Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

VP Biden talks infrastructure, job training needs during conference in Cincinnati

Howard Wilkinson

Vice President Joe Biden told the National Urban League Conference Thursday morning that the Obama administration is committed to job training and infrastructure repair.

The Vice President said that will go far in putting under-employed urban residents, particularly African-Americans, in better paying jobs.

Biden's message fit hand-in-glove with the them of the civil rights organization's four-day conference in Cincinnati - "One National Underemployed - Bridges to Jobs and Justice."

Biden, speaking at a gathering of several thousand delegates at the Duke Energy Convention Center, said that the American Society of Engineers estimates the nation needs to invest $3.6 trillion to infrastructure repair between now and the year 2020.

“We have to invest in infrastructure,” said Biden. “Highways, airports, railroads, canals,'' Biden said. "Because businesses locate where they have easy access to get materials to their facilities and where they can quickly and cheaply, in the fastest manner, get their product to the market.”

The vice president said the encouraging news is that American companies that were once out-sourcing jobs to other countries are now coming back.

"A generation of American, the last 20 years, have heard the word out-sourcing,'' Biden said. "But, in the here and now, there is a new word - for real - and it's in-sourcing. And, by the way, it is not hyperbole; we are now in-sourcing."

Biden said the Obama administration is committed to that infrastructure investment and to job training and apprenticeship programs that will put Americans back to work in well-paying jobs. The White House, in a report authored by Biden, detailed its plans earlier this week.

"To keep this momentum going, we need the most highly skilled workforce in the world,'' Biden told the delegates. "Because if we do not have that, with all the other assets we provide, businesses will leave or will not come."

The vice president spent Wednesday night in Cincinnati and left for Washington after the speech to the National Urban League Conference.

The National Urban League is holding its annual convention in Cincinnati through Saturday, with about 8,500 delegates in attendance. Friday morning, they will hear from a potential Republican candidate for president, Rand Paul, the junior senator from Kentucky.

Howard Wilkinson is in his 50th year of covering politics on the local, state and national levels.