President Obama has pledged not to rest until everyone looking for a job finds one. On Monday, he upped the ante on that promise, volunteering to help a woman find work for her unemployed husband.
Obama was answering questions from so-called ordinary Americans during an online chat that was broadcast on the Google+ Hangout social media site and YouTube when a woman named Jennifer Weddel, of Texas, told him that her husband, an engineer, had been unable to find a position in his chosen field for three years.
Weddel wanted to know Obama’s position on the H1B work visa, which allows employers to sponsor foreigners who offer specialized skills.
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.
“We should get his resume and forward it to the companies telling me they cannot find enough engineers in this field,” Obama suggested
Weddel cut him off to press again on the visa question, before telling Obama that her husband makes semi-conductors.
“If you send me your husband’s resume, I’d be interested in finding out what is happening," Obama said. “That kind of engineer should be able to find something right away. . . . I will follow up on this.”
Obama’s Google+ chat was billed by the White House as his first-ever “virtual interview.” He answered questions submitted through YouTube and from Weddel and four others who had been selected by Google.
The White House said 133,000 questions were submitted following Obama’s State of the Union address last week. Other questions to Obama dealt with foreign aid to Pakistan, small business development and the administration’s use of military drones.