Senate Democrats Host Discussion With Job Creators From Across The Nation

Job Creator1

Discussion focused on fostering economic growth for businesses and maintaining a cutting edge workforce

Washington, D.C. How to create jobs to strengthen America’s economy using proven models from thirteen states was the subject of a meeting between Democratic senators and local job-creators today. The meeting was hosted by the Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee (DSOC), chaired by U.S. Senator Mark Begich (D-Alaska), U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Vice-Chair of DSOC, and U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-DE), Chair of Business Outreach at the U.S. Capitol.

Small businesses are vitally important job creators and engines of economic growth. Congress can make it easier for small businesses to succeed and strengthen the recovery with real tax relief that lowers the cost of doing business. Representatives from the tech, IT, manufacturing, food industry and more from thirteen states which are successfully creating jobs in their communities met with nearly twenty Democratic senators today at the invitation of the Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee to share their success stories. These medium to large-sized businesses have continued to create jobs and strengthen economies in their communities, despite significant headwinds. The forum also included programs that seek to support and strengthen the ability of businesses and sectors within particular areas to grow, develop a talented workforce, and expertise they need to succeed.

“As the backbone of our economy, small businesses know first-hand how to build success from the ground up and today’s  meeting was a great reminder of just how much they contribute to our communities,” said Senator Begich. “I am always especially pleased when we are joined by Alaskans and they get the chance to share in the unique success stories of our state. Today’s conversation was an important reminder of just how far our economic recovery has come, but we are not done yet. We must keep working together to find common-sense solutions to keep our economy growing.”

In addition, Dave Godlewski, VP of Teck American Inc, emphasized the need for more opportunities for lawmakers to hear from job creators

“Often we in the business community fail to understand that the nature of our businesses and our contribution to job growth in the US is not self-evident to all. Opportunities like this, where our leaders can hear directly from us about what we are doing well and what the hurdles are that we face are invaluable.”

“Axenics is doing great work in New Hampshire and setting a standard for small business innovation and development for the entire country. I am so proud their representatives were able to join us in Washington from Nashua to share the secrets of their successes,” said Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH). “Axenics is a great example of the need to support our small businesses. By taking advantage of the State Trade Export Promotion funding and state workforce training programs, Axenics has put itself in a strong position for future success. They are a great small business success story and a model for small businesses across the country.”

“With so many Delawareans out of work, Congress’s focus should be on helping businesses grow and create jobs,” Senator Coons said. “Today’s conversation was wide-ranging and thoughtful, and we are grateful to Ernie and other business leaders from around the country for sharing their on-the-ground expertise with us. Eight years of business experience in Delaware made it clear to me that Congress must take action to foster an environment that will fuel private sector economic growth and job creation.”

Today’s meeting included:

  • Sam Blackman, Chief Executive Officer, Elemental Technologies, Portland, OR
  • Ernie Dianastasis, Managing Director, Computer Aid, Inc., Wilmington, DE
  • Jeff Gardner, Chief Executive Officer, Carousel Industries, Exeter, RI
  • Dave Godlewski, Vice President, Teck American Incorporated, Spokane, WA representing Anchorage, AK
  • Martin Kao, Chief Executive Officer, Navatek, Honolulu, HI
  • John Leong, Chief Executive Officer, Kupu, Honolulu, HI
  • Janice Lucero, Chief Executive Officer, MVD Express, Albuquerque,  NM
  • Larry Lundblad, President, Central Lakes College, Brainerd, MN
  • Haywood Schmidt, President, Axenics, Nashua, NH
  • William C. Small, West Regional Manager, Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center, Plymouth, MI
  • Dustin Smith, Executive Director, SolarTAC, Aurora, CO
  • Julie Smolyansky, President and Chief Executive Officer, Lifeway Foods, Morton Grove, IL
  • Drew Ungvarsky, Owner and Creative Director, Grow Interactive, Norfolk, VA
  • Beth Williams, Chief Executive Officer, Roxbury Technology, Hyde Park, MA

Pictures From Today’s Meeting Can Be Found HERE

About the Senate Democratic Steering & Outreach Committee

The Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee is dedicated to fostering dialogue between Senate Democrats and community leaders from across the nation. Each year, the Steering Committee hosts several meetings with advocates, policy experts, and elected officials to discuss key priorities and enlist their help in the development of the Democratic agenda in the Senate. We are committed to serving as a liaison between Senate Democratic offices and advocacy groups and intergovernmental organizations. The Steering Committee is one of three Democratic Leadership Committees in the Senate. The Steering Committee is chaired by Senator Mark Begich (AK) and vice chaired by Senator Jeanne Shaheen (NH).