2014 SF TechTable: Secretary Penny Pritzker

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[staff name=”Penny Pritzker” position=”Secretary | U.S. Dept. of Commerce” img=”https://www.t4a.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/1973203_500185156758517_1104829098_o.jpg”]Secretary Pritzker was sworn into office in June 2013 after spending more than 25 years in the private sector. She has business experience in a variety of fields including real estate, hospitality, senior living, and financial services. Secretary Pritzker was previously CEO of PSP Capital Partners and has advised for numerous other companies including Hyatt Hotels Corporation, Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company, Marmon Group and LaSalle Bank Corporation. Prior to her appointment as Secretary, Pritzker was involved in public service through the President’s Council for Jobs and Competitiveness and the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board. She is particularly passionate about public education and has been involved with various education organizations including Skills for America’s Future, the Chicago Public Education Fund, and the Chicago Board of Education. In 2012, she was honored for her work in the public sector as a recipient of the Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service. As Secretary, Pritzker has made it a priority to create a partnership between the business community and Washington. Secretary Pritzker is a Bay Area native and attended Castilleja School in Palo Alto. She received her bachelor’s degree in Economics from Harvard University and J.D. and M.B.A. degrees from Stanford University.

Connect with Secretary Pritzker here: [v_icon color=”#1bb2e9″ size=”21px” hover=”show-color” name=”moon-twitter” url=”https://twitter.com/PennyPritzker” target=”_blank”][/staff][/column]

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[heading]Key Takeaways[/heading]

[v_icon color=”#1B75BB” style=”pull-left” size=”38px” target=”_blank” name=”moon-earth”][pullquote align=”right”]We need to take our products to the rest of the world or someone else will do it.[/pullquote]As a country, we are under-exporting. It’s the goal of the Department of Commerce to make businesses aware that 95% of customers are outside the country. As the Secretary put it, we “need to take our products to the rest of the world or someone else will do it.” She also urges businesses to take advantage of the U.S. Export Assistance Center when thinking about taking their products global. Each U.S. Export Assistance Center is staffed by professionals from the SBA, the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. Export-Import Bank, and other public and private organizations. Together, their mission is to provide the help you need to compete in today’s global marketplace. Your local U.S. Export Assistance Center is your one-stop shop, designed to provide export assistance for your small- or medium-sized business.

[v_icon color=”#FBAD1D” style=”pull-left” size=”38px” target=”_blank” name=”moon-user-7″]This is not a new subject for our TechTables, but Secretary Pritzker was open to the suggested idea of using the drawing power and validation of the administration to convene those in the private sector (both nonprofit and for-profits) who are working on credentialing and intensive training programs. In particular, we want to focus on those programs designed to supplement and in many cases make up for the lack of curriculum teaching the skills needed to succeed in our increasingly technology focused job market. The idea is to bring together these organizations and see if their very noble efforts can be leveraged and magnified. This convened meeting would allow these organizations not only to learn from each other’s models, but to collaboratively figure out how to make programs more accessible and effective across the country. This also includes encouraging technology companies to create more apprenticeship programs and hire from these training programs.

[v_icon color=”#F37320″ style=”pull-left” size=”38px” target=”_blank” name=”moon-library”]Do more to encourage and support the technology community’s involvement in Washington. The burden for this falls on both sides. The private sector should make a conscious effort to seek out these roles (e.g., non-Senate-confirmed positions), while the public sector can more actively recruit these individuals. This also means promoting participation in programs like the President’s Innovation Fellowship and NACIE (National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship).

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[heading]Executive Briefing[/heading]

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