Posted at: 01/29/2014 11:30 AM
Updated at: 01/29/2014 5:32 PM
By: Berkeley Brean/Pat Taney
It was a big day for Rochester. Vice President Joe Biden, along with his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, spoke at Monroe Community College Wednesday. The topic was education, manufacturing and how to prepare students for the workforce. It comes on the heels of President Obama’s State of the Union Tuesday night.
President Barack Obama said, “ I've asked Vice President Biden to lead an across the board reform of American's training programs to make sure they have one mission: train Americans with the skills employers need and match them to good jobs that need to be filled right now.”
So the Vice President got right to work on that mission, making a stop at MCC’s Applied Technologies Center.
Just before the Vice President got to MCC, News10NBC talked with MCC President Ann Kress. She said two interesting things. First, it was the White House that called her to set this up and second, there is the prospect of 14,000 jobs coming to the Finger Lakes region that can’t be filled because people aren’t trained to do them. The Vice President believes what MCC is doing is going to fix that.
Vice President Joe Biden said, “Jill says it and she means it and heard it, it's the best kept secret in America, is the community college system.”
One of the automotive classrooms at the Applied Technologies Center turned into a theater for the Vice President. He joined his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, on stage. The Vice President praised the work at MCC and how they collaborate with local businesses to train high school graduates for jobs that are out there. The Vice President said the numbers show high tech, high skilled manufacturing jobs are coming back to the United States.
Just before this, the Vice President got a tour of the high-tech, precision machine shops at the center. After the speech, News10NBC met up with the students that gave the tour to the Vice President.
Steven Tomeno, MCC student, said, “I said hello and I told him I’m a student here and an employee at OptiPro Systems. I just showed him that it’s actually working and what we’re doing is good and we’re in the right step of trying to get manufacturing back in Rochester.”
Torry Holmes, MCC student, said, “He asked me what I was trying to do with my career, as far as, in the machine industry. I told him I’m just trying to get to the good money.”
Vice President Joe Biden said, “Let people know we're talking long term careers. We're talking the new manufacturing of the 21st Century.”
One of News10NBC’s Berkeley Brean’s goals was to somehow get a one-on-one interview with the Vice President. That proved to be difficult. Security was high.
The Vice President quoted a study that said more than 70 percent of students said society values academic education more than vocational. He said that attitude has to change because he says there are the future middle class jobs.
The Arrival and Departure of Air Force 2
All is quiet at the Greater Rochester International Airport. But it was a different story several hours earlier, both when Air Force Two landed and when it took off. Earlier several people gathered to watch it at the airfield observatory.
It’s not every day you get a glimpse of Air Force Two . It touched down just before noon and remained parked about a quarter of a mile from the terminal, but still visible from the observatory.
News10NBC spoke with some people that were happy to see it.
Willie J. Rush said, “I think it is great. It’s the Vice President of the USA and I enjoy seeing the plane once it is here. I think it’s a great thing.”
For a period of time, roads leading into the airport were closed as a security measure, but were reopened fairly quickly. Things are now back to normal after a not so normal day.