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GSA Uses Recovery Act Funds to Modernize One-time Munitions Factory

As prepared for delivery

Remarks by
Steven Leeds
Senior Counselor to the Administrator
U.S. General Services Administration
Goodfellow Federal Center Dedication
St. Louis, MO
August 2, 2010

It’s terrific to be back in St. Louis at the Goodfellow Federal Complex with so many great Missourians including Congressman Clay and Representative Whitehead. I’m delighted that GSA Regional Administrator Jason Klumb is here, and that Rachel McComb from Senator Bond’s office was able to join us today. I would also like to recognize Commissioner Astrue of the Social Security Administration and John Oke-Thomas of Oke-Thomas and Associates. It has been a pleasure for GSA to partner with both the Social Security Administration and Oke-Thomas on this project.

I visited this building last February when construction was just getting started, and I am immensely proud to see that only five months later we have seen such remarkable progress in turning a vacant former ammunition factory into a light-drenched, energy efficient, workplace for our nation’s public servants.

When President Obama came to office, he inherited an economy that was losing an average of 750,000 jobs each month, and the country faced the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression.

In response to this economic freefall, last year President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The mission of this landmark legislation was bold, and its purpose was clear: to mitigate the economic impact of the crisis and lay a new foundation for our future prosperity.

The results are clear. After 22 straight months of job loss, we have now seen our economy create private-sector jobs for six months in a row, including 83,000 in June and nearly 600,000 this year. Through a wide range of initiatives including $223 billion in tax breaks for millions of working families and smart, careful investments, the Recovery Act has helped to save or create between 2.5 and 3.5 million new jobs nationwide.

Since last summer, GSA has quadrupled our number of active Recovery Act construction projects, which has meant more jobs nationwide – jobs that are recovering from our past and reinvesting in our collective future by building the vital infrastructure of our nation.

The new Social Security Administration offices in Building 110 represent the best of the Recovery Act and the best of GSA’s green building design program. Thanks to over $36 million in Recovery Act funding for the entire Goodfellow Federal Complex -- $16 million of which was invested in Building 110 – these new offices incorporate the latest in innovative design including seamless integration of daylight, highly efficient HVAC and lighting systems, solar-heated water, and advanced utility metering technology. These features will save taxpayer dollars and they have grown green jobs throughout local design, engineering, and construction firms.

Green jobs like these will be the foundation of our future economic success. We are wasting no time in moving aggressively forward on the green and environmental front: To date, GSA has invested $4.4 billion in building modernization and construction projects, and as of this month GSA has put 545 companies to work on green building projects, more than double the number of a year ago.

These jobs represent the kind of smart investments that will launch our country into the next decade and beyond.

Thanks to the Recovery Act, GSA is driving the construction, transportation, energy, and automotive industries toward green projects and technologies that invest in the jobs and the economy of the future.

Here in Missouri, the state has been awarded over $5.1 billion in total Recovery Act funding, and to date that money has helped save or create more than 59,000 jobs.

Yet as the national economic outlook improves, there is still a long way to go before our economy is back on its feet again, and although the numbers tell one story, there are still too many Americans who are feeling the terrible anxiety of unemployment.

But there are signs of hope. Here in the St. Louis area, nearly $1 billion has helped hundreds of workers including the nearly 500 workers hired to work on the Goodfellow Complex, and hundreds more will make Building 110 their workplace.

And we’re not done. Not nearly. This summer is the most active Recovery Act season yet, and we are seeing a significant spike in the rolling out of transportation, housing, and energy projects nationwide. In the past year, the construction industry has seen its biggest increase in the last decade, but when it comes to Recovery Act projects, the best is yet to come.

Thank you.

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