News

Obama to announce $600M job training initiative

Obama to announce $600M job training initiative

JOB CREATION:To try to fill the void, Obama will announce during a visit to Oakdale, Pennsylvania, a plan to use $500 million in existing Labor Department funds to pay for a competition. Photo: Reuters

By Steve Holland

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will announce an initiative on Wednesday to devote $600 million to address a central challenge of today’s economy: How to train workers for skills they need for jobs that are open but hard to fill.

American companies will need 522,000 software developers and computer programmers over the next 10 years as well as nearly 110,000 pharmacists, 224,000 electricians and 941,000 customer service representatives, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

To try to fill the void, Obama will announce during a visit to Oakdale, Pennsylvania, a plan to use $500 million in existing Labor Department funds to pay for a competition.

The goal of the competition is to spur employers and community colleges to work together and develop training programs that are designed to get workers prepared for specific jobs that already exist.

Another $100 million will be drawn from a Labor Department fund to support programs aimed at training apprentices in new fields with fast-growing occupations such as information technology, healthcare and advanced manufacturing.

Employers need people trained as welders, machinists, dental hygienists and even electrical power line installers, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said.

Administration officials who briefed reporters about the initiative said the aim is to address the needs of a fast-changing economy.

“The pace of change – technology, globalization – has changed the nature of work and the speed at which necessary skills change,” said a senior Obama administration official.

Obama, joined by Vice President Joe Biden, is to announce the initiative at an event at Community College of Allegheny County on the outskirts of Pittsburgh.

The plan is part of an effort launched in Obama’s State of the Union speech in January to act with his own presidential authority in the absence of a consensus from a divided Congress.

While the economy has rebounded since bottoming out early in Obama’s first term, many Americans remain unemployed or underemployed, and Obama has made it a priority of his second term to help the middle class and reduce income inequality.

(Reporting by Steve Holland; Editing by Ken Wills)

Recent Headlines

3 hours ago in Sports

Cavaliers beat Hawks in series opener

14-overlay-1

A week off did not disrupt the Cleveland Cavaliers' momentum, nor was it enough time to alter the Atlanta Hawks' history against them. The Cavaliers still have never lost to the Hawks in the postseason, but this one was not easy.

3 hours ago in Sports

Murray makes his mark as Pens beat Caps

capsREUTERS

The Pittsburgh Penguins do not have a goal yet in the series from Sidney Crosby. Or a power-play goal. What they do have is a 2-1 lead over the Washington Capitals.

3 hours ago in Sports

British soccer team Leicester celebrates 5,000-1 title success

leichesterREUTERS

Leicester City's Premier League title dream became reality on Monday when one of the greatest sporting fairytales reached its conclusion in west London where chasing Tottenham Hotspur were held 2-2 by Chelsea.

3 hours ago in National

Obama takes Supreme Court fight to Republican senators’ home turf

obamaREUTERS

President Barack Obama on Monday took the political battle over his pick for a vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court to the home states of seven Republican senators up for re-election in November.

3 hours ago in Entertainment, Sports

Hulk Hogan seeks second slam of Gawker over racist comments leak

Terry Bollea, known as professional wrestler Hulk Hogan, listens while testifying in his case against the news website Gawker at the Pinellas County Courthouse, in St. Petersburg, Fla., Monday, March 7, 2016. Hogan is suing Gawker for $100 million for publishing a video of him having sex with his best friend's wife. (Boyzell Hosey/Tampa Bay Times via AP, Pool)

Hulk Hogan accused Gawker of leaking his racist remarks in a lawsuit filed in Florida on Monday involving a secretly-recorded sex tape of the wrestling celebrity, who recently won $140 million in damages against the media website in a related case.