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U.S. Chamber’s goal: 20 million jobs in 10 years

Mike Taylor //April 29, 2010//

U.S. Chamber’s goal: 20 million jobs in 10 years

Mike Taylor //April 29, 2010//

Economic recovery will be accomplished through free enterprise, not the government, said Thomas Donohue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. And contrary to what some in Washington have led us to believe, when it comes to business, failure should be an option.

Or as he put it, “How are small businesses going to deal with a government that doesn’t want any risks?”

Donohue was in Denver on Monday promoting the U.S. Chamber’s “American Free Enterprise. Dream Big” campaign, an effort to spur the creation of 20 million jobs nationwide over the next decade. Throughout his 20-minute talk, he emphasized the power of free enterprise as opposed to government in addressing two challenges: deficit reduction and job creation.

“When the government becomes a prime factor rather than a supporting factor, we’ve got a problem,” he said. “If the government’s feeding you, then the government’s going to tell you what you can eat.”

The U.S. Chamber’s free-enterprise campaign has so far included stops in more than 100 cities in a grassroots effort to engage business leaders, community officials and other citizens in a dialog about the role of free enterprise in job creation and long-term economic prosperity. Donohue’s direct audience Monday consisted of Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce members and other business and community leaders. More on the campaign is available at

To help the country meet the goal of 20 million jobs in 10 years, Donohue pegged Colorado’s share at 200,000 jobs. While he acknowledged that there have been signs of recovery, such as a rising stock market, he said, “We’re not going to see significant job increases until the uncertainty goes away. ‘What is health care going to cost me?'” Donohue asked. “‘What are climate (change initiatives) going to cost me?'”

A key partner in the U.S. Chamber’s free-enterprise campaign is Junior Achievement, a worldwide organization that promotes financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship among youths, largely through volunteers from the business community. The organization has launched a program called “JA: Be Entrepreneurial,” aided by business role models and volunteers who serve as a link between business and education. For information on Junior Achievement Rocky Mountain Inc., visit

Jack Kosakowski, executive vice president and COO of JA Worldwide and president of Junior Achievement USA, also spoke at the Monday gathering and said the biggest recent growth in JA has occurred outside the United States, as students in other countries have lived through big-government control and appreciate the newfound opportunity to shape their own destinies. He said more than half the young people the organization has surveyed say they want to start their own business.

“What breathes life into it is you, the businessperson,” Kosakowski said, “You, the volunteer.”
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