WASHINGTON Jan 30 President Barack Obama will
highlight innovative job and skills training in the U.S.
heartland on Thursday on the second leg of a tour to draw
attention to his proposals for improving the fortunes of low and
middle-income Americans, the White House said.
Following his State of the Union speech Tuesday, in which he
called for greater economic fairness in a nation still
recovering from the deep 2007-2009 recession, Obama is due to
visit a job training center in Wisconsin and an innovative high
school in Tennessee.
He stumped for a higher minimum wage and improved savings
opportunities for workers in stops in Maryland and Pennsylvania
The president pledged in his address to Congress to review
and retool federal job training programs, saying such courses
needed to do better at landing their graduates in well-paying
On Thursday, he is due to drop by General Electric's Gas
Engines facility in Waukesha, Wisconsin, near Milwaukee, where a
program run with input from employers, unions, community groups,
and colleges trains students in manufacturing and construction
skills, the White House said in a statement.
Obama is set to kick off an effort led by Vice President Joe
Biden to identify effective types of job training and a
competition for $500 million in funds for training initiatives.
That step is an example of how the president pledged in his
speech on Tuesday not to wait for congressional action to move
ahead on his priorities. Obama told lawmakers in his address
that they could do their part to support job training by
providing more funding for proven job-training programs.
He is also scheduled to visit McGavock High School in
Nashville, the site of a ground-breaking program that seeks to
align students' educations more closely with employers' needs
and job skills.
McGavock is Nashville's largest school and had been on track
for state takeover because of poor performance. However, the
city redesigned large high schools and brought in companies to
help design job-related educational specializations.
The president emphasized in his annual speech to the nation
Tuesday that he wants to improve education from pre-kindergarten
through college and praised teachers and principals in schools
"from Tennessee to Washington, D.C." for better preparing
students for the changing economic landscape.