John Sturtevant awarded $2.5 million grant to improve our nation’s poor writing.
April 1, 2009 – Washington DC -- The National Recovery and Reinvestment Bill contains many spending provisions related to education. Among them, it reportedly provides $2.5 million in Title III funds to help improve the clarity of communication in federal and state agencies, as well as the private sector. Confirmed additional funds have been allocated for educational technology, child care, and Head Start.
At a recent news conference, Aldo Arlecchino, Distribution Manager for the Federal Allocations Committee, which handles fund distribution commented on the $2.5 grant, which may be awarded to Sturtevant as early as this week.
“There are basically three things we need to do right now to get our country back on a responsible track" said Mr. Arlecchino. "First, we need to prevent the economy from collapsing. Second, we need to protect jobs and ease people’s fiscal pains. And third, we need to boost communication skills among the tens of thousands of government and private-sector employees who are still working to keep the economy going strong.”
“We assessed literally hundreds of options over the past eight months,” said Mr. Arlecchino. “Our choice to spearhead this critical task is one of our country’s leading experts in clear thinking and persuasive writing, John Sturtevant. I am confident Mr. Sturtevant is eager to help guide us toward the goal we all have in our hearts and in our thoughts. This new era in our nation’s history must be marked by clear, articulate communication from those who are leading us in this recovery.”
“I will be honored and proud to accept this challenge,” said Sturtevant. “A grant of this scale could allow me to reach out to thousands of business leaders around the globe. We at The Writing Workshop are very excited by this opportunity to give business people the confidence and skills they need to think clearly and write what they mean.”
“I also recognize this may be only a first step in an ongoing recovery effort,” added Sturtevant. “Our goal is to raise awareness and instill a sense of responsibility and commitment among our business leaders, managers, and employees in English-speaking parts of the world.”
Raising the standard of corporate communication, executive compensation, and excessive bonuses are first steps in establishing the accountability that has been missing from the corporate sector.
“This is a long-awaited move in the right direction,” said Mr. Arlecchino. “In addition to positive steps like our agreement with Mr. Sturtevant, we have designed other measures aimed at improving the way our business people communicate.”
Mr. Arlecchino emphasized that the package will feature long-term measures for accelerating development of new technologies to improve efficiency and for turning our country’s vibrant business writing training industry into money-making businesses globally.
Today’s announcement comes amid growing realization that fighting the war on legalese, bureaucratic mumbo-jumbo, and vague, cluttered, confusing, overly-technical business writing style will take more than the economic packages the government has crafted since August, even with this $2.5 million grant.
The NRRB includes several provisions related to executive communication skills. It requires all recipients of TARP funds to meet clear writing and presentation standards as established by the Communications Secretary. Additionally, the legislation mandates a nonbinding shareholder vote on executive compensation for institutions that have received TARP funds. The bill also includes limits on compensation and bonuses, recovery of bonuses, and prohibition of golden parachutes.