Cicilline Attends White House Conference With Rhode Island “Champion of Change”

Nov 4, 2011 Issues:

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Congressman David Cicilline (D-RI) along with Wayne Celia, CEO of Diversified Distribution in Woonsocket, attended the “Make it in America Champions of Change Roundtable” hosted by the White House on Thursday.  The purpose of the roundtable was to highlight local success stories, to discover new opportunities for collaboration, and to connect local leaders with resources and expertise that can help them create more jobs.

“I was proud to have Mr. Celia join me at today’s ‘Make it in America Champions of Change Roundtable’ at the White House since he is an example of a Rhode Island company that is manufacturing great products here in Rhode Island and has focused on innovation as a way to grow his business,” said Congressman Cicilline.  “Mr. Celia’s attendance ensured that our state’s small businesses were well represented, and I think there was a great exchange of ideas for ways our country can continue down the path toward economic recovery.”

After brief remarks by Administration officials, breakout sessions were formed in order to provide a forum for the trading of best practices that can lead to the replication of success stories in the future.

Mr. Celia felt the event was worthwhile, as well.  “I am extremely appreciative to have been invited to the Champions of Change Roundtable at the White House.  As a small business representative, it was very encouraging to witness the energy behind this initiative and to learn about the positive steps underway to aid manufacturing in our country and specifically Rhode Island.  Diversified Distribution looks forward to working with the Congressman and I believe the “Make it in America” movement is very much alive and very well supported.“

Congressman Cicilline’s attendance underlined his ongoing efforts to ensure that America’s world competitiveness remains high.  Earlier in the week, he asked pointed questions in a House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee hearing about China’s theft of U.S. technology and intellectual property.  These continued violations of international law put the U.S. at a disadvantage and threaten its ability to maintain a competitive edge in the world of science and technology trade, underscored by the U.S.’ lagging investments in science education as compared to China.  The Congressman also spoke on the House floor Thursday opposing Chinese currency manipulation, a practice that unfairly guarantees imports are cheaper than goods exported to the U.S.