Federal City Digest

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A Shut-and-Open Case

Kevin Surace, chief executive of California-based Serious Materials, could see which way the wind was blowing when he decided that the weatherization funds in the economic stimulus package could make it profitable to reopen Chicago's Republic Windows and Doors factory, which went under in December and made national headlines as workers occupied the plant for six days demanding their severance pay. Most of the 260 or so Republic employees who lost their jobs just weeks before Christmas will be rehired by Serious Materials, which makes energy-efficient windows and doors, Surace said.

Yesterday, Vice President Biden went to Chicago to laud the plant as a prime example of stimulus money at work. The plan's $8 billion weatherization and energy-efficiency component, administered through the Energy Department, provides "the immediate biggest bang for the buck" in the bill, said Biden, flanked by Sens. Richard J. Durbin and Roland W. Burris (both D-Ill.) and Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley (D).

"It has the advantage of creating jobs, jobs right here in America," he said, our colleague Kari Lydersen reports.

The plant will churn out energy-efficient windows for use in government buildings being retrofitted using the stimulus bill's weatherization funds.

Pick for AIDS Post

President Obama announced that he intends to nominate Eric Goosby as ambassador at large and State Department global AIDS coordinator. Goosby, a professor of medicine at the University of California at San Francisco, has been the chief executive and chief medical officer of Pangaea Global AIDS Foundation since 2001.

During the Clinton administration, he served as deputy director of the White House National AIDS Policy Office and directed the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of HIV/AIDS Policy.


-- Obama will address FBI employees after a meeting with Director Robert Mueller at agency headquarters. In the afternoon, he will meet with the Congressional Progressive Caucus and present the National Teacher of the Year Award in the Rose Garden.

-- Biden will travel to Austin to speak at the National Domestic Violence Hotline headquarters. As a senator, the vice president was the author of the 1994 Violence Against Women Act, which created the hotline. Austin Mayor Will Wynn (D) will also attend.

-- It's Equal Pay Day -- designed to call attention to women's lower earning power -- and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and first lady Michelle Obama will mark it by speaking in succession at an the unveiling of a Capitol Visitor Center bust of women's rights crusader Sojourner Truth.

-- Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) will preside over a hearing on "War Powers in the 21st Century." Witnesses will include former secretaries of state James A. Baker III and Warren Christopher, as well as former House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Lee H. Hamilton.

-- The Kaiser Family Foundation will release its 2009 Survey of Americans on HIV/AIDS.

-- Garance Franke-Ruta federalcity@washpost.com

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