Tag Archives: jobs

President Obama Speaks on Rebuilding Our Nation’s Infrastructure at Ellicott Dredges, Baltimore, May 17, 2013

The President:

“But we’ve had a little difficulty getting our Republican friends to work with us to find a steady funding source for these projects that everybody knows needs to happen. But in fairness, one of the problems we’ve had in the past is, is that sometimes it takes too long to get projects off the ground. There are all these permits and red tape and planning, and this and that, and some of it’s important to do, but we could do it faster.

So a while back, what I did was I ordered everybody who was involved in approving projects to speed up the permitting process for 50 different big projects all across the country, from the Tappan Zee Bridge in New York to the Port of Charleston in South Carolina. And we’ve been able to, in some cases, cut approval times from seven years down to a year. So we’ve made progress. (Applause.)

Today, I’m directing agencies across the government to do what it takes to cut timelines for breaking ground on major infrastructure projects in half. And what that will mean is, is that construction workers get back on the jobs faster. It means more money going back into local economies, and it means more demand for outstanding dredging equipment that is made right here in Baltimore….

So those are some of the ways that we can create the conditions for businesses like this one to generate even more good jobs. And these are the kinds of ideas that we have to stay focused on every single day. This should be our principal focus: How are we making ourselves more competitive; how are we training our workers so that they can do the jobs that need to be done; how can we make sure that we stay on the cutting edge in terms of technology; how are we making it easier for businesses to succeed….

I think about a woman here, Myrna LaBarre. Myrna LaBarre — where is Myrna? (Applause.) There’s Myrna right here. (Applause.) Myrna LaBarre. Myrna has been at Ellicott for more than 50 years. (Applause.) Now, that means she started when there were no child labor laws, because it was clearly illegal. (Laughter.) She was about four or five, and they started putting her to work, put a broom in her hand. But when somebody asked Myrna what lessons she learned after 50 years working at the same company, she said, “Be honest, be helpful, accept your mistakes and improve upon them, be good to people, keep a good sense of humor, have the best work ethic possible, and handle the good times and get over the bad.” That’s a pretty good recipe for success right there. That’s who we are. That’s who we are. (Applause.) Thank you, Myrna.

I mean, that pretty much sums up everything. (Laughter.) That’s who we like to understand America to be, who we are as Americans. We’re honest and helpful. We work hard. We’re good to others. We handle the good times, and we get over the bad times. If we keep that in mind, if we just all keep Myrna’s advice in mind, keep plugging away, keep fighting, we’ll build an even better America than we’ve got right now.”

Full text: http://1.usa.gov/16rPVl9

Advertisements

President’s Weekly Address: Fixing our Immigration System and Expanding Trade in Latin America, May 4, 2013

“Hi, everybody. Today, I’m speaking to you from the road – a trip to Mexico and Costa Rica.

I’m here because Latin America represents an incredible opportunity for the United States, especially when it comes to my top priority as President: creating good, middle-class jobs.

On Friday, we learned that our businesses created another 176,000 jobs last month. That’s 2.2 million new jobs over the past year, and 6.8 million new jobs over the past 38 months.

But as I’ve said before, I won’t be satisfied until everyone who wants a job can find one. So I’m going to keep doing everything I can and going everywhere I need to go to help our businesses create jobs.

Now, one of the best ways to grow our economy is to sell more goods and services Made in America to the rest of the world. That includes our neighbors to the south.

Right now, over 40 percent of our exports go to the Americas. And those exports are growing faster than our trade with the rest of the world. That’s why I visited Latin America this week – to work with leaders to deepen our economic ties and expand trade between our nations.

In Mexico, I also talked about immigration reform, because that’s an important issue that affects both our countries.

The truth is, right now, our border with Mexico is more secure than it’s been in years. We’ve put more boots on that border than at any time in our history, and illegal crossings are down by nearly 80 percent from their peak in 2000. But we’ve got more to do – not just to secure the border but to fix an immigration system that is badly broken.

In recent weeks, we’ve seen a commonsense immigration reform bill introduced in the Senate. This bill is a compromise, which means that nobody got everything they wanted – including me. But it’s largely consistent with the principles I’ve laid out from the beginning.

It would continue to strengthen security at our borders and hold employers more accountable if they knowingly hire undocumented workers.

It would provide a pathway to earned citizenship for the 11 million individuals who are already in this country illegally.

And it would modernize our legal immigration system so that we’re able to reunite families and attract the highly-skilled entrepreneurs and engineers who will help create good paying jobs and grow our economy.

These are all commonsense steps that the majority of Americans support. So there’s no reason that immigration reform can’t become a reality this year.

In the meantime, I’ll keep working with our neighbors on our common security and our common prosperity. Millions of Americans earn a living right now because of the trade between our nations. And after this week, I’m as confident as ever that we can build on our shared heritage and values to open more markets for American businesses and create more jobs for American workers.

Thanks and have a great weekend.”

Source: http://1.usa.gov/1087SBF

Joining Forces: Jobs for Military Veterans and Spouses

Announcing New Hiring Commitments for Veterans and Military Spouses

The President:

“Now, our economy is growing. It’s creating jobs on a consistent basis. Although I just had a press conference — we could be doing even better if we’d get a little more cooperation down the street. But for post-9/11 veterans, employment continues to lag behind the national average — and that’s especially true for our youngest veterans. And this does not make any sense.

If you can save a life on the battlefield, then you sure as heck can save one in an ambulance in a state-of-the-art hospital. If you can oversee a convoy of equipment and track millions of dollars of assets, then you can run a company’s supply chain or you can balance its books. If you can lead a platoon in a war zone, then I think you can lead a team in a conference center.

There are lots of extremely talented young people who are more than qualified for the jobs that businesses are looking to fill. We’ve got the end of the Iraq war. The war in Afghanistan is drawing to a close. More than 1 million servicemembers are going to be transitioning back to civilian life in the coming years. So we’ve got to do everything we can to make sure they have every opportunity to succeed.

That’s why, a year and a half ago, I signed new tax credits for companies that hire unemployed veterans and Wounded Warriors. And since then, the number of veterans hired through tax credits like these has more than doubled. And my budgets proposed extending these tax credits permanently. Congress needs to get that done.

We’re working to help our troops earn the credentials they need for jobs in manufacturing and medicine and transportation. We strengthened the Post-9/11 GI Bill, helping nearly 1 million veterans and military family members get a college education. And for the first time in 20 years, we’ve overhauled the military’s Transition Assistance Program to help our newest veterans compete for those private sector jobs. Our online Veterans Jobs Bank now has more than 2.5 million searchable job postings. With our Veterans Gold Card, our veterans receive six months of personalized career counseling. At my direction, the federal government has hired nearly 250,000 veterans.

So we’ve made progress, but we know that government alone can’t put every veteran and military spouse to work. So about a year and a half ago, I went down to the Navy Yard and issued a challenge to America’s businesses: Hire or train 100,000 veterans and military spouses by the end of 2013. And I am proud to say that these companies stepped up. And some of those companies are represented here today.”

Full text: http://1.usa.gov/12RGFBL

First Lady Speaks at the White House Forum on Military Credentialing and Licensing

“But too often, because of red tape, or outdated rules, or simple lack of coordination, our men and women in uniform come home only to find that the training and experience they’ve gotten during their time in uniform simply doesn’t count. Or they discover that the credits that they’ve earned in military courses don’t actually transfer when they enroll in college, so they’re turned away from jobs that they’re more than qualified to do. Or they wind up paying to do the same coursework over again, and all that training, all that education, all that expertise that they have devoted their lives to attain, it all goes to waste.

And this is unfair to the men and women who have served this country so bravely. They deserve a fair shot at a good job when they come home. But it’s also unfair to their families who have sacrificed probably more in some instances so that these men and women can do their job. And they deserve some financial security once they return to civilian life.

It is also unfair to this country, because when we don’t take advantage of the skills and talents of our veterans and military spouses, jobs go unfilled and, far worse, human potential goes untapped. And that’s bad for our economy, as we all know.

Now fortunately, in recent months we’ve seen leaders across this country starting to solve this problem. We have seen dozens of governors and state legislators passing laws that clear away all the red tape so that veterans and military spouses can get the licenses they need for the jobs they’re qualified for. And that’s really a big deal. It’s not a small task.

But the truth is that changing our laws is truly just the beginning. Because even the best laws in the world won’t make a difference until companies are actually making those job offers, schools are accepting those credits, and our veterans and military spouses are actually collecting those paychecks that they need to take care of their families.

So at the end of the day, whether or not we solve this problem in so many ways is up to the men and women in this room. That’s why we’ve invited you to the White House today to participate in these roundtables.”

Full text: http://1.usa.gov/10nVd80

Joining Forces to Provide Jobs for Military Families

Weekly Address, April 27, 2013: Time to Replace the Sequester with a Balanced Approach to Deficit Reduction

“Hi, everybody. Our top priority as a nation must be growing the economy, creating good jobs, and rebuilding opportunity for the middle class.

But two months ago, Congress allowed a series of automatic budget cuts to fall across the federal government that would do the opposite. In Washington-speak, these cuts were called the “sequester.” It was a bad idea then. And as the country saw this week, it’s a bad idea now.

Because of these reckless cuts, there are parents whose kids just got kicked out of Head Start programs scrambling for a solution. There are seniors who depend on programs like Meals on Wheels to live independently looking for help. There are military communities – families that have already sacrificed enough – coping under new strains. All because of these cuts.

This week, the sequester hurt travelers, who were stuck for hours in airports and on planes, and rightly frustrated by it. And, maybe because they fly home each weekend, the Members of Congress who insisted these cuts take hold finally realized that they actually apply to them too.

Republicans claimed victory when the sequester first took effect, and now they’ve decided it was a bad idea all along. Well, first, they should look at their own budget. If the cuts they propose were applied across the board, the FAA would suffer cuts three times deeper.

So Congress passed a temporary fix. A Band-Aid. But these cuts are scheduled to keep falling across other parts of the government that provide vital services for the American people. And we can’t just keep putting Band-Aids on every cut. It’s not a responsible way to govern. There is only one way to truly fix the sequester: by replacing it before it causes further damage.

A couple weeks ago, I put forward a budget that replaces the next several years of these dumb cuts with smarter cuts; reforms our tax code to close wasteful special interest loopholes; and invests in things like education, research, and manufacturing that will create new jobs right now.

So I hope Members of Congress will find the same sense of urgency and bipartisan cooperation to help the families still in the crosshairs of these cuts. They may not feel the pain felt by kids kicked off Head Start, or the 750,000 Americans projected to lose their jobs because of these cuts, or the long-term unemployed who will be further hurt by them. But that pain is real.

The American people worked too hard, for too long, rebuilding from one economic crisis just to see your elected officials keep causing more. Our economy is growing. Our deficits are shrinking. We’re creating jobs on a consistent basis. But we need to do more to help middle-class families get ahead, and give more folks a chance to earn their way into the middle class. And we can, if we work together. That’s what you expect. That’s what I’m going to work every single day to help deliver. Thank you.”

Source: http://1.usa.gov/1614UBw

President Obama Speaks on American Energy at Argonne National Laboratory, March 15, 2013

“After years of talking about it, we’re finally poised to take control of our energy future. We produce more oil than we have in 15 years. We import less oil than we have in 20 years. We’ve doubled the amount of renewable energy that we generate from sources like wind and solar — with tens of thousands of good jobs to show for it. We’re producing more natural gas than we ever have before — with hundreds of thousands of good jobs to show for it. We supported the first new nuclear power plant in America since the 1970s. And we’re sending less carbon pollution into the environment than we have in nearly 20 years….

And that’s why we have to keep investing in scientific research. It’s why we have to maintain our edge — because the work you’re doing today will end up in the products that we make and sell tomorrow. You’re helping to secure our energy future. And if we do it well, then that’s going to help us avoid some of the perils of climate change and leave a healthier planet for our kids. But to do it, we’ve got to make sure that we’re making the right choices in Washington.

Just the other day, Dr. Isaacs and directors of two of our other national laboratories wrote about the effects of the so-called sequester — these across-the-board budget cuts put in place two weeks ago …. will force him to stop any new project that’s coming down the line. And I’m quoting him now — he says, “This sudden halt on new starts will freeze American science in place while the rest of the world races forward, and it will knock a generation of young scientists off their stride, ultimately costing billions of dollars in missed future opportunities.” I mean, essentially because of this sequester, we’re looking at two years where we don’t start new research….

We can’t afford to miss these opportunities while the rest of the world races forward….

… but the only way to really break this cycle of spiking gas prices, the only way to break that cycle for good is to shift our cars entirely — our cars and trucks — off oil. That’s why, in my State of the Union address, I called on Congress to set up an Energy Security Trust to fund research into new technologies that will help us reach that goal.

…. Basically, my proposal builds off a proposal that was put forward by a non-partisan coalition that includes retired generals and admirals and leading CEOs. And these leaders came together around a simple idea — much of our energy is drawn from lands and waters that we, the public, own together. So what they’ve proposed is let’s take some of our oil and gas revenues from public lands and put it towards research that will benefit the public so we can support American ingenuity without adding a dime to our deficit….

We can support scientists who are designing new engines that are more energy efficient; support scientists that are developing cheaper batteries that can go farther on a single charge; support scientists and engineers that are devising new ways to fuel our cars and trucks with new sources of clean energy — like advanced biofuels and natural gas — so drivers can one day go coast to coast without using a drop of oil….

And in the meantime, we’ll keep moving on the all-of-the-above energy strategy that we’ve been working on for the last couple years, where we’re producing more oil and gas here at home but we’re also producing more biofuels, we’re also producing more fuel-efficient vehicles; more solar power; more wind power. We’re working to make sure that here in America we’re building cars and homes and businesses that waste less energy.”

Transcript: 1.usa.gov/Xdwp2n

“We’re not going to stop working on behalf of the American people.”

President Obama’s first Cabinet meeting of his second term:

The President:

“Obviously, we’re going to be spending some time talking about the potential impact of the sequester on all the agencies and missions across the board. It is an area of deep concern and I think everybody knows where I stand on this issue….

And so I will continue to seek out partners on the other side of the aisle so that we can create the kind of balanced approach of spending cuts, revenues, entitlement reform that everybody knows is the right way to do things….

Now, my agenda obviously is broader than just the sequester, because I laid out both in the inauguration and during the State of the Union a very robust agenda to make sure that we’re doing everything we can to grow this economy and to help families thrive and expand their opportunities. We want to make sure we’ve got a growing middle class and more ladders of opportunity into the middle class.

So in addition to talking about budget issues, we’re also going to spend some time talking about making sure that we have comprehensive immigration reform done. And I want to again thank members of Congress who on a bipartisan basis are moving forward on that agenda. We’re going to have the opportunity to talk about initiatives like early childhood education that can have an enormous impact on our kids and, ultimately, our growth and productivity. We’ll have a chance to hear from Joe and other members of the Cabinet about progress in reducing gun violence in this country.

So one of the things that I’ve instructed not just my White House but every agency is to make sure that, regardless of some of the challenges that they may face because of sequestration, we’re not going to stop working on behalf of the American people to make sure that we’re doing everything we can to continue to grow this economy and improve people’s prospects.”

Full remarks here: http://1.usa.gov/12p5ybg

More posts added in Replies throughout the day.

White House Video Roundup, Part 2

President Obama Speaks in Chicago, Illinois on Strengthening the Economy for the Middle Class

President Obama discusses the plan he laid out in the State of the Union to strengthen communities and families, and make sure every American and every community willing to do the work has the opportunity to lift themselves up.

President Obama Presents the 2012 Presidential Citizens Medals

We are a nation of 315 million people. Out of all these folks, around 6,000 were nominated for this medal. And today, you’re the ones receiving it not just for what you do, but for what you represent — for the shining example that you set every single day and the inspiration that you give each of us as fellow citizens, including your President….

The Presidential Citizens Medal is awarded to Rachel D’Avino, Dawn Hochsprung, Anne Marie Murphy, Lauren Rousseau, Mary Sherlach, and Victoria Soto for dedicating themselves to their students and to the community of Newtown, Connecticut. Some had been at Sandy Hook Elementary School for only weeks; others were preparing to retire after decades of service. All worked long past the school bell to give the children in their care a future worth their talents. On December 14, 2012, unthinkable tragedy swept through Newtown, etching the names of these six courageous women into the heart of our nation forever. The United States honors Rachel D’Avino, Dawn Hochsprung, Anne Marie Murphy, Lauren Rousseau, Mary Sherlach, and Victoria Soto for their extraordinary commitment to the students of Sandy Hook Elementary School. http://1.usa.gov/12REKzy

President Obama’s Bilateral Meeting with President Napolitano of Italy

I want to thank the people of Italy for their enormous contributions to the NATO Alliance. Italy is one of our biggest contributors in Afghanistan, and makes enormous sacrifices. They welcome and host our troops on Italian soil. The economic bonds between our two countries are very significant. And in all this, President Napolitano has shown himself to be a visionary leader who has helped to guide and steer Europe towards greater unification, but always with a strong transatlantic relationship in mind. http://1.usa.gov/WvvLz1