As Obama Preps Jobs Plan, Employment is Topic No. 1
Coming off of Labor Day, and only days before President Obama releases his plan to reinvigorate the economy by bolstering U.S. employment, everyone is talking jobs, jobs, jobs.
Here's some of the buzz:
1. "Get dirty." Speaking to union members at a Labor Day rally, Obama hinted that his plan will include putting construction workers to work rebuilding roads, bridges and other public works. Obama didn't go into detail, but economists and other analysts expect the plan he'll announce Thursday night will include public spending on school repairs and alternative energy, as well as transportation infrastructure. According to a New York Times report, Obama said Monday that construction workers would be able "to get dirty."
2. Six ideas for immediate job creation. Government officials and business leaders alike are brainstorming about these new ways to create more jobs, and quick.
3. Social media push for nonprofit jobs. A coalition of nonprofit organizations and foundations took to Twitter to encourage Obama to include nonprofits in his jobs plan. The Independent Sector group asks supporters to get the word out using the Twitter hashtag "#nonprofits." According to a Chronicle of Philanthropy report, the group wants the president to give nonprofits the same federal incentives as for-profit businesses for creating new jobs.
4. Working man's poet. New U.S. Poet Laureate Philip Levine appeared on the Here & Now syndicated radio show on Labor Day to recite his 1991 classic, "What Work Is," and discuss what he learned in the years he spent as a Detroit auto worker before becoming a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet. At the Here & Now website, you can hear Levine reading several of his poems and also browse listeners' favorite poems about work.
5. Biggest losers. The United States has lost 6.9 million jobs since U.S. employment peaked in January 2008 at 138 million, according to a report on the Marketplace radio show. The construction and manufacturing industries are the two biggest losers, accounting for 4.9 million jobs, according to the report. Retail, administrative and wholesale positions also were hit hard.
6. Job loss leads to reinvention. When the Richmond Times-Dispatch asked readers how the economy had changed their lives, many of the 30 people who responded shared stories of moving beyond hardship to new beginnings. Paula Wood went $22,000 into debt when she lost her human resources job in 2008 after 28 years at the same company. Wood went back to school to be a certified medical assistant and now works at a family physician practice. "It's been a year, and I am still there and loving my new career and the nursing supervisor who gave me a chance," she tells the paper.
7. Hiring pledge. Carla Emil got so tired of hearing about dismal unemployment figures she decided to do something about it. The 62-year-old San Francisco woman has launched an online campaign, One Job for America, asking business owners nationwide to pledge to hire one new employee each. "This might sound super idealistic or even Pollyanna-ish," she says in a recent SecondAct story, "but they seem to want to make a difference... I've heard a number of business owners say they were thinking of hiring someone and that this gave them an extra push."
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