April 7, 2021

Virtual Roundtable Recap: Global Partnerships, Local Impact in Hazleton, PA

Today, a Zoom room full of elected officials, community leaders, and business and non-profit executives agreed—America’s agriculture and international affairs programs play a critical role for communities like Hazleton. At a virtual roundtable hosted by the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) and Cargill, over a dozen participants from the Hazleton area discussed the local impact of these global programs, including how they strengthen American global leadership and help to create jobs, feed the hungry, and reduce poverty across Pennsylvania and around the world.

Here’s what some of these leaders had to say:

  • Annie Kneedler, Senior Director of Corporate Responsibility for Cargill: “Cargill employs more than a thousand people in Hazleton in meat processing, cocoa and chocolate, so this is the perfect place to be having a conversation about how agricultural exports to global markets are key to sustaining local economies—here in Pennsylvania and elsewhere— and ensuring that families around the world are fed. We’ve been delighted to partner with the USGLC on this series of conversations showcasing how America’s leadership abroad strengthens our agricultural economy and national security.”
  • Dr. Deanna Behring, Assistant Dean and Director of International Programs, College of Agricultural Sciences, Penn State University: “Here at Penn State University, we’re bringing the resources, research, and expertise of our faculty to help solve global challenges related to food and food insecurity. Recently, we’ve put a major emphasis on the role of women in the agriculture value chain around the world as a key tool to helping improve not just food and nutrition security but economic security—as well as giving women a chance to have resources to help in their own personal security.”

The conversation was led by Dan Glickman, former Secretary of Agriculture and senior advisor to USGLC, who said, “American engagement in the world is important for peace, security, and stability. If we disengage, it opens the door for other countries to take our place. We don’t need to dominate the world, but we do need stay engaged in health, security, and humanitarian issues. It’s important for protecting our country, as well as our economy and jobs. In the United States, 1 out of every 3 jobs is related to our exports, and if we lose access to markets overseas, we lose a vital source of income. That’s true across the country, but especially here in Pennsylvania, where these global connections play a huge part in strengthening the economy.”

Statewide Network Supporting Global Leadership

Pennsylvania has an active State Advisory Committee of more than 240 business, faith, military, government, and community leaders committed to strong investments in U.S. global engagement to help keep America safe and strengthen Pennsylvania’s economy. They include:

  • Mark S. Schweiker – Governor (2001-2003)
  • Patrick J. Murphy – U.S. Under Secretary of the Army (2016-2017), U.S. House of Representatives (2007-2011)
  • Cecilia McCormick – President of Elizabethtown College
  • Lauren Schwartz – President, World Affairs Council of Philadelphia
  • Robert Hollister – Superintendent, Eastern Lancaster County School District

You can find a full list of Pennsylvania’s State Advisory Committee members here: https://www.usglc.org/downloads/advisory-committees/PA-Advisory-Committee.pdf

Global Engagement Supports Pennsylvania Impact

The numbers speak for themselves. The strength of America’s global connections directly impacts the Pennsylvania economy and local jobs:

  • Pennsylvania exported more than $42.5 billion worth of goods in 2019, with international trade supporting more than 1,577,900 jobs in the state
  • The U.S. Trade and Development Agency has helped facilitate $1.3 billion in exports from Pennsylvania companies since 1992
  • 51,818international students were enrolled in Pennsylvania colleges and universities and contributed $2.1 billion to the Pennsylvania economy in 2019

Building the Future

Four Pennsylvania professionals were recently selected to join nearly 100 other young leaders from 33 states as part in the USGLC’s inaugural Next Gen Leaders Network. Through this year-long program, participants will receive leadership and advocacy training, interact with policymakers and opinion leaders, and draw connections between U.S. global engagement and their own communities:

  • Kelly Chege; PhD Candidate at Penn State University in BioRenewable Systems & International Agricultural Development; State College, PA
  • Jason Hunt; Manager, International Business Attraction and Retention, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; Harrisburg, PA
  • Adam Klazmer; Financial Advisor, Klazmer Financial Group; Philadelphia, PA
  • Kellie Marin; PhD Candidate, Graduate Teaching Assistant, The Pennsylvania State University; State College, PA

Liz Schrayer, USGLC President and CEO: “[T]his next generation is truly our future. Instead of seeing borders, they see solutions by working with partners around the world on issues like climate, hunger, global health and so many others that matter to American kitchen table issues. By investing in them, we are building a new cadre of advocates ready to educate policymakers about why leading globally matters locally.”

The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (www.usglc.org) is a broad-based influential network of 500 businesses and NGOs; national security and foreign policy experts; and business, faith-based, academic, military, and community leaders in all 50 states who support strategic investments to elevate development and diplomacy alongside defense in order to build a better, safer world.