The Last 24™: The White House Summit On Working Families Edition.


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White House Working Families Summit

 

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President Obama Stops for Lunch On his Way To The White House Working Families Summit

 

 

 

 

Working Families Summit: “Family Matters

 

 

 

The Vice President Speaks at the Working Families Summit

 

 

 

6/23/14: White House Press Briefing

 

 

 

President Obama Speaks at the Working Families Summit

 

 

 

The First Lady Speaks at the Working Families Summit

 

 

 

A Letter to the President: Rebekah

 

 

 

Live from the White House Summit on Working Families

 

 

 

The White House Summit on Working Families is happening today — and businesses, economists, labor leaders, policymakers, advocates, and citizens are joining together for a national conversation about how we can update our workplaces to better help families in the 21st century succeed at work and at home.

 

Americans both at the Summit and around the country are adding their voices to that conversation. Take a look at what they’re saying — and add your own voice using #FamiliesSucceed

 

#FamiliesSucceed: White House Summit on Working Families

On June 23, the White House Summit on Working Families brought together businesses, economists, labor leaders, policymakers, advocates, and citizens for a national conversation about how we can create workplace policies that give modern American families the best chance to succeed.

 

 

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Presidential Perks

 

 

 

Watch from Anywhere: The White House Summit on Working Families

 

 

Today is the White House Summit on Working Families — bringing together businesses, economists, labor leaders, policymakers, advocates, and citizens for a national conversation about how we can create workplace policies that give modern American families the best chance to succeed at work and at home.

 

Americans across the country are tuning in and adding their voices from their desks, living rooms, and dining room tables.

 

Don’t miss a thing — here are all the ways you can participate in the Summit, no matter where you are:

 

  • Follow along online at www.workingfamiliessummit.org. There, you’ll find a full schedule of speakers, and panels — as well as a livestream of all of the main remarks and plenary sessions. In between, HuffPost Live will host and moderate digital breakout sessions featuring Summit particpants and Americans from around the country, via Google+ Hangout.

 

  • Add your voice to the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #FamiliesSucceed. We’ll be tweeting remarks and helpful facts and graphics from White House accounts all day. Follow the conversation, and add your voice.

 

 

  • Share how 21st-century workplace policies would help your working family succeed. Visit WhiteHouse.gov/working-families to share what your working family looks like, and how you’ll be uniquely helped by 21st-century workplace policies. There will also be a story-sharing wall at the Summit, where attendees can fill out cards with this information and post their own story in a central location.

 

 

 

Family-Friendly Workplace Policies Are Not Frills — They’re Basic Needs

 

 

This morning, the Huffington Post published the following op-ed from the President, discussing the need for family-friendly policies in our workplaces. The op-ed is part of a series of essays about the issues facing working families, leading up to today’s White House Summit on Working Families.

 

Watch the Summit live at www.workingfamiliessummit.org.

 


As President, my top priority is rebuilding an economy where everybody who works hard has the chance to get ahead.

 

That’s the subject of the first White House Summit on Working Families, which is taking place today. We’re bringing together business leaders and workers to talk about the challenges that working parents face every day and how we can address them.

 

Take flexibility – the ability to take a few hours off for a school play or to work from home when your kid is sick. Most workers want it, but not enough of them have it – even though studies show that flexibility makes workers happier, and helps companies lower turnover and raise productivity.

 

Take paid family leave. Many jobs don’t offer adequate leave to care for a new baby or an ailing parent, so workers can’t afford to be there when their family needs them the most. And the United States is the only developed country in the world without paid maternity leave.

 

Take childcare. Most working families I know can’t afford thousands a year for childcare, but often, that’s what it costs. I recently got a letter from a woman in Minnesota whose kids’ preschool is so expensive, it costs more every month than her mortgage.

 

And take the minimum wage. Nearly 28 million Americans would benefit if we raised the minimum wage to $10.10. And we’re not just talking about young people on their first job – the average worker who would benefit from an increase is 35 years old. Many have kids. And a majority are women. Right now, many full-time minimum wage workers aren’t even making enough to keep their kids out of poverty.

 

Family leave, childcare, flexibility, and a decent wage aren’t frills. They’re basic needs. They shouldn’t be bonuses – they should be the bottom line.

 

Parents who work full-time should earn enough to pay the bills and go to work every day knowing that their kids are in good hands. Workers who give their all should know that if they need some flexibility, they can have it – because their employers understand that it’s hard to be productive when you’ve got a sick kid at home or a childcare crisis. And talented, hard-working people should be able to say yes to a great new opportunity without worrying that their family will pay the price. Nearly half of all working parents surveyed say they’ve chosen to turn down a job, not because they didn’t want it, because it would be too hard on their families. When that many members of our workforce are forced to choose between a job and their family, something’s wrong.

 

Some businesses are realizing that family-friendly policies are a good business practice, because they help build loyalty and inspire workers to go the extra mile. JetBlue offers a flexible work-from-home plan for its customer service representatives. Google increased their paid parental leave to five months – and the rate of women leaving the company decreased by half. Cisco lets their employees telecommute as needed, which they estimate saves them over $275 million every year.

 

And there’s a bigger economic case here, too. The strength of our economy rests on whether we’re getting the most out of all of our nation’s talent – whether we’re making it possible for all our citizens to contribute to our growth and prosperity. That’s the key to staying competitive in the global economy. Right now, we’re leaving too many people on the sidelines who have the desire and the capacity to work, but are held back by one obstacle or another. It’s our job to remove those obstacles. That’s what supporting working families is all about.

 

States are getting on board, too. California, Rhode Island, and New Jersey give workers paid family leave. Connecticut offers paid sick days. So does New York City. Since I asked Congress to raise the minimum wage last year, 13 states have taken steps to raise it on their own.

 

But all Americans should get to benefit from these policies. That’s why we need to see some action here in Washington.

 

I’ll work with anyone – Democrats or Republicans – to increase opportunity for American workers. But in this year of action, whenever I can act on my own, I will.

 

Today, I’ll sign a Presidential Memorandum directing every agency in the federal government to expand access to flexible work schedules, and giving employees the right to request them.

 

I’m calling on Congress to pass the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, because too many pregnant workers are forced to choose between their health and their job. They can get fired for taking too many bathroom breaks, or forced on unpaid leave just for being pregnant. It’s inhumane, and it needs to stop.

 

And to help parents trying to get ahead, I’m directing my Secretary of Labor to invest $25 million in helping people who want to enroll in job training programs, but don’t currently have access to the childcare they need to do it.

 

I take this personally – as the son and grandson of some strong women who worked hard to support my sister and me; as the husband of a brilliant woman who struggled to balance work and raising our young ladies when my job often kept me away; and as the father of two beautiful girls, whom I want to be there for as much as I possibly can – and whom I hope will be able to have families and careers of their own one day.

 

We know from our history that our country does better when everybody participates; when everyone’s talents are put to use; when we all have a fair shot. That’s the America I believe in. That’s the America I’ll keep fighting for every day.

 

 

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President Obama at Chipotle

 

President Barack Obama orders his lunch at a Chipotle Mexican Grill after walking there with several participants attending the White House Summit on Working Families at the nearby Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C., June 23, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

 

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Barack meets a fan at Chipotle Mexican Grill

Barack meets a fan at Chipotle Mexican Grill

The Bear is Loose

 

 

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Year Up gives young adults skills for the job search

 

 

 

Michelle Obama Makes It Personal at WH Summit

 

 

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FACT SHEET: The White House Summit On Working Families

 

Remarks by President Obama at the White House Summit on Working Families | June 23, 2014

Omni Shoreham Hotel
Washington, D.C.

1:51 P.M. EDT

 

THE PRESIDENT:  This crowd looks fired up.  (Applause.)  Already, everybody have a seat.  Have a seat.  You look like you’ve been busy.

 

AUDIENCE MEMBERS:  Yes!

 

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  We’re just waiting on you.

 

THE PRESIDENT:  I know that’s right.  (Applause.)  I know that’s right.  (Laughter.)  Good afternoon, everybody.  Have a seat, have a seat.

 

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  I love you, Mr. President.

 

THE PRESIDENT:  I love you back.  (Applause.)  I do.  Well, welcome to the White House Summit on Working Families.  (Applause.)  And thanks to all of you for joining us.  I know that for most of you, you are taking time off of work or family, or both, to be here.  And I know that’s a sacrifice.  And I know just juggling schedules can be tough.  And in fact, that’s one of the reasons that we are here today.

 

I want to thank our co-hosts, Secretary of Labor Tom Perez — give him a big round of applause — as well as Neera Tanden and everyone at the Center for American Progress for the great work that they did.  (Applause.)  Thanks as well to all the members of Congress who are participating, especially Nancy Pelosi and the members of the Democratic Women’s Working Group.  (Applause.)  And a long-time friend and champion of families and women and veterans, Connie Milstein — we could not have pulled this off without Connie’s great assistance, so we want to thank Connie.  (Applause.)

 

So I just walked over to Chipotle for lunch.  (Laughter.)  I caused a lot of havoc, as you might expect.  (Laughter.)  It had been a while since I had the burrito bowl, and it was good.  (Laughter.)  And I went there with four new buddies of mine.  One of them is a father of a four year old and a two month old who has worked with his wife to come up with a flexible plan where he works three or four days a week.  She works three or four days a week.  And the reason is because, as Roger put it, he thinks it’s important that he is able to bond with this kids just as much as his wife is.

 

Read The Entire Transcript Here.

 

 

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Op-Ed by President Obama on the White House Summit on Working Families

In an op-ed published on the Huffington Post, President Obama writes about the importance of today’s White House Summit on Working Families and his commitment to creating a 21st century workplace that works for all Americans.

 

The following op-ed by President Obama appeared on the Huffington Post.

 

Family-Friendly Workplace Policies Are Not Frills — They’re Basic Needs

 

Family-Friendly Workplace Policies Are Not Frills — They’re Basic Needs

 

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As President, my top priority is rebuilding an economy where everybody who works hard has the chance to get ahead.

 

That’s the subject of the first White House Summit on Working Families, which is taking place today. We’re bringing together business leaders and workers to talk about the challenges that working parents face every day and how we can address them.

 

Take flexibility — the ability to take a few hours off for a school play or to work from home when your kid is sick. Most workers want it, but not enough of them have it — even though studies show that flexibility makes workers happier and helps companies lower turnover and raise productivity.

 

Take paid family leave. Many jobs don’t offer adequate leave to care for a new baby or an ailing parent, so workers can’t afford to be there when their families need them the most. And the United States is the only developed country in the world without paid maternity leave.

 

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Take childcare. Most working families I know can’t afford thousands a year for childcare, but often, that’s what it costs. I recently got a letter from a woman in Minnesota whose kids’ preschool is so expensive it costs more every month than her mortgage.

 

And take the minimum wage. Nearly 28 million Americans would benefit if we raised the minimum wage to $10.10. And we’re not just talking about young people on their first job — the average worker who would benefit from an increase is 35 years old. Many have kids. And a majority are women. Right now, many full-time minimum-wage workers aren’t even making enough to keep their kids out of poverty.

 

Family leave, childcare, flexibility and a decent wage aren’t frills. They’re basic needs. They shouldn’t be bonuses — they should be the bottom line.

 

Parents who work full-time should earn enough to pay the bills and go to work every day knowing that their kids are in good hands. Workers who give their all should know that if they need some flexibility, they can have it — because their employers understand that it’s hard to be productive when you’ve got a sick kid at home or a childcare crisis. And talented, hard-working people should be able to say yes to a great new opportunity without worrying that their families will pay the price. Nearly half of all working parents surveyed say they’ve chosen to turn down a job not because they didn’t want it, but because it would be too hard on their families. When that many members of our workforce are forced to choose between a job and their family, something’s wrong.

 

Some businesses are realizing that family-friendly policies are a good business practice, because they help build loyalty and inspire workers to go the extra mile. JetBlue offers a flexible work-from-home plan for its customer-service representatives. Google increased its paid parental leave to five months — and the rate of women leaving the company decreased by half. Cisco lets their employees telecommute as needed, which they estimate saves them over $275 million every year.

 

And there’s a bigger economic case here, too. The strength of our economy rests on whether we’re getting the most out of all of our nation’s talent — whether we’re making it possible for all our citizens to contribute to our growth and prosperity. That’s the key to staying competitive in the global economy. Right now, we’re leaving too many people on the sidelines who have the desire and the capacity to work, but are held back by one obstacle or another. It’s our job to remove those obstacles. That’s what supporting working families is all about.

 

States are getting on board, too. California, Rhode Island and New Jersey give workers paid family leave. Connecticut offers paid sick days. So does New York City. Since I asked Congress to raise the minimum wage last year, 13 states have taken steps to raise it on their own.

 

But all Americans should get to benefit from these policies. That’s why we need to see some action here in Washington.

 

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I’ll work with anyone — Democrats or Republicans — to increase opportunity for American workers. But in this year of action, whenever I can act on my own, I will.

 

Today, I’ll sign a Presidential Memorandum directing every agency in the federal government to expand access to flexible work schedules, and giving employees the right to request them.

 

I’m calling on Congress to pass the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, because too many pregnant workers are forced to choose between their health and their job. They can get fired for taking too many bathroom breaks, or forced on unpaid leave just for being pregnant. It’s inhumane, and it needs to stop.

 

And to help parents trying to get ahead, I’m directing my Secretary of Labor to invest $25 million in helping people who want to enroll in job-training programs, but don’t currently have access to the childcare they need to do it.

 

I take this personally — as the son and grandson of some strong women who worked hard to support my sister and me; as the husband of a brilliant woman who struggled to balance work and raising our young ladies when my job often kept me away; and as the father of two beautiful girls, whom I want to be there for as much as I possibly can — and whom I hope will be able to have families and careers of their own one day.

 

We know from our history that our country does better when everybody participates; when everyone’s talents are put to use; when we all have a fair shot. That’s the America I believe in. That’s the America I’ll keep fighting for every day.

 

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Statements and Releases – June 23rd, 2014

 

Statement by the Press Secretary on the Conviction of Journalists in Egypt

 

Message to Congress — Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to the Western Balkans

 

Notice to Congress — Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to the Western Balkans

 

Presidential Nomination Sent to the Senate

 

 

President Obama to Award the Medal of Honor

On July 21, 2014, President Barack Obama will award Ryan M. Pitts, a former active duty Army Staff Sergeant, the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry.  Staff Sergeant Pitts will receive the Medal of Honor for his courageous actions while serving as a Forward Observer with 2nd Platoon, Chosen Company, 2nd Battalion (Airborne), 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade, during combat operations at Vehicle Patrol Base Kahler, in the vicinity of Wanat Village in Kunar Province, Afghanistan on July 13, 2008.

 

Staff Sergeant Pitts will be the ninth living recipient to be awarded the Medal of Honor for actions in Iraq or Afghanistan.  He and his family will join the President at the White House to commemorate his example of selfless service.

 

PERSONAL BACKGROUND:

Staff Sergeant Pitts separated from the service on October 27, 2009 from Walter Reed Army Medical Center.  He currently lives in Nashua, New Hampshire, where he works in business development for the computer software industry.

 

Staff Sergeant Pitts enlisted in the Army in August 2003 as a Fire Support Specialist (13F), primarily responsible for the intelligence activities of the Army’s field artillery team.   After completion of training at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and follow-on parachutist training at the U.S. Army Airborne School, Fort Benning, Georgia, he was assigned to Camp Ederle, Vicenza, Italy, as a radio operator with the 4th Battalion, 319th Field Artillery Regiment and 173rd Airborne Brigade where he deployed to Afghanistan.  His final assignment was with the 2nd Battalion (Airborne), 503rd Infantry Regiment “The Rock”, 173rd Airborne Brigade as a Forward Observer which included a second combat tour to Afghanistan.

 

At the time of the July 13, 2008 combat engagement, then-Sergeant Pitts was a Forward Observer in 2nd Platoon, Chosen Company, 2nd Battalion (Airborne), 503rd Infantry Regiment 173rd Airborne Brigade as part of Task Force Rock. His heroic actions were performed at Vehicle Patrol Base Kahler, in the vicinity of Wanat Village in Kunar Province, Afghanistan.

 

His personal awards include the Bronze Star Medal w/ “V” Device, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal w/ three Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal with Bronze Clasp and two Loops, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Two Campaign Stars, Global War on Terrorism Medal, Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon with Numeral “4”,  NATO Medal, Presidential Unit Citation, Valorous Unit Award, Combat Action Badge, Pathfinder Badge and Parachutist Badge.

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

 

THE MEDAL OF HONOR:

The Medal of Honor is awarded to members of the Armed Forces who distinguish themselves conspicuously by gallantry above and beyond the call of duty while:

 

  • engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States;
  • engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force; or
  • serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party.

 

The meritorious conduct must involve great personal bravery or self-sacrifice so conspicuous as to clearly distinguish the individual above his or her comrades and must have involved risk of life. There must be incontestable proof of the performance of the meritorious conduct, and each recommendation for the award must be considered on the standard of extraordinary merit.

 

 

Readout of the President’s Call with President Putin of Russia

 

President Obama spoke with Russian President Putin today about the situation in Ukraine.  President Obama welcomed President Poroshenko’s peace plan and urged that Russia and separatist leaders work closely with the Ukrainian government to take concrete steps to implement it.  The President called upon President Putin to press the separatists to recognize and abide by the ceasefire and to halt the flow of weapons and materiel across its border into Ukraine.  The President emphasized that words must be accompanied by actions and that the United States remains prepared to impose additional sanctions should circumstances warrant, in coordination with our allies and partners.  The President and President Putin also discussed the removal of chemical weapons in Syria and ongoing efforts to reach a comprehensive solution to ensure that Iran’s nuclear program will be exclusively peaceful.

 

Obama Grabs a Bite at Chipotle Before Summit

 

 

 

Obama: Paid Leave Basic Need, Not Bonus

 

 

 

President Obama Grabs a Bite at Chipotle Before Summit!!

 

 

 

 

The White House Summit on Working Families {Full Summit}

 

 

 

 

 

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4 Responses

  1. Nicely done, as you always do.

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