- Posted byon November 7, 2011 at 1:15 PM EDT
President Obama believes that no veteran should have to fight for a job after fighting for our nation overseas. That’s why he’s introduced a host of new tools to help connect veterans to jobs in the civilian workforce, including the Veterans Job Bank, which has more than 500,000 job listings with private sector employers looking to hire vets.
To launch the Veterans Job Bank, the Obama Administration partnered with leading job search companies to create a new, easy-to-use online service that enables employers to “tag” job postings for veterans. The tool gives users the ability to search for jobs from thousands of military-friendly employers worldwide based on keyword, military occupation code (MOC) and/or location.
Nearly 3 million service members have transitioned back to civilian life, and a million more will join them over the next five years as we end the war in Iraq and wind down the war in Afghanistan. These service members have mastered skills and leadership abilities they couldn’t have learned in any ordinary classroom, and have tremendous talents to offer our nation’s businesses.
President Obama knows we can’t wait to help these heroes and their families. Other initiatives to help get them back to work include:
- The Returning Heroes and Wounded Warrior Tax Credits, two pieces of the American Jobs Act that provide tax credits to businesses that hire veterans.
- My Next Move for Veterans, an online tool that helps veterans match their skills with civilian careers that will put their experience to use
- The Veterans Gold Card, which provides personalized case management and career counseling at any of the 3,000 One-Stop Career Centers around the country
- Posted byon November 7, 2011 at 1:00 PM EDT
Watch President Obama's full remarks here.
The overall unemployment rate ticked down last month and our economy has added more than 350,000 private sector jobs over the past three months. But, over 850,000 veterans were unemployed as of October and the jobless rate for post-9/11 veterans was 12.1 percent. Having served and defended our nation, it just doesn’t make sense that so many of these well-trained, highly skilled, motivated and disciplined veterans can’t find a job worthy of their incredible talents. As the President has said, "If you can save a life in Afghanistan, you can save a life in an ambulance. If you can oversee millions of dollars of assets in Iraq, you can help a business balance its books here at home."
Ensuring our nation’s veterans get the opportunities they have earned has been one of President Obama’s top priorities as Commander-in-Chief. Having already sent 600,000 veterans back to school on the Post-9/11 GI Bill and having hired over 120,000 veterans into the federal government, this Administration continues to take action to help create job opportunities for veterans.
Today at the White House, leading veterans service organizations joined President Obama to announce their support for the Returning Heroes and Wounded Warrior Tax Credits, two provisions in the American Jobs Act Congress is scheduled to consider this week. The Returning Heroes Tax Credit provides firms that hire unemployed veterans with a maximum credit of $5,600 per veteran, while the Wounded Warriors Tax Credit offers firms that hire veterans with service-connected disabilities a maximum credit of $9,600 per veteran.
The President also announced a series of executive actions that will provide new resources for veterans to translate military experience to the private sector job market, give veterans additional career development support and better identify companies looking to hire veterans. These initiatives include:
Veteran Gold Card:Effective today, post-9/11 veterans will be able to visit dol.gov/vets/goldcard.html to download the Veteran Gold Card, which entitles them to enhanced services including six months of personalized case management, assessments and counseling, at the roughly 3,000 One-Stop Career Centers located across the country. This should help serve the more than 200,000 unemployed post-9/11 veterans. The President directed the Department of Labor to launch this initiative in his August 4, 2011 speech at the Navy Yard.
My Next Move for Veterans: The Department of Labor will launch My Next Move for Veterans (mynextmove.org/vets), a new online resource that allows veterans to enter their military occupation code and discover civilian occupations for which they are well qualified. The site will also include information about salaries, apprenticeships, and other related education and training programs.
Creating a Veterans Job Bank:Today, the Administration launched the Veterans Jobs Bank, at National Resource Directory (NRD.gov), an easy to use tool to help veterans find job postings from companies looking to hire them. It already searches over 500,000 job postings and continues to grow. Additionally, in a few easy steps, companies looking to hire veterans can make sure the job postings on their own websites are part of this Veterans Jobs Bank.
I still believe that all Americans can agree that veterans shouldn’t have to fight for a job once they’ve come home from the fight overseas. While this Administration has been fighting for veterans every day, this week we will commemorate and celebrate Veterans Day. In that spirit, I hope Congress can come together and do the right thing by our nation’s veterans. Together, these initiatives and the tax credits will lower veteran unemployment by increasing hiring, improving resources for veterans to translate their military skills for the civilian workforce, and providing veterans with new tools to aid their search for jobs.
- Posted byon November 5, 2011 at 5:30 AM EDT
Speaking from the University of Pittsburgh, Vice President Biden argues that this month’s jobs numbers demonstrate that Congress should pass the American Jobs Act to strengthen our economy and create jobs right away.
Watch Vice President Biden's full remarks here.
- Posted byon November 4, 2011 at 4:34 PM EDT
Watch former Republican Mayor of Meridian Mississippi, John Robert Smith, discuss the importance of investing in our nation's infrastructure here.
John Robert Smith says we can’t wait to invest in our nation's infrastructure. Smith, the former Republican Mayor of Meridian, Mississippi, said that expanding and improving our system of roads, highways, railways, and airports creates jobs for people who need them now as well thriving, well-connected communites and engines of economic growth.
“We can’t walk away from transportation infrastructure investment and expect to ever grow ourselves out of the recession that we’re in today,” he said.
Smith is president of a coalition called Reconnecting America that helps cities and towns make smart investments in transportation infrastructure. He believes that easy access to transportation is critical to because it connects people to their communities and resources like jobs, health care, education, and more. Plus, well-planned infrastructure links towns and cities with other towns and cities, creating a vibrant network of connected communities.
Smith said that infrastructure is “not a red issue, a blue issue, or a Republican issue, or a Democrat, liberal or conservative. It’s about how we connect our people to jobs and our children to their future.
“I was mayor of my hometown in Meridian, Mississippi for 16 years and there I never met a pothole that could identify itself as a Republican or a Democrat. It was an issue to be resolved,” he said. “I want our country to face the transportation infrastructure investment we need today with that same type of approach.”
- Posted byon November 4, 2011 at 3:05 PM EDT
When world leaders gathered this week in France, they acknowledged that the global economy was facing significant challenges that put recovery from the recession at risk.
The debt crisis in Europe has put stress on the continent's banking system, and countries like Greece and Italy are struggling to restore fiscal order.
In our country, the economy hasn't rebounded how anyone had hoped. We're adding jobs, but not at anywhere near the pace we need, and too many remain out of work.
And in emerging economies, the rate of growth seems to be slowing as continued financial instability in the rest of the world begins to drag these countries down, as well.
To counter these threats, the G20 leaders in France pledged to coordinate actions and policies to reinvigorate the global economy.
And the focus of that coordination? Jobs.
"There's no excuse for inaction," President Obama said in a press conference earlier today. "That's true globally and it's certainly true back home right now."
While European governments were vowing to do everything necessary to ensure the stability of the euro, the United States made a pledge of its own in the G20 action plan:
The US commits to the timely implementation of a package of near-term measures to sustain the recovery, through public investments, tax reforms, and targeted jobs measures, consistent with a credible plan for medium-term fiscal consolidation.
This commitment puts even greater emphasis on the need for Congress to take action on the American Jobs Act.
The world is looking for American leadership, and that's exactly what the President's job proposal is.
- Posted byon November 4, 2011 at 11:46 AM EDT
Today’s employment report provides further evidence that the economy is continuing to recover from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, but the pace of improvement is not fast enough.
Private sector payrolls increased by 104,000, and overall payroll employment rose by 80,000 in October. The unemployment rate edged down 0.1 percentage point to 9.0 percent, a level that remains unacceptably high. Despite adverse shocks that have created headwinds for economic growth, the economy has added private sector jobs for 20 straight months, for a total of 2.8 million jobs over that period. We need faster economic growth to put more Americans back to work. Today’s report provides further evidence for why it is so important that Congress pass the President’s American Jobs Act to put more money in the paychecks of working and middle class families; to make it easier for small businesses to hire workers; to keep teachers in the classroom; to put construction crews to work rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure; and other measures that will help the economy grow while not adding to the deficit over ten years. The report underscores that one area that remains notably weak is the construction sector. That’s why it is disappointing that the Senate was not able to proceed to the infrastructure part of the American Jobs Act.
Sectors with employment increases included professional and business services (+32,000), leisure and hospitality (+22,000), retail trade (+17,800), health care and social assistance (+16,300), and manufacturing (+5,000). Sectors with employment declines included government (-24,000) and construction (-20,000). State and local governments lost 22,000 jobs and have shed more than 430,000 jobs since February 2010.
The monthly employment and unemployment numbers are volatile and employment estimates are subject to substantial revision. There is no better example than August’s jobs figure, which was initially reported at zero and in the latest revision increased to 104,000. This illustrates why the Administration always stresses it is important not to read too much into any one monthly report.
- Posted byon November 3, 2011 at 6:53 PM EDT
Today, President Obama is in France for a meeting of the G20 -- a gathering of 20 nations that represent the world's most important industrialized economies. In addition to working sessions with the full assembly of leaders, the President also held bilateral talks with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
In his conversation with President Sarkozy, he discussed the focus of this week's talks:
I think it's no surprise that we spent most of our conversation focused on strengthening the global economic recovery so that we are creating jobs for our people and stabilizing the financial markets around the world. The most important aspect of our task over the next two days is to resolve the financial crisis here in Europe. President Sarkozy has shown extraordinary leadership on this issue. I agree with him that the EU has made some important steps towards a comprehensive solution, and that would not have happened without Nicolas's leadership. But here at the G20 we're going to have to flesh out more of the details about how the plan will be fully and decisively implemented.
The President elaborated on that theme in his conversation with Chancellor Merkel:
This is going to be a very busy two days. Central to our discussions at the G20 is how do we achieve greater global growth and put people back to work. That means we’re going to have to resolve the situation here in Europe. And without Angela’s leadership we would not have already made the progress that we’ve seen at the EU meeting on October 27th.
Talks will continue tomorrow.
- Posted byon November 3, 2011 at 12:05 PM EDT
Entrepreneurs and the businesses they create play a critical role in sparking new industries, expanding our economy, and generating new job growth across the country. Companies less than five yeas old created 44 million new jobs over the last three decades. In fact, these firms accounted for all net new jobs created in the United States during that time. Huge Fortune 500 companies like Apple, FedEx, and Boeing all began as startups from entrepreneurs with big ideas.
Entrepreneurship has long been a cornerstone of America's economic power. Helping entrepreneurs access the capital and support they need to get new businesses off the ground in these tough economic times is one of the most important things we can do to help our economy grow. That's why President Obama included help for entrepreneurs in the American Jobs Act and introduced the Startup America Initiative earlier this year. Both the Jobs Act and the initiative help entrepreneurs cut through regulatory red tape and access the investment capital they need, enabling them to turn new ideas into new businesses and new jobs more quickly and easily. The President also signed the America Invents Act in September of this year to fast-track startups and help them put their products on the market more efficiently. enable them to put their products on the market more quickly.
- Posted byon November 3, 2011 at 11:41 AM EDT
Yesterday, with the Key Bridge, which connects Washington, DC with Arlington, Virginia, as a backdrop, President Obama discussed the ways that the American Jobs Act will invest in the nation's highways, airports, roads, and bridges -- and create new jobs for construction workers.
Today, the Senate is set to take up one idea that the President touted -- the creation of a national infrastructure bank.
Here's how it would work:
1) Congress would appropriate an initial $10 billion in startup money to capitalize the bank.
2) The new bank would identify transportation, energy, and water infrastructure projects that lack funding, offer a clear benefit for taxpayers, and are worth at least $100 million or $25 million for rural projects.
3) Loans made by the bank would then be matched by private sector investments or money from local governments -- so that the infrastructure bank provides half or less than half the total funding.
4) Each project would generate its own revenues to help ensure repayment of the loan.
5) Decisions would be made by a seven-person board of governors -- of whom, no more than four could be from the same political party -- and a CEO chosen by the President.
One bonus fact: The legislation that would create the bank has serious bipartisan backing -- and the support of both the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the AFL-CIO.
- Posted byon November 2, 2011 at 12:04 PM EDT
The United States is falling behind on investing in the roads, bridges, airports, and transit systems that keep our economy humming. We spend just 2 percent of our GDP on infrastructure projects. Europe and China invest 5 percent and 9 percent of their respective GDPs on developing infrastructure.
Functioning infrastructure provides a critical backbone for a strong economy. Research shows that investments in creating, maintaining, or expanding transportation networks promote efficiency, productivity, and more rapid economic growth.
Today, President Obama is calling on Congress to pass a piece of the American Jobs Act that will invest $50 billion in our nation’s transportation infrastructure and $10 billion in a National Infrastructure Bank. Together, these initiatives will put hundreds of thousands of construction workers back on the job rebuilding our roads, rails, and runways. With 1.1 million constructions workers out of work, we can’t wait to invest in our infrastructure.
- Posted byon November 1, 2011 at 12:07 PM EDT
Today is truly an historic day for America as President Obama is announcing the establishment of Fort Monroe National Monument -- a historic fort in Virginia’s Tidewater region that was integral role to the history of slavery, the Civil War, and the U.S. military -- as the 396th unit of the National Park System.
With the strong support of the people of Virginia, from the congressional delegation to Governor McDonnell to Mayor Ward and the citizens of Hampton, President Obama has ensured that this historic fort, a symbol of the long struggle for freedom for African Americans, will be preserved as a national park for generations to come.
Fort Monroe is one of 101 projects that I have highlighted as part of the America’s Great Outdoors initiative, representing what states believe are among the best investments in the nation to support a healthy, active population, conserve wildlife and working lands, and create travel, tourism and outdoor-recreation jobs across the country.
This Thursday at 1:00 pm EDT, we will release the final 50-state report outlining some of the country’s most promising ways to reconnect Americans to the great outdoors. As part of that launch, I’ll be participating in a live web chat, where I will answer your questions about the America’s Great Outdoors initiative, Ft. Monroe National Monument, and how conservation and outdoor recreation initiatives are strong economic engines for our nation’s economy.
Click here (firstname.lastname@example.org) to send me your questions in advance or tweet them to me at #askken.
I look forward to answering many of your questions on Thursday at 1:00 pm ET.
- Posted byon November 1, 2011 at 10:48 AM EDT
Recently, the U.S. General Services Administration joined with New York City officials for the groundbreaking of a project that will transform a former Navy supply warehouse in Brooklyn, built in 1918, into a small business incubator. Once completed, no longer will the nine-story structure represent a vacant excess federal building. It will soon be a hub of activity as approximately 400 construction workers prepare the structure for manufacturing businesses that are anticipated to provide 1,300 permanent jobs in the planned state of the art industrial center.
Last summer, GSA completed the successful sale of this former federal building to the New York City Economic Development Corporation, which had selected a private developer to redevelop the 1.1 million square foot warehouse. The federal government received $10 million through GSA’s negotiated sale to the New York City Economic Development Corporation.
As part of the White House Campaign to Cut Waste, the Obama Administration is moving aggressively on disposal of excess properties such as this one to save taxpayer dollars and make more efficient use of the government’s real estate assets. President Obama has directed federal agencies in a Presidential Memorandum to focus on improving the management of the government’s real estate and getting unneeded properties off our books. Agencies have risen to the challenge and identified opportunities that exceed the President’s goal to realize $3 billion in savings from the government’s properties by September 30, 2012.
With a portfolio including 350 million square feet of public buildings, 200,000 federal vehicles, and a flow of goods and services throughout government totaling $95 billion, GSA is uniquely suited to ensure federal tax dollars are not wasted on properties that are excess to the Federal government’s needs. Since 2002, GSA’s Real Property Utilization and Disposal office, working with all federal landholding agencies, has disposed of over 3,355 unneeded federal properties resulting in over $5.6 billion in proceeds. With our position as the leading federal asset manger, we will continue to work with agencies to aggressively identify and dispose of underutilized buildings to make our government more sustainable and efficient.
The sale of the Brooklyn warehouse to the New York City Economic Development Corporation will deliver jobs to the region while relieving the federal government of a property that has outlived its utility.
- Posted byon October 31, 2011 at 8:00 PM EDT
Watch Jay Cuetara, a cancer patient and advocate for drug shortage reform, speak about President Obama's executive action to reduce prescription drug shortages in America here.
President Obama today signed an executive order that directs the FDA to step up work to reduce the drug shortages and protect consumers. Jay Cuetara know just how important this is: in August, the center where he was receiving chemotherapy ran out of the drug being used to treat his cancer, which "can mean the difference between curing your cancer and not," the San Francisco man explained.
The President's action means that drug companies will be required to let the FDA know earlier about the potential for drug shortages so that they can respond successfully. If we find out that prices are being driven up because shortages are being made worse by manipulations of companies or distributors, agencies will be empowered to stop those practices. And the FDA and the Department of Justice will be investigating any kinds of abuses that would lead to drug shortages.
As the President said today, we can't wait for action. "We'll still be calling on Congress to pass a bipartisan bill that will provide additional tools to the FDA and others that can make a difference. But until they act, we will go ahead and move."
Update: Check out a video from Bonnie Frawley, a pharmacy manager from Boston, who talks about what the President’s order will mean for hospitals.
- Posted byon October 29, 2011 at 5:30 AM EDT
President Obama says that we can’t wait for Congress to take action to grow the economy and create jobs -- and highlights actions he took to help families refinance their mortgages, put veterans to work, and lower the cost of student loans.
Watch President Obama's full remarks here.
- Posted byon October 28, 2011 at 11:17 AM EDT
Today, the President announced a new directive requiring all Federal research agencies to bolster efforts to transfer the results of research from their lab to the marketplace. These agencies will streamline their research partnership programs for small businesses, universities, and local communities. They will also launch new programs designed to support regional innovation clusters, launch new public-private partnerships, and share Federal lab facilities with high-tech startups. Each agency will be responsible for designing a five-year plan with tailored goals and metrics to measure progress.
- Posted byon October 27, 2011 at 6:06 PM EDT
The American Jobs Act is a big proposal that can be hard to visualize, so we wanted to put together a new tool to help show the impact.
Our new map breaks down specific ways the President's plan helps to create jobs and put money back in families' pockets, state by state.
If you wanted to see what a typical tax cut looks like for a family in Texas, it's right here: $1,460.
Teacher jobs in North Carolina? 13,400.
Money for roads and bridges in Colorado? $494.8 million.
Take the time to dig in and learn how the American Jobs Act would help your state and community -- and share the map with those you know.
- Posted byon October 27, 2011 at 9:39 AM EDT
Today’s report shows that the economy posted the ninth straight quarter of positive growth, as real GDP (the total amount of goods and services produced in the country) grew at a 2.5 percent annual rate in the third quarter of this year. The level of real GDP now exceeds its level at the business cycle peak in the fourth quarter of 2007. While the continued expansion is encouraging, faster growth clearly is needed to replace the jobs lost in the recent downturn and to reduce long-term unemployment.
Notable strength in the third quarter included business investment, which grew 16.3 percent at an annual rate. Residential construction increased 2.4 percent at an annual rate, and was up 1.6 percent during the past four quarters, the first positive four-quarter percent change since 2006 except for a brief period when the home buyer tax credit was active. Positive contributions to real GDP growth included consumer spending (1.7 percentage point), fixed investment (1.6 percentage point), and net exports (0.2 percentage point). Inventory investment subtracted 1.1 percentage point from real GDP growth.
We are, nonetheless, at a fragile moment in the world economy, and cannot afford to do anything to undermine our economic recovery. That’s why the President continues to urge Congress to pass the American Jobs Act without delay. The American Jobs Act includes measures that would accelerate the recovery, including extending the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance, keeping teachers in the classroom and police and firefighters on the beat, and investing in our nation’s infrastructure to help put Americans back to work. Independent economists say it could increase employment by up to 1.9 million, increase growth and lower the unemployment rate. This report also underscores the need to put in place a balanced approach to deficit reduction that phases in budget cuts, instills confidence, and allows us to live within our means without shortchanging future growth.
- Posted byon October 26, 2011 at 11:00 AM EDT
This week, President Obama kicked off a new effort to urge Congress to pass the American Jobs Act, piece by piece, to put folks back to work and strengthen the economy. During a session of White House Hours, Brian Deese, Deputy Director of the National Economic Council, answered your questions about the Jobs Act and steps the President is taking to help homeowners refinance their mortgages.
See the full questions and answer session below, or on Storify.
Follow @Whitehouse for the latest from the Administration and upcoming opportunities to engage. Have ideas on how we can improve Office Hours or our online program? Share feedback with us using the hashtag #WHWeb.
- Posted byon October 25, 2011 at 5:24 PM EDT
Tyrone Booth and Jesse Carpenter are police officers in Flint, Michigan -- where Vice President Biden visited earlier this month. Because of budget cuts, they've seen their department shrink since the start of the recession. In fact, at various times in recent years, each has been laid off from the force. Both are keenly aware of the ways in which these reductions have put public safety at risk.
Officer Booth says the Flint police must now prioritize the calls to which they respond. A shooting or an assault must come before a break-in or a burglary, which can be hard for citizens affected. "When someone's home has been burglarized, it's a very sensitive and serious offense to them,” he said. “And we're just unable to get there in a timely manner."
Keeping Americans safe is a top priority for President Obama, which is why the American Jobs Act will provide $5 billion to help states and local communities keep first responders on the job. Earlier, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and Attorney General Eric Holder spoke at a gathering of the International Association of Chiefs of Police and discussed the Administration's support for the nation's fire fighters and police officers.
Read more here.
- Posted byon October 25, 2011 at 5:17 PM EDT
Ed. note: This has been cross-posted from DHS.gov
Keeping our nation safe from evolving terrorist threats requires strong partnerships at all levels. Nowhere are those partnerships more important than with our federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement officers who work on the frontlines every day to keep our cities and communities safe.
These courageous men and women, who put their lives on the line to protect others, must have the tools, training, and resources they need to do their jobs safely and effectively.
This week at the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) General Assembly in Chicago, we each had an opportunity to reiterate our support for police officers and first responders across our country, many of whom are struggling to hire or retain personnel in the face of tough economic challenges.
As part of ongoing work to better understand and overcome current fiscal challenges, this week, the Justice Department's Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) office released a new report on how the economic downturn has impacted police departments nationwide. According to the Department's research, we expect that, by the end of this year, nearly 12,000 police officers and sheriff's deputies will have been laid off. Already, law enforcement agencies nationwide currently have nearly 30,000 unfilled vacancies. And an estimated 28,000 more officers and deputies experienced week-long furloughs last year. In 25 years of collecting data, this is the first national decrease in law enforcement positions ever recorded.
There is great demand for existing federal fire fighter hiring funding. In FY10 alone there were $1.8 billion in applications for $420 million in SAFER funds.