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white house business council

A Healthy Future for Kids in the Hispanic Community

On my recent trip to Miami, Florida, I had the opportunity to hold a White House Business Council roundtable, hosted by the South Florida Hispanic chamber of Commerce.  The roundtable discussion focused on challenges and accomplishments within the Hispanic community, including access to credit, broadband, small business, agricultural markets, plant pests, and community outreach.

While in Miami I was also invited to speak at the Latino Health and Wellness Expo in Miami.  “La Exposicion de Salud” was well attended with over 800 participants.

USDA, Other Federal Agencies Join Together to Help an Iowa Community

Mention to folks that federal agencies work well together and you may receive reactions of disbelief.  Sometimes the federal employees, themselves, don’t believe it.  But there was a roomful of believers at a recent USDA Rural Roundtable held in Ogden, Iowa.

I held more than 40 roundtables across rural Iowa last year, modeled after the roundtables of the White House Business Council and the White House Rural Council.  These roundtables provided a great opportunity to talk with rural residents, business owners and leaders about the issues facing their communities – and the opportunities that exist.

Rural Development Officials Seek Input on Ways to Create Jobs, Improve Housing Opportunities in Louisiana

USDA Rural Development Housing Administrator Tammye Trevino and Rural Development Louisiana State Director Clarence Hawkins kick-started the new year by holding a White House Business Council Stakeholder’s meeting in Luling, Louisiana, located in St. Charles Parish near New Orleans.  The focus of the stakeholder’s meeting was rural housing.  The focus fit perfectly in line with Administrator Trevino’s primary reason for visiting Louisiana.

Administrator Trevino, along with Bryan Hooper, Deputy Administrator of USDA’s Multi-Family Housing Division each served as presenters on the Council for Affordable and Rural Housing (CARH) 2012 mid-year meeting in New Orleans.  CARH is a national nonprofit trade organization focusing on issues affecting rural housing.  The theme for this year’s meeting was “Transforming Rural Housing: Innovative Tools and Dynamic Initiatives for Tomorrow.”

Moving Forward in the Pacific Northwest

I recently had the privilege of accompanying Secretary Vilsack at one of a series of White House Business Roundtables in Portland, Oregon. There, I met a diverse group of men and women representing a variety of business interests including food production, building construction, banking, equipment manufacturing, and renewable energy.  As part of the discussion, Secretary Vilsack shared the framework for the American Jobs Act – employing people now, building a platform for sustainable growth, and getting our fiscal house in order.   

Putting Pennsylvanians Back to Work

Last week, I visited the city of Pittsburgh to highlight the American Jobs Act and what it means for Pennsylvanians. This was a special trip for me because Pittsburgh is my hometown and I still have deep family ties there.

In Pittsburgh, I led a White House Business Council roundtable hosted by Point Park University. It was one of a series of meetings being held across the country to give senior Obama Administration officials an opportunity to hear directly from business leaders about their ideas on how to grow the economy. The roundtable also provided me an opportunity to discuss USDA programs and other federal resources that help businesses, residents and communities.

Maine State Director Joins Administration Senior Official for White House Business Roundtable

On July 18, USDA Rural Development State Director Virginia Manuel joined Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office David Kappos for a White House Business Roundtable hosted by local lender Bangor Savings Bank.  Participants in the discussion included 15 leaders from the Bangor region representing a variety of sectors including business, healthcare, medical research, transportation, and energy.

During the Roundtable entitled Winning the Future with American Business, Maine leaders had the opportunity to voice their concerns about economic growth and the challenges they face as business owners/leaders. This Roundtable discussion also provided a chance for the Administration to ensure local business leaders are taking advantage of the resources and programs designed to help them create jobs and compete.

Meeting with Illinois Business Leaders in Springfield

This past week, I had the chance to sit down with about 20 business leaders in central Illinois to hear their views on ways we can improve the nation’s economy, especially from the agriculture industry perspective.  The meeting was part of a series of outreach efforts across the country this summer to rural Americans as part of the White House Business Council and the White House Rural Council.

I want to thank Tim McArdle of Brandt Consolidated, Inc., who leads a successful agri-business in Springield, IL that helps farmers adopt new technologies for their operations.  We gathered representatives from many local businesses and had a frank and open discussion about the role of the Federal government in creating a business environment that encourages job growth and improves economic conditions in the agricultural sector and rural communities.

Rural Business Booms in York, PA

Alan Shortall recently hosted Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan and a White House Business Council roundtable at his company’s headquarters in York, Penn. Alan’s company, Unilife, was the recipient of a USDA Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan. His story is proof that public and business sectors can work together to bring about change in rural America.

I was recently honored to host a roundtable discussion between the White House Business Council and local business leaders from York, PA. This meeting and similar roundtable discussions now taking place across the country are an excellent initiative by the Obama Administration as it provides a direct line of communication between employers from across the U.S and senior members of the Federal Government.

Mile High City with Mountains of Ideas

Cross posted from the White House blog:

Last week, I met with 20 business leaders from all over Colorado at a White House Business Council roundtable in Denver.  It was an opportunity for me and my Colorado staff to get feedback on government programs, policies, and innovative ideas that are working to help create jobs – as well as ones that could be improved.  Other Cabinet officials and top White House staffers have hosted more than 100 of these sorts roundtables of around the country.  And over the coming weeks we will be holding these conversations in rural areas.

In Denver, I heard from business leaders who discussed the value of President Obama’s tax policies for businesses of all sizes, and appreciated the administrations is work to better partner with the business community.  We had a productive dialogue about how the pending trade agreements with South Korea, Columbia and Panama will benefit local agricultural producers, with the potential to create hundreds of jobs in Greeley, Colorado and other towns.  And we discussed how resorts might form partnerships on recreation to make better use of forests and other natural environments to help create jobs in communities throughout the Rocky Mountains.

Utah Business Leaders Discuss Job Creation and the Economy at White House Business Council Event

Last week Agriculture Under Secretary for Rural Development Dallas Tonsager met with Twenty-two Utah business leaders for a White House Business Council roundtable.  The meeting was hosted by Zions Bank Corporation and USDA Rural Development.  Salt Lake City was one of the 100 communities across the nation to hold a White House Business Council event.  The Salt Lake meeting gave businesses the opportunity to share their ideas for job creation with the White House and USDA.

Tonsager, a key Obama Administration official for rural economic development efforts, sought advice from the business community on ways to improve the economic climate.  The exchange also educated business and community leaders in attendance about resources available through USDA Rural Development.