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Blog Category: Pennsylvania

Acting Secretary Blank Applauds Steamfitters’ Job Training as Key to Building a 21st Century Economy

    Acting Secretary Blank Applauds Steamfitters’ Job Training as Key to Building a 21st Century Economy

This morning, Acting Secretary Rebecca Blank joined U.S. Representatives Chaka Fattah and Allyson Schwartz on a tour of the job training facilities of Steamfitters Local 420 in Philadelphia, where classes are held for apprentices and journeyworkers to develop and improve their skills so they can better serve clients and become qualified for a broader range of employment opportunities.

The rigorous training and education being offered at the facility has made a difference in the lives of hundreds of people throughout the region. The steamfitters local union 420 training center services the entire state and the work being done by members helps keep the region's infrastructure running smoothly, helping to make southeastern Pennsylvania an attractive place to do business.

Today's visit was an opportunity for local business leaders, workers and entrepreneurs to showcase all that they are doing to support manufacturing, train a 21st century workforce, and help the American economy recover from the worst recession since the Great Depression. 

While there is still more work to be done, our private sector has now had 29 straight months of job growth, creating 4.5 million new jobs. Over the past two and one-half years, more than a half-million manufacturing jobs have been created in the U.S.— the strongest job growth in that sector since the 1990s.

Pennsylvania alone has gained over 10,000 new manufacturing jobs since January, 2010. And these manufacturing jobs are good jobs that pay more than average and provide greater benefits.

During the visit, Acting Secretary Blank affirmed Commerce’s efforts to build a strong environment for manufacturing and innovation in the U.S. For example, the Obama administration recently announced the launch of a new public-private institute for manufacturing innovation as part of its ongoing efforts to help revitalize American manufacturing and encourage companies to invest in the United States. This new partnership, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute (NAMII), includes manufacturing firms, universities, community colleges, and non-profit organizations from the Ohio-Pennsylvania-West Virginia "Tech Belt."

Though progress has been made, more work remains. This is why the Obama administration continues to call on Congress to pass legislation to give our companies a tax break if they move operations and jobs back. President Obama has also called for helping state and local governments hire or retain teachers, police, and firefighters; and putting construction workers by to work while repairing crumbling American infrastructure. These proposals would create a million new jobs, according to independent economists.

After visiting the steamfitters' training facilities, Acting Secretary Blank traveled to Allentown, Pennsylvania, to announce a grant to help local small manufacturers lower operating costs and create jobs. She was joined by Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski, local business leaders, and entrepreneurs to highlight Obama administration efforts to help local companies and workers build things here so they can sell them everywhere.

Secretary Locke Holds Exports Town Hall with Philadelphia Businesses

National Export Initiative logo. Click for more NEI information.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke visited PENN Fishing Reels to discuss President Obama’s National Export Initiative and how it can help companies sell more of their goods and services overseas and create new jobs at home. Following a tour of the company’s manufacturing facility, Locke held a town hall meeting to highlight government resources available to businesses interested in selling their goods and services abroad. Locke was joined by U.S. Sen. Robert Casey, U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah, Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell and Mayor Michael Nutter. (More) (NEI) (Remarks)

Deputy Secretary Hightower Joins Vice President Biden in Pennsylvania for Groundbreaking of ARRA Project

Hightower on podium with Biden and others behind. Click for larger image.

U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Dennis Hightower joined Vice President Joe Biden to kick off the groundbreaking of an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) project, with funds administered by Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA). EDA obligated all $147 million of its Recovery Act funds one full year ahead of schedule. Responding to aggressive goals set out by President Obama and Vice President Biden, the agency acted expeditiously. Recovery Act funds were delivered to communities where they were needed most. (Remarks)

Secretary Locke Announces ARRA Grants to Expand Broadband Internet Access and Expand Economic Growth

Recovery Act logo. Click to go to Commerce Department Recovery Web site.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announced 10 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) investments to help bridge the technological divide, boost economic growth, create jobs and improve education and health care cross the country. The grants will increase broadband access and adoption in California, Florida, Indiana, Louisiana, New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. (More) (Remarks)

Commerce Department Invests $6 Million in Recovery Act Funding to Spur Innovation, Create Jobs in Bethlehem, Pa.

Secretary responds to questions from the media. Click for larger image.

Photo © Kenny Ek

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and White House Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra will visit Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania at Lehigh University today to discuss job creation, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and the administration’s strategy to spur American innovation. Locke and Chopra also announced a significant new Recovery Act grant for Ben Franklin Technology Partners to expand Ben Franklin TechVentures, its incubator/post-incubator facility. (More) (Remarks)

Secretary Locke Visits Philadelphia for Conversation on Future of Urban and Metropolitan America

Image of Mayor Nutter, Secretary Locke and reporter with microphone in store. Click for larger image.

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke visited Philadelphia today to kick off the Obama Administration’s National Conversation on Urban and Metropolitan America. This was the first stop in a nationwide tour that will help develop the President’s new urban agenda. Locke was joined by Adolfo Carrion, Director of the White House Office of Urban Affairs, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, and Housing and Urban Development Deputy Secretary Ron Sims for a town hall discussion with local experts about the development of Pennsylvania’s Fresh Food Initiative and efforts to encourage supermarket development in urban areas.

The Fourth of July 2009: Census Bureau National Holiday Facts and Figures

Image of U.S. flag over main entrance of the Commerce Department. Click for larger image.

U.S. flag, Department of Commerce

On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was approved by the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, setting the 13 colonies on the road to freedom as a sovereign nation. As always, this most American of holidays will be marked by parades, fireworks and backyard barbecues across the nation. In 1776, the estimated number of people living in the newly independent nation was 2.5 million. This year, the Department of Commerce’s Census Bureau estimate is 307 million. For fascinating figures on Fourth fireworks, flags, fanfares, firings (grills) and more, see the Bureau’s Facts for Features. (More Facts for Features) (U.S. Population Clock)