Announcing the Winners of the 2013 Better Government Competition

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on

Financial Publisher Steve Forbes to Deliver Keynote at 2013 Better Government Competition Awards Dinner

Two Massachusetts Firms Among Winners, Recognition Ceremony to Be Held on September 30th

Contact: Shawni Littlehale, Director of the Better Government Competition 617-723-2277

ForbesSteve2011BOSTON, MA – Steve Forbes, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of Forbes Media and Editor-in-Chief of Forbes magazine, will deliver the keynote address at Pioneer Institute’s 2013 Better Government Competition Awards ceremony on September 30th, from 6-9 pm, in Boston.

[message_box title=”Please Note:” color=”red”]We are at or near capacity.  If you would like to attend the 2013 Awards Dinner, please contact Shawni Littlehale ( 617-723-2277 ext. 217).  We are pleased to place you on our waiting list and will confirm our ability to host you by September 25th.  [/message_box]

Since assuming leadership of his family’s business in 1990, Steve Forbes has expanded Forbes media globally and through new media. The nation’s most successful business news magazine, Forbes currently reaches nearly 1 million readers (5 million worldwide), and, launched in 1996, attracts nearly 50 million monthly visitors. Forbes Media also includes and its affiliates.

“Steve Forbes’s passion for innovation, his phenomenal business success, and his tireless support for public policies that promote economic growth make him the perfect keynote speaker for this year’s Better Government Competition theme,” said Jim Stergios, Executive Director of Pioneer Institute. “His highly-respected voice at this critical time in our nation’s economic recovery efforts is one we cannot afford to ignore.”

During two presidential bids, Mr. Forbes championed a flat tax, medical savings accounts, school choice, and other reforms. He is the author of several books, most recently including: Freedom Manifesto: Why Free Markets are Moral and Big Government Isn’t, and How Capitalism Will Save Us: Why Free People and Free Markets Are the Best Answer in Today’s Economy, both with Elizabeth Ames.

Pioneer Institute’s Better Government Competition, founded in 1991, is an annual citizens’ ideas contest that rewards some of the nation’s most innovative public policy proposals. The 2013 competition focused on reforms that facilitate job growth, and Pioneer received hundreds of proposals on topics ranging from improving job training and vocational education programs to removing legal and regulatory barriers preventing small businesses from hiring more employees.

Pioneer is pleased to announce the winner of the 22nd annual Better Government Competition:

Manufacturing Revitalization,” a proposal to realign On-the-Job Training (OJT) programs to overcome hiring obstacles that often arise in traditional government-subsidized job training programs. If implemented, the plan would connect the unemployed to jobs and then provide them with the specific skills required to meet their host employers’ immediate needs. Current job training too often works in the opposite direction: unemployed job seekers go through training programs and then hope they find jobs that match the skills they’ve acquired. The former guarantees a fit between jobs and skills. The latter remains a guessing game in which job seekers hope they pick the right training program for the jobs that will be available 3, 6, 9 months from now.

The winning entry was submitted by Michael J. Munday, CEO of Arwood Machine Corporation, located in Newburyport, Massachusetts. Read a summary here.

The 2013 runners up are as follows:

Freeing Entrepreneurs from Overreaching Government Regulations”: Proposal to reduce and streamline municipal regulations, to expand employment opportunities in taxicab, commercial kitchen, and home-based businesses. This entry, if implemented in Boston, would address the city’s corrupt taxicab industry, the subject of a recent Boston Globe Spotlight Team report showing bribery, exploitation of drivers, $600,000 medallions, and the fourth highest fares in the country. Authors: Shira Rawlinson and Dana Berliner, Institute for Justice, in Arlington, Virginia. Read more.

Promoting High-Impact Startups to Create a More Robust Economy”: Start-up acceleration program giving high-growth entrepreneurs the mentorship, training, and financial resources they need to create jobs and innovation. Since 2010, this program has served 361 start-ups, which have created 2,912 jobs (2,000 in Massachusetts); raised $362 million in funding; and generated $96 million in revenue. Authors: Jibran Malek and Veronica del Rosario, MassChallenge, Inc., in Boston, Massachusetts. Read more.

Reinventing the Local Economy Through Sustainable Urban Redevelopment”: Comprehensive model for innovative economic development that revitalized the City of North Charleston, S.C., after a major naval base closure in 1996. Plan includes significant community input, public-private initiatives, worker retraining programs, recruitment of manufacturing, promotion of technology firms, and investments in streetscape improvements and conservation. Authors: Keith West and Ryan Johnson, City of North Charleston, South Carolina. Read more.

Evaluating State Incentives for Business”: Three-part assessment system to help state economic development agencies distinguish between policies that are net contributors to the economy from those that are merely selective handouts. Massachusetts currently spends or forgoes in tax revenue $2.26 billion per year on jobs incentives, ranking among the highest in the country on a per capita basis. Author: Ben Zimmer, Connecticut Policy Institute, New Haven, Connecticut. Read more.

Update: Special Recognition Awardees:

A Step-By-Step Solution to Massachusetts’ Persistent Jobs Crisis – Mike Hruby, New Jobs for Massachusetts, Boxborough, MA: A proposal to eliminate two significant legal barriers to job growth in Massachusetts: the independent contractor law and the tax on business inventories.

CropCircle Kitchen, Inc. – Jonathan D. Kemp, Jamaica Plain, MA: A program encouraging aspiring culinary entrepreneurs by providing access to kitchen and culinary equipment, training and development aid.

Job Creation on a Budget – Mark Muro and Kenan Fikri, Brookings Institution, Washington, D.C.: Recommendations for effective state support of regional industry clusters and entrepreneurship in both metropolitan and rural areas.

Step-Up Achieve – Jeremiah Brown, Minneapolis, MN: A public-private partnership providing workplace experience to low-income and minority youth.

Pioneer will recognize the winners at the 22nd annual Better Government Competition Awards Ceremony, scheduled to take place on September 30th, from 6:00 to 9:00 pm. The winner will receive a $10,000 prize, and four runners up will receive $1,000 each. Awards dinner attendees will receive a compendium of winning entries, containing full proposals.

A distinguished panel of judges met in May 2013 to select the winners, as follows:

  • Steven P. Akin, Pioneer Institute Board of Directors
  • Tracey E. Flaherty, Senior Vice President, Government Relations, Natixis Global Asset Management
  • Dr. John H. Friar, Executive Professor of Entrepreneurship, Northeastern University
  • April Anderson Lamoureux, President of Anderson Strategic Advisors and former Assistant Secretary of Economic Development, Commonwealth of Massachusetts
  • Craig Sandler, Managing Partner, State House News Service

“This year’s theme of job growth is one of the country’s biggest challenges. The economic recovery has been slow, with so many people still unemployed or underemployed,” says Shawni Littlehale, director of the Better Government Competition. “We received hundreds of proposals from all across the country, and we know that the winning solutions, if implemented, will make a real impact on our quality of life.”

As Pioneer’s signature event, the Better Government Competition Awards Dinner attracts hundreds of leaders in the business, non-profit, government, and media communities. Past speakers have included: The Right Honorable James D. Bolger, New Zealand Ambassador; John Stossel, former ABC news correspondent; US Senator Alan Simpson (WY); Colorado Governor Bill Owens; Massachusetts Governors Mitt Romney, William Weld, Paul Cellucci, and Deval Patrick; David Gergen, advisor to four presidents; Michelle Rhee, head of StudentsFirst; US Senator Scott Brown (MA); Texas Governor Rick Perry; and national political analyst, Michael Barone.

Over the last two decades, ideas generated by the Better Government Competition have helped Pioneer save Commonwealth taxpayers over $750 million and improve the quality of the public services they receive.




Pioneer Institute is an independent, non-partisan, privately funded research organization that seeks to improve the quality of life in Massachusetts through civic discourse and intellectually rigorous, data-driven public policy solutions based on free market principles, individual liberty and responsibility, and the ideal of effective, limited and accountable government.