Finally, if we are serious about economic growth, it is time to heed the call of business leaders, labor leaders, faith leaders and law enforcement - and fix our broken immigration system. Republicans and Democrats in the Senate have acted. I know that members of both parties in the House want to do the same. Independent economists say immigration reform will grow our economy and shrink our deficits by almost $1 trillion in the next two decades. And for good reason: when people come here to fulfill their dreams - to study, invent, and contribute to our culture - they make our country a more attractive place for businesses to locate and create jobs for everyone. So let's get immigration reform done this year.
The ideas I've outlined so far can speed up growth and create more jobs. But in this rapidly changing economy, we have to make sure that every American has the skills to fill those jobs.
The good news is, we know how to do it. Two years ago, as the auto industry came roaring back, Andra Rush opened up a manufacturing firm in Detroit. She knew that Ford needed parts for the best-selling truck in America, and she knew how to make them. She just needed the workforce. So she dialed up what we call an American Job Center - places where folks can walk in to get the help or training they need to find a new job, or better job. She was flooded with new workers. And today, Detroit Manufacturing Systems has more than 700 employees.
What Andra and her employees experienced is how it should be for every employer - and every job seeker. So tonight, I've asked Vice President Biden to lead an across-the-board reform of America's training programs to make sure they have one mission: train Americans with the skills employers need, and match them to good jobs that need to be filled right now. That means more on-the-job training, and more apprenticeships that set a young worker on an upward trajectory for life. It means connecting companies to community colleges that can help design training to fill their specific needs. And if Congress wants to help, you can concentrate funding on proven programs that connect more ready-to-work Americans with ready-to-be-filled jobs.
I'm also convinced we can help Americans return to the workforce faster by reforming unemployment insurance so that it's more effective in today's economy. But first, this Congress needs to restore the unemployment insurance you just let expire for 1.6 million people.
Let me tell you why.
Misty DeMars is a mother of two young boys. She'd been steadily employed since she was a teenager. She put herself through college. She'd never collected unemployment benefits. In May, she and her husband used their life savings to buy their first home. A week later, budget cuts claimed the job she loved. Last month, when their unemployment insurance was cut off, she sat down and wrote me a letter - the kind I get every day. "We are the face of the unemployment crisis," she wrote. "I am not dependent on the government.Our country depends on people like us who build careers, contribute to society . care about our neighbors . I am confident that in time I will find a job . I will pay my taxes, and we will raise our children in their own home in the community we love. Please give us this chance."
米斯蒂•迪马尔斯是一位有着两个年幼儿子的母亲。年轻时，她的工作一直很稳定。她自己支付了大学的学费，从未领过失业保险。去年5月，她和丈夫用存款购置了他们的第一套房子。一周后，由于预算削减，她丢了饭碗。上个月，这对夫妻的失业保险被中断，米斯蒂给我写了一封信——我每天都会收到这类信件。 “我们正面临失业危机。” 在信中她这样说道，“我并不依赖政府。我们自食其力，为社会贡献自己的力量，关爱邻居。美国需要我们这样的人。我有信心自己一定能很快找到工作的。我会纳税，我们会在自己热爱的社区里将孩子抚养长大。请给我们这个机会。”
Congress, give these hardworking, responsible Americans that chance. They need our help, but more important, this country needs them in the game. That's why I've been asking CEOs to give more long-term unemployed workers a fair shot at that new job and new chance to support their families; this week, many will come to the White House to make that commitment real. Tonight, I ask every business leader in America to join us and to do the same - because we are stronger when America fields a full team.
Of course, it's not enough to train today's workforce. We also have to prepare tomorrow's workforce, by guaranteeing every child access to a world-class education.
Estiven Rodriguez couldn't speak a word of English when he moved to New York City at age 9. But last month, thanks to the support of great teachers and an innovative tutoring program, he led a march of his classmates - through a crowd of cheering parents and neighbors - from their high school to the post office, where they mailed off their college applications. And this son of a factory worker just found out he's going to college this fall.