News / USA

Obama, CEOs to Announce Action on Long-Term Unemployed

Obama Takes His Message to Working Americansi
X
January 31, 2014 8:45 PM
U.S. President Barack Obama travelled to several stops around the country this week to drum up support for his plan to extend economic opportunity to more Americans and strengthen the country's middle class. The president addressed working people in Wisconsin and Tennessee, a day after delivering his message to those in Maryland and Pennsylvania. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Related video report, "Obama Takes His Message to Working Americans"

President Obama and the CEOs of major U.S. companies will formally announce Friday a pledge to do more to spur hiring of the long-term unemployed.

The initiative is part of Obama's pledge in his State of the Union Address to use executive powers to take actions that will help create jobs, even in the absence of specific legislative action by Congress. Obama spent Thursday in the U.S. Midwest and South where he talked about the initiative.

"I’ve been asking CEOs to give more long-term unemployed workers a fair shot at that new job and new chance to support their families; this week, many will come to the White House to make that commitment real," he said.

Obama has secured commitments from companies such as Apple, Ford and Walmart to observe best practices, and not discriminate in hiring against people out of work for a long time.
 
Friday's announcement comes after he spent two days traveling across the country talking about the need to provide more opportunity for Americans still struggling in the economy.

At a General Electric facility in Waukesha, Wisconsin that produces engines for oil and gas fields, he spotlighted a program that trains students in manufacturing and construction skills.

He called the plant an example of how to train people for skilled manufacturing jobs and ultimately also help bring jobs back from overseas.

"You can make a really good living and have a great career without getting a four-year college education as long as you get the skills and the training that you need," he said.

Obama was introduced by 26-year-old Reggie Troop, who was formerly unemployed facing difficulties supporting his family of four. Troop said he benefited from training and now works as a machine operator.

"I am fortunate to provide a great living for my family, I get to work for a great company with a union, like GE that has many opportunities to be successful, and I get to meet and greet with the president of the United States of America," he said.

Obama signed an executive order directing Vice President Joe Biden to oversee a review of federal job training programs.

President Barack Obama pauses as he speaks at McGavock High School, Jan. 30, 2014, in Nashville, Tennessee.President Barack Obama pauses as he speaks at McGavock High School, Jan. 30, 2014, in Nashville, Tennessee.
x
President Barack Obama pauses as he speaks at McGavock High School, Jan. 30, 2014, in Nashville, Tennessee.
President Barack Obama pauses as he speaks at McGavock High School, Jan. 30, 2014, in Nashville, Tennessee.
From Wisconsin, Obama flew to Nashville, Tennessee and McGavock High School, where companies are supporting a program to match student education with skills needed by employers.

Education, he said, is critical to a new economy.

"There is no child that we should let slip simply because of politics or because adults can't get their act together. We have got to make sure that we're reaching every single one of them as fast as we can, and right now we're not doing that," he said.

Opposition Republicans are challenging Obama on his State of the Union agenda.  They also are casting themselves in a more positive light as being open to cooperation.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor spoke at the Republicans' annual retreat.

"The discussion at this retreat is going to be not just about opposing the policies that this president has been about over the last several years, and an America that is not working for people, but it is to craft an alternative for the people of this country, so we can see an America that works for everybody," said Cantor.

In a letter to the president, Republicans point to measures passed by the Republican-controlled House, including one on job training, that have not been acted upon by the Democratic-controlled Senate.

They identify natural gas production, workplace rules and federally funded research as areas that hold potential for cooperation, and also are rolling out proposals on immigration reform.

You May Like

Hong Kong Democracy Calls Spread to Macau

Macau and Hong Kong are China’s two 'special administrative regions' which gives them a measure of autonomy More

After Nearly 2 Years, Pistorius Remains Elusive

Reporter Anita Powell reflects on her experience covering the Olympic athlete's murder trial More

Kenyan Coastal Town Struggles With Deadly June Attacks

Three months after al-Shabab militants allegedly attacked their town, some Mpeketoni residents are still bitter, question who was really behind the assaults More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Obama to Ramp Up Anti-Ebola Efforts in Africai
X
Luis Ramirez
September 15, 2014 11:01 PM
President Barack Obama on Tuesday will unveil his plan to ramp up efforts against the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa. VOA White House Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Obama to Ramp Up Anti-Ebola Efforts in Africa

President Barack Obama on Tuesday will unveil his plan to ramp up efforts against the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa. VOA White House Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid