Obama Gets Nod of Thanks for Streetcar

At the National League of Cities Conference, Obama got credit for helping America’s cities.

President Obama addresses the National League of Cities on March 9, 2015. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

“President Obama is a great friend and ally to America’s cities,” Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker said before the President’s address to about 2,000 city officials and delegates at the National League of Cities 2015 Congressional City Conference yesterday.

Becker went on to thank the Obama administration for the $26 million TIGER grant that fueled Salt Lake City’s streetcar. According to the Mayor, the line, which opened in December 2013, “spurred over $400 million in private development.”

“President Obama helped America’s cities rise from the ashes of the Great Recession, build transit and roads, protect the health of our residents and improve the lives of our young people,” Becker said in his introduction of Obama. “In Salt Lake City, his administration’s focus on city investments have benefited us directly, with support for energy efficiency, housing, recreation and a streetcar.”

During his speech, Obama announced a new program called Tech Hire to encourage U.S. employee readiness for high-tech jobs. The effort includes $100 million in grants for training.

“We’re in a good spot to take advantage of not just next year or the year after but decades to come,” Obama said regarding job growth and the declining unemployment rate. “We’ve got to keep positioning ourselves for a constantly changing global economy.”

Obama stressed the need for building a “pipeline of technology workers for this new economy,” noting that the need for technologically skilled workers goes beyond innovation hubs such as Silicon Valley and Boston. According to a recent Brookings report, some cities are doing better than others at making sure they have enough tech-ready job-seekers to fill openings.

“The truth is that two-thirds of these jobs are in non-high-tech industries like health care, manufacturing or banking,” Obama said. “There is no industry that has not been touched by this technology revolution.”

Like what you’re reading? Get a browser notification whenever we post a new story. You’re signed-up for browser notifications of new stories. No longer want to be notified? Unsubscribe.

Jenn Stanley is a freelance journalist, essayist and independent producer living in Chicago. She has an M.S. from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

Follow Jenn .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Tags: jobsstreetcarsbarack obamatech hubs

Next City App Never Miss A StoryDownload our app ×

You've reached your monthly limit of three free stories.

This is not a paywall. Become a free or sustaining member to continue reading.

  • Read unlimited stories each month
  • Our email newsletter
  • Webinars and ebooks in one click
  • Our Solutions of the Year magazine
  • Support solutions journalism and preserve access to all readers who work to liberate cities

Join 924 other sustainers such as:

  • Aliza at $60/Year
  • Melonie at $120/Year
  • Judith in Philadelphia, PA at $60/Year

Already a member? Log in here. U.S. donations are tax-deductible minus the value of thank-you gifts. Questions? Learn more about our membership options.

or pay by credit card:

All members are automatically signed-up to our email newsletter. You can unsubscribe with one-click at any time.

  • Solutions of the year 2022

    Donate $20 or $5/Month

    2022-2023 Solutions of the Year magazine

  • Brave New Home

    Donate $40 or $10/Month

    Brave New Home by Diana Lind