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Daily News Guest Column: Job creation still our biggest priority
The mom in Castle Rock who has seen her savings disappear and now relies on food stamps to feed her family isn’t alone. Now more than 44 million Americans receive food stamps – the largest number in our history.
Behind this troubling number is a lack of good-paying American jobs. Getting Cowlitz County residents back to work would go a long way toward helping folks feed their families, pay their mortgages and fill their cars with gas.
During my first six months in Congress, I’ve worked to recalibrate the federal government’s approach to job creation. Since small businesses create 3 out of every 4 new jobs, efforts by the federal government should be focused on creating more certainty for American small businesses and manufacturers. The need for workers is there, but because of a challenging business environment these job providers haven’t been hiring as many workers as they need. A 2010 Gallup survey shows that 4 out of 10 small businesses hired fewer employees than they actually needed. Congress can remove some of the hurdles making these businesses reluctant to hire.
Spending time with Cowlitz County job creators has helped me identify the hurdles. In May, I convened a roundtable discussion with several small employers from the Longview area. Here are some key issues they shared:
During a June tour of Swanson Bark in Longview, owner John Leber told me his business ships some of the forest byproducts used to fuel biomass boilers. He is concerned these rules will simply choke out the emerging biomass industry and the jobs that would come with it. Recently, I cosponsored a bill in Congress that would have the EPA rewrite those rules in a way that’s more workable for businesses. I will continue pursuing ways to make rules affecting Southwest Washington manufacturers and biomass-related businesses more reasonable.
During my first six months, Congress has had some success in making job creation its priority, but we need to do more. We should continue to foster entrepreneurship with no-cost solutions that will restart our economy. Until those folks seeking work can find good-paying jobs right here in Southwest Washington, we have plenty more to do.
This commentary was submitted by Jaime Herrera Beutler, U.S. Representative for Washington’s Third District.
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