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Commerce Secretary Raimondo Hosts Town Hall Meetings with Employees: Stresses Importance of Accessibility, Equality and Transparency

On March 3, Gina M. Raimondo was sworn in as the 40th U.S. Secretary of Commerce by Vice President Kamala Harris. And, since then, she has hit the ground running by hosting a series of town hall meetings with Commerce Department employees in locations around the world throughout the month of March.

In her role as Secretary of Commerce, Raimondo will lead ten key agencies focused on promoting jobs and economic growth including the International Trade Administration, the Bureau of Industry and Security, U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Economic Development Administration, Minority Business Development Agency, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, Bureau of Economic Analysis, and National Institute of Standards and Technology.

During each town hall meeting, Secretary Raimondo praised the fact Commerce is home some of the brightest minds in the federal government – including some of the best scientists, economists, and experts across every field.

“One of my top priorities as Commerce Secretary is to ensure that I have a strong line of communication with all the bureaus that make up the Department of Commerce. I want to understand what you all are working on and to be accessible and transparent in the decisions we make at the Department level that affect the different parts of Commerce,” she said.

Secretary Raimondo expressed her pride in leading a department that looks like America and her commitment to diversity.  She stressed that every employee in the Commerce Department will play a key role in rebuilding the economy and getting Americans back to work.

“This is our opportunity to tackle our most pressing challenges and create a more equitable economy for all Americans. From scientists forecasting the weather and grant administrators supporting communities across the country, to trademark examiners and census takers – we have the tools within the Commerce Department to uplift communities that have been left behind,” she said.

At each town hall meeting, Secretary Raimondo outlined her key priorities to include: Investing in the American workforce; helping small and minority-owned businesses reach their potential; establishing digital equity and broadband access for every American; ensuring American manufactures can compete fairly on the global playing field; and prioritize innovation and technology to bring back jobs to the United States. Prior to each agency town hall meeting, Secretary Raimondo met with bureau leadership on their goals and priorities

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, each town hall was held virtually. Secretary Raimondo expressed optimism that the next round will be held in-person, but stressed safety is her number one priority in returning to the workplace.