This week, President Obama talked about a new foundation for a 21st century economy and welcomed Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the White House; Vice President Biden and Secretary of Labor Tom Perez announced the fourth round of TAACCCT grants (keep reading to find out what that stands for); and the economy saw its 55th straight month of private-sector job gains.
Check out what else you may have missed in this week';s wrap up.
At the White House on Monday, Secretary of Labor Tom Perez joined Vice President Joe Biden to announce the fourth round of TAACCCT (Trade Adjustment Assistance and Community College and Career Training) grants -- 71 of them in all, worth more than $450 million in total.
These grants are helping community colleges across the country deliver the education and career training that will help job seekers get the skills they need for in-demand jobs in their communities.
As Secretary Perez noted in a blog post on Monday, the acronym isn't the best -- but "as a commitment to building a 21st century workforce, as a tool to prepare people for the jobs of today and tomorrow, it is second-to-none."
President Obama welcomed Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the White House on Tuesday, marking the first bilateral summit between the two heads of state.
In his remarks, Prime Minister Modi pointed out:
“I’m happy that we are meeting here just a few days after the Indian and the U.S. missions reached Mars around the same time. So after the India-U.S. summit on Mars, we are meeting here on Earth. This happy coincidence captures the potential of our relationship.”
On Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also announced the confirmation of the first Ebola case in the United States. Here’s what you need to know:
In his State of the Union speech this year, President Obama called on Congress to raise the minimum wage nationwide -- and announced that he would issue an Executive Order to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 for workers on federal contracts. This Wednesday, Secretary of Labor Tom Perez announced a final rule that implements the Executive Order.
Over the past couple of months, you’ve shared your stories with us about what raising the minimum wage would mean to you and your communities. Check out some of your responses on the interactive map below -- and share your own story here.
The people of Alabama need this.
Students in my community actively work many hours a week to pay for higher education…. Raising the minimum wage would allow more students to pay for college…
As a student, I'm putting myself more and more in debt every semester, as I try to save up for a wedding at the same time. A higher minimum wage would allow me to put more toward my loans and allow me to put more away for the wedding I'm dreaming about!
I currently live below the poverty line. I work part time for $8 an hour. Increasing my salary to $10.10 would allow me to use the air conditioner. While this may seem inconsequential to some, it makes all the difference to someone who lives in Phoenix, AZ in the summer where the average daytime temperature is 105.
It would mean so much to me if I didn't have to live paycheck to paycheck, being a student and living in Arizona where the minimum wage is only seven dollars and some change. It really would make all the difference in the world.
It would allow more people to put food on the table all month long, and reduce food insecurity and dependence on local food pantries. Our food pantries are heavily used and are struggling to meet the need.
All of the workers in our world-famous restaurants and hotels here in San Francisco will be able to care for their families with a little less worry every month. It is time to raise the minimum wage across our country.
I will be able to help my mother pay for the bills which she is struggling with.
All Americans have the right to live in dignity, to feel the health of their family is secure. A few more dollars a day, a few more dollars in the savings account each month, will be a huge step toward achieving this kind of community.
I am currently making minimum wage while trying to earn my mechanical engineering degree. I can't work many hours so I'm forced to take extra money from student loans to make up the difference.
Raising the minimum wage in my community will not only help working families, but single parent families and single working people as well. No one can sustain a decent living on the minimum wage in this day and age….
Families are the foundation of a great society, and livable wages help strengthen those family relationships.
Many of my students at the Community College, where I used to teach, earned minimum wage, and they struggled--struggled to pay rent, buy gas, buy books, and take college courses. We are not a land of equality because the wealth is in the hands of a very few and the cards are stacked against those who are striving futilely to improve their standard of living.
Raising the minimum wage will obviously raise the quality of life for workers and also raise their ability to have the means to further their pursuits in terms of academic training…
I can afford to house and feed my children.
Raising the minimum wage will help my daughter, who works very hard and cannot afford to pay for the necessities.
My family lives on the edge of poverty, and raising the minimum wage would improve our ability to pay property taxes to support our son in school.
My family wouldn't have to choose between buying groceries or paying our mortgage. My sister and brother-in-law would be able to finish college and even start saving for their baby's college fund, instead of barely getting through each week, even with both of them working full time.
Everybody around me will be able to live better and be closer to fulfilling their dreams.
The minimum wage in the State of Hawaii is $7.25, yet we have one of the highest costs of living in the country. By raising the minimum wage, everyone benefits: the community, the individuals, and the health and vibrancy of the economy as a whole.
We have a lot of students that work at minimum wage, as well as others in our town that have had trouble making ends meet. We need to value the people in our communities, and pay the small extra price to let them actively participate in the community.
I'm 74 and retired. But the minimum wage for every person who checks out my groceries, or other purchases is essential for these workers to live in my suburban Chicago community.
Indiana doesn't offer a higher state minimum wage — we primarily live paycheck to paycheck. There have been several times we have had to choose between gasoline for the cars or food for the house.
I would be able to begin to save money for my future and begin paying back my student loans.
Raising the minimum wage in Wyandotte County Kansas will mean more people will be able to spend more time with their children rather than working two jobs to pay for food, clothing, shelter and health care.
My family will be able to eat better without breaking the bank. After the bills are paid it's hard to afford to eat a healthy meal.
It would allow me to both feed my wife and two year old daughter, AND pay off my student loans.
My community has many workers piecing a living together season to season and they really need a raise.
I am glad I live in Maryland, which just passed a hike in the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour by 2018. It's progress.
Minnesota has the widest disparity in the USA of income and educational outcome. Higher wages for the working poor will reduce poverty, stress, and crime, which will improve educational achievement - hungry, tired, angry children cannot learn effectively.
Mississippians desperately need a boost in the minimum wage. Let's not be last in this, too!
I volunteer in our community food pantry and see the needs of those who just squeak by. These neighbors are hardworking people who are far different from the stereotype often presented of minimum wage workers.
Most jobs in my tourist town are minimum wage, and the costs of living are high. Raising the wage would really help Montanans!
Raising the minimum wage will give the hard-working folks of Omaha, Nebraska, the ability to transform their lives and the lives of their children for a brighter tomorrow!
I am a single mom just trying to give the best life possible to my daughter. I work at a gym and am barely making minimum wage which makes it difficult to even be able to afford to pay bills, put groceries on the table and provide for our everyday needs. A raise in pay would most certainly make a big difference for us.
I am a Software Engineer making well above the minimum wage, but I do see a wage increase as beneficial to all of the United States. I believe it will spark growth in local communities, raise morale of employees, and overall provide a more fair and level playing field for everyone in America.
People will be able to feed their families more nutritiously, will be able to tend to medical needs, and will be able to participate in educational and civic activities. My community and the entire U.S. economy will benefit when low-income workers have a few more dollars to spend.
As a retiree, raising the minimum won't benefit me, but when I see and hear of people in my community struggling to make ends meet with the dreadfully low minimum wage as it stands today, I sincerely hope the Congress will get on and vote to raise the minimum wage.
Most of my life, I've only earned very low wages. I don't have kids to put through college, but I like the thought of retiring someday.
Many who are working the minimum wage jobs are the bread winners or supplementing their education expenses. I would happily pay more for goods and services to those businesses if they would increase the wages and make happier, more productive employees!
I live in a community where many people work at minimum wage jobs; they work just as hard as anyone else, and deserve to earn a living wage.
In Norman, Oklahoma, the cost of living is relatively low, yet workers earning minimum wage must work more than 70 hours a week just to pay rent. Many work two jobs and still find it hard to make ends meet. Yes! We need to increase the minimum wage.
I could afford food and not go to sleep with a headache and hunger pains.
As a small business owner, we are preparing to voluntarily raise our employees’ wages. We believe this will help us in the long run. We can hire people who are more dedicated and supportive of the business which will increase sales and customer loyalty. And, of course, anything that keeps dollars in our community, our neighbors, and our schools, is always welcome.
Raising the minimum wage will help me start a savings account so I can save for my future. My community will thrive because we will work for a wage we can live on!
I want to see this change because it's simply the right thing to do. And that alone is enough reason. And I dont yet know what's in it for me except that their happiness is mine too.
Raising the minimum wage will allow me to be able to put myself through college. My dream is to be able to have the opportunity to go to college, where I can study to be a nurse. It's very difficult to set aside money for college when I am living from pay check to pay check. If I were to make $10.10 an hour, it would allow me to be able to have the opportunity to save money, so I can start to take a few classes at a time.
Raising the minimum wage is bound to increase nutrition in this community. I have heard of people here skipping meals so their children could eat. There is something absolutely wrong with that picture.
I am an adjunct instructor at a local community college, and I visit with students, who are sometimes young parents or a single mother, and hear them speak of the hardships experienced while trying to better themselves by attending college and simultaneously holding down minimum wage jobs. A fair minimum wage of $10.10 would come closer to helping some of these young hard-working students to meet the financial hurdles they face early in life.
I'll be able to help more with the bills and help provide for my family. The cost of living is high so the minimum wage right now just doesn't cut it.
As a struggling college student, finding jobs that work with my school schedule is difficult. I know this country prides itself on education and the importance of it, but it’s very difficult to pay to continue my education while making 7 bucks an hour in Texas.
I've worked for minimum wage when I was young and I barely got by. That was in 1972. I don't know how anyone today can work for minimum wage and live out on their own let alone raise a family.
It will be a tremendous boon to the parents of the students in my classroom, who have to struggle to buy their children the school supplies and uniforms they need.
It won't help me, as I am retired, but if it is raised, I will be able to sleep better at night. It's the right thing to do.
I am payed the current minimum wage, and while I don't support anyone with this fee, a slightly higher wage would raise the money I've been saving to pay for college.
I am a school librarian where many families hold minimum wage jobs, sometimes more than one. Raising their wages will give the kids more support, more food and nutrition so they can learn better, more time with parents who can help support their learning, more books for the home.
I think raising the minimum wage will help my business (computer service). I lose business when my clients fall into poverty or otherwise cannot afford to have their computers fixed by a professional.
Many of the clients I work with cannot afford to pay their electric bills on time, due to their low wages. This causes them a lot of stress. Raising the minimum wage could help alleviate that stress. People who work full time should be able to pay their basic bills.
I grew up in West Virginia and to see my friends and family struggle with working for minimum wage makes me wish I could write them all a paycheck every two weeks.
My daughter could focus on her career versus working three jobs to try to survive month to month.
My family wouldn’t struggle so much to make ends meet every month. We would have the money to put food on the table every night.
It will help thousands of single-parent families in Wyoming.
For a full interactive map experience, view this page on a desktop computer.
President Obama spoke to students at Northwestern University about what has always fueled America’s leadership: our economic greatness. In his speech, he highlighted key cornerstones that will pave a new foundation for a 21st century economy.
President Obama waves after economic speech today at Northwestern University pic.twitter.com/72doPid8i3— petesouza (@petesouza) October 3, 2014
After the President's remarks, senior administration officials joined Americans in a series of chats to discuss topics covered in the speech. Find out more here -- and also check out this email from Gary Pollard, a network technician from Washington, D.C., who shared his perspective on what the growing economy means to him.
This morning, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released a report that shows just how far our economy has come since the Great Recession.
Adding 236,000 jobs in September, America’s businesses have now seen positive job growth for 55 straight months -- the longest streak of private-sector job gains on record. And the overall unemployment rate fell to 5.9 percent -- the lowest it’s been since July 2008.
The data underscores that six years after the Great Recession -- thanks to the hard work of the American people and in part to the policies the President has pursued -- our economy has bounced back more strongly than most others around the world.