Business & Finance

SCBP Sponsors Conference on Environment and Labor

Benjamin K. Hunnicutt, an expert on work hours in the United States, will be the keynote speaker at the RVCC business conference on April 21.

BRANCHBURG, NJ – The Somerset County Business Partnership is co-sponsoring an April 21 conference, "Beyond Reconciliation: The Potential for Common Ground on the Environment and Labor” at Raritan Valley Community College at 9 a.m. in the RVCC Conference Center at 118 Lamington Road.

The program is open to the public and part of RVCC’s commemoration of Earth Week. Keynote speaker is Benjamin K. Hunnicutt, the premier historian and expert on work hours in the United States. Hunnicutt will speak on “The Age of Experiences: The Promise of Liberation Capitalism,” which is the topic of his upcoming book.

A professor of Leisure Studies at the University of Iowa, Hunnicutt has written for The Wall Street Journal and Politico. His books include "Kellogg’s Six-Hour Day" and "Free Time: The Forgotten American Dream." He has worked as a consultant to unions and businesses interested in shorter hours and the potential of leisure to improve the community and workplace.

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The conference also will include an address by Dan Aronson, RVCC Professor of Economics, and a panel discussion, “Conservation is for Everyone.” The panel will feature Glenn Ricketts, RVCC Professor of Political Science, and Michael Russell, Assistant Professor of Business at Centenary University. Each session will include time for audience participation.

Among the topics to be addressed are reducing the number of working hours and the correlation between shorter hours and higher hourly productivity.

According to Aronson, “If employers are willing to be flexible on the issue of working hours, studies have supported the argument that shorter hours improve productivity and support a more profitable bottom line.”

“The information to be presented at this conference is significantly important to decision-makers at businesses of all sizes,” said Ed Seliga, chairman of the Business Partnership Board of Directors. “Attendance at this conference will help Somerset County businesses stay ahead of the curve as the dynamics of operating a business change. This topic is another small step toward improving efficiency and profitability.”

Registration for the conference, at $30 per person, $20 for students and includes a lunch featuring Latin and Moroccan vegetarian dishes.

To register online, visit For additional information, contact Dan Aronson at 908-526-1200, ext. 8238.

The event is co-sponsored by the Somerset County Business Partnership, the Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce, the Faculty Federation of Raritan Valley Community College, the RVCC Foundation, and the NJ chapter of the Sierra Club.


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