Jobs & The Economy: Putting America Back to Work

“It is our generation’s task, to reignite the true engine of America’s economic growth —
a rising, thriving middle class,”

— President Barack Obama

Jobs & The Economy: Putting America Back to Work

Business in America News

  • We Can't Wait to Help Businesses Grow

    While Republicans in Congress continue to block the American Jobs Act, President Obama is still finding new ways to boost the economy and put people back to work.

    This morning, the President signed two executive memorandums: one that would shorten the time it takes for companies to commercialize federal research, and another to launch BusinessUSA -- a website that will make it easier for companies to learn about federal resources for business and exports -- in early 2012.

    "With too many families struggling and too many businesses fighting to keep their doors open, we can't wait for Congress to take action," President Obama said in a statement.

    The first order will help speed up the time it takes for government research facilities to issue grants to start ups and give federal agencies more flexibility to partner with businesses.

    Every year, the government spends approximately $147 billion on research and development. This order from the President will help to ensure that money gets used even more efficiently.

    And by the way, we know the federal research grant process helps to spark entrepreneurship. Qualcomm, the communications giant; Symantech, the software security firm; and iRobot, maker of the Roomba and Packbot, all received federal agency support before becoming an industry leader.

    BusinessUSA will help companies of all sizes access the full range of government programs and services they need to compete, grow, and hire.

    Right now, a range of government websites offer resources and programs to support businesses, but navigating those sites and finding the information you need isn't easy.

    BusinessUSA will change that and offer a centralized location where an entrepreneur can come to access programs to grow their exports, for instance.

    Agencies across the federal government will also find ways to integrate BusinessUSA deeply into their websites, call centers, and field offices -- so that this new service becomes the primary way that companies get the information and support they need to grow and hire.

    The President is moving forward with BusinessUSA after calls for this type of reform from the President’s Jobs Council, the President’s Export Council, and businesses across the country.

    It will launch early next year.

    President Obama also can't wait for Congress to:

  • Mapping Out the American Jobs Act

    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.

     

  • Advance Estimate of GDP for the Third Quarter of 2011

    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.

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  • Reducing Student Loan Burdens for America’s Entrepreneurs

    Today, President Obama announced new executive actions to make it easier for Americans to manage student loan debt, including a proposal to let upcoming graduates cap their monthly federal loan payments at 10% of their income, with any remaining debt balance forgiven after 20 years.  This improved “Pay As You Earn” plan is great news for the estimated 1.6 million borrowers who could benefit from reduced student loan payments.

    Additionally, the President tasked us “with further leveraging data and technology to help provide college-bound students and parents with more comparative information about college costs and college aid so they can make more informed decisions about where to enroll.” 

    Both of these actions represent good news for entrepreneurs.

  • We Can’t Wait: Supporting Our Veterans

    I think all Americans can agree that veterans shouldn’t have to fight for a job once they’ve come home from the fight overseas. But, all too often, those who have sacrificed so much for America struggle to find a job worthy of their 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. 

    That's why President Obama called for a new Returning Heroes Tax Credit of up to $5,600 for firms that hire unemployed veterans and a Wounded Warriors Tax Credit that will increase the existing tax credit up to $9,600 for firms that hire veterans with service-connected disabilities.These credits are included in the American Jobs Act. Unfortunately, these tax credits that could help companies hire veterans are held up in Congress.  

    While we will continue to work with Congress to bring up the American Jobs Act piece by piece, we will increase our focus on taking executive actions that fight for the middle class because the American people simply can’t wait. That’s why today, the Obama Administration is announcing two new initiatives to help create jobs for veterans. 

    1. Hiring 8,000 Veterans in Three Years: The Community Health Center Veterans Hiring Challenge 

    Today, the Obama Administration challenged Community Health Centers to hire 8,000 veterans – approximately one veteran per health center site – over the next three years. The National Association of Community Health Centers will also contribute to this effort and joined the Administration in announcing this Community Health Center Veterans Hiring Challenge. 

    2. Helping Veterans Become Physician Assistants 

    Under this initiative, the Administration will make it easier for veterans to use the training they have received in the military to become physician assistants. We will begin to give priority in physician assistant grant awards to universities and colleges that help train veterans for careers as physician assistants. In an effort to expand the number of training programs that accommodate veterans, the Administration also will identify model programs that offer expedited curricula for veterans and that offer enhanced veteran recruiting, retention, and mentoring services, and help bring these best practices to other programs. 

    These efforts build on previous Administration efforts to create jobs for veterans including sending 600,000 veterans back to school on the Post-9/11 GI Bill and hiring over 100,000 veterans into the federal government over the past year and a half. And just last week, First Lady Michelle Obama announced that the American Logistics Association (ALA) and their 270 affiliate companies committed to hiring 25,000 veterans and military spouses by the end of 2013. This commitment is part of the First Lady and Dr. Jill Biden’s Joining Forces initiative to support veterans and military families. The ALA’s commitment will fulfill a quarter of the President’s challenge to the private sector to hire or train 100,000 veterans and military spouses by the end of 2013. 

    This work is also happening across the federal agencies.The Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs, are working closely with other agencies and the President’s economic and domestic policy teams, to lead a new task force to ensure that every member of the military receives the training, education, and credentials they need to transition to the civilian workforce or to pursue higher education. This initiative includes the design of a “Transition Boot Camp,” which will give service members additional counseling and guidance and help them depart their active duty service “career-ready.” 

    Over the weeks and months ahead, we’ll continue to take actions like these that will improve the economy and help middle class families including our nation's veterans because we simply can't wait.

    President Obama also can't wait for Congress to:

  • President Obama Signs Historic Legislation Signaling Progress on Trade and Jobs

    President Barack Obama signs the United States-Korea Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act

    President Barack Obama signs the “United States-Korea Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act,” in the Oval Office, Oct. 21, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

    This morning, President Obama signed legislation implementing three job-supporting trade agreements with Korea, Colombia, and Panama. These trade agreements will help put Americans back to work and grow America’s economy.

    At the same time, the President signed legislation renewing Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) that helps workers who have been hurt by increased global competition. He also signed legislation to renew trade preference programs that sustain the United States’ commitment to trade and economic development that lifts up some of the world’s poorest people.

    With all the stories and speculation flying around the news these days, I know it’s hard to separate fact from fiction sometimes. So let me share three quick points that I hope will help you understand why this is good news for all American workers and families.

    First, these agreements will increase U.S. exports and American jobs. The Korea agreement will support an estimated 70,000 U.S. jobs and increase U.S. GDP by at least $11 billion due to increased exports of goods alone. Chances are you’ll benefit from these agreements if you work for or with anyone who makes, grows, or provides goods and services to Korea, Colombia, or Panama. These agreements make it easier and more cost-effective to sell Made-in-the-USA products to consumers in each of these countries. In turn, increased exports of U.S. goods and services will support more and better jobs for farmers, ranchers, manufacturers, service providers, workers, and businesses all across the United States. And all three agreements have groundbreaking protections for labor rights, the environment, and intellectual property, so American workers and businesses will be able to compete on a level playing field.

    Second, the President worked to improve these agreements when he came into office. All three faced significant opposition from Congress. But instead of surrendering to the status quo, the President told me to get to work. With Korea, he sent me back to the negotiating table to secure additional market access for U.S. automobile manufacturers. With Colombia, he stood firm on the principle that U.S. trade agreements must reflect American values, including respect for and protection of workers’ rights. And with Panama, he made sure that we addressed key concerns related to tax transparency and labor conditions. In each case, the President held out for a better, more balanced deal.

    That brings me to the third and final point: President Obama also signed today legislation that strengthens and streamlines TAA, and renews key preference programs –- the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) and the Andean Trade Preference Act (ATPA). Both TAA and our preference programs are key elements of President Obama’s balanced approach to trade. TAA helps those workers whose jobs are displaced by trade by providing job re-training programs, lower health insurance premiums, and assistance that keeps families on their feet. And GSP and ATPA uphold our commitment to support trade and economic growth that lifts up some of the world’s poorest people while helping American businesses get inputs they need and American consumers.

    It’s important to note that Congress approved these trade measures with significant support in record time. In fact, the Korea agreement received more recorded votes than any free trade agreement in history. I think that’s a good indication that the President’s principled and pragmatic leadership has created a more balanced trade policy –- one that holds the promise of open markets and a level playing field with increased U.S. exports and better American jobs for many years to come. And since President Obama has prioritized enforcement of America’s trade agreements since day one, Americans can also be assured that we’ll hold our trading partners accountable for their obligations moving forward.

    President Obama’s historic action today is a big step forward on trade and jobs. We look forward to working with Congress and the American people to continue pursuing a balanced trade policy that keeps American producers competitive abroad and supports jobs for more hard-working Americans here at home.
     

  • The American Jobs Act Bus Tour: President Obama at Fire Station 9

    2011 AJA Bus Tour Chesterfield

    In Chesterfield, Virginia, President Obama stopped by Fire Station 9 to talk about the challenge facing police and fire fighters across the country.

    In too many communities, local governments have made the choice to respond to tough economic times by cutting police forces and scaling back fire stations. Speaking to a crowd that included around 100 first responders, the President called the situation "dangerous":

    Now, Chesterfield has been lucky. It isn't facing layoffs right now. But a lot of these guys have seen their pay frozen. You've got cities and states like Michigan and New Jersey that have had to lay off big chunks of their forces. That means that firefighters can't always get to fires before they become major fires. And that makes their job more dangerous. It means police officers can't respond to every crime. And when giving our children the best education possible we know is the ingredient for success in this new information and technology-rich economy, how can we be laying off teachers -- when other countries are hiring teachers in droves? It's unfair to our kids. It undermines our future.

    The first piece of the American Jobs Act -- a $35 billion proposal to help keep teachers and first responders on the job-- is designed to tackle that problem and ensure that public safety isn't put at risk.

    It is currently in the Senate.

    And in Chesterfield, President Obama pressed Congress to take action right away:

    [If] they vote against these proposals, if they say no to steps we know that will put people back to work right now, they're not going to have to answer to me -- they're going to have to answer to you. They're going to have to come down here and tell folks in Virginia and all across the country why people are going to have to cope with fewer first responders; why your kids can’t have teachers back in the classroom. They’re going to have to look construction workers in the eye and tell them why they’re sitting idle instead of rebuilding infrastructure that we know needs to be rebuilt.

    President Obama on the American Jobs Act at Fire Station No. 9 in Virginia

    President Barack Obama delivers remarks on the American Jobs Act at Fire Station No. 9 in North Chesterfield, Virginia during the American Jobs Act bus tour, Oct. 19, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

    Today, Senator Harry Reid, the Majority Leader, announced that the legislation could see a vote as soon as Friday.

  • The American Jobs Act Bus Tour: "An American Responsibility"

    2011 AJA Bus Tour Hampton

    This morning, President Obama visited Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Virginia to talk about what he calls an "American responsibility" -- honoring and supporting our nation's veterans.

    He was introduced by the First Lady, Michelle Obama, who joined the American Jobs Act Bus Tour to make an announcement as part of the Joining Forces initiative. Mrs. Obama told the soldiers, airmen, and military spouses gathered at Langley-Eustis that too often potential employers fail to recognize the skills and talents that veterans and military families can bring to a job -- but, she said, this is a trend that can change:

    [Today], I am proud to announce that the American Logistics Association has said they’re going to step up and do something about that. So today they’re committing to hiring 25,000 veterans and military spouses in the next two years. They do not want to miss out on your potential. They want America’s businesses to have the best, most talented, most hardworking employees around. Now, this announcement is a huge deal -- which is why the President is here...This commitment includes 270 companies of all shapes and sizes, which makes this the largest coordinated effort by the private sector to hire veterans that we’ve seen in years. And this commitment puts us a quarter of the way toward reaching the President’s challenge to the private sector to hire or train 100,000 vets and military spouses by the end of 2013.

    The President discussed an another initiative to get those who served in our nation's Armed Forces into the civilian workforce -- a series of tax credits for employers who hire veterans that's part of the American Jobs Act. He told the crowd that he was going to push Congress to vote on the proposal:

    And one of the votes I’m going to urge members of Congress to take is on whether or not they think it’s a good idea to give companies an incentive to hire the men and women who have risked their lives for our country. And I’m hopeful we can get both parties on board for this idea. When I first proposed this idea in a joint session of Congress, people stood up and applauded on both sides of the aisle. So when it comes for a vote in the Senate, I expect to get votes from both sides of the aisle. Don’t just applaud about it, vote for it. Vote for it.

    "Standing up for our veterans," President Obama said, "is not a Democratic responsibility or a Republican responsibility. It is an American responsibility."
     


     

     

  • First Responders Say the American Jobs Act Will "Allow Us to Respond Safely and More Effectively"

    Vice President Biden was in Flint, Michigan to talk with fire fighters and police officers about the American Jobs Act.

    Right now, local communities across the country are laying off first responders as policymakers struggle with budget cuts in the tough economy. It’s putting public safety at risk. 

    In Michigan, the Vice President said, "The President and I believe that the single-most basic obligation a government has -- it exceeds -- the single-most basic obligation is to keep its citizens safe.  It’s literally -- everything flows from that.  All our civil rights flow from being able to be safe in our streets, in our homes, our schools, our businesses.  Everything flows from it.”

    That's why the American Jobs Act calls for $5 billion for local governments to keep police and fire fighters on the job. 

    Watch the Vice President and listen to these first responders tell their stories about why these funds are so necessary.

  • The American Jobs Act Bus Tour: President Obama Visits West Wilkes High School

    2011 Miller's Creek Header

    President Obama Speaks at West Wilkes High School

    President Barack Obama delivers remarks on the American Jobs Act at West Wilkes High School in Millers Creek, North Carolina, Oct. 17, 2011 (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

    In 1976, President Gerald Ford visited West Wilkes High School aboard Marine One, the presidential helicopter. Today, President Obama dropped in by presidential bus -- as part of the American Jobs Act Bus Tour.

    West Wilkes High School is in Millers Creek, North Carolina -- a small town located about 60 miles west of Winston-Salem. On Sunday, more than 1,000 residents lined up for tickets, which were distributed by local volunteers.

    Wilkes County is home to around 70,000 North Carolinians and is the birthplace of NASCAR. North Wilkesboro Speedway was home to the first ever NASCAR-certified race on October 16, 1949.

    President Obama arrived at the school gymnasium just after 5:00 ET. He was introduced by Dr. Stephen Laws -- the superintendent of Wilkes County Schools -- who thanked the President for the Recovery Act, which he said "saved this country." While the school system is currently operating with more than 100 fewer teachers and administrators than were employed before the recession, Dr. Laws said, not a single teacher has been laid off because of the crisis.

  • This Week on Treasury Notes: Dismantling the Myths Around Wall Street Reform

    Ed. Note: Cross-posted from Treasury Notes.

    In the fall of 2008, a financial crisis of a scale and severity not seen in generations left millions of Americans unemployed and resulted in trillions in lost wealth. Our broken financial regulatory system was a principal cause of that crisis. It was fragmented, antiquated, and allowed large parts of the financial system to operate with little or no oversight.

    Today, our most important challenge is creating stronger economic growth and helping the millions of Americans who lost their jobs get back to work. As part of that effort, we are committed to implementing new rules that will build a safer, more stable financial system—one that provides a robust foundation for lasting economic growth and job creation.

    In order to achieve these goals, and help protect our economy from future crises, we must continue with the implementation of Wall Street Reform. However, more than a year after the enactment of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, opposition to reform persists.   

    Opponents are voicing a wide range of criticisms in a concerted effort to slow down, weaken, or roll back reform. Their arguments are misguided. This week, we’ll be taking a look on this blog at what those critics are saying—and rebutting their claims one by one. We begin this series by addressing one of the key misconceptions surrounding reform—its impact on small banks.

  • American Jobs Act Bus Tour: President Obama speaks at Asheville Regional Airport

    Asheville Graphic

    The first stop on the American Jobs Act Bus Tour was Asheville, North Carolina, a city of 76,000 located in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

    Air Force One landed at Asheville Regional Airport, where President Obama was greeted by Senator Kay Hagan and Asheville Mayor Terry Bellamy. He spoke just before 11:00.

    The American Jobs Act includes a proposal to provide $2 billion to improve safety, add capacity and modernize infrastructure at airports across the country .

    Asheville Regional Airport could be eligible for $60 million of those funds. And as the President said, there's plenty of work to go around:

    In this airport right here in Asheville, you've got a runway that needs to be widened and repaired. You've got a taxiway that's in the wrong spot –- which means that planes sometimes get too close together. So we could be doing some work right here at the Asheville Airport that would help boost tourism, help to boost the economy here, put people to work right now.

    But it's not just here in Asheville. All across the state, you've got highways that need to be built. You've got bridges that need to be fixed. You've got schools that need to be modernized. And that's what America used to do best. We used to build things -- built the Transcontinental Railroad; built the Golden Gate Bridge; the Hoover Dam; the Grand Central Station. There's no reason why we should sit here and watch the best highways and the newest airports being built in China. We should be building them right here in the United States of America. Right here in North Carolina.

    This afternoon, the President will stop for a BBQ lunch and later visit West Wilkes High School in Miller's Creek, North Carolina.

    President Obama speaks at Asheville Regional Airport

    President Barack Obama delivers remarks on the American Jobs Act at Asheville Regional Airport, Asheville, N.C., Oct. 17, 2011. The event kicks off the President’s three-day American Jobs Act Bus Tour. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

  • The American Jobs Act Bus Tour

    Bus Tour Map Graphic

    President Obama begins the American Jobs Act Bus Tour this morning.

    For three days, he'll tour cities in both North Carolina and Virginia -- visiting schools, an airport, a military base, and a fire station. He'll be talking about his plan to put Americans back to work, upgrade our country's infrastructure, and keep teachers and emergency responders on the job.

    Last week, Senate Republicans voted to block the President's proposal, playing politics instead of working to grow our economy.

    But this fight to create jobs and rebuild our nation's roads and bridges is far from over. On Wednesday, President Obama said:

    We will keep organizing and we will keep pressuring and we will keep voting until this Congress finally meets its responsibilities and actually does something to put people back to work and improve the economy.

    This bus tour puts a face on the teachers, firefighters, and police officers whose livelihoods are threatened by inaction.

    The trip began this morning in Asheville, North Carolina and wraps up Wednesday in North Chesterfield, Virginia.

    The first event was this morning at Asheville Regional Airport, where the President spoke about the need to upgrade the nation's infrastructure.

    At 5:00 ET this afternoon, the President will speak from West Wilkes High School in Miller's Creek, North Carolina. You can watch those remarks live at whitehouse.gov/live.

    You'll also be able to watch the President speak tomorrow from Guilford Technical Community College in Jamestown, North Carolina using the same link. On Wednesday, we'll also stream video of President Obama as he speaks at Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Hampton, Virginia and a firehouse in North Chesterfield, Virginia.


     

  • President Obama and President Lee of the Republic of Korea Speak in Michigan

    President Barack Obama and President Lee Myung-bak of the Republic of Korea deliver remarks at the Orion Assembly Plant

    President Barack Obama and President Lee Myung-bak of the Republic of Korea, deliver remarks on the trade agreement, at the General Motors Orion Assembly Plant, Orion Township, Michigan, Oct. 14, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

    Earlier today, South Korean President Lee Myung-bak and President Obama did something out of the ordinary for a state visit: They got out of Washington.

    Together, the two leaders toured the General Motors Orion Assembly plant in Michigan -- then spoke to automotive workers.

    When President Obama came into office, the plant was in trouble, slated to be closed. But the President made the decision to intervene and save the U.S. auto industry from collapse. Today, more than 1,700 full and part-time employees at Orion are hard at work producing the brand new Chevy Sonic.

    President Lee wore a Detroit Tigers baseball cap as he discussed the benefits American workers will see from the new free trade agreement:  

    "I know, folks, that some of you here may think that with the implementation of the KORUS FTA, that somehow your jobs may be exported or go somewhere else. But let me tell you one thing: That is not true. I am here with President Obama today because I want to give this promise to you, and that is that the KORUS FTA will not take away any of your jobs. Rather, it will create more jobs for you and your family, and it is going to protect your job. And that is the pledge that I give you today."

    President Obama then described the trade deal as a "win-win":  

    "Here in the United States, this trade agreement will support at least 70,000 American jobs. It will increase exports. It will boost our economy by more than our last nine trade agreements combined. And as I said, the good thing is we’ve got a balanced situation. It's not just a matter of folks sending a bunch of stuff here. Koreans are also buying American products. That's what makes it a win-win."

  • Congress Passes President Obama’s Trade Measures to Support American Jobs and Exports

    Last night, Congress passed four significant trade initiatives President Obama has advanced to help increase U.S. exports that support additional American jobs, and help American workers who need retraining and assistance when their jobs are affected by global competition.  The trade agreements with Korea, Colombia, and Panama – which we at USTR worked hard to make better at the President’s insistence – will strengthen and expand ties with strategic partners in Asia and Latin America even as they support tens of thousands of jobs here at home, from shop floors to farms to service firms across our country. And the renewal of Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) reforms will ensure that workers get retraining and assistance for the 21st-century jobs they want and need.  

    As I mentioned last week, when the President sent the legislation to Congress, there have recently been questions about whether trade supports jobs, and how.  We have a saying at USTR: “more exports, more jobs.”  Because every $1 billion of exports of American goods is estimated to support more than 6,000 additional jobs here at home.  And every billion dollars of services exports is estimated to support more than 4,500 jobs.  Since these trade agreements are estimated to increase U.S. goods exports alone by a combined total of at least $12 billion, they will support tens of thousands of real jobs and put more money in the pockets of hard-working Americans across the country. 

    Furthermore, the U.S.-Korea trade agreement will open Korea’s $580 billion services market to highly competitive American companies – creating additional jobs for American service providers in sectors from delivery and telecommunications services to distribution, and energy and environmental services.  The Colombia and Panama agreements open up services sectors to American companies selling into those markets as well.  

  • Aviation Entrepreneur Says American Jobs Act Is "Critically Important" to Small Firms

    Jamail Larkins is the President and CEO of Ascension Aircraft

    Jamail Larkins, the President and CEO of Ascension Aircraft, hopes Congress passes the American Jobs Act so he can grow his business. "The ability to reduce our payroll taxes will allow us to hire more people by stretching our limited capital."

    Jamail Larkins wants Congress to pass the American Jobs Act so he can reduce his payroll expenses and put more people to work. "The Jobs Act is critically important to small firms like mine. One of our biggest expenses is payroll, and the ability to reduce our payroll taxes will allow us to hire more people by stretching our limited capital."

    Larkins, 27, is the President and CEO of Ascension Aircraft, an airplane sales and leasing company in Augusta, Georgia that he founded in 2006. This entrepreneur's love of flying began the first time he piloted a plane -- at the age of twelve. He continued taking lessons, but his decision to volunteer to wash planes at his local airport  helped him establish relationships with pilots and more quickly gain confidence in his flying abilities. Eventually Larkins petitioned the Federal Aviation Administration to allow him to fly solo before his 16th birthday. Though his exemption was denied, he was undeterred and traveled to Canada, where the minimum age to fly solo was fourteen. That year, Larkins became one of the youngest American pilots to solo a powered aircraft in Canada. “I was fortunate that I discovered my calling in life at a young age. Flying a small aircraft is a very unique experience. It’s challenging, it’s exciting, always changing, and it allows you to see the world from a completely different perspective.” 

  • President Obama Attends Meeting of Council on Jobs and Competitiveness

    President Obama today attended a meeting of his Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, where he heard recommendations from the group on how to get the economy moving and create more jobs. The advisory council, which includes leaders from business, labor and academia, was created by the President earlier this year to provide diverse perspectives and ideas on how to create jobs and strengthen our competitiveness. 

    The third quarterly meeting of the Council today in Pittsburgh was focused on a report that team presented to the President  that offered five major initiatives to increase employment while improving competitiveness:

    • Measures to accelerate investment into job-rich projects in infrastructure and energy development 
    • A comprehensive drive to ignite entrepreneurship and accelerate the number and scale of young, small businesses and high-growth firms that produce an outsized share of America’s new jobs 
    • A national investment initiative to boost jobs-creating inward investment in the United States, both from global firms headquartered elsewhere and from multinational corporations headquartered here 
    • Ideas to simplify regulatory review and streamline project approvals to accelerate jobs and growth; 
    • Steps to ensure America has the talent in place to fill existing job openings as well as to boost future job creation. 

  • High Tech Manufacturers See American Jobs Act "Creating Opportunities at Every Turn"

    Wendy Jameson and Scott Grimshaw

    Wendy Jameson and Scott Grimshaw are the founders of ColnaTec, a “greentech” manufacturing business in Arizona

    Wendy Jameson, the co-founder of ColnaTec in Gilbert, Arizona says that the American Jobs Act will enable her company to "concentrate on what we do best – putting Americans and American innovation to work. Every dollar saved by the American Jobs Act is one more dollar we can spend on innovation. This changes the growth trajectory of our company, creating opportunities at every turn. In these difficult times, with most Americans worried about what tomorrow holds, who wouldn’t want that?"

    Jameson and Scott Grimshaw’s “green tech” manufacturing business lives up to its founders' motto: “fear mediocrity.” Since its launch in October 2009, ColnaTec has become one of the world’s only firms that makes the electronic sensors needed to manufacture thin film solar cells and display screens used in devices such as cell phones. The holder of numerous patents, ColnaTec has received two research grants from the Department of Energy for a new self-cleaning sensor, which will not only be more accurate than existing models, but also capable of clearing off the coating that forms on them, which leads to sensor failure – a process Grimshaw has said will work like a “self-cleaning oven.” 

    The co-founders, who met on Twitter, say “can’t” is a word they don’t believe in. Jameson, who has 25 years experience in sales, marketing and business strategy is the CEO, and Grimshaw, the founder of two other high tech manufacturing businesses, is the chief technology officer.  Their business (which is named after Jameson's sons, Colton and Nathan) is self-funded, and the owners say their aim is to develop manufacturing products that haven’t existed before – designing those products for long life and the highest accuracy and efficiency possible. 

  • Restaurant Entrepreneur Says American Jobs Act Will Help Small Businesses Get Back on Track

    Phillip Maung

    Phillip Maung, the founder and CEO of Hissho Sushi arrived in the U.S in 1989 with $13 in his pocket. Today his company operates more than 400 sushi bars across the country.

    Philip Maung, founder and CEO of Hissho Sushi, believes that Congress should pass the American Jobs Act so that small businesses like his can fast track their growth. “The American Jobs Act has provisions that will motivate small businesses owners like me to expand in an environment in which we have been forced to put some hiring decisions on hold for quite some time. Hopefully, with these incentives, small businesses will get back on track and our company, along with many other companies, can continue in our role of being the driving engine behind job growth.” 

    Maung arrived in this Los Angeles from Burma in 1989 with $13 in his pocket.  He had a dream of making something of himself and wanted to make his family proud.  In 1998, Maung and his wife started Hissho Sushi in their dining room.  What began as a tiny company providing fresh sushi to supermarkets and cafes has evolved into a dynamic foodservice and distribution enterprise, headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina. Hissho Sushi now employs more than 200 people and trains sushi chefs, distributes sushi ingredients throughout the United States and operates more than 400 sushi bars across the country.

  • Clothing Manufacturer Says the American Jobs Act "Will Change the Global Scope of Apparel Manufacturing"

    Chris Yura of SustainU

    SustainU's Chris Yura, center, with workers Carolina Cut ' N Sew in Mt. Gilead, NC, where his line of environmentally-friendly apparel for colleges and universities is produced.

    The payroll tax holiday on all new hires and wage increases that is part of the American Jobs Act will help Chris Yura of SustainU and his manufacturing partners in West Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee "free up much needed capital to continue growing in our community and in other areas of the country as we look to expand."

    Yura is especially drawn to the tax credits for hiring the long-term unemployed and for hiring service-disabled veterans that are provision of the American Jobs Act. “The growth and potential of our business lies solely in our American contracted manufacturers. Giving our partners in manufacturing the ability to rehire skilled workers increases our productivity and will change the global scope of apparel manufacturing. We have the people that want and need jobs; we need to invest in them.”

    When Yura was a fullback for Notre Dame, he wore his Fighting Irish uniform with great pride. Yura recognized the power of the school’s signature apparel by the excitement generated in the stands when they took the field, and saw “The Shirt” bring people together even far  from the college stadium. After graduating in 2003, Yura spent five years modeling in New York City where he became particularly interested in the sustainable fashion movement and was frustrated to learn about the misleading character of the “green” clothing movement.