Watch President Barack Obama’s Veterans Jobs Corps initiative speech video on Fri. Feb. 3, 2012. In Arlington, Virginia he will deliver an address at Fire Station #5 outlining the proposal. The speech time is 11:30 a.m. ET (8:30 a.m. PT). See live stream video online via the embedded video player below. Thereafter the full replay video and transcript text of the speech will be posted as soon as they are available.
UPDATE: Replay video and transcript are below.
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Remarks by the President on the Veterans Job Corps
Fire Station #5
11:30 A.M. EST
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you! Thank you, guys. (Applause.) Thank you so much. Everybody, please have a seat. Well, good morning, everybody.
AUDIENCE: Good morning!
THE PRESIDENT: Jacob, thank you for that introduction. More importantly, thank you for your extraordinary service to our country.
I want to acknowledge two outstanding members of my Cabinet who are here today — Secretary of Veterans Affairs Ric Shinseki is in the house, also one of our finest — (applause) — himself, one of our finest veterans and obviously an extraordinary leader when he was in our Army. And I also want to acknowledge Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, who’s in the house. (Applause.)
And we’re joined by another president — the International Association of Firefighters president, Harold Schaitberger, is here. (Applause.)
Now, this is a fire station that holds some special significance for our country. On September 11th, the firefighters of this house were among the first to respond to the attack on the Pentagon. You guys answered this nation’s call during its hour of need. And in the years that followed, as Americans went to war, some of you answered that call as well.
Today’s 9/11 generation of veterans has already earned a special place in our history. Our veterans — and all the brave men and women who serve our country — are the reason why America’s military is the greatest in the history of the world. In the face of great odds and grave danger, they get the job done. They work as a team. They personify the very best that America has to offer.
That’s true on the battlefront. But we’re here today because it’s also true on the home front. After a decade of war, our nation needs to do some building right here in the United States of America.
Now, this morning, we received more good news about our economy. In January, American businesses added another 257,000 jobs. The unemployment rate came down because more people found work. And altogether, we’ve added 3.7 million new jobs over the last 23 months.
Now, these numbers will go up and down in the coming months, and there’s still far too many Americans who need a job, or need a job that pays better than the one they have now. But the economy is growing stronger. The recovery is speeding up. And we’ve got to do everything in our power to keep it going.
We can’t go back to the policies that led to the recession. And we can’t let Washington stand in the way of our recovery. We want Washington to be helping with the recovery, not making it tougher.
The most important thing Congress needs to do right now is to stop taxes from going up on 160 million Americans at the end of this month. They’ve got to renew the payroll tax cut that they extended only for a couple of months. They need to pass an extension of the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance — and do it without drama, without delay, without linking it to some ideological side issues. They just need to get it done. It shouldn’t be that complicated. Now is not the time for self-inflicted wounds to our economy. Now is the time for action.
So I want to send a clear message to Congress: Do not slow down the recovery that we’re on. Don’t muck it up. Keep it moving in the right direction. (Applause.)
Beyond preventing a tax hike, we need to do a lot more to create an economy that’s built to last. To restore American manufacturing, we need to stop giving tax breaks to companies that ship jobs overseas; give those tax breaks to companies that are investing in plants and equipment and hiring workers right here in the United States of America. That makes a lot of sense.
To reduce our dependency on foreign oil, we need to stop subsidizing oil companies that are already making record profits, and double down on clean energy, that creates jobs and creates opportunities in new industries but also improves our security, because we’re not as dependent on foreign oil.
To make sure our businesses don’t have to move overseas to find skilled workers, we’ve got to invest in education, and make sure college is affordable for every hardworking American.
And — this is the reason we’re here today — we need to make sure that as our troops return from battle, they can find a job when they get home. That’s what I want to talk about today. (Applause.)
The war in Iraq is over. The war in Afghanistan is moving to a new phase — we’re transitioning to Afghan lead. Over the past decade, nearly 3 million service members have transitioned back to civilian life, and more are joining them every day.
When these men and women come home, they bring unparalleled skills and experience. Folks like Jacob — they’ve saved lives in some of the toughest conditions imaginable. They’ve managed convoys and moved tons of equipment over dangerous terrain. They’ve tracked millions of dollars of military assets. They’ve handled pieces of equipment that are worth tens of millions of dollars. They do incredible work. Nobody is more skilled, more precise, more diligent, more disciplined.
Our veterans are some of the most highly trained, highly educated, highly skilled workers that we’ve got. These are Americans that every business should be competing to attract. These are the Americans we want to keep serving here at home as we rebuild this country. So we’re going to do everything we can to make sure that when our troops come home, they come home to new jobs and new opportunities and new ways to serve their country.
Now, this has been a top priority of mine since I came into office. Already, we’ve helped 600,000 veterans and their family members go back to school on the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill. We’ve hired over 120,000 veterans to serve in the federal government. We’ve made it easier for veterans to access all sorts of employment services. We’ve set up online tools to connect veterans with job openings that match their skills.
Michelle and Jill Biden have worked with the private sector, with businesses, to secure a pledge of 135,000 jobs for veterans and their families. And with the support of Democrats and Republicans, we’ve put in place two new tax credits for companies that hire veterans.
So these are all important steps. We’ve made progress. But we’ve got to do more. There’s more we can do.
In my State of the Union address, I proposed a new initiative, called the Veterans Jobs Corps, to put veterans back to work protecting and rebuilding America. And today, we’re laying out the details of this proposal.
First, we want to help communities hire more veterans as cops and firefighters. You guys have seen what a great job Jacob is doing. Well, there are a whole bunch of folks like that who could be doing that same outstanding work all across the country. But it’s not that easy these days to get a job at a firehouse.
Over the past few years, tight budgets have forced a lot of states, a lot of local communities to lay off a lot of first responders. Now, my administration — when I first came into office, one of the first things we did was, through the Recovery Act, make sure that states and local governments helped — or got the help that they needed to prevent some of these layoffs. And thousands of jobs were saved all across the country.
Harold and I were talking as we came over here — thousands of firefighter jobs were saved because of the actions we took. But budgets are still tight, and that’s a problem we need to fix. Jobs that protect our families and our communities shouldn’t be the first on the chopping block. They should be one of our highest priorities as a nation.
Over the past three years, my administration has made it possible for states to keep thousands of first responders on the job. But today, we’re announcing that communities who make it a priority to recruit veterans will be among the first in line when it comes to getting help from the federal government.
And I know that’s one of the things, Chief, that you’ve been doing here in Arlington.
So we want to prioritize veterans and we want to help states and local communities hire veterans to firehouses and police stations all across the country.
The second thing we want to do is to connect up to 20,000 veterans with jobs that involve rebuilding local communities or national parks. That’s why Ken Salazar is here as the Interior Secretary. He needs some help. And our veterans are highly qualified to help him. They’ve already risked their lives defending America. They should have the opportunity to rebuild America. We’ve got roads and bridges in and around our national parks in need of repair. Let’s fix them.
Of course, Congress needs to fund these projects. Congress should take the money that we’re no longer spending on war, use half of it to pay down our debt, and use the rest to do some nation-building here at home, to improve the quality of life right here in the United States of America — (applause) — and put our veterans to work. (Applause.)
So let’s get more cops on the beat. Let’s gets more rangers in the parks. Let’s get more firefighters on call. And, in the process, we’re going to put more veterans back to work. It’s good for our communities, it’s good for our economy, and it’s good for our country.
And for veterans who want to do something else — maybe put their leadership skills to use starting a small business — we’re going to start offering entrepreneurial training to our veterans. We want service members prepared for battle — and for professional success when they come home. So we should do all that we can to support our troops and our veterans — in helping them start a business, in helping them get a foothold in a fire station like this one, and start moving up the ranks, doing outstanding work the way Jacob has been doing.
But we also need to follow their lead. We want to help them, but we should also learn from them. We should remember from our veterans that no matter what the circumstances, those men and women in uniform — a lot like the firefighters in this fire station — work together. Act as a team. Finish the job. That’s what we’ve got to do when it comes to our nation’s recovery.
These are challenging times for America, but we’ve faced challenging times before. On the grounds here you’ve got a stone from the Pentagon and a beam from the World Trade Center. And that reminds us of our resolve as a people. They remind us that when we come together as one people and as one community, one nation, then we prevail. That’s who we are.
This is a nation that exists because generations of Americans worked together to build it. This is a nation where, out of many, we come together as one. Those are the values that every veteran understands. Those are values that this fire station understands. We’ve got to make sure that we return to those values. And if we do, then I guarantee you we’ll remind everybody around the world just why it is the United States is the greatest country on Earth.
Thank you very much, everybody. God bless you. God bless America. (Applause.)
11:44 P.M. EST
Link for mobile device viewing. Live web-feed video is above. The video stream is also available at CNN Live and CNN for iPhone and iPad app. Find more mobile viewing options with the White House iPad and iPhone app and Android app, both are a free download. The speech will begin at 11:30 a.m. ET (8:30 a.m. PT). The location is Fire Station #5 in Arlington, VA.
In his remarks today in Virginia the President will detail the proposed Veterans Jobs Corps initiative. It is one of several follow-up speeches which further expound proposals that are part of the America Built to Last blueprint which the President introduced in the 2012 State of the Union address.
Here is the official the White House release:
For Immediate Release
February 03, 2012
President Obama’s Plan to Put Veterans Back to Work
In his State of the Union address, President Obama called for a new Veterans Job Corps initiative to help our returning veterans find pathways to civilian employment. The Administration’s new veteran employment initiatives, coupled with the work that President Obama has already accomplished in creating employment opportunities for veterans, will help put tens of thousands of veterans back to work.
The President’s Commitment to Veteran Employment
Today the President will announce new details of his Veterans Jobs Corps initiative which will help put veterans back to work on a range of projects that leverage skills developed in the military:
• New incentives to hire veterans as first responders: The President will announce $166 million in 2012 Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Hiring Grant funding and $320 million in 2012 Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grants. The President will also announce that preference for these grants will now be given to communities that recruit and hire post-9/11 veterans to serve as police officers and firefighters. The COPS funding preserves law enforcement jobs and spurs new ones by making grant awards to communities across the country. SAFER grants provide funding directly to fire departments and volunteer firefighter interest organizations in order to help them increase and retain the number of trained firefighters available in their communities, enhancing the local fire departments’ abilities to comply with staffing, response, and operational standards.
• Hiring veterans to protect Americans as first responders and law enforcement officers: Today, the President announced he will include in his FY13 Budget the $4 billion in COPS funding first proposed in the American Jobs Act to spur police officer hiring in 2012. The Budget will also include $1 billion for SAFER grants, as proposed in the American Jobs Act, to encourage firefighter hiring. Preference for these grants will also be given to communities that hire post-9/11 veterans.
• Putting veterans to work preserving and restoring America’s land and resources: The President will propose $1 billion to develop a Veterans Job Corps conservation program that will put up to 20,000 veterans back to work over the next five years protecting and rebuilding America. Veterans will restore our great outdoors by providing visitor programs, restoring habitat, protecting cultural resources, eradicating invasive species, and operating facilities. Additionally, our veterans will help make a significant dent in the deferred maintenance of our Federal, State, local, and tribal lands including jobs that will repair and rehabilitate trails, roads, levees, recreation facilities and other assets. The program will serve all veterans, but will have a particular focus on post-9/11 veterans.
• Supporting veteran entrepreneurship by building our next generation of small business leaders: The President will propose an expansion of entrepreneurship training opportunities for separating service members and veterans. As part of the VA-DOD Task Force for a Career Ready Military that the President established in August of last year, the Departments of Defense and Veteran Affairs, working with the Small Business Administration, are developing a two-day entrepreneurship program as part of the Transition Assistance Program that will be available to all service members. In addition, once service members separate, SBA will offer veterans more in-depth entrepreneurial training through an 8-week online training program that will teach the fundamentals of small business ownership to over 10,000 veterans annually, as well as an expansion of the existing suite of programs and public-private partnerships supporting entrepreneurship and small business development opportunities for veterans and veterans’ families, including an intensive entrepreneurship boot camp.
Building on Progress
Since taking office, President Obama has taken key steps to support veterans in developing skills and finding work, including by:
• Creating two new veterans’ tax credits: In November 2011, the President signed into law two new tax credits for hiring veterans, both of which were included as part of the American Jobs Act. The Returning Heroes Tax Credit provides an incentive of up to $5,600 for firms to hire unemployed veterans and the Wounded Warrior Tax Credit doubled the existing tax credit for long-term unemployed veterans with service-connected disabilities to $9,600.
• Challenging the private sector to hire or train 100,000 veterans and their spouses by 2013: Since the President issued his challenge to the private sector in August 2011, already more than 40,000 veterans and the spouses have been hired and 1,500 companies have committed to hire or train 135,000 veterans and their spouses by the end of 2013 through the leadership of the First Lady Michelle Obama, Dr. Jill Biden and their Joining Forces initiative.
• Increasing access to intensive reemployment services: Post-9/11 veterans are now able to download the Veteran Gold Card, which entitles them to enhanced reemployment services including six months of personalized case management, assessments and counseling at the roughly 3,000 One-Stop Career Centers located across the country. This will help serve the 250,000 unemployed Post-9/11 veterans.
• Developing online tools to boost veteran employment: The Administration launched the Veterans Jobs Bank, an easy to use tool to help veterans find job postings from companies looking to hire them. It already searches over one million job postings and is growing. Additionally, the Department of Labor launched My Next Move for Veterans, a new online resource that allows veterans to enter their military occupation code and discover civilian occupations for which they are well qualified.
• Increasing hiring of veterans in healthcare-related fields: The President challenged Community Health Centers to hire 8,000 veterans – approximately one veteran per health center site – over the next three years and the Health Resources and Services Administration pledged to open up career-paths beyond nursing and expand opportunities for veterans to become physician assistants.
Today’s complete itinerary is here: President Obama official schedule and guidance, February 3, 2012.
Watch a video report below.
- President Obama Housing Refinance Speech Video Feb. 1, 2012 Falls Church, Virginia
- President Obama National Prayer Breakfast 2012 Speech Video (Feb. 2, 2012)
- President Obama National Prayer Breakfast 2011 Speech Video Feb. 3, 2011
- Obama National Prayer Breakfast Speech Video 2010 2-4-10
President Obama Google+ Hangout, YouTube Interview Video Jan. 30, 2012
- President Obama Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor Speech Video Jan. 27, 2012
- President Obama Buckley Air Force Base Speech Video Jan. 26, 2012 Aurora, Colorado
- President Obama Las Vegas, NV Speech Video Jan. 26, 2012 UPS Facility
- President Obama: Speech at Intel in Chandler, Arizona Video Jan. 25, 2012 Ocotillo Campus
- President Obama Cedar Rapids, Iowa Speech Video Jan. 25, 2012 Conveyor Engineering & Manufacturing
- President Obama State of the Union Address 2012 Video: Jan. 24 Speech to Joint Session of Congress
- President Obama Weekly Address Video, Transcript Jan. 21, 2012 (Radio, YouTube Video)
- President Obama Disney World Speech Video Jan. 19, 2012: Tourism and Travel Address, Orlando, Florida
- President Obama Council on Jobs and Competitiveness Speech Video Jan. 17, 2012 Meeting at White House
- President Obama Government Reform Speech Video Jan. 13, 2012
- President Obama Insourcing American Jobs Speech Video Jan. 11, 2012 White House Forum
- President Obama EPA Speech Video Jan. 10, 2012: Environmental Protection Agency Staff Address
- President Obama Speech on Resignation of W.H. Chief of Staff Bill Daley: Video, Transcript Jan. 9, 2012
- President Obama Weekly Address Video, Transcript Jan. 7, 2012 (Radio, YouTube Video)
- President Obama Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Speech Video Jan. 6, 2012
- President Obama Defense Strategic Review Speech Video Jan. 5, 2012 Pentagon Press Briefing Room
- President Obama Cleveland, Ohio Speech Video: Jan. 4, 2012 Shaker Heights High School Address on the Economy
- President Obama Payroll Tax Cut Speech Video: Dec. 22, 2011
President Obama Payroll Tax Cut Speech Video: Dec. 17, 2011 Statement on Senate Vote
President Obama Home Care Workers Speech Video Dec. 15, 2011: Statement at We Can’t Wait Event
- President Obama Fort Bragg, North Carolina Speech Video Dec. 14, 2011: Address to Iraq War Veterans
- U.S. President Obama, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki Joint News Conference Video: Dec. 12, 2011
- President Obama 60 Minutes Video, Transcript Dec. 11, 2011 Full Interview with Steve Kroft
- President Obama Weekly Address Video, Transcript: Dec. 10, 2011 (Radio, YouTube Video)
- President Obama Speech Video Dec. 8, 2011: White House Press Conference
- President Obama Weekly Address Video, Transcript: Dec. 3, 2011 (Radio, YouTube Video)
- President Obama Speech Video Dec. 5, 2011: White House Press Conference
- President Obama Energy Efficiency in Buildings Speech Video Dec. 2, 2011: Better Buildings Challenge Address
- President Obama Scranton, Pennsylvania Video Nov. 30, 2011 Address at Scranton High School
- President Obama Weekly Address Video, Transcript: Thanksgiving Nov. 24, 2011 (Radio, YouTube Video)
- President Obama New Hampshire Speech Video Nov. 22, 2011 Address at Manchester Central High School
- President Obama Super Committee Speech Video: Nov. 21, 2011 Statement on Supercommittee Failure on Deficit Reduction
- President Obama Weekly Address Video, Transcript Nov. 12, 2011 (Radio, YouTube Video)
- President Obama Australian Parliament Speech Video Nov. 16, 2011 (Nov. 17): Address at Great Hall of Parliament House in Canberra
- President Obama Press Conference Video: Nov. 13, 2011 APEC Summit Speech in Honolulu, Hawaii
- President Obama Weekly Address Video, Transcript Nov. 12, 2011 (Radio, YouTube Video)
- President Obama Veterans Day Speech Video 11-11-11 – November 11, 2011 – Arlington Wreath Laying Ceremony at Tomb of the Unknowns
- President Obama National Women’s Law Center Awards Dinner Speech Video Nov. 9, 2011 Keynote Address
- President Obama Yeadon, Pennsylvania Speech Video Nov. 8, 2011 Address at Yeadon Regional Head Start Center
- President Obama Press Conference Video: Nov. 4, 2011 G-20 Summit Speech in Cannes, France
- President Obama Iraq Speech Video Oct. 21, 2011: All U.S. Troops out of Iraq
- President Obama Libya Speech Video Oct. 20, 2011 Statement on Muammar Gaddafi Death
- President Obama North Chesterfield, Virginia Bus Tour Speech Video Oct. 19, 2011: Fire Station 9
- President Obama Hampton, Virginia Bus Tour Speech Video Oct. 19, 2011: Langley Air Force Base
- President Obama Emporia, Virginia Bus Tour Speech Video Oct. 18, 2011: Greensville County High School
- President Obama Jamestown, North Carolina Bus Tour Speech Video Oct. 18, 2011: Guilford Technical Community College
- President Obama North Carolina Bus Tour Speech Video Oct. 17, 2011: Asheville, West Wilkes High School
- Obama, Lee GM Orion Assembly Plant Speech Video: Oct. 14, 2011 U.S. and South Korean Presidents in Lake Orion, Michigan
- President Obama State Dinner with South Korean President Lee Live Stream Video Oct. 13, 2011
- Obama Press Conference Video: Oct. 6, 2011 Presidential News Conference on the American Jobs Act
- President Obama Joint Chiefs of Staff Ceremony Speech Video Sept. 30, 2011 Address at Change of Office at Ft Myer
- President Obama Back to School Speech Video Sept. 28, 2011 Annual Address to Students