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The Commerce Blog

Secretary Locke Announces Recovery Act Grants to the Navajo Nation in Arizona, New Mexico and Utah

Recovery logo.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke held a press conference call with Sen. Jeff Bingaman (NM), Sen. Tom Udall (NM), Rep. Jim Matheson (UT), Rep. Ben Lujan (NM) and former New Mexico Governor Toney Anaya and announced a $32 million Recovery Act grant to the Navajo Nation in Arizona, New Mexico and Utah that will help bridge the technological divide, boost economic development, create jobs, and improve education and health care. Locke announced a total of 10 grants totaling more than $63 million that will increase broadband access and adoption in more than a dozen states. (More)

Census Bureau Rolls Out New Interactive Maps Showing 2010 Census Mail Participation Rates

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Image of interactive map. Click to go to map.

U.S. Census Bureau Director Robert Groves released the initial 2010 Census mail participation rates for the nation, showing that 16 percent of households have mailed back their census forms so far. The announcement came a week after 120 million households received their 2010 Census forms in the mail. “These first weeks are critical to the final census count,” Groves said. “It's absolutely vital that everyone takes the 10 minutes to fill out and mail back their forms. If every household mailed back its 2010 Census form, taxpayers could reduce the cost of taking the census by $1.5 billion.” (More) (Take 10 Map) (Videos)

Secretary Locke, Mayor Rybak Raise Awareness of New Recovery Act Tax Benefits in Minneapolis

Locke with hosts and roundtable participants seated at dining room table. Click for larger image.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke participated in a roundtable discussion in Minneapolis to raise awareness of the new tax credits available to American families as a result of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Locke was joined in the discussion by Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and several Minnesotans who have taken advantage of many of the new tax credits. (More) (Remarks) (Fact sheet) (White House Tax Savings Tool)

Secretary Locke, Senator Brown Highlight Effort to Boost Exports and U.S. Jobs in Ohio

Secretary Locke at microphone. Click for larger image.

U. S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke traveled to Dublin, Ohio to talk to Americans about the administration’s plan to increase the sales of exports and support the creation of high-paying jobs through President Obama’s recently announced National Export Initiative (NEI). Locke was joined by Senator Sherrod Brown. Officials from the State and Agriculture Departments, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the Export-Import Bank, and the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, also met with business leaders across the country to discuss the steps the Administration is taking to help businesses sell more U.S.-made goods and services abroad. (Remarks) (Release) (Export Promotion Cabinet release)

Secretary Locke Announces ARRA Grants in NY and CA 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 two American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) investments to help bridge the technological divide, improve education, and increase economic opportunities for low-income families in New York, New York and Los Angeles, California. The grants, totaling more than $29 million, will fund computer training and provide more than 30,000 computers to middle school students and their families in high-need schools, enabling them to make use of key educational, employment, and health resources online. (More)

USPTO Seeks Nominees for National Medal of Technology and Innovation Award

National Medal of Technology and Innovation

Commerce’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is seeking nominations for the highest honor for technological achievement, the National Medal of Technology and Innovation. The USPTO administers the NMTI program on behalf of the Secretary of Commerce. Honorees are chosen for their outstanding contributions to the nation’s economic, environmental and social well-being through the development and commercialization of technological products, processes and concepts; technological innovation; and development of the country’s technological manpower. The award was created by Congress in 1980. The deadline is March 31. (Nomination form)

Secretary Locke Appears on "The Daily Show," Discusses 2010 Census

Locke and Stewart shown during interview. Click for larger image of screenshot.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke appeared on Jon Stewart’s “The Daily Show” and discussed the 2010 Census now underway. In the interview, Locke noted that the census is completely confidential. Information provided to the Census Bureau is protected by law from being shared with other federal, state and local agencies. Even the provisions of the Patriot Act do not override census privacy protections. He also noted that for every one percent increase in the number of people who mail back their census forms, taxpayers save about $85 million. (Video clip part 1, part 2)

Secretary Locke Addresses Pharmaceutical Industry Leaders at PhRMA's 52nd Annual Meeting

Locke speaking from podium. Photo copyright Max Taylor Photography.

Photo © Max Taylor

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke spoke to leaders of the pharmaceutical industry at the annual meeting of The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) in Arlington, Va. Locke discussed the importance of innovation, particularly in the pharmaceutical and biomedical sectors, to creating American jobs and spurring sustainable economic growth. He also outlined what the Obama administration is doing to jumpstart the national engine of innovation. (Remarks)

Locke Pledges Administration Support for Emerging Trade Opportunities with Indonesia

Locke on podium. Click for larger image.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke discussed emerging trade opportunities between the U.S. and Indonesia as part of the Obama administration’s plan to create jobs here at home and grow overseas markets, especially through the National Export Initiative. In remarks at the Center for Strategic and International Studies Forum, Locke announced a trade mission to Indonesia that will take place in late May, made up of American renewable energy companies. “Ensuring that American companies play a lead role in this energy transformation is a priority for the Obama administration,” Locke said. (Remarks) (Indonesia trade mission)

NIST, Partners Develop Testing Infrastructure for Health IT Systems

NIST logo.

Fully incorporating modern information technology into the healthcare system promises many benefits, including better quality care, less paperwork and fewer medical errors while reducing unnecessary costs. In any such critical application, however, it’s important to ensure that the new technology behaves as expected. To meet this need in health information technology, a broad array of public and private stakeholders have been working with Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). NIST has released the first of four installments of a new health IT test method and related software. (More)