local Sustainable Economic Development Programs
By Megan DeMasters, Colorado State University

In his seminal work City Limits, Peterson (1981) asserts that local policymakers are constrained by state and federal laws and institutions that limit ability for cities to pursue many policies. Given these constraints, Peterson argues that local policymakers are ‘single minded’, prioritizing economic development above all other interests (Peterson 1981; Basolo and Huang 2001). Although Peterson’s (1981) city limits theory has provided a rich research history on local developmental policy and local competition, local development policy has grown to include environmental protection as a primary emphasis area. Furthermore, contrary to the City Limits thesis many cities are actively engaging in policymaking and implementation of policies that take into consideration, and work with, multiple jurisdictions across the varying levels of government.

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The Challenge of Working Across Levels of Government and Sectors
By Manjyot Bhan, American University

It has been over four decades since the 1970 Earth Day and establishment of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)—and the regulatory landscape has changed since then. Command and control was the dominant regulatory strategy used in the iconic federal statues passed within the few years of the establishment of the EPA, namely, the Clean Air Act (1970), the Clean Water Act (1972). The top-down approach was based on the assumption that the environment and economy were fundamentally at odds, and that the potential for market-failures increased in the absence of direct regulation. Owing to the conflicting interests between the public and private sector, the government kept industry at arms’ length.  As a way to nationalize environmental policy, the EPA delegated authority to states that displayed institutional capacity for policy implementation, while maintaining strong federal oversight and enforcement.

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The American Society for Public Administration is the largest and most prominent professional association for public administration. It is dedicated to advancing the art, science, teaching and practice of public and non-profit administration.

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