U.S. President Barack Obama entered what could be labeled the belly of the U.S. economic beast on Tuesday when he visited the campus of Macomb Community College, in Warren, Michigan, to announce his new American Graduation Initiative, which will provide $10 billion in government backed loans to renovate community college classrooms across the country.
It’s part of the President’s plan to have America achieve the ranking of having the highest college graduation rate of any country within the next decade – something critical for American competitiveness, Obama told the crowd, since the jobs of tomorrow are going to require an Associates Degree at minimum.
The president warned the estimated 2,000 people attending the speech that the jobs the auto industry treasured for so long — working on the line for $65,000 a year with just a high-school diploma — were long gone.
“Some of the jobs that have been lost in the auto industry and elsewhere won’t be coming back,” he stressed. “They’re the casualties of a changing economy. In some cases, just increased productivity in the plants themselves means that some jobs aren’t going to return.”