President Obama might be credited with stabilizing an economy on the brink of complete collapse after the banking meltdown of 2008, but with unemployment still at 9%+ in many parts of the country, his objective has shifted entirely from stability to job creation. With election 2012 right around the corner, Obama’s reelection might hinge on the effectiveness of the program.
In January, Obama tapped GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt to head up his Presidents’ Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. This week, Immelt and the rest of the Council released their recommendations for Obama, saying, “No single idea, however well-conceived, will solve our nation’s employment challenge.”
The recommendations ranged from simple to elegant.
Looking to get the most bang for the buck, the group is striving to create jobs in two main categories:
1. areas with high unemployment
2. sectors with potential for rapid job creation, such as high tech, and sustainability.
The group also made their recommendations that wouldn’t require new laws and could take effect quickly (i.e., without a lot of red tape or opposition from the Republican House of Representatives).
Among the initial recommendations are some with sustainability initiatives:
- Develop training partnerships with community colleges and vocational schools to help fill what they said were more than 2 million job openings in advanced manufacturing in the United States.
- Encourage retrofitting of commercial buildings to be more energy-efficient, creating additional construction jobs.
Other recommendations centered around easing restrictions on visitors to the US so that tourism based jobs could thrive, streamlining federal permitting processes for construction, and making it easier for companies to obtain Small Business Administration funding.
Scott Cooney is the author of Build a Green Small Business (McGraw-Hill), and covers green business strategy on GreenBusinessOwner.com.
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