President discusses employment issues with civilian over video conference

Thursday, February 2 2012

Video conferencing is one of the most essential components of communication in today's globalized world. It's not often that Americans are able to interact one-on-one with the President of the United States, but Jennifer Wedel was one of the lucky few able to talk  with Barack Obama through a web meeting.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate was 8.5 percent in December. During his State of the Union Address, the President discussed the importance of hiring employees locally and proposed increasing the benefits for companies that do so and decreasing the benefits of sending work offshore. However, Wedel, a 29-year-old wife of an unemployed semiconductor engineer, spoke with the President about her husband's unfortunate situation.

Wedel explained to Obama that given her husband's credentials and resume, he should have a job in his industry - however, companies that he's applying to prefer to hire workers overseas.

Through the video conference, the President requested that Wedel send her husband's resume to the White House as soon as possible so he could look into an ongoing issue across the United States.

"The word we're getting is somebody in that high-tech field, that kind of engineer, should be able to find something right away. And the H-1B [overseas hiring rules] should be reserved only for those companies who say they cannot find somebody in that particular field," Obama told Wedel.

Video conferencing may very well continue being a significant factor in the communications between Americans and politicians.