Even after financial circumstances forced him to relocate his family, Joe Biden Sr. was absolutely certain that everything would turn out OK, because "this is America." The American dream was more than mythology; opportunity and abundance rewarded those who worked hard.
"But many middle-class parents can't look at their families and say that today with the same confidence," said Vice President Joe Biden Jr. during an appearance in Rochester today.
Ever the storyteller, Biden spoke at Monroe Community College's Applied Technology Center, where he praised MCC and the State University of New York for the work they're doing rebuilding the economy. Biden's appearance came hours after President Obama's State of the Union address, where he emphasized rebuilding the middle class with living-wage jobs.
"We have to recognize that the world has changed; the economy has changed," Biden said. "Jobs of the 21st century will have a totally different tilt."
The tilt that Biden referred to has to do with jobs that will have at a bare minimum a technological base requiring more than a high school diploma. And community colleges like MCC are helping prepare what some education and government officials refer to as middle-skills workers.
"Manufacturing is coming back," Biden said. But, as MCC President Anne Kress and others have said, hundreds of thousands of jobs are unfilled due to the lack of skilled workers.
MCC has worked with local employers and industry leaders to determine where young graduates, career changers, veterans, and other job seekers will find jobs in the future. Kress said that in the last five years, MCC has focused on programs in automotive repair, optics, health care, and advanced manufacturing.
She said that MCC is being showcased by the Obama administration because it has developed an education-industry collaboration model that works.