Congresswoman Lee Hosts Economic Development Forum Featuring Secretary Penny Pritzker

Oakland, CA – Today, Congresswoman Lee hosted a Regional Economy Development Forum featuring U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Penny Pritzker.  The forum focused on generating greater regional economic development including job creation, business growth and available resources for expanding economic opportunities for the East Bay business community.  The forum has a special emphasis on local small, women and minority-owned businesses.

“Small businesses are fundamental to the East Bay’s economic growth, especially women and minority-owned businesses. These businesses create jobs, contribute to our community and create opportunities into the middle class,” said Congresswoman Lee. “In order to ensure continued economic growth, we need to investment in sharing the available resources with these businesses and businesses owners to help them succeed.”

"The Department of Commerce has tremendous resources in place in this region and around the country that allow us to partner with your businesses and entrepreneurs so they can compete and succeed,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Penny Pritzker. “Here in the Bay Area, we are working with companies large and small to sell their goods and services to the 95 percent of global consumers who live outside the U.S., helping to create the conditions for innovators and entrepreneurs to thrive, and supporting minority-and women-owned businesses through our Minority Business Development Agency. The Department of Commerce is committed to helping your companies grow and thrive so they can create jobs -- that is our mission and a core objective for President Obama." 

In addition to Secretary Pritzker and Congresswoman Lee, the forum featured: Regional Small Business Administration Administrator, Donna Davis; Minority Business Development Agency Director Alejandra Castillo; OPIC’s Director of Corporate Development, Alison Germak; Port of Oakland’s Director of Aviation, Deborah Ale Flint; Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson and Oakland Mayor Jean Quan.

Earlier today, Congresswoman Lee hosted a roundtable discussion with Secretary Pritzker and East Bay business leaders to discuss regional economic development, supplier diversity and the importance of gender and ethnic diversity in corporate leadership.   She also held a brief meet and greet with Secretary Pritzker  and the members of the East Bay Africa Trade Delegation.