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

    Syrian Rebel Realignment Likely as al-Qaida Leader Blesses Split

    Jihadist group Jabhat al-Nusra splits from al-Qaida in what observers dub a ‘deception and denial’ exercise

    New India Child Labor Law Could Make Children More Vulnerable

    Concerns that allowing children to work in family enterprises will push more to work

    What Take-out Food Reveals About American History

    From fast-food restaurants to pizza delivery, the history of take-out food explains a lot about the changes taking place in society

    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.
    Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Busi
    X
    July 28, 2016 4:16 AM
    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Philadelphia Uses DNC Spotlight to Profile Historic Role in Founding of United States

    The slogan of the Democratic National Convention now underway in Philadelphia is “Let’s Make History Again” which recognizes the role the city played in the foundation of the United States in the 18th century. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, local institutions are opening their doors in an effort to capitalize on the convention spotlight to draw visitors, and to offer more than just a history lesson.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora