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Commerce Secretary Says Morehouse’s Entrepreneurship Center is Example of How U.S. Can Stimulate Job Growth

By ADD SEYMOUR JR.

Commerce Secretary
(Feb. 19, 2010) -- Entrepreneurship, particularly how it is being taught at Morehouse, is one of the keys to jumpstarting the American economy and job growth, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke told a group of Morehouse business students and professors. “Increasingly, we’ve got to look to places like Morehouse College’s Entrepreneurship Center,” he said. “Teaching entrepreneurship isn’t going to just benefit the students here at Morehouse. It’s going to radiate outward to create positive social change in African American communities because there is no better vehicle for job creation in America than entrepreneurship.”

Locke’s stop at Morehouse was part of the Obama Administration’s efforts to tout the success of last year’s Recovery Act, better known as the Stimulus Bill, which he said helped stave off economic disaster. He pointed to the nation’s 9.7 percent unemployment figure, which had been skyrocketing before Obama took office but has leveled in recent months.

“Had it not been for the Recovery Act/Stimulus Plan, things would be a lot worse today,” Locke said. “We’re in a much better place today—a very different place from where we were one year ago.

“I know these signs of improvement, and the President knows, that these signs of improvement are not good enough,” he added. “As far as he’s concerned, the recovery is not complete until every person who wants a job, has a job in America.”

Before his speech, Locke, President Robert M. Franklin’75, U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed viewed the Morehouse College Martin Luther King Jr. Collection, the 10,000-piece collection of the civil rights legend’s personal papers, sermons and other documents.

“I would not be where I am today had it not been for the pioneering efforts and advocacy and struggles and sacrifices of people like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., as well as Congressman John Lewis,” said Locke, who was the nation’s first Asian American governor when he led the state of Washington from 1997 to 2005.

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