Our Top Stories
Megan SlackNovember 11, 2011
04:00 PM EDT
Tireak Tulloch enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve in 2000 as a data network systems specialist and served two tours in Iraq. Today, he works as a network engineer for the Long Island Rail Road.
Tulloch had trouble finding work when he returned from his second tour of duty in 2005. He said employers were apprehensive to offer him a job because he was still enlisted in the Reserves. Frustrated but hopeful, he took an entry-level position at Long Island Bus—a position both Tulloch and the person who hired him knew he was overqualified for based on his experience in the military. In fact, he earned two promotions in three years before leaving to take a job as a network engineer with the LIRR.
Tulloch says he knows “firsthand what it’s like to transition home” and about the challenges veterans face finding gainful employment. “We need to do everything we can” to help them, he said. “We need to continue the investment. We spend millions of dollars training us when we’re in combat, why not continue that investment so that when we do leave the military, we can continue to be productive members of society.”
President Obama believe that no veteran that fought for our country should have to fight to find a job once they come home. He's challenged private sector employers to hire or train 100,000 veterans, and his Administration has introduced a host of initiatives to help connect veterans with job listings and career support. And, the Senate has already passed two key pieces of the American Jobs Act, the Wounded Warriors and Returning Heroes tax credits, which will provide tax credits to businesses that hire veterans.
Despite the fact that our veterans have unique skills and experiences that make them excellent hires for any civilian business, their unemployment rate tops 12 percent. Read the stories of veterans like Tireak who have struggled to transition their skills into new careers and find out why fighting for these heroes is a priority for the Obama Administration.
Megan SlackNovember 11, 2011
03:40 PM EDT
Today, President Obama honored the millions of Americans who have served in our nation's military by laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery. After the ceremony, the President thanked veterans for their service, their sacrifice, and their extraordinary accomplishments:
To all our nation’s veterans: Whether you fought in Salerno or Samarra, Khe Sanh or the Korengal, you are part of an unbroken chain of men and women who have served this country with honor and distinction. On behalf of a proud and grateful nation, we thank you.
When I spoke here on this day two years ago, I said there would be a day before long when this generation of servicemen and women would begin to step out of uniform. And I made them a promise. I said that when your tour ends, when you see our flag, when you touch our soil -– you will be home in an America that is forever here for you, just as you’ve been there for us.
For many, that day has come. Over the past decade, more than 5 million Americans have worn the uniform of the United States Armed Forces. Of these, 3 million stepped forward after the attacks of September 11th, knowing full well that they could be sent into harm’s way. And in that time, they have served in some of the world’s most dangerous places. Their service has been selfless. Their accomplishments have been extraordinary.
In Iraq, they have battled a brutal insurgency, trained new security forces and given the Iraqi people the opportunity to forge a better future. In Afghanistan, they have pushed back the Taliban, decimated al Qaeda, and delivered the ultimate justice to Osama bin Laden. In concert with our allies, they have helped end Qaddafi’s brutal dictatorship and returned Libya to its people.
Because of their incredible efforts, we can stand here today and say with confidence -– the tide of war is receding. In just a few weeks, the long war in Iraq will finally come to an end. Our transition in Afghanistan is moving forward. My fellow Americans, our troops are coming home.
President Obama also spoke about the importance of making sure our veterans, who chose to serve a call greater than themselves, are able to take full advantage of the opportunity they helped secure through their service:
So on this Veterans Day, let us commit ourselves to keep making sure that our veterans receive the care and benefits that they have earned; the opportunity they defend and deserve; and above all, let us welcome them home as what they are -- an integral, essential part of our American family.
See, when our men and women sign up to become a soldier or a sailor, an airman, Marine, or Coast Guardsman, they don’t stop being a citizen. When they take off that uniform, their service to this nation doesn’t stop, either. Like so many of their predecessors, today’s veterans come home looking to continue serving America however they can. At a time when America needs all hands on deck, they have the skills and the strength to help lead the way.
Our government needs their patriotism and sense of duty. And that’s why I’ve ordered the hiring of more veterans by the federal government. Our economy needs their tremendous talents and specialized skills. So I challenged our business leaders to hire 100,000 post-9/11 veterans and their spouses over the next few years and yesterday, many of these leaders joined Michelle to announce that they will meet that challenge.
The President said that veterans themselves are proof that there is no challenge too difficult to face:
We know it will be hard. We have to overcome new threats to our security and prosperity, and we’ve got to overcome the cynical voices warning that America’s best days are behind us. But if there is anything our veterans teach us, it’s that there is no threat we cannot meet; there is no challenge we cannot overcome. America’s best days are still ahead. And the reason for that is because we are a people who defy those voices that insist otherwise. We are a country that does what is necessary for future generations to succeed.
Click here to read the full remarks.
November 11, 2011
03:18 PM EDT
Watch West Wing Week here.
Here's what happened this week on WhiteHouse.gov:
Jobs for Veterans: President Obama on Monday announced the launch of a suite of new tools designed to help our veterans transition more easily into the workforce. The Veterans Job Bank, which will help put veterans in contact with companies that appreciate their skills and are eager to hire them, has more than 550,000 job postings from military-friendly employers and is continuing to grow. On Thursday, the First Lady joined the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to announce new private sector commitments to hire 100,000 veterans and military spouses by 2014. Later that day the Senate approved the Wounded Warrior and Returning Heroes tax credits, provisions of the American Jobs Act which will offer businesses a $9,600 tax credit for hiring disabled veterans and create additional incentives for employers who hire veterans who have spent four weeks or more out of work.
Honoring our Veterans: Friday morning President Obama honored the millions of Americans who have served in our nation's military by laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery. In his speech, the President highlighted the end to the war in Iraq and called for all Americans to support our veterans. "So on this Veterans Day, let us commit ourselves to keep making sure that our veterans receive the care and benefits that they have earned; the opportunity they defend and deserve; and above all, let us welcome them home as what they are -- an integral, essential part of our American family."
Head Start: President Obama announced historic reforms to the Head Start program that will require all Head Start grantees that fail to meet a new set of rigorous quality benchmarks to compete for continued federal funding. These changes are designed to ensure that all children in Head Start are attending top-notch programs that will help them reach their full potential.
Saving You Money: President Obama signed an Executive Order telling Federal agencies to cut their spending on travel, printing, and IT by 20 percent, which will save billions of dollars. This initiative is only one part of the administration-wide Campaign to Cut Waste, headed by Vice President Joe Biden that promises to eliminate government waste, save taxpayer dollars and make government work more efficiently.
Matt ComptonNovember 11, 2011
03:00 PM EDT
Anthony Luberto spent three years in Army, serving with 82 Airborne. From January of 2007 until March of 2008, he was stationed at Combat Outpost Callahan just outside Sadr City, Iraq. He was a commissioned officer -- a first lieutenant -- with significant experience managing complicated logistics.
When he left the military, that didn't matter. Civilian employers had trouble recognizing how his skills and leadership experience would translate into the private workforce. He had to turn to a headhunter for help.
"I think it's important for the government to assist veterans as much as they can," Anthony says, "in finding suitable work."
Today, he continues to serve the government as a contractor for the Defense Department -- and is working on his masters degree with the help of the post-9/11 GI Bill.
Across the country, 600,000 veterans like Anthony have gone back to school with similar help from the post-9/11 GI Bill. And this week, President Obama announced new initatives as part of the "We Can't Wait Campaign" to help veterans better translate military skills for private employes and make it easier for veterans to connect with companies that want to hire them.
Despite the fact that our veterans have unique skills and experiences that make them excellent hires for any civilian business, their unemployment rate tops 12 percent. Read the stories of veterans like Anthony who have struggled to transition their skills into new careers and find out why fighting for these heroes is a priority for the Obama Administration.
November 11, 2011
02:05 PM EDT
White House Fellows Program Director Cindy Moelis, Dr. Anish Mahajan (WHF Class of 2009-2010) and Erica Jeffries (WHF Class of 2010-2011) answered your questions about the White House Fellow application process and the Fellowship experience on WhiteHouse.gov/live. Questions were submitted via whitehouse.gov, the White House Facebook page and those that used hashtag #WHfellows on Twitter.
Considered one of the most prestigious fellowships for leadership and public service, the White House Fellows Program provides gifted and highly motivated Americans with some first-hand experience in the process of governing the Nation and a sense of personal involvement in the leadership of society. This highly competitive program brings together men and women from all walks of life who have achieved success in their individual fields. The 11 to 19 selected fellows are invited to come to D.C. for one year and serve at the highest levels of the executive branch.
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).
To find out more information about the White House Fellows Program visit www.whitehouse.gov/about/fellows
Matt ComptonNovember 11, 2011
02:03 PM EDT
Finding ways to better serve those who have worn the uniform of the U.S. military has been one of President Obama's top priorities as Commander-in-Chief.
We've put together a slideshow that captures some of our favorite moments of the President, First Lady, Vice President, and Dr. Biden with our troops and their families.
Colleen CurtisNovember 11, 2011
02:00 PM EDT
Maria Canales joined the Army in 2002, when she was 22 years old. First stationed in Germany, the Brooklyn, NY native, served in Iraq from October 2005 through October 2006. Although she left the Army in 2007, Canales did not find a job until October 2011.
Looking for work in the private sector was challenging. “I didn’t really know how they were going to perceive my experience. I could not translate my military skills well enough to get a job offer.” But now that she is working in a related field, Canales is using what she learned in the Army every day.
“Not everyone has a support system, not everyone knows exactly what to do when they come home. They are coming back with lots of uncertainty and don’t know exactly who to reach out to. When we have a plan for them before they get out then we are doing the right thing for every veteran who is coming home.”
Despite the fact that our veterans have unique skills and experiences that make them excellent hires for any civilian business, their unemployment rate tops 12 percent. Read the stories of veterans like Maria who have struggled to transition their skills into new careers and find out why fighting for these heroes is a priority for the Obama Administration.
Megan SlackNovember 11, 2011
01:00 PM EDT
Matt Colvin joined the Air Force on September 11, 2001. During his two tours in Afghanistan he participated in more than 80 combat missions. He left the military in 2007 and today works with an organization called Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, which helps support veterans once they leave active duty, and is working toward a bachelor’s degree in business through the Post 9/11 GI Bill.
Colvin says that, as a result of their military training, veterans have “endless” skills that make them ideal employees for civilian businesses and that provisions in the American Jobs Act will help our heroes maximize those talents.
“I think it’s absolutely important that the government is going to do—and especially President Obama and Congress—are going to do everything in their power to be able to really help vets transition into what the civilian workforce needs. They’re the people that are really going to make a difference, and the people that can take leadership roles and really grow a lot of these small businesses, and business in general.”
President Obama knows we can't wait to help unemployed veterans get jobs. He's challenged private sector employers to hire or train 100,000 veterans, and his Administration has introduced a host of initiatives to help connect veterans with job listings and career support. And, the Senate has already passed two key pieces of the American Jobs Act, the Wounded Warriors and Returning Heroes tax credits, which will provide tax credits to businesses that hire veterans.
Colleen CurtisNovember 11, 2011
12:30 PM EDT
Watch small business owners talk about the American Jobs Act here.
On Thursday, Republicans and Democrats in the Senate did the right thing and voted to pass tax credits that will encourage businesses to hire America’s veterans. A group of business owners who recently met with the White House Business Council say they hope that Congress will pass the other provisions in the American Jobs Act and support their efforts to grow their companies and create jobs in their communities.
Megan SlackNovember 11, 2011
12:01 PM EDT
Watch Navy Veteran Eric Smith, here.
Eric Smith served two tours in Iraq with the United States Navy. As a Hospital Corpsman, a position similar to a paramedic outside the military, Smith performed duties normally done by a registered nurse or a physician’s assistant. He picked up skills and experience working in both hospital and combat settings that were far beyond anything he could have learned in the same amount of time in a civilian setting. Smith was certain he would be able to find an excellent job in the medical field once he left the military.
Today, he works as a hospital janitor.
“It’s characteristic of anybody that’s a military veteran that we’re dependable. Usually our word is our bond. We show up to work on time and we don’t leave until our work is done,” he said. “These are all things that you’d think would be a no-brainer for somebody like me looking for work, but it’s a little bit rough for me.”
Smith said it’s important to help our veterans get back to work once they return to civilian life because of people like him, who have five years of practical experience but no real prospects for a good job. “It got to the point where I was out signing up for drug trials just to make it,” he said. “That shouldn’t happen to any veteran—it shouldn’t happen to anybody.”
The Obama Administration is working to help qualified veterans like Eric Smith find jobs in the medical field that utilize their unique skills. In October, he challenged each of the 8,000 Community Health Centers around the country to hire at least one veteran. We can't wait to help our veterans find jobs.
Learn More: Despite the fact that our veterans have unique skills and experiences that make them excellent hires for any civilian business, their unemployment rate tops 12 percent. Read the stories of veterans like Eric who have struggled to transition their skills into new careers and find out why fighting for these heroes is a priority for the Obama Administration.
Matt ComptonNovember 11, 2011
12:00 AM EDT
This week, the President attended the G-20 Summit in France, announced new efforts to help put veterans back to work, ordered reforms of Head Start Programs, signed an executive order to cut waste in government, and welcomed the President of Portugal.
Watch West Wing Week here.
November 10, 2011
07:21 PM EDT
Matt Flavin, Director of Veterans and Wounded Warrior Policy, answered your questions on the new initiatives announced this week that will provide new resources for veterans and create jobs for veterans to ensure that our veterans get the opportunities that they have earned.
Megan SlackNovember 10, 2011
02:26 PM EDT
Today, the United States Marine Corps celebrates its 236th birthday.
The Marine Corps was established before the United States even ratified its Constitution--the Contintenal Congress established two battalions of Marines in 1775 to assist the fledging naval forces in the Revolutionary War. As the country grew, so did the Marines. Today's Marine Corps helps defend our nation on the ground, in the air, and by sea, and is known as America's Expedtionary Force in Readiness because of its ability to respond rapidly whenever the nation calls.
Today, we thank our Marines, both active and retired, for their service and contributions in protecting our country. As we approach Veterans Day, it's important we remember the contributions made by all our servicemembers in all branches of the military. We owe these veterans all the help we can give once they return to civilian life, including helping them find jobs in today's tough economic times. President Obama has challenged the private sector to hire or train 100,000 veterans, and his Administration lauched a host of initiatives this week that help connect veterans with jobs and career support. Just today, Congress passed the Returning Heroes and Wounded Warrior tax credits, two pieces of the American Jobs Act that provide tax credits to businesses that hire veterans.
We can't wait to help our veterans, because no veteran who fought for our nation should have to fight for a job when they come home.
Matt ComptonNovember 10, 2011
02:03 PM EDT
Today, First Lady Michelle Obama was at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to talk about what private companies are doing to help military families.
She announced that a range of businesses now plan to hire 100,000 veterans and military spouses by 2014. She said that the Veterans Jobs Bank -- launched on Monday -- now hosts more than 550,000 job postings from military-friendly employers.
She told the crowd at the Chamber:
This commitment of 100,000 jobs isn’t about making headlines. These wonderful programs don’t just provide a good opportunity for a press conference. All of these efforts are about upholding our sacred duty to our veterans and their families.
Since Joining Forces got off the ground, 16,000 veterans and spouses have already found new positions.
Later today, the Senate is expected to vote on and approve a provision of the American Jobs Act -- which will offer business a $9,600 tax credit for hiring disabled veterans and create additional tax credits for employers who hire veterans who have spent four weeks or more out of work.
November 10, 2011
12:19 PM EDT
This Friday, as on Veterans Days past, we stand with the men and women who have served this nation in uniform and commemorate their achievements. As preparations are made for a week of USDA events and celebrations, I am reminded of the everyday courage and strength these men and women display, and without whom our great country would not be what it is today. While we can never fully repay our debt of gratitude to the service members who have been wounded and died while protecting our country, we should take time to recognize the more than 20 million living American veterans and offer special thanks to them for all they’ve done for us throughout the years.
About 6.1 million American veterans live in rural communities, making it the most highly concentrated population in the country. At USDA, we have worked with the rest of the Obama Administration to tackle a host of challenges facing our nation’s rural veterans. I described some of this work in my weekly column recently. And we have made a point to hire more veterans to work at USDA in accordance with President Obama’s 2009 executive order on veteran employment. This year, nearly one quarter of our permanent hires have been veterans, bringing our number of USDA employed veterans to over 10,000. I want – especially this week – to thank them and acknowledge their continued service to country.
Earlier this week President Obama announced the Returning Heroes and Wounded Warrior Tax Credits, two provisions in the American Jobs Act that Congress is scheduled to consider soon and will encourage businesses to hire unemployed veterans. Also, the President announced three executive actions that will help veterans find jobs. This announcement is part of a series of executive actions to put Americans back to work and strengthen the economy.
Here at USDA, we’re celebrating Veterans Day with a number of activities including a fee waiver day for many day-use recreation sites at National Forests, a ceremony honoring military veterans, and a talk by legendary Tuskegee Airman, Dr. Ivan Ware. A more complete list of activities and descriptions can be found by visiting the USDA website.
I hope you’ll join me this Friday in honoring our nation’s heroes and enjoying the freedoms they’ve fought so hard to preserve.
Kori SchulmanNovember 10, 2011
10:55 AM EDT
This week, the Obama Administration announced new initiatives 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. This afternoon, Congress is expected to vote on two provisions in the American Jobs Act: the Returning Heroes and Wounded Warrior Tax Credits.
Today, Matt Flavin, Director of Veterans and Wounded Warrior Policy, is holding a session of Office Hours on Twitter to answer your questions about the . At 5:00 p.m. EST, Matt will be on the @WHLive account to answer questions and getting veterans back to work.
Here’s how White House Office Hours work:
- Ask your questions now and during the live event on Twitter with the hashtag #WHChat
- Follow the Q&A through the @WHLive Twitter account
- If you miss the live session, the full session will be posted on WhiteHouse.gov and Storify.com/WhiteHouse
So, stop by for Office Hours at 5:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday, November 10th with Matt Flavin. Be sure to follow @WhiteHouse on twitter for the latest news and more opportunities to engage.
November 10, 2011
08:00 AM EDT
On Veterans Day, we recognize the service and sacrifice of our nation’s veterans, including many of our colleagues at the Department of Homeland Security. Every day, these men and women bring their skills, talents and experience to our many mission areas in order to keep our nation safe.
Because veterans play such an important role in our Department’s mission, Secretary Napolitano set a goal to employ 50,000 veterans at DHS by the end of 2012. We are proud that today, thanks to the commitment of individuals across the Department, we have reached that goal, more than a year ahead of schedule. Veterans now comprise 25 percent of our civilian workforce, in addition to the 49,000 active duty and reserve members of the U.S. Coast Guard.
Who are some of these individuals? Jim Bryant, a Human Resources Specialist at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC), is a former service member who is now helping us expand our outreach to the veteran community. Bryant, who served for 21 years in the U.S. Marines, shares information with veterans about finding jobs at FLETC – where 40 percent of employees have a military background.
Or Michael Lozano, a 20-year military veteran, whose career included a combat deployment with the U.S. Marines as a Sergeant during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003, and a recent deployment with the Air Force Reserve. Michael and his wife, Valery, currently serve as Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Agents in the Phoenix Field Office in Phoenix, AZ.
Veterans like these bring their talents to every corner of our Department, continuing their service to our country as Transportation Security Officers, U.S. Border Patrol and ICE agents, Federal Protective Service officers, and headquarters staff.
In addition to hiring veterans, we are proud to announce that, for the second year in a row, DHS spent more than $1 billion in purchases and contracts with veteran owned small businesses, which provide critical goods and services to our Department.
As a former member of the U.S. Army, I am proud to join with my fellow veterans in the important and remarkable work of DHS. We will continue our efforts to hire veterans, to contract with veteran owned businesses, and to engage the veteran community, as we work together to build a more secure and resilient Nation.
November 09, 2011
05:02 PM EDT
This week, the United States is hosting the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministers and Economic Leaders’ Meetings in Honolulu, Hawaii. As President Obama’s lead negotiator and spokesperson on trade, I will host a meeting for my fellow APEC Trade Ministers in preparation for President Obama’s meeting with APEC Leaders later this week and to build on the success of the APEC Trade Ministers’ meeting held in Big Sky, Montana last May.
At Big Sky, the United States and its APEC trade partners identified ways to improve regulation and transparency, made advances on reducing trade barriers impacting environmental goods and services, and determined specific next-generation issues on ensuring how trade rules can reflect the realities of the region today. Tomorrow in Honolulu, my fellow Ministers and I will address key hindrances to trade for businesses across the Asia-Pacific in order to achieve these important goals. By making it easier for all our exporters to enter markets in APEC economies, we are helping businesses grow exponentially. This dynamic growth leads to further job creation across the region, including in the U.S. – an important component to President Obama’s economic policy.
One priority goal the United States has pursued this year is making the Asia-Pacific a seamless regional economy. In support of that goal, this week, we will ask our APEC trade partners to reduce barriers to trade for environmental goods and services, promote innovation policies that encourage competition and open markets, and improve their regulatory systems. Value-added improvements in these areas will make it easier for American businesses to export to the Asia-Pacific region, supporting the creation of much-needed American jobs.
While in Honolulu, we are also seeking solid progress with the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, which is a 21st-century agreement that tackles pressing trade concerns in new ways, addresses cross-cutting issues previously unaddressed in trade agreements, and benefits from an unprecedented level of stakeholder input. While APEC is a voluntary, cooperative forum where we can collectively tackle critical trade and investment topics in the Asia-Pacific, TPP parties are negotiating binding commitments and obligations which reflect our highest ambitions.
In considering trade in the 21st-century, TPP parties are discussing comprehensive issues like building regional production, promoting development, and facilitating the participation of small- and medium-sized businesses in global trade. By eliminating traditional barriers that prevent smaller businesses from entering the world marketplace, we are opening pathways for these enterprises to expand and grow through trade. If even just a few more businesses out of every hundred in America export, we will see a dramatic increase in jobs here in the United States.
This weekend, President Obama, in hosting meetings with his fellow APEC Leaders, will attempt to achieve these trade goals and grow American jobs through increasing export opportunities in the Asia-Pacific region.
During the meetings, USTR.gov will be updated in real time to keep you fully abreast of our work. Be sure to visit our APEC 2011 page and follow us on Twitter to get the most up-to-date information on the progress of APEC meetings in Hawaii.
Megan SlackNovember 09, 2011
03:17 PM EDT
The Federal Government is the largest property owner in the United States. But some 14,000 of its properties sit unused and unneeded, costing taxpayers millions of dollars a year in operating and maintenance expenses. To cut down on this wasteful and inefficient spending, the Obama Administration has taken unprecedented steps to reduce this stock of unused property and is on track to save $3.5 billion by the end of Fiscal Year 2012.
To see a sampling of this unneeded and unused real estate, check out our interactive map, which shows some of the progress the Administration is making on getting rid of excess property.
President Obama is committed to cutting wasteful and inefficient Federal spending. Today, he signed an Executive Order asking Federal agencies to cut their spending on travel, printing, and IT by 20 percent. Earlier this year, he launched the Campaign to Cut Waste with Vice President Joe Biden to eliminate government waste, save taxpayer dollars, and make government work better.
Matt ComptonNovember 09, 2011
01:35 PM EDT
Yesterday was Election Day across the country, and last night, once the results were known, Vice President Joe Biden issued a statement congratulating the people of Ohio for rejecting Issue 2 -- a law that would have stripped public employees of their collective bargaining rights.
The Vice President said:
Tonight the people of Ohio delivered a gigantic victory for the middle class with their overwhelming rejection of a Republican attempt to strip away collective bargaining rights. Fundamental fairness has prevailed. By standing with teachers and firefighters and cops, Ohio has sent a loud and clear message that will be heard all across the country: The middle class will no longer be trampled on. The people of Ohio are to be congratulated.
Press Secretary Jay Carney echoed those thoughts:
The President congratulates the people of Ohio for standing up for workers and defeating efforts to strip away collective bargaining rights, and commends the teachers, firefighters, nurses, police officers, and other workers who took a stand to defend those rights.
In his joint address to Congress to introduce the American Jobs Act, President Obama touched on the importance of collective bargaining -- and why doing away with those rights is not the way to get people back to work:
I reject the idea that we have to strip away collective bargaining rights to compete in a global economy. We shouldn’t be in a race to the bottom, where we try to offer the cheapest labor and the worst pollution standards. America should be in a race to the top. And I believe we can win that race.
The Ohio measure lost in a landslide, with 62 percent of voters choosing to reject the law.