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Putting Pennsylvanians Back to Work

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsak during a round table and public event at Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA, on  Friday, September 16, 2011. (Photo by Christopher Rolinson/StartPoint Media, Inc.)

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsak during a round table and public event at Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA, on Friday, September 16, 2011. (Photo by Christopher Rolinson/StartPoint Media, Inc.)

Last week, I visited the city of Pittsburgh to highlight the American Jobs Act and what it means for Pennsylvanians. This was a special trip for me because Pittsburgh is my hometown and I still have deep family ties there.

In Pittsburgh, I led a White House Business Council roundtable hosted by Point Park University. It was one of a series of meetings being held across the country to give senior Obama Administration officials an opportunity to hear directly from business leaders about their ideas on how to grow the economy. The roundtable also provided me an opportunity to discuss USDA programs and other federal resources that help businesses, residents and communities.

During the meeting, local business leaders told me that they are often reluctant to hire due to a lack of demand or because their sales don’t justify adding workers.

That’s one reason we need to pass the American Jobs Act. It will put more money in the pockets of working people, create more work for businesses and more jobs for workers right now. This plan will provide a tax cut for over 230,000 Pennsylvania businesses, immediately put almost 14,400 Pennsylvania teachers and first responders back to work, and provide over Pennsylvania 17,900 construction workers a job improving highways and other critical infrastructure.

In my discussions, I heard loud and clear that Pennsylvanians want an American economy that’s built to last and creates the jobs of the future and I believe the President’s plan lays the foundation we need to get our economy moving again and rebuild our country’s middle class.

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