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President Bill Clinton, Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Chelsea Clinton Convene Nearly 1,000 Leaders from Business, Government, Philanthropy, and NGOs at CGI America Meeting

June 14, 2013

Commitments will improve economic and social mobility, infrastructure financing, disaster recovery, workforce development, and renewable energy

Chicago, IL Today, President Bill Clinton, former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, and Clinton Foundation Board Member Chelsea Clinton opened the third meeting of Clinton Global Initiative America in Chicago, joined by nearly 1,000 business, government, and civil society leaders dedicated to boosting economic recovery and the long-term competitiveness of the United States.

Throughout the day, CGI America participants attended sessions, forged partnerships, and developed Commitments to Action – new, specific, and measurable plans to address a pressing challenge facing the U.S. economy. Commitments announced on the first day of the meeting will increase the resilience of Hurricane Sandy-affected communities, expand the role of design-based problem solving in engineering education, and develop digital badges for students and workers.

“It has been an eventful three years since we started CGI America. The economy is getting better, the unemployment rate is down, and optimism about our future is up. Around the world, interestingly enough, there are a lot of people who are trying to figure out how to grow their economies which will help us to grow ours, but we still have some rather staggering challenges,” said President Bill Clinton. “Unemployment is down, but underemployment is up. Credit card debt is down, but student debt is up. We know the private sector is growing, but wages remain flat. So, we've got things to be happy about and challenges to work on."

At the Opening Plenary session of the CGI America meeting, Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton presented a three-part plan for her work at the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation. "It is a pleasure to be here in Chicago participating as a private citizen, as a co-host of CGI, and as a representative of what we are officially renaming the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation,” said former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. “I am thrilled to fully join this remarkable organization that Bill started a dozen years ago, and to call it home for the work I will be doing, some of which I will outline today, and we’ll have an exciting announcement tomorrow as well."

“This year’s meeting of CGI America has already proven to be energetic, dynamic and productive with the panels, working group sessions and most of all the progress reports and new commitments," said Chelsea Clinton. "Everyone I've talked to from mayors to educators to small business owners to investors are all optimistic about our country's future, particularly our young people, and are determined to ensure that we are making the investments we need to build the future we all want. I can't wait for tomorrow."

Former Secretary Clinton’s call to action was followed by the panel “American Dreams, American Realities: Achieving Economic and Social Mobility,” an assessment of the chronic challenges faced by underserved populations such as women, minorities, youth, and the millions who occupy the bottom third of the income bracket. President Clinton joined Hamdi Ulukaya, founder, president, and CEO of Chobani, Inc.; Eva Longoria, founder of the Eva Longoria Foundation; and Sara Martinez Tucker, chief executive officer of National Math + Science Initiative, and Laysha Ward, president, community relations, of Target Corporation as they explored the most effective ways to create a more inclusive economic recovery and ensure adequate opportunities for advancement.

Later in the day, leaders addressed the need for industries and communities to adjust to the realities of the new economy in “American Adaptability: People, Places, and Enterprise,” moderated by Chelsea Clinton. Edward Fenster, co-chief executive officer of Sunrun; Jim Gibbons, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International, Inc., Janet Murguía, president and CEO of National Council of La Raza; and Scott Smith, mayor of Mesa, Ariz. discussed on how to increase Americans’ optimism about their economic prospects and better prepare them for future shocks.

In working sessions throughout the day, attendees addressed various issues tied to the nation’s economic future, such as empowering girls and women, improving health care, launching and scaling successful social enterprises, eradicating the digital divide, encouraging economic growth and innovation in rural communities, connecting veterans to economic and social support through technology, and preparing youth for the jobs of tomorrow.

The 2013 meeting of CGI America is sponsored by: J.B. & M.K. Pritzker Family Foundation; Allstate Insurance Company; American Federation of Teachers; APCO; Chevron; Diageo; ExxonMobil; Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold; The Joyce Foundation; MacArthur Foundation; Peter G. Peterson Foundation; and Toyota.

The full program, webcast schedule, and list of all CGI America commitments is available at cgiamerica.org. Follow us on Twitter @ClintonGlobal and Facebook at facebook.com/clintonglobalinitiative for meeting news and highlights. The event hashtag is #CGIAmerica. 

The following new commitments were announced today:

Building Our 21st-Century Cities
Commitment By: Infrastructure Financing for Cities Task Force
In 2013, The Infrastructure Financing for Cities (IFC) Task Force committed to work together over the next year to advance efforts that better facilitate the investment of private and nontraditional sources of capital in public infrastructure projects in U.S. Cities, and to support member cities in their efforts to advance specific projects.  In the next year, the Task Force will work on a set of mutually agreed upon principles to guide cities through their potential public-private partnerships. Private entities have also committed to work in partnership with the Task Force to create a roadmap detailing items that private partners may look for when considering a city partnership. Information gathered at IFC gatherings will be compiled into databases that mayors can tap into for best practice information. Additionally, each city will commit to advancing at least one job-creating project in their own city. With the launch of this Commitment to Action, four cities are prepared to announce their respective projects: Atlanta, Chicago, Louisville, and Redmond.

Designing Recovery: Envision the Future by Building it Now             
Commitment By: St. Bernard Project
In 2013, the St. Bernard Project (SBP), along with its partners, committed to launching an open-sourced design competition to improve post-disaster recovery and housing in three communities still recovering from disaster: Joplin, Missouri, New Orleans, Louisiana, and Queens, New York. The top design for each location was used as a model for energy efficient and resilient home building. Competition designs were made available for access in the public domain to ensure other communities across the U.S. have access to them during future disaster recovery efforts. As part of SBP’s commitment, a groundbreaking on the first pilot house in Queens, New York was held to coincide with the one year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy.

Empowering Five Post-Sandy Communities via Solar Energy  
Commitment By: Global Green USA
In 2013, Global Green USA committed to install model grid-tied, back up solar energy systems at five or more community centers in New York and New Jersey neighborhoods devastated by Hurricane Sandy. The first, full-scale “Solar for Sandy” installation, utilizing lead funding from IKEA, will be installed at the Red Hook Community Center and Pool. Global Green's “Solar for Sandy” will serve as a model for the resilient rebuilding of devastated communities by providing ongoing savings in energy bills, as well as back-up electricity through batteries that deliver power even when the electricity grid goes down.

Digital Badges: Unlocking Two Million Better Futures
Commitment By: MacArthur Foundation; Mozilla Corporation; Humanities Research Institute, University of California
In 2013, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Mozilla, and HASTAC committed to providing the information, technical assistance, and support needed to enable employers, institutions of higher learning, school districts, and other organizations to begin using digital badges as a method of recognition and assessment for university admittance, credentialing, and employer hiring and promotion. Over the three years of this commitment, these new badging opportunities will re-imagine how employers and educational institutions assess and recognize what a person knows and can do, creating new paths to college and career advancement for 1 million students and 1 million workers.

Fostering Design Innovation & Digital Manufacturing
Commitment By: University of California, Berkeley; Paul and Stacey Jacobs Foundation
In 2013, UC Berkeley's College of Engineering, with generous funding from the Paul and Stacy Jacobs Foundation, committed to establishing the new Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation at UC Berkeley's College of Engineering. The Jacobs Institute will greatly expand the role of design in engineering education at all levels and empower young engineers to design innovative solutions to society's biggest challenges. Launching in 2014, once fully operational, the Institute expects to reach 1,500 undergraduate and graduate students per year by 2017. Through the Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation, students will address considerations, including technological innovation, societal issues such as privacy, and the development of new business models to provide market viability. 

The following progress reports were announced today:

Inversiones: A Small Business Investment Initiative                  
Commitment By: National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders
In 2012, The National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders committed to support the creation and expansion of 1,500 small businesses in predominately Latino communities, catalyzing the creation of 4,000 jobs. This commitment, in partnership with the Valley Economic Development Center, Acción Texas, Inc., Chicanos Por La Causa, and a national network of non-profits, will expand the availability of culturally and linguistically relevant services that open access to markets, strengthen competitiveness, and increase the flow of small business lending. Over a three-year period, the commitment will provide small business development services to 5,000 owners and entrepreneurs, complete $50 million in small business lending, and secure $15 million in financing for economic development projects.

Doubling of Make an Impact Program
Commitment By: Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES)
In 2012, the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) committed to the expansion of the Make it Right program, a unique employee-focused energy efficiency program to educate and empower individuals to understand and reduce their personal carbon footprint.  The program has far surpassed its goal to engage individuals to make personal pledges to reduce carbon by 2,722 tons, with participants to date pledging to reduce more than 27,000 tons of carbon this year. In addition,  the program is on track to achieve the second goal of engaging 16,000 individuals, having reached more than 12,000 since the commitment was made.

Changing Youth Perceptions of STEM Through Creative Writing
Commitment By: Time Warner Cable Inc. and 826 National
In 2012, Time Warner Cable and its partners, 826 National and the Coalition for Science Afterschool, committed to launch a pilot of a STEM-based creative writing workshop in Los Angeles, New York City and San Francisco, engaging 90 students in science themed creative writing classes, which will serve as a springboard to explore STEM subjects for students that otherwise may not ever be exposed to them. The result was a four-week STEM and Creative Writing pilot program conducted in the summer of 2012 at 826 National chapters in Los Angeles and New York, where more than 60 kids engaged in hands on learning around a range of fun and inquiry-based topics including the science behind ice cream and deep space exploration. It also produced two student-authored STEM themed publications, Don’t Forget a Rocket (826LA) and The Ballerina and The Hurricane (826NYC). With such encouraging results, the project will continue beyond the time frame of the completed commitment. Additional hands-on science and creative writing lessons will be created in the coming months and several workshops will be conducted at non-826 youth organizations to ensure that these workshops can be conducted effectively in alternate settings.

Entrepreneurial Green Jobs for Low-Income Young Adults
Commitment By: YouthBuild USA
In 2012, YouthBuild USA committed to expand its Green Business Initiative to create 100 green jobs for low-income young adults, and to give YouthBuild affiliates an opportunity to manage a revenue-generating business. Specifically, up to 20 affiliates would sub-license Advance Energy Panel (AEP) technology from YouthBuild USA (the national organization) to develop an auxiliary business that will manufacture and install AEPs in their respective communities. Fall River EcoSolutions (FRES) took orders, manufactured and installed AEPs, and provided employment to two YouthBuild graduates and one general manager through October 2012 as part of demonstrating concept and determining next steps to meeting commitment. FRES established key relationships with a for-profit licensee of AEPs, extended FRES's license with Windo-Therm for a ten year period, and marketed and built product awareness with a number of individual and business customers, including many affordable housing apartment owners.

The Portland Retrofit Collaborative (Clean Energy Works Oregon)
Commitment By: Clean Energy Works Oregon
Leveraging the state of Washington's EEAST legislation (HB 2626), the Portland Retrofit Collaborative committed in 2009  to build upon the group of partners from the ongoing 500-home residential retrofit pilot and expand it so as to promote greater investment in the scaling-up of building efficiency projects – in particular, residential and small business retrofits – and to drive long-term market transformation.  This commitment aimed to demonstrate at community-scale how diverse partnerships and state-of-the-art financial tools can catalyze residential and small business retrofit development, build new markets, provide new opportunities for underserved populations, and yield significant benefits from the reduction of carbon. 

Investing in Early Childhood Education Innovations
Commitment By: J.B. Pritzker and M.K. Pritzker Foundation; Goldman Sachs Group
In 2012, the Pritzker Children's Initiative committed to the launch, leadership, and support of a new Early Childhood Innovation Accelerator. This Accelerator is the first hybrid investment vehicle dedicated to advancing private sector innovations that accelerate the availability of quality public and private early childhood education systems for vulnerable and disadvantaged children nationwide. Specifically, these commitment goals will be addressed through three strategic types of investments made through the Accelerator: Capital Market Innovations; Enterprise and Venture Innovations; and Market Building. Through these efforts, investments through the Accelerator aim to reach 500,000 infants, toddlers, and their families over 10 years.

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About CGI America
The Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), an initiative of the Clinton Foundation, convenes global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. Established in June 2011 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative America (CGI America) addresses economic recovery in the United States. CGI America brings together leaders in business, government, and civil society to generate and implement commitments to create jobs, stimulate economic growth, foster innovation, and support workforce development in the United States. Since its first meeting, CGI America participants have made more 200 commitments valued at $13.4 billion when fully funded and implemented. To learn more, visit cgiamerica.org.

CGI also convenes an Annual Meeting, which brings together global leaders to take action and create positive social change, CGI University (CGI U), which brings together undergraduate and graduate students to address pressing challenges in their community or around the world, and, this year, CGI Latin America, which will bring together Latin American leaders to identify, harness, and strengthen ways to improve the livelihoods of people in Latin America and around the world. For more information, visit clintonglobalinitiative.org and follow us on Twitter @ClintonGlobal and Facebook at facebook.com/clintonglobalinitiative.

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