Minister Burton in Milwaukee and Chicago to promote Irish trade and investment

Print page
Minister Burton in Milwaukee and Chicago to promote Irish trade and investment and meet with Irish community and immigration reform groups
The Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton T.D., today (14th March 2013) begins a visit to Milwaukee and Chicago to meet with political, business and civic leaders and organisations and promote Ireland as a trade and investment location.
The visit, part of the Government’s St Patrick’s Day “Promote Ireland” programme, will see Minister Burton undertake a number of economic, cultural and community engagements.
She will update the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago on Ireland’s economic progress, meet with a leading support group for women in business, and hear from organisations working for immigration reform as well as attending St Patrick’s Day celebrations.
Minister Burton said: “I will be using this visit not alone to promote Ireland’s trade, investment and tourism strengths, but to hear from leading experts and activists on entrepreneurship, childcare, mortgage distress and a range of other issues relevant to Ireland’s situation right now.
“Ireland has a good story to tell. We expect to see our third straight year of economic growth this year, we have stabilised our banks and foreign direct investment is increasing rapidly.
“There is a reason for that - we have a young, adaptable, highly-educated workforce in the only English-speaking member of the Eurozone, with ready access to a market of 500 million consumers.
“Some of that highly-educated and experienced workforce is currently unemployed, a consequence of the economic crisis. Ireland’s unemployment rate is falling as the economy recovers, but it’s not falling fast enough, and my priority as Social Protection Minister is to address that.
“I will use this visit to stress to US investors the immense pool of talent available in Ireland, the quality of our graduates and the €1 billion investment we are making in retraining and upskilling people seeking work so that they are job-ready.”
Among the leaders and organisations the Minister will meet in Milwaukee are:
  • The Mayor of Milwaukee, Bob Barrett
  • The Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation, which provides business education, technical assistance and access to capital, with an emphasis on women, people of colour, and low-income individuals
  • BizStarts Milwaukee, which seeks to inspire, nurture and connect entrepreneurs and their companies
  • Academic experts on distressed mortgages
  • Milwaukee Irish Fest, which promotes and celebrates Irish culture, and seeks to instil in future generations an appreciation of Irish heritage
Among the engagements the Minister will undertake in Chicago are:
  • The Irish-American Partnership Business Breakfast. The IAP works to promote business relations between Ireland and the US and its donors support education, community and job creation programmes in Ireland north and south
  • The Irish Fellowship Club of Chicago St Patrick’s Dinner, which will be attended by approximately 1,000 political, business, religious and community leaders.
  • The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. This meeting will provide the Minister with the opportunity to brief the Federal Reserve representatives on economic developments in Ireland - and specifically on the progress being made on the banking front – and to hear from the Federal Reserve on the US situation
  • The Editorial Board of the Chicago Tribune
  • The Chicago Celts for Immigration Reform and the Chicago Irish Immigrant Support Organisation to discuss the prospects for comprehensive immigration reform and the Government’s commitment to same
  • The Chicago St Patrick’s Day parade on Saturday
  • St Patrick’s Day Mass on Sunday in Gaelic Park
  • The Irish-American Heritage Centre
  • The Educare Early Schooling Programme and the After School Matters organisation
Last modified:14/03/2013