The White House Blog: Dr. Jill Biden
- Posted byon July 25, 2012 at 5:16 PM EST
Earlier today, I was pleased to join the National Association of Social Workers at their national practice conference to announce a new Joining Forces commitment that will help train more than 650,000 social workers to have a better understanding of issues affecting our troops, veterans and military families.
We have asked a lot of our military since Sept. 11, 2001. They – and their families – have responded to the need for more frequent and longer deployments. As they have done in the past, our troops and their families have answered the call with no complaint.
But they shoulder a tremendous burden. As one Marine wife and mother recently told me, “people have no idea what 10 years of war will do to a family. All my kids have ever known is war.”
- Posted byon July 16, 2012 at 3:30 PM EST
Last week in Missouri, I met with several Missouri National Guard members, their families, and faith leaders about the critical support they are providing our troops and families – both during deployments and after our service men and women return home.
As a military mom, I know firsthand what a difference the support of a church or community can have on a military family. When my son Beau was deployed to Iraq, our church put a notice in the church bulletin – a simple act of kindness that meant so much to our family.
That’s why what is happening in Missouri is so important. The Partners in Care initiative is a national partnership program linking caring faith communities to Guard members and their families who need certain resources. Through the partnership, faith-based organizations provide a wide range of free services to Guard families – from child care, to transportation, to counseling.
- Posted byon July 13, 2012 at 4:01 PM EST
Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to attend one of Dr. Jill Biden’s Community College to Career stops at the South Seattle Community College Hangar. Throughout the year, Dr. Biden has been traveling to community colleges and businesses around the country to see firsthand how community colleges are designing programs to give people the skills they need to compete in the global economy.
Before Dr. Biden arrived, I spoke with several aviation students and one of their instructors who told me he had graduated from the same program more than 30 years ago. The instructor said he was confident his students would also build long and rewarding careers in aviation. The students told me that they were looking forward to jobs at Boeing, Lockheed, and at commercial airlines throughout the country.
As a community college teacher herself, Dr. Biden knows that community colleges, in partnership with business and the public workforce system, are producing skilled workers, ready to fill jobs now and in the future. The U.S. Department of Labor has invested funding in colleges, through direct grants and funding from Workforce Investment Boards, that are clearly meeting the needs of businesses. And based on what we heard from students, these grants, and the work of the colleges, are turning lives around.
- Posted byon July 12, 2012 at 10:08 AM EST
On Tuesday, the Vice President and Dr. Jill Biden visited the Las Vegas branch of the non-profit United States Veterans Initiative (U.S. Vets). With a mission to help homeless and at-risk veterans find jobs, U.S. Vets provides comprehensive support that includes housing, counseling, and career development programs. The Las Vegas group alone works with more than 160 veterans every day.
At the organization’s career center, the Vice President and Dr. Biden joined a life skills workshop, where they met with veterans who are either currently working or searching for work.
- Posted byon July 2, 2012 at 9:29 AM EST
Last week, I continued my Community College to Career tour at Valencia College in Orlando, Florida. I met some inspiring students who illustrate how Valencia is preparing students for their futures – whether going directly into the workplace or moving on to a four-year college to earn a baccalaureate degree.
Businesses in Orlando have been working with Valencia for years to ensure the college is teaching students relevant skills they need to stay current in the workplace as technology changes. And, they couldn’t be more satisfied with the quality of workers trained at Valencia.
- Posted byon June 21, 2012 at 3:13 PM EST
On Tuesday, I met a group of remarkable community college graduates and business leaders who are on the cutting edge of workforce training. As part of my Community College to Career tour, I visited Coyote Logistics, a third-party logistics company. Coyote Logistics is working with City Colleges of Chicago to make sure City Colleges’ logistics training program prepares students with the skills they need to succeed in jobs in the transportation, distribution and logistics industry. The partnership is part of the City Colleges of Chicago’s College to Career program, which works directly with businesses to design curriculum, provide work-based learning, and offer internships, interviews, and top-notch learning facilities to students.
One graduate named Michelle is currently employed in the health care industry. She told me that her training experience at Harold Washington College was “magical,” and that it gave her not just a job, but a career. I also met Daniel, a veteran whose training in Daley College’s manufacturing program gave him a leg up at work, where he has recently been promoted.
- Posted byon June 18, 2012 at 3:10 PM EST
Ed note: this event occured in the past
Today, just after 4:15 PM ET, Dr. Biden will give remarks at the 2012 National Conference on Volunteering and Service. She will discuss Joining Forces, the initiative she started with First Lady Michelle Obama last year as a way to spark action among all Americans to honor, recognize and support our service men and women, veterans and military families.
- Posted byon May 25, 2012 at 4:26 PM EST
My husband Joe and I spent the morning with some of our nation’s bravest heroes -- kids, spouses and parents who have lost loved ones who have served in the military.
We were honored to kick off the 18th annual Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) National Military Survivor Seminar and Good Grief Camp for Young Survivors. TAPS is a national nonprofit organization providing care to families of the fallen, including peer emotional support, grief and trauma resources and information, casualty casework assistance and crisis intervention, for all those affected by the death of a loved one who served in the military.
This weekend, TAPS will help children and families of fallen service members build relationships that will last a lifetime. They will bond over their shared experiences, support one another, learn ways to cope with their grief, and also have a little fun touring our Nation’s capital. The camp is really making a difference in the lives of the children who attend – many of whom come back year after year, and some go on to become counselors themselves. I met a teenager who lost his father when he was nine, and this weekend he is attending the camp for the fifth time. He is heading off to college in the fall, and I am certain he will continue to inspire and support people he meets throughout his life.
These families have endured so much – and yet they are pillars of strength that inspire us all. The months and years ahead will not be easy for them, and some days will be better than others. But they have one very important thing to help get them through – the military family. And as an Army mom, I know that means they will never be alone. It is my hope that on Memorial Day – and every day – these families will know that our entire Nation mourns alongside them, and that we will never forget their loved ones.
- Posted byon May 25, 2012 at 11:20 AM EST
Through Joining Forces, Americans continue to step up and respond to the First Lady and Dr. Biden's call to serve our troops and their families as well as they have served us.
Last week, the Department of the Interior joined forces with the First Lady and Dr. Biden to provide free access to more than 2,000 of America's parks to our troops and their families. Then on Monday of this week, Blue Star Families and the National Endowment for the Arts launched "Blue Star Museums" -- laying out the welcome mat for free access at more than 1,600 museums around the country for service members and military families.
Connecting veterans and military spouses with employment opportunities in the private sector has been a priority for the First Lady and Dr. Biden, and the effort is paying off. In the last year, more than 1,600 companies have hired more than 70,000 veterans and military spouses through Joining Forces.
Just last week, 34 more companies and organizations joined forces with the Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP), a partnership of more than 130 companies committed to hire and retain military spouses. Since June of last year, MSEP companies have hired more than 22,000 military spouses.
And the momentum keeps building. Check out Joining Forces employment efforts in just the last three days:
- Posted byon May 23, 2012 at 12:00 PM EST
This op-ed by Dr. Jill Biden was first published in The Hill
Over the past few years, I have been blessed with the opportunity to spend time with our veterans, troops and military families. With every visit, I come away inspired.
They are military spouses, who balance work, family and school — all while dealing with the emotions of a deployment. They are military children, who move from school to school while picking up extra chores while their dad or mom is away serving our country. They are survivors of our fallen, who are pillars of strength for their communities. And of course, they are our troops, veterans and wounded warriors, who have dedicated their lives to defending America.
This Memorial Day, we must remember that these heroes are found in every corner of our country, from big cities to rural areas, from base communities to small towns. But no matter where they are assigned or what their duties are, when our service members are called to serve, so too are their families.
That’s why one year ago, first lady Michelle Obama and I launched Joining Forces, an initiative to bring Americans together to recognize, honor and serve our nation’s veterans and military families. Joining Forces focuses on three key areas — employment, education and wellness — while raising awareness about the service, sacrifice and needs of our troops, veterans and their families.
When we first started thinking about this concept, we were pretty confident that Americans would answer the call. But the response we’ve seen in our first year has been simply overwhelming.