From: Gillman, Todd [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Tuesday, September 08, 2015 5:13 PM
To: Lance, Kirsten
Subject: VPOTUS pool report #1
Vice President Biden spoke to a full house in the South Court Auditorium. Audience was attendees of the White House Apprenticeship Summit.
News-free 25 minutes, unless you count the VP referring to inner city Detroit as “the hood.”
The United States, he said, has become a far more attractive place to invest. “Your kids aren’t going to be talking about outsourcing…. I don’t know how many plant gates I’ve visited that were padlocked” but that has turned around, to the point that the US is where employers in service, manufacturing and IT most want to be.
But, he said, that will require more public investment in education, especially apprenticeships, and in infrastructure. In passing he said he would prefer 16 years of free/public education instead of just 12.
About halfway through the talk, Biden left the lectern – and microphones – and roamed the stage speaking to the crowd without notes. He eventually made his way up the middle aisle, talking the entire time, working the room, before heading back on stage.
“We will have the cheapest energy in the world… for the next 50 years” – a big competitive advantage for the US over Europe and Asia. “That’s a gigantic advantage,” he said. And it’s a big reason employers are coming home, he said, but the US needs a modern infrastructure and a better-educated workforce.
He referred to a “quote Biden gaffe” when he compared LaGuardia airport unfavorably to Beijing’s airport. “You’d think LaGuardia was in a Third World country,” he recalled himself saying, emphasizing that he was right, despite the mocking at the time.
He cited other policy failings, such as the fact that only one US port from Houston to Maine can accommodate the huge ships for which the Panama Canal was redesigned. “What are we thinking?” he said.
Apprenticeship, he said, often leads to well paying permanent employment.
He noted that POTUS and Dr. Jill Biden are heading tomorrow to Macomb Community College in Michigan, a leader in partnering with local businesses.
Biden referred to inner city Detroit as “the hood” and mistakenly referred to the city by the name of its state as he discussed a community college program that involved UST Global to teach computer programming.
“They took 50 women from the ‘hood’ – the neighborhood – all African American women” aged 24 to 58, Biden said. “They found out they needed a thousand computer programmers in the city of Michigan to get it off its knees, onto its feet, because everybody kind of abandoned and took off.”
Each of these 50 students, he said, ended up with jobs that paid $57,000 to $108,000, and none had higher than a high school degree.
“I really am optimistic... about the prospects for this country… We are better positioned by a longshot to lead the 21st century economically,” he said.
And he called a far better use of public resources to devote, for instance, $2 billion to apprenticeships than to provide generous tax breaks to the wealthy on inheritance.
Labor Secretary Thomas Perez introduced Biden, who called Perez “one of the best guys I’ve worked with in my life…. This is the single brightest most practical guy that I work with.”
Before Biden arrived, Perez was playing emcee for business people who had apparently divided into smaller groups by sector (e.g. transportation, manufacturing) to brainstorm ways to leverage public and private resources.
Background from the vice president’s office:
This afternoon, the Vice President is dropping by the White House Apprenticeship Summit to highlight the Administration's ongoing support for job-driven training programs that provide American workers a clear path to the middle class. Today's convening brings together around 100 employers who have committed to expanding their apprenticeship programs and promoting apprenticeship programs to other employers as well.
The Vice President's drop-by today builds on his ongoing work around apprenticeship programs and other workforce training programs. Last July, the Vice President’s review of job training programs introduced a job-driven checklist that is guiding all federal investments. He has since traveled around the country promoting investments in job-training programs and demonstrating how apprenticeships are one of the most effective ways we can prepare American workers for jobs in the 21st century.
Todd J. Gillman
The Dallas Morning News