Today, Gary Pollard, Jr. -- a network technician from Washington, D.C. -- sent the message below to the White House email list. Didn't get it? Join millions of Americans and sign up to receive messages from the White House.
I watched the President speak about the economy earlier today -- maybe you did, too.
He talked about how, even though we've rebounded from recession faster than almost every other advanced nation, we've still got a lot of work to do when it comes to rebuilding the middle class.
It's easy to hear that and ask yourself, "What does the President mean when he talks about 'rebuilding the middle class?' Who are those workers? What kind of jobs do they have?"
Well, I'm one of them.
Two years ago, I was a U.S. Army veteran who had been working in the telecommunication industry for 14 years. Then, in August of 2012, I got laid off -- and my family's future suddenly became uncertain. It was a terrifying feeling.
I knew I'd need to adapt. So, with the help of the Veteran Rehabilitation Assistance Program, I enrolled as a full-time student at Anne Arundel Community College. I got my Associate’s Degree in Business Administration, and enrolled in a special Cyber Technology program. That program allowed me to learn a new set of skills that's positioned me at the forefront of the cyber technology field that is under high demand.
Why am I sharing all of this?
Because behind every speech, every chart, and every statistic you hear when the President speaks, there are real people. People like me who are getting back to work, people who are picking up new skills, people who are doing a little bit better than they were a couple years ago.
And even though we've still got a ways to go, I'm confident in the new foundation I've been able to build for myself. And I'm hopeful for the future.
That's just one American's perspective.
Thanks for listening,
Gary Pollard, Jr.
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