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pd12fe96 Remarks in a Roundtable Discussion on Small Business in Merrimack, New...

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[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page i-ii]
Monday, February 12, 1996
Volume 32--Number 6
Pages 159-236

[[Page i]]

Weekly Compilation of



[[Page ii]]


Addresses and Remarks

    See also Bill Signings
    Democratic Governors' Association dinner--195
    Louisiana economic development brunch--221
    National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities--206
    National Governors' Association
        Roundtable discussion--188
    New Hampshire
        Community in Salem--165
        Departure from Manchester--186
        Roundtable discussion in Merrimack--179
        Roundtable discussion in Nashua--159
        St. Cecilia's in Manchester--175
    President Rene Preval of Haiti, telephone conversation--213
    Radio address--173
    Virginia, roundtable discussion on the V-chip in Alexandria--220

Bill Signings

    Temporary debt extension legislation, statement--220
    Telecommunications Act of 1996

Communications to Congress

    China, messages on trade--206
    Comprehensive Trade and Development Policy for Africa, letter--194

Communications to Congress--Continued

    Iraq, message--230
    Japanese whaling activities, message--233
    Middle East peace process, message on organizations which threaten 
        to disrupt--228
    Poland-U.S. fisheries agreement extension, message transmitting--233

Communications to Federal Agencies

    Benefits for military personnel subject to involuntary separation, 

Executive Orders

    Civil Justice Reform--189


    150th Anniversary of the Smithsonian Institution--214

Statements by the President

    See also Bill Signings
    Circuit Court decision on replacement workers--165
    Death of Donald A. Dugan--187
    Floods in Oregon and Washington--227
    United Kingdom, terrorist attack in London--227

Supplementary Materials

    Acts approved by the President--236
    Checklist of White House press releases--235
    Digest of other White House announcements--234
    Nominations submitted to the Senate--235


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[[Page 159]]

[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page 159-165]
Monday, February 12, 1996
Volume 32--Number 6
Pages 159-236
Week Ending Friday, February 9, 1996
Remarks in a Roundtable Discussion on the School-to-Work Program in 
Nashua, New Hampshire

February 2, 1996

[Marie Devlin, director, Southern New Hampshire School-to-Careers 
Partnership, opened the roundtable by describing the nature of the 

    The President. I just have a few brief remarks I'd like to make. 
First of all, let me thank all of the people at Sanders for making us 
feel welcome today and for the good work that they do for our country, 
and I congratulate them on all of the many things they do, as well as 
their participation in this program.
    As Marie said, I have been interested in this whole concept of how 
we move young people from school to work for years and years, going way 
back before I ever even thought about running for President. Many years 
ago, my wife actually served on a commission that was funded by the 
Grant Foundation in New York to look at the movement of young Americans 
from school into the workplace, and particularly those who did not go on 
to and finish 4-year colleges.
    This group found that our country was really the only advanced 
economy in the world that didn't have a systematic cooperation between 
the education system and the workplaces of our country to move young 
people into the workplace in a seamless way that continued their 
training and guaranteed that they had a much better chance to get a good 
job with a growing prospect of success, both in terms of pay and 
promotion and stability of work.
    This was about 10 years ago. So for about 10 years I have been 
really concerned about this, and when I became President, I asked the 
Congress to pass this law--and it passed with overwhelming bipartisan 
support--to provide funding for a few years to give every State the 
chance not to set up a program but to set up a partnership, a network 
that would build systematic linkages between workplaces and schools and 
colleges and community colleges and other training systems so that every 
young person in our country who finishes high school would be able to go 
into some line of work which would also carry with it future education 
and training. I think it's going to make a big difference.
    I was very alarmed--I think every American is--by the dramatic 
divergence in the earnings capacity of young Americans based on the 
level of education they have, and it happened because we simply did not 
have a system, particularly for taking care of the young people who 
didn't go on to the 4-year colleges and into the degree programs. And 
that's what the School-to-Work program is designed to do, to kind of let 
people like all of you form partnerships to fill that big vacuum. And I 
hope we can keep the funding up, but we never intended to fund it 
forever, but I hope we can keep the funding up long enough to get every 
State in the country to have the kind of network New Hampshire does.
    I can say this--in only a year and a half, we now have about 42,000 
employers and 116,000 young people participating in this program 
nationwide, and more will come quickly. So I congratulate you on what 
you've done in New Hampshire, and I'd like to spend the rest of my time 
just hearing from all of you about how this actually works for you and 
how you relate to it.

[At this point, Ms. Devlin introduced two students who described their 
experience in a Sanders Lockheed program called Women in Technology, 
which allows young women to meet women engineers and to see the types of 
opportunities available in the engineering field. Ms. Devlin then 
introduced a student intern at Parkland Medical Center and a student 
intern at the Salem Police Station, who described their experiences.]

[[Page 160]]

    The President. It's different from television, huh?
    Q. Yes. And my mentor, Eric Lamm's here----
    The President. Where is he? Stand up there, Mr. Lamm. Thank you.
    Q. I just want to thank Salem Police Station a lot for opening the 
doors and having the opportunity for me to go in and experience what a 
lot of other kids don't get to experience.
    The President. And did it change your view of law enforcement then?
    Q. I always wanted to do it since I was a little kid, so I just 
wanted--I wanted to go in there and see if this is what I really wanted 
to do. So yes and no. It didn't, but it did.

[Ms. Devlin introduced a student who described his experience at Brooks 
Automation where he served as a mechanical assembler.]

    The President. That's terrific.

[Ms. Devlin introduced the father of a student intern who described both 
the opportunities and the real work experience the program had given to 
his son and thanked Brooks Automation and Nelson Shaw for the 

    The President. Are they here?
    Q. Nelson is here.
    The President. Who's here? Stand up. Thank you very much, sir.

[Ms. Devlin introduced the participant from an electric company who 
described his company's experience with taking student interns and how 
much he had come to depend on his current intern, Jeremy deGagli.]

    The President. Is he here?
    Ms. Devlin. Jeremy, could you stand up, please? This is Jeremy 
    The President. Good for you.
    Mr. deGagli. Thank you.
    The President. That's great. Thank you for doing it.

[Ms. Devlin introduced a participant from Sanders Lockheed who described 
her experience as a mentor to several of the young women participating 
in the program.]

    The President. Diana implied that a lot of the benefit was just for 
young women to see if there were careers that there are actually women 
involved in and succeeding in that they might not have even imagined 
beforehand. Do you find that?

[The mentor explained that there are few women in the engineering field, 
and expressed her hope that the school-to-work program may encourage 
more women to become engineers.]

    The President. Let me ask you one other question. This is just 
related to that. Can you be a little more specific in telling me what 
the educational benefits are of working here and how you can continue 
your education, what the company does?

[The mentor explained that Sanders Lockheed fully reimburses tuition for 
higher education.]

    The President. The reason I asked you that is one of the issues we 
are now debating in the context of the balanced budget amendment and 
what any tax cut should look like and whether there should be one is--
I've been urging the Congress to focus on things that will generate 
higher incomes and greater stability among working people and reward 
companies for really investing in their people.
    The old deduction that companies got for paying for their employees' 
tuition I think is about to expire, plus which it had certain limits in 
it. One of the things that I've been urging them to look at is whether 
or not we ought to have a more generous tax break, both not only to 
companies but to employees.
    There's a general rule in the Tax Code that anything that's 
deductible to a company is taxable to an employee over and above a 
certain amount. And it seems to me that we have a huge interest in the 
United States in seeing that people who are already in the work force 
continue their education and that the tax system ought never to penalize 
that, I mean within reasonable bounds.
    Anyway that's what we're--one of the things we're looking at as we 
try to put this whole budget agreement together. I don't think there's a 
big partisan difference on it. It's not like we're fighting about it; 
we're more trying to figure out what the right thing to do is and what 
the best way to encourage

[[Page 161]]

employers and employees to take whatever opportunities the employer can 
possibly afford in terms of time off and the costs of education to go 
forward. That's why I ask you about it. It's a big issue, folks.
    The head of United Technologies gave a speech the other day in which 
he said he thought that the most urgent economic issue in the country 

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