It was part speech and part talk show as the president showcased people who are involved in making career changes, but he also had the latest job statistics to share with an invitation-only audience.
“The economy added 308,000 new jobs for the month of March. We've added 759,000 jobs since August, says President Bush.”
That's the good news President Bush had for the Marshall University audience. Even so, unemployment remains unchanged and the president's pitch for putting people back to work includes finding them new skills.
One member of his panel included a woman who was referred by the Parkersburg Employment Office to classes at Marshall Community College.
Riva Angus says, “I'm awaiting an interview at St. Mary's School of Radiology where I could complete two years of clinical and classroom training.”
But outside where the program was taking place, people were unconvinced things were getting better.
Valerie Snazberry says, “Who knows how many jobs will be lost. We all may be working at McDonald's some day. We need somebody else.”
Whether it was timed that way or not, the president's visit to West Virginia came on the same day democratic candidate John Kerry issued a new campaign ad. The commercial blasts recent statements by Bush's own economic advisors that moving U.S. jobs overseas is good for the economy.
On the war front, the president says the nation has seen a lot of challenges over the last several years including 9/11 and the war with Iraq, but has overcome them all.