News / USA

    Obama Secures Commitments on Hiring Long-Term Unemployed

    Obama Secures Commitments on Hiring Long-Term Unemployedi
    X
    February 01, 2014 1:55 AM
    President Barack Obama met with top American CEOs at the White House Friday to discuss commitments their companies have made to help the long-term unemployed find jobs. Senior White House correspondent Dan Robinson reports that the White House says 300 companies have agreed to do their part.
    Obama Secures Commitments on Hiring Long-Term Unemployed
    President Barack Obama met with top American CEOs at the White House Friday to discuss commitments their companies have made to help the long-term unemployed find jobs. The White House says 300 companies have agreed to do their part.

    In his State of the Union Address, the president spoke of the need to help the long-term unemployed get what he called a "fair shot" at finding a job. "Tonight, I ask every business leader in America to join us and do the same because we are stronger when America fields a full team," he said.

    On Friday, Obama met with CEOs from some of the 300 companies -- including McDonald's, Boeing and Bank of America -- the White House says are committing to "best practices" for hiring. In other words, they've agreed to revamp their hiring practices to make sure those out of work for long periods get a fair shot at a job.    

    The long-term unemployed have been out of work for 27 weeks or more. The government says they currently number 3.9 million.

    That's nearly 40 percent of all unemployed Americans.

    Erick Varela, a former combat infantryman who introduced Obama at a related White House event Friday, described the experience of prolonged joblessness. "With no luck, I was motivated to work and I wanted to work and I knew I could contribute to society, like I had in my military service. But I felt helpless, lost and more importantly, a disappointment and a failure to my family," he said.

    Varela was re-trained and now has a job.

    Obama called that a success story, but one that also demonstrates the challenge. "Folks who have been unemployed the longest often have the toughest time getting back to work. It’s a cruel Catch-22 [paradox] -- the longer you’re unemployed, the more unemployable you may seem. Now, this is an illusion, but it’s one that unfortunately we know statistically is happening out there."

    The pledges by the CEOs are a downpayment on future progress, said Secretary of Labor Tom Perez.

    "When you're talking about Fortune 100 companies, you're talking about force multipliers. And when you are talking about force multipliers, you're talking about helping thousands of people," said Perez.

    Obama signed an order to ensure that government agencies consider long-term unemployment when making hiring decisions. He criticized Congress for allowing unemployment benefits for the long term unemployed to lapse.

    "Each week that Congress fails to restore that insurance, roughly 72,000 Americans will join the ranks of the long-term unemployed who have also lost their economic lifeline," said the president.

    Republicans in Congress have argued that extended benefits create a disincentive for people to find work.

    The White House is not saying how many unemployed Americans might benefit from Obama's outreach to companies, but he hopes it brings many more on board.

    You May Like

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Before burial at overflowing cemeteries, unidentified dead being swapped for DNA, in case some day relatives come to learn their fate

    Russian Opposition Leader Sues Putin for Conflict of Interest

    Alexei Navalny tells VOA in exclusive interview why transfer of $2 billion from country’s wealth fund to company with ties to President Putin’s son-in-law triggered lawsuit

    How Diversity Has Changed America

    Over the past four decades, the level of diversity in the United States has increased most in these four states

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Robert Click from: Muskogee ok
    February 02, 2014 12:25 PM
    I had to move from Cali to find a job in Oklahoma no regrets. I work for mcdonalds part time with retirement I got to tell you sometimes it's no party however some Americans who have had it good with bucks do not have any comprehension of what a life has been at the end of the trough many of us have had to struggle many years to keep our heads above water their is no pie in the sky no magical 401k but there is reality. We as a people need to be flexible at all times when it comes to change, of course I'm talking about 5 figures below in income without a strong spiritual connection with god I wouldn't feel at all good today. No corporate lies or deception needed finally as always gratefully yours -ROB-

    by: enrique from: usa
    February 01, 2014 12:00 AM
    I love how the ceo's pledge to give more jobs to the unemployed when at the same time they are the ones that are being taxed the most for being rich.
    In Response

    by: JohnnyO from: Colorado
    February 02, 2014 3:13 AM
    @enrique...by your comment, I will assume you are rich and have a taxation issue.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Filli
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 11, 2016 8:01 PM
    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video US Co-ed Selective Service Plan Stirs Controversy

    Young women may soon be required to register with the U.S. Selective Service System, the U.S. government agency charged with implementing a draft in a national emergency. Top Army and Marine Corps commanders told the Senate Armed Services Committee recently that women should register, and a bill has been introduced in Congress requiring eligible women to sign up for the military draft. The issue is stirring some controversy, as VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Lessons Learned From Ebola Might Help Fight Zika

    Now that the Ebola epidemic has ended in West Africa, Zika has the world's focus. And, as Carol Pearson reports, health experts and governments are applying some of the lessons learned during the Ebola crisis in Africa to fight the Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Illinois Voters Have Mixed Emotions on Obama’s Return to Springfield

    On the ninth anniversary of the launch of his quest for national office, President Barack Obama returned to Springfield, Illinois, to speak to the Illinois General Assembly, where he once served as state senator. His visit was met with mixed emotions by those with a front-row seat on his journey to the White House. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Heated Immigration Debate Limits Britain’s Refugee Response

    Compared to many other European states, Britain has agreed to accept a relatively small number of Syrian refugees. Just over a thousand have arrived so far -- and some are being resettled in remote corners of the country. Henry Ridgwell reports on why Britain’s response has lagged behind its neighbors.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.