On Veterans Day, we recognized the service and sacrifice of our nation’s veterans. Ensuring our nation’s veterans get the opportunities they have earned is a top priority for President Obama, as well as for government agencies like the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Forest Service, and the Department of Transportation. President Obama’s announcement of executive actions to help middle class families in this difficult economy included new initiatives to get Veterans back to work.
Leading veteran services organizations joined President Obama last week to announce their support for the Returning Heroes and Wounded Warrior Tax Credits, two provisions in the American Jobs Act. The President also announced a series of executive actions that will provide new resources for veterans and help them translate military experience to the private sector job market: These initiatives include a Veterans Gold Card through the Department of Labor, which will provide the intensive and follow-up services veterans need to succeed in today’s job market, and the creation of a veterans job bank designed to put veterans in contact with companies that need their skills and are eager to hire them.
The President continued to take executive actions this week because we can’t wait for Congress to act. In addition to the actions for veterans, he signed an Executive Order to cut waste and promote efficient spending and announced new Head Start reforms that will strengthen the program and provide better education for our children.
Last Wednesday, The White House hosted more than 150 civic, academic, social, state and local leaders for the African-American Policy in Action Leadership Conference. President Barack Obama addressed the participants, acknowledging that black Americans have faced “enormous challenges” with unemployment, and appealed for their support in pursuing solutions that he can implement without help from Congress. President Obama went on to describe ways his Administration is working to address challenges facing the African American community.
We Can’t Wait to Invest in Our Infrastructure
November 4, 2011
John Robert Smith says we can’t wait to invest in our nation’s infrastructure. Smith, the former Republican Mayor of Meridian, Mississippi, and president of a coalition called Reconnecting America, believes that easy access to transportation is critical because it connects people to their communities and to resources like jobs, health care, education, and more. Plus, well-planned infrastructure links towns and cities with others, creating a vibrant network of connected communities.
Dr. Jill Biden Addresses the 2011 PFLAG National Convention
November 4, 2011
Dr. Jill Biden delivered a passionate and powerful address at the Opening Ceremony of the 2011 National Convention of Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) last week. As an educator and parent, Dr. Biden knows firsthand the importance of family support in providing a safe school and community, and understands the challenges that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender young people face. Along with the President, Vice President, and First Lady, Dr. Biden has been a part of a team that has made safety and security for LGBT people a priority.
Read Dr. Biden’s full remarks as prepared and watch “It Gets Better” messages from the President, Vice President, and other members of the Administration
Progress at the G-20
November 4, 2011
World leaders gathered last week in France to discuss the global economy and necessary action for recovery from the recession. The debt crisis in Europe has put stress on the continent’s banking system, and countries like Greece and Italy are struggling to restore fiscal order. To counter these threats, the G20 leaders in France pledged to coordinate actions and policies to reinvigorate the global economy through job creation. The United States pledged to deliver a timely implementation of a package of near-term measures to sustain the recovery, through public investments, tax reforms, and targeted jobs measures, consistent with a credible plan for medium-term fiscal consolidation.
Vice President Biden Talks College Affordability in Pennsylvania
November 4, 2011
On Friday November 4th, Vice President Biden spoke to a group of students at the University of Pittsburgh and focused on the President’s initiative to cap student loan payments. Last year, following a recommendation from the Middle Class Task Force, the President proposed, and Congress enacted, a plan to lower payments even further starting in 2014, but many students can’t wait until 2014 for relief. In an executive action announced last week, federal loan payments will be capped at 10% of discretionary income and the forgiveness timeline will be shortened to 20 years starting next year. You can learn more about our plan to help students here.
By the Numbers: 500,000
November 7, 2011
President Obama believes that no veteran should have to fight for a job after fighting for our nation overseas. That’s why he’s introduced a host of new tools to help connect veterans to jobs in the civilian workforce, including the Veterans Job Bank, which has more than 500,000 job listings from private sector employers looking to hire vets.
By the Numbers: $3.5 Billion
By the Numbers: $500 Million
White House Champions of Change Program
The Champions of Change series is designed for people to look into their communities and nominate everyday heroes who are demonstrating commitment to improving their own communities, their country, or their fellow citizens. That is why we are looking for you to nominate someone who is doing extraordinary things to make a difference in your community as a “Champion of Change.”
In honor of Veterans Day, the White House recognized six individuals as Champions of Change who are committed to helping veterans and military families. These individuals represent organizations and businesses who are working to improve the lives of veterans and military families by providing vital services or jobs to veterans. Watch the video from the Champions of Change discussion with White House and Joining Forces officials which focused on how these individuals were able to provide such critical services and jobs to our veterans and military veterans. Take a moment to learn more about Champions of Change or nominate Champion in your own community.
Get involved in the Holiday Mail for Heroes program, run by the American Red Cross and Pitney Bowes. This program, now in its fifth year, encourages all of us to send a holiday card to a service member this season. Making a card is a simple act of kindness that means the world to our soldiers and their families. Check out more information about how to get involved.
For more information about ways to get involved now, check out the Office of Public Engagement’s blog, which is updated daily with upcoming engagement opportunities. Take some time browse our Engage webpage, or email Public@who.eop.gov for more information. Also check out Serve.gov for opportunities to personalize your long-term service.
For the latest updates, follow Jon Carson, the Director of the Office of Public Engagement on Twitter: JonCarson44.
For more information, visit the White House Office of Public Engagement website and blog and sign up for additional opportunities. We welcome your thoughts and feedback at email@example.com