President Obama Talks Jobs, Minimum Wage in Wisconsin

Says America has "all the ingredients we need" to thrive in the 21st century.
3:00 | 01/30/14

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Transcript for President Obama Talks Jobs, Minimum Wage in Wisconsin
Good of their -- Jeff. Now. I've always reserve the hospitality that. Packer country give the -- me. -- and I remember when I was up their campaign. The first time and then there -- some -- that's for Obama. And I felt pretty good about that. Neither does feel -- good about our seasons but that's. Okay there's always next year. We have. Three of your outstanding elected -- elected officials with us here today. We've got congresswoman -- -- The mayor of Milwaukee Tom Barrett. At Milwaukee County executive Chris. -- -- former governor Jim -- And it's also devastated adjusting that's like somebody was. A huge part of my economic team before she became chancellor. The University of Wisconsin Madison doctor -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- She says she should miss Washington she doesn't really. -- -- I'm so proud -- -- And grateful for the terrific introduction. I want to thank Jim for showing -- around the plant. I have come here to talk -- -- about something. I spent a lot of time on in my State of the Union Address. On -- The idea that. No matter where you are. If you or won't work hard if you want to take on responsibility. You can get a hit. The -- every opportunity. Here in America. Were at a moment where businesses like. He had created eight million new jobs over the past four years. And that's good news. -- unemployment rate below but it's been -- more than five years. Our doubts have been cut in half. Housing rebound in manufacturing is adding jobs for the first time since the 1990s. We sell more of what we make here in America and other countries than we ever have before. Today we -- that in the second half -- last year our economy grew by three point 7%. We still have more work to do but that's pretty strong. And our businesses -- away. Over the past. Year the private sector grew faster than at any time and over a decade. And that's why I believe. That's going to be a breakthrough year for her. After five years a hard work. Digging ourselves -- of the worst recession of our lifetimes we are now better position. In the 21 century. Than any other country honor we've got. All the ingredients we need. To make sure that America -- And the question -- washing them whether they're gonna help -- they're gonna. -- that rivals. Whether. They're gonna waste time. Creating new crises that slow things down or they're gonna spend time creating new jobs -- Because the -- there's -- and you know this in your own lives you save your -- among your friends and family. Even though the economy has been growing for four years. Given all corporate profits have been doing very well stock prices have soared most folks wages. Haven't gone up and over a decade. The middle class. There's been taken it on the chin even before the financial crisis too many Americans working harder than ever just to get by. Let alone get ahead and then there too many Americans still are out of work. Here in Wisconsin and around the country so we've got to won't reverse those trends if we're going to be serious. About given opportunity to everybody. And that's why -- Tuesday I laid out some new steps that we can take right now. To speed up economic growth and strengthen the middle class and build ladders of opportunity. Into the middle class. Some of the ideas -- presented. I'm going to be congress -- But. America cannot stand still and neither were a lot so wherever I could take steps to expand opportunity to help. Working families. That's what I'm going to do with or without congress. A lot of work -- -- but I can't -- We got too much more to -- out there. Because of the -- project of our generation what we have to tackle right now what has driven me throughout my presidency and what will drive me until. I waved goodbye. Is making sure that we're restoring opportunity to every single person in America. About this opportunity agenda that I put forward has four parts. First part. Is creating more new jobs. Jobs American manufacturing. American exports American energy American innovation and by the way this plan represents all those things. You've seen new jobs being built in part because. We've had this amazing energy boom in this country. And engines that are built -- a lot of them are. Being utilized in that new energy production. Were exporting a whole bunch of these engines. Overseas. The manufacturing have taken place here isn't just good for this plant in -- spillover effects throughout the economy. And what's also true is that manufacturing jobs typically pay well. We want to encourage moral. And there's also innovation going on of this plant so the engines that were built one in five years -- -- the same as the engines were building today. So first thing is what's -- more new jobs. Number true we gotta train Americans. -- skills to fill those jobs. Americans like Reggie. We've got to get them ready to take -- Number three we've got a guarantee every child access where world class education. Because that's where the foundations start from. The number forward got to make sure hard work pays off. Your work hard. Build -- -- You may not end up in wildly rich. Wage bill that. Pay your mortgage. Your -- -- Look after your family maybe. Take a vacation homes one. Especially work because it was got a cold. At this failures and I was gonna start out by saying the state of the union is cold. But I decided there was. Not entirely appropriate. So on Tuesday talked about what will take to attract more good paying jobs to America everything from changing -- our tax -- so. -- rewarding companies that invest here in the United States is. Folks or Parker profits overseas. To boosting more natural gas production. But in this rapidly changing economy. We also have to make sure that folks can fill those jobs and that's why I'm here today. I don't some folks in Wisconsin could remember a time a few decades ago when finding a job in manufacturing wasn't hard at all you basically one job showed up at a factory. You got -- If you worked hard to stay on the job. But our economy's changing. Not all of today's good jobs need a four year degree. The ones that don't need a college degree do need some specialized training we were looking at some of the equipment here it's five million dollars -- of equipment. -- the bill -- as the greatest got to put to their on the first -- -- -- -- -- this -- If you mess up. You mess up. So that's a challenge for workers and it's a challenge for companies who want to build things here. And want to bring jobs back from overseas. There's one the top executives -- put it Brian white. If we're gonna have a manufacturing base in this country we've got to find a way to have manufacturing employees. Now the good news is that folks across Wisconsin have set out to do just that this -- a great example of that that's why we're here. In addition just you -- Mike Vernon street. But we're here because -- on some really good stuff. That everybody else -- pay attention to together what -- local high school. You -- -- youth apprenticeship programs so students spend four hours -- in the classroom for hours on the shop floor. After two years they -- would -- a high school diploma and a technical certificate. Then -- set up an adult apprenticeship program. The folks can earn while they learn. You're working with partners from the Wisconsin regional training partnership. -- mayor -- manufacturing partnership. To more than fifty other employers big and small across the region. In order to spot job openings months in advance and then design training programs specifically for the office. You're gonna help set up schools -- skills program of the local business alliance. To bring kids to factories and help inspire them to pursue careers in manufacturing. And I just want to make a quick comment on that. The all lot of parents unfortunately. Maybe when they saw lot of manufacturing being offshore told their kids. You don't wanna go into the trade you don't want to going to manufacturing because you'll lose your job. Well the problem is that. What -- a lot of young people no longer see the trades and skilled manufacturing. As a viable careers but I promise you. Folks. Can -- more. Potentially. With skill manufacturing. Or the -- and they might -- an art history degree. Now about the -- in our history Rihanna love artist. I don't wanna get a bunch of emails for a month. I'm just saying. You you can make it really good living and have a great career. Without giving a four year college education as long as you get the skills. So back to what you guys are doing all this work. Has paid off its one reasons why over the past four years. You've grown -- manufacturing worst work force by nearly half. So what you're doing at this plant. And across this region. Can be a model for the country. Which is why I've asked congress to fun. More reliably. Proven programs that connect more ready to work Americans with -- ready to be skilled jobs. Of course there -- a lot of folks who do not have time to wait for congress. They need to learn new skills right now to get a new job right now. So. That's why here today at JC. I'm making an official. Vice President Biden a man who. Was raised on the value of hard work. And is tenacious. Is gonna lead and across the board review of America's training programs. We've got. We've got -- We've got a lot of programs but not all armored door and do what they should be going to get people -- for jobs that exist right now. We've got to move away from what my labor secretary Tom Perez calls train and -- -- train workers first. And then you hope they get a job. We can't do that partly because it -- might -- folks and a lot of times young people they take out loans. So they're give them a debt think -- may have been -- -- -- job and then suddenly there's no doubt there. -- we need to do is. Look at where -- the jobs. And take eight Diop driven approach. To train and that's what you're doing here with -- So we've got to start by figuring out what skills and -- are looking for. Then we got to engage the entire community. We've got to help workers learn the skills they need to do the job that exists. And then we've got to make sure that we're continually falling -- and upgrading things because. Companies are constantly shifting their -- -- Sort -- -- we're gonna review all federal job training programs soup to nuts and then we're also going to be. Supporting local ones I've asked Vice President Biden. And top officials in the federal government to reach out to governors mayors business leaders labor leaders. Democratic and Republican members of congress. Let's find out what programs are working best and let's duplicated and expand. And later this year I'm gonna ask to operate as my secretary of labor. Apply those lessons. As we conduct the next round of a national competition we're gonna set up. Challenging Community Colleges to partner -- local employers and national industries. To design job driven training programs. And we're -- have at least one winner from every state. And we're -- to invest nearly 500 million dollars in the partnerships that show the most attention so we're putting some real money behind us. Now we know that we've got to start training our younger workers better -- that. Workers first job and set them on an upward trajectory -- So -- and -- as a country. That you're going right here and that is create more apprenticeship opportunities. That put workers on a path to middle class. -- the problem for a lot of young people as they just don't know what's out there. If you've never work. On the plant floor you don't know what's involved in don't know what it is. It is if you don't have a bad word mom an -- or somebody who. Gives you some sense of that you may not know. How interesting the work -- and help how much you can advance. So while we redouble our efforts to train today's workforce we've got to make sure. That we are doing everything we can't expand apprenticeships and I'm gonna call on American companies all across the country. Particularly manufacturers to set up more apprenticeship programs. And we've got to make sure. That. Once closer through training once they get a job that the hard work pays off for every single -- I talked about this much -- -- You know income from wages have not gone up as fast as corporate profits in the stock market -- And that's a problem for the economy as a whole. Good football games -- just took top ordinary folks are doing better. Then they're not shopping -- -- buy new cars and up new appliances that up by the new home and that. Depresses the entire economy when there's money. In the pockets of ordinary folks. Everybody does better including business. But today women make up half our workforce they're make -- 77 cents for -- dollar manner. That's wrong was wrong. Wrong. So I mentioned on Jews -- women deserve equal pay for equal work. -- -- That provides -- job. And to build a get a day off when the kids get. -- -- -- -- We've got to give women the -- Every opportunity. That she deserved. Those I don't think they want when women succeed America's excellent and by the way when -- -- -- -- -- All of them out all the guys -- but. The -- when Michelle don't doing -- and happy. I'm happy to. -- -- But -- look -- just the economics of it because we now live in you know. And a society where you've got to breadwinners. Thatcher helped make ends me. So -- -- a woman's getting cheated that's a family issue for the whole family. Not just -- just. Now. Women hold a majority of -- wage jobs but they're not the only ones -- -- getting stifled by stagnant wages as Americans. We all understand some folks who make more money about. And we don't actually and -- their success. When they've worked that make a lot of money that's great. Michelle and I were talking Michelle's. -- was. -- -- worked. Water filtration plant down in which got my mom was -- as the secretary. In my -- single mom. Government what -- they weren't worried. About. What the rich and famous were -- they weren't going around saying -- -- I don't have a furcal and Ferrari. That is want to make sure that if they're working -- they could look after the fact. And that's I think most Americans. That's how we all feel. Americans overwhelmingly agree nobody who works full time should ever have to raise a family and public. They should ask -- Why don't spend some time talking about minimum -- Right now the federal minimum wage doesn't even go as far as -- back in 1950. We've seen states and cities raising their minimum wage is on the wrong. And I support these efforts including the one that's going on right here in Wisconsin. As the chief executive on the lead by example I talked about the subject. Issue an executive order requiring federal contractors. The pay -- federally funded employees. It their -- of at least ten dollars and ten cents an hour have if you're a club. Or washing dishes for our troops on -- base. You should have to live in poverty. Of course to reach millions more people congress -- need to catch up with the rest of the country. -- congress right now to raise the federal minimum wage to ten dollars and ten cents at 1010 -- -- -- remember -- to. And they should say yes to. Give America race. Making work -- also means access to health care that's there when you get sick. The Affordable Care -- means nobody's gonna get. Dropped. From their insurance or denied coverage because of a preexisting condition. Like Batman -- -- they charge more after a woman those days are over. More Americans are signing up for private health insurance every night. Have you know somebody. Who isn't covered the great thing about -- shopping is. Because of strong union leadership. And -- is a great company most most of the postal worker they've got good health insurance but you've got friends family members. Maybe kids -- Are older than 46 because of the eleven point six they should be able to -- your plan thanks the law that we passed but if they don't have health insurance right now. Polamalu sitting down help -- -- cover. -- health care knocked out by march 31. Of these things are all gonna help advance opportunity. Restore some economic secure. More good jobs skills to keep you employed. Savings that are portable health care -- yours and can't be canceled or dropped if you get sick. A decent wage to make sure. If you -- working -- it pays off. These are real practical achievable solutions to help shift the odds back and in favor more work friends. That's what all you represent. Just like Americans who were on the stage. Several of these folks who graduated from -- -- training programs. Western according right. And as -- -- registry feel like you won the super bowl of life. Just like the real Super Bowl. Success. Requires teamwork. So they -- the skills that put them on the path to middle class Reggie and folks in the program had to look out for each other that helped each other out -- Sometimes -- one slip they had to come together. Make sure it. Nobody -- debate. And that's the attitude it's gonna take for all of us to build the world's best trained workforce. That's the attitude it's gonna take to restore opportunity for everybody moves well -- -- car. And won't be easy. And sometimes some -- slip. But we come together and push forward. Everybody every team. I'm confident -- necessary we've seen here in Wisconsin. We can make sure it happens all across got. Back to help -- Now middle -- -- executive order to make sure we got. Everybody trained up there.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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