Department Of Interior
|Office of the Secretary||
|For Immediate Release:November 17, 2003||
Secretary Norton Discusses Partnership
Opportunities with Latin Business Association
(WASHINGTON) - Interior Secretary Gale Norton today met with leaders of The Latin Business Association to discuss partnership opportunities, environmentally responsible energy development on public lands, and the Colorado River Water Delivery Agreement.
"We need to get the
word out that Interior's doors are open for business and employment
to all sectors of America, especially to small businesses that create
more then 60 percent of new jobs annually," Norton told the group
during a morning meeting in Los Angeles.
"The Association's board
members have accepted my invitation to co-sponsor a contracting and
procurement workshop in 2004 for small businesses," Norton said.
"With more than 50,000 Hispanic-owned businesses in California,
this workshop should be of great interest."
Interior bought nearly a
quarter of a billion dollars worth of goods and services in California
last year. Small businesses received about 46 percent of those procurement
Norton also asked the board
to join a consumer-business-government coalition that is being established
to inform Americans about the nation's energy needs. Interior's Assistant
Secretary for Land and Minerals Management Rebecca Watson is working
to build this coalition.
"California businesses know first hand the devastating impacts that spiking energy costs can have on the bottom line," Norton said. "No group of Americans can better speak to the loss of jobs that occurs when energy production does not meet demand."
Norton also told the board
that the Colorado water agreement she recently signed will allow for
billions of gallons of water to be transferred to California's urban
and coastal communities during the next 75 years. "By reallocating
the state's share, the state can now provide residents of these communities
the ability to grow and prosper," Norton said.
Established in 1976, the
Latin Business Association, which has 70,000 members, encourages the
growth of Latino-owned businesses by generating opportunities, providing
educational workshops, and formulating effective advocacy programs.
In 1998 the Association established
a private, non-profit 501© institute which has generated more than
$250 million in procurement and $170 million in business loans for Latino
The nation's largest Latino business entity, the Association represents a diverse cross-section of industries, such as attorney and accounting services, software development, film production studios, international distributors, construction and designers.
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