Fattah's West Coast Visit Focuses on Education and Federal Research

Jul 16, 2013, 12:03 ET from Office of Congressman Chaka Fattah

WASHINGTON, July 16, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-PA), architect of Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) was the speaker at this year's NCCEP/GEAR UP Annual National Conference in San Francisco, California.  Coordinated by the National Council for Community and Education Partnerships (NCCEP) and planned in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Education, this year's conference drew some 1500 students and education and business professionals. 

The highly acclaimed GEAR UP works with low-income students from disadvantaged areas who are in the 6th-12th grades, providing them the support necessary for them to stay in school, take rigorous classes, graduate high school, enter college, and gain a postsecondary degree without remediation.

Fattah spoke during the highly anticipated Roll Call of the GEAR UP States.  Speaking directly to the students in attendance he encouraged them not to let anyone deter them from their dream of a college education. "There will be people who will tell you that you don't have what it takes to succeed.  Don't listen to them," he said. "GEAR UP was created and designed to make sure that any student who wants to succeed in school will have all the tools necessary to help them do just that. GEAR UP will help you reach higher to be more, to be that person you want and know you can be."

Since its inception in 1999, GEAR UP has served more than 12 million students in 49 states, the District of Columbia and three other territories.  Almost $4 billion in federal funds has been given to GEAR UP.

While in California, Fattah, a senior member of the Energy and Water and Related Agencies Subcommittee on the House Appropriations Committee and long-time advocate for Federal funding of our national laboratories, visited three such laboratories today.  Fattah toured the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, the Lawrence Livermore National Lab – where he took a look at the National Ignition Facility - and the Sandia National Lab at its Livermore Campus. At Sandia, Fattah got a first-hand look at the research being conducted at the National Combustion Research Facility (CRF). There are more than 100 scientists, technologists and engineers at the CRF performing basic research to enhance America's capability to use and control combustion processes.

"If America is to stay at the forefront of innovation, then we must invest in our national labs," said Fattah.  "There is no doubt that these labs play a critical role in the research of energy, science, space and technology.  I will continue to do everything I can to be sure they receive the Federal funding necessary to continue their ground-breaking work."

Last week, Fattah won a victory in the FY 2014 Energy and Water Appropriations bill as he prevented funding for Philadelphia's Energy Efficient Buildings Hub from being axed as was proposed by the Senate.

Fattah is one of the co-founders of the bipartisan House Science and National Labs Caucus and has introduced legislation, H.Res.44, calling 2013 the "Year of the Federal Lab" to emphasize the continued need for U.S. investment in research through federal laboratories.

SOURCE Office of Congressman Chaka Fattah