Perlmutter, Secretary Pritzker Host Innovation Roundtable with Local Business Leaders

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Wheat Ridge, Colo., June 30, 2016 | comments
Wheat Ridge, Colo. – Today, U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter (CO-07) hosted an Innovation Roundtable with U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker to hear about the challenges and opportunities facing local Colorado businesses and how to develop public policy at the federal level to help business grow and foster America’s innovation and competitiveness.

More than 30 local business leaders, government officials and academics were in attendance including Colorado School of Mines, CO Technology Association, PharmaJet, Oz Snowboards, LinkedIn, Lyft, Cleantech Industries Association, Terumo BCT, Front Range Community College, Red Rocks Community College among others. The discussion focused on two specific topics: 1) the sharing and digital economy and 2) workforce development.

“Colorado enjoys a highly educated and talented workforce, and we are attracting young people like crazy to the state which is contributing to our successes,” said Perlmutter. “The goal of today’s roundtable is to solicit ideas that I can take back to D.C. to help develop the next chapter of our innovation agenda. We must continue to ensure we are supporting innovation in this country by putting together concrete policy proposals to support businesses in Colorado and grow our workforce to better compete in today’s global market.”

The discussion served as a follow up to the Innovation Agenda 1.0 and helped craft the 2.0 agenda currently being developed by House Democrats in Congress, including Rep. Perlmutter. The House Democrats Innovation Agenda 1.0 included several proposals focused on energy independence, growing STEM programs to educate a new generation of innovators, investment in research and development, improving access to capital for small businesses to accelerate entrepreneurship, and expanding high-speed Internet access to rural and underserved communities.

Secretary Pritzker’s remarks highlighted the challenges facing U.S. businesses, led by the inability to hire a skilled workforce, and emphasized the Department’s commitment to making a business-led, job-driven, and locally determined solution to closing the skills gap a top priority. She asked those in attendance to share the obstacles they face, and the creative methods they are employing to be successful so the Department of Commerce can take all of this critical information and synthesize it into policy that benefits American workers and the American economy.

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