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Blog Category: Rick Wade

Spotlight on Commerce: Rick Wade, Senior Adviser and Deputy Chief of Staff

Wade speaking from lectern

Ed. Note: This post is part of the Spotlight on Commerce series, which highlights members of the Department of Commerce who are contributing to the president's vision of winning the future through their work.

Rick Wade is a Senior Adviser and Deputy Chief of Staff for Commerce Secretary Gary Locke.

During his recent State of the Union address, President Obama reminded us that in order to be competitive as a country, we need to “out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world.”  One of the best ways we can celebrate Black History Month is to revive the spirit of past African American inventors and invest more in innovation and entrepreneurship.

It was back in 1907 when Booker T. Washington said, “every member of the race should strive to be successful in business, however humble that business might be.”  My work at the Department of Commerce provides me an opportunity to help businesses start, flourish and create high-skill, high-wage jobs.

Senior Commerce Department Official Visits Haiti for Opening of First School Built Since January Earthquake

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Commerce Department Senior Adviser and Deputy Chief of Staff Rick Wade traveled to Haiti this week for the opening of the L’Ecole Nouvelle Royal Caribbean School in Labadee, the first school to be built in Haiti after the devastating January earthquake. American businesses, with the help of the Commerce Department, spearheaded the effort to build the school, which is a project between Royal Caribbean International and InnoVida, a Miami-based producer of residential and commercial buildings. 

“The Commerce Department has been actively involved in encouraging U.S. businesses and the Haitian Diaspora to help in Haiti’s recovery, which will create jobs in Haiti and support jobs in America,” Wade said. 

Over the past few months, Wade has been traveling across the United States to help promote opportunities for U.S. businesses to get involved in Haiti’s reconstruction. The U.S. private sector has an indispensable role to play in spurring investment in Haiti and providing innovative solutions to help Haiti grow and rebuild its communities.

Read more about Rick Wade’s involvement in Haiti’s recovery in his recently-authored opinion editorial. | Release

Vice President Biden, Secretary Locke and Senior Administration Officials Announce $1.8 Billion in Recovery Act Broadband Projects

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke today joined Reps. Jay Inslee and Brian Baird at the Seattle Central Library in announcing a $54.5 million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) investment to help bridge the technological divide, boost economic growth, create jobs, and improve education and healthcare in difficult terrain both east and west of the Cascade mountain range in Washington state.

“This critical investment will lay the groundwork for sustainable economic growth by connecting difficult terrain both east and west of the Cascades that have been without the full economic, educational and social benefits of high-speed Internet,” Locke said.

Following the announcement in Seattle, Secretary Locke joined Reps. Dennis Cardoza and Jim Costa in a news conference call to announce six grants totalling more $200 million to expand high-speed Internet access and adoption in California. In addition, U.S. Department of Commerce Senior Adviser and Deputy Chief of Staff Rick Wade joined U.S. Sens. Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor, and U.S. Reps. Mike Ross and Vic Snyder in Little Rock in announcing a $102 million Recovery Act investment that will help improve economic opportunity and support job creation in Arkansas.

Earlier today, Vice President Joe Biden announced approximately $1.8 billion in new projects that will create jobs and expand economic opportunities within 37 states across America.  Remarks  |  Read more  |  White House release

Commerce's Carribean Trade Mission Yields Positive Results for U.S. Firms

Dominican Republic and Jamaica offer small- and medium-sized companies opportunity

Wrapping up the administration’s first trade mission to the Caribbean, Commerce Department senior adviser and Deputy Chief of Staff Rick Wade stressed that geographical proximity and shared historical and cultural ties make the Dominican Republic and Jamaica prime destinations for U.S. goods and services. Wade led a 10-company U.S. trade mission to the region to promote export opportunities June 13-19.

“In today’s global marketplace, it is critical for companies to establish alliances with partners in other markets in order to be competitive,” Wade said. “Because of its close proximity and a favorable trading relationship over time, the Caribbean is a natural area for U.S. firms to explore new export opportunities that will result in more jobs for American workers.”

The United States is the primary trading partner for both countries. In 2009, U.S. exports to the Dominican Republic and Jamaica totaled $5.27 billion and $1.45 billion, respectively.  Read more  Upcoming trade missions

Senior Commerce Official Wade to Lead Trade Mission to Dominican Republic and Jamaica

Rick Wade, senior adviser and deputy chief of staff to U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, will lead a delegation of 10 small- and medium-sized U.S. businesses on a trade mission to Santa Domingo, Dominican Republic, and Kingston, Jamaica, June 13-19 to promote U.S. exports in the Caribbean.

The trade mission will give participating U.S. companies the opportunity to meet with potential business partners and network with key Dominican and Jamaican government and industry officials. The business delegation will promote U.S. products and services in a range of consumer goods, construction and automotive sectors with foreign buyers and governments.

Trade missions are an important component to achieving the goals of President Obama’s National Export Initiative, which aims to double U.S. exports within five years to support the creation of two million jobs. This mission will help open doors for U.S. firms interested in entering or expanding their presence in the Caribbean region. Read more

Rick Wade Discusses Haiti's Recovery and Reconstruction Needs in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania companies gained insight into medium- and long-term plans for rebuilding efforts in Haiti and learned how they can engage in the process today at a Haiti Reconstruction Forum in Philadelphia. Rick Wade, senior adviser and deputy chief of staff to U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and head of the Commerce Department’s Haiti business outreach, delivered the conference’s opening and closing remarks.

“Addressing Haiti’s tragedy has been a clear priority for the Obama administration and significant resources have been devoted to help the victims of the earthquake,” Wade said. “Many U.S. and international firms will play a crucial role in Haiti’s recovery by providing the type of investment and technical training that Haiti needs to ensure its long-term development.”

Hosted by the Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration and the World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia, the event connected public sector experts in procurement, trade and financing with Pennsylvania companies offering expertise in critical areas such as power and energy, transportation and port construction, housing, health care, machinery and apparel joint ventures.

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