Vice President Joe Biden visits Bay Area, pushes for more middle class jobs

SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) - Vice President Joe Biden decided to stop in for lunch at The Melt in San Francisco's Financial District on Friday.

Biden, wearing his aviator sunglasses, walked up to the counter and placed his order.

"He asked for a classic grilled cheese, two tomato basil soups, and a chocolate shake," said The Melt CEO and founder Jonathan Kaplan.

Kaplan and Biden sat together at a table inside the restaurant on Sacramento Street for about 30 minutes. "We talked about jobs for Americans in the middle class," said Kaplan. "We have hundreds of employees and they come from middle class families, and this is giving them chance to learn management - learn about food and being a hard worker."

Earlier in the day, Biden was in Oakland at PG&E's Oak Port Service Center where he thanked the company for its effort to hire veterans. "You're providing decent Americans who served their country, and those who continue to serve in other ways, a shot."

The Vice President met with a small group of veterans enrolled in PG&E's Power Pathway Initiative. The program is designed to teach veterans, and others, the skills needed for a variety of jobs.

"I'm very blessed," said veteran Lauron Gonzales. "It's the same thing why I joined the military to help others and now I have the opportunity to do it again."

Biden said America ranks 26th in the world in quality of infrastructure. He says the U.S. needs to modernize its infrastructure and to achieve that it needs skilled people, like veterans, to make it happen.

"As the President said in different context," said the Vice President, "You shouldn't have to risk your lives abroad and then come home to have to fight to get a job."

The Melt's Jonathan Kaplan says Biden thanked him for his investment. For starting his company and for and having pride in his 600 employees. "I think he sees this kind of business as one that can help the middle class."

The Vice President emphasized middle class jobs are needed, but he's confident they will arrive saying Americans never let their country down.