Read all posts from November 2011

  • Watch an Introduction to the Veteran's Job Bank, here

    The Obama Administration today launched a new tool that is designed to help put our veterans in contact with companies that appreciate their skills, and are eager to hire them. Built in collaboration with some of the country's leading technology companies, this easy to use tool means that veterans are now just a click or two away from career opportunities. Watch this video and find out how you or a veteran you know can get started right now/

  • On Monday morning, the Census Bureau released findings that provide a more accurate look at the impact public policy has on poverty. These data demonstrate that policies supported and extended by the President to give a helping hand to those hit hardest by the recession – tax cuts for working families, assistance for basic food costs and school lunches, and help with housing – kept millions of Americans out of poverty last year. 

    Additionally, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities released a new report based on the Census Bureau’s new data which found that provisions passed as part of the Recovery Act directly lifted nearly 7 million Americans out of poverty in 2010 and reduced poverty for 32 million more. This is on top of 6 million people lifted out of poverty by these policies in 2009. And these numbers are conservative estimates that do not reflect the indirect benefits from the jobs created through these policies. 

    In contrast to this approach, Republicans in Congress opposed all of these measures and passed a budget that would both cut back on many of these programs and also convert them into block grants, which would prevent them from automatically expanding in hard times. Had we followed that path, many more Americans would be in poverty today. 

  • Today, the Obama Administration launched the Veterans Job Bank, a new search tool designed to help connect veterans with employers.  The Job Bank works by bringing jobs listings directly to veterans—instead of the other way around—via a search widget that provides a single window into the myriad job boards, social media platforms, and corporate employment sites that are currently spread across the Internet.

  • White House Fellows Program Director Cindy Moelis, Dr. Anish Mahajan (WHF Class of 2009-2010) and Erica Jeffries (WHF Class of 2010-2011) will be answering your questions about the White House Fellow application process and the Fellowship experience in a live video chat on Thursday, November 10 at 12:00 p.m. EST.

    The White House Fellows Program is America's most prestigious fellowship for leadership and public service. We're answering your questions about the program designed to provide exceptional men and women with first-hand experience working at the highest levels of the Federal Government. The President’s Commission on White House Fellowships is currently accepting applications for the 2012-2013 Class. The application deadline is Friday, January 13, 2012 at 5:59 p.m. (EST).

    Right now, submit your questions:

    Thursday, November 10 at 12:00 p.m. EST:

    Visit WhiteHouse.gov/fellows to learn more about the program.

  • 500,000

    President Obama believes that no veteran should have to fight for a job after fighting for our nation overseas. That’s why he’s introduced a host of new tools to help connect veterans to jobs in the civilian workforce, including the Veterans Job Bank, which has more than 500,000 job listings with private sector employers looking to hire vets.

    To launch the Veterans Job Bank, the Obama Administration partnered with leading job search companies to create a new, easy-to-use online service that enables employers to “tag” job postings for veterans. The tool gives users the ability to search for jobs from thousands of military-friendly employers worldwide based on keyword, military occupation code (MOC) and/or location.

    Nearly 3 million service members have transitioned back to civilian life, and a million more will join them over the next five years as we end the war in Iraq and wind down the war in Afghanistan. These service members have mastered skills and leadership abilities they couldn’t have learned in any ordinary classroom, and have tremendous talents to offer our nation’s businesses.

    President Obama knows we can’t wait to help these heroes and their families. Other initiatives to help get them back to work include:

  • Watch President Obama's full remarks here

    The overall unemployment rate ticked down last month and our economy has added more than 350,000 private sector jobs over the past three months. But, over 850,000 veterans were unemployed as of October and the jobless rate for post-9/11 veterans was 12.1 percent. Having served and defended our nation, it just doesn’t make sense that so many of these well-trained, highly skilled, motivated and disciplined veterans can’t find a job worthy of their incredible talents. As the President has said, "If you can save a life in Afghanistan, you can save a life in an ambulance. If you can oversee millions of dollars of assets in Iraq, you can help a business balance its books here at home."

    Ensuring our nation’s veterans get the opportunities they have earned has been one of President Obama’s top priorities as Commander-in-Chief. Having already sent 600,000 veterans back to school on the Post-9/11 GI Bill and having hired over 120,000 veterans into the federal government, this Administration continues to take action to help create job opportunities for veterans.

    Today at the White House, leading veterans service organizations joined President Obama to announce their support for the Returning Heroes and Wounded Warrior Tax Credits, two provisions in the American Jobs Act Congress is scheduled to consider this week. The Returning Heroes Tax Credit provides firms that hire unemployed veterans with a maximum credit of $5,600 per veteran, while the Wounded Warriors Tax Credit offers firms that hire veterans with service-connected disabilities a maximum credit of $9,600 per veteran.  

    The President also announced a series of executive actions that will provide new resources for veterans to translate military experience to the private sector job market, give veterans additional career development support and better identify companies looking to hire veterans. These initiatives include:

    Veteran Gold Card:Effective today, post-9/11 veterans will be able to visit dol.gov/vets/goldcard.html to download the Veteran Gold Card, which entitles them to enhanced services including six months of personalized case management, assessments and counseling, at the roughly 3,000 One-Stop Career Centers located across the country. This should help serve the more than 200,000 unemployed post-9/11 veterans. The President directed the Department of Labor to launch this initiative in his August 4, 2011 speech at the Navy Yard.

    My Next Move for Veterans: The Department of Labor will launch My Next Move for Veterans (mynextmove.org/vets), a new online resource that allows veterans to enter their military occupation code and discover civilian occupations for which they are well qualified. The site will also include information about salaries, apprenticeships, and other related education and training programs.

    Creating a Veterans Job Bank:Today, the Administration launched the Veterans Jobs Bank, at National Resource Directory (NRD.gov), an easy to use tool to help veterans find job postings from companies looking to hire them. It already searches over 500,000 job postings and continues to grow. Additionally, in a few easy steps, companies looking to hire veterans can make sure the job postings on their own websites are part of this Veterans Jobs Bank.

    I still believe that all Americans can agree that veterans shouldn’t have to fight for a job once they’ve come home from the fight overseas. While this Administration has been fighting for veterans every day, this week we will commemorate and celebrate Veterans Day. In that spirit, I hope Congress can come together and do the right thing by our nation’s veterans. Together, these initiatives and the tax credits will lower veteran unemployment by increasing hiring, improving resources for veterans to translate their military skills for the civilian workforce, and providing veterans with new tools to aid their search for jobs.

  • President Obama believes that American families should never be asked to choose between the health of their children and the health of the economy. That is a false choice. Four decades of success under the Clean Air Act have shown clearly that strong environmental protections and a strong economy can go hand in hand. 

    To build on the tremendous success of the Clean Air Act, the Obama Administration has taken the most significant steps in a generation to reduce harmful pollution and promote public health. The new standards that we have issued or proposed – to curb interstate pollution, reduce mercury exposure, and make our cars more fuel efficient, just to name a few – will result in significant economic and health benefits each year. 

    Just over forty years ago, the Senate did something that would be almost unthinkable today: It passed major legislation by a unanimous vote. That legislation was the Clean Air Act of 1970, signed by President Richard Nixon. Two decades later, the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 were passed, again with large bipartisan majorities in both houses of Congress, and signed by President George H. W. Bush. 

    But today, Republicans in Congress are trying to use our current economic climate as an excuse to roll back clean air protections that Americans have counted on for decades. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) is currently leading an effort to block the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) that would save tens of thousands of lives each year. In doing so, Senator Paul is using the Congressional Review Act to repeal this important rule and prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency from protecting American families from cross-state pollution in the future. 

    Let’s be clear – this brazen effort doesn’t just undermine the public health, it also undermines the judgment of the courts. In 2008, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Washington, D.C. Circuit found critical flaws in the Bush Administration’s efforts on interstate air pollution and directed the EPA to issue a replacement rule as quickly as possible. After seeking and incorporating extensive input from the public, the states, environmental and public health groups, as well as industry, the EPA finalized the Cross-State Air Pollution rule in July of this year. 

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