Posts Tagged ‘Oakdale


President Obama Meets Comfort Tech


Lexi Belcufine: Local Band Comfort Tech A Hit With President Obama

Local rock ‘n’ roll band Comfort Tech can add “serenading and meeting President Barack Obama” to its list of accolades. The four band members and housemates happen to live a stone’s throw away from the Community College of Allegheny County’s West Hills Center, where the president and Vice President Joe Biden spoke Wednesday about federal funding for community college programs. When singer and guitarist Sean Conner, 24, realized POTUS and VPOTUS would be in their back yard, he said he knew it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. But how to get the attention of the leaders of the free world? They made a red, white and blue banner reading “Welcome Mr. President!” and hung it on their porch, above the driveway-turned-stage. The plan was to be respectful and not disruptive, he said. As the motorcade drove by, Comfort Tech belted out an original, “Lumberjack.” “I definitely hit wrong notes because I was looking out in awe,” said bass player and singer Brett White, 25. “It was surreal. It’s not every day you get to play your music as the president drives by your house.”

In the back of his mind, he said he thought: “What if he actually comes over? But it was far-fetched as far as I was concerned.” Soon after, the Secret Service did show up. “We thought for sure we were going to get shut down,” Mr. Conner said, but they just wanted to tell the band how much they liked their music. While talking about gear, more unmarked cars and police arrived. “Who’s in the band?” they asked. Mr. Obama wanted to meet them. Before they even saw him, they heard the president saying, “Where’s Comfort Tech? Where’s the band?” After shaking hands and casually talking about the blues-influenced band’s music for a bit, Mr. Obama told them to send him their CD when it’s finished. “He said he wanted to come over and hear us play but the Secret Service wouldn’t let him,” Mr. White said. They were invited to stay for the speech, after which, as the crowd cheered, Mr. Obama pointed to the band in the audience and said, “All right, Comfort Tech,” with a smile and a thumbs up. In a room of the “most important people in Pittsburgh, among these highly respected individuals,” Mr. Conner said the band felt like it had an inside joke with the president.

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The President and Vice President’s Day


President Barack Obama is introduced by Vice President Joe Biden as he arrives at the Community College of Allegheny County West Hills Center in Oakdale, Pa., The visit was to announce $600M in grants as part of the administration’s Opportunity for All program to train the work force for careers in fields with a growing demand.







Washington Post: Obama Announces $600M In Grant Programs To Prepare Workforce For Jobs

President Obama on Wednesday announced a pair of grant programs designed to bring academic institutions and businesses closer together to help prepare the American workforce for jobs that may otherwise go unfilled. The grant programs total $600 million, money already in the federal budget. The decision to designate the money for these grants arose from a review of federal jobs programs by Vice President Biden, who joined Obama at a community college here outside Pittsburgh to make the announcement. The grant programs Obama announced fall into two categories. The first, to which $500 million is being dedicated, is a competitive process that seeks the best programs linking community colleges with businesses.

The idea is to expand the programs nationally, in part by linking them with industry associations. The other is also competitive and provides $100 million in grants to expand apprentice programs across the country. The United States has far fewer apprentice positions than do European nations, which look to on-the-job training as vital to maintaining capable workforces. Because the money has already been allocated, the grant programs allow the president to bypass a divided Congress, as Obama has made clear he intends to do when he thinks it necessary.

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President Barack Obama tours a classroom with Paul Blackford, instructor of the Mechatronics Program, at Community College of Allegheny County West Hills Center





President Barack Obama and Vice President Joseph Biden tour the Community College of Allegheny West Hills Center with students in the Mechatronics program













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