ORACW on the Road
June 21, 2012 - Focusing on Revitalization of General Motors Properties
Office of Recovery for Auto Communities and Workers Director Jay Williams was the keynote speaker June 20 at the Revitalizing Auto Communities Environmental Response Trust Open House. The meeting, at the historic Willow Run Plant in Ypsilanti, Mich., brought together public and private sector economic development officials working to redevelop former General Motors properties. Following the speech, Williams joined Mathy Stanislaus, assistant administrator for the Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response, Environmental Protection Agency; Mayor Dayne Walling of Flint, Mich.; and Bruce Rasher, RACER's redevelopment manager, for a panel discussion.
June 7, 2012 - Patron Saint of Workers
Secretary Solis was honored June 6 for her lifetime of advocacy on behalf of immigrant workers as she received the St. Joseph's Award at the Faith & Politics Institute's 15th annual breakfast. The award is named after the patron saint of workers. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka presented her with the award, and Solis acknowledged the labor movement's work to fight for better wages and safer working conditions for New York City's taxi cab workers, many of whom are immigrants. "I'm proud to report that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is doing its part as well by advocating for security cameras, car alarms, GPS and bullet-proof partitions, which have reduced attacks on taxi workers nationwide by 88 percent," she said. Solis talked about her parents' immigrant heritage and society's responsibility to protect the most vulnerable workers. Quoting "Leviticus," she said: "When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong."
May 31, 2012 - Revving Up Auto Communities
The Office of Recovery for Auto Communities and Workers is launching a joint initiative with the Environmental Protection Agency and the Mayors Automotive Coalition to connect local automotive communities with federal, state and local resources to clean up and revitalize closed automotive plants. Jay Williams, director of ORACW, met with local mayors, federal partners and community representatives this week in Buena Vista, Mich., in the first of a four-part series of "Auto Community Revitalization Roundtable" meetings. "Bringing these key stakeholders from the local, regional, state and federal levels to the table can result in a more robust dialogue, and therefore lead to more efficient solutions, both in the short term and the long term," Williams said. Additional roundtable discussions will take place this summer in Anderson, Ind.; Lansing and Flint, Mich.; and Walton Hills, Ohio.
May 24, 2012 - Ohio Brownfield Conference
Jay Williams, director of the Office of Recovery for Auto Communities and Workers, opened the 2012 Ohio Brownfield Conference with the keynote address in Columbus, on May 23. Brownfield sites are abandoned or underused industrial facilities that are often marked by environmental damage that must be cleaned up prior to re-use. "This is not a neighborhood problem, or even a problem for the city. These closed facilities can have lasting effects on a region, reaching far beyond the immediate proximity of the original problem," Williams told conference attendees. Following his remarks, Williams teamed up with Mathy Stanislaus, assistant administrator for the Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response, Environmental Protection Agency, to lead a roundtable discussion focused on current issues, accomplishments and challenges relating to jobs, energy, the environment and conservation efforts. Attendees included local government leaders, environmental groups and business representatives.
April 26, 2012 - On the Road in Waterloo
The White House Rural Council recently sponsored a discussion on the importance of job training and education at Hawkeye Community College in Waterloo, Iowa. Jay Williams, executive director of the department's Office of Recovery for Auto Communities and Workers, Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack participated in the discussion. "Not everyone is going to get a 4-year degree, but you have to have skills beyond high school to compete in our new economy," Williams said. The college is part of a consortium led by Northeast Iowa Community College that recently received a $12.7 million grant from the Labor Department for targeted job training and workforce development in health care.
April 26, 2012 - Seeking Solutions in St. Louis
Office of Recovery for Auto Communities and Workers Executive Director Jay Williams was the keynote speaker at the Open/Closed: Exploring Vacant Property in St. Louis summit in on April 21. The summit focused on solutions for property abandonment, neglect, decline and vacancy. Several hundred people attended the conference, including local residents, university students studying urban planning, architects, developers and local government officials. In his keynote address, Williams shared his experience as the mayor of Youngstown, Ohio, and his work with population decline and property abandonment. In an interview with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Williams said that as cities such as St. Louis look at ways to deal with vacant properties, they have to look at where they are today, weigh it against "what was perceived as the good old years, and then decide where you want it to be."
April 12, 2012 - Williams on Workforce Panel
Nearly 400 manufacturers, educators and local officials the first Oh-Penn Interstate Region Manufacturing Workforce Summit this week at Youngstown State University in Ohio. Jay Williams, director of the department's Office of Recovery for Auto Communities and Workers, served on a panel that addressed strategies for attracting, developing and retaining a skilled workforce. Other panelists included Dennis Dio Parker of the Toyota North American Training Center; Craig Dotson, Department of Labor apprenticeship training program specialist; Rich Frederick, Office of Workforce Transformation executive director, Ohio Office of the Governor; and Jim Herrholtz, associate superintendent, Division of Learning, Ohio Department of Education.
March 29, 2012 - Williams Talks Economic Development in Ohio
Director of the Office of Recovery for Auto Communities and Workers Jay Williams traveled to Toledo and Youngstown, Ohio, this past week to discuss the administration's efforts to expand economic activity in manufacturing communities. Speaking to the annual meeting of the Northwest Ohio Regional Economic Development Association, Williams highlighted current initiatives that are accelerating investment and job creation strategies already underway in Northwest Ohio. He then met with community stakeholders about plans to redevelop sections of Youngstown using the Housing and Urban Development Sustainable Communities model.
March 22, 2012 - Investing in Local Communities
Connecting federal policies and programs to state and local communities is vital to leveraging resources that expand investments and stimulate innovation in local communities. This was the key message that Jay Williams, director of the administration's Office of Recovery for Auto Communities and Workers, stressed in his keynote address to the International Economic Development Council's "Federal Economic Forum" in Alexandria, Va., this week. The event brought together economic development professionals from across the country to focus on local and state efforts to create jobs and grow the economy. Williams highlighted efforts by his office and demonstrated how the recent growth resurgence in manufacturing has far-reaching positive implications for so many of our nation's recovering communities.
March 15, 2012 - Williams Tours Atlanta Auto Plant
Jay Williams, director of the administration's Office of Recovery for Auto Communities and Workers, traveled to Doraville, Ga., for a meeting with key stakeholders engaged in plans to redevelop a closed General Motors facility. The group discussed a comprehensive regional approach to redeveloping the property, including ways in which Williams' office can support efforts by bringing together local, state and federal officials to create a sustainable plan that creates good jobs in the community. The meeting was organized by DeKalb County CEO W. Burrell Ellis Jr. and was attended by more than 40 stakeholders, including Doraville Mayor Donna Pittman and Chamblee Mayor Eric Clarkson.
March 8, 2012 - Promoting Michigan Partnerships
Last week, the Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships hosted a Job Clubs symposium at Redeemer Covenant Church in Caledonia, Mich. Community leaders from towns across western Michigan, including Grand Rapids, Holland and Kalamazoo, gathered to discuss how job clubs and other employment support groups are helping Michiganders get back to work. Jay Williams, director of the administration's Office of Recovery for Auto Communities and Workers, addressed the audience on his office's role and the successful, ongoing recovery of the auto and manufacturing industries in Michigan.
February 23, 2012 - Job Clubs Shine in Valley of the Sun
Jay Williams, director of the Office of Recovery for Auto Communities and Workers, joined the Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships at North Phoenix Baptist Church yesterday for another job club symposium. Williams discussed the important role the manufacturing sector plays in our economy to create new jobs and highlighted President Obama's "insourcing" proposals from his recent State of the Union address for bringing good-paying manufacturing jobs back to the United States. The event also featured two informative panels about the success of Phoenix area job clubs in serving the long-term unemployed.
February 16, 2012 - Green Scene: Williams Tours a Green Manufacturing Innovator
As a leader in implementing clean, "green" manufacturing technique, Olympic Steel is helping America's manufacturing resurgence in a way that inspires other manufacturers to follow. On Tuesday, Jay Williams, director of recovery for auto communities and workers, had an opportunity to see this first-hand during a tour of the company's facilities. "As we grow our way through this recovery, we need a workforce that is not only competitive with the rest of the world, but one that inspires others to do better," he said. "What Olympic Steel is doing is helping to develop that kind of workforce." Olympic Steel has partnered with Blue Green Alliance Foundation to include its workers in the GreenPower program that trains workers in the latest waste reduction and energy management techniques.
February 9, 2012 - Auto Recovery Director in Ohio
President Obama's vision of an "America Built to Last" is based on innovations found at many companies and universities across the U.S. On Thursday, Jay Williams, director of the administration's Office of Recovery for Auto Communities and Workers, visited two such sites in Dayton, Ohio. Williams' first stop was a tour the General Motor Co.'s award-winning Duramax diesel engine manufacturing plant, one of the largest employers in the area. He then visited the University of Dayton's Innovation Center to participate in a roundtable discussion with students, faculty and local businesses. The center gives engineering students firsthand experience in developing innovative solutions for challenges faced by business clients, preparing them with the skills they will need in the real world. Since 1996, the students have solved more than 600 industry problems for 130 different clients.
January 26, 2012 - Solis and DOL Officials Visit 'States of the Union'
Following the State of the Union address on Tuesday, Secretary Solis and Labor Department officials traveled to states across the country to talk about the president's plans to create jobs for an "America Built to Last." In Los Angeles, Solis moderated a town hall meeting Thursday at East Los Angeles College and explored with students and community members how the president's plan to invest in worker training, manufacturing and energy development will impact Los Angeles and California. On Friday Solis will visit a Job Corps center outside of San Diego to see and hear about the experiences of students who received specialized job training in areas ranging from hybrid automotive repair to advanced welding.
In Pittsburgh on Wednesday, Deputy Secretary Seth Harris toured the welding, automotive, HVAC and advanced manufacturing labs at the Community College of Allegheny County, a DOL grantee.
Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employment and Training Jane Oates traveled to South Florida on Thursday to discuss the importance of a skilled American workforce and highlight Labor Department programs helping to prepare workers for new careers. She opened the trip addressing the American Association of Community Colleges Workforce Development Institute in Miami before participating in a town hall meeting with women business leaders at Miami Dade College. Oates capped off the visit Thursday evening by giving the commencement address at the OIC of Broward County, which provides a number of job training programs through grants from DOL.
Jay Williams, director of the Office of Recovery for Auto Communities and Workers, joined several local manufacturing companies in Youngstown, Ohio, on Wednesday for a roundtable discussion sponsored by the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber of Commerce. Key stakeholders were brought together to discuss the importance of auto manufacturing, including its role in the growth of the U.S. economy.
January 26, 2012 - 'Can Do' Attitude in Kansas City
Job clubs and career ministries across the Kansas City, Mo., metropolitan area are leveraging social capital in their congregations and communities to help Americans get back to work. On Thursday, the department's Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships held a Job Clubs Symposium at St. James United Methodist Church that brought together more than 150 faith and community leaders and job club coordinators with representatives of local nonprofits and the workforce investment system. Jay Williams, director of the administration's Office of Recovery for Auto Communities and Workers, shared information about the revitalization of the auto industry in Kansas City. He also highlighted President Obama's proposals on American manufacturing announced in the State of the Union address. Williams held a similar roundtable meeting with another group of community leaders, including St. James' senior pastor, Emanuel Cleaver III.
January 12, 2012 - Rebuilding the Auto Industry and Communities
Jay Williams, director of the Office of Recovery for Auto Communities and Workers, completed a whirlwind trip to Michigan this week, highlighted by a visit to the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Williams got an up-close look at innovation in the American auto industry alongside Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood and joined Energy Secretary Steven Chu for a meeting with key technology leaders from several auto manufacturers. He then met with local officials in Pontiac, Mich., and visited Raleigh Michigan Studios – housed in an office building shuttered by GM – which is creating jobs in a new industry that the region can build on moving forward. In fact the feature film "Oz the Great and Powerful" just wrapped filming. Williams rounded out the trip speaking to the Suppliers Partnership for the Environment and the Automotive Communities Partnership, two organizations helping to strengthen the American auto industry. His message to both: this administration remains committed to seeing the American automotive industry return, and bring with it good manufacturing jobs across the country.