News / USA

Obama: Manufacturing Key to US Economic Health

President Barack Obama speaks to highlight the need to prepare the workforce to compete for manufacturing jobs across the country, at the Northern Virginia Community College campus in Alexandria, Virginia, June 8, 2011
President Barack Obama speaks to highlight the need to prepare the workforce to compete for manufacturing jobs across the country, at the Northern Virginia Community College campus in Alexandria, Virginia, June 8, 2011

U.S. President Barack Obama says America can "win the future" by rebuilding its manufacturing sector.

Obama spoke Wednesday after visiting an automotive training center at a community college in Virginia, outside Washington.

Obama said a slow economic recovery has left too many Americans out of work, and he called on lawmakers and industries to support programs that promote training in manufacturing.  

He also said private businesses, industry groups and schools need to expand their efforts to link skilled workers with existing jobs waiting to be filled.

His comments came after a series of economic reports and a rising unemployment rate cast doubts about the U.S. economic recovery.

A recent Washington Post-ABC News poll found that Americans disapprove of President Obama's handling of the economy by a margin of 59 to 40 percent.  A poll released Wednesday by Quinnipiac University shows 48 percent of people believe Obama does not deserve to be re-elected, compared to 46 percent who say he does deserve a second term.

The U.S. unemployment rate edged higher in May, to 9.1 percent, and the Labor Department said some of the jobs cut were in manufacturing.

The president said the initiatives he highlighted Wednesday could help prepare 500,000 community college students for careers in manufacturing.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.

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