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

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy More

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.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid