Jobs and Improving Education on Chamber's Agenda

The June 13 jobs summit focuses in part on innovations at the local level. The new board chairman is State Farm’s Edward B. Rust Jr., who has a national reputation for pursuing improvements in the U.S. educational system.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce hosts a jobs summit June 13 with the governors of Delaware, Nebraska, Utah, and Wisconsin participating and a case study to be presented about jobs and innovation at the local level, focused on Denver and Pittsburgh, Pa.

The chamber's board last week elected Edward B. Rust Jr. as its chairman for a one-year term. Rust, who is chairman of the board and chief executive officer of State Farm Mutual® and its principal affiliates, is well known for his efforts to improve the quality of the U.S. educational system. He earned MBA and law degrees from Southern Methodist University, according to State Farm's online biography, and is a member of the Business Roundtable and The Financial Services Roundtable. The bio says he serves on the boards of America's Promise Alliance and the James B. Hunt, Jr., Institute for Educational Leadership, is former chairman of the Business-Higher Education Forum and Business Roundtable's Education Initiative, and served on the National (Glenn) Commission on Mathematics and Science Teaching for the 21st Century and on the No Child Left Behind Commission.

The chamber's website has posted an interesting interview with Rust in which he discusses some of his ideas for improving education and federal regulations. In it, Rust says Congress has ceded too much authority to rulemaking agencies; he suggests dates be established for all regulations to sunset or be subject to a review of their continued relevance and effectiveness.

"Ed understands the challenges facing American business today and will be a powerful advocate for us here in Washington," said U.S. Chamber President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue. "He has that unique ability to operate at the intersection of policy and business. He understands how each impacts the other, and he has earned the respect of both government and business leaders."

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