Obama's State of the Union: A Jobs Analysis

President Barack Obama discusses his new clean energy programs during a visit to Buckley Air Force Base, Colorado.
President Barack Obama discusses his new clean energy programs during a visit to Buckley Air Force Base, Colorado, Jan. 26, 2012. (Senior Airman Marcy Copeland/U.S. Air Force photo)

In his "Built To Last" State of the Union address, President Barack Obama discussed many current and recommended initiatives that have the potential to create more jobs for Americans and to build on the success our country has had in generating more than 3 million jobs in the last 22 months.

Kathryn Troutman, an author, educator, career consultant and president/founder of the Resume Place Inc., offers her analysis of the president's speech by identifying the specific recommendations and actions that could benefit your job outlook.

Troutman views many of the presidential initiatives as having a positive long-term impact on America's job outlook and on job seekers through improved educational programs. For current job seekers, Troutman continues to encourage the following activities to support your job search:

"The initiatives described in the State of the Union may or may not be offering you real jobs today. The job sectors that may be affected are manufacturing, exporting goods, infrastructure-related construction, clean energy, teaching, training and government. Some of these positions will require additional specialized training, and it is important that you continue to monitor public [and private] initiatives if you plan to position yourself to be marketable in the upcoming years.

"Keep track of these initiatives. Listen to the news, monitor the president's weekly radio talks and follow the legislation to see if these initiatives are moved forward. For instance, if you need retraining, you can listen to see whether the reemployment programs are expanded to include specialized business training programs in community colleges. Or if you are an entrepreneur or small business owner, you can look for opportunities that may develop to get more financial support from banks."

Obama's 2012 Jobs Plan

1. Bring Manufacturing Back to the U.S.

"Stop rewarding businesses that ship jobs overseas and start rewarding companies that create jobs right here in America."

"If you're a business that wants to outsource jobs, you shouldn't get a tax deduction for doing it."

"If you're an American manufacturer, you should get a bigger tax cut. If you're a high-tech manufacturer, we should double the tax deduction you get for making products here. And if you want to relocate in a community that was hit hard when a factory left town, you should get help financing a new plant, equipment or training for new workers."

2. Increase U.S. Exports

"[I will create] a Trade Enforcement Unit that will be charged with investigating unfair trade practices in countries like China."

"Make sure that no foreign company has an advantage over American manufacturing when it comes to accessing finance or new markets."

3. Improve Training Programs

"Cut through the maze of confusing training programs."

"Turn our unemployment system into a reemployment system that puts people to work."

"Join me in a national commitment to train two million Americans with skills that will lead directly to a job. My Administration has already lined up more companies that want to help. Model partnerships between businesses like Siemens and community colleges in places like Charlotte, Orlando and Louisville are up and running. Now you need to give more community colleges the resources they need to become community career centers -- places that teach people skills that local businesses are looking for right now, from data management to high-tech manufacturing."

4. Improve Education System

"Offer schools a deal. Give them the resources to keep good teachers on the job and reward the best ones. In return, grant schools flexibility: To teach with creativity and passion; to stop 'teaching' to the test; and to replace teachers who just aren't helping kids learn."

5. Make Higher Education Affordable

Currently "... Americans owe more in tuition debt than credit-card debt."

"Higher education can't be a luxury. It's an economic imperative that every family in America should be able to afford."

"Extend the tuition tax credit we started that saves middle-class families thousands of dollars."

"Give more young people the chance to earn their way through college by doubling the number of work-study jobs in the next five years."

"States also need to do their part by making higher education a higher priority in their budgets."

"Colleges and universities have to do their part by working to keep costs down [such as] ... redesign courses to help students finish more quickly ... [and] ... use better technology."

6. Retain Skilled International Students Educated in the U.S.

"Hundreds of thousands of talented, hardworking students in this country ... aren't yet American citizens."

"As soon as they get their degree, we send them home to invent new products and create new jobs somewhere else."

"We should be working on comprehensive immigration reform right now. But if election-year politics keeps Congress from acting on a comprehensive plan, let's at least agree to stop expelling responsible young people who want to staff our labs, start new businesses and defend this country."

7. Promote Entrepreneurism

"Most new jobs are created in startups and small businesses."

"Tear down regulations that prevent aspiring entrepreneurs from getting the financing to grow."

"Expand tax relief to small businesses that are raising wages and creating good jobs."

8. Support Innovation and Basic Research

"Support the same kind of research and innovation that led to the computer chip and the internet, to new American jobs and new American industries."

"Don't gut these investments in our budget."

9. Bolster Clean Energy Programs

"Nowhere is the promise of innovation greater than in American-made energy."

"I'm directing my Administration to open more than 75% of our potential offshore oil and gas resources."

"With only 2% of the world's oil reserves, oil isn't enough."

"We have subsidized oil companies for a century. That's long enough. It's time to end the taxpayer giveaways to an industry that's rarely been more profitable, and double-down on a clean energy industry that's never been more promising. Pass clean energy tax credits and create these jobs."

"We have a supply of natural gas that can last 100 years."

"Experts believe this will support more than 600,000 jobs by the end of the decade."

"The development of natural gas will create jobs and power trucks and factories that are cleaner and cheaper."

"Because of federal investments, renewable energy use has nearly doubled. And thousands of Americans have jobs because of it."

"I'm directing my Administration to allow the development of clean energy on enough public land to power three million homes."

"Help manufacturers eliminate energy waste in their factories and give businesses incentives to upgrade their buildings. Their energy bills will be $100 billion lower over the next decade, and America will have less pollution, more manufacturing and more jobs for construction workers who need them."

10. Repair America's Infrastructure

"There's never been a better time to build, especially since the construction industry was one of the hardest-hit when the housing bubble burst."

"In the next few weeks, I will sign an Executive Order clearing away the red tape that slows down too many construction projects. But you need to fund these projects. Take the money we're no longer spending at war, use half of it to pay down our debt, and use the rest to do some nation-building right here at home."

11. Assist Returning Veterans

"We are providing new tax credits to companies that hire vets. Michelle and Jill Biden have worked with American businesses to secure a pledge of 135,000 jobs for veterans and their families."

"I'm proposing a Veterans Job Corps that will help our communities hire veterans as cops and firefighters, so that America is as strong as those who defend her."

Kathryn Troutman is dedicated to helping veterans write great resumes. She is the president of the Resume Place Inc. Write your federal resume with Troutman's five steps with the free template sample at www.vetfedjobs.org.

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