In March, the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) celebrated its 45th anniversary. And as the Agency begins planning for the next 45 years, it will do so missing a key team player.
Venice Pamela Harris was 17-years old when she started working with the U.S. Department of Commerce in 1972. She was still in high school when she applied and was accepted into the Junior Technician Program, a federal program managed by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) that was geared for high school students who didn’t plan on going to college. Little did she know that entering that program would lead to a memorable and rewarding 42-year federal service career.
“In high school, my curriculum was geared towards business. I had a lot of shorthand, typing classes,” she said. “What’s funny is that DEA also had a program where they recruited young high school ladies for entry-level secretarial positions. I also applied for their program, was accepted and offered a GS-3 position. It was a tough decision to make, but I decided to go with the Department of Commerce’s GS-1 position working with the Office of the Secretary (OS), Office of Personnel.”
Harris thanks Mrs. Ruffin, her high school business teacher, for helping her make that decision—the one she said was “the right decision.”
On Wednesday, March 5, 2014, MBDA celebrated its 45th anniversary and 45 years of nation building through the minority business community. Since its creation by Executive Order in 1969, MBDA has worked tirelessly and diligently to promote the growth and global competitiveness of a critical segment of the U.S. economy.
MBDA was honored to see that the efforts and accomplishments of the Agency over the years have not gone unnoticed by Members of Congress. All day on March 5th, Members of Congress took to various forms of media to express their gratitude for and congratulations to MBDA. U.S. Reps. Sheila Jackson-Lee (TX-18) and Judy Chu (CA-27) issued press releases applauding the work of the Agency in their respective communities. Congresswoman Chu also provided a video statement of support the same day. The Congressional Hispanic Caucus and U.S. Reps. Barbara Lee (CA-13) and Tony Cardenas (CA-29) participated in the commemoration through Twitter by tweeting thanks and best wishes. In addition, other Members spoke highly of the Agency on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives by providing statements that are now permanently recorded in the Congressional Record. Floor speakers include: U.S. Reps. Cedric Richmond (LA-02), Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18), and Steve Cohen (TN-9).
HON. CEDRIC L. RICHMOND
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Mr. RICHMOND. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to applaud the Minority Business Development Agency on this its 45th Anniversary. Established in 1969, the MBDA has worked tirelessly and diligently to promote the growth and global competitiveness of a critical segment of the U.S. Economy, the minority business community.