Obama: Students need help to get 'in-demand jobs'

Grants will come from fees companies pay for visas to hire foreign workers for specialized jobs
Associated Press
Apr 8, 2014


President Barack Obama on Monday announced more than $100 million in grants for two dozen schools across the country that are helping students gain work experience for what he called the "in-demand jobs of the future."

The money, which comes from fees that companies pay for visas to hire foreign workers for specialized jobs, is the result of an executive order Obama signed last year to better prepare high school students for college or for careers. Students are working on "cooler stuff than when I was in high school," Obama said as he announced the grants before cheering high school students in Washington's Maryland suburbs.

A total of 24 schools are being awarded the money after a nationwide competition, including the Los Angeles Unified School District, the New York City Department of Education and districts in Denver, Indianapolis and Clinton, S.C. Obama explained it will allow schools to "develop and test new curricula and models for success. We want to invest in your future," he said.

Obama announced the grants at Bladensburg High School, one of three high schools in Washington's Maryland suburbs that have created a Youth CareerConnect Program that is the recipient of $7 million under the announcement. Students at Bladensburg work on real-world projects with community partners to get ready for college admission or careers. The grant at the school, where more than 70 percent of students are low-income, will expand the Health & Biosciences Academy to prepare more students for careers in the region's fast-growing healthcare field.

Obama visited a 10th grade microbiology class, where he asked the students in lab goggles huddled over microscopes what careers they are interested in. "You on the CSI thing, forensics huh?" the president said to one student.

In another effort to make education more accessible, Vice President Joe Biden announced that the Education and Labor departments will run a program to facilitate community college students getting academic credit for apprenticeships in business and industry, in line with the federal job-training revamp that Biden has been charged with leading. Colleges will agree to provide credit for apprenticeships that are certified by an independent group, enabling students to finish their degrees quicker.

Obama also planned to take action Tuesday to use the federal government's vast array of contractors to impose rules on wages, pay disparities and hiring on a segment of the private sector that gets taxpayer money and falls under his control. He was scheduled to issue an order prohibiting federal contractors from retaliating against workers who discuss their pay and direct the Labor Department to issue new rules requiring federal contractors to provide compensation data that includes a breakdown by race and gender.

The steps, which Obama plans to take at a White House event, take aim at pay disparities between men and women. The Senate this week is scheduled to take up gender pay equity legislation that would affect all employers, but the White House-backed bill doesn't have enough Republican support to overcome procedural obstacles and will likely fail.

The executive actions are designed to let workers discuss and compare their wages openly if they wish to do so and to provide the government with better data about how federal contractors compensate their workers.




Re: "Students are working on 'cooler stuff than when I was in high school,' Obama said"

Wassa matter, being a stoned out member of the Choom Gang wasn't "cooler" enough for the Stoner in Chief?

"I’d arrived at an unspoken pact with my grandparents: I could live with them and they'd leave me alone so long as I kept my trouble out of sight."



Why didn't you mention G.W.Bush's substance abuse issues ,or Clinton's infidelities ? If you're going to throw one president under the bus , why not all ? Besides , most who comment on here think getting high is alright .


Re: "Why didn't you mention G.W.Bush's substance abuse issues ,or Clinton's infidelities ?"

Because they're off-topic?

Heck, Pres. Grover Cleveland had a child out of wedlock! SHOCK!!! :)


Bluto, he HATES all things related to President Obama.


Re: "in-demand jobs of the future."

Only an egotistical, arrogant central planner would claim to know what the "in-demand jobs of the future" are going to be.

Darwin's choice

That would be Obama.....!

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

It's amazing that 0% of the people who get work visas overstay them and need tracked down as is his job as President. Not to hand that money out to pet projects that are not a part of his duties to oversee. That and the money he us putting into his "My Brother's Keeper" program which discriminates against non-blacks/Hispanics including all women of any racial identity. That's $20 million there. I guess we just have so much money and all our problems are solved that we can take money from local districts that don't need it (apparently?) and funnel it into the hand - picked ones of the President's choosing?

Can these schools even sustain this program after these grants run out or will it put them in a situation like Sandusky faces with their firefighters? Guess Sandusky City/Erie County/Ohio don't get to keep the money I presume Cedar Point and others pay because our distant government thinks it is better used to not service immigrants/visa holders (or violators) but to a prototype in New York or L.A.

It must be good to be the King.


Isn't this program (Brother's Keeper) meant to address a specific problem ? One which mostly affects today's young African American males and others of color . To teach personal responsibility , and how to get their lives on track . Isn't that what many White's have argued needs to be done within the Black community ? If it teaches them to be less of a burden on society then how is it bad ?

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

What is being done is not the same to how it is being done. Intentions don't translate directly to results. If this was a purely private charity such as the UNCF I wouldn't mind it. But I do mind a Federal program that tells poor and/or crime-prone women, Native Americans, those of Asian or a Pacific Islander decent, whites, etc. that their kids or problems aren't as important as these two groups and of them only males.

If the President wants to relive and make amends for his own childhood being an at risk black male with little access to "cool CSI tech" he can happily do so without Federal dollars. I would have no problems at all and would actually encourage him to use his personal reputation to solicit private investment.


Yet there are Conservatives that use their positions as PAID Federal employees to promote their religious beliefs onto others . You can use that argument for many pet projects a politician has . Besides , much of the money going into this program (Brother's Keeper) looks to be coming from private foundations and businesses.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

You are absolutely correct Bluto, disgusting isn't it how they have subtly "standardized" it. So what will you and I do about it?


I don't like earmarked projects anymore then the next guy , but unfortunately that seems to be the only way anything really gets done in the political arena . It is a very old school way of running government , but at least it got ran , unlike the way today's filibuster happy politicians like to work , and I use the term work loosely . ; )

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Unless we demand better, it will never change. Are we going to make excuses for this behavior? We both agree it is unwanted. Or are we going to be enablers and be content to passive-aggressively grumble?


Perhaps there should be a "Brother's Keeper" kind of program aimed at keeping politicians on the straight and narrow ? Aaaah , but that would be like jumping on the band wagon , wouldn't it ? It may just take time to weed out the trouble makers in politics , but more then likely there will always be that kind of problem . We (the people) will just have to keep up the good fight I guess , and remain ever vigilant , VOTE , our greatest weapon for Democracy .

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

The Constitution is just such a program, especially if it's amendment process is understood. Do you know the single greatest thing we could do that will ripple across the Congress, it's myriad bureaucracies, and the budget itself? What will decimate pet projects and pork?

Congressional term limits. The amendment is about two sentences long and a fifth grader can comprehend it.


Re: "Congressional term limits."

Problem: In many surveys I've read, most constituents LOVE their Rep or Senator; it's those other bums that gotta go!

Hell, they can’t even agree on military base closings or canceling arms production funding.

Your district! No, your district! Your state! No, your state!

I'll just wait for the next financial crisis, while planning for the worst and hoping for the best.

IMO, ‘nothing’ is gonna change unless forced upon us as a nation.

Collapse of the petrodollar? Should be interesting when the U.S. can no longer print it's way out of debt as the world's reserve currency.



Wow is it me or Are you guys just a bunch of negative peace breakers anything positive this Man tries to do you can always find something negative in it. This is towards educating our youth here at home the good ole U S of A dang lets give our youth some support peak their interest it not about him its about them.

Stop It

It IS about Him when he thinks he has money that magically appears from thin air.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Doll, who is "our" youth? I don't see where Sandusky or the area is receiving anything from this. From where was this money taken and is the purpose described here its original? Doesn't it seem odd that a fee paid to hire foreigners would have been levied to hand pick an extremely small amount of schools at the President's discretion?

There is information missing from this article, but even without it does this not raise any flags at all over the way he is trying to alter any and everything he feels is within his grasp?

Who does this?


The way I read the article the money is going to the school districts , so 24 districts is not just 24 specific schools . Also , it looks like these districts were chosen through some kind of national competition , not just hand picked .

Stop It

"...it looks like these districts were chosen through some kind of national competition..."

I must have missed that on the news-feed of any type. Can you extrapolate on this?

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Wouldn't you like to know the rules of the competition? In which other ways does the Federal government withold money from States or cities unless they comply with D.C.'s demands? Of course that compliance is then touted in government reports to encourage more.

There are still questions about the money raised and if this is the best and most equitable use of it? Especially because making up grants to give money away isn't as important as executing our laws, protecting our borders, and interfacing with other world leaders.


Knowing the rules would have been nice , but obviously it wasn't news worthy enough at the time to make it onto the national radar of most publications . As far as how and if the money is being used equitably , We would probably have to go to each state to get those answers . Even though this is federal money , I think the states individually have at least most of the say to how that is to be distributed and what their required standards will be .

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

See Bluto that's the thing. Was it not news worthy? If so, was it because the reporter failed to ask, willfully didn't ask, or because (as unfortunately this President is wont to do), never provides the opportunity to ask questions. Harkening back to the discussion about being lucky to have a paper like the Register that actually asks questions, yes I am both glad and anxious for that!

It's refreshing to see. Not because I want to hang out public officials to dry out of some grudge. Heck, I could very well be living in some kind of fear as they being in the shadow of the "Eye of Sauron" ("Eye of Westerhold"? Haha!) atop the Register. I get police coming by my store when it relates to kids who have run away or may be delinquent. Presuming such things are police reports if they really wanted to somehow cast me as a bad guy they could print:

"Local comic store last known location for teen" and somehow drag me into a kid who did something dumb that has no relation to me or what I do. But they don't because I don't abed runaways and generally (staff can correct me if I'm wrong) I actually try to be forthcoming and help the community. That's all the Register is looking for, especially from public officials.

But if only those who get to go to White House press conferences or similar events would be half as inquisitive as our local guys there would be a world of difference made! Again, presuming they are allowed to ask questions. But things like this just seem to be a regurgitated narrative of information the White House provides with no extra step put into it to even bend the frame of context if not outright break it.

Isn't a reporter's motto something like "there's always more to the story"?

I won't call anyone out, but if there is a SR staff member who would like to comment about this topic? I think it'd be neat to read. Is it as aggravating for you to post/print stories like this from the wire that seem incomplete while you have to pound the pavement to get more and more thorough answers?


It's not just you dollbaby. The HATERS come out in full force at the mention of the President's name.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

You are welcome to answer any of the reasonable, civil questions I asked doll above, deer.


He won't because he is the extreme opposite of the so-called haters he speaks of. He agrees with everything Obama does regardless of whether it is good policy or not.


You are wrong G I Joe. The President is a human being as we all are and is very capable of making mistakes. I do not agree with everything anyone does but I refuse to run anyone in the ground just because we have differing opinions and viewpoints. I prefer to focus on the positive in anyone.

HZ, I don't feel the need to defend or speak for this President or anyone else. I speak for myself and no comment of mine above is inaccurate in any way. However, we do have different opinions on the job the President is supposed to do.

JudgeMeNot's picture

In other words, the answer is no.


"Americans disapprove of the job Obama is doing 50 percent to 42 percent, according to a Quinnipiac poll released Wednesday.

The numbers were up slightly from Quinnipiac’s polling in January, when Obama saw a 40 percent approval rating and 54 percent disapproval."

Looks like the "lovers" and "haters" are moderately split, with the edge to the downside.

The fawning Messiah kiss-ups will just have to deal with it.



It's not the idea of such a program that's the problem. It's the idea of funding it via taxpayer dollars. And it's not "this man" that's the issue. It's his policies and his wonton spending spree!


Re: "more than $100 million in grants for two dozen schools across the country,"

Picking and choosing winners and losers is what central planners do because they think that they are smarter than the free market.

If top-down, heavy bureaucratic central planning 'actually' worked; N. Korea, Cuba, the old Soviet Union and others would be economic successes and powerhouses instead of stifling, fiscal basket cases.

Just more money down the Washington rat hole for progressive feel-good programs.

thinkagain's picture

"You on the CSI thing, forensics huh?"

Geeze, where’s a teleprompter when you need one?

JudgeMeNot's picture

Ask 0-bama.


H-1B visas:

"According to a study conducted by John Miano and the Center for Immigration Studies, there is no empirical data to support a claim of employee worker shortage.

Citing studies from Duke, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Georgetown University and others, critics have also argued that in some years, the number of foreign programmers and engineers imported outnumbered the number of jobs created by the industry."


Typical of Pres. Obama and most high-minded socio-economic engineers: Working on a problem that doesn't exist.

This program may also adversely affect employment, leading to a potential net negative.

Just complicating the process more will undoubtedly lead to adverse consequences, which will necessitate the need for more rules, regs and funding in order to ‘fix’ the new problems created by the 'improvements.'


The Big Dog's back

The right wingnuts just hate it that there is a Black Man in the White's House.


When your only defense against those speaking out about a bad leader is "You are racist" You have not only lost the argument you may not even understand the question.

Darwin's choice

Wrong again dog! He's a halfrican.

"choose someone on what they've done....."