Assistant Secretary of Commerce to Visit MC


Assistant secretary of commerce for the EDA, Jay Williams (Photo credit: The National Minority Supplier Development Council, Inc.)

On Thursday, September 4, 2014 Jay Williams, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for the Economic Development Agency (EDA), will be kicking off a series of presentations for business students at the Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus. Williams was appointed by the Obama administration and has held the position since May 20, 2014. Williams holds his B.S.B.A in finance from Youngstown State University in Ohio. The EDA promotes economic growth through the creation of jobs across the country. Williams, in particular, has has been promoting the economic growth of small regions of the United States, making them competitive in an increasingly global economy.

Business and Economics professor, Robert Carroll, offered some insight into the presentation series. “The original idea was to ask the largest employers in Montgomery County. The Commerce Department employs over 8,000 people here.” Williams’s mission is relevant to Carroll’s class, as well as the residents of Montgomery County, and sent the invitation to have Williams discuss. More have been invited to speak during the series. In October, Bruce Gitlin of the Service Corp of Retired Executives (SCORE) will come to discuss planning a business and, in November, Jenny Burns from Honest Tea. “Honest Tea is a local company, based in Bethesda,” Carroll informed me. “They have had tremendous success by sticking to their mission, so it’s a good lesson.”

Andrea Foster, Business Administration Professor at the Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus spoke with great excitement about the upcoming discussion series. Foster believes that the Williams’ presentation is particularly important for students of all majors to attend. “All students should attend,” she urged. “This gives students the opportunity to bring their opinions and concerns to the Obama Administration.” She stressed that Williams’ visit to the college will be more of a discussion than ,anything else. Professor Carroll also promotes attendance, stating, “The EDA flags opportunities, growth industries, and growing careers, all of interest to students and professors.” Although primarily addressing business students, broadening their sights for prospective jobs, Williams will also be taking the insight of students at the college back to the Obama Administration. He is interested on hearing the challenges that face college students today.

The event will take place in the Catherine F. Scott Commons (Room CM211) at 1 p.m.