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DelGrosso knocks on 5,000th door

On the occasion of knocking on the 5,000th door during his campaign for the 9th District congressional seat, Michael DelGrosso released his plan for economic revitalization for the district.
After visiting John Orr in Altoona’s 6th Ward, DelGrosso met the media of Blair County and gave some of the highlights of the door-to-door campaign and spoke of his plan for economic revitalization.
“I have visited more than 7,000 voters in the 5,000 homes,” said DelGrosso. “The voters I have visited have been very open and honest with me. They have detailed their desires and disappointments. I have heard specific issues regarding their communities and more global concerns affecting the reason. The voters of the 9th District are ready for a change.”
Since announcing his candidacy in April, DelGrosso has walked over 200 miles, driven over 6,000 miles and had some adventures along the way.
“I suffered two dog bites, a toast to victory on a back porch, two invitations into the house for dinner, an offer of Rice Krispie treats from kids and chocolate chip cookies from a grandmother,” DelGrosso said. “At a deeper level, 5,000 doors means something else…a different approach to campaigning. It is about spending time with the people who matter the most. It is about listening on a massive scale to the very people Congress was set up to serve. I have listened, emphasized and experienced deeply personal moments with thousands of people. Everyone of them has hopes and fears and real concerns for their families, their friends and their communities and our country. Without fail, the single most important issue is our economy.”
With that, DelGrosso unveiled his Regional Economic Revitalization Plan.
“People have asked me why isn’t there a plan to address the situation,” DelGrosso said. “You don’t have to knock on 5,000 doors to realize that economic opportunity is severely lacking in our region.”
In the 90s, the U.S. economy grew by 35 percent, but the economy of Pennsylvania grew by only 25 percent and employment grew by just 10 percent ranking Pennsylvania 47th nationally.
“If we are going to reverse this trend, we need a leader with the right kind of credentials and the ability to provide a vision to bring people together, to facilitate a dialogue and bring new ideas that will provide lasting and meaningful change,” said DelGrosso.
In DelGrosso’s regional economic revitalization plan, a 15 page document that can be found on the candidate’s web site delgrossoforcongress.com, the candidate lays out two key priorities. First to lay a new foundation and identify target industries to build on that foundation.
“I think a comprehensive plan for the 9th District is long overdue,” said DelGrosso. “I am willing to take the risk of dismissal, criticism and more hostile attacks from my opponent because I am also willing to risk that a plan just might be the first step on a long journey to economic recovery.”
DelGrosso said that this plan is not a final answer to all our problems and not a quick fix.
“I believe that the job of a congressman is to be a legislator and a leader,” said DelGrosso. “The process of expanding economic opportunity is not as simple as building a road, offering a tax incentive or responding to a funding request. The process is becoming more and more complex. It demands a new approach, a public dialogue and most of all leadership.”
As DelGrosso laid out his plan for the economic revitalization for the district, he focused on the two key priorities.
“We need to lay a new foundation for economic opportunity that will enable our region to attract outside investment, expand existing businesses and grow businesses start ups new internally,” said the candidate. “Second, we need to identify target industries to build on that foundation.”
DelGrosso brought up three points as part of the foundation he believes that needs to be built in the district.
• Form a District Economic Development Council which would promote regional cooperation among existing business development interests. This would prevent lost opportunities due to inter-county competition and promote a unified approach towards tackling the barriers to economic growth.
• Focus on entrepreneurial development as the core of future business opportunity. This can be established by increasing the flow of venture capital to our area and creating partnerships with universities to leverage current research efforts into market visible opportunities. In addition, an Entrepreneurs Internship program would be formed to expose secondary students to small business settings.
• Prepare the region’s workforce through a Lifelong Learning Initiative. This effort would focus on retraining workers for new economy jobs, and also make training dollars more easily accessible for our corporate residents – critical to helping to avoid downsizing before it occurs. Improvements to and reauthorization of the Workforce Investment Act would lay this foundation.
DelGrosso identified target industries to build on the foundation. He spoke of health services and life science, agri-business, advanced manufacturing, intermodal transportation, homeland security and recreation.
The complete economic revitalization plan is located at www.delgrossoforcongress.com.