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The White House News™: Speeches & Remarks/Statements & Releases. Videos. Blog Updates. ICYMI. Stuff.


 

By Jueseppi B.

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Speeches and Remarks/Statements and Releases- April 18, 2014

 

 

Remarks by the President at Presentation of the Commander-in-Chief Trophy to the U.S. Naval Academy

 

 

 

 

Remarks by the First Lady at Discussion with High School and College Students

 

First Lady Michelle Obama smiles at rapper Bow Wow at Howard University. The First Lady joined juniors and seniors from Chicago public high schools on the first day of their four-day visit to Howard University, as part of a program to immerse talented high school students in a college campus environment.

First Lady Michelle Obama smiles at rapper Bow Wow at Howard University. The First Lady joined juniors and seniors from Chicago public high schools on the first day of their four-day visit to Howard University, as part of a program to immerse talented high school students in a college campus environment.

 

 

Press Conference by the President, 4/17/14

 

Published on Apr 17, 2014

Before taking questions from the press in the White House Press Briefing Room, President Obama announces that 8 million people signed up for private health coverage in the Health Insurance Marketplace. April 17, 2014.

 

 

 

 

Remarks by the President Welcoming the Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride

 

Published on Apr 17, 2014

President Obama welcomes Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride to the White House in celebration of the seventh annual Soldier Ride. A cycling event to help Wounded Warriors restore their physical and emotional well-being, the Soldier Ride also raises awareness of our nation’s Wounded Warriors who battle the physical and psychological damages of war.

 

 

 

Remarks by the President and the Vice President on Skills Training

 

Published on Apr 16, 2014

President Obama and Vice President Biden deliver remarks on the importance of jobs-driven skills training in a 21st century economy. April 16, 2014.

 

 

 

 

West Wing Week: 4/18/14 or, “Pull Together, Fight Back, and Win”

 

Published on Apr 17, 2014

This week, the President nominated Sylvia Burwell as Secretary of Health and Human Services, hosted an Easter Prayer Breakfast and a Passover Seder, discussed immigration reform with Faith leaders, welcomed the Wounded Warrior Soldier Ride, announced a major milestone in the continued implementation of the Affordable Care Act, and hit the road to New York City and Oakdale, Pennsylvania.

 

 

 

President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts

 

 

Statement by the President on Easter Weekend

 

White House Keepsake Eggs. The 2014 souvenir eggs come in four bold colors – pink, orange, blue, green – and include the stamped signatures of the President and First Lady. A commemorative purple “Bo and Sunny” egg is included only in the 2014 5-pack Collector’s Egg Set.

White House Keepsake Eggs.
The 2014 souvenir eggs come in four bold colors – pink, orange, blue, green – and include the stamped signatures of the President and First Lady. A commemorative purple “Bo and Sunny” egg is included only in the 2014 5-pack Collector’s Egg Set.

This weekend, Michelle and I join our fellow Christians in marking Good Friday and celebrating Easter.  We will reflect on the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made for us and rejoice in the triumph of the Resurrection.  This season reminds us that God is always with us, in suffering and in celebration.  We give thanks for the many blessings in our lives and renew our commitments to follow Christ’s example by loving God and loving our neighbors as ourselves.  We wish all who celebrate a blessed Easter.

 

 

 

Statement by the President

Today I have signed into law S. 2195, an Act concerning visa limitations for certain representatives to the United Nations.  S. 2195 amends section 407 of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 1990 and 1991, to provide that no individual may be admitted to the United States as a representative to the United Nations, if that individual has been found to have been engaged in espionage or terrorist activity directed against the United States or its allies, and if that individual may pose a threat to United States national security interests.  As President Bush observed in signing the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 1990 and 1991, this provision “could constrain the exercise of my exclusive constitutional authority to receive within the United States certain foreign ambassadors to the United Nations.” (Public Papers of the President, George Bush, Vol. I, 1990, page 240).  Acts of espionage and terrorism against the United States and our allies are unquestionably problems of the utmost gravity, and I share the Congress’s concern that individuals who have engaged in such activity may use the cover of diplomacy to gain access to our Nation.  Nevertheless, as President Bush also observed, “curtailing by statute my constitutional discretion to receive or reject ambassadors is neither a permissible nor a practical solution.”  I shall therefore continue to treat section 407, as originally enacted and as amended by S. 2195, as advisory in circumstances in which it would interfere with the exercise of this discretion.

 

 

White House Announces 2014 Spring Garden Events

 

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Readout of the Vice President’s Call with Prime Minister Robert Fico of Slovakia

Vice President Biden spoke today with Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico.  The Vice President and Prime Minister discussed the situation in eastern Ukraine.  The Vice President underscored the United States’ support for a diplomatic resolution to the crisis in Ukraine, contingent on Russia’s disavowal and cessation of destabilizing actions within Ukraine.  The two leaders agreed that if Russia further escalated the situation in Ukraine, it would face mounting consequences for its actions.   The Vice President thanked the Prime Minister for Slovakia’s commitment to bolstering energy security within Europe, including by supporting the reverse flow of natural gas to Ukraine.

 

 

 

Readout of the Vice President’s Call with Prime Minister Robert Fico of Slovakia

Vice President Biden spoke today with Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico.  The Vice President and Prime Minister discussed the situation in eastern Ukraine.  The Vice President underscored the United States’ support for a diplomatic resolution to the crisis in Ukraine, contingent on Russia’s disavowal and cessation of destabilizing actions within Ukraine.  The two leaders agreed that if Russia further escalated the situation in Ukraine, it would face mounting consequences for its actions.   The Vice President thanked the Prime Minister for Slovakia’s commitment to bolstering energy security within Europe, including by supporting the reverse flow of natural gas to Ukraine.

Readout of the Vice President’s Call with President Rosen Plevneliev of Bulgaria

Vice President Biden spoke today with Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev. The Vice President assured President Plevneliev of the United States’ ironclad commitment to the collective defense of its NATO Allies and thanked him for Bulgaria’s contributions to the Euro-Atlantic partnership. The two leaders discussed the alarming situation in eastern Ukraine, and pledged their full support for Ukraine’s development as an independent, unitary, and democratic state. The Vice President and President Plevneliev stressed that Russia needs to take immediate, concrete actions to de-escalate the situation in eastern Ukraine. The leaders also discussed the importance of efforts to combat corruption, promote democratic accountability, and support independent media in Bulgaria and throughout Europe.

Readout of the President’s Call with Prime Minister Cameron of United Kingdom

The President and Prime Minister Cameron of the United Kingdom spoke today regarding their deep concern about the situation in eastern Ukraine.  The President commended the government of Ukraine’s approach to today’s discussions in Geneva, where it put forward constructive proposals to expand local governance and ensure the rights of all Ukrainians are protected.  The leaders stressed that Russia needs to take immediate, concrete actions to de-escalate the situation in eastern Ukraine, including by using its influence over the irregular forces in eastern Ukraine to get them to lay down their arms and leave the buildings they have seized.  As the President has said, we will look for the Russians to quickly follow through on their commitments in Geneva in this regard.  The President and the Prime Minister agreed that the United States and Europe are prepared to take further measures to impose costs on Russia if this de-escalation does not occur in short order.

Readout of the President’s Call with Chancellor Merkel of Germany

The President and Chancellor Merkel of Germany spoke today regarding their deep concern about the situation in eastern Ukraine.  The President commended the government of Ukraine’s approach to today’s discussions in Geneva, where it put forward constructive proposals to expand local governance and ensure the rights of all Ukrainians are protected.  The leaders stressed that Russia needs to take immediate, concrete actions to de-escalate the situation in eastern Ukraine, including by using its influence over the irregular forces in eastern Ukraine to get them to lay down their arms and leave the buildings they have seized.  The President and the Chancellor agreed that the United States and Europe are prepared to take further measures if this de-escalation does not occur in short order.  The leaders also stressed their support for Ukraine’s May 25 presidential elections.

 

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The 10 Most Eggcellent Reasons You Should Tune In For The White House Easter Egg Roll

 

Join Us: 2014 White House Spring Garden Tours

 

It’s A Good Friday Celebration: Commander-in-Chief Trophy Presented To The U.S. Naval Academy.

 

The Ukraine Situation: Updates.

 

Barack & Michelle After Dark™: Michelle Visits Howard. Wounded Warrior Riders Visit Barack’s House. 

 

8 Million People Have Signed Up For Private Health Coverage Thanks To The Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act (ObamaCARES).

 

Shannon Watts, Everytown For Gun Safety: Fight Gun Violence With Your VOTE.

 

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4/18/14: White House Press Briefing

 

 

 

Raw Video: President Obama Meets Local Pittsburgh Band Comfort Tech

 

Published on Apr 18, 2014

On April 16, 2014, President Obama traveled to Oakdale, Pennsylvania to highlight jobs-driven skills training in the 21st century. The local band, Comfort Tech, who live nearby, had turned their driveway into a stage and were playing original songs. Noticing them as he drove by, the President wanted to meet them.

 

 

 

Letters to the President: Stories of Health Reform

 

Published on Apr 17, 2014

While in Austin, the President recently met with several Americans who wrote letters about the Affordable Care Act.

 

 

 

 

White House Solar Summit and Champions of Change

 

Published on Apr 17, 2014

The White House hosts a White House Champions of Change event to announce new steps to bolster solar deployment, highlight new innovative federal tools to advance solar generation, and recognize White House Champions of Change for Solar Deployment — local leaders across the country who are taking action to advance solar power. April 17, 2014.

 

 

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The POTUSA Says: "This thing is working." The Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act (ObamaCARES)

The POTUSA Says: “This thing is working.” The Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act (ObamaCARES)

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Barack & Michelle After Dark™: Michelle Visits Howard. Wounded Warrior Riders Visit Barack’s House. The West Wing Week.


 

By Jueseppi B.

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First Lady Michelle Obama And Bow Wow Spotted At Howard University

 

On Thursday, first lady Michelle Obama and rapper-slash-actor Bow Wow joined 37 students from Chicago public high schools for a tour of Howard University, our colleague Krissah Thompson reports. According to the first lady’s office, Obama specifically requested Bow Wow for the event, an annual college visit called “Escape to the Mecca” — a nod to the university’s nickname “the mecca.”

“This isn’t bad,” Obama said as she stepped inside a dorm room in Frazier Hall where one enterprising student had the perfect product placement on her desk: a portfolio and résumé. During the sneak peek, Obama encouraged the visiting students to step in and look around too. “You might be living here. I’m just visiting,” she said.

 

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From NBC 5 Chicago:

 

First Lady Welcomes Chicago Public School Students on College Visit 

 

CPS officials said 37 students were on the campus visit from 18 area schools

 

By Alexandria Fisher

First Lady Michelle Obama and rapper Bow Wow welcomed dozens of Chicago high schoolers to Howard University in Washington Thursday afternoon.

 

First lady Michelle Obama and Bow Wow, co-host of the television show “106 & Park,” along with high school students from Chicago, tour the Howard University dorms. (Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post)

First lady Michelle Obama and Bow Wow, co-host of the television show “106 & Park,” along with high school students from Chicago, tour the Howard University dorms. (Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post)

 

The First Lady joined the students on their college visit to promote the President’s “North Star” initiative, which aims to bring America’s proportion of college graduates back to the highest in the world by 2020.

 

Obama, a Princeton University and Harvard Law alum, toured dorm rooms and posed for a group photo with the juniors and seniors from Chicago Public high schools as Howard students shouted from dorm room windows.

 

Students cheer from their dorm room windows as they watch First Lady Michelle Obama take a tour of Howard University

Students cheer from their dorm room windows as they watch First Lady Michelle Obama take a tour of Howard University

 

Donning a maroon pant suit and black flats the First Lady showed her school spirit by waving a “Howard hand” and speaking to the students from a campus food court.

 

Bow Wow, formerly L’il Bow Wow, joined the First Lady Thursday to help moderate the students’ discussion.

 

First Lady Michelle Obama smiles at rapper Bow Wow at Howard University. The First Lady joined juniors and seniors from Chicago public high schools on the first day of their four-day visit to Howard University, as part of a program to immerse talented high school students in a college campus environment.

First Lady Michelle Obama smiles at rapper Bow Wow at Howard University. The First Lady joined juniors and seniors from Chicago public high schools on the first day of their four-day visit to Howard University, as part of a program to immerse talented high school students in a college campus environment.

 

“I’m very proud of you guys,” Bow Wow said, after starting off by shouting out Chicago neighborhoods.

 

Obama pumped her fist when he said “South Side.”

 

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The 27-year-old co-host of BET’s “106 & Park,” a weekday show on which the First Lady has appeared, didn’t attend college and instead pursued an entertainment career, according to his manager Bart Waters.

 

The First Lady commended Bow Wow, a child rapping prodigy, for his support for education and said she was “very proud of this young man.”

 

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She then went on to encourage the students to go to college or pursue other higher education.

 

“While there’s a lot of work that needs to be done on our end,” she said, referring to government, philanthropy and other resources, “you don’t have time to wait for everybody to fix the system.”

 

CPS officials said 37 students were on the campus visit from 18 area schools.

 

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“This has been the most phenomenal day of my life,” Pamela Mondane, 17, told Obama.

 

The senior at Whitney Young, Obama’s alma mater, said she intended to enroll at Howard University later this year.

 

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First lady Michelle Obama and Bow Wow, co-host of the television show “106 & Park,” along with high school students from Chicago, tour the Howard University dorms. (Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post)

First lady Michelle Obama and Bow Wow, co-host of the television show “106 & Park,” along with high school students from Chicago, tour the Howard University dorms. (Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post)

 

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Letters to the President: Stories of Health Reform

 

 

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Published on Apr 17, 2014

While in Austin, the President recently met with several Americans who wrote letters about the Affordable Care Act.

 

 

 

8 Million People Have Signed Up For Private Health Coverage Thanks To The Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act (ObamaCARES). Read All About The 8 Million.

 

 

President Obama: 8 Million People Have Signed Up for Private Health Coverage

 

Speaking from the White House Briefing Room this afternoon, President Obama announced that 8 millionAmericans have signed up for private health coverage thanks to the Affordable Care Act.

 

 

President Obama Speaks to the Press

 

Published on Apr 17, 2014

Before taking questions from the press in the White House Press Briefing Room, President Obama announces that 8 million people signed up for private health coverage in the Health Insurance Marketplace. April 17, 2014.

 

 

 

He noted that 35 percent of those people are under 35 years old.

 

What’s more, costs associated with expanding coverage under the Affordable Care Act are lower than expected.

 

And health care costs are growing at the slowest level on record. That slower growth in spending is reflected across MedicareMedicaid, and private insurance.

 

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Take a look at a few more important numbers, from a fact sheet released today:

 

  • 8 million people signed up for private insurance in the Health InsuranceMarketplace. For states that have Federally-Facilitated Marketplaces, 35 percent of those who signed up are under 35 years old, and 28 percent are between 18 and 34 years old, virtually the same youth percentage that signed up in Massachusetts in its first year of health reform.

 

  • 3 million young adults gained coverage thanks to the Affordable Care Act by being able to stay on their parents’ plan.

 

  • 3 million more people were enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP as of February, compared to before the Marketplaces opened. Medicaid and CHIP enrollment continues year-round.

 

  • 5 million people are enrolled in plans that meet ACA standards outside the Marketplace, according to aCBO estimate. When insurers set premiums for next year, they are required to look at everyone who enrolled in plans that meet ACA standards, both inside and outside the Marketplace.

 

  • 5.7 million people will be uninsured in 2016 because 24 states have chosen not to expand Medicaid — even though this expansion would be of no cost to states, as the President pointed out in today’s briefing.

 

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The bottom line, as the President said: “This thing is working.

 

#8Million #8Million #8Million

 

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@BarackObama The Affordable Care Act is working—for millions of Americans.

@BarackObama
The Affordable Care Act is working—for millions of Americans.

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Can Ya’ll Haters Please Kiss My Entire Black Ass?

 

 

 

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Eight Million.....And Counting.

Eight Million…..And Counting.

Lets give a hand for eight million.

Lets give a hand for eight million.

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West Wing Week: 4/18/14 or, “Pull Together, Fight Back, and Win”

 

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Published on Apr 17, 2014

This week, the President nominated Sylvia Burwell as Secretary of Health and Human Services, hosted an Easter Prayer Breakfast and a PassoverSeder, discussed immigration reform with Faith leaders, welcomed the Wounded Warrior Soldier Ride, announced a major milestone in the continued implementation of the Affordable Care Act, and hit the road to New York City and Oakdale, Pennsylvania.

 

 

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Wounded Warriors Ride for Recovery

 

The Phoro Of The Year: President Obama Watches As The Riders Speed By.

The Phoro Of The Year: President Obama Watches As The Riders Speed By.

 

This morning, on the South Lawn of the White House, President Obama, Vice President Biden, and Secretary Shinseki welcomed riders participating in the Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride.

 

Today was the fifth time President Obama has welcomed Soldier Ride to the White House. The ride begins in Washington, D.C. and ends in Friendship, Maryland, spanning a total of 58 miles.

 

The Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride at the White House

 

Published on Apr 17, 2014

President Obama welcomes Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride to the White House in celebration of the seventh annual Soldier Ride. A cycling event to help Wounded Warriors restore their physical and emotional well-being, the Soldier Ride also raises awareness of our nation’s Wounded Warriors who battle the physical and psychological damages of war.

 

 

 

Remarks by the President Welcoming the Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride

South Lawn

11:06 A.M. EDT

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THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, everybody!  (Applause.)  Welcome to the White House.  Thank you to Ric for not just a nice introduction, but more importantly, for your outstanding service to our country and for your service to our veterans and fellow wounded warriors.

Now, I also want to mention that our Vice President here has been relentless in his support, along with our spouses, Michelle and Jill Biden, for military families.  And we’re very proud of everything that Joe has done.

This is now the fifth time that I’ve had the honor of welcoming the Soldier Ride to the White House.  And I have to tell you, this is one of my favorite events of the year.  First of all, you know it’s spring when — or at least it’s supposed to be spring — (laughter) — when the Soldier Ride comes around.  But mainly, it’s because those who participate are such an incredible inspiration to me and to our country.

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To all the riders, you look outstanding, especially after biking 17 miles yesterday.  You’re doing another 17 miles tomorrow, another 17 miles after that — all told, nearly 60 miles.  Today we wanted to come cheer you on.  And I think we’ve got some folks from the Army here, is that right?  (Hooah!)  And the Navy.  (Hooyah!)  Air Force.  (Applause.)  Marines.  (Oorah!)  Oh, that was good.  (Laughter.)  Coast Guard.  (Applause.)  And we’ve got some extraordinary families here today.  (Applause.)  Yay, families.

By now, everybody knows the story about how this got started.  You had a bartender on Long Island, Chris Carney, who came up with the idea of riding his bike across America to support wounded warriors.  Chris couldn’t be here today.  He owns a gym now; I think you all inspired him to trade the bar in for some barbells.  But today there are Soldier Rides all across the country, and we want to thank everybody at the Wounded Warriors Project for their incredible support.

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I know some of you are doing this for the very first time; some of you have ridden three or four times.  Some of you are riding in tandem with your parents.  Biking nearly 60 miles in three days would be a challenge for anybody, but for all of you this is a lot more than a bike ride — this is a mark of how far you’ve come.

Many of you are recovering from devastating injuries.  Some of you have had to learn the basics all over again — how to stand again, how to walk again, how to run again.  And now you’re here today because that’s what Soldier Ride is all about — seeing each other through the finish line.

Lieutenant Commander John Jae Terry is here.  Three years ago, he was on foot patrol in Afghanistan when he was hit by an IED, ended up losing his leg.  But reflecting on his service, he said he would do it all again.  Now, he’s got a new goal — get in the best shape possible so he can play with his three kids.  And so today he’s here on his first Soldier Ride.

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You’ve got Master Sergeant Louis Alfonso Ramirez.  Serving in Afghanistan, he lost good friends in a terrible ambush.  He even assisted at the airport as they began their dignified transfer home.  Later diagnosed with post-traumatic stress, credits the Wounded Warriors Project with helping him heal.  He says, “You know that they got you.”  This is now his fourth ride.

Sergeant Major Sedrick Banks is here.  An explosion in Iraq left him with injuries to his neck and his back, and traumatic brain injury.  But after years of rehab, Cedric is focused on the future.  He volunteers here in Washington, helps mentor young men with the life skills they need to succeed.  He calls himself now a “warrior for society.”  This is his first Soldier Ride.

Major Jeanette Nieves-Ayala is here.  And I first met Jeanette a few years ago at Walter Reed, where she was recovering from an injury received in Iraq.  As some of you know, when I visit with our troops I often hand out coins marked with the Seal of the President.  Jeanette shook my hand and she said, Mr. President, all these men think your coin is the best; I don’t.  I made a bet with them that there was a coin that could trump yours.  I said, what are you talking about?  She said, I want the First Lady’s coin.  (Laughter.)  The First Lady’s coin would beat yours.

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Now, it is true that the First Lady trumps me.  But Jeanette says her proudest accomplishment is being a peer mentor to other wounded warriors.  She says that during her recovery, “I was definitely being carried.  Now I feel like I am helping to carry others.”  So I want to thank you, Jeanette.

This ride is first and foremost for these incredible riders.  But it’s men and women like John and Louis and Cedric and Jeanette and all of you who make the ride so special for all of us, because you inspire us.  You inspire the country, some of whom will be out cheering along your ride.  You inspire me with your courage, your resolve, your resilience, your tenacity, your optimism.  It makes me proud to be your Commander-in-Chief.  And Michelle and I treasure every moment that we get to spend with you and your families.

Every day I have the honor of serving as this country’s Commander-in-Chief.  And as long as I have that honor, I will keep fighting to make sure you and your families get the care and treatment and benefits that you have earned and deserve.  When people ask of you to serve your country, to give your all to make your sacrifices, you’ve raised your hands.  You’ve stepped up.  You’ve held up your end of the bargain.  And it’s especially now, as we’re winding down the war in Afghanistan, after having ended over a decade of war, that we are standing up for you.  Our obligations to our veterans endure for your entire lives.  That’s our mission.  That’s why we’re here not just during this ride, but all year long.

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So with that, the sun is out.  It’s a spectacular day.  The racers look like they’re ready.  I think it’s time for us to get this party started.

God bless you.  God bless America.  Let’s get this going.  (Applause.)

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11:13 A.M. EDT

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Cheering on riders at the Wounded Warrior Project's Solider Ride this morning. #JoiningForces

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President Obama high fives a rider as he welcomes the Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride to the White House

President Obama makes a face as Nancy Loubin takes a photo of him at Wounded Warriors event at White House today

One of the riders taking part in the Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride, with a President Obama bobblehead in his jersey, waits in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House, April 17, 2014. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

One of the riders taking part in the Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride, with a President Obama bobblehead in his jersey, waits in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House, April 17, 2014. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

A Wounded Warrior exits the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House to participate in the Soldier Ride, April 17, 2014. (WH Photo by Pete Souza)

A Wounded Warrior exits the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House to participate in the Soldier Ride, April 17, 2014. (WH Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama, Vice President Biden, and Secretary Shinseki cheer on participants in the Soldier Ride, April 17, 2014. (WH Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

President Obama, Vice President Biden, and Secretary Shinseki cheer on participants in the Soldier Ride, April 17, 2014. (WH Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

Participants in the seventh annual Soldier Ride make their way around the South Lawn of the White House, April 17, 2014. (WH Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

Participants in the seventh annual Soldier Ride make their way around the South Lawn of the White House, April 17, 2014. (WH Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

President Obama, Vice President Biden, and Secretary Shinseki welcome the Soldier Ride to the White House, April 17, 2014. (WH Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama, Vice President Biden, and Secretary Shinseki welcome the Soldier Ride to the White House, April 17, 2014. (WH Photo by Pete Souza)

 

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Statements and Releases

 

Statement by the President on the Passing of Nobel Laureate Gabriel García Marquez

 

Readout of the President’s Call with Chancellor Merkel of Germany

 

FACT SHEET: Affordable Care Act by the Numbers

 

President Obama Signs Montana Disaster Declaration

 

Statement by the President on the Tragic Ferry Sinking Off the Coast of the Republic of Korea

 

First Lady Michelle Obama to Address 2014 Graduating Seniors

 

FACT SHEET: Building on Progress – Supporting Solar Deployment and Jobs

 

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President Obama Schedule || Friday, August 18,2014

 

10:00 am || Receives the Presidential Daily Briefing


10:45 am || Meets with Treasury Secretary Lew


11:35 am || Meets with the National Commander and Executive Director of the American Legion


2:00 am || Presents the Commander-in-Chief Trophy to the United States Naval Academy football team

 

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8 Million People Have Signed Up For Private Health Coverage Thanks To The Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act (ObamaCARES).


 

By Jueseppi B.

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President Obama: 8 Million People Have Signed Up for Private Health Coverage

 

Speaking from the White House Briefing Room this afternoon, President Obama announced that 8 million Americans have signed up for private health coverage thanks to the Affordable Care Act.

 

 

 

 

President Obama Speaks to the Press

 

Published on Apr 17, 2014

Before taking questions from the press in the White House Press Briefing Room, President Obama announces that 8 million people signed up for private health coverage in the Health Insurance Marketplace. April 17, 2014.

 

 

 

 

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He noted that 35 percent of those people are under 35 years old.

 

What’s more, costs associated with expanding coverage under the Affordable Care Act are lower than expected:

 

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And health care costs are growing at the slowest level on record. That slower growth in spending is reflected across Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance:

 

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Take a look at a few more important numbers, from a fact sheet released today:

 

  • 8 million people signed up for private insurance in the Health Insurance Marketplace. For states that have Federally-Facilitated Marketplaces, 35 percent of those who signed up are under 35 years old, and 28 percent are between 18 and 34 years old, virtually the same youth percentage that signed up in Massachusetts in its first year of health reform.

 

  • 3 million young adults gained coverage thanks to the Affordable Care Act by being able to stay on their parents’ plan.

 

  • 3 million more people were enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP as of February, compared to before the Marketplaces opened. Medicaid and CHIP enrollment continues year-round.

 

  • 5 million people are enrolled in plans that meet ACA standards outside the Marketplace, according to a CBO estimate. When insurers set premiums for next year, they are required to look at everyone who enrolled in plans that meet ACA standards, both inside and outside the Marketplace.

 

  • 5.7 million people will be uninsured in 2016 because 24 states have chosen not to expand Medicaid — even though this expansion would be of no cost to states, as the President pointed out in today’s briefing.

 

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The bottom line, as the President said: “This thing is working.

 

#8Million#8Million#8Million#8Million#8Million#8Million#8Million#8Million

 

FACT SHEET: Affordable Care Act by the Numbers

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The Affordable Care Act is working.  It is giving millions of middle class Americans the health care security they deserve, it is slowing the growth of health care costs and it has brought transparency and competition to the Health Insurance Marketplace.

HEALTH CARE BY THE NUMBERS

  • 8 million people signed up for private insurance in the Health Insurance Marketplace. For states that have Federally-Facilitated Marketplaces, 35 percent of those who signed up are under 35 years old and 28 percent are between 18 and 34 years old, virtually the same youth percentage that signed up in Massachusetts in their first year of health reform.

 

  • 3 million young adults gained coverage thanks to the Affordable Care Act by being able to stay on their parents plan.

 

  • 3 million more people were enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP as of February, compared to before the Marketplaces opened. Medicaid and CHIP enrollment continues year-round.

 

  • 5 million people are enrolled in plans that meet ACA standards outside the Marketplace, according to a CBO estimate. When insurers set premiums for next year, they are required to look at everyone who enrolled in plans that meet ACA standards, both on and off the Marketplace.

 

  • 5.7 million people will be uninsured in 2016 because 24 States have not expanded Medicaid.

 

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HEALTH CARE COST GROWTH IS LOWEST IN DECADES

  • Health care costs are growing at the slowest level on record:Since the law passed, real per capita health care spending is estimated to have grown at the lowest rate on record for any three-year period and less than one-third the long-term historical average stretching back to 1960. This slower growth in spending is reflected in Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance.

 

  • CBO projects the deficit will shrink more and premiums will be lower than expected: CBO previously estimated that the ACA will reduce the deficit by $1.7 trillion over two decades, and, just this week, CBO concluded that lower-than-expected Marketplace premiums and other recent developments will cut $104 billion from our deficit over the next ten years. The CBO report also projects that lower-than-expected premiums will help to save $5 billion this year, and that lower premiums will persist in the years ahead, remaining 15 percent below projections by 2016 (the only year in which CBO provides a precise estimate).

 

  • Medicare spending growth is down: Medicare per capita spending is growing at historically low rates.  This week, for the fifth straight year, the CBO reduced its projections for Medicare spending over the next 10 years – this time by $106 billion.  CBO projects that Medicare and Medicaid costs in 2020 will be $180 billion below its 2010 estimates.  Recent economic research suggests that the ACA’s reforms to Medicare may have “spillover effects” that reduce costs and improve quality across the health care system, not just in Medicare.

 

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THE SECURITY OF HEALTH INSURANCE FOR MILLIONS OF MIDDLE CLASS FAMILIES

  • Up to 129 million Americans with pre-existing conditions – including up to 17 million children – no longer have to worry about being denied health coverage or charged higher premiums because of their health status.

 

  • 71 million Americans with private insurance have gained coverage for at least one free preventive health care service such as mammograms, birth control, or immunizations in 2011 and 2012.

 

  • In 2013, 37 million people with Medicare received at least one preventive service at no out of pocket cost.

 

  • Approximately 60 million Americans have gained expanded mental health and substance use disorder benefits and/or federal parity protections.

 

  • Since the health care law was enacted, almost 8 million seniors havesaved nearly $10 billion on prescription drugs as the health care law closes Medicare’s “donut hole.”

 

  • 105 million Americans no longer have to worry about having their health benefits cut off after they reach a lifetime limit.

 

@BarackObama The Affordable Care Act is working—for millions of Americans.

@BarackObama
The Affordable Care Act is working—for millions of Americans.

 

Eight Million Joey B.

Eight Million Joey B.

Can Ya'll Haters Please Kiss My Entire Black Ass?

Can Ya’ll Haters Please Kiss My Entire Black Ass?

Eight Million.....And Counting.

Eight Million…..And Counting.

#8Million #8Million #8Million  #8Million  #8Million  #8Million  #8Million  #8Million  #8Million  #8Million #8Million

#8Million #8Million #8Million #8Million #8Million #8Million #8Million #8Million #8Million #8Million #8Million

Lets give a hand for eight million.

Lets give a hand for eight million.

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Reforming America’s Job-Driven Training Programs: Barack & Joey B. Visit Community College of Allegheny County in Oakdale, Pennsylvania.


 

By Jueseppi B.

 

Reforming America’s Job-Driven Training Programs

 

In this year’s State of the Union address, President Obama announced that Vice President Biden would lead a reform of America’s job training programs, making sure that these programs “train Americans with the skills employers need, and match them to good jobs that need to be filled right now.”

 

This afternoon, the President and Vice President visited the Community College of Allegheny County in Oakdale, Pennsylvania to announce progress on that reform.

 

 

 

The President and Vice President Speak on Skills Training for Workers

 

Published on Apr 16, 2014

President Obama and Vice President Biden deliver remarks on the importance of jobs-driven skills training in a 21st century economy. April 16, 2014.

 

“CCAC is an outstanding model of the kind of job-driven training we’re trying to encourage all across the country,” said President Obama. “You’re doing something right that is making a difference in people’s lives — and we want to spread the word.”

 

The President first announced a nearly $500 million competition in which the federal government will award grants to community colleges and employers partnering together to develop job-driven training programs.

 

We’ve asked more community colleges to do what you’ve done here at Allegheny, and that is to figure out what skills local employers are looking for, and then partner with them to help design the curriculums and to prepare the students for those jobs. We want a seamless progression from community college programs to industry-recognized credentials and credit towards a college degree.

And today I’m announcing that we’re going to award nearly $500 million to those institutions who are doing it best in all 50 states — using existing money to create opportunity for hardworking folks like you.

 

He also announced a $100 million competition for American Apprenticeship Grants, which will expand the types of apprenticeships that help put young people and experienced workers on an upward career trajectory.

 

President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker tour a classroom at the Community College of Allegheny County West Hills Center in Oakdale, Pa.

President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker tour a classroom at the Community College of Allegheny County West Hills Center in Oakdale, Pa., April 16, 2014. Students Zach Kuzma and Stephanie Womack demonstrate equipment that teaches students how to manipulate gears, pulleys, sprockets, etc. to adjust the speed and/or torque of a motor or system. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

“When it comes to training our workers,” the President said, “not all of today’s good jobs require a four-year college degree. But I promise you, there’s not a job out there that’s going to pay a lot if you don’t have some sort of specialized training. So our best bet is keeping ahead in the skills race.”

 

Learn more about how the federal government — as well as employers, unions, and foundations — are supporting job-driven training.

 

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FACT SHEET – American Job Training Investments: Skills and Jobs to Build a Stronger Middle Class

 

 

Obama, Biden coming to CCAC

 

Published on Apr 15, 2014

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will visit the Community College of Allegheny County West Hills Center Wednesday to spotlight what they call “jobs-driven skills training.”

 

 

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Barack & Joey B. & Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto & Allegheny County Executive Fitzgerald at 171st Air Refueling Wing

Barack & Joey B.
& Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto & Allegheny County Executive Fitzgerald at 171st Air Refueling Wing

 

 

The President Tours The Community College of Allegheny Training Center

 

President Barack Obama tours a classroom with Paul Blackford, instructor of the Mechatronics Program, at Community College of Allegheny County West Hills Center

President Barack Obama tours a classroom with Paul Blackford, instructor of the Mechatronics Program, at Community College of Allegheny County West Hills Center

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President Barack Obama and Vice President Joseph Biden tour the Community College of Allegheny West Hills Center with students in the Mechatronics program

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joseph Biden tour the Community College of Allegheny West Hills Center with students in the Mechatronics program

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Barack & Joey B. talk with Tyron Baltimore and Melissa Ayers, students at CCAC West Hills Center.

Barack & Joey B. talk with Tyron Baltimore and Melissa Ayers, students at CCAC West Hills Center.

 

 

The President and Vice President Speak on Skills Training for Workers (Full Transcript)

 

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President Barack Obama is introduced by Vice President Joe Biden as he arrives at the Community College of Allegheny County West Hills Center in Oakdale, Pa., The visit was to announce $600M in grants as part of the administration’s Opportunity for All program to train the work force for careers in fields with a growing demand.

President Barack Obama is introduced by Vice President Joe Biden as he arrives at the Community College of Allegheny County West Hills Center in Oakdale, Pa., The visit was to announce $600M in grants as part of the administration’s Opportunity for All program to train the work force for careers in fields with a growing demand.

 

Hello, Allegheny County! (Applause.) Joe and I decided it was time for a guys’ trip. (Laughter.) Actually, Michelle and Jill wanted us out the house. (Laughter.) So we decided to take a little road trip. And we are thrilled to be back here with a lot of good friends and folks who are doing terrific work every single day.

 

 
We brought with us some people who are doing some important work, trying to make sure that we’re building on the kind of success that we’re seeing here — first of all, Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker is here. Give Penny a big round of applause. (Applause.) We’ve got a great friend and an outstanding Senator — Bob Casey in the house. (Applause.) Congressman Mike Doyle is here. (Applause.)

 

 

One of the biggest Steelers fans we’ve got. (Laughter.) We’ve got County Executive Rich Fitzgerald here in the house. (Applause.) Outstanding Mayor of Pittsburgh, Bill Peduto is here. (Applause.) And your college president, Quintin Bullock is here. (Applause.)

 

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And of course, all of you are here. (Applause.) Yeah! Yeah! (Laughter.) Now, we’re here because CCAC is an outstanding model of the kind of job-driven training we’re trying to encourage all across the country. And Joe and I just spent some time checking out the machines and motors that are being used here to train folks in mechatronics. Now, I have to say that before I came here I didn’t know there was such a thing as mechatronics. (Laughter.) Sounds like something that Godzilla would be fighting. (Laughter.) It turns out it has to do with engineering, how stuff works. And we saw firsthand everything that you are doing to train more workers for new jobs and better jobs — jobs companies need to keep growing.

 

And what we want to do is we want to replicate your model across the country. You’re doing something right that is making a difference in people’s lives — (applause) — and we want to spread the word. (Applause.) So that’s why we’re here today in Allegheny County, because I’m taking some new action to expand this kind of job-driven training to all 50 states.

 

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And Joe talked a little bit about why we have to do this — because in today’s economy, it’s never been more important to make sure that our folks are trained for the jobs that are there — and for the jobs of the future.

 

Now, we’ve spent the past five and a half years fighting back from the worst economic crisis in our lifetimes. The good news is our economy is growing again, our businesses are creating jobs. We’ve created nearly 9 million jobs over the past four years. We’ve cut our deficits by more than half. Our manufacturing sector that used to be losing jobs, just hemorrhaging jobs, is now adding jobs for the first time since the 1990s. (Applause.) The first time since the 1990s. High school dropout rates are going down. College attendance rates and graduation rates are going up. Our troops are coming home. (Applause.) We’re seeing an energy boom all across the country. And more than 7.5 million people have been able to sign up for health care, many for the very first time, through the Affordable Care Act. (Applause.) And 7.5 million people, by the way, is about the number that it would take to fill up Heinz Field 115 times.

 

So there are a lot of good trends that are taking place. And a lot of that has to do with the great work that our outstanding Vice President is doing. (Applause.) It has to do with the great work that folks like Mike and Bob and Rich are doing, and your outstanding Mayor in Pittsburgh and all he’s doing to help transform the economy there.

 

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But here’s the challenge — and a lot of folks here know it. A lot of people don’t feel that progress in their own lives yet. So the stock market is doing great. Corporate profits are soaring. Folks at the very, very top are doing better than ever. But too many Americans, if they’re lucky enough to have a job, are working harder and harder just to get by, much less to get ahead. For too many middle-class Americans, it feels as if the same trends that have been going on for decades are continuing. You’re working hard, but wages flat-line, incomes flat-line, cost of everything else going up.

 

So we’ve got to reverse those trends. We’ve got to make sure that we have an economy that’s not just growing from the top down — because it doesn’t really grow when it’s just from the top down. We’ve got to have an economy where it grows from the middle class out, and from the bottom up, and everybody has a chance. (Applause.)

 

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That’s the idea of America — if you work hard, you can get ahead. That’s the promise at the heart of this country. If you’re responsible, you’re willing to put in some sweat, you can get ahead. You may not be fabulously wealthy, but you can support a family; you can buy a home; make sure your kids are doing good and they can go to college; have something left over for retirement; have health care you can count on; maybe take a vacation once in a while — (laughter) — just the basics and knowing that you’re part of a community that is growing for everybody, not just some.

 

Restoring that idea is the defining issue of our time. And so the truth is — Joe and I, we were talking about this the other day — we sometimes sound like a broken record because we’ve been talking about this for six, seven, eight years, ever since we’ve been in public office. But it’s more urgent than ever now that we move forward. And we know what to do.

 

We’re pushing a four-part opportunity agenda. And the first part is more good jobs paying good wages — manufacturing jobs, construction jobs, jobs in energy, jobs in innovation, jobs in infrastructure, rebuilding our roads and our bridges — putting people back to work. There’s a lot more we could be doing.

 

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Number two, we’ve got to train more Americans with the skills to fill the jobs that are there, just like you do here at CCAC. Number three, we’ve got to guarantee every young American a world-class education. And number four, when people do have a job, we’ve got to make sure that job pays a decent wage and that you have savings you can retire on and health care you can count on. (Applause.)

 

These are the things we’ve got to be doing. You know it; I know it. That’s what would put our unemployment rate down faster. It would pull our wages up faster. It’s what we could do to create more jobs and economic security for a lot of families that have been reaching for it for years. And every single person you send to Washington should be focused on that issue. That’s what America needs right now.

 

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Today, the reason we came here is to focus on that second part of that agenda — training Americans with the skills that they need for the good jobs that are going to be here today and tomorrow.

 

Around here, you know better than most how in recent decades the economy hasn’t always worked for middle-class families. You saw outsourcing. There was a time when finding a good job in manufacturing wasn’t all that hard. If you were willing to work, you could go to the local factory, maybe the factory your dad was working in, and say, I’m ready to go, and they’d sign you up.

 

And over time, the economy changed, part of it because of globalization, some of it because of new technologies. And you’ve seen, sometimes painfully, where technology shutters factories and ships jobs overseas, and even makes some jobs obsolete.

 

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But you know what, we’re not going to reverse all those trends. We can’t stop technology. And you’ve got a global economy now where we’ve got to compete. We live in a 21st century global economy. Jobs know no borders, and companies are able to seek out the best-educated, most highly-skilled workers wherever they live. And that’s where the good jobs and the good pay and the good benefits is going to be.

 

Other countries know this. Countries like Germany, China, India — they’re working every day to out-educate our kids so they can out-compete our businesses. And each year, frankly, it shows that they’re making more progress than we are. We’re still ahead, we’ve still got the best cards, but they’re making some good decisions. We’ve got to make those same decisions.

 

And when it comes to training our workers, not all of today’s good jobs require a four-year college degree, but I promise you, there’s not a job out there that’s going to pay a lot if you don’t have some sort of specialized training. So our best bet is keeping ahead in the skills race.

 

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And you see what happens when we put effort into making sure workers have new skills — the education that’s required for this 21st century economy. At a time when traditional manufacturing is back on the rise, Pittsburgh is seeing new factories manufacturing new technologies across the board. And I know you’re County Executive and your Mayor and steel workers –everybody is — we’re focused on bringing jobs back. And the good news is they’re coming back. The problem is we’re having trouble filling some of those jobs.

 

I mean, there’s been great progress in this area. You’ve earned a great nickname — “Roboburgh” — because you’ve got high-tech plants and workplaces that are adding jobs faster than workers can fill them. That’s a good problem to have. But we’ve got a lot of Americans who are still looking for work or underemployed and not getting paid enough. That’s where what you do here is making a difference.

 

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America has got a choice to make. We can do nothing — which is the strategy that some folks in Washington seem to have — or we can do what we’ve always done best: We pull together; we fight back; and we win. (Applause.) That’s what we do best.

 

So earlier this year, I asked Joe to work with Penny Pritzker and Tom Perez, our Labor Secretary, to lead an across-the-board reform of all of our federal training programs to make sure they’ve got one clear mission: Train Americans with the skills employers need. Not something that looks good on paper, but doesn’t give you a job; find out what are the jobs that need to be filled and make sure folks are being trained and matched to those good jobs.

 

We’ve got to move away from what our Labor Secretary, Tom Perez, calls a “train and pray” approach. We train them and we pray that they can get a job. (Laughter.) Because the problem there is students, when they go to a community college, they go to a four-year university, they’re taking out debt. They’re straining their budgets. We got to make sure that it pays off for them. So we need to take a job-driven approach. And that’s what you’ve done here in Allegheny County. That’s what you’re doing here. (Applause.)

 

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So we’re rewarding high schools that redesign their curriculums to help students gain ready-to-work skills even earlier because there’s no reason why you got to wait for college. Our high schools could be providing more relevant education and making kids more job-ready. (Applause.)

 

We are supporting partnerships between employers and local governments and nonprofits to help unemployed workers who’ve been sidelined for too long, help them get the skills that they need, help to connect them to the jobs that require those skills. We’re working with a bipartisan coalition of governors and mayors across the country to make job training partnerships a reality for more Americans.

 

But we could be doing a lot more. And I’ve asked Congress to invest in serious programs that connect ready-to-work Americans with ready-to-be-filled jobs. (Applause.) And in fairness, Mike Doyle, he’s supportive of that and Bob Casey is supportive of it. But, unfortunately, there are some other folks in Washington that haven’t acted yet. They haven’t been getting the job done so far. And Americans can’t afford to wait.

 

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So today, I’m taking two significant actions that don’t require Congress — (applause) — that don’t require Congress. First, we’ve asked more community colleges to do what you’ve done here at Allegheny, and that is to figure out what skills local employers are looking for, and then partner with them to help design the curriculums and to prepare the students for those jobs. We want a seamless progression from community college programs to industry-recognized credentials and credit towards a college degree.

 

And today I’m announcing that we’re going to award nearly $500 million to those institutions who are doing it best in all 50 states — using existing money to create opportunity for hardworking folks like you. (Applause.) That’s good.

 

Second — and this is related — we’re launching a $100 million competition for what we’re calling American Apprenticeship Grants. Now, these are awards that are going to expand the kinds of apprenticeships that help young people and experienced workers get on a path towards advancement, towards better jobs, better pay, a trajectory upwards in their careers.

 

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And apprenticeships are a way to link more Americans to jobs in some of our in-demand fields, like IT and health care. They let you earn while you learn. And sometimes it makes — it’s possible for them to also create college credits on the job, even as you’re pursuing a degree or a better job.

 

Right now, nearly nine out of 10 apprentices — folks who are in apprenticeships, they get hired when they’re finished — which makes sense, right? You get an apprenticeship; you’re there, you’re learning on the job. People see that you’re serious about working. So nine out of 10 folks, once they get an apprenticeship, they get hired. And by the way, they make an average of $50,000.

 

So we’re streamlining efforts by the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Labor to help veterans access their GI Bill benefits for apprenticeships. Businesses, unions, community colleges, nonprofits — we’re getting them to work with us as well. The UAW is joining with the Big Three and John Deere and others to add nearly 2,000 apprentices. Some of the biggest manufacturers are partnering with community colleges in North Carolina and Texas and California on high-skill training programs.

 

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And now we want to work with national industry associations to help partnerships like these take root all across the country — so that anybody, in any city, any state, can earn the training they need to get the good jobs of tomorrow. So the bottom line is if you’re willing to put in the work to get a job or earn a promotion in today’s economy, America’s job-training system should give you every possible chance.

 

And you’re doing it here. When we took that tour, we saw young people and some not-so-young people — I won’t say who. I don’t want to offend. (Laughter.) But these are folks who — many of them were in a job right now, but they saw that it was a dead-end and they wanted to make sure that they could get a better job. Some of them were just getting started. But either way, their investment and their effort was being rewarded.

 

One person we met is a gentleman named Tim Wright. He was showing us some of the computer systems that folks are working on. Now, Tim worked as a shift laborer for 13 years, loading rail cars, moving equipment, working nights, working weekends. And he always had his eye on moving into industrial maintenance so he could repair and oversee the factory’s equipment, but he couldn’t pass the skills test. I love this about Tim. He did not give up. He didn’t say, well, I guess I can’t get to my dream. Instead he started on this mechatronics training at CCAC.

 

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So he’d squeeze in classes whenever he could, while he was still working his shifts. And after six months of hard work, he graduated as an industry-certified mechatronics technician. He re-took the test. He passed the test. (Applause.) Today, Tim is doing what he set out to do. (Applause.) So today he’s working on a factory floor, making sure the machines do what they’re supposed to do. He earns more money, he works better hours. He has more time to spend with his family.

 

And I want to read what Tim said here about this. He said, “That extra training made all the difference in the world. Those were the skills I needed to get to the next level.”

 

So I couldn’t be prouder of Tim. Those are the victories — they don’t get a lot of publicity. Tim’s name won’t be in the papers — although now it may be because I just talked about him. (Laughter.) But that’s what America is all about, each of us working to try to move forward. And by each of us moving forward, we all move forward. And then, we reach back and we help other folks.

 

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Companies that are represented here today — like Alle-Kiski and Schroeder and Aerotech — they’re helping. They want to help even more of their workers to take their skills to the next level, whether it’s through a community college partnership like Tim’s, or working with organizations like New Century Careers here in southwestern Pennsylvania. (Applause.) More workers getting apprenticeships. We know it works. And if it worked for folks like Tim and some of the men and women who are standing behind me here today, who took the initiative to upgrade their skills and stay ahead of the jobs curve and prepare themselves for a new job or a better job, then it can work all across the country.

 

We want that for every American. Everybody who works hard and takes responsibility deserves a chance to get ahead. That is what this country is built on. That’s what the moment requires. That’s what Congress should be working on. (Applause.) That’s what Joe is working on. That’s what I’m working on. That’s what you’re working on. And if we keep on working, we’re going to move forward.

 

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Thank you, everybody. God bless you. God bless America. (Applause.)

 

 

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The Teflon Dons On The Tarmac Before Boarding Their Respective Planes Home

The Teflon Dons On The Tarmac Before Boarding Their Respective Planes Home

The Smile That Makes Females Swoon.

The Smile That Makes Females Swoon.

The best selfie ever taken

The best selfie ever taken

Barack Landing At Andrews Air Force Base

Barack Landing At Andrews Air Force Base

Compassion was his thing even back in 1995 as he read to neighborhood children in his days as a community organizer.

Compassion was his thing even back in 1995 as he read to neighborhood children in his days as a community organizer.

Somebody explain to me, Where were these concerned Bundy Ranch protesters when a mentally ill homeless BLACK man was killed by New Mexico cops two weeks ago.....ain't THAT the gubmint taking away his freedom to be on public land?

Somebody explain to me, Where were these concerned Bundy Ranch protesters when a mentally ill homeless BLACK man was killed by New Mexico cops two weeks ago…..ain’t THAT the gubmint taking away his freedom to be on public land?

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What A Day For Barack & Joey B…. Joey Joins Instagram Then The Dynamic Hit Pennsylvania.


 

By Jueseppi B.

The Teflon Don, Barack & Joey B....arrive in Pennsylvania

The Teflon Dons, Barack & Joey B….arrive in Pennsylvania

 

Vice President Biden Joins Instagram

 

Today, we’re excited to announce the Office of the Vice President is joining Instagram to give followers a unique look inside the Vice Presidency. This new social media presence continues efforts by the Vice President’s Office to connect with citizens online, adding to his official Twitter handle and the Being Biden audio series.

 

The VP’s Instagram followers will have access to behind-the-scenes photos from the road and around the White House. And today, as the Vice President joins President Obama in Pennsylvania to announce grants that will spur job training and apprenticeship programs, you’re invited to follow along on Instagram.

 

VPOTUSA, Joseph Robinette "Joey B" Biden, Jr., joins instagram

VPOTUSA, Joseph Robinette “Joey B” Biden, Jr., joins instagram

Joey B on Instagram: Wheels up for Pennsylvania: Vice President Biden is in Pittsburgh with President Obama

Joey B on Instagram:
Wheels up for Pennsylvania: Vice President Biden is in Pittsburgh with President Obama

 

Stay tuned for photos and videos from the Vice President – and don’t forget to check out our other official Instagram accounts, including: The White HouseFirst Lady Michelle ObamaandChief Official White House Photographer Pete Souza.

 

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The Dynamic Duo Visit The Community College of Allegheny County West Hills Center To Promote Skills and Jobs & Build A Stronger Middle Class

Striving to show action on jobs, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden are hitting the road to trumpet $600 million in new competitive grants to spur creation of targeted training and apprenticeship programs that could help people land well-paying jobs.

They were making the announcement Wednesday at the Community College of Allegheny County West Hills Center in the western Pennsylvania borough of Oakdale.

Administration officials say they hear from too many businesses that they cannot find skilled workers for jobs they need to fill. On top of that, officials say many people who are looking for work may be open to learning new skills but need assurance that a job will be waiting for them at the end of a training program.

Obama and others in the administration often say community colleges are among the best sources for job training and say learn-on-the-job apprenticeship programs provide some of the most direct paths to well-paying jobs.

Although the economy is improving, unemployment remains stubbornly high at 6.7 percent and Obama says more must be done to create jobs.

 

The programs that Obama and his Pennsylvania-born vice president are announcing do not need approval from Congress because they will be paid for with money that lawmakers have already authorized for spending. In response to stiff resistance to his agenda from Republican lawmakers, Obama has made it a goal this year to take smaller steps on his own, without support from Congress, to benefit the economy, workers and others, and Wednesday’s program fits that script.

 

The larger of the two grant programs will put nearly $500 million toward a job training competition run by the Labor Department that is designed to encourage community colleges, employers and industry to work together to create training programs that are geared toward the jobs employers need to fill. Applications will be available starting Wednesday.

 

The training is part of an existing competitive grant program for community colleges that prepare dislocated workers and others for jobs.

 

A priority will be placed on partnerships that include national entities, such as industry associations, that pledge to help design and institute programs that give job seekers a credential that will be recognized and accepted across a particular industry, signaling to an employer what kind of work the holder can do.

 

The Labor Department is also making an additional $100 million available for grants to reward partnerships that expand apprenticeship programs.

 

Apprenticeships are used less widely in the U.S. than in some other countries, said administration officials, who also noted that nearly 9 out of 10 apprentices end up in jobs that pay average starting salaries of above $50,000 a year.

 

The apprenticeship grant program will begin in the fall and focus, in part, on broad partnerships that create programs in high-growth fields, such as information technology, health care and advanced manufacturing, as well as programs that provide college credit or industry-wide skills certification.

 

Obama earlier this year put Biden, who is a native of Scranton, Pa., in charge of a “soup-to-nuts” review of federal job-training programs, and set a July 30 deadline for his report.

 

House Republicans have complained that Biden’s effort is a waste of time because the Government Accountability Office, the auditing arm of Congress, has identified redundancies in a comprehensive review it completed in 2011. They have urged Obama to press his allies in the Democratic-controlled Senate to vote on a House-passed measure that proposes to streamline dozens of duplicative job training programs.

 

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Creating Pathways to Successful Careers: Erick Varela’s Story

 

 

President Obama And Vice President Biden Provide Encouragement

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden provide encouragement to Erick Varela, who was about to introduce the President, prior to an event to outline new efforts to help the long-term unemployed, in the Green Room of the White House, Jan. 31, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

PG&E, like utilities across the country, faces a wave of retirements over the next five years, with nearly 40 percent of its 21,000 employees eligible to trade paychecks for pension checks. This is a trend that concerns me as Chairman and CEO of PG&E.

 

To help build a pipeline of new skilled workers, PG&E created a workforce training program in 2008 called PowerPathway. The program is a partnership with community colleges and workforce investment boards in PG&E’s service area, which covers much of Northern and Central California.

 

Last year, nearly 250 students graduated from PowerPathway, and more than 81 percent of them were offered jobs at PG&E or elsewhere in the utility industry.

 

Not only is the program helping fill utilities’ need for skilled workers, it has also helped address unemployment in California and — notably — among military veterans returning from service. Veterans’ unemployment rates are far higher than the national average, and as a Navy veteran, I’m pleased to see PG&E create career paths targeting veterans and the long-term unemployed.

 

One graduate’s story, in particular, brings the program’s success to life. Erick Varela, a veteran of the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division, was homeless and jobless for almost a year when he was accepted to PowerPathway. Today, thanks to the training he received, he’s an IBEW apprentice electrician for PG&E. And in January 2014, Erick was chosen to introduce President Obama at the White House for an event highlighting the President’s initiative on long-term unemployment — an initiative PG&E is honored to support.

 

 

Opportunity For All: Erick’s Story

 

Published on Feb 12, 2014

President Obama is calling on companies across the country to give long-term unemployed Americans a fair shot, and help connect them to good jobs. Erick Varela was an unemployed veteran who got back on his feet thanks to a 16-week job-training program at Pacific Gas and Electric.

Learn more about what the President is doing in this year of action:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/raise-the-wage
http://www.whitehouse.gov/year-of-action

 

 

I’m proud of the good work Erick is doing for PG&E and of the success of PowerPathway, which has become the benchmark for workforce training programs. Thanks to innovative partnerships, the program is producing exceptional, diverse, local candidates who are successfully starting careers at PG&E and throughout the utility industry.

 

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Business School Deans Meet to Discuss Best Practices for a 21st Century Workplace

 

 

White House senior advisors meet with business school deans in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, April 16, 2014.

White House senior advisors meet with business school deans in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, April 16, 2014.

As part of the lead up to the White House Summit on Working Families, we have been seeking input from a wide variety of stakeholders to identify best practices for developing workplaces that work for all Americans and better meet the needs of women and working families. We did not think this goal could be achieved without thinking of the business leaders of tomorrow, and that is why today, we met with a group of deans from our nation’s leading business schools to discuss best practices for business schools that can better prepare their students for the increasing importance of women in the labor force and the prevalence of employees with families where all parents work.

 

Women are now more likely to graduate with a college degree and are increasingly entering formally male-dominated professions, however recent research has shed light on the issues still facing professional women. Women not only start their careers with lower pay, but the pay gap grows over time. One study of MBA graduates from a leading institution found that women earned $115K on average when they graduate and $250K after nine years while men earn $130K when they graduate and $400K after nine years. CEA analysis has shown that a similar trend holds for all men and women with a professional degree—the pay gap grows over time and earnings are more than 50 percent higher for men when professionals are in their late 30s.

 

One important reason for this disparity is the lack of flexibility in the workplace. Surveys of MBA graduates demonstrate that women are penalized due to career interruptions, often from motherhood. Even if women are working, they often must accept positions that offer significantly lower pay or growth opportunities in order to have flexible work schedules to balance responsibilities outside of the workplace. CEA has found that married women with young children contribute less to family earnings than married women without children, likely for this reason. Although some industries have embraced part-time work, flexible work schedules, and policies that make it easier to reenter the workforce after taking a leave, many high-powered careers still lack workplace flexibility and are losing out on talent—both men and women—as a result.

 

Research also suggests that even workplaces free of overt gender discrimination can have barriers that prevent talented women from reaching their potential and fully contributing to their organization. Studies have found that mentoring can be successful in helping women advance in their careers by imparting leadership skills and guiding future leaders through an organization. There is also evidence that mentors, especially female mentors, can help women with quality of life issues, including balancing family responsibilities. However, women often struggle to find mentor relationships, especially with male superiors.

 

In addition to these issues, today’s meeting examined leadership, retention rates, business school culture, and the timing of business school in the lifecycle. Business schools can take important steps to prepare the next generation of business leaders to focus on these issues. Too few businesses recognize that many of their workers need to be able to balance home and professional responsibilities and are failing to acknowledge that simple policy changes will help bolster a company’s productivity through attraction and retention of the most talented and educated workers. In order to ensure business practices that fully utilize a 21st century workforce, it is important for business school deans to update their curriculum and practices to fully reflect the importance of women and working families in our labor market.

 

In the weeks ahead, we will work to compile best practices that will then be signed on to by a larger group of business schools than those attending today’s meeting. This will also contribute to the larger goal of the White House Summit on Working Families. The Summit will convene businesses, economists, labor leaders, legislators, advocates, and the media to discuss issues facing the entire spectrum of working families. The discussions will focus on key issues such as: workplace flexibility, equal pay, pregnancy discrimination, paid family and medical leave, worker retention and promotion, and childcare/early childhood education.

 

We would also like to thank the business school deans who contributed to today’s valuable discussion:

 

  • Maryam Alavi, Emory University (Goizueta)
  • Sally Blount, Northwestern University (Kellogg)
  • William Boulding, Duke University (Fuqua)
  • Robert F. Bruner, University of Virginia (Darden)
  • Robert M. Dammon, Carnegie Mellon University (Tepper)
  • Alison Davis-Blake, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (Ross)
  • Soumitra Dutta, Cornell University (Johnson)
  • Thomas W. Gilligan, University of Texas, Austin (McCombs)
  • Peter Blair Henry, New York University (Stern)
  • Richard K. Lyons, University of California, Berkeley (Haas)
  • Nitin Nohria, Harvard Business School
  • Judy D. Olian, University of California, Los Angeles (Anderson)
  • Douglas A. Shackelford, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (Kenan-Flagler)
  • Edward A. Snyder, Yale University

 

For more details on the Working Families Summit and how you can get involved, visit http://workingfamiliessummit.org/.

 

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FACT SHEET – American Job Training Investments: Skills and Jobs to Build a Stronger Middle Class

 

 

Obama, Biden coming to CCAC

 

Published on Apr 15, 2014

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will visit the Community College of Allegheny County West Hills Center Wednesday to spotlight what they call “jobs-driven skills training.”

 

 

 

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From The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

 

Barack & Joey B. Tout Job Training In North Fayette

 

By James O’Toole / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

 

President Barack Obama joined Vice President Joe Biden in highlighting a refocused federal job-training initiative during a visit this afternoon to North Fayette.

“We’re here because CCAC is an outstanding model of the kind of job-driven training we’re trying to encourage all over the country,” Mr. Obama told an invited crowd of 150 after a brief tour of the West Hills Center of the Community College of Allegheny County.

Moments earlier, Mr. Obama, Mr. Biden and Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker had watched a brief demonstration of the work of some of the students.

After listening to one student explain an electronic system they were being trained on, Mr. Obama said, “This is clearly an A student. She sounds like a teacher.”

 

“I’m so proud of what you guys are doing,” he said at another stop in the demonstration.

 

In his speech a few moments later, he described a $500 million grant program keyed to partnerships with employers. In a sequel to a pledge in his State of the Union address, Mr. Obama outlined revised criteria for the Trade Adjustment Assistance and Community College and Career Training competitive grant program. The grants are designed to help community colleges prepare dislocated workers for new job skills in demand in their regional economies.

 

“We want to replicate your model across the country,” he said. “You’re doing something right.”

 

During the visit, Mr. Obama and Mr. Biden also announced $100 million in new grants for industry apprenticeships. Funding for those would come from fees employers pay for H1-B visas, which allow highly skilled foreigners to work in the United States. Those fees typically go to other one-time expenditures that support job-training programs to prepare American workers for jobs eligible to be filled by H1-B visa holders.

 

White House officials said the college was selected to host the event in part to recognize its industrial maintenance program that trains students to repair and make parts for complex machinery. The specialty is know as mechatronics. Mr. Obama confessed the term was a new one to him.

 

“Sounds like something Godzilla should be fighting,” he joked.

 

Mr. Obama and Mr. Biden arrived separately at Pittsburgh International Airport, where Air Force One and Air Force Two were parked side by side. They were greeted by Sen. Bob Casey, county Executive Rich Fitzgerald, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, U.S. Attorney David Hickton, and Col. Mark Goodwill, commander of the 171st Mission Support Group, headquartered at the airport base.

Thank you  Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.


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Barack & Joey B. & Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto & Allegheny County Executive Fitzgerald at 171st Air Refueling Wing

Barack & Joey B.
& Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto & Allegheny County Executive Fitzgerald at 171st Air Refueling Wing

 

 

Community College of Allegheny County

 

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President Barack Obama tours a classroom with Paul Blackford, instructor of the Mechatronics Program, at Community College of Allegheny County West Hills Center

President Barack Obama tours a classroom with Paul Blackford, instructor of the Mechatronics Program, at Community College of Allegheny County West Hills Center

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Barack & Joey B. talk with Tyron Baltimore and Melissa Ayers, students at CCAC West Hills Center.

Barack & Joey B. talk with Tyron Baltimore and Melissa Ayers, students at CCAC West Hills Center.

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joseph Biden tour the Community College of Allegheny West Hills Center with students in the Mechatronics program

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joseph Biden tour the Community College of Allegheny West Hills Center with students in the Mechatronics program

 

Vice President Joe Biden listens while President Barack Obama delivers a speech Wednesday at CCAC West Hills Center

Vice President Joe Biden listens while President Barack Obama delivers a speech Wednesday at CCAC West Hills Center

Barack & Joey B. visit Community College of Allegheny County West Hills Center in North Fayette.

Barack & Joey B. visit Community College of Allegheny County West Hills Center in North Fayette.

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The President and Vice President Speak on Skills Training for Workers

 

Published on Apr 16, 2014

President Obama and Vice President Biden deliver remarks on the importance of jobs-driven skills training in a 21st century economy. April 16, 2014.

 

 

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The President and Vice President Speak on Skills Training for Workers (Full Transcript)

 

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President Barack Obama is introduced by Vice President Joe Biden as he arrives at the Community College of Allegheny County West Hills Center in Oakdale, Pa., The visit was to announce $600M in grants as part of the administration’s Opportunity for All program to train the work force for careers in fields with a growing demand.

President Barack Obama is introduced by Vice President Joe Biden as he arrives at the Community College of Allegheny County West Hills Center in Oakdale, Pa., The visit was to announce $600M in grants as part of the administration’s Opportunity for All program to train the work force for careers in fields with a growing demand.

 

Hello, Allegheny County! (Applause.) Joe and I decided it was time for a guys’ trip. (Laughter.) Actually, Michelle and Jill wanted us out the house. (Laughter.) So we decided to take a little road trip. And we are thrilled to be back here with a lot of good friends and folks who are doing terrific work every single day.

 
We brought with us some people who are doing some important work, trying to make sure that we’re building on the kind of success that we’re seeing here — first of all, Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker is here. Give Penny a big round of applause. (Applause.) We’ve got a great friend and an outstanding Senator — Bob Casey in the house. (Applause.) Congressman Mike Doyle is here. (Applause.) One of the biggest Steelers fans we’ve got. (Laughter.) We’ve got County Executive Rich Fitzgerald here in the house. (Applause.) Outstanding Mayor of Pittsburgh, Bill Peduto is here. (Applause.) And your college president, Quintin Bullock is here. (Applause.)

 

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And of course, all of you are here. (Applause.) Yeah! Yeah! (Laughter.) Now, we’re here because CCAC is an outstanding model of the kind of job-driven training we’re trying to encourage all across the country. And Joe and I just spent some time checking out the machines and motors that are being used here to train folks in mechatronics. Now, I have to say that before I came here I didn’t know there was such a thing as mechatronics. (Laughter.) Sounds like something that Godzilla would be fighting. (Laughter.) It turns out it has to do with engineering, how stuff works. And we saw firsthand everything that you are doing to train more workers for new jobs and better jobs — jobs companies need to keep growing.

 

And what we want to do is we want to replicate your model across the country. You’re doing something right that is making a difference in people’s lives — (applause) — and we want to spread the word. (Applause.) So that’s why we’re here today in Allegheny County, because I’m taking some new action to expand this kind of job-driven training to all 50 states.

 

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And Joe talked a little bit about why we have to do this — because in today’s economy, it’s never been more important to make sure that our folks are trained for the jobs that are there — and for the jobs of the future.

 

Now, we’ve spent the past five and a half years fighting back from the worst economic crisis in our lifetimes. The good news is our economy is growing again, our businesses are creating jobs. We’ve created nearly 9 million jobs over the past four years. We’ve cut our deficits by more than half. Our manufacturing sector that used to be losing jobs, just hemorrhaging jobs, is now adding jobs for the first time since the 1990s. (Applause.) The first time since the 1990s. High school dropout rates are going down. College attendance rates and graduation rates are going up. Our troops are coming home. (Applause.) We’re seeing an energy boom all across the country. And more than 7.5 million people have been able to sign up for health care, many for the very first time, through the Affordable Care Act. (Applause.) And 7.5 million people, by the way, is about the number that it would take to fill up Heinz Field 115 times.

 

So there are a lot of good trends that are taking place. And a lot of that has to do with the great work that our outstanding Vice President is doing. (Applause.) It has to do with the great work that folks like Mike and Bob and Rich are doing, and your outstanding Mayor in Pittsburgh and all he’s doing to help transform the economy there.

 

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But here’s the challenge — and a lot of folks here know it. A lot of people don’t feel that progress in their own lives yet. So the stock market is doing great. Corporate profits are soaring. Folks at the very, very top are doing better than ever. But too many Americans, if they’re lucky enough to have a job, are working harder and harder just to get by, much less to get ahead. For too many middle-class Americans, it feels as if the same trends that have been going on for decades are continuing. You’re working hard, but wages flat-line, incomes flat-line, cost of everything else going up.

 

So we’ve got to reverse those trends. We’ve got to make sure that we have an economy that’s not just growing from the top down — because it doesn’t really grow when it’s just from the top down. We’ve got to have an economy where it grows from the middle class out, and from the bottom up, and everybody has a chance. (Applause.)

 

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That’s the idea of America — if you work hard, you can get ahead. That’s the promise at the heart of this country. If you’re responsible, you’re willing to put in some sweat, you can get ahead. You may not be fabulously wealthy, but you can support a family; you can buy a home; make sure your kids are doing good and they can go to college; have something left over for retirement; have health care you can count on; maybe take a vacation once in a while — (laughter) — just the basics and knowing that you’re part of a community that is growing for everybody, not just some.

 

Restoring that idea is the defining issue of our time. And so the truth is — Joe and I, we were talking about this the other day — we sometimes sound like a broken record because we’ve been talking about this for six, seven, eight years, ever since we’ve been in public office. But it’s more urgent than ever now that we move forward. And we know what to do.

 

We’re pushing a four-part opportunity agenda. And the first part is more good jobs paying good wages — manufacturing jobs, construction jobs, jobs in energy, jobs in innovation, jobs in infrastructure, rebuilding our roads and our bridges — putting people back to work. There’s a lot more we could be doing.

 

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Number two, we’ve got to train more Americans with the skills to fill the jobs that are there, just like you do here at CCAC. Number three, we’ve got to guarantee every young American a world-class education. And number four, when people do have a job, we’ve got to make sure that job pays a decent wage and that you have savings you can retire on and health care you can count on. (Applause.)

 

These are the things we’ve got to be doing. You know it; I know it. That’s what would put our unemployment rate down faster. It would pull our wages up faster. It’s what we could do to create more jobs and economic security for a lot of families that have been reaching for it for years. And every single person you send to Washington should be focused on that issue. That’s what America needs right now.

 

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Today, the reason we came here is to focus on that second part of that agenda — training Americans with the skills that they need for the good jobs that are going to be here today and tomorrow.

 

Around here, you know better than most how in recent decades the economy hasn’t always worked for middle-class families. You saw outsourcing. There was a time when finding a good job in manufacturing wasn’t all that hard. If you were willing to work, you could go to the local factory, maybe the factory your dad was working in, and say, I’m ready to go, and they’d sign you up.

 

And over time, the economy changed, part of it because of globalization, some of it because of new technologies. And you’ve seen, sometimes painfully, where technology shutters factories and ships jobs overseas, and even makes some jobs obsolete.

 

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But you know what, we’re not going to reverse all those trends. We can’t stop technology. And you’ve got a global economy now where we’ve got to compete. We live in a 21st century global economy. Jobs know no borders, and companies are able to seek out the best-educated, most highly-skilled workers wherever they live. And that’s where the good jobs and the good pay and the good benefits is going to be.

 

Other countries know this. Countries like Germany, China, India — they’re working every day to out-educate our kids so they can out-compete our businesses. And each year, frankly, it shows that they’re making more progress than we are. We’re still ahead, we’ve still got the best cards, but they’re making some good decisions. We’ve got to make those same decisions.

 

And when it comes to training our workers, not all of today’s good jobs require a four-year college degree, but I promise you, there’s not a job out there that’s going to pay a lot if you don’t have some sort of specialized training. So our best bet is keeping ahead in the skills race.

 

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And you see what happens when we put effort into making sure workers have new skills — the education that’s required for this 21st century economy. At a time when traditional manufacturing is back on the rise, Pittsburgh is seeing new factories manufacturing new technologies across the board. And I know you’re County Executive and your Mayor and steel workers –everybody is — we’re focused on bringing jobs back. And the good news is they’re coming back. The problem is we’re having trouble filling some of those jobs.

 

I mean, there’s been great progress in this area. You’ve earned a great nickname — “Roboburgh” — because you’ve got high-tech plants and workplaces that are adding jobs faster than workers can fill them. That’s a good problem to have. But we’ve got a lot of Americans who are still looking for work or underemployed and not getting paid enough. That’s where what you do here is making a difference.

 

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America has got a choice to make. We can do nothing — which is the strategy that some folks in Washington seem to have — or we can do what we’ve always done best: We pull together; we fight back; and we win. (Applause.) That’s what we do best.

 

So earlier this year, I asked Joe to work with Penny Pritzker and Tom Perez, our Labor Secretary, to lead an across-the-board reform of all of our federal training programs to make sure they’ve got one clear mission: Train Americans with the skills employers need. Not something that looks good on paper, but doesn’t give you a job; find out what are the jobs that need to be filled and make sure folks are being trained and matched to those good jobs.

 

We’ve got to move away from what our Labor Secretary, Tom Perez, calls a “train and pray” approach. We train them and we pray that they can get a job. (Laughter.) Because the problem there is students, when they go to a community college, they go to a four-year university, they’re taking out debt. They’re straining their budgets. We got to make sure that it pays off for them. So we need to take a job-driven approach. And that’s what you’ve done here in Allegheny County. That’s what you’re doing here. (Applause.)

 

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So we’re rewarding high schools that redesign their curriculums to help students gain ready-to-work skills even earlier because there’s no reason why you got to wait for college. Our high schools could be providing more relevant education and making kids more job-ready. (Applause.)

 

We are supporting partnerships between employers and local governments and nonprofits to help unemployed workers who’ve been sidelined for too long, help them get the skills that they need, help to connect them to the jobs that require those skills. We’re working with a bipartisan coalition of governors and mayors across the country to make job training partnerships a reality for more Americans.

 

But we could be doing a lot more. And I’ve asked Congress to invest in serious programs that connect ready-to-work Americans with ready-to-be-filled jobs. (Applause.) And in fairness, Mike Doyle, he’s supportive of that and Bob Casey is supportive of it. But, unfortunately, there are some other folks in Washington that haven’t acted yet. They haven’t been getting the job done so far. And Americans can’t afford to wait.

 

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So today, I’m taking two significant actions that don’t require Congress — (applause) — that don’t require Congress. First, we’ve asked more community colleges to do what you’ve done here at Allegheny, and that is to figure out what skills local employers are looking for, and then partner with them to help design the curriculums and to prepare the students for those jobs. We want a seamless progression from community college programs to industry-recognized credentials and credit towards a college degree.

 

And today I’m announcing that we’re going to award nearly $500 million to those institutions who are doing it best in all 50 states — using existing money to create opportunity for hardworking folks like you. (Applause.) That’s good.

Second — and this is related — we’re launching a $100 million competition for what we’re calling American Apprenticeship Grants. Now, these are awards that are going to expand the kinds of apprenticeships that help young people and experienced workers get on a path towards advancement, towards better jobs, better pay, a trajectory upwards in their careers.

 

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And apprenticeships are a way to link more Americans to jobs in some of our in-demand fields, like IT and health care. They let you earn while you learn. And sometimes it makes — it’s possible for them to also create college credits on the job, even as you’re pursuing a degree or a better job.

 

Right now, nearly nine out of 10 apprentices — folks who are in apprenticeships, they get hired when they’re finished — which makes sense, right? You get an apprenticeship; you’re there, you’re learning on the job. People see that you’re serious about working. So nine out of 10 folks, once they get an apprenticeship, they get hired. And by the way, they make an average of $50,000.

 

So we’re streamlining efforts by the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Labor to help veterans access their GI Bill benefits for apprenticeships. Businesses, unions, community colleges, nonprofits — we’re getting them to work with us as well. The UAW is joining with the Big Three and John Deere and others to add nearly 2,000 apprentices. Some of the biggest manufacturers are partnering with community colleges in North Carolina and Texas and California on high-skill training programs.

 

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And now we want to work with national industry associations to help partnerships like these take root all across the country — so that anybody, in any city, any state, can earn the training they need to get the good jobs of tomorrow. So the bottom line is if you’re willing to put in the work to get a job or earn a promotion in today’s economy, America’s job-training system should give you every possible chance.

 

And you’re doing it here. When we took that tour, we saw young people and some not-so-young people — I won’t say who. I don’t want to offend. (Laughter.) But these are folks who — many of them were in a job right now, but they saw that it was a dead-end and they wanted to make sure that they could get a better job. Some of them were just getting started. But either way, their investment and their effort was being rewarded.

 

One person we met is a gentleman named Tim Wright. He was showing us some of the computer systems that folks are working on. Now, Tim worked as a shift laborer for 13 years, loading rail cars, moving equipment, working nights, working weekends. And he always had his eye on moving into industrial maintenance so he could repair and oversee the factory’s equipment, but he couldn’t pass the skills test. I love this about Tim. He did not give up. He didn’t say, well, I guess I can’t get to my dream. Instead he started on this mechatronics training at CCAC.

 

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So he’d squeeze in classes whenever he could, while he was still working his shifts. And after six months of hard work, he graduated as an industry-certified mechatronics technician. He re-took the test. He passed the test. (Applause.) Today, Tim is doing what he set out to do. (Applause.) So today he’s working on a factory floor, making sure the machines do what they’re supposed to do. He earns more money, he works better hours. He has more time to spend with his family.

 

And I want to read what Tim said here about this. He said, “That extra training made all the difference in the world. Those were the skills I needed to get to the next level.”

 

So I couldn’t be prouder of Tim. Those are the victories — they don’t get a lot of publicity. Tim’s name won’t be in the papers — although now it may be because I just talked about him. (Laughter.) But that’s what America is all about, each of us working to try to move forward. And by each of us moving forward, we all move forward. And then, we reach back and we help other folks.

 

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Companies that are represented here today — like Alle-Kiski and Schroeder and Aerotech — they’re helping. They want to help even more of their workers to take their skills to the next level, whether it’s through a community college partnership like Tim’s, or working with organizations like New Century Careers here in southwestern Pennsylvania. (Applause.) More workers getting apprenticeships. We know it works. And if it worked for folks like Tim and some of the men and women who are standing behind me here today, who took the initiative to upgrade their skills and stay ahead of the jobs curve and prepare themselves for a new job or a better job, then it can work all across the country.

 

We want that for every American. Everybody who works hard and takes responsibility deserves a chance to get ahead. That is what this country is built on. That’s what the moment requires. That’s what Congress should be working on. (Applause.) That’s what Joe is working on. That’s what I’m working on. That’s what you’re working on. And if we keep on working, we’re going to move forward.

 

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Thank you, everybody. God bless you. God bless America. (Applause.)

 

 

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