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“Surprised”

- January 31, 2012

Obama Is Shocked, Shocked To Learn That There Are Struggling Tech Engineers In This “Recovery”

 

“Weddel’s Insistence That The President’s Claims About The Demand For High-Skilled Workers Weren’t Being Born Out For Her Husband Led To The President’s Offer To Take A Look At His Resume.” (“Obama Responds To Questions Through Google Site,” The Associated Press, 1/30/12)

A POINTED QUESTION FROM THE WIFE OF AN OUT-OF-WORK SEMICONDUCTOR ENGINEER SURPRISES OBAMA

“Obama Appeared Surprised” By Weddel’s Question. “Obama appeared surprised, asking Weddel what kind of engineer her husband was. He noted that while work for civil engineers might have slowed during the recession, business leaders have told him that there is a shortage of specialized engineers--and therefore, ample job opportunities--in the high-tech field.” (David Nakamura, “Obama Offers To Find Woman’s Husband A Job During Google+ Chat,” The Washington Post’s 44, 1/31/12)

Weddel’s Question Was The “Point Where The President’s View Of The Economic Recovery Collided With The Reality Of A Family’s Personal Struggle.” “While the president largely promoted his economic and domestic agenda, there was a point where the president’s view of the economic recovery collided with the reality of a family’s personal struggle.” (Mary Bruce, “Obama Comes Face To Face With Economic Recovery In Google ‘Hangout’,” ABC News, 1/30/12)

  • Jennifer Weddel Said, “I Just Think I Stumped Him A Little And He Wanted Me To Hush About It.” “Later, Wedel told POLITICO that she and the president had a ‘pretty crazy interaction’ that she hadn’t expected when she asked about the federal government granting H-1B visas to skilled foreign workers while U.S. citizens such as her husband are out of work. ‘I don’t think he was trying to be condescending or anything,’ said Wedel, who never completed college and was a stay-at-home mom before her husband was laid off, but now has a full-time job at State Farm to help make ends meet. ‘I just think I stumped him a little and he wanted me to hush about it.’” (Jennifer Epstein, “Obama Google+ Chat Gets Personal,” Politico, 1/30/12)

Obama Told An “Unconvinced” Weddel That Her Husband “Should Be Able To Find Something Right Away.” “In the beginning, Obama told Weddel that her husband ‘should be able to find something right away.’ Unconvinced, Weddel kept pressing.” (Amie Parnes, “Obama To Voter On Google+: Send Me Your Husband’s Resume,” The Hill, 1/30/12)

  • Weddel’s Husband “Has Had Trouble Finding Permanent Employment For The Past Three Years.” “Perhaps the most notable exchange during the Hangout was when participant Jennifer Wedel of Texas, whose husband has had trouble finding permanent employment for the past three years, interrupted the president.” (Craig Kanalley, “Google+ Hangout Puts President Face-To-Face With Americans,” MSNBC, 1/30/12)

IN OBAMA’S ECONOMY TECH ENGINEERS ARE STRUGGLING TO FIND WORK EVEN IN SILICON VALLEY

President Obama Told Weddel That He Was “‘Interested In Finding Out’ More About Why Her Husband Was Having Trouble Finding A Job.” “Mr. Obama, after asking Jennifer questions about her husband's area of specialization, emphasized the demand for high-tech engineers in America and said he was ‘interested in finding out’ more about why her husband was having trouble finding a job. He promised to ‘follow up’ on the matter, and invited Jennifer to send him her husband's resume.” (Lucy Madison, “Obama Turns On The Charm In Google+ ‘Hangout’,” CBS News, 1/30/12)

  • Since President Obama Took Office, The Semiconductors And Electronic Components Manufacturing Sector Has Lost 21,500 Jobs, 5.25 Percent Of The Sector. (Bureau Of Labor Statistics, Accessed 1/30/12)

Even In Silicon Valley, Workers With Advanced Engineering Degrees Are Having Trouble Finding Work. “Silicon Valley may be booming again, but times are still tough for the 200 out-of-work professionals who crowd into Sunnyvale’s City Hall every Thursday morning. Most of them hold advanced degrees in engineering and have more than a decade of experience in the technology sector.” (Aaron Glantz, “Old Techies Never Die,” The Bay Citizen, 1/28/12)

  •  “The Semiconductor Sector, Which Used To Be The Lifeblood Of The South Bay’s Economy, Has Lost 4,600 Jobs Since 2008.” (Aaron Glantz, “Old Techies Never Die,” The Bay Citizen, 1/28/12)
  • “‘These Are People Who Know How To Run A Factory Floor, But Most Of These New Companies Don’t Care About That,’ Said Connie Buck, A Career Counselor Who Helps Run Pro Match.” (Aaron Glantz, “Old Techies Never Die,” The Bay Citizen, 1/28/12)

 “The Outlook For Semiconductors And Electronic End-Equipment For 2012 Is Cloudy.” “The outlook for semiconductors and electronic end-equipment for 2012 is cloudy. With grim economic predictions dominating global commerce, consumers, businesses, and governments have been unable to move forward with much confidence the last couple of years.” (Jim Handy, Tom Starnes, “Clouds Loom On The 2012 Semiconductor Horizon,” Electronic Design, 12/27/11)

  • “The Pall Shows No Sign Of Lifting In The Coming Months.” “The pall shows no sign of lifting in the coming months. Overall, 2012 will be characterized by a contraction in semiconductors compared to a weak 2011. It is unlikely to be the year in which the industry breaks the elusive $300 billion milestone.” (Jim Handy, Tom Starnes, “Clouds Loom On The 2012 Semiconductor Horizon,” Electronic Design, 12/27/11)

Finding Engineering Work Is “Even Harder For Experienced Workers Like Weddel’s Spouse.” “Not all tech jobs are created equal, even in engineering. And manufacturing jobs in technology are moving overseas, or going away altogether, just as surely as they are in other sectors. Moreover, the problem is, anecdotally at least, even harder for experienced workers like Weddel's spouse.” (Matt Honan, “Despite Obama’s Hangout Hope, U.S. Semiconductor Jobs Are Still Going Away,” Gizmodo, 1/30/12)


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