Since being elected to Congress in the midst of one of the worst economic crises in our nation's history, Judy Chu has maintained a laser-like focus on creating jobs, stimulating economic development and assisting small businesses to not only survive, but to thrive as we emerge from the Great Recession.
Rep. Chu has done this utilizing a three-pronged approach: first, by supporting and authoring legislation to create jobs and stimulate the economy; second, by using her position on the Small Business Committee to hold hearings on everything from improving access to capital to mentoring for minority businesses in the federal contracting process; and third, by bring the resources of the federal government to her district, to assist her constituents in finding jobs and growing their businesses.
On the legislative front, Rep. Chu got to work immediately to help get Americans back on their feet, authoring an extension of the successful Jobs NOW program, which used federal funds to subsidize up to 80 percent of salaries for a variety of professions including park rangers, teaching assistants, child care workers and receptionists. The Jobs NOW program created or saved up to 11,000 jobs in Los Angeles County alone, and served as a model for the rest of the nation.
The Congresswoman is also a strong supporter of President Obama's American Jobs Act, which would invest $50 billion into rebuilding America's aging infrastructure of roads and bridges and our public schools, helping maintain our nation's competitiveness in the 21st Century global economy while at the same time creating or saving hundreds of thousands of jobs.
Small businesses are the key to America's economic recovery, creating two out of every three new jobs. That is why as a ranking member of the Small Business Committee's Contracting and Workforce Subcommittee, Rep. Chu has participated or called for hearings into everything from helping ease restrictions on small business access to capital, to making it easier for women-owned or minority businesses to earn federal contracts. She has also brought congressional hearings right here to our own district, convening a field hearing in Pasadena last year to examine how the Small Business Administration can better assist our area's diverse and expanding minority and immigrant-owned business community.
The Congresswoman has also taken the lead in bringing a Small Business Development Center (SBDC) back to the San Gabriel Valley. These centers, funded in part by the SBA, provide invaluable assistance to small businesses free of charge, including assistance with developing a business plan, marketing and raising capital. The San Gabriel Valley has been without an SBDC for more than two years, but thanks to Rep. Chu's efforts, we may see up to three satellite SBDC offices throughout the Valley by the end of 2012.
Rep. Chu's efforts to bring an SBDC exemplify her commitment to bringing tangible, real-time results to her constituents, in addition to working on legislation in Washington. She has held numerous workshops and events in her district designed to help residents find jobs and grow their businesses. These include SBA 101 Workshops, which bring together the expertise of the SBA and local banks to help entrepreneurs apply for federally backed loans and raise capital; exporting seminars, featuring presentations from the Department of Commerce and various state and federal agencies to help business owners navigate the customs process and expand their enterprise overseas; and two successful Jobs Boot Camp events, which drew hundreds of job seekers and which gave them the opportunity to shop their resume to prospective employers, while at the same time receiving one-on-one counseling on resume writing and interviewing, job retraining, job searching using technology and much more.