Nov. 16, 2011
Shawnee State University served as host to a White House Roundtable discussion on the American Jobs Act on Tuesday, Nov. 15, inviting local business and civic leaders to meet with Earl Gohl, Federal Co-Chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission.
The roundtable discussion, one of several being held in the Appalachian Region, was organized by the White House Business Council as a way for the Obama administration to gather feedback on the Act and ideas on creating jobs and strengthening the economy.
"These types of meetings are really about listening to business owners, hearing about the challenges they face, and getting their ideas on things that would make it easier for them to grow and add jobs," Gohl said. "I have personally conducted 13 of these and I learn something new in every one of them."
Gohl said that many challenges voiced by local business owners during the recent event mirror those of leaders in other communities, including the impact of regulations on business, access to financing, uncertainty with the economy and workforce development. Local leaders also spent time expressing the impact of the uranium enrichment facility in Piketon on the regional economy.
Gohl explained that officials with the White House Business Council hold roundtable events across the country to gather feedback. To date, it has held more than 300 events in the 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C.
He said that these closed listening sessions are an opportunity for federal officials to discuss with Appalachian business leaders their ideas on how to rebuild the economy and create jobs; explain the administration's economic policies and programs, including the American Jobs Act; highlight the best practices of successful Appalachian businesses; and serve as an advocate for Appalachian businesses in accessing existing federal resources and programs.
"Many elements of the American Jobs Act are based on the experiences and ideas that business and civic leaders have put forward in these meetings," he said.
For more information on the roundtable events in Appalachia, please call (202) 884-7771.