<p> Brian Vandevender says a tough economic market prevented him from getting a good job until the state brought back the program it calls STEPS 2 last month. He just got a position working for a company that makes auto parts and supplies and hopes it will turn into a full-time job when STEPS ends in December. </p>
Credit Kathy Lohr / NPR
<p> Jamita Washington was unemployed for two years before the STEPS program was introduced in Mississippi. She landed a full-time position at a manufacturing plant in Vicksburg and has remained employed for 18 months. </p>
As President Obama sells his jobs initiative across the country, people in Mississippi point to a program they say is already creating jobs. Mississippi has attracted attention because economists like the way the state got employers to share the cost of hiring workers.
Under the Subsidized Transitional Employment Program and Services, or STEPS for short, the state pays part of the cost of workers' salaries in the hopes that the subsidy will lead to full-time jobs.
Some analysts say this could be a national model, but it comes with a price tag.
<p>New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Oct. 4, 2011. </p>
Credit Jeff Zelevansky / Getty Images
At least three thoughts about New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's announcement Tuesday that he's really, absolutely and definitely not running for president.
One, Christie reconsidered his earlier decision not to run for president with much more seriousness than was readily apparent from watching him. He clearly was under such intense pressure from people he respected to change his mind that in recent weeks he reopened the door to consider a run only to shut it again tightly Monday evening.
Originally published on Tue October 4, 2011 1:10 pm
By Alisa Ali
Credit Courtesy of the artist
Although its members reside in Brooklyn, N.Y., it's funny to call Beirut a "Brooklyn band" — its sound, like its history, is so worldly. The story of wanderlust begins in Santa Fe, N.M., where singer-songwriter Zach Condon grew up.
<p>A man walks up to an ATM machine outside a Bank of America branch in Los Angeles on Sept. 12. Bank of America has said it will charge customers a $5 monthly fee to use its debit card — a plan that has set off grumbling from consumer advocates at the highest levels.</p>
Credit Jae C. Hong / AP
President Obama has waded into the controversy over bank card fees, suggesting that Bank of America is mistreating its customers with a plan to start charging a $5 monthly fee for the use of its debit card.
In an interview Monday with ABC, the president seemed to suggest the fee could become a target for the federal government's new financial watchdog agency.
"This is exactly why we need this Consumer [Financial] Protection Bureau that we set up, that is ready to go," he said.