Friday, February 19, 2010

Rep. Wittman hears concerns about jobs, health care reform at Germanna Community College small business roundtable

GCC President David A. Sam welcomes Rep. Rob Wittman to Germanna for a talk today with small business owners ... --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"When I see the talent out there that cannot find a job, it scares me to death," Laurie Newman of Taskforce told Rep. Rob Wittman (R-1st Va) today during a small business roundtable discussion with area business leaders and regional chamber of commerce members at Germanna Community College. "We have to [create] jobs, we have to have places to put them. There's no end in sight. They just keep coming and coming."

The regional roundtable, hosted by GCC's Center for Workforce, was a forum intended to allow the congressman to hear directly from employers on what steps government can take to incentivize real growth. Small businesses account for 70 percent of the new jobs created each year, and Wittman said he is committed to ensuring they have the tools they need.

Others at the meeting told Wittman that small, "main street" banks are ready and willing to make loans to small businesses, but are finding their hands tied by red tape.

On the topic of health care reform, Wittman said he wants to end the perception of the GOP as "the party of no." He said the Democrats are expected to try to pass a reconciliation of its House and Senate health care bills on Feb. 21, four days before a summit is to be held at the White House during which President Obama has promised to open the floor to all ideas. When someone asked if the Republicans would show up for that meeting, Wittman said he hoped so.

"I think we have an obligation to put forth our ideas," he said. He said the Republicans should attend the meeting to offer proposals for tort reform and allowing cosumers to buy health insurance from companies competing across state lines.

"We are hopeful the meeting on the 25th is still open to ideas," he said.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Former firefighter who was disabled as he responded to Sept. 11 attack on Pentagon wins scholarship

Greg Foley, at left, is pictured with VCCS Chancellor Dr. Glenn DuBois, delegates Ed Scott and Bobby Orrock, and his daughters.

Germanna student Greg Foley, a first responder after the Sept. 11 attack on Pentagon, was one of two recipients of the new $3,000 Virginia Education Wizard Scholarships Wednesday night. A firefighter injured during the response and now retired, Foley is enrolled in his second semester at GCC, where he has a 4.0 grade-point average. With a fixed disability income, Foley plans to complete his associate degree before continuing his education at a Virginia university, with a long-term goal of earning a doctorate in psychology. “Being able to continue with my education is not just important for myself,” the single father of two said. “Being a good example to my young daughters, getting their ‘help’ with my school work and having them share in my success are wonderful things.”