Jobs, Economy, and Poverty
Poverty is one of Rochester’s most serious challenges. In June 2014, Rochester was ranked as the 3rd poorest city in the United States. Congresswoman Slaughter is fighting to reverse this unacceptable trend.
We cannot fight poverty in Rochester without a strong economy. Yet, we live in difficult times: income inequality in the United States is the highest it has been since the 1920s; American companies continue to send jobs overseas in search of cheap labor, bigger profits, and tax havens; and working families continue to struggle while the wealthy flourish. Congresswoman Slaughter is using all the tools at her disposal to build a stronger economy for everyone and protect those in need.
- Raising Wages: Congresswoman Slaughter believes that all Americans would benefit from higher wages. Raising the minimum wage to over $10 an hour would help families stay above the poverty line. It would also benefit women and communities of color that have long been the most adversely effected by the low minimum wage. A report by the Center for American Progress found that 62 percent of minimum wage workers are women. Women who worked full time earned, on average, only 77 cents for every dollar men earned. Even worse, African American women earned only 64 cents and Latinas earned only 56 cents for each dollar earned by a white male. The congresswoman believes all women should earn equal pay for equal work and supports the Paycheck Fairness Act.
- Engaging Vulnerable Communities: Congresswoman Slaughter believes we should help individuals and families who have fallen behind get back on their feet. This means connecting people with the resources they need and protecting the social safety net. Congresswoman Slaughter has helped secure funding and support for many local organizations that are working to rebuild our local communities.
- Creating and Protecting Jobs: Congresswoman Slaughter is focused on investing in Rochester’s economy and defending it from unfair competition overseas. She believes that our economy is the strongest when it works for everyone and not just for those at the top. That’s why she has helped secure funding and assistance for companies and projects in the Rochester area that have directly created jobs.
- Training Local Students and Workers: Congresswoman Slaughter believes that every American should have access to a high-quality and affordable education. In particular, Congresswoman Slaughter is working to ensure that the advanced manufacturing industries in Rochester have access to the skilled labor they need to thrive.
- Support Increased Federal Minimum Wage: Congresswoman Slaughter was an original co-sponsor of the Fair Minimum Wage Act in the 113th Congress that would increase the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour. The cost of living has outpaced the growth of wages, and this is especially true for minimum wage workers. Congresswoman Slaughter continues to advocate for a living wage that hard-working people both need and deserve.
- Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity: Congresswoman Slaughter is a member of the congressional Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity. This task force allows members of Congress to bring together various federal agencies, national think-tanks, and global non-profits to find innovative solutions to the pervasive problem of poverty. Congresswoman Slaughter knows that successfully reducing poverty in Rochester requires an ‘all-hands-on-deck’ approach, and she will continue to ensure the full strength of the federal government is brought to bear in this effort.
- Support Affordable Housing: In December 2014, Congresswoman Slaughter led a bipartisan coalition of 123 members of Congress calling on President Obama to restore funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) in the 2016 budget. LIHEAP’s funding has been cut by $1.7 billion – 30 percent of the program’s total funding – since 2010, even while the number of households eligible for LIHEAP has consistently exceeded available funding.
- Protect Community Development Funding: Congresswoman Slaughter is a strong supporter of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program. This funding helps break the cycle of economic stagnation and inequality. She has consistently advocated for the program in the face of drastic budget cuts that began in 2010. In 2013, Congresswoman Slaughter secured $1.6 million under the program for Monroe County.
- Secure Workforce Training Funds: Since 2012, Congresswoman Slaughter has helped secure more than $20 million for workforce training at Monroe Community College and RochesterWorks. These funds provide training and education to prepare unemployed workers and veterans for advanced manufacturing jobs.
- Level the Playing Field for Local Businesses: Congresswoman Slaughter takes every opportunity to promote Rochester’s world-class businesses. Whether it’s cutting through red tape, liaising with the federal government, or taking advantage of federal grants and support, her constituent companies have a strong advocate in Washington. By partnering with local businesses, she has helped save and create jobs at Hickey Freeman, Harris, Exelis, OLEDWorks, and many other local employers. If you need help with any business issues, please consult the Help with Federal Agencies page here.
- Expand Rochester’s Optics and Photonics Industry: Congresswoman Slaughter has continually fought hard for investments in optics and photonics. This industry supports more than 17,000 jobs in the Rochester region and plays a crucial role in New York’s high-tech economy. In 2014 and 2015, Congresswoman Slaughter secured $132 million for the Laboratory for Laser Energetics (LLE) at the University of Rochester. This lab supports over 300 local jobs and 1,000 jobs across the country. To learn more about this exciting area, please consult the photonics section of Congresswoman Slaughter’s website here.
More on Jobs, Economy, and Poverty
WASHINGTON, DC — Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (NY-25) today released this statement after Andrew Puzder’s withdrawal from consideration as Secretary of the Department of Labor nominee:
WASHINGTON, DC — Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (NY-25) and Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03) announced today that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has agreed to their request for an investigation examining how restructurings by large corporations impact American workers’ pensions and health benefits.
WASHINGTON, DC —Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (NY-25) issued the following statement in reaction to President Trump signing an executive order today formalizing that the United States will not continue to pursue membership in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP):
WASHINGTON, DC — Congresswoman Louise M. Slaughter (NY-25) today announced that an RIT-led consortium has won a competition by the U.S. Department of Energy to headquarter a new public-private clean energy manufacturing institute. This institute will help further technologies designed to conserve energy and reduce emissions. As the winning consortium, it will match the federal award of $70 million for a total investment of at least $140 million.
WASHINGTON, DC — Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (NY-25) today launched a campaign to hear directly from her constituents about how the Affordable Care Act has benefitted them as Republican leaders prepare to repeal this landmark law in the 115th Congress. Slaughter brought the Affordable Care Act to the floor of the House of Representatives in 2009 as Chairwoman of the Rules Committee. This law has expanded and improved health care for millions of Americans in the years since, with our nation’s uninsured rate now at its lowest level in more than 50 years.
WASHINGTON, DC — Congresswoman Louise M. Slaughter (NY-25) commented on the New York State Photonics Board of Officers’ announcement today that it has selected ON Semiconductor’s Eastman Business Park facility as the site for the American Institute for Manufacturing (AIM) Photonics’ Testing, Assembly and Packaging (TAP) facility, the only such facility in the United States. This decision follows a nearly three month evaluation process conducted by the real estate services firm Newmark Grubb Knight Frank.
WASHINGTON, DC — Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (NY-25) announced today that Monroe Community College has won a $6 million grant award through the U.S. Department of Labor’s America’s Promise grant program. The award is part of more than $100 million in America’s Promise funding being awarded to just 23 entities across 28 states. This competitive funding will be used to expand economic opportunities through increased tuition-free education and training programs for in-demand jobs.
WASHINGTON, DC — Congresswoman Louise M. Slaughter (NY-25) announced today that Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz will be visiting Rochester next week at the Congresswoman’s request. Slaughter invited Secretary Moniz to Rochester to see firsthand how the work being done at the region’s energy-related research, development, and manufacturing facilities could be leveraged at the federal level. Additional details about the Secretary’s visit will be forthcoming.
ROCHESTER, NY — Congresswoman Louise M. Slaughter (NY-25) today delivered remarks as part of the 100th annual meeting of The Optical Society, which is being held in Rochester where it was founded. Approximately 1,000 attendees from all over the world attended, including students from East High School's optics program. Below are her remarks, as prepared for delivery:
WASHINGTON, DC — Congresswoman Louise M. Slaughter (NY-25) today urged Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz to support a Rochester Institute of Technology-led proposal for a new public-private clean energy manufacturing institute. College officials, on behalf of academic and industrial partners from around the country, submitted a proposal on September 28th under the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) program to create a new Clean Energy Manufacturing Innovation Institute.