Middle class task force meets Fri in Philadelphia

By: By DARLENE SUPERVILLE, Associated Press Writer
By: By DARLENE SUPERVILLE, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - Green jobs, where are they and how to get one, will be the focus when President Barack Obama's task force on middle-class families formally begins its work Friday in Philadelphia.

The panel, chaired by Vice President Joe Biden, will hear from experts on the potential to create these jobs and help middle-class workers find them.

The $787 billion economic stimulus bill that Obama signed last week includes money to help create such jobs as installing solar panels and building wind turbines, which is part of the president's goal to help nudge the country away from dependence on foreign oil and toward reliance on renewable forms of energy.

It is Obama's belief that such jobs will help raise living standards for middle-class families, who didn't fare well before the current economic downturn set in and who are now feeling pinched along with millions of other consumers as they lose jobs and watch retirement and college savings disappear.

Obama announced the panel last month at the White House. Its purpose is to recommend ways to boost the nation's middle class. It also will evaluate new and existing policies to determine whether they are helping or hurting the middle class.

"Quite simply, a strong middle class equals a strong America. We can't have one without the other," Biden said at the time. "It is our charge to get the middle class, the backbone of this country, up and running again."

The vice president will be joined by several Cabinet members and other members of the task force, including the secretaries of energy, transportation, education, agriculture, and housing and urban development, labor secretary-designate Hilda Solis, and Melody Barnes, Obama's domestic policy chief.

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On the Net:
Middle Class Task Force: http://www.astrongermiddleclass.gov


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