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Rick Wade, Deputy Chief of Staff for the U.S. Department of Commerce, will help oversee the department’s minority business efforts and community outreach for U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke.

Locke will host a conference call with African American journalists Thursday to discuss efforts by the Obama Administration to support minority businesses across the country.

At the Department of Commerce, Secretary Locke is charged with helping implement President Obama’s ambitious agenda to turn around the economy and put people back to work. His department’s Minority Business Development Agency was created specifically to foster the establishment and growth of minority-owned businesses in America.

Wade’s involvement with the U.S. Commerce Department’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) comes as the agency is celebrating its 40th anniversary.

According to its Web site, the MBDA was originally established as the Office of Minority Business Enterprise by President Richard M. Nixon on March 5, 1969.By establishing a federal agency dedicated exclusively to minority business enterprise, President Nixon recognized the impact of minority businesses on the nation’s economy and on the general welfare of the country.

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