President's Council on Jobs meets in Palo Alto

August 2, 2011 8:55:51 PM PDT
The White House is hoping it can shift the nation's attention to the ailing economy and to job growth. That was the focus of an event in Palo Alto on Tuesday.

They are a team of all-stars, tapped by the president to advise him how to create more jobs and get the economy in gear. Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg was there as well as Netflix CEO Reed Hastings. However, as investor and AOL founder Steve Case points out, Washington has been preoccupied with budget and debt issues.

"The time and attention in Washington and throughout the nation, but certainly Washington, needs to shift to the jobs and economy, and hopefully people will now leave Washington for a few weeks of vacation and come back in September, and that will be the main event," said Case.

These presidential advisers gathered in Palo Alto to brainstorm in public. They hammered away at cuts in education, while embracing entrepreneurs as job creators.

"This next wave of social, local, mobile innovation... entrepreneurs everywhere... how that transforms businesses, I think, has great opportunity," said venture capitalist and council member John Doerr as he held an iPhone4.

Doerr is a venture capitalist at Kleiner Perkins. He says innovation is what drives job growth here. VMware, which hosted the event, is a prime example.

"We actually just bought a giant campus in Palo Alto next door, 70 acres, so that we can continue to grow and create new products," said VMware Chief Technology Officer Steve Herrod, Ph.D.

If you think ideas and recommendations never lead to anything, Tuesday's news disproves that. The administration has found a way to keep immigrant entrepreneurs in the U.S. after finishing their graduate studies. Those with a half-million dollars or more to fund a start-up, who will create at least 10 jobs, can apply for a special green card.

There are 10,000 slots available every year for entrepreneurs who want to do a start-up and hire American workers, but half of those, 5000 of them, go unused.

"This is not taking someone's job. This is creating new job opportunities for Americans. So we're clarifying today a streamlined process to get premium processing, get the answers done quickly," said U.S. chief technology officer Aneesh Chopra.

The council's goal is to fire up job creation across the country. The ideas it develops won't fall through the cracks. The council's members meet periodically with the president.

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