December 11, 2018

Make It In America Tour Visits Upper Midwest

Make It In America

House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md., 5th) made his third Make It In America listening tour, traveling to the Upper Midwest in early April. The first stops were in Madison and then in Eau Claire, Wisc. The first two listening tours, held in November and February of last year, were in Las Vegas, Kansas City, Peoria, Pittsburgh, Toledo, and Indianapolis. Hosting Whip Hoyer at events in their districts were Rep. Mark Pocan in Madison and Rep. Ron Kind (Wisc.-3) in Eau Claire.

“For the third round of the Make It In America listening tour, I’m pleased to be traveling to the Upper Midwest,” said Whip Hoyer in a press release. “Sitting down with Americans across the country and hearing directly from them about what they want to see from their government is a critical part of our effort to show Americans that we are listening to their frustrations and we understand the economic insecurity they feel.” Whip Hoyer said the point of the tour is to avoid just imposing solutions from Washington, and rather listening to citizens to develop an economic plan that will respond to both their concerns and hopes. “As House Democrats work to ensure all Americans have a better deal, the listening sessions we have this week will provide us with information to develop an agenda that will promote economic security so that everyone can make it in America.”

Rep. Pocan hosted a roundtable in Madison that focused on entrepreneurship, as well as a tour of two innovative businesses that create jobs in the community. In Eau Claire, Rep. Kind held a discussion with leaders in the community at the Eau Claire Chamber of Commerce, a tour of the manufacturer Culimeta-Saveguard, and a discussion on education with students at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

At the Madison roundtable, owners of small businesses talked about investment in the Heartland, which would allow more diverse areas to have access to capital; the funding gap faced by small businesses after starting up and developing a technology but before they become viable; and the constant need for skilled workers and continuing education to keep up with changes in technology. In Eau Claire, leaders in the community talked about the need for skilled workers and the importance of strong infrastructure to the surrounding community. Students at the education roundtable talked about student debt, the need for options other than four-year universities, and the challenges of unpaid internships for low-income students.

The Make It In America initiative works to identify economic challenges and seize new economic opportunities. Democrats in the House have been pursuing the Make It In America plan with the purpose of creating jobs and growing the economy since 2010, with 19 bills successfully signed into law. In the last congressional session, a series of hearings on Capitol Hill identified the areas of education, entrepreneurship, and infrastructure as the most important areas on which to focus in promoting economic security. The listening tour continues to cross the US during the coming months to hear from citizens about their economic pressures and learn about initiatives that have worked and persistent economic challenges in need of solutions. As information is gathered, it be used to shape the Make It In America plan for this Congress.

As the year progresses, more tours will be announced across the country.

Make It In America started in 2010 in the depths of the Great Recession. First created to strengthen a declining domestic manufacturing sector, the plan has grown and changed as the economy recovered. Hearings in Washington during the last Congress covered new economic challenges and opportunities, so the plan was updated to focus on expanding entrepreneurship and innovation, building a 21st-century infrastructure, closing the skills gap, and moving barriers to manufacturing in the US.

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For more information about House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer, visit his Leader Page.

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