American companies will need 522,000 software developers and
computer programmers over the next 10 years as well as nearly
110,000 pharmacists, 224,000 electricians and 941,000 customer
service representatives, according to the Bureau of Labor
To try to fill the void, Obama will announce during a visit to
Oakdale, Pennsylvania, a plan to use $500 million in existing Labor
Department funds to pay for a competition.
The goal of the competition is to spur employers and community
colleges to work together and develop training programs that are
designed to get workers prepared for specific jobs that already
Another $100 million will be drawn from a Labor Department fund to
support programs aimed at training apprentices in new fields with
fast-growing occupations such as information technology, healthcare
and advanced manufacturing.
Employers need people trained as welders, machinists, dental
hygienists and even electrical power line installers, the Bureau of
Labor Statistics said.
Administration officials who briefed reporters about the initiative
said the aim is to address the needs of a fast-changing economy.
"The pace of change — technology, globalization — has changed the
nature of work and the speed at which necessary skills change," said
a senior Obama administration official.
[to top of second column]
Obama, joined by Vice President Joe Biden, is to announce the
initiative at an event at Community College of Allegheny County on
the outskirts of Pittsburgh.
The plan is part of an effort launched in Obama's State of the Union
speech in January to act with his own presidential authority in the
absence of a consensus from a divided Congress.
While the economy has rebounded since bottoming out early in Obama's
first term, many Americans remain unemployed or underemployed, and
Obama has made it a priority of his second term to help the middle
class and reduce income inequality.
(Reporting by Steve Holland; editing by Ken Wills)
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.