President Obama 2014 Year In Review

12/18/2014

YEAR IN REVIEW: Creating Economic Opportunity for All Americans in 2014

December 18, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC – President Obama took office in the depths of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.  Six years later, thanks to the grit and determination of the American people, and the decisive actions he took early on – to bring the economy back from the brink, to save the auto industry, and to build a new foundation for middle-class growth – we’ve made real progress.

The economy grew at a combined 4.2% pace in the second and third quarters of this year, the strongest six-month period of growth in more than a decade.  American businesses have added new jobs for 57 consecutive months, the longest streak of private-sector job creation on record, for a total of 10.9 million new jobs. The pickup in the pace of job growth this year has come in industries with higher wages.  And wages across the economy are rising – a very welcome sign for millions of American families.

The U.S. economic recovery took a major step forward in 2014, achieving a number of important milestones:

The President pledged that 2014 would be a year of action and he has spent the last 12 months working with Congress where he could and taking action on his own where needed to revitalize the economy. He also worked closely with leaders from businesses, nonprofits, education, and communities to expand opportunity for more American families. These efforts have helped contribute to economic progress in a number of ways. Some critical efforts include:

Supporting Job Creation Through Manufacturing and Exports

Manufacturing job growth doubled this year – to about 15,000 jobs per month compared to 7,000 jobs per month last year. In total, since February 2010, the United States has directly added 764,000 manufacturing jobs, with the sector expanding employment at its fastest rate in nearly two decades. And the United States’ renewed competitiveness in manufacturing is bringing production back, with 54 percent of U.S.-based manufacturers surveyed by the Boston Consulting Group actively considering bringing production back from China to the United States, up from 37 percent only 18 months prior. The Administration has helped support these efforts by taking steps including:

  • Launching New Hubs as Part of a National Network for Manufacturing Innovation
  • Supporting Efforts to Foster Manufacturing Entrepreneurship and Investment in the United States
  • Growing Our Investments in Advanced Manufacturing Research
  • Another Year of Record-Breaking Exports
    • The Made in Rural America Initiative Leads to a Boost in Small Rural Manufacturing Exports and Other Companies
    • Intensifying and Broadening Our Export Promotion
    • The Advocacy Center at the Department of Commerce Enjoyed a Record-Breaking Year in Helping U.S. Firms Win Contracts Abroad to Create Jobs at Home

Taking Action to Raise the Minimum Wage

Following President Obama’s call on Congress to raise the national minimum wage to $10.10, states, cities and counties, and business leaders have taken action on their own to increase wages across the country. And on February 12, President Obama signed Executive Order 13658, requiring that workers on new Federal contracts be paid $10.10 an hour.

  • 14 States Passed Minimum Wage Increases – and 7 Million Workers Are Set to Benefit From Increases Passed Since the President’s Initial Call in 2013
  • Cities and Counties Have Also Taken Steps to Raise Wages
  • Businesses – Both Large and Small – Are Taking Action
  • President Obama’s Action will Ensure that All Employees of Federal Contractors are Paid at Least $10.10 an HourSupporting Job Skills and Employment Opportunities

Working with Congress, businesses, states and cities and non-profits, the President has taken action to make sure our job-training system is preparing and connecting Americans to the jobs that employers are looking to fill. From an across-the-board review of our job-training system to new grants that support apprenticeships and help connect the long-term unemployed to work, the President and his Administration have used every tool available to train Americans with the skills they need, and connect them with businesses that are looking for skilled workers.

  • Reforming Our Job-Training System to Make It Demand Driven
  • Passage of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act
  • Getting Long-Term Unemployed Americans Back to Work: President Obama issued a three-part call to action – to employers, to communities across the country, and to federal agencies – to help Americans who are out of work, including the long-term unemployed, find jobs or get the skills they need so they can succeed in the labor force. Since that call to action, long-term unemployment has declined by 1.1 million and progress has been made on all three fronts, including:
    • $170 million in grants awarded in October to programs in 20 states and Puerto Rico to partnerships between non-profits, local government, and employers to train and match long-term unemployed job seekers for in-demand jobs.
    • A new set of best practices for hiring and recruiting the long-term unemployed signed by over 200 businesses – including 80 of the nation’s largest companies – to ensure that these candidates receive a fair shot during the hiring process.
    • Toolkits created by Deloitte Consulting in partnership with the Rockefeller Foundation and with the input of about 100 White House Best Practice signatories to help more employers implement the best practices.
    • Finally, following up on a Presidential Memorandum issued in January, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) issued guidance to Federal agencies to ensure that individuals who are unemployed or have faced financial difficulties because of circumstances like job loss receive fair treatment and consideration for employment by Federal agencies.
  • $450 Million in Grants to Nearly 270 Community Colleges Partnering with More than 400 Employers Nationally
  • Investing in a Competitive Workforce Through Apprenticeships

Providing High-Quality Education to America’s Students

Ensuring that all Americans are prepared for the jobs of the future and strengthening middle-class security, starts with a strong education system.  The President has taken a number of steps over the past year to expand access to high-quality early childhood education, connect every student to high-speed Internet, and make college more affordable.

  • Committing to Affordable Higher Education
    • Expanding Pay As You Earn (PAYE)
    • The President and First Lady’s Call to Action on College Opportunity
    • Protecting Students from Unaffordable Debts at Career College Programs
  • Committing to Early Education: Throughout 2013 and 2014, the President challenged states, business leaders, and Congress to help more children gain access to the early education they need to succeed in school and in life.  On December 10, 2014, the President convened philanthropists, educators, community leaders and others to announce a collective investment of over $1 billion for early childhood education.  Federal commitments of $750 million will support early learning for over 63,000 children while corporate and philanthropic leaders’ independent commitments of $330 million will expand the reach and enhance the quality for thousands more.
  • ConnectED to the Future:  In June 2013, President Obama visited Mooresville, NC to announce the ConnectED Initiative, which aims to ensure 99% of American students will have access to next-generation broadband in the classroom by 2017, and called for private sector leaders and the FCC To help connect our students. Since that time, the FCC has taken steps to modernize the E-rate program to support high-speed connectivity for America’s schools and libraries, providing a $2 billion down payment and passing a proposal that provides recourses needed to meet the President’s ConnectED goals.  Additionally, private-sector companies have committed more than $2 billion in resources to schools to supplement federal actions and help support cutting-edge technologies across a greater number of schools and homes. On November 19, 2014, The President hosted school leaders and educators to push this effort forward and make all schools “Future Ready”.  More than 1,200 superintendents joined the Administrations Future Ready District Pledge to set a vision for digital learning across America.  Combined, this pledge will already reach 10 million students across 16,000 schools.

For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/12/18/year-review-creating-economic-opportunity-all-americans-2014

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Pres Obama Year of Action

2014 the Year of Action

In his 2014 State of the Union, the President said that 2014 would be a “year of action” to ensure opportunity for all Americans. He’s making good on that promise (despite that Congress did not help, labeling them the ‘Worst Congress ever’.

What does a “year of action” mean, exactly?
The President will continue to work with Congress wherever he can to keep our economy moving forward and creating jobs. But in the meantime, he’s also going to do everything he can on his own to fight for middle-class families every single day.

And he’s been busy. Using his pen and his phone, the President has helped create new manufacturing jobs, expand apprenticeships, and job training, make student loan payments more affordable, support equal pay and workplace flexibility, cut carbon pollution, and rally support across the country while raising the minimum wage for all workers on new federal contracts. And that’s not all.

Here’s an update on the more than 40 actions he’s taken since January to do just that.

Learn more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/year-of-action

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List of President Obama’s 2014 Executive Actions to Help Americans

Pres Obama US - Cuba Relations

and on 12/17/14 President Obama Charts a New Course on US – Cuba Relations

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Congress Should RAISE THE WAGE

12/07/2014

Raise The Wage

Keeping Up [the Pressure] on [Raising] the Minimum Wage

Secretary Thomas E. Perez November 07, 2014 03:26 PM EST

It’s been almost two years since President Obama first called for an increase in the national minimum wage.

He believes more strongly than ever that no one who works full-time should have to raise a family in poverty. He believes that the current rate of $7.25 per hour undermines our basic bargain, failing to reward hard work with a fair wage.

But Congress hasn’t exactly seen it that way. Republicans have said “no” to even allowing a Senate vote on a bill that would raise the minimum wage to $10.10 — without adding any new taxes, spending, or bureaucracy — and meanwhile, public support only continues to grow. Bottom line: They’re not keeping up with the views of people around the country. In Tuesday’s election, a higher minimum wage went five-for-five. By convincing margins, voters in Alaska (69 percent), Arkansas (65 percent), Nebraska (59 percent), South Dakota (53 percent), and Illinois (67 percent) said loud and clear that they want to give hardworking people a raise.

Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota (all reliably red states, by the way) will implement changes in their state law, with a total of about 325,000 people set to get a raise. (The Illinois ballot measure was a non-binding resolution urging the state legislature to act.)

These results come on top of coast-to-coast grassroots progress in recent months. Since the beginning of 2013, 13 other states, plus the District of Columbia and several localities, raised their minimum wages, either through referendum or legislative action — with 7 million Americans set to get a raise from these actions. So that’s 17 total states that will now have taken decisive action on raising their minimum wages. And the President — as part of his year of action — signed an Executive Order raising the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour for federal contract workers.

US vs World's Minimum Wage Comparison

Also, the U.S. minimum wage isn’t keeping up with the rest of the world — we rank third-to-last among OECD nations (when you measure minimum wage as a percentage of median wage).

For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/11/07/keeping-minimum-wage

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Minimum Wage by Stateshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minimum_wage_in_the_United_States#State

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Made In the USA 2014

11/24/2014

Made in the USA” means that “all or virtually all” the product was, indeed, made in America according to the Federal Trade Commission. The agency enforces the standard to ensure commercial compliance and confirm consumer confidence.

For a “Made in the USA” claim to be accurate, all significant parts, processing and labor that go into the product must be of U.S. origin. Products should not contain any — or only negligible — foreign content. http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/alerts/alt021.shtm

Outsourcing Message from AllAmericanClothing.com

WE Americans are the only ones who can grow our economy.

Double the value of your dollar this Christmas and help grow the economy when you buy the “Made In The USA” label.

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Companies that make American products:

AllAmericanClothing.com products made in the USA *My husband LOVES their durable jeans

AllUSAClothing.com  American and Union Made Clothing.

AmericanMadeProducts.com products made, manufactured or assembled in America.

AmericansWorking.com directory of goods made in the United States.

C.L. Whiting Company unique leather goods

Filson Clothing products made in the USA

K’Nex Toys  brand name of a construction toy systems ( LEGOFischertechnik,  Meccano, Tinkertoys and Angry Bird Building Sets)

MadeinAmericaStuff.com products made in the U.S.A.

MadeInUSA.org product search engine and database for those looking for products made in the United States.

MadeInUSAForever.com products made in the United States.

MadeUSAFdn.org a not-for-profit organization that promotes products manufactured and assembled in America.

Munro American Shoes specializing in fit, offering 75 size and width combinations.

Royal Apparel clothing apparel Made in the USA

StillMadeInUSA.com directory of American-made products.

TheMadeInAmericaMovement.com connecting American manufacturers with consumers.

ToysMadeInAmerica.com toy manufacturers in the USA.

USAonly.US lists companies that make their products here in the United States.

 

In his State of the Union Address, President Obama talked about the importance of doing more to help American workers acquire the skills they need for the jobs of tomorrow.

President Obama’s efforts to support businesses: http://www.whitehouse.gov/economy/business/small-business

Obama Biden


Vice Pres. Biden Travels to Morocco, Ukraine and Turkey

11/16/2014
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, center, addresses entrepreneurs from the Middle East during the opening session of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Marrakech, Morocco, Nov. 20, 2014.

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, center, addresses entrepreneurs from the Middle East during the opening session of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Marrakech, Morocco, Nov. 20, 2014.

The Global Entrepreneurship Summit

Launched in 2009 by US President Barack Obama, the Global Entrepreneurship Summit is a government-supported forum aimed at creating bridges between entrepreneurs, banks, venture capitalists, investors and others in the United States and communities around the world.

The U.S. government runs numerous programs that promote economic and social entrepreneurship around the world. This year, that commitment to fostering entrepreneurship, innovation, and economic prosperity will be reaffirmed at the 2014 Global Entrepreneurship Summit.

His Majesty King Mohammaed VI and President Barack Obama agreed during King Mohammaed VI’s Royal Visit to Washington in November 2013 to organize the 5th edition of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in the Kingdom of Morocco.

This fifth annual Summit will convene thousands of participants on November 19-21 in Marrakech, Morocco, and will highlight the impact of technology on modern entrepreneurship. The 2014 Summit takes place during Global Entrepreneurship Week, making it the largest of the thousands of entrepreneurship events taking place around the world that week.

The Power of Technology

The theme of the Summit, “Harnessing the Power of Technology for Innovation and Entrepreneurship,” explores the positive impact of technology on innovation and entrepreneurship. Technology presents entrepreneurs with enormous opportunity. It gives them the power to reach beyond local communities and to tap into resources and expertise in other cities, countries, and continents. From using the internet for crowdfunding, to text messaging for real-time weather information, to collaborating in online chatrooms, technology is changing how entrepreneurs do business.

Participants

  • Entrepreneurs: Showcase products, connect to global markets
  • Mentors: Find new ways to give back
  • Incubator managers: Get fresh ideas
  • Policymakers: Learn to improve entrepreneurship environments
  • Educators: Gain insights from practitioners
  • Social entrepreneurs: Build a larger network

Summit Program

The Summit will be a space for entrepreneurs to network one-on-one with each other and with established businesses, and it will provide a chance to hear from those who have traveled the path before them, such as:

  • Two days of networking with innovative individuals and organizations
  • One-on-one meetings in the “Innovation Village” space
  • Sector-specific and issues-based workshops

High-level speakers from around the world will discuss issues and insights to inspire, celebrate, and support entrepreneurs, including:

  • Financing new ventures
  • Scaling up enterprises and moving to the formal sector
  • Turning talent into entrepreneurship
  • Engaging in social entrepreneurship

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GES 2014 Website: http://gesmarrakech2014.org/en/home

GES 2014 Speakers: http://gesmarrakech2014.org/en/program/speakers

GES 2014 Program: http://gesmarrakech2014.org/en/program/program

GES 2014 App: http://ges.e-180.com

GES 2014 Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GES2014Marrakech

GES 2014 Twitter: https://twitter.com/GESMarrakech14

GES 2014 Instagram: http://instagram.com/gesmarrakech14

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5th Global Entrepreneurship Summit
November 19 – 21, 2014
Marrakech, Morocco

GES 2014 Live Stream: http://gesmarrakech2014.org/en/home

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US Morrocco flagsUS Ukraine flagsUS Turkey flags

Vice President Biden and Dr Jill Biden’s Travel Itinerary

 

Wednesday, November 19th

Vice President Biden meets with His Majesty King Mohammed VI of Morocco
Downtown Palace, Fes, Morocco

Thursday, November 20th

Vice President Biden delivers the keynote address at the 5th Global Entrepreneurship Summit
Marrakech, Morocco

Vice President Biden attends a roundtable discussion with youth entrepreneurs at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit Global Tent
Marrakech, Morocco

Dr Jill Biden delivers remarks at the 5th Global Entrepreneurship Summit Women’s Day
Mechouar-Kasbah, Marrakech, Morocco

Vice President Biden and Dr Jill Biden depart Morocco enroute to Kyiv, Ukraine

Friday, November 21st

Vice President Biden holds a bilateral meeting with Ukraine Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk
Cabinet of Ministers Club, Kyiv, Ukraine

Vice President Biden and Ukraine President Poroshenko have a working lunch
House of Chimeras, Kyiv, Ukraine

Vice President Biden and Ukraine President Poroshenko deliver a joint statement to the press
Presidential Administration Building, Kyiv, Ukraine

Vice President Biden accompanied by Myroslava Gongadze, a Voice of America correspondent, lays flowers at the memorial of her husband,  Georgiy Gongadze, a missing Ukrainian journalist
Kyiv, Ukraine

Vice President Biden lays flowers at a memorial for those who were killed during protests in Ukraine last year
Kyiv, Ukraine

Vice President Biden hosts a anti-corruption roundtable with government and civil society leaders
Mariyinsky Palace, Kyiv, Ukraine

Vice President Biden and Dr Jill Biden depart Kyiv en route to Istanbul

Vice President Biden has a working dinner with Turkey Prime Minister Davutoğlu
Istanbul, Turkey

Saturday, November 22nd

Vice President Biden addressesThe Energy and Economic Summit” hosted by the Atlantic Council
Istanbul, Turkey

Vice President Biden meets with “Checks and Balances Network” a group funded by the National Democratic Institute
Istanbul, Turkey

Vice President Biden and Turkey President Erdogan have a working lunch
Beylerbeyi Palace, Istanbul, Turkey

Vice President Biden and Turkey President Erdogan deliver statements
Beylerbeyi Palace, Istanbul, Turkey

Sunday, November 23rd

Vice President meets with the Turkey’s Ecumenical Patriarch, His All Holiness Bartholomew
Istanbul, Turkey

Vice President Biden and Dr. Biden depart Istanbul en route Washington, DC.
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Pres Obama Travels to Asia: APEC CEO/Leaders Summit, EAS & U.S.-ASEAN Summit

11/08/2014

2014 APEC Beijing

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is a forum for 21 Pacific Rim member economies that seeks to promote free trade and economic cooperation throughout the Asia-Pacific region. It was established in 1989 in response to the growing interdependence of Asia-Pacific economies and the advent of regional trade blocs in other parts of the world; to fears that highly industrialized Japan (a member of G8) would come to dominate economic activity in the Asia-Pacific region; and to establish new markets for agricultural products and raw materials beyond Europe (where demand had been declining). APEC works to raise living standards and education levels through sustainable economic growth and to foster a sense of community and an appreciation of shared interests among Asia-Pacific countries. APEC includes newly industrialized economies, although the agenda of free tradewas a sensitive issue for the developing NIEs at the time APEC founded, and aims to enable ASEAN economies to explore new export market opportunities for natural resources such as natural gas, as well as to seek regional economic integration (industrial integration) by means of foreign direct investment. Members account for approximately 40% of the world’s population, approximately 54% of the world’s gross domestic product and about 44% of world trade.

An annual APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting is attended by the heads of government of all APEC members except Taiwan (which is represented by a ministerial-level official under the name Chinese Taipei as economic leader). The location of the meeting rotates annually among the member economies, and a famous tradition, followed for most (but not all) summits, involves the attending leaders dressing in a national costume of the host country.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asia-Pacific_Economic_Cooperation

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APEC CEO/Leaders Summit 2014 - Beijing

APEC CEO/Leaders Summit 2014 – Beijing

APEC CEO Summit – November 10 – 11, 2014
China National Convention Center, Beijing, China

Website: http://www.apec-china.org.cn/en/

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11/10/14 FACT SHEET: Supporting American Job Growth And Strengthening Ties By Extending U.S./China Visa Validity for Tourists, Business Travelers, and Students

11/10/14 Trans-Pacific Partnership Leaders’ Statement

11/10/14 FACT SHEET: The U.S.-Australia Alliance

11/10/14 Statement by the President on Net Neutrality

11/11/14 2014 APEC Leaders’ Declaration

11/11/14 FACT SHEET: 22nd Annual APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting

11/11/14 FACT SHEET: APEC Efforts to Support Emergency and Disaster Preparedness, Recovery, and Resilienc

11/11/14 FACT SHEET: APEC Leaders Commit to Protect the Environment

11/11/14 FACT SHEET: Key Infrastructure Initiatives Supporting U.S. Economic Priorities Work in the G20 and APEC

11/11/14 FACT SHEET: APEC Breaks Down Barriers to Women’s Economic Participation

11/11/14 FACT SHEET: Promoting Energy Security and Clean, Efficient, and Sustainable Energy Development in the APEC Region

11/11/14 FACT SHEET: Fulfilling Leaders’ Instructions on Quality in Higher Education

11/11/14 FACT SHEET: Leading the Fight Against Corruption and Bribery

11/11/14 FACT SHEET: APEC Leaders Agree on Actions to Promote Regional Economic Integration and Trade

11/11/14  FACT SHEET: U.S.-China Joint Announcement on Climate Change and Clean Energy Cooperation

11/11/14 U.S.-China Joint Announcement on Climate Change

11/11/14 FACT SHEET: President Obama’s Visit to China

11/12/14 FACT SHEET: U.S.-China Economic Relations


ASEAN Myanmar 2014

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is a geo-political and economic organization of ten countries located in Southeast Asia, which was formed on 8 August 1967 by Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.  Since then, membership has expanded to include Brunei, Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. Its aims include accelerating economic growth, social progress, cultural development among its members, protection of regional peace and stability, and opportunities for member countries to discuss differences peacefully.

For more: http://www.asean.org/

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November 12-14, 2014
East Asia Summit (EAS) and the U.S.-ASEAN Summit
Nay Pi Taw, Burma

Website: http://www.asean.org/news/asean-secretariat-news/item/asean-leaders-gather-in-myanmar-for-a-historic-summit

11/13/14 FACT SHEET: 2nd ASEAN-U.S. Summit

11/13/14 FACT SHEET: U.S. Assistance to Burma

11/13/14 Opening of a Peace Corps Program in Burma

11/13/14 U.S. and India Trade Facilitation Agreement at the World Trade Organization (WTO)

11/13/14 FACT SHEET: New Initiative to Improve Labor Rights in Burma

11/13/14 FACT SHEET: The President’s Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative

11/13/14 Joint Statement by The The Republic of the Union of Myanmar, the United States of America, Japan, Denmark and the International Labour Organization (ILO) on Labor Rights and Practices in Myanmar

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President Obama’s Asia Travels Itinerary

President Obama travels to China and Burma from November 10-15.  In China from November 10-12, President Obama will attend the APEC Leaders Meeting and APEC CEO Summit.  Upon the conclusion of the APEC Leaders Meeting, the President will participate in a state visit with President Xi Jinping of China.  In Burma from November 12-14, President Obama will attend the East Asia Summit (EAS) and the U.S.-ASEAN Summit in Nay Pi Taw, and hold a bilateral meeting with President Thein Sein.  In Rangoon on November 14, the President will participate in a town hall event with participants in the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) and meet with Aung San Suu Kyi.

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Monday, November 10th

President Obama arrives in Beijing

President Obama holds a bilateral meeting Indonesian President Widodo
Westin Beijing Chaoyang, Beijing, China

President Obama participates in a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Leaders Meeting
Embassy of the United States, Beijing, China

President Obama meets and greets with Embassy personnel
Embassy of the United States, Beijing, China

President Obama holds a bilateral meeting with Australian Prime Minister Abbott
Embassy of the United States, Beijing, China

President Obama delivers remarks at the APEC CEO/Leaders Summit
China National Convention Center, Beijing, China

President Obama arrives at the Beijing National Aquatics Center for an APEC Welcome Banquet
Beijing National Aquatics Center, Beijing, China

President Obama participates in an APEC family photo
Beijing National Aquatics Center

President Obama attends an APEC welcome banquet
Beijing National Aquatics Center, Beijing, China

President Obama overnights in Beijing

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Tuesday, November 11th

President Obama attends an official APEC summit a welcoming ceremony
International Convention Center, Yanqi Lake, Beijing, China

President Obama attends the APEC CEO Summit plenary session
International Convention Center, Yanqi Lake, Beijing, China

President Obama participates in an official APEC family photo
International Convention Center, Yanqi Lake, Beijing, China

President Obama participates in an official APEC tree planting ceremony
Friendship Lawn, Yanqi Lake, Beijing, China

President Obama attends an  APEC working lunch with leaders
International Convention Center, Yanqi Lake, Beijing, China

President Obama attends the APEC CEO Summit plenary session 2
International Convention Center, Yanqi Lake, Beijing, China

President Obama participates in a walk and talk with Chinese President Xi
Zhong Nan Hai, Beijing, China

President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping hold a bilateral meeting
Zhong Nan Hai, Beijing, China

President Obama attends a private dinner with Chinese President Xi
Zhong Nan Hai, Beijing, China

President Obama overnights in Beijing

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Wednesday, November 12th

President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping hold a additional bilateral meeting
Great Hall of the People, Beijing, China

President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping deliver remarks and hold a press conference
Great Hall of the People, Beijing, China

President Obama attends a State Visit Welcome Ceremony with hosted by Chinese President Xi Jinping
Great Hall of the People, Beijing, China

President Obama holds a meeting with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang
Great Hall of the People, Beijing, China

President Obama travels to Burma

President Obama attends the East Asia Summit (EAS) welcome ceremony
Myanmar International Convention Center, Naypyitaw, Burma

President Obama attends an East Asia (EAS) Summit Gala Dinner
Myanmar International Convention Center, Naypyitaw, Burma

President Obama overnights in Naypyitaw

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Thursday, November 13th

President Obama participates in an U.S.–ASEAN session
Myanmar International Convention Center – Naypyitaw, Burma

President Obama attends a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung of Vietnam
Myanmar International Convention Center, Naypyitaw, Burma

President Obama participates in a Roundtable at the Parliamentary Resource Center
Parliamentary Resource Center, Naypyitaw, Burma

President Obama holds a bilateral meeting with Burmese President Thein Sein
Myanmar International Convention Center, Rangoon, Burma

President Obama overnights in Naypyitaw

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Friday, November 14th

President Obama holds a bilateral meeting with Aung San Suu Kyi

Aung San Suu Kyi Residence, Rangoon, Burma

President Obama holds a press conference with Aung San Suu Kyi
Aung San Suu Kyi Residence, Rangoon, Burma

President Obama meets with Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet and Regional Director Keri Lowry
U.S. Embassy, Rangoon, Burma

President Obama holds a civil society roundtable
U.S. Embassy, Rangoon, Burma

President Obama participates in a Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative town hall meeting
Yangon University, Rangoon, Burma

President Obama departs Rangoon en route Brisbane, Australia

President Obama overnights on Air Force One

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Saturday, November 15th

President Obama travels to Brisbane, Australia for the G-20 Leaders Meeting

US – China Trade 

US – Burma Trade

US – Australia Trade

Trans-Pacific Partnership

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Protecting American Consumers

10/17/2014

Chip and Pin Credit Cards - Buy Secure

October 17, 2014

Remarks by the President on Protecting American Consumers

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
Washington, D.C.

12:00 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Hello, everybody! (Applause.) Hello. Good job, everybody. Everybody, please have a seat. Well, it is good to be back at CFPB.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Woo!

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, this is an enthusiastic and rowdy crowd, this group. (Laughter.) That’s what happens when you do good things — you feel good. And this group is doing great work.

I want to thank your director, Rich Cordray, for hosting me here today, and I want to thank all of you for doing a great job in looking out for the financial security of all Americans.

Now, obviously, right now the news is dominated by Ebola, and we’ve got an all-hands-on-deck approach across government to make sure that we are keeping the American people safe. But even as we meet that particular challenge, it’s also important that we don’t lose sight of the other challenges that we face as a nation, especially the challenge of making sure that our economy works for every single American. And that includes the challenge that brings me here today: protecting Americans from financial fraud and identity theft.

As President, I believe that America is stronger when our middle class can count on things like affordable health insurance, and Medicare and Social Security, where there are rules to protect our kids from dirty air or dirty water; rules to protect consumers from being taken advantage of. And I know you agree, those of you at CFPB, because that’s your mission.

And that’s why part of the financial reform that we passed in the wake of the worse financial crisis since the Great Depression was the creation of this agency, to make sure that we are looking at every aspect of the financial system and ensuring that the American people have the basic protections that they should be able to count on. You have one mission: You’re a watchdog for consumers to make sure that the American people have somebody who’s got their backs.

For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/10/17/remarks-president-protecting-american-consumers

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October 17, 2014

FACT SHEET: Safeguarding Consumers’ Financial Security

Today, the President is signing a new Executive Order directing the government to lead by example in securing transactions and sensitive data. The new BuySecure Initiative will provide consumers with more tools to secure their financial future by assisting victims of identity theft, improving the Government’s payment security as a customer and a provider, and accelerating the transition to stronger security technologies and the development of next-generation payment security tools.

During remarks at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the President will highlight steps by his Administration and the private sector to improve security. With over 100 million Americans falling victim to data breaches over the last year, and millions suffering from credit card fraud and identity crimes, there is a need to act — and to move our economy toward stronger, more secure technologies that better secure transactions and safeguard sensitive data.

While there is no silver bullet to guarantee data security, the President is signing an Executive Order to implement enhanced security measures, including securing credit, debit, and other payment cards with microchips in lieu of basic magnetic strips, and PINs, such as those standard on consumer ATM cards. He is calling on all stakeholders to join the Administration and a number of major corporations in driving the economy toward more secure standards to safeguard consumer finances and reduce their chances of becoming victims of identity theft — America’s fastest-growing crime.

Finally today, the President will announce the White House Summit on Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection later this year to promote partnership and innovation. The Summit will bring together major stakeholders on consumer financial protection issues to discuss how all members of our financial system can work together to further protect American consumers and their financial data, now and in the future.

The President will also renew his call to Congress to enact overdue cybersecurity legislation that will help protect Americans — particularly by clarifying companies’ obligations when sensitive data is breached.

Leading by Example: Securing Payments Across the Economy

Federal Efforts to Transition to More Secure Payment Systems: Today, the Federal Government is making an enterprise-wide transition to more secure credit, debit, and other payment cards, as well as the retail payment terminals at government locations like the passport office, VA canteens, and national parks. These new systems will, at a minimum, meet the global security standard of more secure microchips to store card numbers instead of unencrypted magnetic strips, and secure PIN functionality, like the kind featured on most ATM cards. The goal is not just to ensure the security of doing retail business with the government, but also, through this increased demand, to help drive the market towards swifter adoption of stronger security standards. Institutions like the United States Postal Service have already made this transition across tens of thousands of retail facilities across the country.

* Making Chip and PIN Cards the Standard for the Federal Government: These “chip and PIN” cards, which have cut down on payment fraud considerably in other countries, will become the standard for Federal Government programs like SmartPay® and Direct Express®. We are working with these programs to ensure that we begin a replacement program on January 1, 2015, and will, within the calendar year, issue over one million new, more secure government payment cards.

* Updating to Chip and PIN Card Terminals in Federal Agencies Processing Consumer Sales: Every Federal agency processing consumer sales will actively replace any prior-generation card retail payment card terminals to those with new chip and PIN security features under a plan issued by Department of the Treasury, which establishes requirements that federal agencies must follow when receiving credit and debit card payments when using Treasury’s collection system.

For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/10/17/fact-sheet-safeguarding-consumers-financial-security

The World Fact Book

The World Fact Book

Traveling Abroad? Consider a Chip-and-PIN Credit Card

Foreign countries have different cultures, different customs, different languages – and, to top it all off, some countries have different styles of credit cards.

Rather than using the familiar cards, which feature a magnetic strip at the top of the card, several countries have transitioned to “chip-and-PIN” credit cards, better for consumer safety. While some foreign vendors will continue to accept your traditional magnetic strip cards, some may not.

So, what’s the difference?

Chip-and-PIN cards are embedded with a computer chip that contains the information that would normally be contained in the strip along the top of the card. In addition to this chip system, users are required to enter in a PIN code, much like as would be required for a debit card.

The cards offer greater consumer protection, as it is harder to clone the payment information when a chip is being used, thus reducing identity theft. In France, chip-and-PIN cards have been responsible for a 50 percent reduction in payment fraud, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

The cards are increasingly being made available for U.S. residents, and before traveling, officials suggest you check with your credit card company to see whether chip-and-PIN cards are available. If not, they suggest that you carry a little extra cash, in case foreign vendors refuse to accept your current credit card.

Learn more about using chip-and-PIN cards on European travel.

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* International Travel Tips

Traveler’s Checklist – Bureau of Consular Affairs

Country Information – Bureau of Consular Affairs

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Helping Long-Term Unemployed Americans To Get Back to Work

10/15/2014

Helping the Long-Term Unemployed Get Back to Work

Gene Sperling and Valerie Jarrett February 10, 2014 11:29 AM EDT

In this year’s State of the Union address, President Obama called attention to a stubborn legacy of the Great Recession that remains despite the progress we have made in creating new jobs: a historically high number of Americans who are ready and eager to work, but have found themselves among the ranks of the long-term unemployed.

Although many of these Americans could help employers fill their hiring needs if given the chance, they often face particular barriers in getting back to work. Research shows that the long-term unemployed are frequently overlooked and sometimes excluded from job opportunities – one study found that candidates who had been out of work eight months were called back for interviews only about half as often as candidates who had been out of work one month, even with an otherwise identical résumé.

“I’ve heard from too many of these folks,” President Obama told a group of CEOs and business leaders the week of his State of the Union address. “They fill out 100 applications, 200 applications. They’re sending out résumés, still finding time to volunteer in their community, or helping out at church. Sometimes they have more experience and education and skill than newly unemployed Americans.”

“They just need that chance,” he said.

President Obama has made clear that there are actions that we need to take together with Congress – from extending emergency unemployment insurance to investing in areas like infrastructure and manufacturing that would strengthen demand now – to help the long-term unemployed get back to work. But the President is also committed to taking steps in partnership with businesses, non-profits, mayors, and governors and anyone else ready to address this challenge. That’s why he came together with CEOs of leading companies who announced they were signing onto new best practices for hiring and recruiting the long-term unemployed, designed to ensure the long-term unemployed receive a fair shot in the hiring and recruiting process. These best practices include:

* Ensuring advertising does not discourage or discriminate against the unemployed
* Reviewing screening and other recruiting procedures so that they do not intentionally or inadvertently disadvantage individuals based solely on their unemployment status
* Using recruitment practices that cast a broad net and encourage all qualified candidates to apply
* Sharing best practices for success in hiring the long-term unemployed within their companies and across their supply chains and the greater business community

More than 300 companies have signed onto these best practices – including 80 of the nation’s largest businesses, 20 of whom are members of the Fortune 50. To ensure that the federal government leads by example, President Obama signed a Presidential Memorandum that will ensure federal hiring does not put the unemployed at a disadvantage in the hiring process. And he announced that the Department of Labor would use $150 million in existing resources to support “Ready to Work” Partnerships between employers, non-profit organizations, and America’s public workforce system that will provide more of the long-term unemployed individuals with services and training that can help connect them to middle and high-skill jobs.

For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/02/10/helping-long-term-unemployed-get-back-work

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2014 SOTU calls for action on increasing jobs

 

$150M available to states to implement or expand
job-driven training programs for laid-off workers

4/28/14 dol.gov

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor today announced the availability of up to $150 million in funding through a new Job-Driven National Emergency Grant program to train workers who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own for jobs in high-demand industries.

These investments will help create or expand employer partnerships that provide opportunities for on-the-job training, Registered Apprenticeships or other occupational training that results in an industry-recognized credential. Funding will also be used to provide services, such as coaching, counseling and direct job placement, that help connect laid-off workers, including the long-term unemployed, with available jobs. Focusing funding on proven, job-driven training strategies is a key component of the Obama administration’s agenda to connect ready-to-work Americans with ready-to-be-filled jobs.

“Helping workers acquire the skills that employers say they need is a key way the Labor Department fulfills the president’s vision of opportunity for all,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. “These grants will provide states with critical funding to implement and expand proven strategies so that workers can secure a foothold in the middle class and businesses can grow.”

In addition to expanding work-based learning strategies — which recent studies show increase employment and earnings outcomes — grantees will also develop strong partnerships between workforce and industry organizations and align services with other federal, state or local programs, such as Unemployment Insurance, Workforce Investment Act, and Trade Adjustment Assistance programs. Funds may also be used to implement innovative approaches, such as:

* ob coaching, navigation and job-matching models that help dislocated workers, particularly the long-term unemployed, receive the specialized services they need to rapidly re-enter the workforce;

* using technology and social media to recruit participants, improve job search tools, provide distance learning opportunities, and effectively collect and disseminate labor market information;

* specialized services for laid-off workers, such as financial counseling and one-on-one coaching; and

* developing employer outcome measures to track employer satisfaction and success.

Up to $150 million in grants ranging from $500,000 to $6 million are being made available to states, territories and federally-recognized tribes through the Workforce Investment Act Dislocated Worker National Reserve fund. Applications must be received by May 27 to be considered.

For more: http://www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/eta/ETA20140714.htm

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What You Need to Know: Our Push To Get Long-Term Unemployed Americans Back to Work

Tanya Somanader October 15, 2014 09:37 AM EDT

(EXCERPTS)

Thanks to the grit and resilience of American workers and business owners, our economy is getting stronger every day. Over the last 55 months, we’ve added 10.3 million jobs — the longest streak of private-sector job growth on record — and the number of job openings rose to its highest level in more than 13 years. We’ve put more people back to work than Japan, Europe, and every other advanced economy combined and the unemployment rate is falling at a faster pace than predicted.

Unemployment 2008- Sept 2014

But one of the greatest challenges from the recession was the rise in long-term unemployment. The Great Recession left too many Americans out of a job through no fault of their own and many continue to search for work. Our strong economic growth is beginning to help.

Since December 2013, the number of long-term unemployed has fallen by 900,000, accounting for about 90 percent of the total drop in unemployment in the past 10 months.

Unemployment Aug 2014

But there is much more work to do, because — despite this progress — the long-term unemployment rate is at twice its typical level. So who exactly are the long-term unemployed, what are the challenges they face in finding work, and what is President Obama doing to help put people back to work? Here are a few answers to important questions about long-term unemployment in America:

1. How long do you actually have to be unemployed to be considered “long-term unemployed”?

2. Who are the people who are facing long-term unemployment?

3. Why is it so hard for long-term unemployed Americans to find work compared to those who are only unemployed for the short-term?

Click here to see a full list of participating businesses and to learn more about how we’re working with them to put people back to work. 

For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/10/15/what-you-need-know-our-push-get-long-term-unemployed-americans-back-work

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October 15, 2014

FACT SHEET: Getting Long-Term Unemployed Americans Back to Work

In January, President Obama issued a three-part call to action – to employers, to communities across the country, and to federal agencies – to help Americans who are ready to work find jobs, and to help more of the long-term unemployed get back to work. That included unveiling a set of “best practices” being taken by leading employers – including over 80 of the nation’s largest companies – around recruiting and hiring the long-term unemployed, to remove some of the barriers that make it harder for them to navigate the hiring process.

Today, building on the President’s call to action, the White House is providing an update on progress since January and additional steps—taken in conjunction with businesses, non-profit leaders, governors and mayors and federal agencies—to help ensure that Americans still looking for work have a fair shot, and American businesses benefit as a result.

Since December, the long-term unemployment rate has fallen from 2.5 percent to 1.9 percent. The number of long-term unemployed – those unemployed more than 6 months – has fallen by 900,000. This decline accounts for around 90 percent of the total drop in unemployment in the past 10 months. But there is still work left to do. As more jobs are created, it is critical that Americans with skills, experience, and a desire to work have every opportunity to get back to work to maximize the full potential of our talent pool.

Today, the White House is announcing:

* $170 Million in DOL Grants to Support Partnerships that Connect the Long-Term Unemployed to Work. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez is announcing 23 grants from the Department of Labor’s H-1B funds – totaling $170 million – for programs in 20 states and Puerto Rico to help the long-term unemployed return to the workforce. Grants were awarded to partnerships between non-profits, local government, and employers to train and match long-term unemployed job seekers for in-demand jobs.

* Progress on Business Efforts to Improve Recruiting and Hiring of Long-Term Unemployed. In January, the Administration announced a call to action for businesses to adopt best practices for hiring the long term unemployed and over 300 businesses – including 80 of the nation’s largest companies – announced they were adopting these best practices for hiring and recruiting the long-term unemployed to ensure that these candidates receive a fair shot during the hiring process. Today, the Vice President, the Director of the National Economic Council, and the Secretary of Labor are meeting with the Chief Human Resource Officers of many of these leading companies who have found innovative ways to better integrate applications from the long-term unemployed into their hiring process. Deloitte Consulting and Rockefeller Foundation are also releasing handbooks, created in consultation with HR departments in many companies, which can be used by employers and long-term unemployed job seekers to return a greater number of people to the workforce.

* Ensuring Federal Hiring Process Gives Long-Term Unemployed Job Applicants a Fair Shot. Following up on a Presidential Memorandum issued in January, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is issuing guidance to Federal agencies to ensure that individuals who are unemployed or have faced financial difficulties because of circumstances like job loss receive fair treatment and consideration for employment by Federal agencies.

For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/10/15/fact-sheet-getting-long-term-unemployed-americans-back-work

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White House, companies look for ways to hire long-term unemployed

10/15/14 Roberta Rampton – Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Vice President Joe Biden will meet with human resource officers from major U.S. companies at the White House on Wednesday to discuss changes to hiring practices aimed at improving employment prospects for people who have been out of work for a while.

Officials from companies such as Citigroup, CVS Caremark, Boeing and Dow Chemical will talk about steps they have taken when they meet with Biden, Labor Secretary Tom Perez, and Jeff Zients, head of President Barack Obama’s National Economic Council, the White House said.

Perez also will announce $170 million in 23 grants to help train people from the ranks of the long-term unemployed and match them with jobs.

Zients told reporters that qualified people who have a gap on their resume can face “significant artificial barriers” with certain screening practices used to sort through resumes.

“It’s a vicious cycle, as the long-term unemployed are less likely to be offered a job even when they have the exact same resume and qualifications as other applicants,” Zients said on a conference call.

Earlier this year, about 300 companies agreed to tweak their screening, advertising, interviewing and training practices so that candidates who had been out of work for months were not automatically excluded from opportunities.

For example, the White House said Frontier Communications hired more than 250 people from the ranks of the long-term unemployed since January – representing about 20 percent of the company’s hires – because it stopped using resume screens.

For more: http://news.yahoo.com/white-house-companies-look-ways-hire-long-term-041305989–finance.html;_ylt=AwrSyCTkdz5UdyYA4EDQtDMD

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Companies Vow to Not Mind Gap, Hire Long-Term Jobless: Economy

Dec 4, 2014 2:00 AM PT By Michelle Jamrisko – bloomberg

Like New Year’s resolutions to eat less and exercise more, a pledge signed by 330 companies in January to ensure long-term jobless Americans aren’t subject to hiring biases hasn’t been easy to keep.

Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT) and Walgreen Co. (WAG) are among businesses trying to fulfill the promise by tweaking screening practices to ensure people who’ve been unemployed the longest have a fair shot at landing a job. Frontier Communications Corp. (FTR) has found that its workforce is more loyal and productive after focusing less on gaps in work histories when looking for new staff.

“It was not easy to get my hiring managers to break away from the habit of viewing the top five or six resumes for an open position,” said Jim Oddo, senior vice president of human resources and talent at Stamford, Connecticut-based Frontier, a regional telephone company that was among the firms signing on to President Barack Obama’s push to give the long-term unemployed a longer look.

For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-12-04/employers-tweaking-hiring-habits-in-bid-to-fulfill-obama-pledge.html

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