Fiscal year 2015 training total sets record

A record 155,237 personnel trained at Fort McCoy in fiscal year (FY) 2015 — up more than 10,000 from FY 2014 and more than 30,000 from FY 2013.

The previous record number of people to train at the installation was 149,432 people during FY 2000. The first time more than 100,000 people trained on post during a fiscal year (October to September) was FY 1985.

“The Army is becoming more aware of Fort McCoy’s training capabilities,” said Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security (DPTMS) Training Division Chief Ed Carns. “The growth (in training numbers) is across the board. It comes from the exercises, which have grown in number. It also comes from the participation of active-component units training here, such as the 10th Mountain Division and the 1st Infantry Division.”

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Senate Passes Cyber Bill, Ducking Privacy Fears for Now

Des­pite howls of protest from pri­vacy ad­voc­ates, the Sen­ate on Tues­day passed le­gis­la­tion aimed at bol­ster­ing the na­tion’s de­fenses against hack­ers.

The Cy­ber­se­cur­ity In­form­a­tion Shar­ing Act, or CISA, passed the Sen­ate 74-21.

Since the House earli­er this year passed two dif­fer­ent ver­sions of a cy­ber-in­form­a­tion-shar­ing bill, law­makers from the Senate and House will have to come to­geth­er in a con­fer­ence to align their ver­sions of the le­gis­la­tion in­to a fi­nal, uni­fied ver­sion of the bill that will need to be passed again by both cham­bers be­fore it can be signed in­to law.

Op­pos­i­tion to the bill, which would provide in­cent­ives to private busi­nesses to share in­form­a­tion about on­line threats with each oth­er and with the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment, was led by the Sen­ate’s pri­vacy hawks—Ron Wyden, Patrick Leahy, and Al Franken—and backed by civil liber­ties groups and tech com­pan­ies who were un­happy with the bill’s pri­vacy pro­tec­tions.

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Area businesses named Marketplace Governor’s Awards finalists

More than a dozen area businesses have been named finalists in the 2015 Marketplace Governor’s Awards, which recognize Wisconsin businesses owned by minorities, women and veterans with service disabilities.

The state has announced 21 awards finalists total.

This year’s Marketplace Governor’s Awards program drew applications from more than 200 businesses across Wisconsin. The program salutes large and small businesses and contains two categories. The Outstanding Business Award highlights established businesses that have demonstrated the ability to grow in the last five years and plan to continue accelerating growth in the future. The Rising Star Award congratulates businesses started after 2010 with promising growth potential.

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New Tech Plans Aim to Take Copyright Office Out of the 1970s

One month after the online copyright registration system went dark for about a week, the U.S. Copyright Office has unveiled a 5-year plan to make it more tech savvy.

Released Oct. 23, the six-point plan is designed to be both transparent and flexible, said Maria A. Pallante, director of the Copyright Office, in a statement included with the plan.

“Customers should be able to transact with the office easily, quickly and from anywhere at any time, using mobile technologies and any number of consumer-friendly platforms and devices to secure rights or access data,” she said.

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The Rise of Agency Innovation Labs

The White House wants more federal agencies to tap into the creative ideas floating around in their employees’ heads by launching innovation labs, according to a newly released administration strategy for boosting U.S. innovation.

In recent years, an increasing number of agencies have jumped on the innovation lab bandwagon. In 2010, the Department of Veterans Affairs launched its Center for Innovation. The Office of Personnel Management followed suit in 2012, building a $1.1 million innovation-focused office in the basement of the agency’s headquarters. Last year, the U.S. Agency for International Development launched a Global Development Lab.

The White House innovation report also name-checks the Department of Health and Human Services’ IDEA Lab and the National Security Agency’s “Incubation Cell.”

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OMB Rolls Out Plan for Governance Body to Boost Shared Services

The Obama administration’s management agenda entered a new phase on Thursday when a key White House official unveiled plans to create a central governance board to steer agencies toward a greater use of shared services.

David Mader, the acting deputy director for management at the Office of Management and Budget, said six months of interagency steering committee meetings have produced “an incredibly aggressive plan for 2016” to “bring all shared services elements together” in a central strategic body, which would steer tasks to be executed by a unit housed at the General Services Administration.

Shared services is an approach long used in the private sector in which specialized agency units perform human resources, financial management or acquisition tasks under contract with other agencies. Expanding its use to save money has been one of the administration’s cross-agency policy goals; OMB established a Strategic Sourcing Leadership Council in December 2012.

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Milwaukee Entrepreneurs to Graduate Emerging Leaders Initiative

Milwaukee, WI –CEO’s of eleven small, high potential firms will graduate from the SBA’s 26-week intensive “streetwise MBA” Emerging Leaders course.  Serial entrepreneur and long-time Milwaukee School of Engineering and UW-Milwaukee MBA instructor Gene Wright taught the program along with guest instructors from throughout the local business community.   Emerging Leaders culminates with each CEO developing a three year growth plan. Past participants have leveraged their experience and planning to springboard to significant growth.  Jessica Cannizzaro, Milestone Plumbing and Laura Henderson, Epiphany Learning will speak on behalf of the class. Graduates include:


Jessica Cannizzaro, Milestone Plumbing, Inc.

Matthew Carroll, AccuTrans, Inc.

Troy R. Davis, Melthouse Bistro Group, Inc.

Curtis Fleming, Executive Commercial Cleaning LLC

Laura Henderson, Epiphany Learning LLC

Ana Lopez, ALLCON, LLC

Paul Mattek and Justin White, Design Fugitives

Richard Paulus, Stark Professional Tool

Jalin Phelps, JCP Construction

Paul Smith Jr., Paul J. Smith & Associates Inc.

Jerrod Van Buren, Vanguard Aerospace


WHO:             U.S. Small Business Administration

WHAT:          Emerging Leaders Graduation

WHEN:          Monday, October 26, 2015

5:00 pm reception and interview opportunity

5:30 graduation        

WHERE:       Milwaukee School of Engineering

Alumni Partnership Center

1120 N. Broadway

Milwaukee, WI 53202

RSVP:            Press RSVP to Shirah Apple, 414-841-7013 or

Seven Tips for Small Business Security

Digital defense is often a challenge for small- and medium-sized businesses. SMBs frequently lack the computer security staff and resources found in larger corporations. It’s just not economical. This article shares seven tips for SMBs, with an emphasis on low- or no-cost solutions.

1. Identify and minimize information assets. Do you really need that data? This question prompts the user to consider whether the data they collect, store or transmit is truly necessary for business operations. Sometimes, outside regulators seek to control data, as is the case with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). Even when not regulated, everyone, from corporate employees to home users, should think about the sorts of data they manipulate. The best way to keep sensitive data out of the hands of criminals might be to never let it exist in digital form.

2. Keep sensitive data off the network as much as possible. Everyone has sensitive data, but not all that data needs to be connected to a network. For example, a company processing tax returns could keep that information on systems not connected to the Internet. Alternatively, sensitive data might reside on external hard drives that are attached to a PC or laptop when needed, and detached when not needed. If a criminal can’t reach sensitive data because it is off the network, he can’t read, steal, or delete it.

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Drone registry plan expected by Christmas

Close encounters between drones and commercial aircraft are becoming more frequent, and the federal government is planning new rules to keep planes safe.

The Department of Transportation and Federal Aviation Administration aim to have a web-based registration portal for privately owned unmanned aerial vehicles up and running before Christmas, said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.

The portal is part of a wider drone regulation plan, including registration process for unmanned aerial vehicle systems. A task force of public officials and private stakeholders has been formed to deliver policy recommendations on drone issues, with a report due out by Nov. 20.

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SBA Watchdog Warns of IT Security Risks, Poor Data in Contracting Goals

The Small Business Administration has made solid headway in addressing most of its 10 major management and performance challenges, but took a step backward on information technology security, its inspector general reported.

SBA also falls short in verifying data and toughening enforcement to curb the number of large companies that improperly win contracts intended for small businesses, according to a report and score card released Oct. 15.

Noting that recent governmentwide security breaches have “heightened the importance of continuously monitoring networks and software applications,” the IG and an external auditor identified IT security “weaknesses when on-boarding and separating SBA personnel,” the report said. The agency lost ground over the past year in implementing such recommendations as reporting IT security weaknesses, segregating duty controls and assuring that “access controls are in place and operating effectively, and contractors are not granted system access until they have obtained the required background investigations and/or security clearances.”

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