For years, May has been the time to not only recognize the benefits of international trade, but also for organizations around the country to support more American companies competing overseas.
For the United States, the benefits of trade have been great, as have our successes. We recently announced that for the fourth straight year, the United States set a record for annual exports in 2013, at $2.3 trillion. That is a 40 percent growth in total exports since 2009.
Since 1977, the month of May recognizes the achievements and contributions of Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders and Native Hawaiians to the American story. The legislation honoring the significance of our Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) heritage was introduced by some of the finest Asian Americans in U.S. history: Congressman Norman Mineta, Senator Spark Matsunaga, and Senator Daniel Inouye.
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.
On April 24, 2014 Jacqueline Woodard, President and CEO of Performance-based Solutions, Inc. (PbSi), joined Alejandra Castillo, National Director of the U.S. Department of Commerce's Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), the Honorable William Euille, Mayor of Alexandria, Va., Joanne Benson, Maryland State Senator and many other distinguished guests, to launch the Washington, D.C. Capitol MBDA Business Center, made possible through a three-year, $900,000 grant that was awarded in September 2013.