On November 30th, Baltimore business leaders attended a briefing with senior Obama Administration officials at the White House. The business leaders provided feedback to the Administration on ways to work together to support economic competitiveness, job creation, and the innovation economy. They were also briefed by Administration officials on a variety of issues, including health care reform implementation, manufacturing, access to capital, SBA loans, and skills training.
Aneesh Chopra, Chief Technology Officer, discussed how the Administration’s innovation agenda relates to infrastructure improvements. Chopra, a John Hopkins University alumnus, noted that infrastructure is not only comprised of roadways, railways and airways, but also digital pipes and the smart grid. He encouraged the group to think about how public and private partnerships can solve some of the area’s toughest challenges. Business leaders asked about how they can work together to speed up the fiber and broadband networks in Baltimore.
Jason Miller, Special Assistant to the President for Manufacturing Policy, tackled questions regarding tax rates and how the expansion of the Panama Canal will challenge current national port infrastructure.
A few of the participants came to the meeting with questions about how the Affordable Care Act would help their bottom lines. Elizabeth Fowler, Special Assistant to the President for Health Care Policy, discussed the Act and some of the changes that will go into effect to help businesses curb rising healthcare costs, and many learned about how specific provisions in the Act would directly benefit their business.
Greg Nelson, Deputy Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, and I walked participants through various provisions in the American Jobs Act and took questions on capital formation and lending.
“It gives me a great sense of pride and humility to have been invited to such an event,” said Jay Salkini, CEO of Tecore, a leading global supplier of multi-technology 2G, 3G and 4G mobile network infrastructure. “Our country is going through some difficult economic times, and we appreciate the Administration’s diligent efforts to alleviate them, whether through the American Jobs Act or other measures put in place.”
“Tecore started with a single office, and is now a global competitor that continues to grow in size and hire more American talent,” Salkini said. “We take great pride in our success and are honored to share it at such a prestigious forum, hoping that we can take part – however small – in reasserting America’s global economic position.”
The Administration will continue to work with Baltimore business leaders and business leaders across the country to gain valuable feedback and share information on how Administration policy is designed to spur hiring and economic growth.