Every day in government facilities across the nation and around the world millions of men and women are working to make America stronger, safer, and more prosperous.
Their commitment and accomplishments seldom make headlines, but the work they do is critical to our national welfare and security.
One of these devoted civil servants, Chelsea Decaminada, passed away this past Saturday, May 4th, after sustaining critical injuries while on assignment during the April 21st terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka. As an International Program Specialist in our Commercial Law Development Program of the Office of the General Counsel, Chelsea exemplified a life devoted to public service. Our thoughts and prayers remain with Chelsea and her family during this difficult time.
Public Service Recognition Week, May 5-11, is an opportunity to honor civil servants and military personnel for the myriad ways they are contributing to our great nation and our quality of life.
Across the government, federal employees are searching for new medicines, ensuring the safety of our food supply, caring for veterans, assisting the elderly and disabled, enforcing standards for healthy working conditions, protecting America’s national parks, strengthening the nation’s housing market, serving in foreign posts, and taking on many other assignments aimed at keeping America great.
At the U.S. Department of Commerce, we have over 47,000 employees with a broad mandate. Our mission is to create the conditions for economic growth and opportunity in order to help American businesses grow, compete, and create new jobs.
Since moving from the private sector to the federal government 21 months ago, I have witnessed firsthand the willingness of public servants to go the extra mile.
The American people are realizing the results of these efforts.
Administration leadership and government-wide teamwork has helped the United States regain the crown as the world’s most competitive economy for the first time since 2008, according to the World Economic Forum’s 2018 survey.
Regulations have been reduced. Taxes have been cut. Wages are rising. Six million new jobs have been added. Business optimism is high.
Like many government agencies, the breadth and depth of the critical work the Commerce Department does is difficult to fully grasp.
We work across the globe, spanning multiple bureaus and diverse responsibilities with a common goal: to provide American businesses with the tools they need to succeed in today’s highly competitive world.
The expertise of our talented teams extends across areas as varied as export assistance, trade enforcement, business and community development, industry standards, patents and trademarks, fisheries management, advanced technologies, spectrum policy, space commerce, weather warnings, ocean and coastal stewardship, the census, and fostering a digital and data driven economy.
In fact, the work we do touches the daily lives of Americans in many ways.
For example, when your alarm clock goes off and you determine whether you will need an umbrella or a jacket, it is our National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that provides the weather information that is featured on your weather app. NOAA also provides early adverse weather warnings that can help save lives and property in communities across our nation.
The economic indicators that are so important for monitoring the health of our economy are collected, analyzed, and reported by the Bureau of Economic Analysis and the Census Bureau. These include Gross Domestic Product or GDP, personal income, international trade, and retail sales.
We also conduct the decennial census that gives us an important snapshot of our population every ten years.
We have trade specialists in 70 countries and 100 U.S. locations to help U.S. businesses expand into international markets and create more American jobs.
Our National Institute of Standards and Technology facilitates technologies for the home and workplace, ranging from a zero-energy home design to the cybersecurity framework used by businesses to help protect against cyber events.
Whether the subject is trademarks, patents, trade, telecommunications, space commerce, minority entrepreneurship, economic development, or any of the other drivers of a strong economy the Department fosters, a talented and committed workforce is critical.
At the Department of Commerce, we have world-class specialists and experts in every bureau, and an incredibly talented and dedicated mission support team.
We are thankful for and grateful of all the Department’s civil servants. Public service is a noble calling, and on this Public Service Recognition Week, we salute, honor and thank all those who have chosen to devote their time and talents to government service.