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Blog Category: White House

EDA Grantee Honored as Champion of Change at the White House

Champion of Change Award Winners

This week, Roland Arriola, founder and president of recent EDA grantee Texas Valley Communities Foundation, was honored at the White House as a ‘Champion of Change’ for the foundation’s work to advance the innovation economy and empower and inspire other members of the Lower Rio Grande Valley community.

The Champions of Change Series: Winning the Future Across America is a White House initiative to spotlight Americans who are making an impact in their communities and helping the nation rise to meet the many challenges of the 21st century. Arriola and other winners were joined by White House Domestic Policy Council Director Melody Barnes, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and White House Senior Policy Advisor for Rural Affairs Doug McKalip and participated in a roundtable discussion on Rural America.

The Texas Valley Communities Foundation received a $1 million EDA grant last week along with the city of Mercedes and the Texas Polytechnic Institute of Mercedes, Texas, to help develop a feasibility study for a ‘Technopolis Village’, a community focused on innovation and identifying ways to enhance and produce positive economic growth that spans the regional economy.
 
Learn more about the Champions of Change Series and the award winners. Learn more about the Texas Valley Communities Foundation project that received an EDA grant.

General Counsel Kerry to co-chair new White House Subcommittee on Privacy

General Counsel Cameron F. Kerry will co-chair the White House Council’s new Subcommittee on Privacy and Internet Policy with Assistant Attorney General Christopher Schroeder.

As part of the Obama Administration’s commitment to promoting the vast economic opportunity of the Internet and protecting individual privacy, the National Science and Technology Council has launched a new Subcommittee on Privacy and Internet Policy. Populated by representatives from more than a dozen Departments, agencies and Federal offices, and co-chaired by the two of us, the subcommittee will develop principles and strategic directions with the goal of fostering consensus in legislative, regulatory, and international Internet policy realms.

Read More here.

Commerce Department Hosts Event to Commemorate 20th Anniversary of Americans With Disabilities Act

In observance of the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the U.S. Department of Commerce hosted an event today at the Herbert C. Hoover Building in partnership with the White House and the Federal Communications Commission.  At the event, the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration announced a $15 million American Recovery and Reinvestment grant to Communication Service for the Deaf, Inc. for a project that will expand broadband adoption among people who are deaf and hard of hearing.

The event also included a technology showcase highlighting technologies developed to empower the daily lives of Americans with disabilities, the launch of the FCC’s new Accessibility and Innovation Forum, a video presentation chronicling personal histories of those with disabilities who have been impacted by technology and a performance by Gallaudet University students. Both the showcase and program were free and open to the public.  Read more  |  Related NTIA release

 

Secretary Locke Hosts Clean Energy Economy Forum at the White House

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke hosted a Clean Energy Economy Forum at the White House today with Senior Advisor to the Treasury Secretary Ron Bloom and other top administration officials, community leaders, clean energy investors and innovators. Administration officials participated in a constructive dialogue with attendees on opportunities to advance the development and commercialization of new clean energy technologies and strategies to support the creation and growth of emerging clean energy industries and enterprises.  The group also discussed efforts to promote exports through President Obama’s National Export Initiative that will help America transition to a clean energy economy and enhance our competitiveness. 

Today’s event builds on a series of university innovation forums focused on technology commercialization that Locke participated in this week, highlighting the Commerce Department and the administration’s focus on research, innovation and a culture of entrepreneurship.  Remarks

Report on Gross Domestic Product Statistics for Four U.S. Territories Released

Click for larger image. Pictured: Nikolao Pula, Director of the Office of Insular Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior; Kiran Ahuja, Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders; Pictured: Rebecca M Blank, Under Secretary for Economic Affairs, U.S. Department of Commerce;  Rep. Gregorio Kilili Camacho, Northern Mariana Islands; Rep. Madeleine Bordallo, Guam; Rep. Eni Faleomavaega, America Samoa; Rep. Donna Christensen, Virgin Islands; Steve Landefeld, Director of the Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Department of Commerce.

The U.S. Department of Commerce released newly-developed Gross Domestic Product (GDP) statistics for American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The statistics are a product of a joint effort of the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis and the Interior Department’s Office of Insular Affairs. Policy makers will now have an objective view of the size of these economies, their growth or contraction, and their major components in order to conduct economic-impact analysis on the effects of local and national policy decisions. (More)

Secretary Locke Joins HHS Secretary Sebelius for Web Chat on New Benefits in Affordable Care Act

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke joined Health and Human Services Secretary Kathlee

Image: HHS Web chat

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke joined Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius for a live Web chat today on a new reinsurance program that will help U.S. firms cover the health care costs of their early retirees. The program makes available $5 billion of financial assistance to businesses, state and local governments and unions to help them cover health care costs for those 55 and older not yet eligible for Medicare. The Web chat is available on-demand here. For more information, visit http://www.healthreform.gov/. (healthreform.gov en español) (White House health care Web site) (Fact sheet) (DOC May 4 release) (Secretary Sebelius May 4 release)

Secretary Locke Statement on New Affordable Care Act Reinsurance Program's Benefits for Employers

Comerce seal

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued regulations establishing the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program in the Affordable Care Act. The new law provides $5 billion in financial assistance to employers to help them maintain coverage for early retirees age 55 and older who are not yet eligible for Medicare. Employers can use the savings to either reduce their own health care costs, provide premium relief to their workers and families, or a combination of both. (More) (White House blog) (Fact sheet)

Secretary Locke to Host White House Asian American and Pacific Islander Web Chat

Secretary Locke, AAPI Executive Director Kiran Ahuja and White House aide with laptop computer. Click for larger image. (Courtesy of the White House)

Image: White House video

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke hosted a live Web chat today to discuss important issues affecting the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. Locke is co-chair of The White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and was joined by Executive Director Kiran Ahuja for the Web chat. President Barack Obama proclaimed May 2010, as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. The video will be available on www.whitehouse.gov/video. (Presidential proclamation)

Secretary Locke Attends President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board (PERAB) Meeting, Livestream from White House Toda

White House meeting

Image: White House video

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke will join Vice President Joe Biden, Export-Import Bank Chairman Fred Hochberg, White House officials and PERAB members at the exports-focused meeting hosted by President Barack Obama. The meeting will address a range of economic issues, including job creation, financial reform and the President’s proposal to double the number of exports over the next five years. (On-demand video)

Cities Across America Celebrate Census Day April 1 and Remind Residents to Mail Back Census Forms

Obama signing his form

White House photo

Communities nationwide are urging their residents to take 10 minutes today, April 1—Census Day—to fill out and mail back their 2010 Census forms if they haven’t already done so. As the official reference date for the once-a-decade civic ceremony, Census Day will serve as the point-in-time benchmark for the nation’s population count for the next 10 years. President Barack Obama recently signed and mailed in his Census form and today signed a presidential proclamation of Census Day. (More) (Census Day events—PDF) (Presidential proclamation)

Secretary Locke, Mayor Rybak Raise Awareness of New Recovery Act Tax Benefits in Minneapolis

Locke with hosts and roundtable participants seated at dining room table. Click for larger image.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke participated in a roundtable discussion in Minneapolis to raise awareness of the new tax credits available to American families as a result of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Locke was joined in the discussion by Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and several Minnesotans who have taken advantage of many of the new tax credits. (More) (Remarks) (Fact sheet) (White House Tax Savings Tool)

Secretary Locke Participates in White House Web Chat to Discuss National Export Initiative

Video clip of Web chat.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke took questions from the public on exports, the economy and the President’s National Export Initiative online at Whitehouse.gov/live today. Questions came from the discussion itself, but members of the public were also encouraged to submit their questions ahead of time via Twitter by sending a message to @SecLocke or emailing open[at]doc[dot]gov. Locke also announced an unprecedented schedule of upcoming international trade missions. (Web chat) (Trade missions release) (List of trade missions—PDF) (NEI Executive order)

President Obama Signs the Travel Promotion Act of 2009 into Law

Secretary Locke at far left watches as President Obama signs Act. Click for larger image.

White House photo

President Obama signed the Travel Promotion Act of 2009 (TPA) into law, putting into place a new public-private partnership between the U.S. government and the nation’s travel and tourism industry. The U.S. Department of Commerce stands ready to work with the private sector to promote international travel to the United States. “When international visitors come to the United States they spend money on a wide range of goods and services that support U.S. jobs,” said Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke. “Creating a global tourism promotion program to encourage international visitors to vacation in America will help spur economic growth and create more jobs,” Locke said. (More)

Secretary Locke Hosts Forum on Speeding University Research from Lab to Marketplace

Secretary Locke at podium.

File photo

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke hosted a forum today with university leaders, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists on “Catalyzing University Research for a Stronger Economy” to address the critical importance of technology commercialization for America’s economic competitiveness and job creation. Joining Locke at the event were the presidents of several premiere universities, including Stanford, Nebraska, Akron and Kentucky. Locke and participating White House officials listened for suggestions that can improve and accelerate commercialization of federal R&D in university labs. (Remarks)

President Obama Records Message Urging Participation in 2010 Census

2010 Census logo. Click to go to Web site.

Continuing a White House tradition of strong support for the census dating back to 1790, President Barack Obama recorded a public service announcement (PSA) encouraging national participation in the 2010 Census. The 30-second PSA released today by the U.S. Census Bureau asks every household to take 10 minutes to answer the 10 questions on the 2010 Census form and to mail it back. (More) (President’s PSA) (2010 Census Web site)

Secretary Locke Reports on Commerce Department's 2009 Successes, 2010 Plans

Image capture of Locke and video player. Click to go to Cabinet reports page for video links.

In a new video collage on the White House Web site, Secretary Gary Locke reports back to the American people on everything the U.S. Department of Commerce has accomplished in the first year of the Obama administration and its goals for the year ahead. “Like the President,” Secretary Locke notes, in 2010, “we will be working every day to ensure that every American who wants a job can get one.” The collage also features video of all of the other Cabinet Heads discussing the success and futures of their own departments and agencies. (Video Cabinet agency reports)

Department of Commerce Issues report for Vice President's Middle Class Task Force

Biden, Sibellius, Locke and Chu seated at table.

The Commerce Department’s Economics and Statistics Administration issued a new report for Vice President Biden’s Middle Class Task Force: Middle Class in America. The report, which identifies what it means to be middle class in America today, uses a host of measures to show that it is more difficult today to both attain and maintain a middle-class lifestyle than it was two decades ago. “This report highlights the gravity of the economic realities facing American families aspiring to a middle-class lifestyle," Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said. (More) (Report—PDF) (White House press release) (Middle Class Task Force Web site)

Commerce Department Mobilizes to Assist Relief Efforts in Haiti

Help for Haiti icon. Click to go to Web site.

The U.S. Department of Commerce is mobilizing to assist in the earthquake relief efforts in Haiti. “In response to President Obama’s pledge of support, the Department of Commerce has mobilized resources to assist the Haitian people,” said Commerce Secretary Gary Locke. Commerce’s NOAA is sending a multi-tiered disaster response team to conduct emergency surveys and damage assessment of key Haitian ports. BIS is expediting the licensing process to speed up the export of humanitarian items. For more information on the effort and what you can do to help, visit the White House’s site on earthquake relief. (More) (Haiti Earthquake Relief Web site)

Secretary Locke Urges New Emphasis on Innovation, R&D, to Increase Competitiveness and Create Jobs

Secretary Locke at podium. Click for larger image.

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke met with the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) to discuss approaches to fixing an "innovation deficit" hindering America's ability to develop new businesses and create new jobs. PCAST is an advisory group of the nation’s leading scientists and engineers who provide advice to President Obama, offering insights and policy recommendations concerning a full range of issues in science, technology, and innovation. PCAST is administered by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). (Remarks)

Secretary Locke and Vice President Biden Host Middle Class Task Force Meeting Focused on Manufacturing

Official White House logo

Secretary Gary Locke joined Vice President Joe Biden to host a Middle Class Task Force meeting on the future of manufacturing. At the meeting, Biden announced the administration’s support for up to $10 billion in additional funding for a successful Recovery Act program to accelerate job growth in clean energy manufacturing—tripling the funding of the Recovery Act’s Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit. Other meeting participants included Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, Director of the National Economic Council Lawrence Summers, and business, labor and academic leaders in the manufacturing sector. (Remarks) (Middle Class Task Force Web site)

Secretary Locke Joins Vice President Biden in White House Roundtable on Enforcing Laws Against IP Piracy

Pictured are Presidential Senior Adviser Valerie Jarret, Secretary Gary Locke, Attorney General Eric Holder and Vice President Joe Biden. Click for larger image.

Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke hosted a roundtable discussion on enforcing laws against intellectual property piracy. They were joined by Attorney General Eric Holder, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, FBI Director Robert Mueller, USSS Director Mark Sullivan, as well as CEOs from major media conglomerates, union representatives, legal experts and other government officials. The White House meeting is the first of its kind and brought together stakeholders to discuss ways to combat intellectual property piracy in this rapidly-changing technological age.

Secretary Locke and Ambassador Kirk Welcome New Strategic Framework with Turkey

Secretary Locke, Ambassador and Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan respond to press questions from the stage. Click for larger image.

Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke and United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk inaugurated a new process of engagement with the government of Turkey on economic and trade issues. The new policy structure, to be known formally as the “Framework for Strategic Economic and Commercial Cooperation” (Framework), was unveiled on the occasion of the visit of Turkish Prime MinisterRecep Tayyip Erdogan to the White House. (More)

Secretary Locke to Attend White House Forum on Jobs and Economic Growth

Official White House logo. Click to go to www.whitehouse.gov.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke will participate in a forum on Jobs and Economic Growth Thursday, Dec. 3, at the White House. The forum is an opportunity for President Obama and the economic team to hear from CEOs, small business owners, labor leaders and nonprofit heads about ideas for continuing to grow the economy and put Americans back to work. Locke will moderate a panel discussion on competitiveness and job creation with Christina Romer, Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, and make remarks at the closing session before introducing President Obama. Afternoon sessions and several discussion groups on jobs will be streamed live on the White House Web site.

Secretary Locke Joins President Obama and Administration Officials at White House Tribal Nations Conference

Secretaries Salazar, Vilsack and Locke seen at conference.

Photo-capture from White House Web stream

U.S. Commerce Secretary Locke joined President Obama and high-level administration officials at the White House Tribal Nations Conference to highlight the department’s ongoing efforts to support economic development in Native American communities through the Minority Business Development Agency and other department bureaus. The conference provided leaders from 564 federally-recognized tribes the opportunity to have interactive discussions with administration officials regarding: economic development, public safety, housing, education, health and labor. (Remarks)

Commerce Supports President Obama's Smart Grid Announcement through Accelerated Standards Effort

Image of solar panels. Click for larger image.

© Tobias Machhaus/Shutterstock

The U.S. Department of Commerce is engaged in expedited efforts to support President Barack Obama’s announcement today of federal grants to 49 states for investments in a nationwide Smart Grid. A draft set of accelerated Smart Grid standards—recently unveiled by Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and currently open for public comment—will help ensure that smart meters, sensors and other devices funded through the grants program work together seamlessly for a robust and reliable nationwide electricity system that saves energy and allows greater use of clean-energy technologies. (White House release)

Secretary Locke Chairs First Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee Meeting

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke chaired the Obama administration’s first meeting of the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee (TPCC) and focused on initiatives to help boost U.S. exports, spur economic growth and create jobs. Secretary Locke was joined by U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, Larry Summers, Director of the National Economic Council, and other top administration officials from 20 federal agencies on the White House campus. (More) (Remarks)

Secretaries Locke and Chu Focus on American Competitiveness at White House Clean Energy Forum

Locke and Chu seated at table responding to auidence questions. Click for larger image.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke hosted a Clean Energy Economy Forum with business leaders from around the country. Energy Secretary Steven Chu and other administration officials were also featured speakers at the Forum, which included a focus on ensuring American competitiveness and leadership in the emerging clean energy economy. In addition to addressing issues of competiveness, administration officials reiterated the need for a comprehensive energy plan that puts America back in control of its energy future and breaks a dependence on oil that threatens our economy, our environment and our national security. (Remarks) (More)

President Obama, Secretary Locke Honor 2008 National Medal of Technology and Innovation Laureates at the White House

Obama applauds recipients. White House photo by Chuck Kennedy. Click for larger image.

White House photo

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke joined President Barack Obama in honoring the 2008 National Medal of Technology and Innovation recipients in a ceremony at the White House. Announcing the recipients Sept. 17, Secretary Locke said, “Innovation is the key to our economic recovery, and the medical and telecommunication advances of the 2008 medalists are truly awe-inspiring.” The award recognizes individuals or companies for their outstanding contributions to the promotion of technology for the improvement of the economic, environmental, or social well-being of the United States. The award was created by Congress in 1980 and has been presented by the President of the United States since 1985. (More) (President’s remarks)

Commerce Department Invests $6 Million in Recovery Act Funding to Spur Innovation, Create Jobs in Bethlehem, Pa.

Secretary responds to questions from the media. Click for larger image.

Photo © Kenny Ek

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and White House Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra will visit Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania at Lehigh University today to discuss job creation, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and the administration’s strategy to spur American innovation. Locke and Chopra also announced a significant new Recovery Act grant for Ben Franklin Technology Partners to expand Ben Franklin TechVentures, its incubator/post-incubator facility. (More) (Remarks)

Secretary Locke Joins President Obama in Announcing National Medal of Technology and Innovation Laureates

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke today joined President Barack Obama in announcing and congratulating the 2008 winners of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation. The medal is the nation’s highest honor for technological and scientific achievement. The National Medal of Technology and Innovation was created by Congress in 1980 and has been presented by the President of the United States since 1985. President Obama will present the medals at a White House ceremony on October 7. (More) (White House Press Release)

Secretary Locke Joins President Obama for Health Insurance Reform Rally in Maryland

Screen capture image of White House video showing Obama with students and faculty behind him.

Image courtesy White House Web site video

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke joined President Barack Obama at the University of Maryland for a rally on health insurance reform. Locke described how health insurance reform will impact American businesses, the economy, and ultimately the job market students will enter after graduation. President Obama discussed what’s at stake for the American people in this debate, why we need health insurance reform and why we need to act now. The president’s plan has two goals: to bring stability and security to Americans who have insurance today, and affordable coverage to those who don’t. (More event coverage) (Presidential remarks)

NOAA Administrator Comments on Release of Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force Interim Report

Portrait of Lubchenco

Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA administrator, commented on the release of the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force interim report to the President. “Today is a historic day. For the first time, we as a nation say loudly and clearly that healthy oceans matter. . . . The interim report of the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force lays out a national ocean policy that upholds our stewardship responsibilities, ensures accountability for our actions, and serves as a balanced model of efficient and sustainable ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes management and conservation.” (More) (White House Press Release)

Secretary Locke Statement on President Obama's Intent to Nominate Hirschhorn as Under Secretary for Industry and Security

Bueau of Industry and Security logo.

President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate attorney Eric Hirschhorn to be the Under Secretary of the U.S. Commerce Department's Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS). Hirschhorn is currently a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Winston & Strawn LLP. "Eric Hirschhorn has a wealth of experience working with export controls and I look forward to having him onboard as we implement President Obama's vision to reform the export control system and increase competitiveness of U.S. companies by facilitating the sale of our goods while protecting national security," Locke said. (More) (White House press release)

Secretary Locke Statement on President Obama's Intent to Nominate Gallagher as Director of NIST

Portrait of Patrick Gallagher.

President Barack Obama today announced his intent to nominate physicist Patrick Gallagher to be the 14th director of the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Gallagher, 46, is currently the NIST deputy director. “NIST is a unique agency with a strong culture of world-class scientific achievement,” U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said. “Pat Gallagher has come up through the ranks and his continued leadership will be critical to an agency that is central to the nation’s ability to innovate and compete in global markets.” (More) (White House Press Release) (Bio)

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Secretary Locke Discusses Goals for a Clean Energy Economy with Governors Granholm and Doyle

Locke and participants at clean energy forum. Click for larger image.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, Executive Director of the White House Council on Auto Communities and Workers Ed Montgomery, and Assistant Secretary of Energy for Policy and International Affairs David Sandalow joined Governors Jennifer Granholm (D-Mich.) and Jim Doyle (D-Wisc.) in hosting a Clean Energy Economy Forum with local and regional stakeholders in Saginaw, Mich. The group discussed the administration’s vision for a comprehensive energy plan to jump-start the American clean energy sector and create millions of new jobs developing technologies that will cut pollution while producing alternative sources of energy. (More)

Secretary Lock Gives Keynote at MED Week, Follows White House Event for National MED Week Awardees

MED Week logo. Click to go to MED Week Web site.

Secretary Gary Locke laid out the Obama Administration’s strategy to expand opportunities for minority businesses. In his keynote, Locke outlined how the President’s Recovery Act is giving businesses access to billions of dollars in loan guarantees, and how it seeks to reorient America’s energy policy towards providing new manufacturing jobs in clean energy. Locke called for reform of the healthcare system so that small- and medium-sized businesses can better afford health benefits for their workers. On Wednesday, Secretary Locke and Vice President Joe Biden congratulated the 2009 National Excellence in Minority Business Award Winners at a reception at the White House. (Remarks)

Secretary Locke Testifies Before Senate Committee to Discuss National Climate Change Policy

Secretary Locke with Director Holdren in background. Click for larger image.

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation to discuss the Department’s contributions to national climate policy. Joined by Dr. John Holdren, Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), Locke testified at a full committee hearing on “Climate Services: Solutions from Commerce to Communities.” The Department of Commerce is a leader in climate change research and monitoring, providing critical data and services to all levels of government and the private sector and helping companies and communities understand and adapt to climate change.

Secretary Locke Visits Philadelphia for Conversation on Future of Urban and Metropolitan America

Image of Mayor Nutter, Secretary Locke and reporter with microphone in store. Click for larger image.

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke visited Philadelphia today to kick off the Obama Administration’s National Conversation on Urban and Metropolitan America. This was the first stop in a nationwide tour that will help develop the President’s new urban agenda. Locke was joined by Adolfo Carrion, Director of the White House Office of Urban Affairs, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, and Housing and Urban Development Deputy Secretary Ron Sims for a town hall discussion with local experts about the development of Pennsylvania’s Fresh Food Initiative and efforts to encourage supermarket development in urban areas.

Locke Statement on President Obama's Intent to Nominate Hightower as Commerce Deputy Secretary

Department of Commerce seal.

President Barack Obama today announced his intent to nominate Dennis Hightower, an experienced management professional with more than 30 years of experience, as the new Deputy Secretary at the Department of Commerce. “Dennis is a proven leader with management skills honed through years of real world experience,” U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said. “I have tasked him to make this department a leader among cabinet agencies in efficiency and reform.” Secretary Locke recommended Hightower to the President after an intensive search process. (More) (White House press release)

Secretaries Locke and Chu to Travel to China, Focus on Clean Energy Jobs, Business and Technology

Secretaries Locke and Chu at White House press conference.

File Photo

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and Energy Secretary Steven Chu will travel to China on Tuesday, July 14. During their four-day visit, the two secretaries will highlight the tremendous potential for mutually beneficial relationships in the clean energy sector. “Today, we are more interdependent with China than at any point in the last 30 years,” Locke said. “The relationship between our two countries is of critical importance, and while great progress has been made in our cooperation on economic, trade and global terrorism fronts, there's much more to do.”

Secretary Locke, Vice President Biden Launch Initiative to Bring Broadband, Jobs to More Americans

Biden, Vilsack and Locke on stage with flags in background. Click for larger image.

White House Photo

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke joined Vice President Joe Biden to announce the availability of $4 billion in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act loans and grants to help bring broadband service to unserved and underserved communities across America. This is the first round of Recovery Act funding aimed at expanding broadband access to help bridge the technological divide and create jobs building out Internet infrastructure. Locke and Biden were joined today by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski and Congresswoman Kathy Dahlkemper. (More) (Remarks) (Vice President’s Statement)

Vice President Biden, Secretary Locke Announce Expansion of Manufacturing Initiative in Ohio

Ohio Gov. Strickland, Vice President Biden, Secretary Locke seated at table. Click for larger image.

White House Photo

Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announced the expansion of the National Innovation Marketplace program, an initiative that will help revitalize supply chains and equip manufacturers to use emerging technology and find new market opportunities. Locke joined Biden, Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, and Auto Recovery Director Ed Montgomery at the vice president’s fifth meeting of the White House Task Force on Middle Class Families, reinforcing the administration’s commitment to innovation in American manufacturing. (More) (White House Press Release) (Middle Class Task Force Web Site)

One Day Until DTV Transition

On the eve of an historic technological transition to digital television, the focus for the two federal agencies managing the switch is on helping Americans who are at risk of losing their TV signals. The digital TV (DTV) transition began over two decades ago as engineers set an ambitious technological goal: moving broadcast television into the digital age. Efficient digital technology would provide consumers with a better picture and sound and more channels, while at the same time clearing valuable airwaves to meet the explosive demand for advanced wireless services, including first-responder radio. (More) (6-10 C-SPAN White House video and Transcript)

President Obama Proclaims World Trade Week

Official White House logo.

In a proclamation from the White House, President Barack Obama declared “World Trade Week is an opportunity to reaffirm the benefits of trade and to emphasize America's commitment to a global marketplace that creates good jobs and lifts up American families. The United States and our trading partners stand to gain when trade is open, transparent, rules-based, and fair, showing respect for labor and environmental standards. The United States is well-positioned to reap the benefits of trade. America is a leader in the global marketplace and ranks at the top of almost every measure of global competitiveness.” World Trade Week is May 17-23. (Presidential Proclamation) (Secretary Locke Remarks)

Locke, Chu Announce Significant Steps in Smart Grid Development

Chu, Locke ande Arnold at White House press conference. Click for larger image.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced significant progress that will help expedite development of a nationwide “smart” electric power grid. A Smart Grid would replace the current, outdated system and employ real-time, two-way communication technologies to allow users to connect directly with power suppliers. The development of the grid will create jobs and spur the development of innovative products that can be exported. Once implemented, the Smart Grid is expected to save consumers money and reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil by improving efficiency and spurring the use of renewable energy sources. (More)

Secretary Locke Sworn in at White House Ceremony by Vice President Biden

Image of Scretary Locke.

File Photo

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke and U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius were sworn in by Vice President Joe Biden in ceremonies at the White House. President Barack Obama also attended the ceremonial swearing-in event in the East Room. “My Cabinet is now full of energetic innovators like Kathleen and Gary. . . I am thrilled to have them by my side as we continue the work of turning our economy around and laying a new foundation for growth that delivers on the change the American people asked for, and the promise of a new and better day ahead,” President Obama said. Locke, a key member of the President’s economic team, is the department’s 36th Secretary, leading its 12 agencies and bureaus and more than 52,000 employees. (President’s Remarks)

Vice President Biden and Secretary Locke Outline Funding for Smart Grid Initiatives

Vice President Biden and Commerce Secretary Locke at podium. Click for larger image.

Vice President Joe Biden, on a visit to Jefferson City, Mo. with U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, detailed plans by the Department of Energy to develop a smart, strong and secure electrical grid, which will create new jobs and help deliver reliable power more effectively with less impact on the environment to customers across the nation. As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the Vice President and Secretary outlined plans to distribute more than $3.3 billion in Smart Grid technology development grants and an additional $615 million for Smart Grid storage, monitoring and technology viability. (White House Release) (Secretary’s Remarks)

Locke Statement on President Obama's Intent to Nominate Groves as Census Director

Bureau of the Census seal.

President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate Robert Groves as the new Director of the U.S. Census Bureau. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke released the following statement: “The decennial Census faces significant challenges, but I am confident that Robert’s leadership will help us meet those challenges. He is a respected social scientist who will run the Census Bureau with integrity and independence.” As Census Director, Groves will report to Secretary Locke. (Statement) (White House Release)