U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew visits GBC

Greater Baltimore Committee Board Chairman Brian Rogers and Donald C. Fry, president and CEO of the GBC, hosted U.S. Department of the Treasury Secretary Jacob L. Lew and U.S. Senator Ben Cardin on March 9 for a discussion with GBC member CEOs. Earlier that day, Secretary Lew toured Ellicott Dredges, LLC in Baltimore.

Secretary Lew covered a wide range of topics at the GBC, including tax reform, trade and infrastructure. He cited the need for a strengthened American infrastructure and noted one-time revenue generated from the Obama Administration’s proposed tax reforms would be invested in the nation’s aging roads, bridges, ports, airports and other critical infrastructure.

He emphasized that key trade agreements that the administration is working to conclude will play a critical role in helping U.S. businesses overcome barriers they face abroad, supporting quality jobs for American workers.

Participants also discussed that education and training are key to preparing the workforce of the future for competition in the global economy. Participants noted that a focus on post-secondary education, including community college and four-year college, will ensure that the workforce of the future develops the skills they need to perform specialized work.

Fry said Secretary Lew’s perspective resonates with business leaders.

“Business leaders in the Greater Baltimore region are responding to the importance of a global economy and addressing the needs of a highly educated and trained workforce for a 21st century economy,” Fry said. “We understand the need to produce workers who can fill tomorrow’s jobs.”

This is the third time in three years GBC members have been addressed by a member of President Obama’s cabinet.

U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez was the featured speaker at a Greater Baltimore Committee “Newsmaker” breakfast on March 16. Perez, a former secretary of Maryland’s Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, discussed workforce training and development.

In 2012, then-U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner addressed more than 250 invited members of the Greater Baltimore Committee and participated in a wide-ranging conversation on the state of the economy.

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