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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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TheObamaCrat™ Wake-Up Call For Friday The 11th Of April, 2014: Sylvia Mathews Burwell. National Action Network’s 16th Annual Convention.


 

By Jueseppi B.

US President Barack Obama holds his first Twitter Town Hall

 

 

 

 

 

White House Schedule – April 11th, 2014

 

On Friday Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is resigning, a White House official  confirmed on Thursday, with President Barack Obama set to tap as her replacement Office of Management and Budget chief Sylvia Mathews Burwell, who served in the Clinton White House with Mayor Rahm Emanuel. The President will travel to New York, NY to deliver remarks at the National Action Network’s 16th Annual Convention.

 

 

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President Barack Obama accepted the resignation of beleagured Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and at 11 a.m. ET on Friday taps Sylvia Mathews Burwell to take over HHS and steer Obamacare while Republicans attack the health insurance program in the run-up to the November elections. After that, Obama and First Lady Michelle head to New York City, where Obama will deliver remarks to the National Action Network convention–whose chief is the Rev. Al Sharpton, also an MSNBC host. 

 

In the morning, the President and the Vice President will receive the Presidential Daily Briefing in the Oval Office. This meeting is closed press.

Later in the morning, the President will make a personnel announcement in the Rose Garden; the Vice President will also attend. The President’s remarks will be open press.

In the afternoon, the President and the First Lady will travel to New York City. The departure from the South Lawn and arrival at John F. Kennedy International Airport are open press.

While in New York, the President will deliver remarks at the National Action Network’s 16th Annual Convention. The President’s remarks are open press.

At night, the President and the First Lady will depart New York City en route Washington, DC. The departure from John F. Kennedy International Airport and the arrival on the South Lawn are open press.

 

 

Friday, April 11th 2014 All Times ET

 

10:00 AM: THE PRESIDENT and THE VICE PRESIDENT receive the Presidential Daily Briefing, Oval Office.

11:00 AM: THE PRESIDENT makes a personnel announcement; THE VICE PRESIDENT will also attend, The Rose Garden.

 12:30 PM: Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney, The Brady Press Briefing Room.

1:55 PM: THE PRESIDENT and THE FIRST LADY depart the White House en route Joint Base Andrews, South Lawn.

2:10 PM: THE PRESIDENT and THE FIRST LADY depart Joint Base Andrews.

3:05 PM: THE PRESIDENT and THE FIRST LADY arrive New York, John F. Kennedy International Airport.

4:10 PM: THE PRESIDENT delivers remarks at the National Action Network’s 16th Annual Convention, Sheraton New York Hotel, New York, New York.

11:30 PM: THE PRESIDENT and THE FIRST LADY depart New York, John F. Kennedy International Airport.

12:25 AM: THE PRESIDENT and THE FIRST LADY arrive Joint Base Andrews.

12:40 AM: THE PRESIDENT and THE FIRST LADY arrive the White House, South Lawn.

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White House LIVE!!! Streaming

 

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Speeches and Remarks - April 10, 2014

 

Presidential Nominations Sent to the Senate

 

Remarks by the President at LBJ Presidential Library Civil Rights Summit

 

 

Statements and Releases - April 10, 2014

 

President Obama Nominates Three to Serve on the U.S. Court of Federal Claims

 

Statement by the President

 

President Obama Announces his Intent to Nominate Dr. William “Bro” Adams as Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities

 

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Lloimincia Hall’s Perfect 10 vs. Alabama, LSU Tiger TV·

 

Published on Feb 1, 2014

Lloiminica Hall scores the 3rd perfect 10 of her career on the floor exercise. The LSU Gymnastics team beat Alabama 197.650-196.825.

 

 

 

 

President Obama Speaks on Civil Rights

 

Published on Apr 10, 2014

President Obama delivers the keynote address at the LBJ Presidential Library Civil Rights Summit. April 10, 2014.

 

 

 

 

President Obama Speaks on Equal Pay for Equal Work

 

Published on Apr 8, 2014

Following an introduction by Lilly Ledbetter, President Obama announces two new executive actions to strengthen enforcement of equal pay laws for women.

 

 

 

 

President Obama Speaks at a Memorial Service for Victims of the Shooting at Fort Hood

 

Published on Apr 9, 2014

President Obama says that we must honor the lives of those killed in the tragedy at Fort Hood “not in word or talk, but in deed and in truth.” April 9, 2014.

 

 

 

 

Equal Pay: When Women Succeed, America Succeeds

 

Published on Apr 10, 2014

Kay Morrison worked as a journeyman welder at Kaiser Shipyard #2, on the assembly-line graveyard shift — and she made the same as the man working alongside her. Today, on average, full-time working women still earn 77 cents for every dollar earned by men. It’s time for equal pay for women.

 

 

 

 

Patti LaBelle sings ‘Over The Rainbow’ 2014 Live

 

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Published on Mar 18, 2014

Patti LaBelle sings ‘Over The Rainbow’ for president Barack Obama, March 2014 Live…

 

 

 

 

 Aretha

 

 

 

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Reaction on “Heartbleed”: Working Together to Mitigate Cybersecurity Vulnerabilities

 

Honoring President Lyndon Baines Johnson on the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act

 

Being Biden Vol. 14: Chopper

 

SelectUSA: Investing in the United States, Creating Jobs, and Spurring Economic Growth

 

Announcing President Obama’s New Ambassadors for Global Entrepreneurship

 

Marking the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act at the LBJ Presidential Library

 

The Vice President and Dr. Biden’s Support for Community Colleges and Apprenticeship Programs

 

President Obama at Fort Hood: “It Is Love, Tested by Tragedy, That Brings Us Together Again.”

 

A State-by-State Breakdown of the Damage That Would Be Caused by the House Republican Budget

 

 

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When "We The People" Stand Umoja As One....

When “We The People” Stand Umoja As One….

Jonathan Fleming, center, exits the courthouse with his mother Patricia Fleming, left, and his ex-wife Valerie Brown in New York on April 8. Jonathan Fleming, who spent almost a quarter-century behind bars for murder, was freed on Tuesday and cleared of a killing that happened when he was 1,100 miles away on a Disney World vacation. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Jonathan Fleming, center, exits the courthouse with his mother Patricia Fleming, left, and his ex-wife Valerie Brown in New York on April 8. Jonathan Fleming, who spent almost a quarter-century behind bars for murder, was freed on Tuesday and cleared of a killing that happened when he was 1,100 miles away on a Disney World vacation. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

welcome home Mr. Jonathan Fleming. 25 years serving time for a crime you didn't commit...welcome to freedom.

welcome home Mr. Jonathan Fleming. 25 years serving time for a crime you didn’t commit…welcome to freedom.

Barack surfing for tips on picking the final four....

Barack surfing for tips on picking the final four….

Happy 115th Birthday Dr. Percy Julian

Happy 115th Birthday Dr. Percy Julian

Talk to the muthafuckin hand, bitches.

Talk to the muthafuckin hand, bitches.

Wealthy racist greedy caucasian males are thieves.

Wealthy racist greedy caucasian males are thieves.

no words are needed.

no words are needed.

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Ms. Elayne EK Keratsis; Mom’s Politics, Part 1: The Militant Negro, Social Media & Jiffy Pop.


 

By Jueseppi B. Reposted from Ms. Elayne EK Keratsis & her blog, One Year Without Mum.

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Mom’s Politics, part 1: The Militant Negro, Social Media & Jiffy Pop

 

Mom, reading the “newspaper” while recovering from surgery. Tampa November 2013

Mom, reading the “newspaper” while recovering from surgery. Tampa November 2013

 

 

November 2013 Florida Hospital

“THAT is a very bad word!” Mom wags a finger at me. “You should not call him that!”

 

I am sitting by Mom’s bed in her room at Florida Hospital in Tampa and reading the daily Twitter news. Mom struggled with both Facebook and Twitter. Determined to learn social media, she dove into Facebook with a vengeance. Twitter is still a mystery to her, but she follows posters through me.

 

“Mum, ‘Negro’ is not a swear word…”

 

She shakes her head. “Shame on you! Don’t tell me, I know about bad words! That is the number two N word!”

 

My parents have their own interpretations of what words, names and phrases mean. My father doesn’t understand all the fuss about the name of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot. “I live in a family of very loud women. I get it.”

 

Back in 2000, we all encouraged Mom to use the computer for more than just email and news. That suggestion created a firestorm. It started off slow with her learning the basics of what my ex told her was called “The IntraNeck.” In 2009, one of my nieces set her up with a Facebook account and things were never the same in our family.

 

Vengeance is a nice way of putting it. Mom discovered almost immediately that she could not only monitor our liberal views, but also our very liberal behavior and extremely liberal use of the F word.

 

“I don’t need anyone to show me, I’ll figure it out!”

 

Like so many parents of my adult friends, she didn’t even attempt to learn the basics of online etiquette as it related to her tribe and instead posted comments better served in a private phone conversation.

 

“Your hair looks terrible!” might be a comment you’d find one morning under a photo you yourself had posted because you felt you looked extra fancy.

 

“That Mary needs to watch her weight! She’s starting to look like a sausage!” could very well show up on Mary’s page instead of the person Mom thought she was addressing.

 

Mom also friended everyone. “I am a friendly person! It’s rude to not respond.”

 

These friends included relatives from the distant past, Nigerian princes, strangers with exotic names, everyone’s ex-boyfriends AND ex-friends. She had no problems discussing what may have gone on during these once-current relationships and Facebook became like the dinner table when Dad talked as if you weren’t there.

 

 

December 1980

When my step-brother Chuck was diagnosed with cancer, Dad often utilized the evening meal to give us all an update about Chuck’s condition.

 

“Chuck looks great, doesn’t he? He really looks good.”

 

From the other end of the table Chuck waved a fork in the air and pronounced, “Hello! Dad! It’s me! Still here! Not dead yet!”

 

Everyone burst into laughter and Dad slammed his chair back. “You think that’s funny? That’s not funny!”

 

Chuck laughed the loudest, holding his sides, “It’s funny! Oh my God, IT’S FUNNY!”

 

Dad grabbed his plate, “I will not eat with YOU PEOPLE!” and stomped off to his chair – a mere ten feet from the table. Then he turned the TV volume up to drown out the rollicking table behavior.

 

 

2009

Mom was like that on Facebook.

 

“I don’t know why she doesn’t want to talk to you,” Mom typed. “Why don’t you just call her up?” I spend an inordinate amount of time removing posts that included my phone number, embarrassing details, or both. Then came the presidential election of 2000 and things sped downhill fast.

 

 

November 2013

“Please don’t call him that. It didn’t used to be a bad word, but I’m sure it is now. Why not call him Mr. Militant Black Man? It’s much nicer.”

 

Mom’s referring to a Twitter accounts she enjoys. Mr. Militant Negro is the handle of a well-written guy who tweets eloquently about a wide spectrum of issues close to her heart as well – social injustice, racial equality, political shenanigans and Trayvon Martin. I find it interesting that although Mom me wants to change Mr. Militant Negro’s name, the “Militant” part is perfectly acceptable. Because that’s how she is herself. Mom is a political militant.

 

Mom is so angry about the death of Trayvon, she’s brought it up almost every day since I have been visiting, despite the fact it has been a year since the murder. She always links him with Medgar Evers, the young civil rights activist murdered in 1963.

 

“Mom, Travyon was just a kid walking down the street.”

 

It doesn’t matter to her. “SOME PEOPLE just want to kill other kinds of people. And you don’t know who Trayvon could have grown up to be.” She’s right and this time I love her for it. Mom is mystified that George Zimmerman is a free man. “Stand your ground doesn’t mean all the ground all over the neighborhood! It means your own house!”

 

She often asks me to read from Trayvon’s mother’s account.

 

“I wonder how she’s doing. A year is the blink of an eye. That’s all. I must write to her again when I get out of here.”

 

Mom writes to everyone.

 

She also loves playing a game where she calls out a celebrity and I look them up on Twitter to see what they might be saying. Especially Roseanne Barr.

 

“What the hell is wrong with her today” Mom would ask. “She’s so mad all the time!” And Cher. “She’s a terrible speller but I love her!” And every subject on the front page of the newspaper. Not The Enquirer that Yaya called the newspaper – the other papers. Mom wants everybody’s take on every single thing across the planet.

 

I am trying to explain to her that I personally have not named every Twitter user in cyberspace, that folks choose their own handles, but she’s not having any of it.

 

“Mum, that’s the name he chose. I didn’t pick it. Everyone gets to name themselves. He’s making a point!”

 

“Hmmm,” Mom flips through The National Enquirer. ”Then I bet you call yourself Miss Fancy Pants!” she says slyly.

 

“I do not, Mum!” Although I do make my iPhone’s Siri call me that. How does Mom know all of this stuff?

 

“Ecch, take this one away about Oprah. They should leave her alone! All she does is try to help people and if she is a lesbian, I say good for her! Would you look at Bill Clinton?” she points at another story. “He is losing too much weight. He should see his doctor.” Pages flip. “Do you think he’s a Black Panther? I’ve always been interested in the Panthers, I wonder if I should write to him?”

 

The conversation has derailed. I cautiously say the name of “He Who Should Not Be Named Because He Cheated On His Wife And Do Not Say Anything Bad About Jack Kennedy Because That Was Different.”

 

“Bill Clinton?”

 

Mom was a lifelong Democrat. Until the day came that she broke up with William Jefferson Clinton. It was a painful time in our Democratic tribe.

 

Mom makes a disgusted sound. “Not HIM! I mean Mr. Militant Black Man! You need to keep up. Also ask him if he knows anything about the Weather Underground. THAT is a very interesting story…”

 

As Mom launches into the details of Dr. Timothy Leary’s jailbreak, I make a mental note to remind myself we will not be asking about the Black Panthers on Twitter. I also notice she seems to have softened toward Bill Clinton and his health issues. It must the painkillers.

 

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The late 1960′s 

Boston has struggled to overcome its sad history of inequality, steeped in the racism of Yawkey’s Fenway Park and paraded forth to Whitey Bulger’s Irish assault on interracial bussing. Decades ago the neighborhoods surrounding Beantown had powerful invisible lines of demarcation respected by all races and religions. You did not go enter any area where your “people” did not reside. It was a specific kind of racism that my grandfather believed was the result of immigrants attempting to recreate their home countries in the small pockets where they now resided. If mixing of these backgrounds occurred through “unfortunate” marriages, the lines shifted to separate the Catholics from everyone else. This created such confusion in some families that many newly married couples moved to New Hampshire.

 

My mother was a young single mother when she moved Sissy and I to a duplex just above a housing project in Worcester. We attended an experimental elementary school – the forerunner to the Magnet Program – and therefore our classmates came in every race and religion. Isolated from the fear and suspicion of Boston, we never had to learn that people are all the same. We already knew it. Mom was smart, she moved us there – against her parents’ wishes – to take advantage of what she realized could be the best educational opportunity she could offer us.

 

The schoolyard housed a little pony that all the kids clamored to feed and brush. We learned to read a new way, a technique that eventually became known as “speed reading.” Even kindergarteners were taught to use their peripheral vision to read books a line at a time instead of the traditional “word by word” routine. Yaya, Nana and Mom were all voracious readers-for-pleasure and this only enhanced our lifelong love of books.

 

Nana kept up with the news. Mom loved literature. Yaya loved the lurid true detective magazines she hid from her daughter but freely allowed her granddaughter – Mom – to enjoy. She also had a library of the early tabloids like Movie Screen so she could keep up with sagas like the marriages of Liz Taylor and Richard Burton and refer back to them for “research material” as new scandals unfolded.

 

Yaya also harbored a secret crush on Senator Edward Brooks. She had to hide her one-sided romance from her daughter. Not because Brooks was an African American. Because he was aRepublican. My grandparents were unique in their working class neighborhood because they truly didn’t care what color anybody was – as long as they were a Democrat.

 

“MOTHER!” Nana scolded when she found a pile of True Confessions hidden in Yaya’s laundry basket under her white nursing home uniforms. “Those are awful magazines! When you buy them, the store clerk probably tells the other customers that you’re Shanty Irish!”

 

Shanty Irish was a terrible insult and indicated that the recipient of such a comment was trashy. Yaya shrugged and waved her daughter off. “Better to be Shanty Irish that reads than Lace Curtain Irish that pretends they don’t!”

 

She was referring to Nana’s hidden stash of scandalous potboilers like Peyton Place and Valley Of The Dolls.

 

Lace Curtain Irish basically meant “Miss Fancy Pants.” Nana was known to put on a few airs now and again. It wasn’t until she was way into her seventies that she donned that red latex teddy. I was storing wardrobe in the bathroom closet for reshoots on a Burt Reynolds movie called Big City Blues. While visiting on Thanksgiving, Nana dug around and the cherry color caught her eye. She tried it on and pranced into the living room with a dramatic “TAH DAH!” All the guests screamed with delight.

 

Our childhood neighborhood on St. Nicholas Ave was a hill of small duplexes inhabited by single mothers. Weekends we’d tear down the street to collect any friends that were on “off weekends.” Off weekends meant this wasn’t your father’s visitation week. During the summer months, there was no need to knock on any doors. If you passed by a friend’s and the windows were open, the sound of Frank Sinatra or Dean Martin loudly spilling into the street was a sign to keep going. That friend was gone until Monday and the resident mother was housecleaning while Dino and Frankie crooned notes of encouragement about a better future.

 

Mom’s divorce was very difficult. Shunned by both sides of the family, we were her one link to even speaking to her parents. As much as Nana and Poppy were horrified she’d married a Greek, they became apocalyptic when she was “ex-communicated” – as Poppy called – from returning to the Catholic Church because she was now divorced. The bonds she’d made with our biological father’s family were in tatters. As usual, the one person who refused to take sides was Yaya. I can remember my short round great-grandmother coming to our snowy neighborhood in a cab, bearing groceries and treats, shoving small bills into Mom’s purse when her back was turned. This was after her own daughter forbade her to do so. “She made her bed, now she’s got to lie in it.”

 

But Yaya was a militant.

 

It was during this time of freedom that Mom flourished more than suffered. She read what she wanted, said what she thought and began a quest that lasted her entire life – learning as much as she could about the world, how it worked and everyone who lived in it. From rock and roll to human rights, Mom was delighted to create her own society. How grateful we are to her.

 

 

November 2013 Florida Hospital

“…because regular ties were used to strangle black men in the South.”

 

I look up from Twitter. “What the hell are you talking about, Mum?”

 

She sighed. “I was telling you that I met a gentleman who is a Black Muslim and I asked him why he wears a bow tie and he told me. I find that interesting and very sad at the same time. Don’t you?”

 

Seriously. Mom. “Where did you meet a Black Muslim?” I asked. “At the grocery store?”

 

Mom considers this. “No, my store is mostly old people. I met him at that vigil, remember? For Terri Schiavo’s parents? When I made that lasagna for them and Jesse Jackson? Because they had been there so long and you just can’t cook big meals in a motor home…”

 

Mom sure gets around.

 

 

March 2005

Terri Schiavo was the young St. Petersburg wife who suffered a cardiac arrest in 1990 and lapsed into a lengthy coma. Her husband and his experts insisted she was in a vegetative state and would never recover. He fought in the courts to have her life support removed. Terri’s parents felt their daughter was still there and would someday fully awaken. The battle waged on until 2005 when federal court allowed the removal of the feeding tube. Terri survived for thirteen days. During that time Mom drove down to the parking lot of the hospice facility where the Schiavos were staying, waiting, as did scores of others including the Reverend Jesse Jackson.

 

“Why doesn’t he just divorce her?” Mom fumed as she prodded the lasagna in the oven, pulled it out and covered it with Reynolds Wrap.

 

“Why don’t YOU just mind your own business?” Dad rattled the newspaper for emphasis. ”

 

“He just wants the insurance money! I saw it on The Intraneck…”

 

“Internet.”

 

‘I CAN CALL IT WHAT I WANT!” Mom stomped her foot. She did not like to be corrected. “Why can’t he just give her back to her parents? I’m going down there!”

 

Dad slammed the paper down. “Oh no you are not! There’s probably gonna be a big riot. You could get hurt or you’ll get arrested!” What Dad meant was “You’ll get arrested!” but he threw the safety thing in so no one thought he was bitching he might have to leave the house and miss the ball game.

 

“Fine!” she fumed. She went into the bedroom and put on her good walking sneakers. She grabbed her keys, purse and the heavy pan.

 

“I’m going to the library!” she called on her way out the front door.

 

“WHY ARE YOU TAKING THE LASAGNA TO THE LIBRARY???”

 

Mom did meet the Schiavos and Reverend Jesse Jackson. I wish I could relate the intimate details of their conversations, but I don’t know them. Mom said it was private. I do know Mom’s People told her that Terri was ready to move on, but was waiting for her parents to get to the same place. What Mom wanted was for Terri’s parents to have the time they needed. As for Reverend Jesse? No idea what they talked about. I can say that when Mom broke up with Bill Clinton, she never broke up with Jesse. So it must have been something pretty good.

 

 

November 2013 Florida Hospital

“He’s a good news friend for us,” Mom says of Mr. Militant Negro. “I like how he thinks.”

 

She put down The Enquirer and looked at me. “Don’t get on there telling him crazy things about that Al Gore inventing The Intraneck! He’ll think you’re a nut and block you!”

 

Mom now knows a thing or to about getting blocked. At least from Facebook. And I know enough not to correct her.

 

“OK Mum.” I read to her and think about Hillary and Mom and how she went from campaigning for Ted Kennedy to listening to Rush and then eventually rounding back to the creation of her own personal militant party. Because once a liberal, always a liberal.

 

Author’s Note: As children, Sissy and I didn’t want for much. Mom was an only child (or so she thought) and Nana and Poppy, as well as our Greek relatives, made sure there were always toys and trips. Mom saved all summer for school clothes. Even our dog Ziggy had a new collar every Christmas. It wasn’t until I became an adult that I realized it was Mom who often went without. As I write, I remember an “off weekend.” Mom shaking Jiffy Pop on the stove. The thin tinfoil balloon rising. Our duplex filled with the irresistible aroma of the coming evening, watching Creature Feature. Suddenly, the tinfoil exploded and popcorn flew all over the kitchen. Mom just laughed. Then she tossed the burnt tin in the sink and brought down a second Jiffy Pop from the top of the fridge. “I was afraid this might happen! I can’t have my girls go popcorn-less!”  I wonder what she didn’t buy for herself when decided instead to purchase that kernel insurance for us. You can still get those flat pie tins with the wire handle now and again at the Dollar Store and on the occasion when I see them, I always buy two. Thank you, Mom. Everybody needs an extra Jiffy Pop. Just in case.

 

Nana, Miami 1990′s, rockin’ like a hurricane. Mom was horrified when the photo appeared later on Facebook. Here it is again. Sorry Mom.

Nana, Miami 1990′s, rockin’ like a hurricane. Mom was horrified when the photo appeared later on Facebook. Here it is again. Sorry Mom.

 

 

This Is Mum. January 19, 1937 to December 24, 2013. Our Year Without Mum

 

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Margo Hart Brandt, wife, whimsical mother, grandmother, professional photographer, floral window designer, reader and researcher of everything spiritual passed away on December 24th 2013, the most magical day of the year.
Born to Alice and Edward Hart, Margo joined the world on January 19 in 1937 in Winchendon, Massachusetts. She twirled her way through Wachusett Regional High School as a drum majorette, was the owner of a baby goat who routinely ate her dresses off the clothesline, graduated from Nicholas School Of Business and entered adulthood as a wife, mother and a woman curious about the way everything in the world worked.
Margo spent her summers in Scituate, in a tiny New England seaside town, where she taught her daughters to shuck an entire lobster in three minutes, cheer for her beleaguered Boston Red Sox, to climb a rocky jetty in bare feet, the value of a small sparkle of blue-green sea glass and why periwinkles should remain in the ocean.
She was the manager of all family catastrophes. Margo jumped from the swimming pool and drove in her bathing suit to be by the side of a hospitalized granddaughter. After the death of her adult son, she legally adopted his widow to secure the circle of family.
Her husband Chet Brandt traveled the world from Boston to Japan, keeping America safe as a soldier. He graduated from the University of Miami, got a job providing assurance to needy families and scooped up the love of his life. She kept him hoppin’ for forty-three years.
Margo was the keeper of the flame of family accomplishments. With children and grandchildren employed in a wide spectrum of professions from lawyer, film producer, administrator, boat engineer and pathology technician to homemakers, a film and television stuntwoman and a wardrobe assistant, she made it her life’s work to champion their careers.
She marched to her own drummer and followed causes close to her own heart. Margo was an advocate and volunteer for the rights of abused women, CASA St. Petersburg, a supporter of LGBT equality, and children with Downs Syndrome, a faction of society she called, “God’s Angels.”
In her later years, Margo consumed books and movies like popcorn. Her favorite song was the fifties classic “Sh-Boom” by The Crew Cuts because life could be a dream but she loved all music from Sinatra to Eminem and especially Elvis.
In her mid-sixties, Margo had her belly button pierced because “it seemed like fun” and got a shamrock tattoo on her hip. She convinced her eighty-year-old husband to also visit the tattoo parlor and get his own military rendering on his arm.
Born into an Irish Catholic family, she studied Eastern religion and philosophy and based all of her own studies on the simple mantra of “Why not?”
She always identified herself on the telephone, even before you could say “Hello!” by announcing, “This IS Mum!”
Margo was born into a family of typical New England women. Occasionally referred to as difficult, these women always spoke their minds, never backed down and never gave up. They loved as fiercely as they often disagreed. As her own grandmother wrote, “This little girl I have loved all of my life.” In praise of difficult women!
Margo is survived by her husband, her daughters, her grandchildren and will also be remembered eternally by family and friends around the globe.
This little girl we have loved all of our life.
And she always loved the Bookmobile.
She would want you to know that.
So long Mum, and thanks for all the fish.

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Shannon Watts, Mayors Against Illegal Guns: VICTORY, Facebook heard you!


 

By Jueseppi B.

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Thanks to hundreds of thousands of supporters like you, Facebook and Instagram just announced new policies to crack down on illegal gun sales!

 

These are real, common-sense policies — and they’re going to make Facebook and Instagram safer for all users.1 As a mom and a Facebook user, I’m thrilled to share this news.

 

Join me by spreading the word about this amazing victory with your friends and family on Facebook and on Twitter! If you don’t use Facebook or Twitter, please forward this email.

 

 

These new Facebook and Instagram policies include several measures that will drastically reduce the chances of illegal gun sales on its platform, such as letting users report suspicious gun posts, deleting posts that offer to buy and sell guns without background checks, requiring Facebook gun page owners to post a notice that says users must comply with all applicable laws, and warning Instagram users about the law when they search for gun offers.

 

What’s more, all individual gun offers and pages dedicated to gun sales will be blocked for users under 18 — a critical measure for keeping our kids safe online.

 

This victory marks a huge milestone in the history of our movement — and it all took shape in less than a month, thanks to you!

 

Moms Demand Action got its start on Facebook, a place I knew I could turn to find other like-minded moms and make our voices heard in the aftermath of the shooting in Newtown. Facebook and Instagram have taken a major step forward to prevent gun sales, and we will hold them accountable to these promises going forward.

 

But there’s still so much more that can be done – by corporations, by Congress, by state and local political leaders — to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people.

 

We’re all working together to change the culture on gun laws, one step at a time. This is just the first page in an exciting new chapter in the fight for common-sense gun laws, and I hope you will continue to be there every step of the way.

 

Please share the news with your friends and family on Facebookand on Twitter today, and let them know about the momentum for common-sense gun laws that you’ve helped us build.

 

We aren’t going away until all Americans can live free from fear of gun violence — Facebook and Instagram heard our message, and now we need to take it even further.

 

Thanks for being a part of this historic moment,

 

Shannon Watts
Founder, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America

 

 

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