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News Release

Release No. 0261.11
USDA Office of Communications 202-720-4623

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Agriculture Deputy Secretary Meets Pennsylvania Business Leaders to Support Economic Growth and Job Creation

YORK, Penn., June 17, 2011 – Deputy Agriculture Secretary Kathleen Merrigan and other USDA officials met with business leaders in York, Pennsylvania today to explore ways federal, state and local officials can work together to improve economic conditions and create jobs. The meeting was part of a series of White House Business Council Roundtable events being held across the nation.

"The President and USDA are committed to creating good-paying jobs that will help businesses and the communities they serve," said Merrigan. "This roundtable is one of many being held to get feedback on ways we can help businesses expand and improve the economic base here and across America."

Merrigan emphasized that USDA wants advice from the business community on ways to improve the economic climate. This exchange also is intended to educate business and community leaders about USDA and other the resources the Obama administration has to assist in this effort.

"Today, we are focusing on local Pennsylvania business leaders, giving them a unique opportunity to voice their economic development ideas with government officials," said Thomas Williams, USDA Rural Development Pennsylvania State Director. Williams was among those who joined Merrigan at the meeting.

The White House Business Council's Winning the Future Roundtable with American Business is an opportunity for government leaders to hear directly from business leaders around the country about their ideas on how to grow the economy. Today's meeting was hosted by Alan Shortall, CEO of Unilife, Inc., a medical device company. Through its Business and Industry Loan Guarantee Program, USDA assisted Unilife with construction of a custom-built, global syringe manufacturing headquarters in York.

USDA Rural Development's mission is to increase economic opportunity and improve the quality of life for rural residents. Rural Development fosters growth in homeownership, finances business development, and supports the creation of critical community and technology infrastructure. Further information on rural programs is available at a local USDA Rural Development office.


USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender." To file a complaint of discrimination, write to USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382(TDD).