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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release February 5, 1994


The Oval Office

10:06 A.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. This morning I want to talk with you about jobs -- how more Americans can find new jobs and better ones; how we can help business to create those jobs; and how we can prepare our people to hold them.

I became President committed to growing the economy, cutting the deficit and creating new jobs. A year later we've made real progress toward all those goals. We brought down next year's projected deficit by $126 billion, about 40 percent less than it was predicted to be.

And in the past 12 months, the economy has created 1.9 million new jobs, 90 percent of them in private industry. In fact, more private sectors jobs were created in the past year than in the previous four years. So together we've accomplished a lot. But we've got a lot more to do to achieve a lasting recovery that benefits every region of our country and every sector of our society. We must maintain budget discipline, continue our comprehensive strategy to create more growth and more opportunity for more Americans, and make sure our workers, and our young people especially, have the new skills for the jobs that will be created.

On Monday I'll submit the next installment of our plan for deficit reduction and economic growth. The budget cuts -- spending for more than 300 government programs -- completely eliminates more than 100 programs and reduces the federal work force by more than 100,000, and gives seven to 14 Cabinet departments less money than last year.

Meanwhile, we invest more in developing new technologies to create new jobs, in educating our children and training our workers for those jobs, and fighting crime and protecting the environment, and in giving our children a healthy start in life. We have to cut spending on yesterday's outmoded programs so we can bring down the deficit and still invest more in tomorrow's most urgent priorities.

This morning I want to tell you more about one of our most important priorities -- helping people from unemployment to work, from welfare to work, from school to work, and from lower paying work to better paying work. For all our success at creating new jobs, too many people are still looking for work, too many workers' wages are still stagnant and have been for two decades, and too many young people are not on track for good paying jobs.

Because the global economy and new technologies have changed the rules of the game, the only ticket to good jobs with growing incomes are real skills and the ability to keep learning new ones. That's why I've called for a revolution in education and training from our schools to our unemployment offices to our job training programs. Our American workers must be the best educated, best trained and most highly skilled in the world.

With our Goals 2000 program, we'll improve our schools, linking world class standards to grass roots reforms all over

America. With our School to Work Initiative, we're linking schools with workplaces and providing improved training for young people who want to go from high school to work. These initiatives have been approved by the House of Representatives and will be considered this week by the Senate.

Just as we need to train our young people, we must retrain millions of workers who have been displaced by technological change, by international trade, by corporate restructuring and by reducing defense spending.

Later this month, we'll introduce the reemployment act of 1994 to consolidate dozens of different job training programs and convert the unemployment system into a reemployment system. We have to do this because the unemployment system and the patchwork of job training programs have been trapped in a time warp, frozen in bygone days when most laid off workers could expect to be called back to their old jobs. Now we need one source of job training, counseling and income support that workers can call upon as soon as they know they're losing their jobs, because most workers won't be called back to their old jobs and because most younger workers can look forward to changing work seven or eight times in a lifetime.

The reemployment act will create one stop job centers where every unemployed worker will be able to learn new skills, find out about new opportunities, and get help for themselves and their families. The plan works hand in hand with our plans for welfare reform and health care reform. We need to make every welfare office a work office where people will be encouraged to seize opportunities for training and jobs. And when we guarantee health security for every American -- guaranteed private insurance that can never be taken away -- then people will no longer be afraid that they'll lose their medical coverage when they move from welfare to work or from their old jobs to new ones.

Last week I met with hundreds of workers, business people, and job trainers who told me how their communities have met the challenges of offering new skills and new opportunities. I was inspired by the drive and dedication of people like Deb Woodbury from Bangor, Maine, who lost a factory job and learned new skills as a marketing sales representative; Cynthia Scott of San Antonio, who went from welfare to a training program in nursing and a job in a hospital; Donald Hutchinson, a high school graduate from Detroit, who learned new skills as a machinist; and John Hahn of Niagara County, New York, who was laid off from a job he had for 28 years and learned new skills for a new career as a biomedical technician.

Our economic plan is based on this simple but powerful truth: When you give ordinary people new opportunities, they'll do extraordinary things. The only way we can offer those new opportunities for education and training for new jobs and better jobs is to do the same things with the federal budget that you do with your family budget -- make tough choices, provide for the future, and make distinctions between luxuries and necessities.

In the weeks ahead you'll hear the voices of those with a vested interest in the programs and policies of the past. I ask you to join me in fighting for the future. Together we've created almost 2 million jobs in just 12 months. We can create 2 million more in 1994, and we can prepare our working people and our young people for the jobs of the future. Together we can finish the job we began just one year ago if we keep working at it.

Thanks for listening.

END10:12 A.M. EST