Obama asks CEOs for help

President hopes companies will reach out to the long-term jobless
Associated Press
Jan 31, 2014


Confronting an economic recovery slowed by persistent joblessness, President Barack Obama on Friday won commitments from almost 300 companies to reach out to the almost 4 million Americans who have been jobless for half a year or more.

"It's a cruel Catch-22," Obama said at a White House event with CEOs, job training groups and and advocates for the unemployed. "The longer you're unemployed, the more unemployable you may seem."

Obama called that "an illusion" because, he said, such workers are often better qualified and better educated than workers who just recently lost their jobs.

Obama also signed a presidential memo directing the federal government not to discriminate against those long-term unemployed workers in its own hiring practices.

The event and the memo illustrate the types of targeted, non-legislative measures Obama promised to undertake to expand economic opportunity during his State of the Union address earlier this week. Obama has declared 2014 a year of action for his administration, but his chances of winning legislative victories are slim in in an election year and with a divided Congress.

He renewed his call for Congress to reinstate jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed, noting that it is a way to keep workers financially afloat while they pursue jobs. The benefits ran out at the end of December. Lawmakers have been debating how to pay for the cost of the benefit and for how long to make it apply.

Among the CEOs at the White House Friday were top executives from eBay, Morgan Stanley, Boeing, Marriott International and McDonalds.

Although the overall national unemployment rate has declined to 6.7 percent, long-term joblessness in the U.S. remains a major problem. The concern is that the longer someone is out of a job, the harder it gets to find a new one. Companies are less likely to hire people who haven't used their skills in months or wonder why another employer hasn't already snatched them up.

"Just because you've been out -- been out of work for a while does not mean that you are not a hard worker," Obama said. "Just means you had bad luck or you were in the wrong industry or you lived in a region of the country that's catching up a little slower than others in the recovery."

With that concern in mind, the Obama administration has been working for months to exact commitments from companies to ensure their hiring practices don't discriminate against long-term job-seekers.

That includes doing away with candidate-screening methods that disqualify applicants based on their current employment status. It also means ensuring that job ads don't discourage unemployed workers from applying.

The White House couldn't say how many unemployed Americans might benefit from the initiative but expected the effects to snowball.

"We consider this not the destination, but the launch," said Gene Sperling, who heads the White House's National Economic Council. "Our hope is that as people see the meeting with the president, the pledge, that more will come work with us."

Among the companies taking part: Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. and 21st Century Fox. Sperling said he emailed the conservative business mogul about the initiative, and Murdoch personally wrote back to say he supported it.

The Obama administration will direct $150 million in grants toward partnership programs that retrain, mentor and place unemployed workers.



The same Obama that chastised CEO's for using private jets and tried to set their salaries??? What a hypocrit BHO is!!!


dont be so hateful let him really have it will yea
and they also didnt build it.
but he will do everything to destroy them


BHO didn't build it either, and if it had been up to him, it never would have gotten built because he didn't have the desire or the know-how.

The Big Dog's back

He never claimed to have "built" it.


but he has claimed that the OWNER did not BUILD it
just another LIE this POS has feed to the useless zombies that worship him

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

I was reading this article with honest curiosity and a smidgen of hope. It seemed too good to be true. Then the last paragraph explained it all.

How disappointing. Especially because the jobs these grants are buying will only last as long as the "free money" flows. For any of you who want to eat the rich or think the 1% are bad, our President has opened the doors to a buffet of "inequality".

Oh to peek in his (and Congress members') retirement portfolio to see the Venn diagram within.

EDIT: Yaknow, in thinking more on it what if he uses this as a way to leverage these companies into paying a higher minimum wage since they accepted his gift of millions of dollars. Is it a stretch for me to think it wouldn't be a stretch for him to call out these same companies months from now saying, "Under executive order, since these companies entered into a contract with the government to receive these grants, I am exercising executive control over their wages to demand what I think their employees should make."


The Big Dog's back

If you wouldn't spend so much time reading and watching fiction (false news), you might learn something. And for the love of God, don't tell me you don't watch fox.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

I will tell you before whichever God you worship that I don't watch Fox nor regular TV. Not even for the news or entertainment. Why is this so hard to comprehend? Because I don't fit conveniently into a stereotype? That I can't make my own opinions, do my own research, or I just have to be a supplicant to some kind of central mastermind?

So, Professor Dog, tell me what I need to learn in relation to this article? I am waiting for you to give me a Dog-approved nonfiction reference so we may discuss history among other topics.


Re: "stereotype,"

They view the political world in monochrome and can only mentally juggle two concepts at any one time.

This of course can potentially lead to some very bizarre and erroneous conclusions.

BTW: I've voted Libertarian since 1992 & became anti-govt. during the Nixon admin. - LONG before Fox, Limbaugh and others.

Yet to those bozos, THAT'S where I get my 'marching orders.' lol

The Big Dog's back

Ok sappy, where do you get your present day news?

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

I will again repeat where I get the majority of my news because I don't watch traditional TV: Sandusky Register, Huffington Post (which has an odd tendency to link to Fox stories/videos often as well as lists them as an official news source at the bottom of their page).

If you really want to nitpick every possible other source I glance at for present-day news: I see what's on the front page of my AOL login (which is really a portal to HP nine out of ten times). I hear a lot about what's going on from my customers who enjoy discussing current cultural, tech, hobby, and geek trends. I listen to both WTAM and WJR for some of their shows which include news blurbs between breaks. I also go to some industry pages for regulatory and culture-mirroring news that would be irrelevant to you because I presume you don't own a game/comic store nor partake in any meaningful way of the lifestyles and interests that support my community.

If I am incorrect then please let's sit down and discuss how my hobbies I endorse are a reflection of our culture. Maybe we can start with the new Ms. Marvel being a Muslim teen? Here's a Fox-sanitized-Dog-friendly article from NPR:


Or, how about how the new Green Lantern is Muslim? In fact here's a two-fer since in the same non-Fox article they discuss how DC declared the first Green Lantern to have been gay.


How about the new Ultimate Spider-Man being a half-black, half-Hispanic (Puerto Rican) boy?


Maybe we can talk about the immense strategy behind the current Yu-Gi-Oh meta that draws hundred of diverse people from all around into regular regional qualifiers? Or perhaps you'd like to discuss further the various world cultures that have inspired beautiful artwork and storytelling in Magic: the Gathering? I have an official print of the original painting of this card framed and hanging up in the store:


So there ya go. A pretty pitiful selection huh? I'm a real Fox-fiend/shut-in who wastes all the time freed up that could be spent scratching my butt and watching non-Fox-TV on my couch. But if you were to "catch" me with anything related to Fox (movies aside or things like the Super Bowl being broadcast on that nefarious baby-killing propaganda machine that would make a Captain Planet villain grin) it is that on the occasion I listen to WTAM I do hear Cleveland/"local" news blurbs through Fox as that is their direct affiliate despite them also referencing Channel 19 WOIO (a CBS carrier) frequently. WJR is an ABC affiliate, by the by.

There ya go. No secret here. No conspiracy nor blind "dittos". The one constantly-political show I will go out of my way to listen to as often as possible is hosted by an intelligent and entertaining constitutional lawyer who YOU may even like because he calls out Republicans and Fox on a frequent basis for the same things he would rake a Democrat.

Additionally he cites the sources he uses for his commentary (I on occasion visit them when I either disagree with him or want to look more into a topic) and he makes every one of his shows free to download and listen to so that you don't have to pay to get (in my opinion) an honorary degree in philosophy, history, and law. The cherry on top is that he likes dogs very much and works with rescue shelters to find them homes. What a heartless man.

The Big Dog's back

sappy, I'm not talking about a day or 2 later, because that's what those sources you provided do. You have to see or hear something that happened today somewhere. I don't know why you are ashamed to admit your news source.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

BREAKING NEWS! "Today when I had lunch at BK it took them more than five minutes to make a fresh Tendercrisp sandwich," eyewitness Matt Morgan provided. Morgan went on to further describe the situation as, "understandable given the hour, it was still tasty and I don't begrudge the people who work there." He added, "I patronize those places because several members of my store community work there and in other places like this and I like to both visit them and patronize their employers to help them stay in business."

THIS JUST IN! Local business owner Matt Morgan today is expecting nearly fifty people to come to his store to play in tournaments and purchase product. His customers will be drawn from the local community as well as Mansfield, Norwalk, and out by Toledo and Cleveland. These people will go on to patronize the Subway in downtown Sandusky as well as Mona Pizza, Mr. Smith's, Cabana Jacks, and go on food runs elsewhere. Local gas stations are expected to fill several tanks from the out-of-towners according to what Mr. Morgan reported hearing from his customers. The businessman went on to answer any questions visitors had about the city in a positive way and thanked them for coming to Sandusky to play and spend their money in Erie County's sales tax district.

EXTRA EXTRA, READ ALL ABOUT IT! Local commentator in the Sandusky Register online stories seemingly watches so much Fox News every single day that he is qualified to tell area residents that they are in denial about their claims to not watch it. "Big Dog", as he is known, cites no resources, evidence, Fox-written stories, nor proof and simultaneously denounces the very news source to which he must obviously watch non-stop to wage such allegations with a semblance of credibility. When reached out to for comment, he simply replied, "Bullspit. There is no other way any CONservative can fall in line with the teathuglican leaders that tell them what to think, say, and do every day." Repeated attempts to ask him which history books he reads, factual topics he wishes to discuss, or where he gets his live, instantaneously-transmitted news so far have yielded zero responses.



Re: "His customers will be drawn from the local community as well as Mansfield, Norwalk, and out by Toledo and Cleveland."

Impressive! Nice reach.


I assume Big Dog gets his Facts from internet Meme's and FB blogs so they are hard to post and link here on SR.

The Big Dog's back

OK, just as I figured, dodge the question.


Re: "dodge the question."

Only 'cause dogs can't read. :)

And this from one who NEVER answers a direct question.



Here's my daily morning skims & reads:







(Subscribed to the WSJ beginning back in the early 90's, LONG before News Corp bought 'em)



Like concrete, dog breath's mind is all mixed up and permanently set.

Professor Playdoh's picture
Professor Playdoh

"Obama called that "an illusion" because, he said, such workers are often better qualified and better educated than workers who just recently lost their jobs."
Is this the stupidest thing he's said yet? So,if I understand this right.. Not knowing anything about someone other than he is layed off in June and someone else is layed off in November the guy layed off in June is often smarter or better than the guy that got layed off in Nov.. God help us.

Darwin's choice

Don't you just love the " well, it's not my money" look he's giving to mimi and the rest of the obamadems....!

This is great, from a group of "Community Organizers" in Chicago on tuesday evening.....

Seems obama has lost his own.....


Small business struggles because of Obamacare, a lack of financial support from the banks that stole billions from Americans, and the export of jobs overseas due to slanted trade agreements that starve American ingenuity.

The cure, more visas for foreigners so they can work for squat wages while talented (and highly productive) American workers sit on welfare or unemployment.

There's only one thing more pitiful than the greedy magots that run this country and that's the constituency that keeps putting them in office year after year after year after year . . . .


I want to put a +1 here because I agree with everything you've said. Unfortunately, I can't. You may be right, but it's small comfort knowing that when the impact of these awful policies has been so very negative. What's worse? I suspect things are going to get even worse before they get any better! And worst of all, the greedy, naive, and idiotic contingent that represents the constituency of which you speak remains as ignorant as ever despite all of the evidence to the contrary.

The Big Dog's back

Small businesses have been struggling for 30 years, long before Obamacare. With Obamacare, once everything is in place, will put less of a burden on small businesses.


Re: "put less of a burden on small businesses."


Because many will cancel their group health plans, give their employees some dollars and send 'em to the increasingly expensive and failing plans on the health exchanges.

There you go again

You are a hypocrite, Obama. You have made this mess and now you ask for favors to help you. You have declard war on Americans and now you are losing.

The Big Dog's back

If you believe Obama was President when the Great Recession happened in 2007-2008, you are a right wingnut.

There you go again

Oh, excuse me, Anger Management student, the Obama mess I am referring to includes (but not limited to) increase in deficit, incredible increase in food stamp recipientshere enormous amount of workers dropping out of the workforce, the unanswered IRS scandal, the unanswered AP scandal, the unanswered Benghazi debacle, and Fast n Furious scandal.


From a recent USA Today:

"Greedy bankers and their ilk are bit players. They are just the ones best able to exploit the true drivers of inequality: the rapid advance of technology, which is replacing all manner of jobs with machines, and globalization, which depresses wages."


The economic trend may be for a permanent subsidized underclass composed primarily of un-skilled and low-skilled Americans who are forced to compete with their global counterparts.


Meh. Let the usual naysayers rant on. Meanwhile, what Obama proposed is actually happening. As the article stated, nearly 200 CEOs have stepped up to the plate.

Some, of course, will oppose Obama on everything, even when it hurts themselves. It is obvious that income inequality is a huge problem in America, and affects everyone except the 1%. Yet those who have posted above, apparently are rooting for the CEOs, while their own wages stagnate.

If that sounds stupid, it's because it is. Fox is amazingly adept at getting people to believe all sorts of things that are a contradiction to easily observable events.

For some reason, instead of being pleased that 200 CEOs have agreed to share the wealth, those who have posted above are unhappy. And...they are are curiously silent with the news yesterday that Macy's CEO celebrated a highly profitable holiday season by laying off 250 workers. This so-called "job creator" has instead chosen to add 250 to the food stamp roster.

I encourage Americans to ignore the naysayers, and applaud Obama for doing the same. They have chosen to not be a part of the solution.

The Big Dog's back

Absolutely correct coasterfan. Some of the CEO's could get everything they wanted and still not be happy.


Yep. To be a Republican is to say "I want CEOs to own 8 yachts, instead of 7, and 5 summer homes, instead of 4. I want our money redistributed to billionaires, so that the rest of us can work 40 hours a week, and still not have enough to send our kids to college, buy a home, and prepare for our own retirement. If we don't take care of our billionaires, who will? They need tax breaks, I tell you!"

The best line I heard lately: There are only 2 good reasons to vote Republican: either you're rich and heartless, or poor and brainless.

That joke would be a lot funnier, if it weren't true...

The Big Dog's back

ROFLMAO! So true.


To be a democrat means you scream about income equality out of one side of your mouth while supporting a admin who's policies have created the greatest income inequality in the last 80 years.
Look another 85 billion just went to wall street but lets ignore that because the president is democrat.


Re: "the president is democrat."

Also remember that he grew up 'oppressed.'

He was forced to attend a college prep school in Hawaii and then eventually went on to Harvard, probably as a foreign exchange student on the taxpayers' dime.


Re: As the article stated, nearly 200 CEOs have stepped up to the plate."

Continue to pay close attention to the meaningless political Kabuki theater in DC.

"Beware lest you lose the substance by grasping at the shadow."

- Æsop

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

I'll carve an exception for myself as an "abover" as what these CEOs did seems rather disingenuous when the "weath they want to spread" comes from government grants, i.e., YOUR "wealth" our government confiscated from you and the President is spreading to THEM (I feel dirty uttering this tired trope...the "1%") to either do something they were going to do anyway or to artificially employ a small number of people for a very high price tag...

...that will be fired as soon as those grants go away.

As for remaining silent on Macy's? I didn't hear about it and also, so what? Who are you to determine if a company is allowed to make a profit, and if you give them permission, how much it should be? You have no idea what they will put that money towards. Charity? Capital improvements? Taxes paid on profitable income? Expansion of locations or lines? Investment into other companies? Seeking entrepreneurial manufacturers to carry their lines as unique? Additional hiring/wages/benefits? Or maybe they'll wisely sit on it and grow it because of how absolutely unstable Congress is making everyone pucker up because who knows what the rules will be a month from now?

As for the laying off, did they lay off seasonal employees? You know, people who knew it was only going to be for a few months? If not, is a company obligated to retain every single person they hire for one busy part of the year when in other parts they are losing money? That's what I'm picking up from you. You need to write Cedar Point and DEMAND they remain fully-staffed all year long because otherwise it is unfair. Is the choice: everyone is employed or nobody is employed? Because if Macy's had to close stores that would put more people the same roster you mention.

So please, applaud our President's disbursement of millions of dollars to people who don't need it to do something that at best that is temporary and will hardly generate the tax revenue or "savings" from reducing dependency on safety net programs that was put in to make these jobs.

But I guess all his jobs and hiring responsibilities from his decades of time and service spent in private business have given him the guidance and wisdom to know how to make meaningful business decisions, yes? I bet he has personally hired and fired thousands of people for the private firms he ran, wasn't he the VP of Human Resources for some place? Or did he work in the Accounting department somewhere as a CFO? I forget just where he has garnered all this business education and acumen he dispenses with [our] "grant" money.

Sarcasm aside he is a sheep among wolves in that room of CEOs and the fact that he and you buy the smiles and "stepping up" corporatists is upsetting. I bet 0% of them personally or through their companies donated to his presidency, his party, "need" that grant money, or are reflected in his retirement accounts. The only thing that could be more sterile in that meeting is a eunuch brain surgeon preparing to operate, eh?

Come on coasterfan, I appreciate your optimism but a dose of reality needs to be injected here. My laments, sarcasm, and cautions here and above were shared because I actually care about both where/how our tax money is spent and because I want to see people actually be successful with their lives and not jerked around by false promises, vaporfunds, and fleeting charisma.

Darwin's choice

Still want to critic my comments about the two bj buddies here, hero?

All the posts these two have commented on today are full of B.S.,lies, and blatant stupidity, to justify their unwavering love for all things obama. And, to cause other readers to comment. Paid trolls, who love the thought of being the next in line to bump their heads under obama's desk.

If obama is the answer, just how stupid was the question?

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

I don't critique your general sentiment about them, just that I wish you would publicly do it in a way that doesn't call them "bj buddies" with all the other innuendo. Ultimately it is your moniker and account to do with as you please within moderation guidelines, but I said what I said to be fair since when Big Dog calls people ridiculous names it sets his points back, too. I'll even throw myself under the review bus and say that I think I let my sarcasm out too much.

Personally I'd have less of a "problem" with them if it wasn't for the insistent superiority of the Democrat master race and dictatorial tendencies to a one-party system. I'm hardly retaining my maidenhead for the Republicans, but sheesh, I see far less flag-waving/talking-point regurgitation under the overt R banner than D.


Misprint above. The Macy's CEO is laying off 2500 people, not 250. This is how a typical Republican "job creator" celebrates a highly profitable holiday season.


Re: "highly profitable holiday season,"

Sales were down for many retailers.

Watch Bloomberg instead of the Comedy Channel.

The Big Dog's back

Not for Macy's mr. deflector.


Re: "Not for Macy's"

So they should keep unprofitable stores open dog breath?

Besides, they're hiring for positions in on-line sales.


Coaster fan are you illiterate? "200 ceo's agreed to share the wealth". They better share it because the 150 million dollars they're receiving is our the taxpayers money. Obama is giving them our money and allowing them to redistribute it, these ceo's or Obama ain't doing nothing for no one. Obama doesn't know what to do except point the finger and blame it on someone else. After all these years you haven't realized he doesn't know how to solve problems just create them. Bad sign when your own ppl are turning on you.

The Big Dog's back

If you righties would have "turned" and questioned bush, we wouldn't be where we were at in 2009 when he left office.


THANK you Big Dog!


If you leftys would have questioned Clinton when he pushed housing and sub prime loans we would not have reached the point in 2009 either. You must have loved Bush as all of his policies remain.

There you go again

But wait, Mr. Anger Management Dude, Obama knew perfectly well what he was stepping in to when he campaigned for president and spewed BS. It was Obama who said he would fix everything. It was Obama who promised to fix the economy..... Instead we Americans got "Blame Bush, Blame Bush!"


1. The jobless rate has dropped and more people are going back to work than are loosing their jobs. 2. The "Affordable Care Act" has nothing to do with costing businesses so much more that they can't hire new workers. They can keep profits by dropping people's hours to less than 30 so they won't have to pay for health care. I know my employer did this to me! 3. Businesses have learned they can do the same jobs with less employee's and make more profits than before. 4. Businesses can make as much if not more profit by not hiring new employee's so they why should they.
I also believe that politicians should give up any raises they are due to get for he next few years. My husband hasn't had one in 5 years and he is a government worker, but everything else he's pays out of pocket has gone up.
I get the hire someone that's been out of work longer than someone that's been out of work for a shorter time. Chances are they lost their job during the recession when people were loosing jobs hand over fist. Those people are also probably on as much assistance as they can get which is costing the government money.
At least Obama is trying, he's asking businesses to help out, take a step toward bringing more jobs to people, then people with jobs can spend money. The vicious circle would not be so bad. Jobs=income. Income=spending. Spending= business earning increases. Earnings=more jobs. Kind of makes sense to me.


Sand- you are ignorant to the facts. Start your business and you will find out for yourself how odummer has/is strangling small business.

Always easy for you non-business owners to spout off about this subject.

Darwin's choice

Union supported aren't you?

Don't answer......we know.

Dr. Information

Obuma just gets more comical as the days pass along. Mr. anti big business now wants CEO's to hire people for political gain and votes. Is this really a dream or is this really happening.

Dr. Information

Funny how for years the Dems fought and fought hard against the Keystone Pipeline. Now they say "Its time to build". Republicans knew all along that it was safe, was going to have no environmental impact and would secure our country and our energy. Why the change of heart now Dems? Please explain.

thinkagain's picture

Let’s face it, Obama ain’t no Reagan! Obama's failed stimulus that for each job paying $40k created by the Government, cost the taxpayers about $300k. Now Obama is begging CEO’s to help him with his failed policies at the tune of 150 million for starters.

Increased regulation, excessive taxation, a ballooning government debt and an increase of those dependent on government handouts is his only legacy.

Steve P

So he is asking the evil top 1% for help?