WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Tom Rice, R-SC, presided over a meeting of the House small business subcommittee he chairs in Washington, D.C. Thursday as part of a series of meetings the congressman plans to hold focusing on America economic competitiveness.

The House Small Business Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax, and Capital Access heard testimony from four witnesses, including Southeastern Institute of Manufacturing and Technology (SiMT) Director Jack Roach, focused on economic innovation, job creation, and how Washington can help foster entrepreneurship.

Rice said the meeting was a success during a phone interview with Pee Dee Politics shortly after the subcommittee adjourned.

“We’re going to look at how we can keep job in America and stop the out flow and actually bring jobs back to America,” Rice said.

Roach, who joined Rice on the call, said the hearing was a chance for him to let others know about SiMT and how organizations like it can help foster economic growth.

“We came up here to basically tell our story. This was a opportunity to get our message out,” Roach said. “We're here to support the success of America businesses, partly in our local community, the rest of South Carolina and the region.”

SiMT is located in Florence on the campus of Florence Darlington Technical College. The facility boasts a state of the art training facility and provides technical service for industry in the southeastern United States, providing various services including engineering/CAD/CAM, rapid prototyping, and 3D/virtual reality services and various forms of manufacturing and business training.

Joining Roach on Thursday was Julie Lenzer Kirk, Co-Chair of Startup Maryland in Columbia, MD; Steve Johnson, President and CEO of CreatiVasc in Greenville, SC, and Michael D. McGeary, Co-Founder of Engine Advocacy in San Francisco, CA.

Rice said the subcommittee will hold meetings throughout the year focusing on the idea of American competativness. It is next scheduled to meet around June 1, when Rice said Michael Porter of the Harvard Business School a leading authority on competitive economic strategies will give a presentation.

“This wasn’t a partisan issue,” Rice said. “Everybody wants to work together to do what we can to create jobs and to keep America competitive.”

Rice said he hopes to have members of the subcommittee visit South Carolina’s 7th Congressional District, but said no meeting dates had been set.

By John Sweeney. Pee Dee Politics. Posted: Thursday, April 18, 2013 6:31 pm