Administration Officials Continue Travel Across the Country for "Recovery Summer" Events, Project Site Visits
President Obama to Tour Recovery Act Electric Vehicle Manufacturing Plant; Secretary LaHood to Visit Projects in Ohio, Alaska
WASHINGTON, DC – This week, President Obama and other Administration officials are continuing to hold “Recovery Summer” events and visit Recovery Act project sites as part of a focus on the surge in Recovery Act projects underway across the country this summer. The Recovery Act has already funded tens of thousands of projects and put about 2.5 million Americans to work, but this summer is the most active Recovery Act season yet, with thousands of new projects breaking ground that are helping to create more jobs for American workers and economic growth for businesses large and small.
Thursday, July 8
President Obama will travel to Kansas City, Missouri to visit Smith Electric Vehicles, where he will tour the facilities and deliver remarks on the economy to workers. Smith Electric Vehicles is an all-electric, zero emissions commercial truck manufacturer that received a $32 million Recovery Act grant to build all-electric trucks. The award, which is part of the $2.4 billion in Recovery Act advanced battery and electric vehicle grants the President announced last August, is helping Smith Electric establish operations at a re-purposed jet engine overhaul facility at the Kansas City International Airport, the first of as many as 20 regional assembly plants Smith Electric plans to open in the U.S.
Department of Housing and Urban Development
Deputy Secretary Ron Sims will visit the Homes of Oakridges housing development in Des Moines, IA with Congressman Leonard Boswell and Des Moines Mayor T. M. Franklin Cownie where $4.3 million in Recovery Act Tax Credit Assistance Program (TCAP) funds are building 300 units of quality, affordable housing, creating jobs, and stimulating local economic activity.
General Services Administration
General Services Administration Commissioner Bob Peck will break ground on a state-of-the-art, green building that meets the security needs of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Seattle, Washington and is expected to receive a minimum of LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
Friday, July 9
Department of Transportation
Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood will visit the future site of the Kent Multimodal Transit Facility in Kent, OH where a $20 million Recovery Act TIGER grant will construct the new facility, expanding community access to transit and encouraging economic development. The Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant awards were first announced on February 17th.
Sunday, July 11
Department of Transportation
Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood will visit workers on a Recovery Act project as part of his first visit to the state of Alaska.
Highlights of Recent Events:
Monday, June 28
Vice President Biden
Vice President Biden was in Louisville, KY visiting the headquarters of GE Consumer & Industrial with Governor Steve Beshear and Congressman John Yarmuth to discuss how Recovery Act investments are creating jobs and laying a new foundation for long-term economic growth in Kentucky, Indiana and across the country.
“Vice President Joe Biden took off his suit coat and rolled up his sleeves at Louisville's GE Appliance Park Monday as he vehemently defended federal spending to boost energy efficient industries and reboot American manufacturing, including $25 million awarded to GE. ‘Some say we cannot afford to make investments,’ Biden said in his 25-minute talk, referring to the federal Economic Recovery Act. ‘I say we cannot afford not to.’ Biden lauded GE for a $600 million investment that will create 800 jobs at Appliance Park by 2013. In return for the federal aid, and $43 million in state and local tax incentives, GE has agreed to focus on energy-efficient initiatives, resulting in the first new product lines at Appliance Park in 50 years. They include the GeoSpring hybrid water heater and a new washer and dryer. GE has already added 100 employees to meet increased demand for top-loader washers spurred by the federal "Cash for Appliances" program that rewards the purchase of Energy Star-rated appliances. GE now runs two dishwasher lines at Appliance Park on one shift. A third line, retooled recently with lean manufacturing techniques pioneered by Toyota, runs on two shifts. All of GE's dishwasher production takes place at the park, which is being transformed by the lean manufacturing approach. ‘There is not a product in here today that we will be making in 2012,’ dishwasher program manager Ben Stoll said before the event. [Courier-Journal, 6/28/10]
Friday, July 2
President Obama announced Recovery Act funding for sixty-six new broadband projects nationwide that, according to the grantees, will not only directly create approximately 5,000 jobs up front, but will also help spur economic development in some of the nation’s hardest-hit communities, helping create jobs for years to come. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack joined the President to make the announcement.
“President Obama on Friday announced nearly $800 million in loans and grants for building broadband networks to reach homes, schools and hospitals. The grants and loans, which will be matched by $200 million in private investment, are part of Mr. Obama’s $800 billion federal stimulus package, which includes $7.2 billion for broadband expansion projects. Mr. Obama said 66 new infrastructure projects would directly create 5,000 jobs and encourage economic development in some of the nation’s hardest-hit communities. ‘Once we emerge from the immediate crisis, the long-term economic gains to communities that have been left behind in the digital age will be immeasurable,’ Mr. Obama said at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland. The Agriculture and Commerce Departments are administering the grants and loans for projects in 50 states and Washington.” [Reuters, 7/2/10]
Saturday, July 3
President Obama announced in his weekly radio address Recovery Act conditional loan guarantee commitments to two solar companies to fund three major new solar projects in Arizona, Colorado and Indiana that will create thousands of new jobs.
“President Barack Obama announced Saturday that the federal government will provide a $1.45 billion loan guarantee through the stimulus act for the Solana Generating Station solar-power plant in Gila Bend. The plant will be one of the largest solar projects in the country and the first to store heat on a large scale so that it can continue to make electricity after sunset. Its developers have struggled for two years to find a decent loan amid the recession… Work could begin by the end of summer, said Kate Maracas, vice president of operations for Abengoa Solar, and that wouldn't be happening without the loan guarantee that gives the company access to funds from the Federal Finance Bank. ‘It would have been a completely viable project without the crash of the markets,’ Maracas said. ‘But lenders became very skittish.’ She said Abengoa has been working more than a year with the Department of Energy on the loan. ‘There's no doubt in this economy the only way to actually finance a large solar project is through the loan guarantee program,’ said Rhone Resch, president of the Solar Energy Industries Association in Washington, D.C. ‘Obviously the recession has caused a tremendous amount of pain for individuals, but also for businesses trying to borrow money.’ Resch said the loan guarantees provide a ‘good return’ to the taxpayer because the companies that get them must pay interest to the government. ‘The good news is these are very low-risk loans,’ he said. ‘Ultimately it is a good investment with a safe return to taxpayers, but also producing jobs and clean energy.’” [Arizona Republic, 7/3/10]
“Colorado-based Abound Solar will invest $500 million in an unfinished Tipton, Ind., plant that had once been set for making cars. The unfinished plant will become a solar-panel manufacturing facility with the help of a $400 million loan guarantee, the state and federal government announced today. Abound Solar could employ up to 850 people by 2013 at the 800,000-square-foot plant at Ind. 28 and U.S. 31 in Tipton County. The solar company got its start at Colorado State University. The $400 million federal loan guarantee is expected to create 1,500 permanent jobs in Colorado and Indiana. The loan guarantee is part of nearly $2 billion in stimulus funds approved by the U.S. Department of Energy to Longmont, Colo.-based Abound and Abengoa Solar Inc., President Barack Obama said today in a weekly radio address.” [Indianapolis Star, 7/3/10]
“Abound Solar, a Longmont-based company with roots in Larimer County, will receive a $400 million federal loan guarantee that will allow the company to expand its manufacturing of thin-film solar panels and create thousands of jobs in Northern Colorado and Indiana, President Barack Obama will announce today in his weekly broadcast address. Abound, which was created as AVA Solar at Colorado State University, ‘will manufacture advanced solar panels at two new plants, creating more than 2,000 construction jobs and 1,500 permanent jobs,’ Obama said in his address, which the White House provided in advance to the Coloradoan. ‘A Colorado plant is already under way, and an Indiana plant will be built in what's now an empty Chrysler factory. When fully operational, these plants will produce millions of state-of-the-art solar panels each year,’ Obama said in the address.” [Loveland Connection, 7/3/10]
Department of Transportation
The Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez visited groundbreaking of SR 9B new road construction in Jacksonville, Florida, last Saturday, July 3, where a $71 million Recovery Act grant is upgrading infrastructure, creating jobs, and stimulating local economic activity:
“Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) Secretary Stephanie C. Kopelousos was joined by Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez and FDOT District Two Secretary Alan Mosley in turning the first shovels of dirt on the State Road 9B highway project. The total cost of the project is $76.8 million. ‘Construction of State Road 9B will help drive Florida's economic recovery by creating or maintaining more than 200 jobs and relieving congestion,’ said Gov. Charlie Crist. […] Funded almost entirely by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the project will relieve traffic congestion on State Road 9A, U.S. 1 and Old St. Augustine Road. ‘It's a great day for North Florida as we gather here to celebrate the beginning of construction on State Road 9B, which will provide a much-needed transportation improvement for the people who live and work in the region,’ said Kopelousos. ‘State Road 9B will give drivers more efficient driving options and improve access to the Port of Jacksonville and the beaches.’” [St. Augustine Record, 7/3/10]