UPDATE: Obama focuses on job training in Waukesha - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

UPDATE: Obama focuses on job training in Waukesha

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WAUKESHA (WKOW) -- President Barack Obama made his first second-term visit to Wisconsin Thursday, speaking at General Electric's Gas Engine Plant.

The President gave a speech which shares a lot of common ground with ideas Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wisconsin) often talks about:  increasing skilled job training and getting young Americans more interested in manufacturing.

President Obama made it clear that his first priority for 2014 is creating new jobs in America.

"Number two, we gotta train Americans with the skills necessary to fill those jobs," said President Obama.

The President praised GE executives for their high school and adult apprenticeship programs at the Gas Engine Plant.  He wants to see more companies offering such job training.

"So that's a challenge for workers and its a challenge for companies, who want to build things here and want to bring things back from overseas," said President Obama.

To that end, the President signed an executive order in front of the crowd, which creates a nationwide review of job training programs.  Vice-President Joe Biden will head up that project to find out what's working well, so it can be duplicated everywhere.

"And later this year I'm gonna ask Tom Perez, my Secretary of Labor, to apply those lessons as we conduct the next round of a national competition were gonna set up, challenging community colleges to partner with local employers and national industries to design job driven training programs," said President Obama.

And once again, the President promoted the idea of raising the minimum wage.

"And I support these efforts, including the one that's going on right here in Wisconsin," said President Obama.

With the health insurance sign-up deadline now just two months away, President Obama also made a plea for the uninsured to get enrolled on healthcare.gov.

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WAUKESHA, Wis. (AP) -- President Barack Obama says not everyone needs a college degree to build a great career, as long as people have the right training.

Obama traveled to a General Electric facility in the Milwaukee area Thursday to promote training programs for in-demand jobs.

Obama says workers might make a better living with skilled trades and manufacturing than an art history degree.

He's ordering Vice President Joe Biden to lead a government-wide review of federal job training programs and make sure they are driven by employer needs.

Obama is following presidential tradition by traveling in the days after the State of the Union to promote his proposals.

WKOW's Greg Neumann will have more on this speech here on www.wkow.com and on 27 News at 5 & 6.

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UPDATE (WKOW) --- President Obama landed at the Milwaukee airport just after 10 a.m.

Obama will be speaking around 11:20 a.m. at General Electric in Waukesha.

We will stream his live here on wkow.com

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WAUKESHA (WKOW) -- President Barack Obama is expected to focus on jobs during his visit to Wisconsin on Thursday.

Obama will tour the General Electric plant in Waukesha, where he's expected to highlight the business's job growth and job training program, which allows employees to move to better paying jobs within the company.

"At the General Electric plant, these are exactly the kinds of good, middle class jobs that we want to continue to encourage businesses to keep creating in this country," White House Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest told our affiliate WISN-TV. "So what the President wants to do is to make sure that we have workers all across the country that are trained with the skills necessary to get those kinds of jobs. 

Republicans see positives in the president's visit to the Badger State.

"His coming to Wisconsin is a good thing. Anytime we can promote the great things Governor Walker is doing in our state to create more jobs is a positive for us. And really we think it's a contrast of two leaders. It's Wisconsin versus Washington," says WI GOP Executive Director Joe Fadness.

We've got you covered on Obama's Thursday visit with reports on 27 News at 5, 6, and 10.

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