This morning, I was pleased to officially swear in former U.S. Congresswoman Betty Sutton as the new Administrator of the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (SLSDC). Ms. Sutton brings a wealth of experience from her years of service at the city, county, state, and federal levels of government, and is well versed in the issues of maritime commerce.
As a native of the Great Lakes region, I know that she fully appreciates the importance of the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System not only to international commerce and to our national transportation system, but to the economic vitality of the Great Lakes area.
The Great Lakes Seaway System annually sustains 227,000 U.S. and Canadian jobs, $35 billion in transportation-related business revenue, $14 billion in personal income, and $5 billion in federal, state, provincial, and local taxes each year.
Most recently, Ms. Sutton represented Ohio's 13th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2007--2012. Among her accomplishments, she spearheaded the successful "Cash for Clunkers" program that created or saved over 60,000 auto industry jobs.
In addition to welcoming Ms. Sutton to DOT, I'd also like to thank SLSDC Deputy Administrator Craig H. Middlebrook for his service as Acting Administrator since May 2012.
I have no doubt that Administrator Sutton will be a dedicated and innovative leader of the SLSDC, and I look forward to working with her to ensure that the Seaway System's future is bright.