WASHINGTON -- The following information was released by Arkansas Senator Blanche Lincoln:
U.S. Senator Blanche L. Lincoln (D-Ark.) gathered leaders in education, workforce development and career training last week to discuss ways to accelerate job creation in rural America. Among the leaders joining Senator Lincoln at this discussion were Dr. Glenn Fenter of Mid-South Community College of West Memphis and Mr. Ben Newell of Helena representing Together for Hope of Arkansas.
"As Chair of Rural Outreach for the Senate Democratic Caucus, I am always fighting to ensure that rural America is receiving the attention it deserves," Lincoln said. "The groups I spoke with today are working hard to create solid jobs in rural areas, and ensuring the residents of rural America have access to the education, training and technology that will lead them to down a path of success. I appreciated the opportunity to hear from Dr. Fenter and Mr. Newell and am inspired by the important work that they are doing to put Arkansans back to work.
In 2009, Lincoln introduced the POWER Act, which provides a tax credit to small businesses for providing technical training to their employees.
"Incentives like this help small businesses keep their doors open and encourage employers to begin hiring again. Congress must continue working to enact fiscally responsible policies for the middle class so that Main Street can recover what it has lost in this economic downturn," Lincoln said.
With more than 100,000 Arkansans out of work, Lincoln's top priority has been job creation. This meeting was an opportunity to discuss how to create and maintain a strong workforce in rural America, focusing on job creation, career and technical education, and broadband deployment.
"I was most energized and encouraged by the openness and genuine concern demonstrated by Senator Lincoln and the Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee to the real plight of rural citizens feeling the tremendous pinch from the current economic recession," said Ben Newell. "There was openness as panelists offered policy suggestions that they thought would bring about true economic transformation. Finally, I was thankful for the opportunity to express my opinion that micro-lending initiatives could truly begin to empower the historical entrepreneurial backbone of the U.S. in rural areas as they would again help sustain, grow, and recruit existing and new entrepreneurs with affordable access to micro-amounts of credit."
""I was honored by the invitation to join Senator Lincoln at this meeting to discuss workforce development in rural America," said Dr. Fenter. "Senator Lincoln has always been a strong voice for Arkansas and I am encouraged to have her leadership in Washington. It was particularly helpful to hear from other leaders in workforce development and have the opportunity to share ideas. I appreciate Senator Lincoln organizing this meeting and her dedication to job creation for rural America." y 3 p o �30 �0 lives of Arkansans."
Arkansans agree with Lincoln.
"Arkansas School for the Deaf has installed a state-of-the-art serving line and salad bar, thanks to ARRA USDA Equipment Assistance Grant Funds," said Elizabeth Butler, Arkansas School for the Deaf School Nutrition Director. "Retiring the previous, decades-old serving line allows students to be offered a wider variety of nutritious hot and cold foods maintained at the proper temperature. The new salad bar offers our students a generous array of fresh fruits and vegetables at lunch and dinner daily. Future use of the salad bar will include a fresh fruit bar during breakfast. The clear winners in this are our students, who really appreciate their 'new cafeteria.'"
"I cannot over emphasize the importance of the $23.5 million that UAMS has received so far in federal stimulus funds as a vital link in improving the health of Arkansans, both now and in future generations," said UAMS Chancellor Dan Rahn. "For example, $10.5 million of that total is going to the UAMS Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute to finish out two research floors with laboratories that will give our scientists the tools they need to develop new innovative therapies and discover the underlying causes of cancer. That grant alone will create about 123 construction jobs in the short term and 87 sustainable research-related positions in the long term. As we continue to see unemployment rates rise, jobs such as these are vitally important to the men and women of Arkansas who will fill these positions and be able to provide security for their families."
"In these tough times, the Boys and Girls Club of Saline County is needed, NOW MORE THAN EVER, to support entire families here in our community," said Benton Mayor Rick Holland. "Thanks to Senator Lincoln and her dedication to the Boys and Girls Club, the Club can continue to positively impact our community."
"Thanks to Senator Lincoln's support on the American Recovery and Investment Act, parents can still rely on the Boys and Girls Club to ensure their children are in a safe, positive and affordable environment," said State Senator Shane Broadway. "For over 40 years, the Boys and Girls Club of Saline County has effectively guided our area youth to reach their fullest potential in life."
"Growing up in today's world isn't easy for any child, but for many kids in our community, it is tougher than you may think," said Boys and Girls Club of Saline County Board President Brad Glover. "At the Boys and Girls Club of Saline County, we dream of a community where every child is given the opportunity to succeed in life and experience a brighter future. Due to Senator Lincoln's leadership and support on the ARRA Act of 2009 we can continue to provide the high quality services and programs to the children we serve."