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Palmisano of IBM, UPS’s Davis at Obama Executive Lunch on Jobs

July 12 (Bloomberg) -- President Barack Obama is having lunch at the White House today with four chief executives representing the food, computer, shipping and railroad industries to discuss the economy and job creation.

The guests include Scott Davis, chairman and chief executive officer of United Parcel Service Inc.; Sam Palmisano, chairman and CEO of International Business Machines Corp.; Matt Rose, chairman and CEO of BNSF Railway Co., and Clarence Otis Jr., chairman and CEO of Darden Restaurants Inc., according to a White House e-mail.

The agenda includes Obama’s efforts in recent weeks to link job-training efforts to positions in the marketplace, urge companies to work with community colleges and encourage schools to offer courses and training to equip graduates with skills that will land them a job.

The president on June 24 said he’s designating more than $500 million for an effort with companies and universities to speed technology development that will reinvigorate U.S. manufacturing to meet global competition and create jobs.

U.S. unemployment in June unexpectedly rose to 9.2 percent, the highest this year, the Labor Department reported on July 8. Employers added 18,000 jobs, the weakest growth since September 2010. Payroll growth for May also was revised down, to 25,000.

Business groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, today released a letter from 470 CEOs urging Obama and Congress to reach an agreement raising the government’s $14.3 trillion debt ceiling.

The letter also said the U.S. needs a “long-term, predictable and binding” plan to reduce deficits.

Business Confidence

“As businesses make plans to invest and hire, we need confidence that, in the absence of a crisis, our government will not reverse course and return to large deficit spending,” the letter said. “Now is the time for our political leaders to put aside partisan differences and act in the nation’s best interests.”

Obama has frequently hosted lunches, dinners or meeting with executives at the White House or elsewhere to solicit views on the economy and jobs, such as a June 13 meeting of his Jobs and Competitiveness Council in Durham, North Carolina.

To contact the reporters on this story: Roger Runningen in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Silva at

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