The White House Blog: The President
- Posted byon January 17, 2014 at 12:30 PM EST
With the growing demand for college-educated workers, a college education is one of the surest ways into the middle class.
The Obama administration has already taken a number of steps to help more students afford and graduate from college, including doubling Federal investments in Pell Grants and college tax credits, reforming student loans, and taking new steps to reduce college costs and improve value.
But while continuing to push for changes that keep college affordable for all students and families, President Obama believes that to lead the world in the share of college graduates by 2020, we can and must be doing more to get more low-income students prepared for college, enrolled in quality institutions, and graduating. And yesterday, a group of leaders in higher education joined the President and First Lady at the White House to take the next step toward ensuring that every child, rich or poor, has the opportunity for a quality college education so they can get ahead.
- Posted byon January 17, 2014 at 12:01 AM EST
This week, the President sat down for lunch with young organizers who are working to help implement the Affordable Care Act, hosted the President of Spain and the Miami Heat, traveled to the home of the Wolfpack to announce a new, public-private effort to support investment in our manufacturing sector, announced his nominee to run the Small Business Administration, and spoke on expanding college opportunity, alongside the First Lady.
- Posted byon January 16, 2014 at 7:47 PM EST
Earlier today, the First Lady sent the message below to the White House email list, asking Americans to make a local commitment to help at least one young person make their way into higher education.
Didn't get the email? Join millions of other Americans and make sure you're in the loop.
Hello, all --
Today, I met a young man named Troy.
Troy comes from New Orleans, where his family lived through the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. He couldn't read until he was twelve, and would regularly cut school because the other students would tease him. When he did attend, he'd shove desks, start fights -- anything to get him out of class.
But then Troy saw his younger siblings start down a similar path. And he decided to make a change. He connected with his fifth-grade teacher, and enrolled in a program called the Urban League College Track. With the support of College Track and his teachers, he worked hard and made his way into high school -- and today, he's a sophomore at Bard College, studying American Literature.
There are a lot of kids like Troy out there -- kids with all the potential in the world -- but far too many of them are slipping through the cracks. They're not making their way to college -- maybe because their parents never went, or because they've never been encouraged to believe they could succeed there.
It's on all of us to help change that.
- Posted byon January 16, 2014 at 10:00 AM EST
In last year’s State of the Union address President Obama laid out his bold vision to expand access to high-quality pre-school to every child in America.
He called on Congress to help turn this vision into reality, not just because studies show that children who start learning at the earliest ages are more likely to succeed in school and in life, but because for every dollar that is invested in early education, we save multiple dollars in areas like improved educational outcomes, increased labor productivity, and a reduction in crime.
You can find more about those stats and the President’s proposal in this blog post, but in short, an investment in America’s children is a great investment.
The President also made it clear during last year’s State of the Union address that the Administration couldn’t do this on our own - we needed Congress to step up and do their part, and make America’s children a priority.
- Posted byon January 15, 2014 at 7:14 PM EST
America’s small businesses are on the front lines when it comes to creating jobs and new opportunities. They are the cornerstones of our communities, and can help lead the way as we continue to grow the economy and add jobs in the coming year.
“They’re part of the pact that America makes -- the idea that if you work hard, if you take responsibility, then you can build something new,” President Obama said today.
“And that’s the dream that brought generations of hardworking immigrants to our shores, and that’s the idea that drives small business owners to create new products and expand their businesses every single day.”
Maria Contreras-Sweet, who President Obama announced this afternoon as his nominee to lead the Small Business Administration, knows first hand what it means to start a small business, and has a proven track record of helping other small businesses succeed.
- Posted byon January 15, 2014 at 5:30 PM EST
President Obama made two stops during his trip to Raleigh today: the first to tour a company called Vacon, where workers design the drives that power everything from elevators to the giant fans that help cool buildings, and the second to deliver remarks at North Carolina State University, home of one of the largest undergraduate engineering programs in the country.
“The reason I came here today is because we've got to do more to connect universities like NC State with companies like Vacon to make America the number-one place in the world to open new businesses and create new jobs,” President Obama explained.
And, to help make Raleigh-Durham a magnet for the good, high-tech manufacturing jobs that we need to grow the middle class and keep this country on the cutting edge, President Obama announced today that the area will be home to the nation’s newest manufacturing innovation hub.
Like the hub launched in Ohio last year to develop and train workers in 3-D printing technology, the Next Generation Power Electronics Innovation Institute in North Carolina will bring leading companies, universities, and federal research together under one roof to help develop the next generation of power electronics.
“Folks at this hub are going to develop what are called ‘wide bandgap semiconductors,’” President Obama said.
“For all you non-engineers out there,” he said, “here’s what it means in the simplest terms.”
Semiconductors, obviously, are at the heart of every piece of the electronics that we use every day -- your smartphone, your television set, these days everything … Wide bandgap semiconductors, they’re special because they lose up to 90 percent less power; they can operate at higher temperatures than normal semiconductors.
So that means they can make everything from cell phones to industrial motors to electric cars smaller, faster, cheaper.
“And the country that figures out how to do this first, and the companies that figure how to do this best,” President Obama said, “they’re the ones that are going to attract the jobs that come with it.”
- Posted byon January 15, 2014 at 4:45 PM EST
Tomorrow, December 16, college and university presidents and leadersfrom nonprofits, foundations, state governments, and the private sector will join President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House to discuss expanding college opportunity.
The day-long event will feature remarks from the President, First Lady, and senior administration officials, as well as a series of panel discussions.
- Posted byon January 15, 2014 at 9:00 AM EST
Hidden inside nearly every modern electronic is a technology -- called power electronics -- that is quietly making our world run. Yet, as things like our phones, appliances and cars advance, current power electronics will no longer be able to meet our needs, making it essential that we invest in the future of this technology.
Today, President Obama will announce that North Carolina State University will lead the Energy Department’s new manufacturing innovation institute for the next generation of power electronics. The institute will work to drive down the costs of and build America’s manufacturing leadership in wide bandgap (WBG) semiconductor-based power electronics -- leading to more affordable products for businesses and consumers, billions of dollars in energy savings and high-quality U.S. manufacturing jobs.
Integral to consumer electronics and many clean energy technologies, power electronics can be found in everything from electric vehicles and industrial motors, to laptop power adaptors and inverters that connect solar panels and wind turbines to the electric grid. For nearly 50 years, silicon chips have been the basis of power electronics. However, as clean energy technologies and the electronics industry has advanced, silicon chips are reaching their limits in power conversion -- resulting in wasted heat and higher energy consumption.
- Posted byon January 14, 2014 at 5:54 PM EST
Today, President Obama welcomed the Miami Heat back to the White House to honor the team for winning their second-straight championship title.
"Last season, the Heat put together one of the most dominating regular seasons ever by a defending champion," President Obama said. "They won a team-record 66 games. At one point, they won 27 games straight -- the second-longest winning streak ever."
Miami Heat Coach Erik Spoelstra presents President Barack Obama with a team trophy to honor the 2013 NBA Champion Miami Heat on winning their second-straight Championship title, in the East Room of the White House, Jan. 14, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)
The President congratulated head coach Eric Spoelstra, team president Pat Riley, and members of the staff and crew, and gave a special congrats to the all-star Heat lineup for their hard work last season including finals MVP Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, Ray Allen, Chris Bosh, Mario Chalmers, Shane Battier, Udonis Haslem, and of course-- "Birdman, Birdman's tattoos and Birdman's mohawk"
"The Heat showed us the kind of heart and determination it takes to be a champion," the President said. "And they also showed what heart means off the court."
Last year, the team raised close to $2 million for local charities. And today, while at the White House, players met with wounded warriors from the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
- Posted byon January 14, 2014 at 3:30 PM EST
This is going to be a year of action.
That’s what President Obama told his Cabinet today at their first official meeting of the new year.
“We’ve got a lot to do in 2014,” he said. “We want to maximize the pace of our recovery, but most importantly, we want to make sure that every American is able to benefit from that recovery, that we’re not leaving anybody behind and everybody is getting a fair shot.”
The President said he was pleased Congress has put forward a bill to fund the government, and called on lawmakers to take action on other important issues, including extending emergency unemployment insurance and passing legislation to reform our immigration system.
“I’m looking forward to working with Democrats and Republicans, House members and Senate members, to try to continue to advance the economic recovery and to provide additional ladders of opportunity for everybody,” President Obama said.