Related Jobs Act Bus Tour Blog Posts

  • Why We Need the American Jobs Act

    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)

    Last week, President Obama took a bus tour through North Carolina and Virginia to talk directly to the American people about jobs, the economy, and the importance of the American Jobs Act.

    After attending the President’s speech at Langley Air Force Base, Stacie Walls-Beegle sent us a note about her experience running ACCESS AIDS Care, a non-profit organization in Hampton, Virginia that provides services to people living with HIV/AIDS as well as a safe space for the local LGBT community:

    “For the last ten years, I have run ACCESS AIDS Care, a non-profit organization that serves the Eastern region of Virginia, including Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Hampton, Newport News, and adjoining areas.  Our small organization employs 45 individuals and serves more than 500 people a year living with HIV/AIDS.  This year we opened the LGBT Center of Hampton Roads, the first of its kind in this region.

    On a daily basis, me and my staff work diligently to keep our doors open to serve individuals and families who are already living below the federal poverty line.  Many of them are also employed in minimum wage jobs and are uninsured.”

    We also heard from Jay Squires, President of the Gay Community Center of Richmond, following the President’s speech in Chesterfield, Virginia:

    “America’s LGBT community centers serve 40,000 people each week.  725,000 people are affiliated with 200 centers nationwide.  The centers, often volunteer-run and lightly funded, do critical work to address issues of poverty, homelessness, substance abuse, health care, and discrimination, seven days a week, and one person at a time. 

    These are the issues that impact our people’s lives daily.  Smaller centers do their work with the support of individuals who donate what they can to support the work that needs to be done.  Tens of thousands of times each week, we make a difference.  The community center movement is a great example of the American spirit – people coming together because they need to, to care for their own.”

    Community centers, health clinics, and local non-profits across the country provide critical services for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people – many of whom are especially vulnerable in a tough economy.  Passing the American Jobs Act will help put people back to work and put more money in the pockets of working Americans.

    The American Jobs Act will provide tax relief for workers and businesses, put teachers, police officers and firefighters back on the job, and invest in rebuilding our infrastructure and modernizing our schools. It also focuses on providing pathways back to work for the long-term unemployed – providing incentives for employers to hire, expanding efforts for youth employment and subsidized jobs, and prohibiting discrimination on the basis of unemployed status.     

    Learn more about the American Jobs Act, and take a look at front pages from the American Jobs Act Bus Tour.

    Gautam Raghavan is an Associate Director in the White House Office of Public Engagement.


  • State Representative Pricey Harrison: Up To 13,400 Teacher Jobs for North Carolina

    The President has been traveling across the country to show how the American Jobs Act will help modernize our schools, rebuild our infrastructure, and put Americans back to work. Earlier this week, the President visited Jamestown, NC as a part of his three-day American Jobs Act bus tour.

    North Carolina State Representative Pricey Harrison reflects on the President’s remarks in Jamestown, and explains how the American Jobs Act will create jobs in North Carolina and throughout the nation:

    I spent  part of Tuesday with President Obama as he met with and spoke to teachers, students, staff, and other citizens of Guilford County while in Jamestown on the campus of Guilford Technical Community College. The President was there to promote the American Jobs Act, which is projected to create  more than 2 million jobs nationwide and help rebuild our middle class and an economy that works for all of us.

    The Piedmont Triad has been hit particularly hard by the loss of tens of thousands of manufacturing jobs over the past decade and this year's state budget did further damage to the state's economy by making cuts that will result in  a net loss of more than 30,000 jobs statewide over the next two years. These job losses have been felt hardest in the education sector, where  2,418 jobs were cut this school year (and more than 9,200 since 2008), primarily teachers and teachers assistants.

    The President's plan would do much to help our state and our country recover from the extended recession.  The plan proposes to invest $35 billion to prevent layoffs of up to 280,000 teachers nationwide, while supporting the hiring of tens of thousands more and keeping police officers and firefighters on the job. These  funds will provide over $900 million  to North Carolina to support up to 13,400 educator jobs. .

    The plan also provides  a $25 billion investment in school infrastructure, over $675 million of which would be available to North Carolina to support as many as 8,800 jobs.

     The President also spoke about  how his plan is fully paid for.  He emphasized how the wealthiest among us should pay their fair share .

     It is time to pass the American Jobs Act.

  • West Wing Week: 10/21/11 or "Right Now!"

    This week, the President traveled to Detroit with the President of South Korea, dedicated the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial, embarked on a three day American Jobs Act bus tour, bestowed the Presidential Citizens Medal, and hosted the Norwegian Prime Minister.

    Watch West Wing Week here

  • Front Pages From the American Jobs Act Bus Tour

    President Obama is back at the White House after the three-day American Jobs Act Bus Tour where he traveled through North Carolina and Virginia. Over the past few days he had the opportunity to hear from folks in Asheville, North Carolina, sit down with teachers in Jamestown, North Carolina, and meet with veterans in Hampton, Virginia.

    He also made a few unannounced stops to grab lunch at Countryside Barbeque and picked out a few pumpkins at Wood’s Orchards Farm Market. Whether he was talking to folks in Millers Creek, North Carolina or Emporia, Virginia he heard the same message at each stop along the way: Leaders in Washington need to work together and pass this bill, piece by piece, to put folks back to work and get the economy moving at a faster pace.

    It’s time for Congress to meet their responsibility, put their party politics aside and take action on jobs right now.

    Take a quick look at the front pages over the last few days:

    The Asheville Citizen-Times

    2011 AJA Asheville Citizen-Times

  • 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 Lady Michelle Obama Announces Major Private Sector Commitment to Hire Veterans and Military Spouses

    Outside the 94th Operations Hangar at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, First Lady Michelle Obama announced a major private sector commitment to veteran and military spouse employment. The commitment comes from the American Logistics Association (ALA) and their 270 affiliate companies coming together to hire 25,000 veterans and spouses by the end of 2013.  

    The commitment by the ALA and its affiliate companies reflect the largest coordinated effort by the private sector to date to hire veterans and military spouses. The effort speaks to the capacity of the private sector to positively influence veteran and spouse employment.  

    President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama greet people at Joint Base Langley-Eustis

    President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama greet people along the ropeline at Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Hampton, Virginia during the American Jobs Act bus tour, Oct. 19, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

    On August 5 during a Veterans Jobs Initiatives speech at the Washington Navy Yard, President Obama challenged the private sector to hire 100,000 veterans or spouses by the end of 2013. President Obama asked the First Lady and Dr. Biden to lead this effort as part of their Joining Forces initiative.  

    To date, more than twenty-five individual companies have stepped up and committed to veteran hiring or training targets and ninety-six companies formed a public private partnership with the Department of Defense to hire military spouses. This collective effort has resulted in more than 12,000 veterans and spouses hired. 

    Today’s announcement takes the private sector commitment to an entirely new level. 

    As a country, we recognize that veterans have completed complex missions, all with high stakes on the line and enough variables to make most people’s head spin. Our veterans are trained in state of the art technologies, they’ve managed dozens, even hundreds, of people, and their leadership skills directly translate into value-added to any business. 

    We also know that military spouses bring skills from all walks of life. Our military spouses are managers, accountants, doctors, nurses and lawyers; they are strong and resilient parents who are at home in a pace and lifestyle that would be unthinkable to many in this country.  So, when businesses ask what they can do, our answer is simple: hire a veteran or military spouse; or hire 3, or 30, or 300 or 3,000 – whatever the capacity of your company would allow. 

    The Joining Forces team is working every day to energize the nation’s support for its military families and we are asking folks to step-up and do what they do best. This new commitment makes it clear that business owners recognize the value in our nation’s veterans and military spouses and are looking to add their exceptional talent to their ranks.

  • The American Jobs Act by the Numbers: 5,600

    $5,600: The tax credit for businesses that hire veterans who have been unemployed six months or longer

    This morning, President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama were at Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Virginia as part of the American Jobs Act Bus Tour to discuss how the American Jobs Act will create jobs and put people back to work, including America's veterans.

    While the President is on the road, we're pulling out numbers that show how the American Jobs Act will make an immediate impact in communities across the country.  Numbers like $5,600, the tax credit for businesses that hire veterans who have been unemployed for six months or longer.

    Providing a tax credit incentive for businesses to employee veterans will help encourage hiring and make it easier for America's heroes to find jobs when they return home. And the tax credit rises to $9,600 for hiring veterans who also have service-connected disabilities.

    As President Obama said when he first introduced the American Jobs Act to a joint session of Congress, "We ask these men and women to leave their careers, leave their families, risk their lives to fight for our country. The last thing they should have to do is fight for a job when they come home." During the address to Congress, members on both sides of the aisle stood and applauded in support of tax credits for businesses that hire veterans. President Obama is now calling for action:

    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.