ABC News' Mary Bruce Reports: In the face of lagging economic indicators, President Obama will visit Northern Virginia Community College's Alexandria Campus today to deliver remarks on the importance of training and preparing America’s workforce to better compete for manufacturing jobs.
Obama will announce the expansion of a worker-training program intended to bolster partnerships between the manufacturing industry and community colleges to improve job training and placement.
The program is aimed at providing 500,000 community college students with industry-recognized credentials to help them secure jobs in manufacturing.
The initiative will also create a new uniform credentialing system and job training requirements.
“The president has repeatedly demonstrated that he completely gets that manufacturing has a future in America and needs to have a future in America, and I think this is another step along that very important road,” Assistant to the President for Manufacturing Policy Ron Bloom told reporters.
“It’s a clear recognition that while we obviously need the skilled engineers and the skilled scientists and others to lead, we also need skilled, blue-collar workers,” he said.
After his speech the president will have lunch with the Vice President before meeting with his senior advisors in the Oval Office.
In the afternoon Obama will address the Auburn University Tigers, the 2010 college football national champs.
The Tigers will be honored for their BCS national championship and undefeated season. This event was originally scheduled for late April, but was rescheduled due to the devastating tornadoes in Alabama.
Later, Obama will welcome Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, fresh off an election victory, to the White House. The two leaders will discuss the latest regional and global developments and their bilateral partnership.
At some point today the President is also expected to speak with Afghan President Hamid Karzai via video teleconference. Earlier in the week Obama said the U.S. has accomplished a “big chunk” of its mission in Afghanistan and that he will be making an announcement about the size of the U.S. troop withdrawal from the war-torn country “soon.”