tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN December 31, 2015 9:01am-11:02am EST
you run for office as a great campaigner. you get into office, you have to become a chief executive. you have to run the organization. so i became successful with the approaches of governance, and when i saw what african presidents and prime ministers were struggling with, enormous challenges and problems, they often didn't have the infrastructure of decision-making and organization around them to enable to do it properly. the purpose of the african government initiatives as we put teams of people in, work in the country, alongside the president's team. i worked with the president and we go for prioritization and then the execution capability within government to get things done which is the biggest challenge.
that thing with howard is he was prepared to help us with it and supported and resource it. the result is today we are in around eight different african countries. i think we make a real difference the way they function. >> howard, talk about what you and the prime minister are doing together. give us some concrete examples. >> well, i would say whether the things that is our strength as a foundation is that where flexibility. we had given agi somebody that was committed elsewhere, and when did ebola crisis came up in liberia, one of the first people that what you because they were ugly with him was a g.i. burrell. -- agi for help. this was a disaster for the population, a challenging messaging and indication situation. so one of the things, and we don't get involved in health or anything else or anything like
that. we are pretty focus on what we do. but when we talk to the staff at agi it was very simple decision to say yes, we will move some of that money. even some of that money, use it what you need to use afford in liberia. because we can't judge that. so the biggest thing for us is to have flexibility and to have partners we trust. emmanuel can tell you a story about a water situation in goma that is kind of funny looking back on how we got it done. but it's really important for us to trust our partners. and i realize that governance is such a critical issue. so one of the things we did with a g.i. was were on a conference call talking about different options and they brought up the idea of wichita, rapid action fund, and it sounded great to me.
i thought this is, tony needs to do what he needs to do. he doesn't people like me or anybody else telling have to do it. i have great confidence that what he's going to do and the decision he's going to make so we made a commitment, a reasonable commitment to fund that can help them go up and try to leverage that for additional funding. the rapid action fund is something where you don't have to go ask they deliver something in the middle of an emergency. you have the money. you react the way, we will never, he will tell us that will never ask ou ask of uses the moy because that's not important. >> we were all -- we were in all three countries. they helped organize all help those coming in. crises like these it's a country. the help comes poor in but if you don't organize effectively, separate centers, make sure people are going to the right
places, set up the systems necessary for the thing to function effectively. we deliver maternal health care programs. we will help people with agriculture programs. we would do things like make sure if it's a big infrastructure projects around electricity which is vital for the country that we help them deliver the program. >> think about this. i haven't been to liberia for about five years but when i flew into their it was nighttime and you don't know, at that time you did not know you were landing in monrovia. you could not only see a life. that city did not have electricity. so you are talking about a situation where you cannot imagine how you set up a process in an emergency of that scale. you don't have the people, you don't have the infrastructure,
you don't have the power. it so that like what we do sometimes with emmanuel in congo. you are trying to solve point -- 20 problems at once. you're trying to deal with a whole bunch of crises at the same time. the thing that i love about that fund is that it gives tony and his staff the ability to just react, to go in and do it. i think we need much more of that kind of philanthropy. our money in the private foundation should be the absolute first risk of money and we should not worry about bragging about what we got right. we should tell people how we failed. that is the truth. too many people want to feel good about what they did. they want to deal, they want to do everybody else about how good they did something. that's fine if certain places.
it's the wrong thing for philanthropists to worry about with the kind of flexible in many that we have. we should be the risk capital. >> i would imagine, tony blair, not every philanthropists, that every potential source of funding you go to gets this in the same way that we hear described. >> in the and it's a very interesting way of doing it it is essentially what power does is he says okay, we understand what you're trying to do and we will support it. and then frankly if you've got the freedom to get on and to do it and does not huge but a bureaucracy around it. but what it does mean for us we have been able in the countries we've gone into to work really fast to help change the way this country are run. one of the things that's important to realize about africa is despite all the challenges, it is a continent that is on the move and there's real progress. life expectancy is going up. many of the fastest economies in
the world in the last 10 years has been in africa. in the next few years the middle class is set to double but you've still got a situation where two-thirds of the population don't have access to electricity. these are things, fundamental things you can help change but you can only do it if government is operating effectively. that's really what it's all about. whether it's doing what we do with the government are what emmanuel does in conservation with the park, the way that howard does the blood to be i think is different from anything i've come across and really allows us to operate effectively and react to the need in a far more direct way than otherwise would have. >> on the surface it sounds like you are doing very different things. tony blair is describing the governance initiative turkey where the chief warden of a park, of a national park, the congo. help us understand what that means and how it is involved.
>> this guy takes real risks by the way. >> and i should say by way emmanuel is a belgian prince. he's got all kinds of royalty. [laughter] >> don't expect it again. >> don't be expecting it again. [laughter] >> i think there are always enormous parallels, and the thing is none of us have a monopoly on goods, develop a practice which is what we are all trying to do. there are many ways to doing it. to our certain underlying principles. we essentially got it comes down to three things. you have to have a deep sensitivity and respect for the rights and the needs of the most vulnerable, the poorest people in society. you have to have a sensitivity for the rights of our future
generations, to protect the environment, governance issues in relation to natural resources and so one. and then dropped have a respect for the rule of law. that's what holds society together. if you can maintain those three principles, and there's a whole range of activities that you can do. i think what howard antonius brought up so well is as long as you maintain those basic principles that it's a question of how quickly and effectively you can do with the dramatic challenges we are faced with, particularly in places like the great lakes region. i only operate in a small world but it's a small world that is extremely intense in terms of all the deeper challenges that our generation has to deal with. to deal with violence, to deal with the destruction of the world resources, to do with how badly we treat each other,
particularly those who can't defend themselves. >> you talked about it a few minutes ago but how do you see what emmanuel is devoting himself to fitting into your over all, he got some pretty ambitious goals that you've laid out to do something tangible about food insecurity, about the part of the world that really has been neglected for generations after generations. >> one of the things, i have some important partners in crime at the foundation, that i could never get this done without their support. but i really felt that walking into congo at the time we did with a lot of conflict, i mean, when we would go see emmanuel we would go through five checkpoints and the first three with the government and the next to where the rebels. it was that way for a long time.
we went back for five times a year and you could see sometimes we were 10 kilometers was a ghost town and sometimes 10 kilometers look normal. a lot of things were changing. think about the stress on people. as we got into it we realized that the conflict part of it and the lack of rule of law was what had to be addressed. one of the things that has never worked well in that part of the world is the demobilization and reintegration of rebels. we had this kind of crazy idea that if we start doing things now, while the conflict is happening, that we would have the things available, projects available, and they're all with emmanuel pretty much, but we could put four or five or six, 700 guys to work when they're ready to be reintegrated. instead of taking some of the
framework data been used in the past that turned out very well spent you meet reintegrated from combat? >> yeah. you've got, i don't know the exact number, seven or 800 x. combat is seen in yukon and some in rwanda in pretty poor conditions. so the question is in the past what would happen is they would bring them back but had no way to integrate them, no jobs, no income. they couldn't get back in. that's a threat to the government because it doesn't take long for them to reorganize. this time is different if the government wants to do something about it because we can put them to work, bring them back, reintegrate them and put them to work. that's the big challenge one of the reasons we did you try to answer question, one of the reasons why we're doing what we have done is to be in a position so you could change that. you have to start changing some of the fundamental issues that existed historically to change the future.
one of those issues is how you reintegrate ex-combatants and that you keep them from taking up arms again. that's a big part of what we're trying to do. it's a huge experiment. we have no idea what will happen. we could end up spending 100, $200 million to look back at 10 years and get nothing done, or we could spend $200 billion which were on track to do and we could change the course of how some things happen. it won't be as change it but it will be our investment. >> how do you look on this, tony blair? do you look at this as a gamble, a sure bet? >> i would call it entrepreneurial philanthropy which has an element of risk and capital. if it works by the way it provides a model for future engagements of a similar time. one of the things that's really
interesting about africa today is you've got sources help from different quarters. all of these have to be used effectively by the comments on the ground, but often with aid agencies, they will work in a very obvious reasons, they will work in quite a bureaucratic way. they can be quite inflexible to deal with. they do great work by the way, many of these agencies in many parts of africa, but the advantage of howard's foundation is a compact with the flexibility, agility that comes from the nature of the organization and leadership. this makes a big difference because one of the things we need to do in development is experiment. the thing that howard is thinking about now, which is how to develop agriculture, the issue food security on the continent, this is a huge problem. along with electricity and basic infrastructure it is probably the single biggest problem the
continent faces. if he was able, through process of trial and expectation, it is able to show what could work in this field it would have a dramatic impact on the way this country developed over the coming years. the whole question about these countries is how fast can accelerate their department? take a country like the congo. emmanuel is a with a particular problem in the park with this is a country that is vast, massive development of problems. if we were able to show how you could accelerate that path of development, it would have an extraordinary impact on millions of lives. >> it's a reminder government doesn't have the answers always. it's essential in some ways the solutions are, but you are working around, working with government also working around. >> i think this is the way it is today. there should be partnerships between the public and private sector spent specifically on the
continent speak with on the continent of africa there's no doubt at all that philanthropy has made in massive difference. >> but you can have any success long-term if the government doesn't buy into what you are doing and they don't eventually support a. we've got huge initiative in rwanda on agricultural development and trying to do something that we think will be unique to how they go about it. that's what tony is referring to. if we didn't think that there was an apartment with the government of rwanda would buy into what we are doing and make it so that 10 years or 15 years they don't need us anymore, and they now have a facility of training and extension and productivity at all the things that come with it that are important, and they are doing on their own. the idea is, you know, aid is aid. all that means is you're trying to assist someone in a very
difficult set of circumstances which can come from a number of, you can develop a number of different ways. aid doesn't solve anything. people talk about poverty like is some really difficult thing to figure. it's not difficult to figure out. you need to get people economic opportunity. if you want to take someone and get them out of poverty they have to earn a living and have to make more than within it today. you have to create that environment. one of the things we're doing in congo with the three hydro plants with funding is it brings electricity. we are not doing it, it's a great ipod that brings electricity to the people and kids can study at night and all the things you want to talk about. what it really does is it says that you can now develop processing plants. you can now develop an industry so your farmers have a market vendor farmers can produce more, get paid better. so electricity is completely
identified with agriculture if you work backwards. people don't think about it that way but we've already done a small facility and with a soap client going in and we have an enzyme plan going in. so electricity is looked at as this important thing as household and everything else. is critical to agriculture. >> i want to ask each one of you before we take audience questions which we will do in a few minutes, what's your dream? what would you love to see come from what you were doing? but i also would like you to be can't but what your main challenges are. you've touched on some of this. i want attempted manual first because, until everybody if they didn't know that you are shot and you almost died last year when there was a documentary being done about the park. tell us about that. how are you? you look fine. >> he had the bit mental issues.
other than that he's fine last night. >> i lost my brain. i'm very well, thank you. will it goes in phases and lester was a very intense period because we were in confrontation with a british oil company that was trying to -- >> well, it's not over. >> no, it's not over. it was trying to explore for oil and the international park. it's an illegal activity in terms of congolese law but also in terms of international law. so for us it was a very major problem. what you have to understand also is this whole issue of the illegal exploitation of natural resources and it ties in with all governance problems that tony is trying to address across the continent. the issue of illegal exportation and natural resources winners profoundly poor governance over
help africa's resources are being used. it invariably leads to conflicts. and eastern congo the conflict has led to the death of 6 million people. these are very, very serious issues that we did with. just because it happens to a british company doesn't make it any different. whether it's an armed militia or a multinational -- >> who shot you? >> so we were dealing with this issue, and around that a whole series of conflicts were interrupting. -- erupting. i was perhaps not sufficiently prudent i was coming back to the park after having submitted the inquiry report on the oil company, and some people were waiting for me by the side of the road and opened fire on my vehicle. i got a bullet in my chest and in my stomach.
i was able to get out of the car and into the forest, and some local farmers picked me up and got me out of that area. and so i was very lucky. i ended up in a local hospital, some remarkably good congolese researchers. so that was my lucky day. >> very much so. i think very much so, wouldn't you say? i think we are all kind of silent hearing the story. i want each one of you, i don't know sort of how you move on from that because it's such a harbinger spring that happened. >> you know, public servants, law enforcement officers all over the world are confronted with that kind of problem.
and sadly, you know, it's a sign of our times that there is so much violence around us. certainly when you sign up to be a public servant, you sign up to be a law enforcement officer, that goes with the job. most of those people who do get injured continue their work. it would be wrong not to. i work on a team of about 500 rangers who protect this park. 140 of my colleagues have been killed since the war started. in the last three months we have lost 12 of our staff in that way. so if a person who happens to a leadership position runs away from their responsibilities, and what effect does it have on the rest of the team? its natural to commit to a job and to keep going. it's not something you question.
>> but it's a condition that is worse today than it was a year ago, i think. when we were, not hard a week ago there were two attacks, eight civilians were killed it's a constant thing that emmanuel operates under. he doesn't have the resources or the support that he should have. and it's really frustrating because it's something where the united states, with the same type of advisory group that they put together on the activity come at a couple people who worked on that, got us involved in it, they could make a difference in eastern congo. you have enough military. you have a u.n. force -- inept military. basically they're collecting checks so they can keep somebody in the military from bangladesh
or guatemala. and that's just what it is an people don't want to say that. they don't want to talk about it, and the truth is that we've got to do something different. this is a perfect place and time for the united states. so leadership, it doesn't take a lot. that's the amazing thing. think about for a minute the adf who is an islamic group operating the want to that would love to overthrow uganda. you would have first radical islamic state in eastern africa, and that would undermine everything. people can say well, that may not happen. it might not happen but it could happen. pfd alarm, all they want to do is undermine rwanda. venue all these groups -- fdl are. bandits operating freely in certain places. imagine what it's like to try to send your kid off to school in
at about. imagine what it's like to want to feel good to talk to the farmers in sierra leone during what most people refer to as blood diamonds, they to stories about how they want out working in the crop and all of a sudden here's this group of guys chopping off arms. is not environment that we can relate to or understand or even really begin to imagine. so if we can't take our principles and values and apply them in situations where the really can make a difference with minimal risk to ourselves to be honest with you, then what are we doing? i just find it really frustrating that we'll take these big fights that we know we'll lose or pick of the fights that don't make any sense but places in the world where we can go in and just in an advisory capacity assist and try to make some change. i think we can really do that. it's frustrating to watch it not happen. >> you mean we the united states
is because yes, the united states. states. >> tony blair, what is your dream? what would you like to see happen? we are talking huge challenges that you all are laying out he here. >> that's what i was just thinkg when i was listening to emmanuel. belgian prince, british education, give it a when false sense of modest understatement. >> well plugged. >> wittiest that is very brave and very remarkable. my dream is very simple to i would like to see a new generation of african leaders who are smart enough to know what should be done in the country and honest and decent enough to go into it. where we are able to work alongside them and help them accelerate that process of development. and the good news is that it is happening. not in all quarters, not in all places but if you take it from the 30 years after 1991 i think
democratic power switched hands about once. it's happened about 30 times. even in that you recently they had an election that was free and fair and power was transferred for the first time. in a peaceful way. so that's what i want to see. the frustration is i think a lot of what we do as an international kindred, if we devoted to actually proving the infrastructure and decision decision-making and the quality and capacity of the people, it will be, we would roar ahead farmer quote the. one of the interesting things we've learned in the work we've done, in rwanda is when we first went in, they would working with the local people and they were learning some of the basic things to be done. today when i go back to rwanda, the quality of young public servants, not just around the president but at every level of government, is so strong.
the our people you would be delighted to have here or in the uk. >> why did that happen? >> because people were there to show them how it's done. i know we think bureaucracy doesn't function but believe me you only have to be in a properly nonfunctioning democracy to realize the difference. [laughter] so it's part of the indus partly the will of the country and the leadership. right across africa now despite all the problems, you do have a new generation and a political system civic leaders are prepared to take responsibility. and what more, prepare to take the guessing of the the guessing of unconscious in her own hands. all we can ever do is help. in the end it for them to do the exciting thing is that they're capable of doing it or i think today more than ever before. they are doing it more than ever before. my dream is just expand and extend it. would just be abnormal and
unusual becomes normal and conventional. >> so prime minister blair can only stay about 10 moments of want to go had a thing of you have questions, racial and. i'm going to try to see you in the darkness. then to have a little time with howard and emmanuel. i'm going to start there's a hand right there that shot up. i'm sorry, we've got microphones. go to the mic. >> my question for mr. blair. drawing from mr. buffett some of your scenes in the movie coulda, woulda, shoulda to obtain because there's no money. since a central backing has come to dominate the world undermining is quite apart into existence at usury, might it be time for a new bretton woods kind of agreement where we restore an honest unit of account so money circulates in areas and people actually produce things instead of with credit? we will reach a point where we came up with options on whether
there is a perception about a production instead of producing things. do we need a new bretton woods agreement to bring prosperity everywhere in the world? >> is that for me? [laughter] spent we are looking at you. >> i think that is -- >> emmanuel, did you hear anything? spent i think he said prime minister blair spent one of the things being put nothing in office, you can ask the question, and you can say, i don't know. i do it all the time. what would you say to that question? seriously spirit that he asked you? [laughter] spent you are on your own. >> i honestly don't know. i'm sorry. >> do you want to refrain to back to the mic. i didn't mean time we're going to keep moving. >> i'd like to ask the question of all of you, please, which is the following.
thank you for all your good work. you are working in africa, it's a challenging environment and unlike to look ahead 50 years. you to the population is going to double. the problems of global warming. the question is how does that affect agriculture, conservation and governance is really how does that affect the likelihood we're going to achieve success, whatever that is defined as? >> you mean with climate change goals? i mean, look, as africa develops i think the need for electricity is going to be vast. there is the possibility of developing sustainable. there are enormous possibilities for environmentally responsive production and generation of power. i'll be honest with you get when you come to a country like liberia and they need a power station, then it's hard for me to say to them, cold fact, coal-fired station is is thing do, don't do it. the opportunities and things like hydro and solar are the
future are enormous and can be developed and we should come as those countries develop their would be more opportunities for them to use that spirit if we don't get agriculture right, you will not have to work about conservation. a guy, dennis avery, who told me 1992 when all i did was focus on conservation, he said, no one will starve to save a tree. i didn't quite get it at the time, but in minnesota traveling to africa, instead of only going and looking for cheetah leopard or whatever it was, i took the time to go look at a masai village that was maybe off to the side, or whoever it was whatever it was, and realized that he we are as a taurus coming over and thinking it's just great to see agia make a deal on the serengeti or
whatever. but that's not helping these people. -- to see a cheetah. when you talk to somebody who has kids defeated, who has had children die because they can't feed them. it becomes a very serious thing. they would use the resources that are at their disposal to survive. so they're trying to go from day to day, week to week. if that's your situation, then you will have no conservation to worry about in 50 years on the continent of africa if you don't do something about taking care of people first. that's a lesson i've learned and it's a hard lesson sometimes because if you really want to learn it, you see some very desperate people and your some very sad stories. >> will my question is not completely unrelated, and it's for howard buffett and prime minister tony blair, although i
do want to add how much i admire you, emmanuel a and how gratefui am that you are there. we are at 7 billion people today and in 2015, 50, we are at 10 billion. it's estimated we need a 1.3 million kilometers squared of additional agricultural land to feed those additional people and most of that is going to come from the amazon basin and the congo basin. northern countries are reducing the agricultural output, and most of it is going to come from southern countries. so my question is, how do you integrate the needs of local communities and governance in this increasing need for land for food for the world, but with an agenda that's largely driven by industrial agriculture from northern countries and bric countries? and how do we reconcile that very different, those very
different agendas speak with prime minister, do you want to go first? >> as these countries develop, then they have got huge opportunities to develop if they are given the right help inform the right partnerships to develop it a more sustainable way, including a respect -- in respect to agriculture. the population of africa will grow enormously but also as countries develop, all the evidence is that the population comes under greater control through people particularly girls education is immensely important in this. and my feeling is that this is a problem we can solve, providing you do have the quality of governance that is both making sure that the economy of the country roads in a way that is sustainable and balanced, were
agriculture production is increasing that increasing in a way that pays some attention to the needs of local people. and i feel as well with the possibilities of technology and what it can do in agriculture. i think this is a problem that is solvable but it's not a problem that is solvable absent that are of governance being there at the central level and been in obedience to the interests of the local people. maybe howard will disagree with this, but i think one of the opportunities that africa has is as a source of agricultural production, but it depends on the state, of the country as wholas awhole is whether the prn is developed in the right way, he did what is produced is then used in the best way for the world. i think this is a problem we can
solve. >> well, i think that's true but i would also say that i think we have an opportunity. i'm not very hopeful we will do it right at all, but we have an opportunity to do something in africa that we didn't get right in some other places in the world, which is to embrace farmers as the solution rather than look at them as a problem, not to impose western thinking and western mentality and western agricultural practices in a place where diversity is critical to living. our systems are the biggest mistake we could bring to a continent like africa. but you are fighting a really strong tide. the one thing about agriculture is come and visit your everywhere in the world, is if you want to get come if you want
to get results fast, i can do that for you. i can triple your corn yield or i can quadruple your corn yield. but in 30 years you won't have what you need to have come or 50, whatever the timeframe is. it depends on where you are starting and all the different ingredients that go into that. but if i try to teach you a way to farm that will help you retain your soil, build your soil, give you a biological activity that is critical for production, very few of us think about it that way. and if you want to do that, it's a long road. it's more complicated, more difficult. at the results our long-term. so if i look at africa today and i look at what we call the headwinds, forget what the population is in 20 years, if we don't change the headwinds and one of the biggest ones is corporate governance and will of
law, africa will not be able to feed itself with a population it's got today. people have this idea that, my wife called me the most pessimistic optimist that she knows. because i don't think it helps people to tell a story that makes things sound really good when they are not really good, or you have to really make sensors changes and sacrifices to get to where really good would be. so to talk about africa is plenty of land, not unless you want to pile up the serengeti and not much would you cut down the forests that are in virunga national park. africa are limited on land, limited on water. water. productivity is good data, from rebuilding soils, sustaining soils, being efficient with their water resources. and you don't do that by showing
up and sing this is how we do it in america, let's do it here. that is the biggest mistake that can happen. >> great question. let's take prime minister tony but who i think has to leave about now. you are welcome to stay if you want. [applause] spent now we can talk about tony. [laughter] >> we want to take a couple more questions. right here. >> thank you. once again i wanted to really express how appreciative i am to see people that are really trying to do as much as they can in a region that most people kind of tend to forget. you speak quite openly about initiatives, agricultural, technology, economic development. what about education what kind of commitment to education do you think it will take in order
for these initiatives to actually be prosperous that for the economic development of these regions to actually be able to sustain a quality of life for the majority of their people? >> that's a great question. my dad always told me, stay in your circle of competence, which is very small. but i don't know much about health. i don't know about about education. what i can tell you, and emanuel might have a comment, what i can to this initiative we started in rwanda, the very first thing we have done this year is written a check for $22 million to one university to make sure we get 200 undergraduates in agriculture. are going to go back and try to build a research facility. and we have an agreement with another school for 25-50 masters and ph.d's. so education in terms of trying to build agriculture is absolutely critical.
but it has to become an africa, the most important thing that it's a practical application, education. you don't need a whole bunch of people who can sit in fear rise in the research plots that don't have any application. our goal is to include a different kind, we have some kids down at can anybody younger than 25 anymore to me is like a young kid to come on getting older, we have some down to earth university in costa rica. we will look for opportunities to have more kids in the places so they get a more diverse education. without research, education and extension, those three pieces, agriculture fails. right now you cannot find an african country, we work in 44 4 of them, i think everyone of them, you cannot find a country that has the strength in all three of those. until we get that right come and
kill those countries get it right, my biggest fear is that you don't have governments who really understand leaders and governments who don't understand that imports. when you're 70 or 80% of your population in a rural area and they depend on agriculture and you're spending too or three or 4% of our national budget on agriculture, you are missing something really big. you can talk about health, education to all those things. if you can't beat a child and you can nurse your child probably it doesn't matter where they're going to school. i've seen that, too. it's very difficult to pick one or the other. there's a great foundations and government work on health and education. i'm not saying that, that's also very critical. but from the perspective of what we do, education is just as important as all the other
pieces but it is a piece by itself it will not get you to where you need to get. >> how much education is a wardens who work with you have? what's the situation about education over all in the drc right of? >> for me education holds a very particular place. there was a british politician who is going to all of us, when he was first elected as prime minister his campaign cry was education, education, education. i think it's transversal. it covers everything. with respect to the earlier question, i don't think we can understate the challenges that our generation are going to have to confront her and those are going to be compounded tenfold for our children. because mary robinson has said, we are the first generation to
understand what's ahead of us, and we are the last generation to be able to do anything about it. it's a very poignant moment now. really the solutions, you know, i know when to say what the solutions are, but they do seem to light into three broad areas. one is technology. the other is behavior change. the third is governance and organization. the only way we can have radical shifts in that is to prepare ourselves and our children, and that can only be through education. >> there's one other little piece i would add. i hear people's all the time take any country that has low productivity. i hear people all the time to ask the farmers what they want.
and i think there's a lot of truth to that, but if you ask a farmer who doesn't know what an opv does, doesn't know what a hybrid is, doesn't know, me, how can you tell you what he wants? he has to be educated to understand what those tools are, what they mean to him, how he can change his productivity. so, you know, education can come in different ways your extension isn't education can and extension as agriculture is absolutely the key to success. you have to have it. we realize that and work on that to the degree that we can, but it's difficult. >> first of all thanks to the newseum for doing this program. it's been great, thank you so much for the conversation but i appreciate. my organization works on africa for food security and nutrition. something like 80% --
>> what is your organization? >> is the national cooperative business association. >> 1-800 -- [laughter] >> you can get from that were my question is going but like something like 80% of the food in africa is being produced by smallholder farmers and over 50% of them are women. the idea of how to really link smallholder farms into the national global economy is a big thing we focus on. we find that cooperatives and farmers associations are hugely important vehicle not only to do that but also aggregating, training and functional leaders a and those things as well. what i want to ask you is what kind of investment are you putting into cooperatives and farmers associations as a way to really bring smallholder farmers into the economy?
and are you willing to do even more of it every to strengthen local economies? and increased productivity in food production. >> the first thing i did when i started figuring out how big and how complicated the problem was with agriculture in the world was i tried to figure out, i learned that all farmers are not the same. at all farmers and situations are not the same. so how do you deal with that? i get a little triangle and we did some research on this, not just based on my experience but we had different people look into it different countries to t it's pretty supportive. we asked our guide in ghana to go out and do his own research in some of the different provinces in ghana.
and it pretty much comes back with the same answer on however you do it, which is, you have at the very tip of the top of this triangle you have maybe 5%, 6% of commercial farmers. those are farmers that wouldn't like commercial farmers here but they are commercial farmers have higher labor, that have hybrids, that have credit, that can get access to fertilizer, that have some storage. they fit into the commercial world. then you can drop down and this kind of market ready to you can call them anything you want to we just had to make something up that make sense. market ready. that's a group of sometimes 10% of the new drop down, there's a group that i can't member except what we call the but that's another 10%. in which into this a bottom 50% are subsistence farmers. these are farmers living day to day, week to week, crop to crop.
diversity is very important to them. they have no credit. they have very little, if any, access to fertilizer and less a government program gives them some. a lot of them are planting a little land. the problem is simply talks about smallholder farmers but there's these big different groups of smallholder farmers. everyone takes a different approach. i hate to say this because it sounds really bad, but the bottom 50% i really don't know what you do. it's really difficult. we have a hard time thinking about our money as charity. we want to make investments, and people don't need us anymore when we been successful at they go on and do their own thing without us. so that bottom part is a really difficult part. we don't need about the commercial guys so we have focused on these other two areas.
we found a couple of early success of ways to go about it would be similar to what you work on. the co-ops have been come in central america we had huge success because of the co-ops in a lot of things come in terms of co-ops learning come in one case we gave co-ops support for lawyers so they could get through their own bureaucracy into an country, and they began exporting and it changed their lives. they couldn't get through the legal part of it to be able to succeed. in other cases like our world food program, purchaser progress, we had come it was because of co-ops were successful project to train people what the contract, how do you are a contract? how do you deliver when you say you're going to deliver? what kind of quality do you have? all these different things. i think co-ops are really important aspect to having
success, but there's a lot of places in the country, in the world and certain countries were co-ops are very foreign and not trusted and difficult to put together. i do think they are an important tool. were you going to say something on that? >> i think it's this whole notion of trying to harness collective action. together we try to develop this nation of overreliance. you've got a synergy between people who are otherwise vulnerable, otherwise disempowered. and who work on the organization of farmers, as opposed to working with farmers solely as individuals. there's certainly a lot that can be achieved at that level. >> we can only about one minute left. i thought i would let each one of you asked your question in abbreviated form, and let him
angel and howard tackle them. abbreviated question from each one of you. >> how are you ensuring that the poorest of the poor who need the assistance and food are receiving it, rather than just those with the biggest guns are the most money? >> poorest of the poor. and what is your question? >> my name is joseph. i am from ghana. i grew up in that region. i know very well a national park of virunga. i just came here for school. i would like to thank you very much for what you are doing. i know how it is very difficult, very, very difficult. most importantly if i can't i would like to apologize for what happened, because quite frankly imagine someone who comes to the country and the people shoot at him. doesn't make any sense. so i am sorry for what happened. >> thank you. [applause]
>> beyond that i had a question for -- i had a question for the prime minister by the left, that's okay las. [laughter] >> thank you so much for what you are doing it. [applause] >> you are from goma. please come up to virunga and spend some time with us i would enjoy it. >> thank you. we are glad that you stayed. the question, the poorest of the poor. spent what was the context against because how are you ensuring the poorest of the poor are actually receiving the assistance rather than those of the biggest guns are the most many? >> you start and i will finish. [laughter] but you might talk long enough that i don't have time. >> you are quite right. it's the hardest of questions. part of the reason why they are poor is because they are
difficult to access in terms of ensuring that they are able to access the benefits of the wealth of the country. for me it's very, very important to try and work out the simplest way of reaching them. because part of the problem is, by virtue of being poor, there are many, many of them. where i live, the national park, we have 4 million people live within a days dark -- a day's walk of the park boundary. 98% of them lived on the poverty line, they live in extreme poverty. and to reach 4 million people is not a simple thing. what you have to do is look at the most cost effective way of
delivering services to every come at that site you have to think about it, every single one of those 4 million people. that really changes your perspective completely because a lot of the problem in transitional aid models is that we are so riddled with failure, and any success is wonderful so it tends to do small token projects just to be able to demonstrate success. really success is only achieved when you reach everybody, and in particular the poorest. so that makes it pretty tough. what we found, you know, it may or may not be the right solution, we feel it is, is that we should concentrate on certain sectors that have a high chance of success. and what we feel to be the most important is come as a first step, is rural electrification. it may not seem obvious, but what you find in eastern congo and in many other parts of the
world is that the country is assigned is still stuck in what you would call a colonial economic model. congo gained its political independence in 1960 -- [laughter] >> i'm good. >> they are laughing at you. >> it gained a split independent in 1960 but it never gained its economic independence. the reason for that is it only exports raw materials, and that's what keeps people in poverty. one of the main reasons for that is a castle industry. it's only through electrification that you can do it. by doing that you can start to reach many, many more people. what we find is that for every megawatt of electricity you provide to rule 30, you create 1000 jobs. that's a lot. virunga national park, the
riverside out of it can create 100 megawatts. that's 100,000 jobs. that's 1 million people who would benefit from the. you're beginning to have an impact at that level. that's how we would do it. it's very straightforward, very simple and it does require a lot of investment, $160 million of investment to get 100 megawatts. but when you think about it, the international community has spent $90 billion in eastern congo since 2000. and so it's all relative. i think it would be the most cost effective way of reaching the poorest of the poor. >> if i could just add before i turn to howard for the final comment. yesterday, the world bank issued a statement they called the best story in the world today. they said the number of people living in extreme poverty in the world is likely to fall for the first time the loan 10% of the
world population this year. they say, howard, i know you're for me with this, they say using the new benchmark, the world bank projects 702 of you people come on 9.6% of the world's population will be living in extreme poverty this year, down from 902 million people spent that somebody sitting in the office of the world bank. i'm going to add to the advent of a patch of the other question. because i butcher interest down. i sat in a little dirty place that i don't know what you would call it, in congo one time your. ..
and they said that i'm making $7 a day. i don't know if i make $7 a day. he said i can't measure it that way, but i can feed my family, my kids are going to school and i bought my wife address and my point is that all these people that love to great numbers, i don't believe them. it's no different than our immigration issue and i won't go down that track. i don't know if there are 11 million illegals, 40 million illegal, you can make that number at. the truth is that if you look at
the world population today and who has access to clean water, who has access to good-- well, three meals a day, if you start basing it on the kind of way we think about what the bare minimum is, you have more like a billion people, 4 billion people for sure that i don't care what the world bank says, they are not living the way they should live, so to me-- [applause]. >> it's almost demeaning to say this is a good news story. the eastern congo. that's not good news story. you can go all over the world to find it, so to me it's buried demeaning to the people who live the way they live in this world to think that someone in some office can say i calculated the number, here it is, folks. i think it's [bleep], i do.
a lot i work for the world bank. i would be fired, but it's true. i think these are people who need to go spend a little time in the field, but anyway to answer your question, i will give you two answers because they are very different, so i was sitting in 2003, i think, in south sudan, i can't think of the town and i went to visit these farmers-- well, this group and was sitting with the elders and it's kind of funny because something came out of this much later, but i asked them what their biggest problem was an accepted a couple different answers, but i did not expect this. they said the lra and i did not know who they were. i said what you mean and they said they come in and burn our crops and steal some of our kids
and i thought wow. ten years later my good friend shannon who is here got us involved in counter lra activity, which was a great learning experience, which someday i will tell you about that when we have time, but the point is i went away think about that nonselective out the about the lra, but about the burn their crops down, so a great friend of mine who is an amazing guide, ed price, from texas a&m, i was talking to him about that. so, they went and studied some different areas and different conflict zones and they actually, you can kind of laugh at this, but they came up with conflict crops and if so if you go peanuts or sweet potatoes you can bring them down and i guarantee you they are not taking time to pull them out of the ground, so there are innovative ways to think about how people in conflict areas can
try to protect themselves that they may not think about, but the truth is alive and well figured out too, so that was one level of the story when to tell you. another story was i was sitting in south sudan, a different trip, but back room it and i wrote this in my book. i have learned if you get a couple of beers and someone you get a lot more information and i don't drink, so it works great. i can make someone think i drink so, anyway, i'm talking to this commander-- anyway, when is a political party and one was military and he was a colonel who had lost his leg and i was talking to him and he started going off on the whole aid thing. what a joke it was in everything else and so then as he talked about it, i realized there is
nothing black and white in this world. there is nothing black and white in conflict or poverty or anything else and he went on to tell us how they would have the groups that would orchestrate so that they would take a village and they would landmine it on the outside and then they would make sure the world food program, international community, whom it was all new people cannot walk out of the village. they can't get food. they can't get timber. they can water and just sit back and wait and pretty soon here come the airdrops. now, if you are making that decision-- and he said, these guys are clever. they will take 30%, 35%, but never more than that because if they take more than that they know they won't get it. they won't come. they won't drop the food. i don't know how precise that is, but the concept is probably
pretty right. so, there are awls-- food is power and when you are enough situation where where you cannot eat, food is power and people use it that way. it's more important currency. so, when you think about it that way, there are also the tricks you can use of or in conflict and that was just, you know, one of them. you know, this guy just talked like that was no big deal, and the reason i remember that is because i got asked a different question once and it was about aid and i was trying to express, you know, what if you are the person has to make that decision what if you know the rebels are going to get 30 or 35% of what you drop, but if you don't drop it you have 600 people die. that's not eight easy decision, but someone has to make that because eventually they figure out what's going on, so when you look at agriculture and food and when you look at the people and
try to figure out solutions to this, there is nothing that you can do that you know will work for sure. there is no guarantees. there is nothing you can do that is black and white and you feel really good this will happen. this will work and solve the problem. is a constant battle and you just have to try to be smarter in the last thing i will tell you was when i was in-- shannon and i went to somalia and we sat there and we listened to this warlord, basically, tell us how clarity was because he had these different little refugee camps, so they would deliver the aide to the refugee camp, move everyone to the other camp and get the aide moved to that camp and move everyone to another camp and get paid to that camp. people are clever. i mean, they are going to outsmart you, and so i think when it comes to your question, you know, you will never get it
right, but you just have to do the best you can and help as many people as you can. [applause]. >> i think what i can say for everyone here is that we are in all of your dedication and commitment to this amazing cause and i think everyone here is coming away having learned a whole lot more than we knew when this evening began. >> she's talking about you. [laughter] >> please thank howard buffett and emanuel. [applause]. >> today we are taking a look at the past year in congress. some of the major events in 2015 include debate on the iran nuclear agreement, the poppel addressed to the joint meeting of congress and john boehner resigning as speaker of the house. >> it become clear to me that
this prolonged leadership turmoil would do irreparable harm to the institution, so this morning i informed my colleagues that i would resign from the speakership and resign from congress at the end of october. now, as you have often heard me say, this is not about me. is about the people. is about the institution. >> and our congress year in review will also include paul rhein being elected the 54th speaker and bipartisan year and a budget and tax legislation. that's getting underway right now on c-span and then against night at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. >> c-span has your best access to congress in 2016. the house and senate will reconvene on january 4, to mark the second session of the 114th congress. tuesday, generally fit, the house is back from legislative
work with paul ryan as speaker of the house. on monday, january 11, the senate returns at 2:00 p.m. eastern. be sure to follow c-span's capitol hill producer on twitter c-span, live coverage of congress on tv, on the radio and online at c-span.org. >> this new year's weekend, but tv brings you three days of nonfiction books and authors. new year's day, encore presentation of in-depth starting at 7:00 p.m. eastern. nationally syndicated talk show host thom on his life and career and his response to viewer calls and questions. his many books include the clash of 2016, rebooting the american dream and threshold. at 10:00 p.m. eastern economist walter williams, his most recent book is american contempt for liberty, other books include
recent economics and up from the projects. saturday evening at 10:00 p.m. eastern on afterwards, karl rove, white house deputy chief that stop looks at william mckinley's 1896 campaign in his new book. mr. rowe discusses the political environment in 1896 including political wedlock and the killings expansion of the republican base. >> republican party has been beaten in the 1892 election. grover cleveland has come into office and mckinley has been the governor of ohio is in the country descend into a deep depression and republicans think the election of 1870-- 1896 will be theirs and he wants to be the nominee, but he is not the front runner. >> directly following afterwards at 11:00 p.m. eastern, joint book tv as we attend a book party thrown for karl rove. sunday, on in-depth, author
david baroness will be live with your calls, e-mails and tax from noon to make 3:00 p.m. eastern. book tv this new year's weekend, three days of nonfiction books and authors on c-span 2. television for serious readers. >> former first lady laura bush was among the speakers at a national summit on creating employment opportunities for veterans and military families. the event also served as the launch of a military transition guide, co-authored by the george w bush institute and hiring our heroes. >> good morning. my name is michael haynie,
executive director and i would like to welcome my friend, mark goulart. i will say first it's a little humbling and honestly intimidating to follow president bush, but our job is to spend 10 minutes talking about sort of the collective and collaborative action that has brought us to today, a recap of may be where we have been relative to veteran employment and also what may lie ahead, challenges and opportunities both for our transition service members and veterans and their families, but also for the employer community that has been so supportive of this effort. only because you expect it from me, do i have a graph with a bunch of data and things behind me, but i'm not really going to talk to it, only use it as a way to suggest that we really have a college that awful awful lot.
the efforts of the private sector and our partners in the public sector has made a significant impact on the vocational situation of veterans. we have learned a lot in the context of doing this work as well. through the coalition that we-- that the president mentioned, the 100,000 job, hiring our heroes coalition here and i won't because the president did already list off the employers who have made remarkable contributions. it gives me an out not to mention any employers by name and therefore leaves them out and get in trouble later on, but only to say probably at no point in our history since world war ii, has the private sector stepped up in such a meaningful way to support the vocational transition of our service members.
collectively as a community we deserve an awful lot of credit for that. we have built tools, put them into action. we will hear more about the tools today that are positioned to move this effort and agenda forward, but when we put up data like i have here it always begs the question and it has recently in the context of what is next for this community, is there unemployment challenge. is there unemployment crisis relative to our nation's veterans? i will suggest very delicately, so as not to offend because these questions do sometimes make for good dueling op ed, but if you today i actually think the question themselves are a bit of a red herring because the only answer that matters to questions like that are the ones that you get when you are standing in front of a veteran who has done everything they need to do to position
themselves for post service employment and they tell you whether or not they have been successful finding a job. ultimately, that is the only answer that really matters. we can, as i learned in my first graduate statistics class torture this data to death in a way that tells any story that we wanted to tell, and hopefully part of what we will do and as i transition to mark and let him talk a bit about the tool that the lloyd has been working to build and we will get to a place where we are asking more nuanced and prospective questions about veterans employment moving forward because one of the pitfalls, one of the things that seems to get us into trouble with it as we focus on putting our inherently constrained resources to the use serving the vocational challenges of veterans is that we tended to paint this community with one single brush and don't acknowledge what exists across
the community and i will give you one example how you can frame the question may be a little differently relative to the employment challenges that some cohorts of this community may or may not think. what you see on this graph are two lines, the darkened topline represent a longitudinal view all the way back to 2000, of the employment between post- 911 veterans, ages 20 to 24 and their civilian counterparts. what you see on the light blue line is that employment gap between post- 911 veterans age 34 and above relative to their civilian counterparts and what i would to just, and i could build
25 of these, 30 of these as i slice and i but the veterans community, but as i talked to smart economists around the country about how we should be thinking about focusing our efforts moving forward, this idea of identifying and then acting on this idea of employment gap relative to civilian demographic counterparts, whether it's a function of it and this is the gender age skill industry etc. because at the end of the day the value proposition relative to voluntary military service is one such that you are better off on the way out; right? and every military recruiting effort or initiative is based around that value proposition. well, here for example is one group that by the data it
appears that we are not delivering on that value proposition and there are lots of reasons to explain this and some are inherent in simply who these folks are, but that data doesn't highlight that persistently over the course of the last 10, 12 years. there has been unemployment gap between that particular population and their civilian counterparts. i said i could build 25 of these, i used this one-- and i am already over, or tie? i used to this one because i wanted to share this. is their cost for sustained action press moving forward? well, there the projection separation. over the next five years and look at the cohort that's is going to be separating and the highest numbers. so, the idea here is that whether or not we have this discussion about, is there employment challenges, what
really matters most is that we are asking a different set of questions moving forward. again, so we can focus our resources to serve the need where the need is greatest. what we have learned, here's a quick summary of a way to transition into mark. as we think about our research and the surveys that we've conducted, the surveys of veterans, at the end of the day really the path forward is about institutionalizing a focus more on a dream of transition on this idea of a collective and collaborative effort between the public and private sector. this initiative and the coalition's really got off the ground as a function of dealing with an immediate crisis, but as we talk and have conversations about this, the future of the military force, which secretary carter is having now, this idea for purposeful partnership
between the public and private-- private sector becomes essential to enacting that vision, but we need better data. the reality is we don't have great visibility into that upstream pipeline in such a way that allows not for prophet, private sector etc., to use vision resources appropriately to support that transition and is also important to acknowledge that the labor market and demographic represented by this population is changing pretty dramatically over time. the population of veterans or service members leaving the military 2007, 2008, relative to today is a entirely different population and we have to build. therefore, dynamic models of intervention, programs that can be adapted and evolve over time to serve that changing demographic and also to be aligned with changing labor market demands. alternately, finally, my transition is to suggest we have
to start asking for questions. we have to start moving the level of analysis from a high level national effort where we are looking at veterans as a population to drill into cohorts and sub cohorts of the veteran population and importantly ask-- at the local and regional level because at the end of the day when the most powerful left-- lessons we learn from the work we've done, the work we've done with our partners at the book-- bush center is where it matters most is local. our service members are returning to their towns, villages etc. where the economies are local, the social networks are local, the supportive services are local and if we don't start asking questions about how we can serve as support at the local level, i think we missed the opportunity to really institutionalize and
focus on employment transition over the long-term. with that, i can transition to mark to actually give him an opportunity to put that call to action, if you will, that i just suggested to action, to demonstrate what we have been building with-- they have really been building it and we have been helping them see what to build, but offers the opportunity to dig into eight deeper way more powerful way relative to understanding where to focus our resources, so with that, mark. >> think you. i have one minute three seconds to go through for slides, so i will do it quickly. >> that is my fault. >> i will plagiarize through this, the president mentioned smart policy and mike mentioned things need to be at the community level and that is the problems that we began to work with nine months ago as we began to aggregate the data and phone it into a dynamic model that we
can evaluate at the local level. you can see there is lots of data here and we have heard about data driven decisions. the purpose here is to put the data to work for us to allow the probing questions to be asked to get that regional construct. this, and i can go through this surely later on, this is an aggregation of the data nationally that can help us depict veteran unemployment down to the county level. it can help us look at the data by gender, by age, by disability status-- >> i didn't move. >> by education. it allows us to capture all the data sets so we can be-- begin to ask the questions of how do we drill down and look at this information answer to reorganize our policy, start to reallocate resources from a national level
down to the community level. of let begin quick example. here, we look at two counties 60 miles apart in texas. one is a rural community. when is it urban community and you can see the rural community much higher levels of unemployment, much lower median income. 60 miles away in an urban community in harris county, you can see the median income what-- much higher and the employment much lower. now, that doesn't necessarily give us an answer, but when we talk about how deallocate resources in resources in the program, one might ask is this an issue of transportation, simply making sure that 60 miles apart, how do we put together resources to get those folks in the rural communities to places where the jobs exist just 60 miles away.
it may be a transformation issue. or maybe a training skills issue. the president mentioned you can train skills. of course you can. but we leverage the skills and employment 6 miles apart to give employment opportunities to the veterans? we can do this nationally now at the county level. we can drill down and look at any one of a number of demographics, so it begins to inform the conversation. it begins to allow us to peel back the discussion and most importantly, it allows us to target resources and programs to where the greatest need is at the community level. one other piece of the model that we looked at was the highest industries. you will see this chart really depicts the highest growth industries in the upper right-hand corner by growth rate and on the y axis total number of jobs available. the size of the bubble represents the size of the
veteran population. so, you can see in the upper right in education and health services, one of the highest growth rates and has the most jobs, but has the smallest number of veterans and you can see on the lower left in the federal space has the greatest number of veterans, but it has the lowest growth rate. so, how do we use data to help us target where we can best allocate resources and target our opportunities for veterans? so, these models allow us to ask questions and answer these and make informed decisions again for policymakers, for veterans, for employers and community leaders. we are thrilled and excited to be doing this with syracuse. i would say it's going to take a village and more information and certainly other partners. we welcome this and welcome other partnerships to make this work. and you very much. [applause].
>> i was in denial of how bad it really was. that outer shell of him came back, but everything on inside was dead, i could just died in iraq. >> every day at least 22 us veterans commit suicide. that's almost 8000 a year. but, a new program could save their lives. it's called faith, a warrior. >> this isn't broken. this is broken and that's why you are in that chair. >> he has told me several times that if this program doesn't
work, he's going to kill himself. >> how is the family situation? it's not working for you is it? >> it was only a five day program. how can a person change in five and half days? >> 13 soldiers. >> this is the last house on the block. >> i feel guilty that i have so much. feel like i'm back in a parachute. >> they literally feel like in that moment they are going to die. >> how are you feeling? >> i love you, brother. ♪ >> how many men have come through this?
that believes that soldiers who were returning home needed tools to pacific league deal with some of the issues that they were facing. depression, anxiety, anger, loss. issues that in the past might have been dealt with using prescription drugs or maybe nonprescription drugs or alcohol and that in fact these tools were teachable like meditation and even just understanding what other people were going through,
feeling a connection to other servicemembers -- a brotherhood a few well it sort, undergoing challenging experience is, a ropes course, rock climbing, medication, all of these strategies that sabre warrior utilized to create a connection between certain guys who had never met before and yet in many ways shared a very similar struggle. many of them were frankly suicidal and they couldn't figure out how to live in the world. you saw him in the clip there, an african-american gentleman who ended as he jumped to the rope cores. he would speak very openly with his wife without crying in the clip, telling them if the course didn't work he was going to kill himself. he described it for me, the suicidal feeling that even a
burning building. he said it is like a building is on fire and you don't want to jump. you are afraid to jump, but the pain of being in fire is so intent and you have no other choice but to jump. in may of 2013 i spent five days embedded with the warrior and several more days interviewing his family and also gary combs and his family. as he saw in the clip, those five days were very emotional. they were very intense. the days are very miserable and some were thrilling. garrett was chosen to be in our documentary because he was exactly the kind of guy who hates to appear in documentaries like this. his disdain for the news media was very, very clear. he told me he did not trust that i would not screw up his story and that he challenged me to run unedited what he said because new media almost always gets it wrong about veterans and probably i couldn't manage to get it right.
when the stories come on tv, none of us, meaning veterans watch except she didn't use the word bs. we never watch these stories because they are just not real and he challenged us to tell the real story and get it right. and so we did good i felt we owed it to the 13 men. they also do female cohort to follow what happened, for good or for bad, for success or failure we would just tell their story. in the end, the program was life-changing. we went in with no preconceived notion. delong was clearly at the beginning and alcoholic drink in several bottles of wine every single day and ibm stopped drinking with his wife and small children and he's been doing really well ever since. garrett who's anger lay just below the surface also changed and i learned much more about him as well. not just his experience and more
which he spoke about, but also his goals and hopes and dreams for his life after the service. i learned that his stream was to be a photographer and with a little bit of shopping at times i got to see some of his work. instead of the shooting him, we got to see what he was shooting for us. others he enjoyed as i discovered with many folks who suffer from pros to manage stress he enjoyed hiding behind a camera which made him feel a little bit more secure and conversation, but it also made him a wonderful student of human nature, which turns out to be a very good thing if you have any desire at all to be a photojournalist. his experience in the military being ultra- observant made him a great and valuable storyteller and story recorder. the fact that he had wrestled with some demons successfully made him a good listener.
i'm pathetic, sympathetic, all very good qualities as a journalist. and he had tremendous raw talent. i think because of his military training, the quality of excellence was built-in to what he consistently delivered. he was always working on his craft, always seeking feed back, never said no one i won't talk about timeliness and showing up organized, et cetera, et cetera. no surprise that my company comes starfish media group has hired garrett after doing a documentary on him to be our west coast photojournalist for the projects we do. i almost hate to say it out loud because i feel like the people in the audience are going to steal him from me because he is bad amazing. it's like giving away a good secret. the media often frames the issue of posttraumatic stress as kind of a curse like some kind of crazy let's watch this explode sort of thing and that is not
the case and what i've learned in my reporting on the war comes home, our documentary's posttraumatic stress is real. it is not to be ignored. it is not to be diminished or trivialize, but it is manageable and people do come out the other side and those people who come out the other side what they have to offer as employees, but more importantly of course this human being is incredibly valuable and makes all of us better. i'm so pleased to be part of the conversation today because this is a crucial message that is often lost in our daily work porting about veterans, the contributions and the potential for contributions is huge. but i also want to take a moment and introduce you to garrett combs webmaster join me this morning. he is an excellent photojournalist in excellent photojournalist in a notch for new or has served his country very well and now partners with
me, serving us well and telling stories about veterans and others because of his well honed an excellent eye, much i think due to his time in the military. if you would stand up so i can introduce you to our audience, i would be grateful. [applause] i will have a chance to lead some of the panel discussions this afternoon and i am looking forward to continuing to tackle this topic. thank you very much. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the u.s. secretary of labor, thomas e. perez. [applause] >> good morning. it is an honor to be here. this morning, mrs. bush, thank you are honoring us with your presence.
i had the privilege of spending a little time with president bush and it was an honor to be with him and you set a high bar for us coming and in terms of serving our veterans and i want to stay thank you to you on behalf of on behalf of the president, first lady, vice president and that to brighton for so much we are doing. i also want to stay thank you to tom and everybody else for quite some time. thank you. i know you were here. there you are. i also want to stay thank you to the distinguished at the duty and retired military leaders here and your spouses. we know it is a joint venture, so we want to stay thank you so much. yesterday would have been my father's 93rd earth day. next monday is the 41st anniversary of his passing and i come from a family where military service was a badge of honor.
my father and my mother was one of nine. our family emigrated from the dominican republic. all of our uncles served in world war ii. i grew up listening to theirs tories. my father after he left the service went to the va hospital in buffalo, new york because muscle in new york and the dominican republic the weather was similar and so they really wanted to settle in the warm weather climate of awful. my father worked at the va hospital until his passing. my brother then worked a few years later and as we speak now, my nephew come up all of named rafael perez is now working in buffalo, new york is a physician. i wear that as a badge of honor. they taught us this is so important to serve our nation. folks who served us with such distinction. in our previous role for civil rights division, we have a robust docket of cases on behalf of service numbers. we recovered $125 million on
behalf of service members who have been picked as the wrongful foreclosure. we settled the largest cases involving active-duty service members who were deployed and came back to find that their jobs were not there for them. that is illegal and we fought for them and we also fight to make sure the right to vote was available to service members and spouses serving overseas. again, that work was a labor of love and the work continues to be a labor of love. the department of labor now we get the opportunity to work together in partnership with so many of you in this audience to make sure the opportunity for employment is an opportunity available to everyone in the chamber's announcement as of this month half a million veterans and their spouses have been hired through this initiative is a remarkable example of our partnership in action. i want to say congratulations and thank you. this has indeed been an all
hands on deck enterprise. look at the rostrum of speakers today and i demonstrate their nation's commitment across the board to making sure that we serve our service members. i'm so excited to be going to a job fair in a few weeks in hawaii to talk about how we can get our veterans the jobs they need and deserve. again, with your efforts in with the efforts of the first lady and dr. biden joining forces, we certainly have come a long way. the unemployment rate stays 5%, which is 1.6% lower than it was two years ago when it was 6.6%. look at the post-9/11 veterans, 5.4 compared with 7.32 years ago and double digits in 2011. we are moving in the right direction and we have a vast network of partnerships. you'll hear me say the word partnership so many times because that is what it really is about, making sure federal
partners are imploding stovepipes and working together, making sure we avail ourselves of the leadership of people like president and mrs. bush, making sure we work with friends in the business community, making sure we are learning everything we can. earlier this month i had the privilege of traveling to three different cities for secretary mike donald and hacker terry castro because what we were trying to do was give light to a significant issue that we are making progress on but which we have more work to do and that is the issue of veterans homelessness. we traveled he is in a met with mayor parker because houston has announced creation of a system in her community that ensures all veterans who need housing assistance will be quickly linked to supportive services and permanent house and because five years ago president obama set forth an ambitious goal of ending veterans homelessness by the end of this year and we've
invested $30 million in partnerships with nonprofit service providers there are homeless veterans for employment program to help struggling veteran get their job and in houston they have set up a system so they are well-positioned to meet the goal by the end of the year. salt lake city and phoenix have already instilled and installed systems to address attacks and effectively on chronic veterans homelessness. we will continue that work. the thing when i go to the cities, it is not simply the numbers and the data but really the people we meet who are most remarkable. in tucson a met a guy named cliff. it wasn't the first time in that class. we do a point in time survey every year to measure how many people are homeless across america. this year i traveled to tucson enough with cliff. cliff served in the military. when he got out he fell on tough times.
he got out, wanted to better himself and as a result of our investment, he was able to do just that and now he is a counselor, working with veterans and in the last year has helped over 400 veterans get back on their feet. click himself was formerly homeless and now he is the leader in providing homelessness. people like cliff inspire me. people like a woman i met named genevieve inspire me. a single mom from a veteran who served with distinction fell on hard times and again experienced homelessness but with the help of our investment in partnerships leadership of so many folks, she is back on her feet. she was so proud because she got her degree in social work. now she'll get a masters and what she wants to do is help other veterans because she has fought in their shoes and she can then she will help them. what she said to me really epitomizes where we are right.
the help we got, they were handouts. they were handouts. they hope to turn my life around. it's not just about me. it's given my daughter a brighter future, too. that is why we are all in this. people like genevieve and cliff have given so much to our nation and we owe it to them to redouble efforts and that is why i am so grateful for the work chamber is doing and so grateful for the partnership we've had to make sure the transition assistance program is working well for the transition assistance program is a joint venture with dod, ba, department of labor and we are making it harder and better with every passing year because we are learning from experiences in measuring progress. for instance, we did a survey recently about the 11th dozen participants in the program and 91% reported they would use what they learned in their own
transition planning and 89% reported and enhance their confidence in transition planning. that is another area where once again partnership is serving service members that scale to another area of the best that is in partnership. i believe apprenticeship is the secret weapon for employing so many people across the country and we've been working collaboratively to make sure veterans have access to apprenticeship. i often refer to a partnership as the other college except without the bad. the apprenticeship has application not simply in the skills training but in i.t. in health care and cybersecurity, so many different areas than we were together to make sure and through our grant making we give opportunities to so many veterans and veterans eligible to use their post-9/11 g.i. bill to supplement apprentice wages
while they participate. that is a real pathway to the middle class and that is why we continue to work to expand and grow apprenticeship. another thing we have to do and i saw this firsthand when i worked at the state level is we need to work hard to eliminate carriers to credentialing and licensing. every time i've been to a military base i asked the ceo how many times have you moved in your career. if someone has been there 16 years, usually at his double figures and i don't need to speak to you because you know that from your own experiences. challenge when you from one state to another and your spouse may be some other profession that it is hard to get the license and the other state. i'll never forget the combat medic i met in maryland a few years ago. he served in a war zone.
he was told by the state of maryland he wasn't good enough and i can understand not. we need to address licensing barriers. we can all agree it's hard to understand how someone who is the next host of ordinance to bothell tech in the navy and served two combat tours overseas is somehow not qualified to work demolition on a highway construction crew. that makes no sense. that is the most polite description i can give of that. a number of states have taken action to identify and address unnecessary licensing their ears and the steps are critical to ensuring economic opportunity and mobility for service members and their spouses and in order to encourage this, the president's budget proposes a $15 million investment in those efforts. we know this affects military spouses because moving credentials from day to stay can
be, frustrating and expensive. that is why we continue to work on efforts and we need your help. when advocacy at the state level to do this. i want to talk about a resource that has been a linchpin in our efforts to progress and that is a 2500 american job centers across the country given a veteran goes into those diners, they receive priority of service. by law they go to the front of the line because they deserve to be at the front of the line given all the service they have provided. american job centers provide x burke, services to help you find the right career path to access training opportunities and put yourself in front of employers. we are working hard to make sure we translate the core competence these that you have as a servicemember and a civilian workforce. so often we hear from servicemembers i was an e. six. what am i going to do?
you've got a game. there's a lot you can do. we are serving as the translators so employers understand the various skills you bring to the table and it's not only the hard skills, but the team skills, the essential teamwork skills showing up on time. it's understanding how to work under pressure. you know what.com one means a new translate that working under pressure into the work place and that is what we do in the workforce system. now we are set to become an even more potent network because last year in an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote, the workforce innovation and opportunity act was passed and sent to take effect july 1st. the reforms contained give job seekers additional tools to punch their ticket to the middle class. so we are going to continue that work in partnerships are continuing. a few weeks ago as with rich
cordray at the consumer financial protection bureau because what we've done is joined forces with the cfpb to launch a new initiative providing financial coaching to veterans. as 35 american job centers that nationwide, we will better serve god by providing them with a credential financial coaching has an understanding of the veterans community, military families and the challenges they face. these professionals provide one-on-one coaching to help them craft a personalized plan for financial success because that is critically important how to manage her money. we are making the centers truly one-stop centers for all of the deeds veterans confront. that is what we are doing. i want to say in closing, i want to say thank you. we all play different instrument president and mrs. bush played a remarkably interesting event or
the business community, i am a trial lawyer, so i drift. the business community is playing a critical role because you keep employing folks. now we are moving into effect are based partnerships or the entire construction industry is supposed to simply one or two companies have made a commitment to hiring veterans. our educators have made a commitment to tailoring programs towards veterans. the stovepipe implosion within the federal government is working for veterans. we are working with state and local partners to make sure we eliminate those licensing and credentialing barriers that i talked about. our nonprofit and faith is communities are in this orchestra so it's a different instruments but we are all in the same orchestra of opportunity. but the leadership of president
and mrs. bush, remarkable leaders like president obama, mrs. obama, joe biden, vice president, we are commanded in an orchestra that is remarkable. we have changed as a nation. i remember the vietnam era. we did not respect or veterans when they returned home and we have changed that as a nation. and we owe it to our veterans as a nation. we've got specific work to do with post-9/11 veterans because we still have unemployment rates that are even elevated. there is no spike in the football even though the unemployment rate is coming down. we need even more people in this orchestra even though its already robust orchestra. you have my assurance that we are going to continue to play every instrument as long as it is necessary to enable our service members who have earned that right to be treated with
dignity, to make sure they have a seamless transition to the middle class because america works best when we feel the false team and we field a full team, then our team is simply the best team in america. that is why employers have stepped up their brise and the department of labor. satisfy 30% 30% of hires or veterans. we see that across the federal government and america sees that and that is why i have chronic optimism that this progress will sustain itself for many years to come. thank you, mrs. bush for sending a high bar and make enough are high. thank you, president obama for making sure we are sustaining progress and mrs. obama and dr. biden and vice president haydn. we honor the memory by making sure we serve our nation military and make sure we give them opportunities in the aftermath of their service.
this orchestra is coming, but we've got more work to do. thank you so much for having me. thank you so much for your presence and thank you so much to tom donohue and the chamber for your leadership. [applause] ♪ >> already. that is a tough act to follow. good morning, everyone. thank you so much for including mary and me and this important discussion. what a great program the whole team has put together. i want to thank tom donahue and the chamber for putting us in the chamber. it is a great place to hold this event. we in uniform are grateful to
the military service initiative and hiring our heroes and the whole team for arranging this event. starting at the top, this means things to do dose amigos, eric and miguel. and your whole organization for what you'd done. of course we are grateful the president and mrs. bush. it goes without saying that your gift of personal attention to the suffered is immensely important and deeply appreciated by all of us. thank you so much. thanks to all of you for being here. [applause] thanks to all of you for being here and for your enduring support for veterans including recognizing their potential as employees went to transition out of the military. these men and women have raised their right hand and volunteered. they've donned the cost of our nation. if the invaluable training and experience. they breathed in a culture of integrity and hard work and they
become leaders under stressful conditions in many cases have sacrificed deeply for her country. they have grown personally like nobody's business and they and their spouses are now a tremendous win-win opportunity they should be everybody's business. as much as we would like to keep them all and that's what those in the many generations before them, huge numbers of them are shipped them back into civilian life and are eager to find honest work. as president bush that over the next five years over a million volunteers are going to make this transition. yet despite the sea of goodwill generated by the thousands of nonprofits and veterans services organizations dedicated to helping with their transition, too many are still finding it difficult to find a job. while the overall veteran unemployment rate has to be sure fallen below the post 9/11 rate is not there yet.
there are good reasons why american businesses should hire veterans in this room is a critical part of getting the word out on that. first, people are motivated by the right ideals. our recruiting statistics show most of these people into the military because they wanted to do something important. that's no surprise. it's a signature care of her sick of the millennial generation. in fact come a recent survey about why people join the military found the number one reason was pride, self-esteem and honor followed by a desire to better their lives and duty and obligation to country. everything else you would imagine came after that. i would sure want to hire someone mature enough at a young age to think of country before self. americans can count on the fact we only added to that maturity over their time in uniform. i was exposed to this early on in college many years ago when i
became friends with a fellow who flunked out of college and joined the navy during the vietnam war. when i left the navy came to church attack in literally is a course in aerospace engineering. that pretty much captures how motivated and mature these young people can be. second, with already talked today about what good business that is to hire a veteran. we've invested a lot in these people including those have taken advantage of it, additional education. in many cases veterans offer to go expertise directly relevant to the job in which they are applying. in other cases they bring the ability to quickly absorb new training in a scale similar to what they might have been in the service. or even not similar they just know how to learn. the reality is military experience confers on service members, skills and experiences that are highly sought after in business and