|U.S. Labor Secretary pushes Jobs Bill to SFLA entrepreneurs|
|Friday, 18 November 2011 11:25|
U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis and Florida Congressional representative Alcee Hastings met recently with a group of South Florida Caribbean- and African-American entrepreneurs and elected officials to discuss President Barack Obama's Jobs Bill.
At the meeting, held at the Jerk Machine restaurant in Fort Lauderdale, Secretary Solis said the Jobs Bill, if approved by Congress, has the potential to provide over one million jobs particularly in the state's gaming and construction industries.
Earlier in the week, she told the Sun Sentinel Editorial Board that she would support job creation in the proposed expansion of casinos in the state. Proponents for increasing the number of the state's casinos have predicted it could create over 980,000 new jobs.
The secretary said proposals in the Jobs Bill to repair Florida's infrastructure including roads, bridges and buildings, and repair school and college buildings, would provide some 20,000 construction and other related jobs here.
At the Fort Lauderdale meeting, Broward County Commissioner Dale Holness suggested that the Department of Labor work with the Commerce Department to expand trade exports, especially to Latin America and the Caribbean, given the significance of the trade value within the region.
Holness said he was confident that an increase in trade between South Florida businesses and the Caribbean and Latin America would help to create jobs in South Florida. He also pointed out that since it is the business community that is directly involved in export initiatives, the Department of Labor should foster working relationships with South Florida's chambers of commerce, Sister Cities International Organization and cities and counties that make trade a priority, towards promoting trade "right in our backyard."
Solis responded favorably to Holness' comments, saying they were welcome food for thought and certainly warranted further inquiry - something she would carry back with her to Washington, D.C. for further exploration.
Miami CPA, Pam Watson said for the region's small businesses to increase employment they needed direct access to more capital, not just tax credits, although those were appreciated.
Germaine Smith-Baugh, president and CEO of the Urban League of Broward County indicated that an adjunct to the Jobs Bill should be continued employee/job training. She cited inclusion of Urban League proposals in the Jobs Act that focus on training entrepreneurs on money, markets and management.
The meeting formed consensus that there must be escalation in calls to Florida's U.S. House Representatives and Senators, especially Senator Marco Rubio, to pass the American Jobs Act.
|Last Updated on Friday, 18 November 2011 14:46|