U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker returned to
Chicago yesterday, making her first visit to her hometown in her official
capacity as head of the Department.
Speaking at an event hosted by Google and World Business Chicago, a public-private partnership that seeks to foster private sector growth and jobs through the advancement of a business-friendly environment, Secretary Pritzker delivered remarks and participated in a “fireside chat” with Chicago Tribune reporter Melissa Harris.
She focused on the Obama administration’s efforts to grow the economy and
create jobs, as well as some of her top priorities going forward: the need to
invest in infrastructure, help workers develop skills for 21st century jobs,
reform the immigration system and support R&D and innovation.
As Secretary Pritzker noted, infrastructure is critical to the economy. Unfortunately, the United States has deferred trillions of dollars in infrastructure investment over the years. Under President Obama’s leadership, however, the United States has improved 350,000 miles of roads, 6,000 miles of rail, and 20,000 bridges. The Commerce Department has deployed more than 100,000 miles of broadband since 2009.