Washington Report: Updates From the Capitol

Jobless rate at 16.5 % for African Americans; Fattah jockeys for chairmanship

Commerce Dept. Wants You for Advisory Board
Commerce Secretary Gary Locke is looking for individuals to serve on a National Advisory Council on Minority Business Enterprise (NACMBE). The proposed 25-member advisory board would provide advice and guidance to Locke on such issues as policies to help minority-owned firms improve their access to capital, corporate supply chains, and opportunities to participate in emerging industries.

Ideally, advisory board members will bring to the table a diverse set of skills that will include expertise in emerging growth sectors like energy, healthcare, biotechnology, and smart grid technology, and perspectives based on actual experience about issues that are essential to the success and growth of minority-owned businesses, such as bonding. And, one need not be an entrepreneur to apply. The department also seeks Fortune 500 executives who can help link minority business owners with corporate supply chains.

The original May 3 deadline has been extended to May 10, but the agency is considering extending it to June 30.
“We are looking for gender, ethnic, geographic and industry diversity and want to be sure we have that kind of representation in the nominating pool,” explained Steve Boykin, manager of strategic relations for the Minority Business Development Agency. Commerce also hopes to attract more interest from representatives of major corporations.

Once the NACMBE has been established, business owners will be able to submit their issues and concerns to the group. Before each meeting, said Boykin, a notice will be published in the Federal Register and on a number of databases so that the general public and the agency’s stakeholders can attend or submit questions to the NACMBE.

For more information on how to apply for consideration, click here.

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