The White House Blog: Dr. Jill Biden

  • West Wing Week: 09/14/12 or "Eleven"

    Welcome to the West Wing Week, your guide to everything that's happening at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. This week, the President and his administration commemorated the 11th anniversary of the September 11th attacks, and addressed the attack on the American  embassy in Libya. We also took the Rhodes Traveled for a look back at the meaning of honoring 9/11. That's September 7th to September 13th or "Eleven."

    Watch the West Wing Week here.

    Tuesday, September 11th:

    • Dr. Biden made an early visit to Fire Station #206 in Alexandria, VA, to thank the First Responders on the scene in the aftermath of the attacks on the Pentagon 11 years ago.
    • White House staff were joined by President Obama and the First Lady for a moment of silence on the South Lawn at 8:46 am, the moment American Airlines Flight #11 struck the North Tower on September 11, 2001.
    • The President and the First Lady traveled to the Pentagon for a wreath-laying ceremony with members of the military and Americans who lost a loved one in the attack on the Pentagon.
    • The President and First Lady also visited Section 60, the area of Arlington National Cemetery, where fallen soldiers from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are laid to rest.
    • Vice President Biden was joined by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood in Shanksville, PA, at the Flight 93 National Memorial, to honor the heroes of United Flight 93.
    • The Vice President also met with family members of the passengers and crew of Flight 93, and joined them at the impact site for a moment of remembrance.
    • Dr. Biden stopped by the VA Medical Center in Washington, D.C., to wish World War II Veteran, Alyce Dixon one of the first women and one of the few African-American women to serve overseas in the European theatre, a happy 105th Birthday.

    Wednesday, September 12th:

    • The President and Secretary Clinton spoke about the tragic deaths of US Embassy staff in Benghazi, Libya.
    • The President sat down with Steve Kroft of 60 minutes in the Blue Room, for an in-depth interview that will air later this month.
    • Ben Rhodes hosted us for a look back at 9/11, for our latest installment of "The Rhodes Traveled."


  • Dr. Jill Biden Views the AIDS Memorial Quilt

    Dr. Jill Biden views AIDS Memorial Quilt

    Dr. Jill Biden views sections of the AIDS Memorial Quilt with Julie Rhoad President and CEO of The NAMES Project Foundation, at The National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. July 25, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

    Yesterday, I had the opportunity to view some panels of the AIDS Memorial Quilt with Julie Rhoad, the president and CEO of The Names Project Foundation, at The National Building Museum.

    I was so moved by what I saw.  Every piece of the AIDS Memorial Quilt tells a poignant story – and is a powerful reminder of the many lives lost to this epidemic

    First displayed on the National Mall in 1987, the quilt now contains the names of more than 94,000 of individuals who have died of AIDS on more than 47,000 panels.

    This week, as the 19th International AIDS Conference is in the United States for the first time since 1990, panels of the quilt have been shown on the Mall and at more than 50 locations throughout the D.C. area.

    The quilt is a powerful reminder of how far we have come.  As President Obama said on World AIDS Day, we will win this fight.


  • Social Workers to Offer New Training to Serve Troops, Veterans and Military Families

    Dr. Biden at the National Association of Social Workers’ conference

    Dr. Biden greets social workers at the National Association of Social Workers’ national practice conference. July 25, 2012. (by Kea Taylor/Imagine Photography)

    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.”


  • Missouri National Guard Joining Forces with Faith Community

    Dr. Biden Meets with Missouri National Guard Members

    Dr. Biden meets with Missouri National Guard members, families, and faith leaders about Partners in Care (by Jennifer Archdekin/Missouri National Guard)

    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. 


  • Community College to Career: Preparing Workers for the Jobs of the Future

    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.

    Dr. Biden Community College to Career Roundtable

    Dr. Biden participates in a Community College to Career roundtable discussion on successful industry partnerships at South Seattle Community College Hangar. Photo by Glenn Gauthier, South Seattle Community College.


  • The Vice President and Dr. Biden Visit U.S. Vets in Las Vegas

    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.


  • Community Colleges: Bridges to the Future

    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. 


  • Community Colleges Are Changing the Way We Think About Workforce Development

    Dr. Biden meets Jackie Davis at Coyote Logistics

    Dr. Biden meets Jackie Davis, a new Coyote Logistics employee in the IT Department. Photo courtesy of Coyote Logistics.

    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.  


  • Watch Live: Dr. Biden at the 2012 National Conference on Volunteering and Service

    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.

    Watch live streaming video from pointsoflight at livestream.com


  • America Remembers

    Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden address the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (May 25, 2012)

    Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden address the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) National Military Survivor Seminar in Arlington, Virginia, May 25, 2012. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

    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.

    Dr. Jill Biden greets children at the TAPS National Military Survivor Seminar (May 25, 2012)

    Dr. Jill Biden greets children at the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) National Military Survivor Seminar & Good Grief Camp for Young Survivors in Arlington, Virginia, May 25, 2012. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)