Gluesenkamp Perez Holds Manufacturing Roundtable, Small Business Resource Fair in Clark County

Mar 29, 2024
Rep. Gluesenkamp Perez holds a manufacturing roundtable at the Vancouver Chamber of Commerce.

Today, Rep. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (WA-03) held a roundtable to discuss the importance of local manufacturing and career pathways, as well as a Small Business Resource Fair for community members looking to start or grow a business.

During the roundtable, Rep. Gluesenkamp Perez spoke with community members about what barriers American manufacturers face, what sort of investments need to be made in Southwest Washington, and how she can support the local manufacturing economy at the federal level. Participants included Southwest Washington manufacturers, fabricators, and workforce and recruitment organizations.

In January, Rep. Gluesenkamp Perez visited manufacturers in Clark County, Woodland, and Longview and held this roundtable to bring some of them together for further discussions about the industry.

“Empowering local fabricators is key to rebuilding family-wage jobs in the trades and restoring the United States as a global leader in manufacturing,” said Rep. Gluesenkamp Perez. “Today, I sat down with some incredible folks who make incredible things to talk about how we can drive Southwest Washington’s manufacturing economy forward.”

Rep. Gluesenkamp Perez holds a Small Business Resource Fair in Vancouver, WA.

Rep. Gluesenkamp Perez also held a Small Business Resource Fair at the Cascade Park Community Library for current and prospective small business owners.

Attendees were able to meet with local organizations about resources for starting or growing a business, including federal contracting opportunities, loan and financial assistance programs, and support for rural and women-, veteran-, and minority-owned businesses. SBA Portland District, Washington SBDC, and SCORE were some of the participating organizations at the fair.

The Congresswoman operated an auto repair and machine shop with her husband before coming to Congress, and she faced challenges navigating an SBA loan program to buy the building for their business. Resources, like SCORE, were helpful for her to write her business plan and navigate red tape.

“When you’re running a small business, it can be hard enough to keep the wheels on the bus, let alone go out and look for support to navigate red tape,” said Rep. Gluesenkamp Perez. “Holding this Small Business Resource Fair was part of my mission to meet Southwest Washington small business owners where they’re at with vital resources to make life less difficult.”

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