Implementation

Energy

JOBS COUNCIL RECOMMENDATION
IMPLEMENTATION TO-DATE
1.
Create Construction Jobs, Generate Positive Environmental Impacts, and Create Long-Term Savings by Adopting Measures to Spur the Retrofitting of Government and Commercial Buildings

The Jobs Council recommended retrofitting government and commercial buildings for energy efficiency. This will create jobs for the hard-hit construction industry, and save companies up to $40B in energy costs over the long-term.

$4 Billion Investment in Energy Upgrades to Public and Private Buildings.

In December 2011, the Administration announced $4 billion in combined federal and private sector energy upgrades to buildings over the next 2 years.

In June, the Administration announced that 36 additional State, local and district partners joined President Obama’s Better Buildings Challenge, with commitments totaling nearly $300 million. This brings the total commitments to more than 2 billion in square feet in public and private sector building energy upgrades. These investments will save billions in energy costs, promote energy independence, and, according to independent estimates, create tens of thousands of jobs in the hard-hit construction sector at no cost to taxpayers.

2.
Modernize and Expand the Electrical Grid through Transmission Siting Reform

The current process for siting (i.e., locating and permitting) a transmission line was established in 1935. Now, successfully working through the permitting process can literally take years. Additionally, the United States has among the best clean energy resources in the world, but there is a lack of transmission capacity to fully take advantage of these resources. The Jobs Council recommended reforming and accelerating the transmission siting process under existing federal law.

Announcement of Transmission Projects for Accelerated Permitting.

In October 2011, the Department of Energy announced it would accelerate the permitting and construction of seven proposed electric transmission lines. This effort will be led by the Rapid Response Team for Transmission (RRTT).

3.
Strike a Balance on Controversial Energy Developments

Environmental and safety concerns have sparked controversy over specific energy developments, including a pipeline that would transport heavy oil from northern Alberta in Canada to Oklahoma and the Gulf Coast, the resumption of deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, and horizontal drilling and hydrofracturing of shale gas supplies. Estimates suggest that these three streams of private investment, could together support or preserve hundreds of thousands of jobs in the next few years. The Jobs Council urged all stakeholders to make extraordinary efforts to strike an intelligent balance that protects people, safety, the environment, and our nation’s water supplies, while also allowing the economic benefits of these innovations to be realized.

Department of Energy Report on Steps to Improve the Safety and Environmental Performance of Shale Gas Development.

In August 2011, the Shale Gas Subcommittee of the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board released a report presenting recommendations that if implemented will reduce the environmental impacts from shale gas production.

Completed oil and gas lease auctions in the Gulf of Mexico.

Seeking to invest in oil and gas while also protecting public safety and the environment, the Administration built on its December 2011 oil and natural gas lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico (the first after the Deepwater Horizon explosion) with a June 2012 lease sale on an additional 39 million acres.

The Administration also announced the 2012-2017 Offshore Oil and Gas Development Program, which will make more than 75% of the estimated undiscovered oil and gas resources on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf available for exploration and development.

Mobilize Private Sector Financing for Advanced Energy Technologies
Requires Congressional Action

High-Growth Enterprises

JOBS COUNCIL RECOMMENDATION
IMPLEMENTATION TO-DATE
1.
Win the Global Battle for Talent

Some of the most iconic American companies were started by immigrant entrepreneurs or the children of immigrant entrepreneurs. Today, however, many of the foreign students completing a STEM degree at a U.S. graduate school return to their home countries and begin competing against American workers. A significant majority of the Jobs Council calls upon Congress to pass reforms aimed directly at allowing the most promising foreign-born entrepreneurs to remain in or relocate to the U.S.

Entrepreneur in Residence Initiative.

In October 2011, the Jobs Council and the Department of Homeland Security announced the “Entrepreneur in Residence” initiative to utilize industry expertise to strengthen US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) policies and practices surrounding immigrant investors, entrepreneurs and workers with specialized skills, knowledge, or abilities.

Streamlined Application Process for Entrepreneur Visas.

In August 2011, the Department of Homeland Security initiated a series of policy, operational, and outreach efforts to fuel the nation’s economy and stimulate investment by attracting foreign entrepreneurial talent of exceptional ability or who otherwise can create jobs, form startup companies, and invest capital in areas of high unemployment.

2.
Make it Easier for Entrepreneurs to Get Patent-Related Answers Faster

The Jobs Council recommended steps to ensure that the U.S. Patent Trade Office handles ideas from young companies quickly and appropriately.

Reduced Patent Office Backlog.

The U.S. Patent Trade Office has commenced hiring of additional examiners and is on track to reduce backlog from an average of 34 months now to an average of 20 months by 2015.

Expedited Examination System.

The Administration introduced a new one-year expedited examination system at the Patent and Trademark Office to improve throughput.

3.
Make Small Business Administration Funding Easier to Access

The Jobs Council recommended creating a one-stop shop for potential borrowers to make accessing information, support, and application for SBA funding and other services more straightforward.

Launched BusinessUSA.gov One-Stop-Shop for Entrepreneurs.

The Administration launched BusinessUSA , an online one-stop shop for exporters and small businesses to access hundreds of business development and support opportunities across the government.

Increasing access to capital through SBA’s Small Loan Advantage (SLA) 2.0

SBA is re-launching Small Loan Advantage, one of its key small dollar loan products, as SLA 2.0. This revamped program raises the maximum loan amount from $250,000 to $350,000, streamlines the loan process, and makes it easier for lenders to extend loans to small businesses across America.

Reducing paperwork for SBA’s Disaster Loan Program

This initiative will reduce the online application from 80 screens to three or four (depending on loan type), allowing families and businesses easier and quicker access to support for rebuilding after a disaster.

Launching “Quick App” for surety bond guarantees under $250,000.

SBA is launching “QuickApp,” a streamlined application that will eliminate the need for contractors to complete five unnecessary forms to apply for surety bonds. Providing small firms, particularly in the construction industry, streamlined access to these bonds will make it easier for them to compete for and win additional business, enabling them to expand and create jobs.

4.
Enhance Commercialization of Federally Funded Research

The Jobs Council recommended that the Administration do more to build bridges between researchers and entrepreneurs, so more breakthrough ideas can move out of the labs and into the commercialization phase.

Presidential Memorandum Directing Agencies to Improve Transfer of Research from Labs to Marketplace.

In October 2011, the Administration issued a Presidential Memorandum committing each executive department and agency that conducts R&D to improve the results from its technology transfer and commercialization activities. This included establishing performance goals, metrics, and evaluation methods, implementing and tracking progress relative to those goals, and facilitating commercialization through local and regional partnerships.

5.
Address Talent Needs by Reducing Student Loan Burden

A large number of recent graduates who aspire to work for a start-up or form a new company decide against it because of the pressing burden to repay their student loans. The Jobs Council recommended that the Administration promote Income-Based Repayment Student Loan Programs for the owners or employees of new, entrepreneurial companies.

Income-Based Loan Repayment for Young Entrepreneurs.

In October 2011, the Administration announced the availability of Income-Based Loan repayment for federal student loan borrowers.

6.
Expand Programs to Mentor Entrepreneurs

The Jobs Council recommends leveraging private sector networks to create, expand and strengthen mentorship programs at all levels.

Launch of Startup America Partnership

In October 2011, the Startup America Partnership, an organization working to help young companies grow in order to create jobs in America, in collaboration with General Electric (GE), launched the Startup-Corporate Connection Program, which asks corporations to commit to helping America’s young, high-growth potential companies. The program facilitates interaction between the startups and large corporations, assist startups with talent acquisition, and help young firms expand into international markets.

The Partnership has mobilized over $1 billion in business resources to serve as many as 100,000 startups over the next three years and is organizing entrepreneur-led “Startup Regions” across the country

7.
Speed Payments to Small Business Federal Contractors

The federal government pays small businesses nearly $100 billion each year for goods and services, typically paying 30 days after being invoiced. For small firms in tough times, that wait can be costly. The Jobs Council recommended that the federal government implement new terms so that small suppliers will be paid in 15 days, thus boosting their working capital.

Cutting Payment Times in Half

Acting on a Jobs Council recommendation, last year the President directed agencies to accelerate payments to small business contractors in order to increase their liquidity and unlock capital for investment and growth. Agencies are cutting average payment times in half, from 30 to 15 days. In July 2012, the President built on this initiative by directing agencies to make payments to all prime contractors on an accelerated timeline for the next year, with the understanding that those prime contractors will similarly accelerate payments to their small business subcontractors.

8.
Help Entrepreneurs Get Faster Access to Capital, Reduce Regulatory Barriers to Going Public, and Allow Use of “Crowd Funding” to Expand Seed/Angel Capital
Congress Passed the JOBS Act

In March 2012, Congress passed the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act, which will allow startups and small businesses to use crowd funding to raise up to $1 million annually from multiple small-dollar investors. The act, which has been signed by the President, also creates an enhanced IPO process for Emerging Growth Companies and increases the Regulation A “mini offering” limit from $5 million to $50 million.

Allow University Faculties to Shop Discoveries to Any Technology Transfer Office
Requires Congressional Action

Infrastructure

JOBS COUNCIL RECOMMENDATION
IMPLEMENTATION TO-DATE
1.
Streamline Infrastructure Permitting

The Jobs Council recommended that the Administration designate high-priority infrastructure projects for fast-track regulatory review, and that it establish transparency and accountability to ensure outcomes.

Launched Program to Fast-Track Permitting for High-Priority Infrastructure Projects.

In September 2011, the Administration announced an initiative, recommended by the Jobs Council, to accelerate permitting on priority infrastructure projects and create a public dashboard and new online tools to track progress. In October, the Administration announced specific high-priority projects to receive expedited review. Agencies have now completed their reviews of six of the 14 projects, with three additional projects expected to be completed as of October 2012.

Launched Dashboard to Track Progress on High-Priority Infrastructure Projects.

In November 2011, the Administration launched the Federal Infrastructure Projects Dashboard – an online dashboard to track progress on the high-priority infrastructure projects. The Administration will soon announce the initial group of Nationally/Regionally Significant Projects to be tracked on the Dashboard, as well as an expanded and improved online Dashboard.

2.
Expand Public-Private Partnerships for Infrastructure

The Jobs Council recommended leveraging existing methods of public-private financing to fund U.S. infrastructure development.

Acceleration of Application and Award Dates for TIGER and TIFIA Competitive Funding.

In November 2011, the Administration directed the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to award $527 million in competitive TIGER grants by the end of 2011 – months ahead of schedule. The TIGER program puts American workers back on the job by helping to rebuild our nation’s roads and bridges, and working on innovative projects like streetcar and light rail systems. The Administration also directed DOT to shorten the application process for the 2012 round of TIFIA funding, which will accelerate projects and put workers back on the job more quickly.

Expanded TIFIA Loan Program

In June 2012, as part of legislation reauthorizing the main surface transportation programs, Congress expanded the TIFIA loan program to leverage private dollars to build large infrastructure projects.

3.
Speed Implementation of Next Generation Air Traffic Control Systems

The Jobs Council recommended faster implementation of a NextGen air traffic control system to dramatically smooth the daily flow of travelers, reduce energy consumption, and add greater capacity to U.S. airspace. To help explain those benefits, the FAA has published a video that compares a new NextGen route to the conventional approach into one of Houston’s runways.

Houston NextGen System Named One of the Expedited High-Priority Infrastructure Projects

In October 2011, the Administration designated the Houston NexGen project as one of its high-priority infrastructure projects for expedited permitting and review. The expedited permitting will accelerate implementation full year ahead of schedule. It is estimated that this program will save Houston airports between 2.5 to 6.9 million gallons of fuel, and reduce and carbon emissions by 26,000 to 71,000 metric tons. Progress on this project can be tracked at the Federal Infrastructure Projects Dashboard.

Federal funding for Next Geneneration (NextGen) Air Transportation System

Congress passed a four-year Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill providing funding for implementation of aviation priorities, including the NextGen system, which the FAA estimates will reduce delays by 38% and save an estimated 1.4 billion gallons of fuel by 2020.

4.
Promote Broadband Deployment

The Jobs Council recommended that the FCC’s Universal Service Fund be repurposed to allow broadband services. The USF generates more than $4 billion annually from surcharges paid by telecommunications users to subsidize telephone services in high-cost areas. This could be used to extend internet service to the 7 percent of Americans who still lack access to broadband.

Universal Service Fund Repurposed to Allow Broadband.

In October 2011, the FCC voted unanimously to repurpose the USF to support broadband. These reforms create a new Connect America Fund with an annual budget of no more than $4.5 billion, which will extend broadband infrastructure to the millions of Americans who currently have no access to broadband. The FCC estimates that approximately 500,000 jobs will be created over the next six years by expanding high-speed Internet access to over 7 million Americans living in rural areas.

Accessed previously unavailable spectrum to promote further broadband deployment

In February 2012, Congress passed legislation to auction underutilized and unlicensed spectrum to alleviate the looming spectrum crunch and promote investment and jobs in the wireless industry.

Using Federal Lands to Deploy Broadband

In June 2012, the President signed an Executive Order last month directing Federal agencies to develop and implement a strategy to utilize Federal lands and buildings for the deployment of broadband. The Federal Government controls nearly 30 percent of all land in the United States and owns approximately 10,000 buildings.

5.
Create Construction Jobs, Generate Positive Environmental Impacts, and Create Long-Term Savings by Adopting Measures to Spur the Retrofitting of Government and Commercial Buildings

The Jobs Council recommended retrofitting government and commercial buildings for energy efficiency. This will create jobs for the hard-hit construction industry, and save companies up to $40B in energy costs over the long-term.

$4 Billion Investment in Energy Upgrades to Public and Private Buildings.

In December 2011, the Administration announced $4 billion in combined federal and private sector energy upgrades to buildings over the next 2 years. In June, the Administration announced that 36 additional State, local and district partners joined President Obama’s Better Buildings Challenge, with commitments totaling nearly $300 million. These investments will save billions in energy costs, promote energy independence, and, according to independent estimates, create tens of thousands of jobs in the hard-hit construction sector at no cost to taxpayers.

6.
Reauthorize the Main Surface Transportation Programs
Congress Passes Extension of Transportation Funding

In June 2012, Congress extended federal highway and transit programs for 27 months, authorizing $120 billion in spending, funded by reauthorizing the existing gasoline and diesel taxes and transfers from the General Fund.

Create a New National Infrastructure Financing Organization that Complements Existing Programs and Attracts Private Capital to Infrastructure Projects
Protect and Preserve the User-Based Funding of the Highway Trust Fund
Requires Congressional Action

Regulatory Simplification

JOBS COUNCIL RECOMMENDATION
IMPLEMENTATION TO-DATE
1.
Streamline Infrastructure Permitting

The Jobs Council recommended that the Administration designate high-priority infrastructure projects for fast-track regulatory review, and that it establish transparency and accountability to ensure outcomes.

Launched Program to Fast-Track Permitting for High-Priority Infrastructure Projects.

In September 2011, the Administration announced an initiative, recommended by the Jobs Council, to accelerate permitting on priority infrastructure projects and create a public dashboard and new online tools to track progress. In October, the Administration announced specific high-priority projects to receive expedited review. Agencies have now completed their reviews of six of the 14 projects, with three additional projects expected to be completed as of October 2012.

Launched Dashboard to Track Progress on High-Priority Infrastructure Projects.

In November 2011, the Administration launched the Federal Infrastructure Projects Dashboard – an online dashboard to track progress on the high-priority infrastructure projects. The Administration will soon announce the initial group of Nationally/Regionally Significant Projects to be tracked on the Dashboard, as well as an expanded and improved online Dashboard.

2.
Boost Tourism by Reforming the Visa Process

Between 2000 and 2010, the global long-haul travel market grew by 60 million travelers each year. Yet the U.S. share of this market fell from 17% to 12.4%. If we make it a national priority to increase our share, we could potentially add up to $390 billion in international visitor spending. The Jobs Council recommended improving the tourist visa process to allow the U.S. to compete for the global tourist dollar while protecting national security.

Drastic Improvements in Visa Processing Speed.

The State Department has continued to make significant progress improving visa processing in critical markets. On July 11, Mission China adjudicated its one millionth nonimmigrant visa application in FY 2012; this is an almost 43% increase over the 675,000 visas adjudicated by the same date in FY 2011. Even with the increased adjudications, visa interview wait times currently average four days across China. So far this fiscal year, consular officers in Brazil have adjudicated 857,436 applications, up 43.8% from the same period in FY 2011, and visa interview wait times average two days countrywide.

Launched Brand USA.

In November 2011, the Corporation for Travel Promotion launched Brand USA and raised $16.7 million in private-sector commitments for the purpose of encouraging travelers from all over the world to visit the United States of America.

3.
Improve FDA Approval Processes

The U.S. has long been the global leader in medical innovation, leading to improved quality of life for patients and the creation of millions of high quality American jobs. Today, however, investment in the life sciences area is declining because of the escalating cost, time, and risk of developing new drugs and devices. The Jobs Council recommended that the FDA undertake reforms to the approval process that protect patients from harm while also enabling the timely development and availability of new therapies and technologies.

FDA Entrepreneur in Residence Program.

In August 2011, the FDA launched an “Entrepreneur in Residence” initiative to recruit seasoned entrepreneurs in the medical industry who have successfully navigated FDA’s regulatory process. These Entrepreneurs-in-Residence will find ways to help FDA and small businesses work together to introduce new products in the marketplace both quickly and safely.

Streamlined the medical device approval process.

In 2011, the FDA took 27 actions to improve the predictability, consistency, transparency, and efficiency of its premarket medical device review programs. As a result of these business process improvements, the backlog of the most common type of device premarket application, called a 510(k) submission, decreased by 5% in 2011 after 5 years of steady increases.

4.
Make it Easier for Entrepreneurs to Get Patent-Related Answers Faster

The Jobs Council recommended steps to ensure that the U.S. Patent Trade Office handles ideas from young companies quickly and appropriately.

Reduced Patent Office Backlog.

The U.S. Patent Trade Office has commenced hiring of additional examiners and is on track to reduce backlog from an average of 34 months now to an average of 20 months by 2015.

Expedited Examination System

The Administration introduced a new one-year expedited examination system at the Patent and Trademark Office to improve throughput.

5.
Speed Payments to Small Federal Suppliers

The federal government pays small businesses nearly $100 billion each year for goods and services, typically paying 30 days after being invoiced. For small firms in tough times, that wait can be costly. The Jobs Council recommended that the federal government implement new terms so that small suppliers will be paid in 15 days, thus boosting their working capital.

Presidential Memorandum Directing Agencies to Accelerate Payments to Small Businesses.

Based on the Jobs Council recommendation, the Administration issued a Presidential Memorandum in September accelerating payments to small business contractors so they can reinvest that money in the economy and drive job growth. Agencies are cutting average payment times in half, from 30 to 15 days. In July 2012, the President built on this initiative by directing agencies to make payments to all prime contractors on an accelerated timeline for the next year, with the understanding that those prime contractors will similarly accelerate payments to their small business subcontractors.

6.
Conduct Regulatory Lookbacks
Streamlining and Eliminating Unnecessary Regulations

At the recommendation of the Council, in July 2011, the President signed an Executive Order asking independent agencies to develop plans to reassess and streamline their existing regulations. In May 2012, The Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) issued a report on the “lookback” progress to date, noting that agencies have identified over 500 reforms, just a small fraction of which will save more than $10 billion over the next five years.

Eliminating 2 Million Hours of Paperwork

In June, the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs issued guidance directing agencies to reduce reporting requirements and paperwork burdens and tasking agencies with the highest paperwork burdens to identify initiatives that would eliminate two million hours or more in annual burden.

Conduct Regulatory Process Reform for Independent Regulatory Commissions (IRCs)
Requires Congressional Action

Developing Talent

JOBS COUNCIL RECOMMENDATION
IMPLEMENTATION TO DATE
1.
Build Workforce Skills in Advanced Manufacturing

There is currently a shortage of workers qualified in key advanced manufacturing skills. In June, the Jobs Council recommended creating smart partnerships between employers and schools, and developing rapid-qualification student programs in advanced manufacturing skills.

Launched Right Skills Now Advanced Manufacturing Initiative.

In October 2011, the Jobs Council held an Advanced Manufacturing Listening and Action Session with the Manufacturing Institute and ACT to launch Right Skills Now, a manufacturing and workforce training program. Right Skills Now allows individuals to earn both national industry certifications and college credit in 16 weeks, preparing them for immediate employment in high quality manufacturing jobs and giving them a solid foundation to advance in higher education and careers.

By July 2012, Right Skills Now was active at multiple campuses in Washington, Michigan, Minnesota and Nevada, and continuing to expand.

2.
Create Jobs in the Fast-Growing Healthcare Sector through Skills Training

The U.S. has unmet demand for 400K-600K healthcare jobs, many of which could be filled by workers requiring short-term training. In June, the Jobs Council recommended collaborative programs between educational institutions and healthcare employers to help students earn education and employment.

Launched Public-Private Healthcare Workforce Training Program in New York.

The Jobs Council partnered with stakeholders in New York State to develop national models for accelerated training and placement of healthcare workers into available jobs within their states. This initiative was launched at a December Listening & Action Session in New York City.

This comprehensive effort has included leadership from industry, labor, government, academia and workforce development organizations in designing their initiatives. New York’s was led by Governor Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Bloomberg, and the Partnership for New York City. They are establishing critical links between healthcare employers and the entities training and credentialing the workforce. These linkages will accelerate the placement of thousands of New Yorkers and Californians into career-track jobs and ensure adequate preparation of a highly qualified labor supply.

3.
Graduate 10,000 More Engineers Annually

Engineering talent is critical to maintaining U.S. leadership in technology and innovation, yet a large fraction of students – 40-60% – who enter college studying engineering abandon it their freshman year. In June, the Jobs Council recommended a multi-pronged effort to attract students to engineering and retain engineering students, with a goal of graduating and retaining 10,000 more engineers annually.

Initiated Private-Sector Program to Graduate 10,000 More Engineers per Year, and Added Thousands of Engineering Internship Opportunities for Students.

More than 65 companies have committed to doubling the number of engineering internships available at their companies in 2012. These commitments will add thousands of additional opportunities for hands-on, technical job experience for engineering students.

4.
Win the Global Battle for Talent

Some of the most iconic American companies were started by immigrant entrepreneurs or the children of immigrant entrepreneurs. Today, however, many of the foreign students completing a STEM degree at a U.S. graduate school return to their home countries and begin competing against American workers. A significant majority of the Jobs Council calls upon Congress to pass reforms aimed directly at allowing the most promising foreign-born entrepreneurs to remain in or relocate to the U.S.

Entrepreneur in Residence Initiative.

In October 2011, the Jobs Council and the Department of Homeland Security announced the “Entrepreneur in Residence” initiative to utilize industry expertise to strengthen US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) policies and practices surrounding immigrant investors, entrepreneurs and workers with specialized skills, knowledge, or abilities.

Streamlined Application Process for Entrepreneur Visas.

In August 2011, the Department of Homeland Security initiated a series of policy, operational, and outreach efforts to fuel the nation’s economy and stimulate investment by attracting foreign entrepreneurial talent of exceptional ability or who otherwise can create jobs, form startup companies, and invest capital in areas of high unemployment.

Undertake High-Skilled Immigration Reform
Radically Expand the EB-5 Entrepreneur Visa Program
Requires Congressional Action