(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) released the following statement following the Forum on Jobs and Economic Growth at the White House hosted by President Obama.

“For families across Washington state, the consequences of having lost a job, or the threat of losing one, is a burden that weighs on all that they do. From providing for their children, to affording health care, to making their mortgage payments, these families struggle every day to keep their footing in the worst employment climate in a generation. And while we have taken steps to avert an even more painful crisis, there is clearly still work to be done to get our economy back on track and workers back on the job. 

“I’m pleased that today President Obama brought together experts including unemployed workers, small business owners, unions and CEOs, to discuss the best and fastest ways to put Americans back to work.

“I’ve worked hard to ensure that stimulus money flowed to our state to put people back to work.  We’ve begun to see some results, particularly in the transportation and construction sectors. I’m pleased that Washington state Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond was at the Summit today to talk about getting money out into communities quickly and getting people back to work. 

“But there’s so much work left to do.  That’s why I’ve worked to ensure that health care reform includes efforts to employ nurses, doctors, and other health care professions.  It’s why I’m currently working on community banking legislation so we can get money and credit flowing to local banks that are hurting so local businesses can once again get loans and hire employees.  And it’s why I’m focused on bringing new technology to our state so we can be on the cutting edge of the green energy jobs of the future that will make us more competitive worldwide.

“In addition to these short term measures to get people back to work today, I am working as Chairman of the Employment and Workplace Safety Subcommittee to renew and redouble our commitment to investing in America’s workers to help them gain the knowledge, skills, and abilities required for long-term success. It’s also why I’m focusing on bringing our high schools and community colleges in-line with the needs of our local businesses – so we can prepare for our future economic and workforce needs.

“It’s time for a comprehensive look at workforce solutions for today and tomorrow. I support this important step by President Obama and look forward to a modernized workforce development system that will help ensure our economic leadership in the 21st century.”