The White House Blog: Dr. Jill Biden

  • First Lady and Dr. Biden Urge Action from State Governors on Military Spouse Hiring

    First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden at the 2012 NGA meeting (February 27, 2012)

    First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden discuss military spouse employment at the National Governors Association annual meeting in the State Dining Room of the White House, Feb. 27, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

    Earlier this morning, the First Lady and Dr. Jill Biden addressed the National Governors Association (NGA) Winter Meeting, the annual meeting that brings state leaders to Washington, D.C. to discuss important issues impacting all Americans.

    Today, the First Lady and Dr Biden had one message for the governors: urging them to take action on the state level to support America’s military spouses. 

    In their travels to military bases across America and throughout the world over the last three years, the First Lady and Dr. Biden have heard stories from countless military family members and spouses.  One of the top issues they hear about everywhere they go deals with the professional licensing requirements that affect how military spouses can move forward in their careers. 

    Less than two weeks ago, the First Lady and Dr. Biden joined the Secretary of Defense, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and all of the Joint Chiefs in rolling out a new report on state licensing.   

    This is an enormous issue for military spouses throughout this country. There are more than 100,000 military spouses who serve in the dozens of professions that require a state license or credential – teachers, nurses, childcare providers, dental hygienists, real estate brokers, speech pathologists and many other professionals. Each move to a new state can mean different credentialing or licensing standards – a process that can sometimes take months to resolve.  

    As part of their address to military families and Pentagon leadership, the First Lady and Dr. Biden announced an ambitious goal: for 50 states to pass legislation that supports military spouse license portability by 2014. 


  • A New Generation of Nurses

    CC2C Bus Tour - Nurses

    Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis and Dr. Jill Biden start the Community College to Career Tour (CC2C) stopping at locations in Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, and North Carolina to highlight the importance of community colleges in fostering careers. The stop to the Cincinnati State Technical and Community College was to take part in the "Cincinnati State Health Professions Consortium Pathway to Employment" panel discussion February 23, 2012. (by Department of Labor)

    Dr. Jill Biden and Labor Secretary Hilda Solis kicked off a three-day “Community College to Career” bus tour yesterday to highlight the unique role community colleges play in developing a flexible, highly-skilled 21st-century workforce to meet emerging regional business needs. Secretary Solis is writing updates on the trip from the road.

    We just saw the great things happening in Cincinnati to train up our next generation of nurses. The average age of the registered nurse is climbing. There are more nurses in their 50s right now than any other age range. They account for almost one-quarter of our nursing workforce. So it’s critical that we prepare for these retirements and train up our next generation of nurses.

    Many schools across the country have struggled to meet the rising need for more nursing professionals. With the passage of the Affordable Care Act, more than 32 million Americans will soon gain access to healthcare services, including access to care provided by registered nurses.

    The American Association of Colleges of Nursing found that nursing schools turned away more than 67,000 qualified applicants in 2010 due to insufficient number of faculty, clinical sites, classroom space, and budget constraints.  Nine years ago, in response to the urgent nursing shortage, Cincinnati State Technical and Community College began a health careers collaborative with local hospitals. The goal was to train up local workers for entry-level health care jobs like office assistants and medical coders—and help incumbent workers who wanted to continue their education and perhaps become nurses.


  • Report from the Road: An Ambitious Plan to Train Ohio Workers for New Jobs

    Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis and Dr. Jill Biden visit DG Medical

    Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis and Dr. Jill Biden visit DG Medical on the Community College to Career Tour (CC2C). They will be stopping at locations in Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, and North Carolina to highlight the importance of community colleges in fostering careers.22 February 2012

    Dr. Jill Biden and Labor Secretary Hilda Solis today kicked off a three-day “Community College to Career” bus tour to highlight the unique role community colleges play in developing a flexible, highly-skilled 21st-century workforce to meet emerging regional business needs.  Secretary Solis is writing updates on the trip from the road.

    Dr. Biden and I just visited DG Medical in Centerville, Ohio, to hear about the incredible BioOhio Workforce development partnership that is helping community colleges like Sinclair Community College prepare Ohioans for jobs in the growing biomedical manufacturing industry.

    Sinclair is working with former GM/Delphi employees and other dislocated workers to get retraining to perform jobs making medical devices and life-saving drugs. They are part of a BioOhio partnership that has brought together industry leaders and six Ohio community colleges to match workforce needs with course offerings.

    The ambitious goal is to graduate 700 Ohioans and place them in biosciences jobs as clean technicians, shipping clerks, packaging experts, manufacturing technicians and test engineers.  More than half of existing program graduates already have found good-paying jobs in this field. Also, incumbent workers are being trained to move up the career ladder to become team leaders and front-line supervisors.

    Watching this unique partnership at work illustrates why health care industry job growth continues to help drive our recovery forward.

    Want to join the conversation by sharing how community colleges and industry partners are working together in your community?  Share your story at http://www.whitehouse.gov/communitycollege/tour and follow and engage with the tour on Twitter with the hashtag #CCtour.

    You can see more of Secretary Solis' posts at Work in Progress, the Department of Labor's official blog.

    • Vice President Joe Biden,Dr. Jill Biden and Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis on the Community College Tour

      Vice President Biden greets Dr. Jill Biden and Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis for the final stop of their Community College Tour

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    • Vice President Joe Biden, Dr. Jill Biden, and Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis at Davidson County Community College

      Vice President Biden, Dr. Biden, and Secretary of Labor Solis tour a manufacturing training facility at Davidson County Community College

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    • CC2C Tour Stops in Kentucky

      Dr. Jill Biden signs a poster for employees at the UPS Hub in Lexington, KY.

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    • All Smiles: Dr. Biden and Secretary Solis Attend a Bluegrass Community & Technical College Forum

      Dr. Biden and Secretary Solis enjoy a lighthearted moment during their CC2C Tour stop in Kentucky.

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    • Talking Workforce Development with Bluegrass Community & Technical College

      During the CC2C Tour, a participant of the "Kentucky Workforce Development Roundtable" shakes hands with Dr. Biden.

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    • CC2C at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College
    • Making their Rounds: Dr. Biden and Secretary Solis at the "Kentucky Workforce Development Roundtable"

      Dr. Biden and Secretary Solis meet more participants from the "Kentucky Workforce Development Roundtable."

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    • DG Medical Staff Welcome Dr. Biden and Secretary Solis

      Women from the DG Medical staff greet Dr. Biden and Secretary Solis.

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    • Dr. Biden and Secretary Solis Meet with Mike Sieron at DG Medical

      Dr. Biden and Secretary Solis meet with Mike Sieron, President and CEO of DimcoGray and DG Medical.

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    • Dr. Jill Biden and Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis Kick Off the Community College to Career (CC2C) Tour

      Dr. Jill Biden and Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis start their Community College to Career (CC2C) Tour in Ohio.

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  • Kicking Off the Community College to Career Bus Tour

    Tomorrow, Dr. Jill Biden and Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis will embark on a three-day “Community College to Career” bus tour to highlight innovative industry initiativesthat are helping train students with the skills they need to meet area workforce needs. 

    President Obama recently announced an $8 billion Community College to Career Fund, co-administered by the Department of Labor and Department of Education,which will help forge new partnerships between community colleges and businesses to train two million workers with skills that will lead directly to jobs.

    During the tour, Dr. Biden and Secretary Solis will visit several community colleges to learn about model industry partnerships, but we know there are many more success stories around the country (check out the full schedule below). We want to hear from community college faculty, students, business and community leaders about how these partnerships have benefited you and your community.

    Check out this video from Secretary Solis asking for community college faculty, students and industry partners to share their stories.  Got a story to share? Head over to WhiteHouse.gov/CommunityCollege/Tour to tell us about it or share your story on Twitter using the hashtag #CCtour.

    Here’s the full schedule for the bus tour.


  • First Lady and Dr. Biden Urge State Action to Support Military Spouses with State Licenses

    First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden at a Joining Forces military spouse employment event

    From left, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden listen to Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, speaks during a Joining Forces military spouse employment event at the Pentagon in Arlington, Va., Feb. 15, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

    Earlier today, I had the great privilege of joining the First Lady, Dr. Biden, members of Congress, the Secretary of Defense, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Joint Chiefs and state legislators at the Pentagon for a major announcement impacting our nation’s military spouses. 

    In their travels to military bases across America and throughout the world over the last three years, the First Lady and Dr. Biden have heard stories from countless military family members and spouses. One of the top issues they hear about everywhere they go deals with the professional licensing requirements that affect how military spouses can move forward in their careers. 

    These spouses are among the more than 100,000 military spouses who serve in one of 50 professions that require a state license or credential – teachers, nurses, childcare providers, dental hygienists, real estate brokers, speech pathologists and many other professionals.  

    Here’s why this matters: military families are asked to move again and again as their husband or wife serves our country.  In fact, military spouses move at a rate that is 10 times greater than the civilian population.  

    Each move to a new state can mean different credentialing or licensing standards – a process that can sometimes take months to resolve.  In so many cases, these are qualified professionals who simply can’t work in their field because they’re waiting on paperwork. 


  • Dr. Biden Highlights Joining Forces at Palo Alto Polytrauma Center, Code for America and University of Southern California

    Dr. Jill Biden participates in a roundtable discussion at USC.

    Dr. Jill Biden with members of the Building Capacity in Military-Connected Schools project, which is based at the University of Southern California School of Social Work. Dr. Biden visited USC to hear about how educators, parents and military students have benefited from the project, which focuses on improving the climate of civilian schools to be more welcoming and supportive of military children and their families. (by Brian Goodman) (by Brian Goodman)

    Last week, Dr. Jill Biden traveled to California for several Joining Forces events – including a visit with wounded warriors at the Palo Alto Polytrauma Rehabilitation Center, a veterans’ employment event at Code for America and a roundtable discussion at the University of Southern California about how various community efforts support military children in schools.

     At the polytrauma center – one of five in the country designed to provide intensive care to veterans and service members who have been severely injured – Dr. Biden met with wounded warriors and learned about the ways the hospital supports them and their families in their long-term recovery.

     

    Dr. Jill Biden visits VA Palo Alto Polytrauma Rehabilitation Center

    Dr. Jill Biden listens to patient experiences at the VA Palo Alto Polytrauma Rehabilitation Center. (by Curt Campbell) January 20, 2012. (by Curt Campbell)

    In San Francisco, Dr. Biden joined U.S. Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra and Peter Levin, Chief Technology Officer and Senior Advisor to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, at Code for America to highlight Joining Forces at an “Apps for Heroes” event.  Dr. Biden saw a demonstration of three “apps” designed to link veterans with mentoring and job search opportunities and thanked the technology companies who have innovated new ways to support veterans.

    At a roundtable discussion to learn more about the USC School of Social Work’s Building Capacity in Military-Connected Schools project, Dr. Biden said the effort was the perfect example of the goal of Joining Forces – to encourage all Americans to understand the challenges faced by military families and to take action to support them. The program is a partnership between USC and eight military-connected school districts to better support military students in schools. Dr. Biden heard from educators, parents and students about the many ways the program is working in schools – from a pride club that supports military students to celebrating the Marine Corps’ birthday in schools to ways teachers are helping transfer students adjust to new schools.

    Dr. Biden wrapped up her Joining Forces events with a visit to Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton in Southern California, where she visited with Marines and Sailors and their families. She spent time with Marines preparing to deploy at the Infantry Immersion Trainer, visited with Explosive Ordnance Disposal technicians and their families, and met with wounded Marines and Sailors and their families. Read more about the visit here.

    Melanie Kaye is Director of Communications to Second Lady Jill Biden.


  • Dr. Jill Biden: Honoring Our Military and Their Families at Camp Pendleton

    Dr. Biden meets with Female Engagement Team members at Camp Pendelton

    Dr. Jill Biden meets Female Engagement Team members preparing to deploy to Afghanistan following a combat simulation exercise at Camp Pendleton, CA., Jan 20, 2012. January 20, 2012. (by Melanie Kaye)

    Last Friday, I was honored to spend the day with Marines and families preparing for deployment at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. It was a very special day. As Second Lady, there is nothing I enjoy more than visiting our military and their families. I am honored that they share their successes, pride, and challenges with me, and that when I bring their concerns back to the White House, they help shape policy. But as a military mom, these visits are also personal. Each Marine I met on Friday is someone’s son or daughter, and I know well the mixture of pride and worry a family member feels when a loved one is preparing to go to war.  

    In the morning, I visited with Marines in combat training at the Infantry Immersion Trainer. I viewed a combat simulation exercise at the state-of-the art facility that is designed to resemble an Afghan village, down to every detail. The training is intended to prepare deploying Marines for the stress of combat. The visit made a deep and lasting impression on me, and it was a firm reminder of what our troops and their families sacrifice for us every single day – half a world away. After the simulation, I met with Female Engagement Team members preparing to deploy to Afghanistan. These young women go on foot patrols with Marine infantry units on the front lines in Afghanistan to interact with Afghan women and girls. I was inspired by their courage and determination, and their pride in what they do. 

    Our next stop was Family Day with members of the Explosive Ordinance Disposal Company and their families. The EOD team performs missions in extremely dangerous conditions, and they have very high injury rates. Almost all of the EOD team members I met are married, and many have young children – who also sacrifice every day while their Marines are in harm’s way. After lunch, I stopped at the EOD “hero wall,” a photo memorial honoring fallen Marines and Sailors.  I will never forget their faces. One Marine – speaking of a fallen warrior – told me “he saved my life.”


  • The President and First Lady Welcome the St. Louis Cardinals to the White House

    President Obama and Mrs. Obama welcome the 2011 World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals to the White House

    First Lady Michelle Obama reacts to a joke by President Barack Obama as the President and Mrs. Obama welcome the 2011 World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals to the White House to honor the team and their 2011 World Series victory, in the East Room, Jan. 17, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

    Today, the President and First Lady hosted the St. Louis Cardinals at the White House to congratulate the team on its World Series win last year.

    The Cardinals, who President Obama called “the greatest comeback team in the history of baseball,” made the playoffs after rallying from a ten and a half game deficit with just 31 games left in the regular season. At one point, the team had less than a 4 percent chance of even making the playoffs.

    The Series itself was an unforgettable one, the President said:

    Of course, the most memorable moment was Game Six of the World Series.  I’ve got to say, that has to be one of the best baseball games of all time. Unbelievable game.  I will tell you guys, I had a bunch of early-morning stuff the next day, and you kept me up.  It was painful waking up the next morning.  But what an incredible game. 


  • First and Second Families Participate in a National Day of Service

    President Obama at Browne

    President Barack Obama delivers remarks at Browne Education Campus in Washington, D.C., before participating in a Martin Luther King, Jr. Day service event with First Lady Michelle Obama and daughter Malia, Jan. 16, 2012. January 16, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

    Today, President Obama, the First Lady, and Malia Obama volunteered at a local elementary school as part of a national day of service in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. King, who devoted his life to helping others, once said that “everybody can be great, because everybody can serve.”

    Before pitching in to help clean, paint, and organize the school’s library, the President spoke to other volunteers from Big Brothers, Big Sisters and Greater DC Cares gathered for the event:

    There’s nobody who can’t serve. Nobody who can’t help somebody else. And whether you’re seven or six or whether you’re 76, then you can find opportunities to make an enormous difference in your community.

    The Vice President and Dr. Jill Biden also joined the millions of Americans participating in service events around the country. They traveled to Philadelphia to take part in the 17th annual Greater Philadelphia Martin Luther King Day of Service, the largest Martin Luther King Jr. Day event in the nation.

    Vice President Biden and Dr. Jill Biden participate in MLK Day service event

    Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden attend the 17th Annual Martin Luther King Day of Service at Girard College in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, January 16, 2012. January 16, 2012. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

     
    Read more about how the Obama Administration is honoring Dr. King's legacy through service:


  • From the Archives: Earthquake in Haiti

    Two years ago today, a massive earthquake struck the nation of Haiti, causing catastrophic damage inside and around the capital city of Port-au-Prince. Nearly a quarter of a million lives were lost, more than 300,000 people were injured, and more than a million people were left homeless.

    In the two years since the disaster, Americans have joined people from all over the world to help Haiti recover and rebuild. A U.S. Coast Guard team, a disaster assistance response team, and portions of two U.S. urban search and rescue teams were on the ground 24 hours after the earthquake. In the weeks and months that followed, one in every two American households sent contributions to Haiti. With the support of the United States and the help of partner organizations, the Haitian government has led an effort to ensure people have better access to water, food, and medical care than ever before. Many organizations remain in the country today to continue this work.