This past week, I had the chance to sit down with about 20 business leaders in central Illinois to hear their views on ways we can improve the nation’s economy, especially from the agriculture industry perspective. The meeting was part of a series of outreach efforts across the country this summer to rural Americans as part of the White House Business Council and the White House Rural Council.
I want to thank Tim McArdle of Brandt Consolidated, Inc., who leads a successful agri-business in Springield, IL that helps farmers adopt new technologies for their operations. We gathered representatives from many local businesses and had a frank and open discussion about the role of the Federal government in creating a business environment that encourages job growth and improves economic conditions in the agricultural sector and rural communities. Read more »
Alan Shortall, CEO of Unilife headquartered in York, PA.
Alan Shortall recently hosted Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan and a White House Business Council roundtable at his company’s headquarters in York, Penn. Alan’s company, Unilife, was the recipient of a USDA Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan. His story is proof that public and business sectors can work together to bring about change in rural America.
I was recently honored to host a roundtable discussion between the White House Business Council and local business leaders from York, PA. This meeting and similar roundtable discussions now taking place across the country are an excellent initiative by the Obama Administration as it provides a direct line of communication between employers from across the U.S and senior members of the Federal Government. Read more »
Cross posted from the White House blog:
Last week, I met with 20 business leaders from all over Colorado at a White House Business Council roundtable in Denver. It was an opportunity for me and my Colorado staff to get feedback on government programs, policies, and innovative ideas that are working to help create jobs – as well as ones that could be improved. Other Cabinet officials and top White House staffers have hosted more than 100 of these sorts roundtables of around the country. And over the coming weeks we will be holding these conversations in rural areas.
In Denver, I heard from business leaders who discussed the value of President Obama’s tax policies for businesses of all sizes, and appreciated the administrations is work to better partner with the business community. We had a productive dialogue about how the pending trade agreements with South Korea, Columbia and Panama will benefit local agricultural producers, with the potential to create hundreds of jobs in Greeley, Colorado and other towns. And we discussed how resorts might form partnerships on recreation to make better use of forests and other natural environments to help create jobs in communities throughout the Rocky Mountains. Read more »
Last week Agriculture Under Secretary for Rural Development Dallas Tonsager met with Twenty-two Utah business leaders for a White House Business Council roundtable. The meeting was hosted by Zions Bank Corporation and USDA Rural Development. Salt Lake City was one of the 100 communities across the nation to hold a White House Business Council event. The Salt Lake meeting gave businesses the opportunity to share their ideas for job creation with the White House and USDA.
Tonsager, a key Obama Administration official for rural economic development efforts, sought advice from the business community on ways to improve the economic climate. The exchange also educated business and community leaders in attendance about resources available through USDA Rural Development. Read more »
On Friday afternoon, I sat down with business leaders from York County, Pennsylvania to get their input on how the Federal government can work with them to improve economic conditions and create jobs. Among the participants were members of the York Area Chamber of Commerce, as well as representatives from marketing, computer technology, and renewable energy manufacturing industries.
The session, the most recent in an ongoing series of White House Business Council meetings, was hosted by Alan Shortall, CEO of Unilife Corporation, a manufacturer and supplier of advanced safety medical syringes. Have you heard people talk about companies moving off-shore to China? Well, Alan told the reverse tale, as he kicked off our meeting. His company moved their manufacturing operation from China to the United States because of our high-end engineering expertise, which Alan argued, is an unmatched core competency of the United States. Since it set up shop in Pennsylvania in 2006, Unilife has employed 200 people and this number is expected to double by 2015. Not only are these good jobs and critical to the economy of York, but Alan said he will be spending at least $40 million on US purchases of equipment in the next year. Now, that’s stimulus! Read more »
Officials from USDA met with business leaders in Rapid City, South Dakota to seek their input on ways federal, state and local officials can help improve economic conditions and create jobs. The session was the second White House Business Council meeting held; the first was held in Missouri. The meeting was hosted by Kristi Wagner, Program Developer with South Dakota Rural Enterprise, Inc. and facilitated by Jonathan Adelstein, Administrator of USDA Rural Development’s Rural Utilities Service, and a member of the White House Business Council on Winning the Future.
Adelstein said, “We heard really a lot of good advice from business leaders that are skilled in creating jobs in South Dakota. They’re sometimes frustrated with the government, they’re sometimes very happy about ways the government has helped them to succeed. And we’re trying to learn from the good things, we’re trying to streamline and get the bureaucracy out of the way and make sure regulation doesn’t inhibit job growth.” Adelstein says White House officials will leave Washington and reach out to the business leaders in every state by the middle of June. Read more »