Obama to announce program to help long-term unemployed

Anita Kumar

President Barack Obama will announce Friday that more than 300 companies, including 80 of the nation's largest businesses, have agreed to a new policy spelling out ways they will try to recruit and hire the long-term unemployed, according to the White House.

The companies will ensure advertising does not discourage or discriminate against the unemployed; review recruiting procedures so that they do not intentionally or inadvertently disadvantage people based solely on their unemployment status; encourage all qualified candidates to apply; and share information about hiring the long-term unemployed within their companies and across their supply chains and the business community.

Several companies and organizations have already commit to expand efforts to recruit or hire the long-term unemployed. They include LinkedIn, Skills for America’s Future, National Fund for Workforce Solutions, Skills for Chicagoland’s Future, Per Scholas, Goodwill Industries, JPMorgan Chase, AARP Foundation, Platform 2 Employment and PG&E.

Obama also will announce a $150 million grant competition through the Department of Labor to support public-private partnerships geared toward helping prepare and place the long-term unemployed in open positions. Applications will be available next month and awards will be made in mid-2014.

Research shows long-term unemployed job applicants are frequently overlooked and sometimes excluded from job opportunities — even when they may have identical resumes and skills to other candidates, according to the White House.

Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will meet with CEOs of some of the nation’s largest public and private businesses at the White Friday morning. Later, the president will speak in the East Room about the plans.

Obama will then sign a presidential memorandum to ensure the federal government adopts these practices.

Anita Kumar
McClatchy Washington Bureau