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UCF Hosts Local Job Summit at White House's Request

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By Karen Guin

Small business owners, executives, nonprofit mangers and other community members will meet to share ideas on ways to create jobs at a forum held at UCF on Dec. 11. 

The University of Central Florida Department of Public Administration will host the gathering in response to a request from the White House for community leaders from across the country to hold community job forums. 

"Your community jobs forum will be a source of insights and ideas that will inform the President's approach to job creation," White House advisor Valerie Jarrett wrote in an e-mail to community leaders including UCF's Thomas Bryer, assistant professor for public administration. She said President Obama wants "to explore every possible avenue for job creation."

The nation has an unemployment rate of 10.2, the highest in 26 years. Florida's unemployment rate is at about 11.2 percent. The picture is only expected to get worse according to economists around the nation.

That's why the White House is holding a national job summit today in Washington, D.C. The local summits to be held around the country continue the White House's quest for answers. 

The Central Florida community jobs forum begins at 3 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 11 in room 247 of Health and Public Affairs building II on the Orlando campus. The event is free and open to the public, but space is limited. Register at

Last year, UCF's Department of Public Administration held a community forum on health care in response to a request from the White House.

"Our forum was one of four out of 3,276 conducted around the country to be featured in a final report from the Obama Administration," Bryer said. 

"This is exactly the kind of thing universities can help facilitate," said Michael Frumkin, dean of the College of Health and Public Affairs. "We don't simply educate students, we want to be part of creating lasting solutions that will help our community."

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