Why a member of Trump’s cabinet identified with a thrift store training program in Salt Lake City
SALT LAKE CITY – A member of President Donald Trump’s cabinet beamed when he was handed a red workout apron at a Salt Lake thrift store on Wednesday.
Her signature appears on much of the money printed during the Trump administration because she was treasurer of the United States for two years. But Jovita Carranza has identified with Deseret Industries’ customer service training program as she now helps oversee the country’s COVID-19 back-up paycheck protection program, in her role as head of Small Business. Administration.
“Oh, I’m in training,” she said, pulling on the apron and tying it behind her. “When the PPP launched it, everything was new. I keep learning. “
Carranza has crisscrossed the country in recent weeks to see how SBA loans are helping small businesses keep workers on their payroll. Loans are repayable if employee retention criteria are met.
She stopped by the thrift store as part of a tour of Welfare Square, the humanitarian center of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She said faith-based organizations are a critical part of the country’s response to COVID-19.
“I was totally moved by the amount of community work being done here,” she said after touring the bakery, dairy, bishop’s store, and thrift store.
“While you have small businesses that thrive with P3, supported in their small businesses with the Economic Disaster Lending Program, you also have faith-based organizations like Latter-day Saints that I have visited here that provide community support, ”Carranza mentioned.
Carranza described to Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, who took part in part of the Welfare Square tour, how she joined the administration’s successful efforts to convince Congress that churches and other faith-based organizations should be eligible for PPP loans.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints did not apply for a PPP loan, and Carranza said she played a critical role.
“They are not asking for the PPP, but they are providing services based on the support they have received from their members,” she said. “The support they provide is not just food, it’s not just worship, but it’s also education, skill development and really contributes to prosperity and self-sufficiency,” which is important for this administration. The president has always talked about supporting those who need it most. “
President Trump visited Welfare Square itself in December 2017.
Carranza said she was impressed after Latter-day Saint leaders described how they run Welfare Square and 110 Episcopal warehouses across the United States.
“When something like COVID-19 unexpectedly happens, we have a two-year supply of food and commodities in storage that can start shipping immediately to help those in need, and then we increase production to replenish it. procurement, ”said Elder Kent F. Richards, director of Church Hosting.
For example, the Welfare Square bakery alone makes 2,000 loaves of bread a day. It has been producing 6,600 breads a day since closures caused by COVID-19 created economic turmoil.
The church also operates more than 100 trucks and trailers that regularly help supply pantries across the country. Since mid-March, it has sent 15 additional trucks of food and basic items every week. A truck carries enough food to feed 1,400 people for a week.
“Utah is the national leader in volunteerism,” Herbert told Carranza. “We also lead the nation in charitable giving, not only in giving, but in volunteer time and talent. “
“This means the government doesn’t have to work as hard, because the private sector, where the church is a leader, helps people do the right things for the right reasons.”
Carranza was in the White House with President Trump the day before his trip to Utah. She was present when he signed Susan B. Anthony’s forgiveness to celebrate the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in the United States.
Carranza was in Pittsburgh last weekend and also visited Wisconsin, North Carolina, Texas and Illinois in recent weeks.
Before arriving at Welfare Square, she visited Solid Ground LLC, a Salt Lake-based outsourcing company that received a PPP loan. Solid Ground recently carried out the work on the entrance gate to Zion National Park.
Carranza will visit three other Salt Lake area businesses on Thursday.
“We are honored that she took the time to visit us to see our facilities” in Welfare Square, said Elder Jack N. Gerard, executive director of church communications and General Authority Seventy. “To date, we have delivered over 750 projects in over 137 countries around the world. So our reach is wide, but we also focus on the United States, which is part of what the administrator is looking at. “
Carranza, the daughter of Mexican immigrants who went from a part-time nightclub manager at UPS to being the company’s vice president of airline operations and then president of Latin America and the Caribbean operations, has appealed in Spanish to Hispanic populations in need. to take advantage of both the government’s PPP program and church vocational training programs, self-reliance courses and humanitarian aid.
“Not only are their programs available within government that can provide a lifeline, but there is help available from Latter-day Saints as well,” she said.
“There aren’t enough words to describe the impact you have in our communities,” she told Elder Gerard. “Thank you very much for what you do nationally and globally, and for having so many volunteers. You set the standards for what volunteering is, what mission is, and what sacrifice is, and I leave this place much more enlightened and enriched than when I arrived.