Obama Touts Blue-Collar Apprenticeship Programs After Urging Passage of Amnesty Bill

Obama Touts Blue-Collar Apprenticeship Programs After Urging Passage of Amnesty Bill

Just before President Barack Obama went to a community college in Pennsylvania to tout plans to help blue-collar Americans struggling in this economy to gain employment, he urged House Republicans to pass the Senate’s amnesty bill that would make it more difficult for those Americans to actually find decent jobs.

On the one-year anniversary of the introduction of the Senate’s amnesty bill, Obama urged the House to pass the Senate bill that would lower the wages of American workers and make it more difficult for the Americans Obama’s programs are intended to help actually to find good jobs with decent wages.

Obama claimed the amnesty legislation will grow the economy without noting that it would lower wages and increase on-budget deficits, as the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office determined, while more than doubling the number of H-1B high-tech visas and guest worker permits that would bring in foreign workers to compete with Americans in all industries.

“Unfortunately, Republicans in the House of Representatives have repeatedly failed to take action, seemingly preferring the status quo of a broken immigration system over meaningful reform,” Obama said before urging “House Republicans to listen to the will of the American people and bring immigration reform to the House floor for a vote.”

He then went to the Community College of Allegheny in Pennsylvania and said that in today’s economy, too many Americans, “if they’re lucky enough to have a job, are working harder and harder just to get by, much less to get ahead.”

“For too many middle-class Americans, it feels as if the same trends that have been going on for decades are continuing. You’re working hard, but wages flat-line, incomes flat-line, cost of everything else going up,” he said before speaking about training “more Americans with the skills to fill the jobs that are there.”

Obama then said that “when people do have a job, we’ve got to make sure that job pays a decent wage and that you have savings you can retire on and health care you can count on.”

Acknowledging that there are “a lot of Americans who are still looking for work or underemployed and not getting paid enough,” Obama said his administration was intent on “rewarding high schools that redesign their curriculums to help students gain ready-to-work skills even earlier because there’s no reason why you got to wait for college.”

Obama then said he was asking for more community colleges to “figure out what skills local employers are looking for, and then partner with them to help design the curriculums and to prepare the students for those jobs” so that there is a “seamless progression from community college programs to industry-recognized credentials and credit towards a college degree.”

He also announced that his administration would award various colleges with such programs grants and a $100 million competition for Apprenticeship Grants that “are going to expand the kinds of apprenticeships that help young people and experienced workers get on a path towards advancement, towards better jobs, better pay, a trajectory upwards in their careers.”

However, such programs may be rendered ineffective if Congress passes the Senate’s immigration bill.

Obama spoke about how blue-collar communities last decade were ravaged by some aspects of globalization and technological advances, but the amnesty legislation he has been touting would make it difficult for blue-collar workers and low-skilled American workers to obtain better-paying jobs by increasing the labor pool. It would also do the same for high-skilled workers, who would find it more difficult to find better-paying jobs or whose jobs would be threatened by the increase in the number of high-tech visas and guest workers. 

All this comes at time when the notion that there is a shortage of American high-tech workers has been shown to be nothing more than a myth, according to various studies.