Appearing on the first day of the Clinton Global Initiative America conference earlier this week, former President Bill Clinton announced three new programs designed to help spur economic growth in the United States.
Held at the Sheraton Chicago, the conference was the first Clinton Global Initiative meeting to focus exclusively on creating jobs and driving economic growth in the United States. To that end, Clinton announced during the opening plenary session that Visa will give $1 million to Kiva, the online giving platform, to support the launch of the Kiva City initiative, which is designed to help local civic leaders, community-based organizations, and financial institutions identify small businesses in need and provide them with up to $3.5 million in microloans. Detroit has been selected as the first Kiva City, with additional cities to be announced in the coming months.
In addition, Onshore Technology Services pledged to create a thousand jobs over five years in rural Missouri — including tornado-damaged Joplin, where thousands of jobs have been lost — while the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations pledged to encourage workers to contribute capital and skilled labor to large-scale investments in America's built environment. To that end, the AFL-CIO will support the efforts of a range of money managers, asset consultants, pension funds, developers, and federal, state, and local governments to finance the repair and construction of high-quality public infrastructure and will work with existing real estate-focused investment funds to invest up to $20 million of additional capital in energy-efficient retrofits.
"When these commitments are fully funded and implemented, 140,000 people will receive access to job training, one thousand information technology jobs will be created in rural America, and $3.5 million will be loaned to small businesses in the U.S.," said Clinton. "Initiatives like these prove that organizations and individuals around the country have the power to take action to spur economic growth."