Excerpts from the Press Briefing by Scott McClellan, January 21, 2004 (Full Transcript)QUESTION: Scott, on the job training proposals, I know those help people find jobs. How does that help create jobs, which is what the economy really needs?
MR. McCLELLAN: There are a lot of high-growth jobs that are not being filled because of a need for more workers with a certain set of skills. And so that's what the President will talk about. There's some high-growth areas where the job demand is out-pacing the needs -- or out-pacing I guess the supply of skilled workers for those jobs.
QUESTION: That seems like not the most pressing problem when you talk about communities that are worried about not having jobs at all.
MR. McCLELLAN: He's also -- he's going to talk about his State of the Union, but I would point out what he talked about last night. Obviously, we are making great progress to build a more prosperous America. That was one of the key themes he talked about last night in the State of the Union address. We've had over 250,000 new jobs created in the last several months. The economy is growing and it's growing strong. It's moving in the right direction, but there is more to do.
I expect the President may well also point out the importance of acting -- to continue to build on the progress we're making by acting on his six-point plan that he has outlined, starting with making the tax cuts permanent. Because the policies -- specifically the tax cuts, in the case of the economy -- the policies that we are implementing are working. They're leading to a more secure America, more prosperous America, and a better and more compassionate America.
QUESTION: Scott, the $250 million that he talked about, does that go to community colleges both public and private, or is it just public?
MR. McCLELLAN: We're going to outline this -- we're going to have this information, the fact sheet for you. I also expect we're going to have someone at the file, a policy person, do a little bit more detailed briefing to get into some of those specifics that you're asking. But this is a new program that we are talking about.
QUESTION: The suggestion seemed to be, in the speech last night and in the fact sheet, that it was public colleges. But I was wondering if it might be private, as well.
MR. McCLELLAN: I can double-check that, but there's some 1,100 -- more than 1,100 community colleges nationwide that are playing an important role in helping to make sure that we have an educated work force for the 21st century. And that's why it's important that we continue to support the efforts of those community colleges.*