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“These folks inspire me”: President Obama visits Lorain County Community College

By Lauren on

After meeting with a group of students enrolled in job training courses, President Obama spoke about the importance of supporting the work that goes on at places like Ohio's Lorain County Community College:

I just had a chance to listen to four of your classmates and hear a little bit about how they got here, where they’re headed. I talked to Duane, who was laid off at a packaging company, [and] is now learning how to operate high-tech machinery. Andrea lost her job as an HR analyst, but she's now getting certified in the fast-growing field of electronic medical records. David, who in addition to being a truck driver for 23 years was also a Marine, so we know he can do the job—he's here to retrain for a higher-paying job. And you just heard from Bronson, who was laid off two years ago, and you heard what he said: He was at a dead end in his life, and this program—along with his wife—gave him an opportunity. So he's going to be learning hands-on machining over the next few weeks, after having already done some of the bookwork.

I have to tell you, when I meet these folks, these folks inspire me, because a lot of them have gone through tough times. Andrea is still dealing with the aftermath of the flood that damaged her home. All of them have supportive family members. And it's hard being out of work. It's hard especially when you're mid-career, when you're having to change jobs. And the resilience they show and the determination they show, that’s what America's about. That’s our defining spirit. We don't quit.

Investing in a community college, just like investing in a new road or a new highway or broadband lines that go into rural communities—these investments are not part of some grand scheme to redistribute wealth. They’ve been made by Democrats and Republicans for generations because they benefit all of us. That's what leads to strong, durable economic growth. That's how America became an economic superpower. That's how we built the Transcontinental Railroad. That's why we’ve got the best universities and colleges in the world. That's why we have cutting-edge research that takes place here, and that then gets translated into new jobs and new businesses, because somebody did the groundwork.

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