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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  October 27, 2014 8:00am-10:01am EDT

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meredith attwell baker is the new presidd ceo of ctia, the wireless association. commissioner, tell us about your association, who do you represent, what industry? >> guest: well, first of all, thanks for having me here. it's delightful to be back, especially now that i am representing this amazing industry that is really the platform where everything is growing off of. who is ctia? we are not only the network operators, we are the people that build those networks, we are the manufacturers, and we have the app community as well as the new silicon valley. we are, we are the connective life, and that's what ctia represents, and what we are hoping to educate washington about, and i just couldn't be any more thrilled to be with them. >> host: what is the biggest issue facing washington and your industry? >> guest: i think our top priority is always going to be spectrum. spectrum is what the wireless industry needs, it's what we run on. it's been six years wince
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receive had a -- since we've had a spectrum auction. this one that starts in 22 days which is aws3, those are both fantastic. if we were talking about the networks that our phones are running on right now, that spectrum was coming from the aws1 auction that happened last time. so spectrum is always going to be our top issue. we are excited about these two auctions coming up, but we want to know what's next, so we'll be working on spectrum, spectrum, spectrum for quite a while. >> host: are you satisfied with the progress, especially on the incentive auction? >> guest: i'm terrifically happy with progress on both aws3. if you remember, i was at the commerce department during aws1, and this is repurposing spectrum from the department of defense. and this process, the lessons learned, have really been learned. it's going wonderfully. and aws3 spectrum is paired, it's internationally harmonized, it's 65 megahertz.
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we are so excited about aws3. and then we're going to turn around and have the broadcast incentive auction. i think that discussion is really going well too. i think that we have the green hill report which the fcc put out which values the spectrum, those numbers have really turned the discussion from a policy discussion to a business decision which is where that discussion needed to turn to. so we're excited about both options. i'm certain that our carriers are going to come to them, and it's going to be a win/win situation for everyone. >> host: how long does it take from an auction to get spectrum online? >> guest: well, it can take quite a while which is why we're focused on the next band we want. typically, these come out of budget discussions, so i think when we hit budget discussions in 2016, we need to have a clear idea of what we want for next. we are the world's leader in 4g lte networks, so we are the world's leader in mobile right now. we need to remain the leader for 5g as well, so spectrum is the key to that, and that's why we're so focused on it.
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>> host: joining our discussion today is amy schatz, senior editor for tech policy at recold. ms. schatz, what is recode? >> it's a tech news web site, and we cover all things tech including washington. >> host: and this was normed by walt moss burg, the former tech columnist -- >> yeah. we used to be called all things d, and we spun out of the "wall street journal," the whole team, and we're very happy to be there. >> host: go on with the questioning. >> so let's talk about the spectrum auction. in the green hill report which i know broadcasters were looking at with great interest because it finally showed some numbers which they had been asking for for months, but that report also suggested broadcasters would give maybe 120 megahertz, something like 100 megahertz for your members to buy. do you think -- a lot of folks thought that was kind of a
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stretch goal, they might not get that much. where do you think these things stand? >> there are 2100 broadcasters out there, so each one has to make their own bids decision. -- business decision. whatever they want to put out there, we are going to buy -- be there with checkbooks and buy it up. >> there other things you think the agency needs to do to try to encourage broadcasters to come to the table and sell their spectrum? >> guest: i think the agency is doing a great balancing act. we have a couple technical issues that need to be resolved, because if our guys are going to come to the table, they want to know what kind of interference they're going to have. the fcc's doing a great scwoob, and i'm certain it's going to be a great success. >> is there anything else your organization's trying to do to help encourage broadcasters come to the table? go out on a road show soon to try to talk to the broadcasters? >> guest: we're going to make sure that the broadcasters have the information they need.
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that's our job, because we are really interested in this auction. >> host: meredith atwell basic, should there be set asides for smaller organizations? >> guest: our job is to get the spectrum out there. we don't take a position on how to do that. the fcc should do that. >> host: amy schatz. >> i think the other big issue really that's facing you guys right now is net neutrality, and it feels like from everything that's coming out of the agency and coming out of the hill that the fcc is going to reverse course and actually apply net neutrality rules to wireless networks where in 2010 they gave you all an exception saying the networks were different, and now they're starting to look the other way. what do you think the state of play is on that? can you convince them to move back? >> guest: so i want to start with the fact that we all believe in an open internet and that we need to have rules, we just believe we need to have specific rules that take the differences of wireless into accounts. there are really three
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differences the rules need to account or if or. the -- for. the first is technical, wireless is a scarce resource, and we all share it. for instance, if the three of us were actually on a phone call, i was on a phone call, you were doing e-mail and peter was, you know, looking -- >> he's on facebook. we all know peter -- >> guest: i was going to say, he was checking the video slips from last night -- [laughter] we would all be on the same shell. this is a shared resource, and if brian had a bunch of tour kids and he was touring c-span to them, they would also be on our same cell. we have to prioritize so all of us can have the best use of the network. the second difference between wireless and everything else is how competitive we are. did you know that 8 out of 10 americans can choose from one of four service providers? and of those four service providers, they're providing like a hundred different service plans. so it's a very competitive environment.
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and we're really new. we are just unleashing the lte platforms, and we are still rolling out things like lte voice, lte broadcast, lte accreditation. so we want to make sure we can experiment and differentiate our services to customers because wireless is not only different, it's not at all the same. >> yeah. but the same thing was true four years ago, and they're looking a lot differently now. isn't the fact that they moved forward, what kind of conditions should they put in there to insure all the school kids coming in to see c-span can get on their phones and facebook? >> guest: so we just need to take in the differences. in 2010 they said we have always intended for wireless to be under the open internet rules, we're just not sure how to do it. and since 2010 our mobile speeds have grown eight times, mobile data has increased by 730%.
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we still believe in an open internet, and we will always believe in an open bear net, we -- internet, we just need to make sure we don't inhibit this incredible platform for the future. gm wrote a letter, and it says something when i say this but i say it all the time, net neutrality, you know, important title ii, bad. but when gm says we need mobile-specific rules and we need to make sure we do not apply wired network rules to wireless, i think when we're looking at the next generation of connected car and they're concerned about that, we should really take note about that because we don't want to inhibit the next generation of connected cars or mobile health or mobile payments. all of these things are here. i use my -- i used apple pay yesterday at whole foods. they're all here, and they're only going to grow, and so we want to make sure we are the world's leader in these networks.
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>> host: well, meredith attwell baker, if you were still with comcast, would you be arguing that the wired carriers should have the same rules as the wireless or less rules? >> guest: i don't -- i think that wireless, wireless-specific rules are important for the future of the wireless platform. >> host: you said there was three differences, i heard two; the technical differences, the competitive differences, what was the third? >> guest: the fact that we're so new. marty cooper, who's the inventer of the cell phone, fantastic man, he said we're at the model t version of this. so we are just starting to see the benefits of the lte platform and what mobile is going to bring to our lives whether it's our education of our children or the health of our parents. what mobile is going to provide not only now, in the next two years, in the next five years is going to make a difference for our entire economy, and we want to make sure that we have the right, proper environment. you know, we are leading, and
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i'm not sure why you would change the rules when we are leading. i think it's almost reckless. i think that the court has given the fcc a clear path under 706 to have rules that will be legally upheld, that gives us the earn the city and security -- certainty and is security that we can innovate, and i think the fcc should continue on that path with 706 rules with mobile-specific rules attached to that. >> host: and meredith attwell baker mentioned marty cooper who's been on this show, if you would like to watch the interview with him, go to clash communicator --, type in his name. >> i don't want to beat a good horse, but it doesn't look like, obviously, you would suggest they should go under 706, there's a whole other con contit
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saying there should be be a hybrid model, something in between. if they go forward with title ii, what do you think they should forbear from or what parts of title ii might be appropriate versus what parts would just have your members just screaming in horror? >> guest: none. it's unnecessary, it's complex, it has no precedent, and it undoes ten years of legal precedent and fcc precedents of bipartisan decisions. so there's no part of title ii that should work here. the court has given the fcc a road map to legally sustainable rules, and they should follow that road map so that we can all move on from this conversation and start talking back about spectrum. >> host: well, she promised, but i didn't. [laughter] back to title ii, ifs fcc does move forward with that, would there be a lawsuit? >> guest: yes. >> host: would you file it? >> guest: there's going to be a lawsuit under title ii. i think we have a legally sustainable way forward under
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section 706 with mobile-specific rules. i think we are all comfortable with that path. i think that that's the way the fcc should go, and we should not throw more uncertainty into this debate. >> okay. equally fun but totally different topic, t.r. daily this week was looking at these below-the-line charges that are stuck on people's phone bills and something needs to be done about that because they're basically junk fees and consumers, a, don't know what the heck they are, and, b, don't know why they should be paying them. is there more the district could be doing to prevent those kinds of fees? what should your members do? >> guest: let's be clear, what you're talking about are third party, bad actors who are committing fraud on our consumers, and we absolutely need to be more cognizant and more looking at our bills more clearly and educating our consumers to do so as well.
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we will continue to work with the goth on these issues -- the government on these issues, but there is a fantastic platform in this texting that is being used for charitable and for political donations. it's easy, and it's reaped amazing benefits. if you look at the red cross, texting with the red cross, for haiti it brought in $32 million. that's fantastic and really easy for people to donate. so i think we need to be really cognizant of fraud, but i also think we ought to maintain this platform for good. >> they also brought in hundreds of millions of dollars of fake horoscopes and celebrity gossip. i'm going to spend $10 a month for it, right? so it seems like the ftc has taken a huge move on this, and they've had encoursement actions -- enforcement actions, the fcc is getting involved on the privacy side. but another aspect is in-out where people are able to buy things via the play store or
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itunes, anything like that. is there more the industry could do? are there a possibility of, like, you know, industry regulations or self-regulations that you guys might be looking at? >> guest: i think we're always looking at our billing to make sure it's ease is city for consumers. i think there's -- easy for consumers. i think we all need to be really careful both of our identity and our privacy as well as our bills. and so i think we'll continue to work on an education for consumers and work with the government when there are bad actors. >> host: commissioner attwell baker, i'd like to get your viewpoint on this: how does it affect the wireless industry? cbs has now created an app that you can subscribe to directly. hbo, some of the hollywood theaters, styled owes as well -- studios as well. it looks like there could be a growing trend to break up cable
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television as it now looks like. how does that affect the wireless industry? >> guest: so is we love video. video has increased 730 times on the mobile network since 2010. it's really exciting that they are seeing that this this is a e platform for their content. so we're excited about it. what does it mean? we're going to have to even more carefully manage our networks, and it means, guess what? we need more spectrum. >> host: it comes back to spectrum. >> guest: i t does. >> host: what about cramming? do you think the industry has taken a strong enough stand against cramming? >> guest: that's the discussion that amy and i were just having about texting and how it's a platform for good, but we've had third party fraudulent actors on this, and i think we all need to be very vigilant about that, and we're going to continue to work with the government on it. >> host: would you support legislation in congress? >> guest: it depends on what that legislation says, but certainly, we do not want -- we want to protect our consumers as
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much as the consumers want to be protected. >> speaking of congress, what do you think is going to happen and how does the landscape change for the industry if republicans take control of the senate in november? >> guest: the fantastic thing about the mobile industry is that everyone supports it, and it's bicameral, bipartisan issues that we have to make sure that our consumers have what they need for the future. >> i think, well, look. i mean, most people love to the look at their phones particularly when they're stuck in hearings that go on forever. i'm not sure they really love a lot of the things the wireless industry does whether it's junk fees or data caps, all these other things. so you can love the product without loving -- >> guest: think about some of the bipartisan things we've been working on. infrastructure, we all believe we need more built out so we can have better wireless services to connect our lives. we believe federal incentives are something we can really work
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with with the congress so we can figure out how to incentivize the federal government agencies to take a look at their efficient says and how they use their spectrum to possibly repurpose it to all of our better use. we look at the technologies that the federal governments are using, and we all think maybe we should talk about how the federal government agencies can use lte in the platform to both improve their services as well as have, you know, more modern, more modern technologies. >> host: commissioner baker, how are people using their cell phones? what have you found? >> guest: well, it's really incredible. it's connected learning. if you look at the kids, it's all they use, you know? i think the hispanic chamber of commerce just wrote a letter, and they said 9 out of 10 hispanics use -- are completely dependent on their mobile phone. they went on to say they did not want the fcc to change any of
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the rules they have regarding net neutrality because, in fact, the hispanic community -- both business and consumers -- have grown so dependent on the mobile platform. so it's enhancing our lives in education, in health, in mobile payments. i've been lucky enough to travel since i took this job. i was down in atlanta at at&t's connected car drive studio. it's incredible what they are doing with the connected car. it was so exciting that i said we need to bring that to d.c. and so next week we've got a connected car event at the fcc so that everyone can see what this technology is going to do to our cars not only today, but tomorrow. and it's going to make us more connected, but more importantly, it's going to make us more safe. it's really exciting. >> host: what about the distracted driving issue? >> guest: well, it's something we're absolutely concerned about. something i feel very, very strongly about. one cannot text and drive can. we educate every place we can at ctia.
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i think it's a really serious problem. what we need to do is educate, we need to have laws that don't allow it, and we need to enforce it and teach it to our children, and we need to integrate that into the car so it makes it safer and not distracted. >> host: we've been live anything a 4g world now for the last couple of years. when are we going to be living in a 5g world, and what does that mean? >> guest: it's a great question, and i would say we started rolling out 4g networks in 2010. there's still a lot of room on that platform for a lot more exciting things that are coming to make our life more connected. but you're right, we need to start thinking about 5g. the rest of the world is. it's no longer a wireless issue, it's an economic issue. so you see countries like korea and japan talking about 5g. we need to talk about it too. commissioner rosenworcel's been really on the front of this, and i commend her for that. i think we'll start to see 5g from these auctions that are
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happening the beginning aws in 22 days. my guess is that spectrum is purposed for 5g, and we'll start seeing rollout 2020 or so. >> host: is it important that there are four major national wireless carriers? do you have a problem with sprint and t-mobile or whoever merging? >> guest: so there are four, there are four major wireless carriers that everyone refers to. there are tons of rural carriers still. there are lots of -- this is the most competitive industry that i have ever seen. just read my ceo's tweets. [laughter] these guys are fantastically competing to the benefit of consumers, and that's what we want. >> host: so would you have a problem with sprint/t-mobile merging? >> guest: so you know we don't take positions on mergers. i'm just excited it's such a competitive industry that everyone wants to be a part of it. >> host: amy schatz. >> the carriers have been in some ways resisting the commission's e-911 location
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accuracy proceeding. which i wonder if you could address why. because it feel like if i'm on my iphone and i'm in this building, i feel like it would be a really good thing that ems would know where i was if i was having a heart attack. why are the carriers resisting this? >> guest: we all want to bring our customers the most fantastic next generation of 911. we're trying to bring all the players to the table to figure out what it needs -- what everyone needs, what do the public safety officials need so that we can best deliver that to them? we want to have a realistic technology-tested, technology-tested solution. and with that solution we want to have a realistic timetable that rolls out. but we all want to make sure that our customers are safer, and we all are excited about the benefits of next generation 911. we just want to make sure we come up with a realistic solution we can achieve.
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>> is it the timetable or the technology that's sort of tripping everybody up? >> guest: both. it's both. when we've run the tests on the solutions that we thought were going to work, they don't work yet. so it's both. >> is that something that the carriers could take more of a lead on? >> guest: we are all at the table. we all want this to happen. we all think it's critically important that ems can find you not only on, not only in this building, but at this table. >> host: commissioner, the fbi director recently spoke up and said he wishes that -- he thinks it's important that apple and verizon, etc., etc., have locaters in their phones so that they can, they can track hem, if necessary. what's the industry's position? >> guest: so privacy is a balance we have to have. we want to make sure we protect our consumers' privacy as well as work with law enforcement. so a lot of these rules, we're working with law enforcement,
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and we want to continue to work with them. encryption's important for our consumers' protection of their privacy and their data, so it's a balance. it's always a balance with privacy and law enforcement. a lot of the laws that you are referring to, ecpa, they are from 1984 and 1996. much like the communications act because the industry has changed so much, it's a good idea to look back at these laws and revisit them and see if they might need to be updated as well. >> host: what are you hearing from consumers who say is, no, i don't want -- it's not important that you know where i am at all times. >> guest: as i said, it's a critical -- i think consumers and privacy, it's important that it will opt in, and it's important that consumers pay attention to see, to see whether they want to be located or not. i personally love all of the benefits that location, accuracy and all of the apps are providing me. i don't know that i could find a
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restaurant now without some of those apps. certainly, i am really -- i love everything that that is bringing to me on my phone. but i also am conscious of the fact that i am giving up my privacy to be able to reap the benefit of that. and i think as long as it is an opt-in and consumers are educated to know what is happen with their location data, then they get to make their own choices whether they want to use that or not. >> host: do you see us living in an answer world for -- apps world for quite a while? is there a post-apps world out there? >> guest: gosh, i wish i were visionary enough to know. i'm excited about where we are right now. if you'd said in 2010 are we going to live in an apps world, i would have never thought we would have had thousands of them and the benefit that has brought to our economy and our lives. so i hope so. >> so how long have you been at ctia now, it's beenless than a year, right? >> guest: four months.
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>> going fast. how is this different than working at nbc? >> guest: oh, entirely different. mbc was a fantastic -- nbc was a fantastic job. i would have never left that job but for ctia. i started my career there, but i would say most of my career has led me in dealing with spectrum in one way or another whether it was for the federal government or being a broadcaster or running the commercial part of spectrum over at the fcc. so being at ctia and having priorities being spectrum, spectrum, spectrum is sort of like the perfect job for me, and really i just am so grateful to be here and so excited. >> how does this happen? when you were in college, yes, i really want to be in charge of spectrum and understand these technical things. how did you fall into it? maybe this was your plan, i don't know. >> guest: you know, i always tell the college-aged kids that people either go into their career and it's a straight line and they know exactly where they
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want to go, our maybe it's -- or maybe it's like me because i wanted to go to the state department, and i landed in congressional affairs which led me to have an interest in washington, and one job has just led me to another to become an expert in spectrum. my job i think i just landed into it, and it guided me into it. >> host: and meredith at well baker has a bachelor of arts degree and a law degree from the university of houston, so you are not a techie by trade. >> guest: not at all. i can give you the chewing tobacco version of technology. >> host: and final question. california passed the kill switch law. what's the industry's position, and do you see it going national? >> guest: so we worked hard with california, and i'm really proud of the industry on stolen phones and how we've stepped up. we have an incredible education effort on both how to protect your phone as well as what to do when it is stolen. we also have worked on a database as well as, most importantly, we have voluntarily
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agreed to have a tool kit for stolen phones in your -- as part of your phone with no charge to the consumer. so i think, again, it's part of the importance of a phone in someone's life now, but we need to work with this x it's an important issue and a priority for us. i'm happy the way the california law turned out, but i've got to say it does not lend itself in manufacturing phones to 50 states having 50 different laws. so i think that we as an industry really need to step up, as we have, to solve this problem for consumers. it's an, laws are static, and this is an iterative, always-growing, always-better-solution-more -- tomorrow kind of problem. hopefully we will not see 50 different laws. >> host: meredith attwell baker, amy schatz, thank you. >> c-span, created by america's
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cable companies 5 years ago -- 35 years ago and brought to you as a public service by your local cable or satellite provider. >> the center for american progress will hold a panel discussion today on postsecondary education funding. education officials, including education undersecretary ted mitchell, will offer recommendations for state reinvestment in public colleges and universities. live beginning at 9:30 a.m. eastern here on c-span2. >> at the national press club last week, labor secretary thomas perez discussed jobs and the economy, raising the minimum wage and bringing jobs back to cities like detroit. he also said the u.s. needs to catch up with the rest of the world on the issue of paid leave. this is an hour. [inaudible conversations]
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>> good afternoon. welcome. my name is myron belkind, i'm an add jubt professor at the george washington university school of media and public affairs and the 107th president of the national press club. the national press club is the world's leading professional organization for journalists committed to our profession's future through our programming with events such as this while fostering a free press worldwide. for more information about the national press club, please visit our web site at on behalf of our members worldwide, i'd like to welcome our speaker and those of you attending today's event. our head table includes guests of our speaker as well as working journalists who are club members, and so if you hear applause in our audience, i note that members of the general public are attending as well. so it's not necessarily evidence
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of a lack of journalistic objectivity. i'd also like to welcome our c-span and public radio audiences. you can follow the action on twitter using the hashtag npclunch. after our guest's speech concludes, we'll have a question and answer period. i will ask ask as many questions as time permits. now it's time to introduce our head table guests. i'd like each of you to stand briefly as your name is announced. from are your right, thomas sanchez, founder and ceo -- [inaudible] jamila bay, freelance journalist. michelle -- [inaudible] u.s. economy reporter at bloomberg news. matthew cutty, washington bureau chief of cnbc and guest of our speaker. susan page, washington bureau chief, "usa today." tom trainer, district supervisor, market basket superintendents and guest of our speaker.
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terry -- [inaudible] buffalo news washington bureau chief, chairman of the npc speakers' committee and a former president of the national press club. skipping our speaker for a moment, allison fitzgerald, senior investigative reporter and project manager at the center for public integrity, an npc board member and organizer of today's luncheon. thank you very much, allison. timothy noah, politico and best of our speaker. marilyn -- [inaudible] senior business editor of npr and an npc board member. sabrina eaton of the cleveland dealer, and jennifer -- [inaudible] president of respectability our guest today has been the subject of rumor and speculation -- [laughter]
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for the last two weeks since his name surfaced as a favorite to replace eric holder as attorney general. but for now at least, thomas perez is still the secretary of labor. since being confirmed by the senate in july 2013, perez, it seems, has been everywhere; in houston eating with union leaders one day, in memphis competing in a nail-driving contest with a carpenter in another and meeting with unemployed workers in cleveland yet another. on the first friday of every month he's all over the airwaves talking about the nation's falling unemployment rate, and when he's here in town, he's likely to be spotted at -- at least until last month -- at nationals park. perez has been traveling the country preaching his gospel that hard work deserves a living wage. as head of the labor department, he's advocated raising the minimum wage to $10.10, pushed
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for paid parental leave and worked to reduce the number of workers who are categorized as contractors. and is he's been active on worker protections, often to the dismay of business leaders. in his first three months at labor, the department issues new regulations on wages, hiring and chemical exposure. the son of immigrants from the dominican republic who settled in buffalo, perez has a long history in washington as a defender of civil rights. he was an adviser to senator ted kennedy and spent many years in the justice department's office of civil rights. perez led the division before president obama appointed him to the labor department last year. now, according to some press reports, obama is considering sending perez back to justice to replace holder who announced last month that he plans to step down. perez is not without his detractors, however. before becoming labor secretary,
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he endured a grueling confirmation process in which mitch mcconnell, the leader of the senate republican committee called him an idealogue. the -- ladies and gentlemen, please give a warm national press club welcome to labor secretary tom perez. [applause] >> good afternoon. myron, thank you for that generous welcome. i might talk later bit about the buffalo bills, but we'll save that for another time, jerry. and thanks to everybody at the press club including my good friend allison fitzgerald who live in the neighborhood. we're overrepresented and took home a park here today. but that's okay. tim's an extacoma park resident.
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thank you for having me. you know, over the summer something remarkable's happened around new england. thousands of employers of the regional supermarket chain market basket walked off the job to protest the firing of their ceo, arthur. workers up and down the chain of command put their jobs on the line, they held rallies and picket throughout the summer. eight managers who spearheaded the first rally -- some of whom had been with the company for more than 40 years -- were fired. loyal customers held their own rally. merchandise sale ises started to dwindle, sales lacked, veb doors began to cut their ties with the company, and governor of two states stepped in to try and broker a deal. and in the end, arthur t. took back control of the company. and just in time for labor day, the market basket employees went to work. now, the company employees, they have 71 full-service supermarkets across new england,
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they employ roughly 25,000 people, and these employees had one simple gland. they were calling for the -- demand. they were calling for the return of their ceo. and upon his return, arthur t. stood on the back of a pickup truck and made a very memorable speech, and this is what he said: you have demonstrated that everyone here has a purpose. you've demonstrated that everyone has meaning, and no one person is better or more important than another. whether it's a full-timer or a part-timer, whether it's a sacker or, a cashier, a grocery clerk, truck driver, warehouse selector, store manager, supervisor, customer, vendor, or a ceo, we are all equal by working together and only together do we succeed. now, they launched their protests because they wanted to work for a guy like arthur t., someone who didn't treat 'em just like they were another cost of doing business, but rather, as a valuable asset. worthy of dignity.
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he understands that doing right by your employees is great way to generate loyalty and productivity, adding value for customers and increasing your profit margins. he knows that ap economy that works -- an economy that works for everyone is an economy where prosperity is shared. now, as they were getting up and running again, i had the privilege along with some of my friends in labor to travel with the president on labor day weekend to milwaukee where the president gave a speech in which he said by almost every measure the american economy and american workers are better off than when i took office. and the data backs him up. september was the 55th straight month of private sector job growth to the tune of 10.3 million new jobs, that's the longest uninterrupted streak of job creation on record. unemployment is now at its lowest levels since july of 2008. all told, the united states has put more people back to work
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than europe, japan and every advanced economy combined. manufacturing continues to make a historic comeback. we're making things here in america again. insourceing is in, outsourcing is out. energy production is dramatically up while the budget deficit is down. u.s. exports are up, reaching record highs. and for the first time since 2006 the poverty rate is down. child poverty had its largest one year decline last year since 1966. the number of young people graduating high school is up while the crime and incarceration rates are down. and, you know, reforming the health care system was i guess in the words of bind, we'll just call it a b.d. and stick with that. [laughter] because thanks to the affordable care act, we've reduced the ranks of uninsured adults by 10.3 million since last year. it's undeniably true that we've made tremendous progress in these six years since the
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president inherited the worst economic crisis of our lifetime. remember, the three months before the president took office two million jobs were lost, and almost every indicator shows that we're better off now than we were on january 20, 2009. but that's not enough. remember what the president said in these remarks. he said by almost every measure. almost isn't good enough. it's not good enough for the president, it's not good enough for me, and it's not good enough for america. it's not good enough for the man i met in new jersey in one of my meetings with the long-term unemployed who had a six-figure job in the advertising industry is, lost his job and now he's struggling to make ends meet, and he told me, you know, when i had cancer, tom, fighting cancer was far easier than fighting long-term employment. almost isn't good enough for roberta in houston, a janitor for over 30 years, and even though she helped organize her coworkers, she still struggles to keep her head above water.
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$8th -- $8.85 an hour just isn't enough to make ends meet, and an increase this the minimum wage would go a long toward giving her some peace of mind. almost isn't good enough for the new mom from texas who wrote to us after we were doing our paid leave campaign. she had to go without pay for six months that take time off to be with her daughter who was born nine weeks premature. we're the only industrialized country on the planet that doesn't have a paid leave law. frankly, there's just no dignity in working 40-50 hours a week and getting your food at the food pantry. for them and for all these other families who continue to struggle, the data points don't mean a whole lot. if the breadwinner is out of work, then the unemployment rate might as well be 100%. and even if that breadwinner has been lucky enough to keep her
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job, chances are she hasn't seen a meaningful raise in years even though she's contributing to a growing economy with her hard work. the fact of the matter is the pie is getting bigger, american workers help bake it, but they're not getting a bigger slice. their sweat equity is not translating into financial equity. we're on pace in 2014 for the best year of private is sector job growth since 1998. but the difference between mow and then is that in the late '90s the rising tide lifted more boats. it lifted the yachts and the rafts. it lifted the cruise linerses and the dinghies. and the principal unfinished business, it seems to me, of this recovery is to insure that prosperity is broadly shared and we build an economy that truly and meaningfully works for everyone. i hear it, the problem is, quote-unquote, structural whether it's low wages or
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long-term unemployment and globalization and technological progress create inherent and intractable inequities and inequalities and opportunity gaps. well, i'll tell you for one thing, i don't buy it. structural unemployment, for me that amounts to excuse making, a word to jump inner shah -- justify inyou are shah and just plain giving up. and i'm not giving up up, this president isn't giving up. we must remember low wages and lousy benefits are a choice, not a necessity. that's why i am confident that we can construct a stairway to shared prosperity in which everybody has a chance to live their highest and best dreams. and that's what i want to talk to you about. this stairway has a number of important steps starting with tearing up the talking points and understanding history. shared prosperity is not a fringe concept cooked up by socialists. historically, both parties have embraced it in both their words
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and, indeed, their actions. it's a principle that's american as apple pie, and it's a linchpin of a thriving middle class. now, don't cake my word for it, here's -- don't take my word for it, here's what teddy roosevelt said: our aim is to promote prosperity and see that it is passed around and there is a proper division of prosperity. listen to one of wall street's most powerful executives, lloyd blankfein, ceo of goldman sachss, who said he talked about the destabilizing impacts of income inequality. this is what he said: too much of the gdp over the last generation has gone to too few of the people. standard & poor's recently issued a report explaining that income inequality is stifling gdp growth at a time when we're still climbing out of the great recession. a rising tide lifting all boats, but a lifeboat surrounded by
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many treading water risks capsizing. more recently -- actually, just three days ago, this is what janet yellen said. the the extent of and continuing increase in inequality in the united states greatly concern me. it's no secret that the past few decades of widening inequality can be summed up as significant income and wealth gains for those at the very top and stagnant living standards for the majority. so people across the ideological spectrum recognize that america works best when we field a full team, and when the entire team shares in the sacrifices and the spoils. gilded ages are not and never will be golden ages in america. but in today's political climate and the polarization, i feel like there are some who have regrettably lost sight of the fact that shared prosperity is a nonpartisan principle that's a key to long-term success. now, another step in this stairway to shared prosperity is
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a very familiar one. we have basic, common sense toolings at our disposal, tools that have worked well in the past and work well again. for start isers, we need to raise the minimum wage. and despite what you've heard on capitol hill, this isn't a radical concept. the congress, led by newt gingrich, passed it. every president except two since fdr has signed it into law. but we've been tuck at $7.25 for five years. the purchasing power of the minimum wage is 20% less than it was 20 years ago. the third lowest, i should say, among oecd countries, the third lowest. and meanwhile, if you look across the pond and see uncountries governed by conservative leadership such as the country of the u.k. where they recently announced an increase in the minimum wage to $11.05 an hour, and why did they do this? they did it for the same reason that that flaming liberal henry
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ford did it. he doubled the wages for people on the assembly line because, as he said, country wide high wages spell country wide prosperity. so this is not a fringe idea. strong majority of folks and a majority of small businesses support increasing the minimum wage to $10.10 because they understand that raising wages generates economic growth, and what businesses need more than anything as the business owner in seattle said to me a few months ago are customers. they understand that 70% of gdp growth is consumption. so let's stimulate consumption in order to strengthen the economy and continue and pick up the pace of recovery. we also need to have our infrastructure investments. we need to rebuild our roads and bridges and ports and transit systems. and, again, these are opportunities to create middle class jobs right away. and facilitate commerce for decades and decades to come. yes, it involves federal
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spending, but it involves federal spending when dwight eisenhower created the interstate highway system as one of his most enduring legacies. now, as someone who was a former local elected official and worked on transportation issues, i can tell you, we can't build a 21st century infrastructure when we're living year to year, month to month on transportation budgets. and so that is why long-term planning so critically important. and we also need to fix our broken immigration system. and as you know, it's not simply a moral or humanitarian or national security imperative, it's an economic imperative. the cbo estimates that immigration reform would increase real gdp relative to current projections by 5.4% over the next two decades which translates into an additional 1.4 trillion of economic activity, adding jobs, putting upward pressure on wages, helping to stabilize the social security trust fund. so these three ideas when you
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think about 'em, they've worked in the past, they've enjoyed strong bipartisan support in the past, and we need to do them again now because they are critical to our nation's continued growth. but we shouldn't stop there, and congress shouldn't stop there. and the third step to shared prosperity is that we need to continue to think big, and we need to continue to think bold. comprehensive immigration reform is big and bold, and there are other ideas that we should be using and implementing as well. and let me give you one example because this example i have seen across the country in my conversations is a sleeper issue that will sleep no more. and that is the issue of paid leave. we stand alone as the only industrialized nation on the planet where paid leave is not the law of the land. and our dismal record on paid leave, for me, was on prominent display when i recently traveled to australia for the meeting of the g20 labor ministers. when you look at other
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countries -- canada, australia, u.k., germany, japan, the nordics, others, progressive governments, conservative governments -- they're all lean anything and have been leaning in on leave. but we're way behind. they all recognize that paid leave is good economic policy and good family policy. they know it is essential to have thriving businesses and flexible workplaces. these aren't mutually exclusive. these are inextricably intertwined and mutually reinforcing. so why can't we figure it out here in the u.s.? why are we making people choose between the job that they need and the family that they love? why aren't we giving people more tools to be attentive parents and productive employees? and how can we say that we continue to be for family values when so many people have to jeopardize their economic security to take a few weeks off to have a kid? that is not simply -- this issue is not simply a matter of doing the right thing, it's also an
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important strategy for reducing labor force participation. every first friday of the month the most frequently asked question i get, what can you do, tom, to increase labor force participation? let's talk about paid leave, and let's compare the united states with canada. the labor force participation rate of women ages 25-54 in the year 2000 in the u.s. and qanta was virtually -- canada was virtually identical. today canada is ahead of us by roughly eight percentage points in large measure because they have generous paid leave laws, and they provide access to affordable childcare. if we had simply kept pace with canada over these years, we would have 5.5 million more women in the work force. the innovation economy would be enriched by this reservoir of human capital. sectors that have serious gender gaps like the silicon valley, wall street and elsewhere would have additional talent to tap. i said before america works beth
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when we feel the full -- field a full team, and there's a lot of female talent on the bench, and that's not right. and here's the rub. when you get those 5.5 million more women off the bench and into the game, we increase gdp by an estimated 3.5% which translates to more than $500 billion of additional economic activity. so we're essentially, by our inaction, leaving significant amounts of money on the table because we're not leading on leave. earlier this summer the president convened a summit on working families, and this is what he said. at a time when women are nearly half our work force and primary breadwinners in more families than ever before. anything that makes life harder for women makes life harder for families and children. when women suck steed -- succeed, america succeeds. and there's no such thing as a women's issue. this is family issue and an american issue. so the bottom line is for the
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good of our families and the strength of our economy, we need to lead on leave. and you know what? we can't simply leave talent on the bench. we need to cultivate talent which brings me to another critical step in our stairway to shared prosperity, and that is the issue of skills. just as we need to invest in our physical infrastructure and in our transportation infrastructure, we need to invest in our human capital infrastructure. we built the railroad or system, we built the internet, and just as we've done that, we need to have a skills ecosystem that both meets the needs of our economy and opens up frontiers for new growth. now, there are two very important pieces of good news in this area. first of all, there are millions of good middle class jobs available for the taking right now, and opportunities are growing. many of them require less than a college degree, and although they tend to require more than a high school degree. and everywhere i go, my life is
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groundhog day. i have the same conversation with employers. and it's a good conversation. this is what they tell me. tom, you know what? i'm bullish about america. i want to grow my business. might be manufacturing, might be health care, might be i.t., whatever it is, i want to grow my business. and my biggest challenge is i need to make sure that we have a pipeline of skilled talent to make it happen. and there are opportunities across sectors. about a quarter of the companies in fortune magazine's list of the 100 fastest growing companies are in the energy sector. that means a treasure-trove of energy-related jobs, good middle class jobs, and we're working with the industry to give workers the training they need to fill those jobs. the same is true in other industries. i meet with utility ceos across this country. the utilities are in a process of dramatically expanding and modernizing the grid. and what that means is they will need more workers.
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and these jobs start at $50 thousand and above. i was -- $50,000 and above. i was with tom wheeler, the fcc chair, last week, and we can't expand broadband without middle class workers as well. that's an exciting development that creates opportunities. and the list goes on and on. we need upwards of 100,000 more computer support specialtists in the -- specialists in the coming years, 30,000 more surgical techs. these are jobs that can support family paying between $0-$70,000 $$40-$70,000 a year. and in many cases, you get the credentials at a community college, and then you build your way up the skills superhighway. and that is the second piece of good news that i want to share with you, is that we are in the middle of a remarkably exciting transformation in the way in which we prepare job seekers of all ages for the middle class jobs of today and tomorrow. we have gotten rid of what i've
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been calling the old train and pray model where we train widget makers, and we pray someone's hiring them. that's yesterday's paradigm. today's paradigm is we're focused on demand-driven or job-driven training. we're working more closely with industry, with our bureau of labor statistics than ever before to understand with precision the needs of employers in granular detail and then making sure that we design programs to meet those precise needs so that people can punch their picket to the -- their ticket to the middle class. when people ask, hey, tom, what do you do for a living? this is what i tell them, department of labor is because we help make a connection, just the right fit, you know, between ready-to-work americans who want to punch their ticket to the middle class and jobs and employers who need and want to grow their business. and the secret sauce of this
8:57 am is very frequently community colleges who provide that critical training that enable people to move up that ladder. and let me give you an example of this transformation at work. a couple weeks ago i met a guy named steve cap shaw who owns an advanced manufacturing business in western mass. and they supply critical component parts to the aerospace industry and in the medical device area. his entry level workers start at $20-$25 an hour and up with very generous benefits. and he described his experience during the great recession. because in the middle of the recovery, 2010, 2011, as america was struggling to add jobs, steve's company was actually turning away large amounts of business for one simple reason: he had a shortage of skilled workers. he did all the things that economistst suggest you should do, he raised wages, increased benefits, he did all of that,
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but he still couldn't recruit the right people. and as he listened to stories of stagnant wages and persistent unemployment, as steve said to me, he felt like he was living on another planet. those weren't my words, those were his words. and so dol as sprang into action, and the middle skill manufacturing initiative was born in western massachusetts. this initiative is a joint venture of local manufacturing businesses, community colleges, the work force investment system which includes federal, state and local government working together. and our grant making was catalyzing partnerships like this in western massachusetts and in various growth sectors across the country. so as a result, dana graves, who's the father of twins who was stuck in that low wage job cycle during the great recession, successfully completed a training program and is now a very highly valued and well compensated employee of steve's company. this is a win for steve, it's a win for dana and his family, and
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it's a win for america. and this example is not a one off. we see this, we're helping to build these partnerships in communities across the country. we're not simply tinkering with the work force system, we're transforming it. just as president eisenhower built the interstate highway system, we are building a modernized, refurbished skills superhighway that enables workers to get good jobs and businesses to find good workers. we're doing this in partnership with businesses, with labor unions, with colleges, nonprofits, philanthropy, republicans and democrats in congress and our partners in state and local government. the new work force innovation and opportunity act, which was passed this summer in a strong bipartisan fashion, will enable us to continue this transformation. this superhighways has plenty of onramps and offramps. the destination is a middle class job, but there are many different routes to get there. community colleges are one well traveled path, but we're putting
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up the orange cones and doing the road work to make that ride much, much smoother. the obama administration has made a very bold investment of over -- of roughly $2 billion over the past four years to help community colleges develop can innovative training programs and curricula that help people launch middle class careers. technical training and apprenticeship is another important stretch of the highway, and we have been helped in this area by our partnerships with so many labor unions across the country who have figured this out for years and get it. ..
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education is the great equalizer. that continues to be the case today. whether it's a four year degree, associate degree, and online learning, on the job training that ibew certificate. i met a guy in san francisco who said, tom, i got the golden ticket. you ever seen willy wonka? i said not in a while. but he said, i got the goalie take it. because am a journeyman asked -- journeyman apprentice anakin anywhere in the united states and they can middle-class wage because i got the golden ticket. we want to make sure everybody has the golden ticket. is skills revolution is a critical step in the stairway t-shirt prosperity for millions of job seekers across america.
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i talk about a lot of steps and i've got two more i want to discuss before get your questions. i wanted it very briefly. the recent events at market basket i think it really illustrated the importance of worker voice. because you know, arthur t. great and if i were at the worker felt empowered, validate and respected. to him, worker voice was a threat to the company. it was an indispensable asset. and that's always been the case in the history of our country. worker voice can take so many forms. and one of most important of which is being part of a union. and the obama administration continues to be resolute that, when it comes to protecting collective bargaining rights in this country, we need to continue to protect these rights. and these rights have, frankly, come under withering attack in recent years. when i look at history as a guy who grew up in buffalo, new york, there is an absolutely direct relationship between the health of the middle-class and the health and vitality of the
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labor movement. absolutely. let's look at the data from the bureau of labor statistics. they report that last year, median weekly income for union members was $200 higher than for nonunion members. that ain't pocket change. and it doesn't even take into account superior benefits enjoyed by union members. i'd much rather work at the ford plant in louisville and make more money than the nissan plant in mississippi where i'm making less money and i have less protection. i grew up in buffalo, new york, that quintessential 21st century manufacturing town. and i saw firsthand that a job in a union shop was a surefire way to punch her ticket to the middle-class. and what i saw in buffalo and continue to see here is that unions don't succeed at the expense of business. they succeed in partnership with business. i was at the ford plant in louisville, kentucky. you know, back in the height of the recession, that plant had an existential crisis. they were down to under 1,000 employees. but they got together. the uaw and ford shared sacrifice, a good vision,
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and now they have shared prosperity. today, over 4,400 workers. and that doesn't include their supply chain. so i see that. i see partnership in action in so many places, whether it's the uaw, whether it's the seiu in new york with the health and hospital system, building a 21st century workforce, whether it's the folks in the teamsters and ups working together to make sure that ups competes in the global economy of 2014. we see partnership in action all, everywhere across this country. and we need to create space in america for new forms of collaboration between workers and their employers. one of the reasons i'm going to germany next week is to look at and study the works council model firsthand. i'm going to be spending the entire afternoon at volkswagen one day. and that works council model is a wonderful model that we should consider importing into this united states, because works council is all about co-determination. and you look at what the
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volkswagen leadership said about the works council model. they talk about this. and this isn't tom perez talking. this is the senior leadership of volkswagen. volkswagen considers its corporate culture of works council as a competitive advantage. i'll learn -- that is volkswagen speaking. and i think that they have a point. there are so many other models of success to give voice to workers. there are so many nonprofits emerging. one of the most recent recipients of one of the macarthur genius awards, ai-jen poo, who runs the national domestic workers alliance. and she has created remarkable opportunities to advocate on behalf of workers in low wage industries who are doing god's work in so many different ways, giving voice to marginalized workers. there are so many other opportunities to give this voice in so many different contexts. i was just recently at a meeting in vermont of the b corp movement. and they are remarkably
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forward-leaning in what they are trying to do in the b corp. movement, because they stand for the proposition that you can do good and do well. and not only do you do good and do well, you have to do good in order to do well. and so that is why i think worker voice is so important. and worker voice is a function of the last observation i'd like to make, which is simply the importance of leadership. leadership is an indispensible, indispensible, indispensible characteristic of how we will succeed in this country in bringing shared prosperity to everyone. it has to be leadership from washington. and president obama has demonstrated that, if congress isn't going to act, he will use his executive regulatory and convening authorities, his pen and his phone to provide that leadership. the phone has been ringing off the hook to dol on all of these initiatives. and the pen is running out of ink.
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and we build more pens so that we can provide more opportunity for people, whether it's home health workers, two million strong, who will be getting a raise, whether it's people working overtime, millions of whom may be eligible for raises when we enact the regulation on overtime. so we're going to continue to work on those areas. and the president will continue to exert leadership there. we have seen leadership at a state and local level as well, because we see so many states who are not waiting for congress to act on the minimum wage, paid leave and other issues of that nature, because they recognize that so many people need a raise. and they're not waiting for congress. and so, we see that leadership. and i see continued leadership from the labor movement and other nonprofit leaders who are helping, for instance, in the fast food movement, those are great examples of so many people working together. and my friends, i see people who, in the labor movement, they define success, not simply by the size of their membership, by the number of people they help. that's what shared prosperity is about.
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it's about helping your neighbor. and i see, in my work every day, every week, the inspiring leadership from people in the business community. employer after employer telling me that income inequality and wage stagnation are defining economic challenges of our time. and they are telling me that investments in their workers is an investment in the strength of their company. they're rejecting the false choices that are holding us back from shared prosperity, the simplistic notion that paying high wages undermines competitiveness, or collective bargaining hurts the economic growth, or that you can take care of your shareholders or your employees but not both. they understand that treating workers with dignity and respect isn't just a nice thing to do, it's good for your bottom line. the b corp. folks understood that. they see themselves as accountable, not simply to their shareholders, but to a broader universe of stakeholders. people who are in employee stock ownership plans see the same thing, a trillion dollars in that area. they understand that the high road is indeed the smart road.
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and they're taking that high road. the gap, for instance, has made a commitment to paying above the minimum wage. but they also have been leaders on pay equity and promotion of women. and, by the way, if you looked at the new york times last week, you would see that, you know, prospective employees are drawn to places like the gap. and they had a 24% increase in their applications since they announced their policies. and so, we see so many examples, whether it's the b corp. movement, whether it's aesops, whether it's individual corporations like gap and so many others, like the -- you see it in every single business model around, whether it's costco, whether it's the gap, whether it's so many others across this country, they understand that we've got to look long-term. i had one ceo who said to me, he was talking about a renegade shareholder who wasn't interested in thinking long-term. and this quote really stuck in
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my head. this renegade shareholder was saying, you know, i'd rather be rich than right. think about that. i'd rather be rich than right. this ceo was saying, no, i want to act long-term. and so, we're going to continue to look long-term as a nation, because that's what we have to do. and, you know, i want to leave you with a story about where we started, which is our friends from market basket. because they have done remarkable work. and they really have captured the imagination of the nation. they have done really a service. and they have demonstrated that you can do good and do well. and what we really need are more companies like market basket, more partnerships like the uaw and the ford motor company, etcetera, because these guys, they risked everything, because they believe that a market basket without arthur t.
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wasn't really a market basket, wasn't worth being part of. you know, people like cindy whalen, who started working there when she was 17, because she said the company was second family. you know, mark owens, 34 years there. and now his son is an assistant manager. and he talks about how mr. demoulas would start every day by emphasizing what he called our most precious customers. you know, chris sturzo, who will tell you that mr. demoulas always said, we're in the people business first and the grocery business second. mark lemieux talked to him about the time when the founder of the company came into his store the first day it opened. and mark said to him, thank you for trusting me to run one of your stores. and mr. demoulas grabbed him, and he said, mark, remember, it's our store. it's not my store. you know, and we can talk to all these folks because they're in the middle of the room here, along with kevin fioli and tom trainer and mark kettenbach, and one of their vendors, jim fatini, they're all here, because this is what we are about. they have showed that shared prosperity is indeed a reality in this country. we can do this. it's our store.
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just like it's our economy. it belongs to all of us. it's not functioning unless it works for everyone. and i want you -- i want to leave you, not simply with the words of their boss, arthur t., but with the words of another boss. his name is bruce springsteen, who said, you know what? nobody wins unless everybody wins. and i think we can get there as a nation. so thank you so much. [applause] >> if you could remain here and join me. we'll try to do some rapid fire questioning, okay. the unemployment rate has been falling in recent months. but how reflective is it, really, of the real economic situation? >> well, for people like katherine hackett, whom i met, she introduced the president at one of the long-term unemployed events. she had been unemployed for three years. she has a job now. so it's a reality for her. she's punched her ticket again to the middle class. and 10.3 million workers are,
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indeed, back at work. but all too many other people, as i described in my remarks, are still struggling. too many long-term unemployed, for instance, although the figures are getting better. and too many people who are working hard and haven't had a raise in years. and that's really the challenge for us. we're moving in the right direction. but what we have to do is pick up the pace of growth and make sure that the prosperity that comes with growth is shared by everyone. >> how happy are you with the quality of the jobs created during this recovery? >> well, i've heard some who have said that this recovery has been a low-wage recovery. if you actually look -- and i see that the commissioner of our bureau of labor statistics here, if you look at the last year, for instance, the area that had the most growth in jobs was business and professional services. over 700,000, if my memory serves me. now these are -- you know, the majority of these jobs are accountants and architects, jobs that pay quite well. so we've seen immense growth there.
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low wage jobs tend to be the first jobs to be lost. and they have come back as well. and what we need to do is work on these jobs that are the middle class, middle skill jobs. and that's why our skills agenda and our voice agenda and all these other things that i outlined, i think they can lead to prosperity across the board. >> sir, you said you haven't given up the push to revive emergency unemployment benefits. at this late stage in the recovery, how many weeks of benefits do you think are the right amount for unemployed job seekers? >> well, i haven't given up the fight. and i applaud the efforts of jack reed, senator heller from nevada, senator collins from maine. it's been a bipartisan effort in the senate. and that's because, once again, this issue is a bipartisan issue, historically. and never in the history of our nation has congress, with unemployment -- long-term unemployment rates as high as
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they were in december of last year, failed to extend emergency unemployment compensation. never, that is, until last december. and i sure wish that leader boehner would do what i do, which is meet with the long-term unemployed, as i try to do about every three months. because when you understand the human face of this, you understand that we need to extend these benefits, because it's a lifeline for folks. it's not a lifestyle. >> the obama administration hasn't been able to push through an increase in the minimum wage so far. is there any reason to think that will change after the midterms? or are we in for two more years of grinding gridlock? >> well, i sure don't have a crystal ball on that. but i sure can tell you that the american people want results. and i worked in local government, and i worked in state government. and what i liked about working in local government and state government was we could deliver results. we got things done. that's what the president wants to do. he wants to work with anyone and
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everyone on immigration reform, transportation infrastructure, minimum wage, any of these issues. and i think you continue to ignore the will and needs of the american voter at your peril. and so, we're going to continue to work with anyone and everyone across an ideological spectrum who is interested and willing to come up with commonsense middle ground. principle compromise is not a dirty word, for me or for this president. but regrettably, for some, it's a talking point in a campaign. >> silicon valley business leaders are demanding immigration reform because they say there aren't enough workers to fill the demand for high tech engineers. what steps are you taking to make certain that america remains a leader in the tech field? >> well, i've spent a lot of time with folks in the silicon valley. and actually, the silicon valley leadership group just released about a week ago a book that they have with essays from about
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20 different leaders across the ideological spectrum. and i had the privilege of having one of those pieces. i totally -- what i love about immigration reform, and this is not new, is that the support is bipartisan. i hear from labor unions, we need immigration reform. i hear from the silicon valley, we need immigration reform. i hear from faith groups, even, you know, everybody, that we need immigration reform. and that's what it was like when i worked for senator kennedy. we did 80 amendments or so in the committee when i worked for him. and i need one hand to count the number of party line votes, because this has never been a partisan issue. and the stories that i hear from both the silicon valley, from people whose families have been broken up, they just tear your heart out. and we can do better. and that's why we're going to continue to advocate. and the president isn't waiting. and that's why he's going to continue to take aggressive executive action. but there is no substitute for a bill, because we can't help everyone by executive action.
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>> what ideas -- and i know we're trying to go through rapid fire q & a. what ideas do you have to fix detroit, the rust belt, and other cities that haven't been able to retool or rebuild in the present day? >> well we actually have a detroit taskforce. and we've been out there as a cabinet. i think some of the most vexing challenges confronting america are challenges that, for their successful and sustainable resolution, require unprecedented levels of interagency collaboration and stove pipe implosion. and that's why we have been working together as a cabinet in detroit like never before. but one of the biggest challenges, for instance, that they have there, is they don't have a regional transit authority. and so, you know, think about it. we're trying to bring more jobs back into detroit. and we've been successful thus far, although we need to pick up the pace. but so many of the jobs are out in the suburbs. and, if you can't get there, how can you work there? and so, we're working together on transportation issues. we're working on the skills infrastructure.
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because so many people are not trained for the jobs of today and tomorrow. we're working to build a seamless structure of education from cradle to grave that will enable people to be prepared for those jobs. and so, those are examples of things that we continue to do. and i think the stove pipe implosion is going to help not only detroit, but many other cities. >> if governor scott walker wins another term on november 4th, it means he will have successfully taken on the public employee unions. will that encourage other governors, especially republican ones, to do the same in their states? what will that mean for public employee unions? >> well, i'm not going to speculate on who's going to win elections on november the 4th. you know, every state has the ability to enact laws in the labor context. i think the efforts that took place in wisconsin and elsewhere were not in the best interest of workers. and you watched as states like ohio, you saw remarkable and successful pushback against
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efforts to limit voice. i think voice is an indispensible part of shared prosperity. and whether it's labor unions, collective bargaining, supporting works councils, supporting organizations like the domestic workers alliance, whether it's supporting b corps., whether it's supporting aesops, the more we can do to support voice in every way, shape or form, the more we can do to build shared prosperity. >> a little personal. what was your first job? and how did it shape your life? >> well, growing up in buffalo, new york, my first jobs -- i had three paper routes as a teenager, because we had -- we used to have a morning paper, jerry, you may recall, the courier express. and i had that. i shagged golf balls at a driving range, with a helmet. some people thought maybe, as they watched me, i didn't have a helmet on. and then i worked on the back of a trash truck. i worked at sears for a
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number of years. and all those jobs taught me the dignity of work and the value of whatever job you're at, you give your best and you work your hardest. >> now, to your next job, maybe. attorney general holder has been a lightning rod throughout his tenure at the justice department. why is that? and what can his successor do to prevent becoming a lightning rod? >> well, eric holder stood up for voting rights. eric holder stood up for commonsense criminal justice reform. eric holder ended up working on issues like reducing the crackpot of disparity in a bipartisan fashion with folks in congress. and these are many of the defining issues of our day. and whenever you're going to work on some of these defining issues of our day, you will have folks who oppose you. i do not believe, as we prepare to celebrate the 50th anniversary of bloody
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sunday, i don't believe that the enduring voting issue fifty years later is in-person voter fraud. i don't believe that, because i did these cases when i was over there. and that is a phantom problem. and when eric holder says things like that, people disagree with him. and i applaud his candor and the movement that they have done in that area. >> what should be the justice department's top priorities? >> i have not studied that issue since i was at the department of labor. and i can tell you, the department of labor's priorities should be putting people back to work, continuing the pace of growth, and making sure we have shared prosperity. >> we do have two more in the area of possible next job. so if you wouldn't mind? >> i'm talking about my day job here. >> attorney general holder has
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said he won't send journalists to jail for doing their job, suggesting that new york times reporter james risen is unlikely to spend time behind bars. specifically, he said at a recent interview with msnbc, when asked about mr. risen, i stand by what i have said. if a reporter is doing that which he or she does as a reporter, no reporter is going to jail as long as i am attorney general. would you maintain that position, should you happen to become attorney general? or even if not, do you support that position? >> again, my singular focus is on the job of being at the department of labor. and i know the attorney general very much values the role of the press as the fourth branch of government. remember, he served as the deputy attorney general under janet reno, and often participated with her in her weekly conferences, whether it was -- there was good news, bad news, or indifferent, she was out there. and he was often there with her in those press briefings, because he understands the
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critical importance of the press in so many aspects of our life. >> we'll return to the labor department for a few questions. are employers doing their part to train their own workers? or has on the job training disappeared? >> oh, i think one of the biggest aspects and one of the most exciting aspects of the transformation in our workforce system that we're seeing is the remarkable level of employer engagement in what we're doing. we cannot succeed, in that the advanced manufacturing initiative i described in western massachusetts, the credentials that people are getting are designed by the industry. they are with the input of the industry. and so, when you hire someone, you know what you're getting. that level of employer engagement is one of the lynchpins of our transformation. and the reason it is, is because too many employers were telling me that they were hiring folks, and they had a credential, but they didn't know what was behind
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it. now that they're actively engaged in the development of that credential, they got skin in the game. and they understand it. and, as a result, they can do so much more. >> union strength and influence continues to decline in this country. so have a number of factors related to worker security and satisfaction. how do we bring about -- how do we bring back protections and fair play and benefits -- sorry. how do we bring back protections and fair pay and benefits to workers in this area of corporate rights in diminishing worker esteem, according to this questioner? >> sure. well, we start out by studying the experience, once again, of our neighbors to the north. the new york times had a story, i believe april or so of this year, about how the middle class in the united states is not faring as well as the middle class elsewhere. and they used canada as one example. and it's, for me, as i studied this issue, why is the middle class faring better in canada? their union density is over
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twice of what the union density is here in america. i think it's about 26% versus 11% and change here in the united states. you look at places like germany, where you've got very low youth unemployment, very robust economy. and you have robust union density. and so, again, it gets back to this issue of voice. we need to make sure that we have multiple mechanisms to give workers a level playing field. and when we do that, as volkswagen and so many others have demonstrated, it works to the benefit of workers, employers and communities alike. >> how can we close the wage gap without collective bargaining? >> well, as i said, i think collective bargaining is a very important part of the mix here. the health of the middle class and the strength of the union movement, when you study history, go hand in hand. the greatest generation, as
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tom brokaw used to talk about, well they not only defended our nation and really defended democracy, but when they came back to the united states, what they ended up doing was, you know, they were our laborers and forepeople. and i use the word forepeople instead of foremen. there were foremen and forewomen. and they were the folks who helped accelerate the entry of the united states into the middle class. so that greatest generation wasn't simply great on the battlefield, they were great in the workplace. and one of their major accomplishments was that they helped grow the middle class through the importance of collective bargaining, through standing up for workers. and again, we see so many examples, whether it's costco -- and if you bought a thousand dollars worth of costco stock, you know, 15 years ago, you'd have like $15,000 dollars now. they've outperformed the s & p 500 index significantly. you know, other companies, similar examples, across every business model. you know, airlines.
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when i go to bwi airport, you know, the southwest airlines, they actually pay their baggage handlers a fair wage. you go up i-95 to newark, and all too many of them, as a result of a decision by some of the legacy carriers, they're making the minimum wage. and i was up there talking to them with corey booker a few months back. that doesn't have to be that way. again, you know, low wages are a choice. they're not a necessity. and there are so many examples of that. >> thank you. we are almost out of time. but before asking the last question, we have a couple of housekeeping matters to take care of. first of all -- one minute. we just have a little issue here. we'll get you the mug later. okay. first of all, i'd like to remind you about two upcoming speaker'' luncheons. on october 21, tomorrow, scott blackmun, president and ceo of
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the u.s. olympic committee. and on november 7th, robert mcdonald, secretary of veteran'' affairs. i would like to present you with our traditional mug, and we've done it so that it is lightweight and easily portable, just in case you need to move offices. so either way, it will be good. [laughter] >> and less than $20 dollars. >> and less than $20 dollars. next i'd like to ask you the last question. can the labor department do anything about the employment situation of journalists? and we have a short time for you to do that. [laughter] >> there are few things that keep me up at night more than the employment situation of journalists. so what we do is we hire more journalists so that they can tell our story. journalists, like so many others, have similar challenges. and i hope that you continue to do the great work that you are doing to shine a light. because as i said, when i signed your book, the privilege of signing your book earlier today, you are the fourth branch of government. thank you for your time.
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[applause] >> thank you for coming today. we are adjourned. >> thanks so much [inaudible conversations] >> c-span2 providing live coverage of the u.s. senate floor proceedings and key public policy fans. .. -- policy events. ..
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[inaudible] >> again come alive today at the center for american progress.
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we will be hearing about postsecondary education and how states can find that education. again we will be hearing from the education undersecretary ted mitchell as well as the provost university of south florida and talking about state investment and public colleges and universities. we heard they are running a little bit behind this morning so we are going to take this opportunity to take a look at the cannes us senate race while things get underway. that race where an nbc poll shows independent with a one-point lead over republican senate pat roberts over the lead that mr. gorman had later thishc month. we will bring you back to the education discussion as soon as it begins.ntil the >> campaign 2148 days until the election. can a look at the kansas senate race joined by steve who is ther political correspondent for the kansas city star.e, thank y fori thanks for joining us this morning in the race between the incumbent pat robertson to be
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independent greg orman. where do things stand now?guest: >> guest: it is still a close race. at the polls suggest that orman might have the lead of a point or two, but obviously, that is within the margin of error in the polls out here. but a very, very tight race. there is no question about it. >> host: last week the pat robertson campaign bringing in the big guns, bringing in mitt romney -- who else has come in to campaign for the senator? >> guest: at this point about half the senate has been here to campaign for pat roberts. he said john mccain here, rand paul, ted cruz, just one senator after another. ted coburn from oklahoma has been here for him. today, as you just mentioned, mitt romney will be here in a kansas city area suburb just on
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the kansas side. and i think he will draw a pretty good crowd. mitt romney obviously still a big name in american politics and that's why roberts is bringing him out here. so it will be fun to see what happens. >> host: what has to get out the vote effort and mike for the roberts campaign and the orman campaign? he is an independent, so who does he rely on if the democratic party isn't there for him necessarily? >> guest: that is one of the big questions that surround this campaign as we we headed down toward election day, who does greg orman count on to get the vote out. he doesn't have very much of a get out the vote at least in the traditional sense that we judge these things now in american politics. as you point out, he he's an independent. the democrats are welcome to help him on that front. they don't want to be caught helping greg orman were further
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tightened to the democratic party. that's been one of the main arguments in the campaign from the roberts side which is that orman is a liberal democrat. he's a democrat who has been hiding behind the cloak of being an independent candidate. so they really want to avoid that kind of association. succumb a orman is from what we can tell pretty much on his own and it comes to getting the vote out. and you wonder how that will affect him read robert will have the advantage of having a long-established republican machine behind him and very well known for the get out the vote at practice. they effort at us. they helped sam brownback so much four years ago. very well should help him again this time around. so, roberts has a bank on that kind of support and orman doesn't have that kind of machine behind him and you wonder how that's going to affect the final vote on election day.
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>> host: you also have a world series going on coming back again in the city. is there any interference, is that a distraction in terms of the things like getting airtime for tv spots, political ads and things like that? >> guest: if you watch the world series here anyways you're seeing lots of bad for orman and roberts. i don't think there's been any impact at all. we have noticed some research that has been done that suggests that if you have a successful home team in any sport that going forward to election day how big of a factor that is i doubt that there is research to suggest there is that kind of tie going into election day. >> host: one of the pieces next week. steve speaking with an political correspondent with the kansas city star and he is on twitter to follow the action there in the senate race in kansas.
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thanks for joining us. >> guest: thanks for having me. now a discussion for post secondary education. introductions underway at the center for american progress. >> -- going to college. however, the college going rate for low-income students has slowed. the last decade despite the significant investment in the federal government and things like paul grant and the opportunity tax credit, the additional investment of the pell grant a loan total more than $50 billion. but a federal investment has not been sufficient because during the same period the states were descended staying in higher education. since the onset of the great recession, 38 states decreased the amount of direct funding to public colleges. eight states and gray on the
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sides had natural changes in funding. just four states in orange increased the amount of direct funding to public colleges. i found it interesting that the states that increased the amount of direct funding for the public higher education were safe at north dakota, wyoming, illinois and west virginia. we know that what has been happening in north dakota, additional tax revenues through energy exploitation but they didn't have to reinvest in the higher education, but they did anyway. all 50 states decreased the revenue from the state government reflecting the blue in the charge. and 47 states in 47 states increased their reliance on tuition revenues from students and families in orange. so despite the increase in
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funding, the share of the revenue from state governments declined in all but three states greater north dakota again, connecticut and name increasing the reliance on tuition fees. at all income levels and both two-year and four-year institutions, the states that got cut the most in orange charge the highest net price and hire net price means greater borrowing entire levels of debt which diminish education access. and the cuts were focused on the community colleges. which which saw the moment increases by 20% while enrollment at public four-year colleges increased by only 10.6% so spending per student has been cut in 45 states compared to 39 states for a public four-year
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college. we have called for a new compact between the state and federal governments to revitalize the state funding in public colleges. the public qualified project calls for states to implement for key elements, create reliable funding sources for public higher education, make the college affordable particularly for the low-income students, improve performance and remove the barriers. states that qualify and wish to participate in the compact would receive funding based on a formula that takes into consideration the number of veterans and the number of coverage recipients enrolled. they graduate and do so without
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that. it's my pleasure to introduce the executive vice president of the center for american progress. karl manages the process across the areas addressed by the center for american progress and is a key member of the executive team. before coming here, we worked together at the u.s. department of education where she was the assistant secretary for planning, evaluation and policy development. in that position, she led the department policy and budget development activities, served as a senior adviser to the advisor to the secretary arnie duncan. prior to coming to the department of education, she served as the general counsel and deputy staff director for the late senator edward kennedy as chairman of the health education and labor and pensions committee.
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she also previously worked at the center for american progress as the associate director of domestic policy and in the senate as chief counsel and senior policy adviser to the former senator just a number to come -- senator bingham. she holds a university degree from texas school of law and masters degree in public affairs from the lyndon b. johnson school of public affairs. pleasecome up. thank you. >> i'm going to start by introducing the panel and a dive right into the discussion. first on my right we have ted
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mitchell has the undersecretary of the u.s. department of education. he served in this post since the confirmation by the u.s. senate earlier this year. in this role, he oversees policy programs and activities related to post secondary education, career and technical education, adult and federal student aid. ted is charged with planning and policy responsibility to implement the president's goal for the u.s. to have the best educated and most competitive workforce in the world as it is measured by the proportion of college graduates i think year 2020. next we have david bean who serves as the senior vice president for government relations and policy analysis at the american association of community colleges. in and this will redirect the national advocacy efforts for the nation closer to both hundred community colleges and their students. and we are happy to have david here today to speak about the association's strategic plan to boost as much as 50% the number of degrees and credentials awarded at the institutions by
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2020. next, we have sarah odella who is the policy director for the generation progress and advocacy organization during the millennial generation and the progressive policy solutions. serra's sarah's work focuses on ensuring that the next generation of americans have access to an affordable and high-quality education. she will discuss how the policy proposals have a potential to lift millennialist towards a great economic prosperity. sarah was the director of domestic policy advocates of advocates for youth. and finally, we have rob wilcox provost and executive vice president for the university of south florida system. the university of south florida is the ninth largest university in the united states serving more than 45,000 students. the university of florida has made significant strides on the
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student completion for the student success task force it has closed the graduation gaps across the demographic groups while raising a percentage of low-income students enrolled. achieving increases in both access and great completion. he formerly held leadership and academic positions at the university of south florida st. petersburg at the university of houston, the university of memphis and hofstra university. so, with that api will start with ted and ask you to talk about the department of education thinking about the issue of accessing the stronger partnerships in the states so they continue to invest in the public. >> thanks for having all of us. it's great to be here. as you noted there have been
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systematic investments throughout the great recession. i think it is critically important as economies improve for us to remind our partners at the state level that where they are is not okay. taking what was a fairly balanced three party compact between the states and families and federal government and on balancing that in a way that you've shown really does disadvantaged students that we are most concerned that have access to it through college needs to change dramatically. so as we all know we have for the last several years opportunities for the federal government and states to work together on many of the lines of
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contact that we are discussing here this morning. and so the state higher performance fund that we would seek to reward states that create stable funding platforms that make sure that their commitment to low income students remain in place and that would also move states towards a more performance-based budget overall. we want to continue to have those conversations in aligning the federal resources with the state's willingness to fund higher education and make that funding centrally available to low-income and middle-income families who we need to get into college and across the finish line if we are going to meet the president's goal and the moral
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imperative of providing the opportunities and access to the middle-class for families across the country. >> in the face of the cut that your institution has been able to make strides in terms of completion can you talk a little bit about how you are able to do that? we are calling for greater state investment but also changes in policies that the institutional and the state level but hopefully bring down costs that increase outcomes and it seems like you've done the latter. >> first, thank you most particularly for including the universities and colleges on the panel. i'm thrilled to be here with policy leaders. we are the ones that have to implement that policy. and that sometimes comes with challenges. what's interesting about the university and santa florida as you pointed out are the
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institutions but most particularly the top 50 research universities public or private in the united states and i mention that because in all of the research universities we lose sight of the focus and enhancing the student success. over the past six years, we have seen an 8% increase or eight-point increase in the retention rate. a 15% increase in our six year freshman graduation rates that only tells a part of the story because a large number of students entering the university come to us as transfer students as well. we have also seen an increase in the graduation rate from 60% to 68% in four years in the recent
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past so we are pleased in the direction that we are moving and we are not yet satisfied. so it really has lifted all of the students in terms of the demographic profile and the recipients from 19% to 41%. that is as much i writing a product of the economic gains as any particular effort on our part to recruit lower income or middle income students. but we know those are the ones that are most significantly impacted by the state's declining investment and efforts to increase tuition to help offset those.
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>> what steps did you take to increase the level of completion that you are seeing? >> first and foremost, we raised expectations and we recognize it is everyone's responsibility that we have raised expectations with regards to the coverage compared to the readiness whether the students are coming to us through the play k-12 community directly or through the colleges and state colleges. we have raised expectations with regards to student engagement area there were a number of initiatives on campus and we know that while that adds to the attendance, we've implemented to some of initiatives to offset the impact of that requirement because we know full well the students that engage fully in life on campus are more likely
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going to be retained and progress towards regulation. our shift has been from a focus on inputs to the throughput and output. at the same time, we thought we had invested in a broad variety of ways and enhancing student support, financial support, academics support, structures into scaffolding to students experience because again, with so many students that are first in their family, they don't have the privilege of a network at home to help guide them through what is sometimes a complex and even confusing pathway to completion. and we don't stop at completion. today, our focus is on placement as well. placing our students in high
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skilled and high paid jobs as well as providing them the support necessary to progress to graduate school or to professional programs if that is the path that they are pursuing. >> david cohen at the community college level, as the report points out community college is gradually hit harder in many ways and four year institutions -- so you are educating more students than ever, fewer investments from the state level. do you see your institution is making the kind of choices that were mentioned in terms of investing in things that help children and students get to graduation and having to reallocate funding or how are those institutions dealing with it? >> that is a good question. we should start with the reality into the specific changes which is the fact that the colleges educate students for less cost
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than the other sectors of higher education on a per student basis. what we saw in the recession is what we call a double whammy as it were when we had the cuts in funding as your report points out along with dramatically increased enrollments. 22% increase in enrollment over the three highest years in the recession which has slowly tapered off. so, starting with the very limited amount of resources or the relatively small amount of resources the coaches have come and there is an ongoing tension i think it's fair to say between the desire of the presidency and the deans on campus to provide as much information as they possibly can. that is faculty members in the classroom whether they are full-time or adjunct versus the kind of rap and services that you're asking about and ralph just talked about which all the research shows is very important and critical to getting more
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students to graduate and we have to say with all of the attention that has been placed on the need for our colleges to graduate more students, progress in that area is stubborn to come by. we are dealing with low income students and of course higher percentages of the student population from the lower to the income as it was the case ten years ago with a very disturbing trend on a number of different ways so we have low income students and correlating with that is the fact that they are not -- most of them in fact prepared to do college work. when i see that by virtue of the fact more than 60% of the students are at least tested to be needing some remedial work so you start at the low income relatively unprepared population and you want to get to graduation and of course as you run though and the audience knows it was a strong correlation between income and propensity to graduate. so what the colleges would like to do is have the money to
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provide the ancillary services that help the students get to graduation and the counseling they need committee academic enrichment services they need, the further advising in terms of their personal lives because the president's point out to us constantly you are not just dealing with education for a lot of students that these are people but as you were mentioning the students don't necessarily have models of college going in their own families, so finding their way in an environment that isn't natural for other students of the students of finding a way to triage these areas at the time but of course resources are less available than the whole have been into the time we've responded to president obama's challenge to graduate more students and it is not of course unique has been a difficult needle to thread for a lot of our colleges but having said that, one thing i do feel very
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passionate and positive about is the fact that without a doubt, the emphasis on completion and the need to get students to maintain an educational credential is dramatically enhanced from what it was even five years ago. no community college presidents can get away with having at minimum an elevator speech about what the colleges doing in terms of working on completion and all that implies about the commitment underneath that across the campus to get students to graduate while it requires the leadership to increase graduation and get more students to complete the program there has to be investment across the campus and that includes the faculty which traditionally has not had the same incentive they might have needed to take individual responsibility for getting students to get up on the podium in the stage of the graduation ceremony and get that.
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>> what our young people giving to advocate for themselves in this regard and is the focus are they directing their energy towards the policy leaders to get increased investment in public institutions or are they focused on the price versus quality or completion aspects of the issue? >> young people are getting engaged in this issue in various ways. they are directly targeting their state legislators to say you need to invest in it and they are targeting members of congress. we have so many that will go on the floor into savings like i painted houses over the summer to pay for my college tuition and then we kind of laugh at the idea of the minimum wage being able to pay for a whole year of anything in college. young people are calling up members and they say wait a minute you have a better had a better deal when it comes to
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accessing college than we do. and they are speaking about the other social services needed for people when they are in school so if you look at the millennial generation yes we are the most diverse. 40% of us are young people of color but also 15% of us were not worn in the united states and so when you see young people calling for a resource centers when we have young people people that are first in the generation and have had to do things their entire life like translate into act as a service in the community we are waiting to see a whole wraparound support so that they can academically do well but also socially take care of themselves and their families so they can succeed in school. 6% of the generation identifies and those are things that are needed so that young people can do well academically and they've been doing an amazing job calling out elected and also
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pokes at the university system to say here's what we need to succeed as well. >> we call for a major investment for the states to increase their investments into the administration called for similar programs but given the level of activity in congress that might not have happen in the short term i hope it will but it doesn't work the others you have at the federal level to address these issues? >> it's the conversation of the conversation we are having. what can we be doing and i think as your report is doing it starts to change the conversation which is important but there are other things we can be


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