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Blog Category: Orlando

Secretary Pritzker Discusses Power of Immigration Reform to Drive Florida’s Economy

National Entrepreneur Center Welcomes Secretary Penny Pritzker

Secretary Pritzker visited Orlando, Florida, today as part of her overall listening tour to hear directly from business leaders on how the public and private sectors can work together to strengthen the economy and create American jobs.

While in Orlando, Secretary Pritzker met with local business leaders on the need to pass comprehensive immigration reform, which is key to the country’s economic growth. She shared her story as an entrepreneur coming from a family of entrepreneurs, including her great-grandfather who emigrated from Russia to the United States.

Pritzker referenced a recent White House report citing the Economic Benefits of Fixing Our Broken Immigration System. The value of immigrants to the American economy cannot be understated. More than 40% of Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or their children. One-fourth of U.S. Nobel Prize winners over the years have been foreign-born. While immigrants account for only about 13% of the U.S. population, they start about 28% of all new businesses, according to an analysis of Census Bureau data.

Florida businesses were very aware of the power of immigrants to drive an economy. Nearly one-fourth of the labor force is foreign-born and about 30% of business owners are immigrants who generate over $13 billion in annual income. Through reform, it’s estimated that Florida’s economic output would increase next year by $1.8 billion and create 22,000 new jobs. According to one model, reforms in the Senate bill including a pathway to earned citizenship and an expansion of high-skilled and temporary worker programs would increase personal income for Florida families by over $6.5 billion in 2020.

Secretary Locke, NASA Administrator Bolden Hold Town Hall Meeting on Space Coast Economy

Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke addresses business and industry leaders during a town hall meetingU.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and NASA Administrator Charles F. Bolden, Jr. are in Orlando, Fla., today for a town hall meeting to hear directly from local leaders working to strengthen and diversify the Space Coast economy. Locke discussed the Obama administration’s continued commitment to job creation and strengthening of the economy, as well as address the May jobs report released this morning indicating that the economy added 431,000 jobs last month

Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke and NASA Administrator Charles Bolden speak to reporters during a town hall meetingThe Obama administration is committed to taking steps to help Florida's Space Coast adapt and thrive in the years ahead. President Obama recently launched the Presidential Task Force on Space Industry Work Force and Economic Development, a $40 million, multi-agency initiative for regional and economic growth to assist the Space Coast as the country's space exploration efforts expand and transform. The Task Force, co-chaired by Locke and Bolden, is leading the initiative to coordinate and implement a plan to grow the region’s economy and prepare its workers for the opportunities of tomorrow. The interagency effort will build on and complement ongoing local and federal economic and workforce development efforts. Remarks