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, 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 has cosponsored legislation that would raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour and the tipped wage to $3.15. 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.
- Union and Worker Rights: Labor unions have played a vital role in creating the largest middle class in the world. Unions have fought for important workplace protections, increased wages, and ensured justice for workers. Congresswoman Slaughter continues to work alongside unions and other advocates to improve working conditions and salaries for America's working poor and middle class.
- 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.
- 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
ROCHESTER, NY — Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (NY-25) today announced a $1.6 million federal award for Action for a Better Community (ABC) from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Professional Opportunity Grants (HPOG) program. Authorized by the Affordable Care Act, the HPOG program provides education, training and job placement for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients and other low-income individuals for occupations in the health care field.
ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Congresswoman Louise M. Slaughter (NY-25) today marked Startup Day Across America by visiting West Henrietta-based manufacturer SiMPore Inc. to highlight the strides the company has made since moving from a startup in 2007 to a successful business. Slaughter also announced new federal awards for SiMPore totaling $975,000 that will help this local manufacturer continue its groundbreaking work in nanotechnology.
ROCHESTER, NY — Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (NY-25) today brought together local business leaders for a tour of the Rochester train station as construction nears completion later this summer. Leaders from AIM Photonics, Rochester Regional Photonics Cluster, Eastman Business Park, Urban League of Rochester, North American Breweries, Lumetrics, Navitar, and Rochester Red Wings joined Slaughter to tour the progress of construction, which began in October 2014. Slaughter secured the federal funding that made the new station possible.
WASHINGTON, DC — Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (NY-25) today announced that Harris Corporation has been awarded a contract of up to $255 million from the Department of Defense to provide its Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) “Manpack” radio system for the United States Special Operations Command. Slaughter fought relentlessly to change military acquisition policies and end no-bid military contracts so that innovative companies like Harris could compete and win.
WASHINGTON, DC — Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (NY-25) announced today that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will complete dredging at Rochester Harbor this week. Slaughter has secured more than $5 million since 2013 for dredging Rochester’s port, which ships and receives an average of 95,000 tons of material each year. Commodities that pass through the port support 95 local jobs and generate more than $6 million in salaries annually.
WASHINGTON, DC — Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (NY-25) today introduced the Employee Benefits Protection Act to help ensure retirees receive the benefits they have earned and depend on. This legislation would make it more difficult for companies to use the restructuring process to reduce or terminate benefits for current and future retirees. Slaughter’s legislation would protect hundreds of thousands of retirees in New York State and millions more across the country. The legislation was introduced along with Republican Congressman Walter Jones (NC-03).
WASHINGTON, DC — Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (NY-25) released the following statement in reaction to the Trump Administration sending Congress a notification letter today that it plans to start negotiations with Canada and Mexico to rewrite the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). As ranking member of the House Committee on Rules, Slaughter serves as a member of the House Advisory Group on Negotiations (HAGON). The HAGON group is required by statute to be consulted with prior to and during negotiations of trade agreements.
WASHINGTON, DC — Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (NY-25) today announced that local organizations received two federal grants totaling over $960,000 to benefit affordable housing projects in the Rochester region. The grants received were in the amounts of $587,500 for PathStone and $376,000 for NeighborWorks Rochester. Congresswoman Slaughter has consistently led the fight to protect these programs in the budget for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
WASHINGTON, DC — Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (NY-25) announced today that the National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded Monroe Community College (MCC) more than $550,000 in federal funding as part of its application under the foundation’s Advanced Technological Education program. This federal award will strengthen the regional optics and photonics workforce and provide students with employment opportunities in these groundbreaking fields. Slaughter pushed the NSF to award this funding and recently stood with President Kress in support of this federal award.
WASHINGTON, DC — Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (NY-25) released the following statement in reaction to President Trump’s Fiscal Year 2018 budget request. This outline proposes a $54 billion increase in defense spending paid for with drastic cuts to nondefense programs the American people rely on, impacting everything from the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Army Corps of Engineers to the Environmental Protection Agency and the State Department. A full budget is expected to be released in May.