Follow-up to Community Dialogue on Economic Stimulus

On March 19th, the library sponsored a very successful community dialogue on Congress’ recently passed “Stimulus Bill” (the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009).  If you missed the program, you can still view it on Greensboro’s Channel 13

To give you some idea of the program’s content, here’s a list of the questions which our panel of experts fielded during the meeting:

The expectation is that the stimulus will create new jobs.  But it’s not clear that jobs will automatically generate economic growth.  Should local government, i.e., City Council, establish a mechanism to coordinate all the efforts to maximize the potential for economic growth?

Will the tax credits for new cars and new homes apply to business purchases as well as for individuals?

What assistance is available to help small businesses obtain stimulus funds?

What employment opportunities are there for 18-24 year olds (college students)?

How will employers connect with the youth supported by Guilford Workforce Development?

What percentage of the stimulus money will go to infrastructure/public works?

How many new jobs will be created by the 1st wave projects?  How many will be created by the 2nd wave?

Would sidewalks for neighborhoods be eligible for stimulus funding (under the $65 million allocated to this area from the $735 million?

Are bike trails included in transportation funds?

Do the tax changes you mentioned exist in a brief summary form such as a brochure, pamphlet, etc.?

In administering funds, do we have the leeway to specify that a preference or priority is given to Greensboro, Guilford County or Triad-based residents and companies?

There has been a lot of conversation on “low income” help from the government regarding stimulus money assistance for Homeless Prevention.  Are there any funds to address the current homeless population?

Gov. Perdue has a plan to train 300 public librarians state wide on assisting with job searches – will there be networking with those public libraries to announce new job opportunities?

Are contractors [receiving] money to stimulate our economy [going to] be required to hire only documented U.S. citizens?

What plans if any are being prepared for small retail operations/business owners already in business?

[Has] any thought [been] given to supplementing transportation services since many of the youth don’t drive – so they can get to the jobs?

The Warnersville Community Center was built in 1959.  If not the oldest[,] it is the smallest center in the city.  It has [responsibility for] the largest youth population in the city. . . .  The gym is small (not a full size basketball floor) with only two basketball goals.  There are no dressing rooms, small meeting rooms and rest rooms from the original structure.  How can this stimulus package provide for a center that meets the needs of our community in 2009?

Concerning weatherization, what agencies [are involved] and how much money do we expect?

What efforts will be made to assure minority businesses also benefit from the stimulus?

How will money be given to nonprofit organizations?  Will there be a grant cycle?

Can small business apply for [the] labor pool available to assist with administrative duties?

How will individuals receive stimulus proceeds in social security or paychecks?

Will you provide the bullet points offered by each panelist in written form on the website and in your connect newsletter?

For additional information on the Stimulus Package, try some of the following links:

A Summary of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

An article from the IRS Reporter with information which may be useful to employers

Another IRS link with beneficial tax information   

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act official website

The American Library Association’s website on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and what it means for libraries

Once again, we would like to extend thanks to our panelists:  Mike Mills, Division Engineer for the N.C. Department of Transportation’s Division 7; Gale Cruise, Director of the Triad Region Self Help Credit Union; Lillian Plummer, Executive Director of the Greensboro/High Point/Guilford Workforce Development Consortium; Sue Schwartz, Neighborhood Planning Manager of Greensboro’s Housing and Community Development; and, our moderator, Assistant City Manager Denise Turner.    

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