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THURSDAY: U.S. SECRETARY OF COMMERCE PENNY PRITZKER TAKES NATIONWIDE LISTENING TOUR TO HOUSTON [8/29/2013]


BY Alex Wang [ August 29, 2013 at 07:16:58 ]

Pritzker is traveling across the country, engaging with business and thought leaders, academics and Department of Commerce employees

WASHINGTON — On Thursday, August 29, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker will travel to Houston, Tex., as she continues her nationwide listening tour, during which she is traveling across the country to meet with businesses, thought leaders, entrepreneurs, academics and Department of Commerce employees. In these discussions, Secretary Pritzker will hear about their priorities, concerns and ideas on how the public and private sectors can work together to strengthen the economy and create American jobs.

Secretary Pritzker launched her listening tour in July in Colorado, and has also made stops in Albany, New York, Hartford, Conn., Nashville, Tenn., Des Moines, Iowa, Orlando, Fla., and Atlanta, Ga.

“As Secretary of Commerce, my goal is to serve as a bridge to the business community – both domestically and abroad – so that we can work together to strengthen the economy and create jobs and opportunities for all Americans,” said Secretary Pritzker. “I intend to leverage the sum of my experiences as an entrepreneur, a business leader, and a citizen deeply committed to American competitiveness to help strengthen the Department and the government-wide leadership it provides in areas such as manufacturing, attracting business investment, innovation, and exporting.”

Secretary Pritzker will participate in a roundtable discussion with business leaders hosted by the Greater Houston Partnership focused on exports, the energy industry, and workforce development along with several other topics of importance to the greater Houston region.

As part of her meeting with the Partnership, Secretary Pritzker will also tour the Port of Houston. The Port of Houston is the largest Gulf Coast port and the largest U.S. international trade port by tonnage, making it a primary port of export to Mexico, Brazil, China, India and Panama, among other countries. U.S. exports are a key driver of economic growth, and more than 95 percent of U.S. international trade moves through the nation’s ports and harbors. In 2012, the U.S. exported a record $2.2 trillion in goods and services exports, which supported nearly 10 million jobs. Texas saw record export growth in the first half of this year, and the greater Houston area was the number one exporter among U.S. metro areas in 2012.

As part of her ongoing efforts to connect with Commerce employees around the country, Secretary Pritzker will meet with employees at the U.S. Export Assistance Center, which is part of the International Trade Administration, along with employees from the Bureau of Industry and Security’s Houston field office.

“The purpose of this listening tour is to hear directly from business leaders, entrepreneurs, and elected officials about their efforts to drive economic development and create good-paying, long-term jobs,” Secretary Pritzker said. “I believe it’s particularly important to connect with business and thought leaders early and often, both to hear their ideas on how government and the private sector can partner on strategic initiatives to grow business, and to promote the tremendous work the Department of Commerce does on behalf of U.S. companies. Whether it’s supporting manufacturers, empowering exporters to reach new markets, bringing broadband to communities across the nation, or providing intellectual property protection, the Department of Commerce is pushing forward with efforts to protect, promote, inform and anticipate what America needs to be competitive and innovative in the 21st century.”

###

Your coverage is invited:
Thursday, August 29, 2013:

WHO: U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker
WHEN: Thursday, August 29, 2013
8:45 a.m. Media arrival
Additional details forthcoming on tour of Port

WHERE: Bayport Container Terminal (Meet at the Bayport Administration Building)

12619 Port Road
Pasadena, TX 77586


Media planning to attend must RSVP to Marni Goldberg at mgoldberg@doc.gov or 202-482-4883.

Background:

Penny Pritzker was sworn in as the 38th Secretary of Commerce by Vice President Joe Biden on June 26, 2013.

She is a civic and business leader with more than 25 years of experience in the real estate, hospitality, senior living, and financial services industries. Ms. Pritzker served as CEO of PSP Capital Partners, and has previously developed such diverse companies as Vi (formerly Classic Residence by Hyatt), a leader in luxury living for older adults; The Parking Spot, a large U.S. network of off-site airport parking facilities; and Pritzker Realty Group.

President Obama appointed Ms. Pritzker to the President's Council for Jobs and Competitiveness, which formerly advised the administration on economic growth and job creation. Ms. Pritzker previously served on the President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board. She has also served on the boards of Hyatt Hotels Corporation, Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company, Marmon Group and LaSalle Bank Corporation. She is past executive chairman of TransUnion, a global financial services information company.

Much of Ms. Pritzker's civic work focuses on public education. She served as advisory board chairman of Skills for America's Future, The Aspen Institute. Skills for America's Future is a national initiative that brings together businesses, community colleges and others to prepare workers for 21st century jobs. In 2012, she helped launch Skills for Chicagoland's Future, the first city model of Skills for America's Future. Ms. Pritzker is past chair of the Chicago Public Education Fund, the first venture philanthropy to raise private equity to invest in public schools, and a former member of the Chicago Board of Education.

In 2012, Ms. Pritzker received the Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service, an honor given to individuals who have served with distinction in public life and have shown a special commitment to seeking out informed opinions and thoughtful views.

Ms. Pritzker earned her bachelor's degree in economics from Harvard University and J.D. and M.B.A. degrees from Stanford University. She and her husband Dr. Bryan Traubert have two children.


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