Become a fan on Facebook Follow us on Twitter USDA Blog Feed Watch USDA videos on YouTube Subscribe to receive e-mail updates View USDA Photos on Flickr Subscribe to RSS Feeds

Posts tagged: Jobs forum

Colorado USDA Officials Hold Jobs Forum

Over 25 members of the Colorado Agricultural Council joined Rural Development State Director, Jim Isgar and Farm Services State Executive Director Trudy Kareus for a Presidential Forum on job creation and economic growth at the State Office in Lakewood, CO. “Several job forums have been occurring across the state, put on both by the Governor and members of our Congressional delegation, but we in Colorado felt one needed to be held focusing primarily on the agricultural sector,” said Isgar.

Colorado Agricultural Commissioner John Stulp chaired the roundtable discussion.  In addition to the Commissioner, panelists included Taryn Edwards, Executive Director of the Governor’s Job Cabinet, Don Marostica, Director of the Office of Economic Development and International Trade, and Steve Johnson, representing Colorado Housing and Finance Authority.

Discussion was held on a vast array of topics, but primarily focused on four topics: regulatory environment – whether they are hampering progress; infrastructure – broadband opportunities, transmission lines and environmental concerns, renewable energy, and clean and waste water; community infrastructure – the importance of having access to health care in rural areas – a strength for a community is having a critical access hospital, providing post K12 education opportunities in rural communities; and credit opportunities for both AG and rural businesses.

Attendees were very thankful for the opportunity to have their issues and concerns forwarded to Secretary Vilsack.  USDA hoped that this event would not be the end of discussion but rather a launching point for further involvement and strategic planning between all parties.

Colorado Agriculture Commissioner, John Stulp, and Rural Development State Director, Jim Isgar, speak at the jobs forum.

Colorado Agriculture Commissioner, John Stulp, and Rural Development State Director, Jim Isgar, speak at the jobs forum.

Submitted by Amy Mund, Colorado USDA Rural Development Public Information Officer

To learn more, go to the Rural Development and FSA Job Roundtables Schedule, and the News Release, “USDA to Host Roundtables on Jobs, Economic Growth

Oregon Jobs and Economic Growth Forums Scheduled

Two community forums on jobs and economic growth are being held in Oregon as a follow up to President Obama’s December 3 White House briefings on job creation. Read more »

About 175 Brave Sub Zero Weather to Attend Jobs Forum in St. Louis

Many dug out of snow drifts and bundled up due to temperatures well below zero on Saturday to attend the Tri-State Jobs & Economic Development Forum in St. Louis hosted by USDA Rural Development (RD) and Farm Service Agency (FSA) of Illinois, Iowa and Missouri.  The forum was held in conjunction with the Missouri Governor’s Conference on Agriculture.

I welcomed the 175 attendees to St. Louis, set the stage for the forum and introduced the welcome video by USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan.  A cross section of rural areas was in attendance including youth from FFA and 4-H.

Bill Menner from Iowa RD introduced the five panelists who made short presentations on jobs related issues: Dr. Jon Hagler, Director of Missouri Department of Agriculture; Elisabeth Buck, Director of Iowa Workforce Development; Randy Harris, Program Director Laborers’ International Local 338; Brian Bauer with Business Banking Market Manager for National City Bank; and Sharon Gulick, Director University of Missouri Extension’s Community Economic and Entrepreneurial Development (EXCEED) Program.

Some of the “key” things I heard to impact jobs and the economic conditions centered around: enhanced opportunities to promote the “spirit of entrepreneurship” through incentives, technical assistance and capital; more use of collaboration on a regional basis to attract businesses;  streamlining of government regulations and red tape for start up businesses plus improvements in tax code; more lenders willing to utilize government guarantees or other programs to help new or expanding businesses; more funding for jobs training  to help with “skilling up” the workforce; more funding for summer youth programs; expansion of high speed rural broadband access; more funding for ethanol and bio-diesel programs; continued high levels of funding for RD infrastructure programs to sustain rural communities and provide for a high quality of life in rural areas to help maintain and attract businesses and jobs for skilled workers.

The entire forum was captured on audio and video plus numerous staff took notes and pictures.  A report will be submitted to USDA Secretary Vilsack and President Obama.

We collected many recommendations and suggestions from a variety of partners and stakeholders during the forum. Many completed comment cards and we encouraged those in attendance and others that had contacted us to provide comments on the USDA Blog website www.usda.gov/blog/usda or e-mailing to jobsforum@ia.usda.gov

We truly thank everyone that participated and do feel confident that the ideas being collected and submitted will provide a positive result in stimulating jobs and economic growth in the future.

Janie Dunning, Missouri State Director

Opening Remarks at Regional Jobs Forum in St. Louis by Janie Dunning, Missouri Rural Development (RD) State Director. Seated (L to r) Colleen Callahan, Illinois RD State Director; Randy Harris with Laborers International; Elisabeth Buck, Director Iowa Workforce Development; Bill Menner, Iowa RD State Director; Sharon Gulick, Director of University of Missouri EXCEED Program; and Brian Bauer with National City Bank

Opening Remarks at Regional Jobs Forum in St. Louis by Janie Dunning, Missouri Rural Development (RD) State Director. Seated (L to r) Colleen Callahan, Illinois RD State Director; Randy Harris with Laborers International; Elisabeth Buck, Director Iowa Workforce Development; Bill Menner, Iowa RD State Director; Sharon Gulick, Director of University of Missouri EXCEED Program; and Brian Bauer with National City Bank

To learn more, go to the Rural Development and FSA Job Roundtables Schedule, and the News Release, “USDA to Host Roundtables on Jobs, Economic Growth

USDA Hosts Roundtable on Jobs, Economic Growth for Georgia and South Carolina

One hundred and fifteen people from Georgia and South Carolina attended a U.S. Department of Agriculture-sponsored Presidential Roundtable Forum on job creation at Augusta State University earlier this week.

About 25 community leaders brainstormed solutions to high unemployment numbers and the impact on rural areas, while extra chairs were added as people continued to arrive.

“This forum provides an opportunity to share ideas on creating jobs and economic opportunities,” said Shirley Sherrod, state director of USDA Rural Development in Georgia.  “Government can help lay the groundwork for economic growth, but the best ideas for continued growth and job creation often come from local communities. We need the best ideas to share with the Obama Administration.”

The roundtable included business owners, residents, state and local officials, union members, non-profit organizations, community leaders, economists, educators and others interested in job creation and economic stability. Fred Smith, District Director of the Georgia Department of Labor, provided the state’s perspective, including the most current statistics on unemployment and the most promising areas of job growth – healthcare and education.

Representatives from Senators Isakson and Chambliss, and Congressmen Barrow and Broun were present. Congressman Broun sent a statement to be read by his representative, Nicole Avecedo.

“The primary purpose is to put South Carolinians back to work,” said Vernita F. Dore, state director of USDA Rural Development in South Carolina. “We all know that unemployment in our state is one of the highest in the nation, and this forum brings the opportunity to change that. It gives us the chance to remind rural America about the many programs that Rural Development has to address this economy’s problem.”

“Moreover,” Dore continued, “it gives Rural Development the opportunity to remind rural communities that Rural Development stands poised with direct and guaranteed loan and grant programs to finance and help to create jobs and stimulate the economy. We believe that this forum will truly generate ideas for job creation and economic expansion in our state.”

“Our rural areas have been hit very hard in some counties,” Sherrod said. “Most communities need more economic diversity to sustain tough times like this, and that usually means small businesses need more support. Rural Development does have programs to help rural areas address this issue.”

Photo on Georgia/South Carolina Job forum

Willie Paulk, president of the Dublin-Laurens County (GA) Chamber of Commerce and Development Authority, listens as Jerome Tucker, Executive Director of the Southeast Agricultural Coalition, talks about the importance of regional leadership and a regional approach to solutions.

Georgia/South Carolina Job forum

Mayme Dennis, City Council Member in Sandersville, GA, stresses the importance of streamlining government paperwork as Grace Fricks, President of Appalachian Community Enterprises, Inc. listens. Fricks agreed, suggesting that the 25% matching fund for Rural Development's Intermediary Relending Program be decreased or eliminated during the economic downturn. Frick's ACE makes micro-loans to small rural businesses in North Georgia.

Georgia/South Carolina Job forum

Dr. Mark Miller, Dean of the James Hull College of Business at Augusta State University, talks about the importance of keeping education fully funded to prepare students for tomorrow. "There will be jobs in industries that have not yet been thought of using technologies that haven't been invented yet." He's seated next to Reginald Barner, President and CEO of The Barner Group in South Carolina.

Submitted by EJ Stapler and Marlous Black, USDA Rural Development

To learn more, go to the Rural Development and FSA Job Roundtables Schedule, and the News Release, “USDA to Host Roundtables on Jobs, Economic Growth

About 200 Nebraska Job Forum Attendees Bear the Cold to Have Their Voice Heard

Despite frigid temperatures and snow-packed and icy roads, nearly 200 Nebraskans brought their ideas and solutions to the Nebraska Forum on Rural Jobs and Small Business Credit on Friday, January 8. Read more »

Rural Development and Farm Service Agency Hold Massachusetts Jobs Forum

Rural Development’s Southern New England jurisdiction received a strong response when we sent out the call to our partners, fellow community development strategists and business leaders to join us for a local jobs forum. Community and business leaders in our area told us they were eager for the opportunity to take part in a local conversation – like the national forum held by President Obama in early December, 2009 – exploring possible avenues for job creation in the region. Read more »