The White House Blog: Dr. Jill Biden
- Posted byon July 2, 2012 at 10:29 AM EDT
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 4:13 PM EDT
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 4:10 PM EDT
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 5:26 PM EDT
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 12:20 PM EDT
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 1:00 PM EDT
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.
- Posted byon May 17, 2012 at 3:52 PM EDT
Our nation’s military spouses proudly face incredible challenges – from multiple relocations to running households with their military service member often thousands of miles away during deployments. With military spouse unemployment above the national average, our military spouses are seeking portable, career-oriented job opportunities.
I just left an extraordinary event at the Pentagon that will help connect spouses to those opportunities. Today, Military mom and Second Lady of the United States Dr. Jill Biden joined Department of Defense leaders to announce that 34 companies are stepping forward to join the DoD's Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP), which helps connect military spouses with jobs. The Partnership’s member companies have pledged to recruit, hire, promote and retain military spouses in portable careers.
Already, the MSEP has delivered results – to date, more than 22,000 military spouses have been hired and more than 446,140 jobs have been posted on the MSEP jobs web portal.
- Are you a military spouse looking for employment? Visit the portal here
- Are you a company interested in joining MSEP? Learn more here
Staff Sgt. John Carlin walks off the flightline with his family May 13, 2001, at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. Sergeant Carlin is assigned to the 61st Airlift Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Chris Willis) May 13, 2001.
- Posted byon May 15, 2012 at 6:41 PM EDT
As we celebrate Armed Forces Week, this is a particularly important time to pay tribute to the men and women who serve our country and safeguard our freedom.
Today, just one percent of Americans are fighting our wars, but we need 100% of Americans to be supporting our troops and their families –not just during Armed Forces Week, but all year long. That’s why we launched the Joining Forces Initiative last year to encourage all Americans to find ways to honor, recognize and support our veterans and military families.
Today, we are pleased to announce that we have a new way to thank those who serve their country in the military.
Starting on Armed Forces Day, this Saturday, May 19, we will be offering all active duty military a free annual pass that will grant access to service members and their dependents, to more than 2,000 sites across the country, including National Parks.
The annual pass will be accepted at all public land sites that charge entrance or standard amenity fees, including those managed by the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Army Corps.
From Yosemite to Acadia to the Grand Canyon, we are putting out a welcome mat for our military families at America’s most beautiful and storied sites.
- Posted byon May 13, 2012 at 9:23 PM EDT
The First Lady and Dr. Biden are encouraging all Americans to share their gratitude in support of military families celebrating Mother's Day today. See how Americans across the country are recognizing the contributions of military moms below or on Storify. Learn how you can show your support for military moms by visiting our Joining Forces site dedicated to thanking them, contribute to the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #ThankAMilitaryMom, and check out the Joining Forces Mother's Day card here.
- Posted byon May 13, 2012 at 7:45 AM EDT
It's a tradition in the White House to celebrate Mother's Day with a tea hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama and this year, the guests of honor were some of the most inspiring women in the country: moms who proudly serve as members of our armed forces, their children and their own mothers.
For Mrs. Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, the event was an opportunity to highlight the important work these women do and the sacrifices they and their families have made in service of our country -- and to say thank you. And as you can see in the video below, their kids had a message of their own to share with mom: