Opinion Pieces

Daily News Guest Column: Sept. 28 Jobs Fair for Southwest Washington

On Sept. 28, I will be hosting a jobs fair in Vancouver, open to and free for all Southwest Washington residents.
On Sept. 28, I will be hosting a jobs fair in Vancouver, open to and free for all Southwest Washington residents. My goal for this event is to connect as many job-seekers with employers as possible, and hopefully get some residents back to work.

Given the shortage of jobs in this region, it might surprise some to know there are still Southwest Washington employers who are hiring. Several business owners and employers have recently approached me at my roundtables and community coffee meetings, telling me they're looking for workers. In fact, in early August a manager with Longview-based Entek told me he would hire qualified applicants "on the spot."

More than 40 Southwest Washington employers will participate, including iQ Credit Union, Georgia-Pacific's Camas mill, SEH America and Accent Business Services, among others. People looking for work will have an opportunity to apply for specific job openings or learn more about what these employers are looking for. There will even be professional resume-writing assistance available.

In my view, getting folks back to work is rarely done from behind a desk in Washington, D.C. Our solutions have to be focused on Southwest Washington, because local job creators are the ones who do the hiring. Yes, there are policy solutions we can and should enact on Capitol Hill to restart this economy. I will continue to pursue the job-creating solutions I've spelled out before: for example, making it more affordable for small businesses to provide health care and pursuing American energy sources to encourage American jobs. But we can't simply rely on a bill in Congress to put people back to work.

Our need for jobs in Southwest Washington and across the country is far too big to be solved with a single approach. It's too big for one party to solve. I applaud the President for proposing his own jobs bill recently, and I will be carefully reviewing each of the individual proposals within his plan. Those I talk to in this region are ready to move beyond rhetoric and bickering. They want to see economic recovery and the growth of good-paying, permanent jobs.

One of my biggest jobs-related areas of focus is reducing burdensome and unnecessary government regulations. The president has said this is part of his plan, and I intend to make sure he follows through with action. Consider the huge job-killing hurdle we cleared earlier this year when I co-sponsored repeal of the costly "1099 mandate" that would have piled burdensome IRS paperwork on small businesses. This was originally part of the massive health care overhaul. However, Congress convinced the president it would harm too many small businesses and he signed its repeal. I will be looking for other areas of common ground, and work with both parties to start delivering results. Another example: the president wants us to "make it in America," and I agree. I would like to see us increase manufacturing right here and export those goods to overseas markets — rather than the other way around. I'm working to create an environment where our manufacturers can compete with the rest of the world.

With the jobs fair, I hope to put job seekers in touch with employers who are hiring — today. Though we won't be able to turn our economy around overnight, I am committed to attacking the problem of unemployment with every resource available to me.

If you are an employer and are interested in participating, please call my district office at 360-695-6292. Job seekers are encouraged to bring their resumes and do not need to RSVP.

The jobs fair will be 1-6 p.m. Sept. 28 at Red Lion Hotel at the Quay, 100 Columbia Street, Vancouver.

This commentary was submitted by Jaime Herrera Beutler, U.S. Representative for Washington's Third District.

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