News / USA

Visiting North Carolina, Obama Again Focuses on Jobs

President Barack Obama speaks to employees and guests at Cree, Inc., a leading manufacturer of energy-efficient LED lighting, in Durham, N.C., June 13, 2011
President Barack Obama speaks to employees and guests at Cree, Inc., a leading manufacturer of energy-efficient LED lighting, in Durham, N.C., June 13, 2011

Multimedia

President Barack Obama on Monday continued his visits to companies across the nation that he calls examples of how new technology and innovation will help add jobs to the U.S. economy.  Mr. Obama also met with a special council composed of top corporate CEOs (chief executive officers), as well as labor and education figures, advising him on job creation efforts.

The president's visit to Cree, a company in Durham, North Carolina manufacturing LED lighting, was part of his effort to spotlight success stories amid a still-sputtering economic recovery and recent disappointing employment figures.

As he has done in similar visits across the nation in recent months, Obama toured the company's assembly plant, shaking hands with some of the factory's 1,500 employees.

Cree received a $39 million tax credit as part of the president's economic recovery stimulus, allowing the company to add 375 new factory jobs.

The White House sees Cree, which also exports products overseas and established a factory in China last year, as part of a "success story" made possible by administration stimulus funds and tax incentives.

It was a return trip for the president: he visited the company, which has 5,000 workers globally, as a presidential candidate in 2008.  He told employees Monday that they are setting an example, developing energy-efficient products and helping with broader job creation.

"So you are helping to lead a clean energy revolution, you are helping to lead a comeback of American manufacturing," said President Obama. "This is a company where the future is being won."

North Carolina is among states hard hit by the U.S. economic recession: its 9.5 percent unemployment rate is several points above the recently-reported 9.1 percent national level.  It's also one of several politically-important states for the president's 2012 re-election efforts.

Opposition Republicans tried to turn the visit to their political advantage.  A Republican National Committee news release cited the company's investment in China as part of what it called proof that recovery funds are flowing to a major economic competitor.

The White House used the visit to organize the first meeting outside of Washington of President Obama's Jobs and Competitiveness Council, formed earlier this year to advise Mr. Obama on steering the economy toward a faster recovery and to help create jobs.

Headed by the CEO of General Electric, Jeffrey Immelt, the council includes business executives from major sectors of the U.S. economy as well as labor unions.

In remarks to the 23 council members, Obama repeated a description he has used frequently in recent weeks about the economy encountering "headwinds," but said there are reasons to be optimistic.

"It's important for us not to pretend we have fully recovered like we need to," said Obama. "There are a lot of people who are still hurting out there.  But it is also important to remember that we have got enormous assets, we have got everything that is going to be required to make these structural adjustments to make sure that we are competitive.  It doesn't require radical changes, it requires just some common sense approaches to problems."

The president said growing jobs and fixing the economy will not require "radical changes" but what he called "common sense ideas" to improve U.S. competitiveness, adding he hopes these will not be subject to "the usual political gamesmanship" in Washington.

As the president spoke in North Carolina, his administration unveiled the latest stage of an effort it says has identified $33 billion so far in federal government waste.  The new effort came complete with a four minute video in which the president and Vice President Joe Biden appeared.

OBAMA: "We're calling it the Campaign to Cut Waste, and I know Joe is the right man to lead it, because nobody messes with Joe."

BIDEN: "There is a new standard by which the government is going to function from this point on.  The American people are entitled to transparency.  By that, I mean they are entitled to be able to figure out where their dollars are going and they are entitled to accountability, to make sure that we are using the dollars for what we said it was for."

In his remarks in North Carolina Monday, President Obama said again that despite the creation of more than 2 million jobs over the past 15 months, many Americans continue to struggle.   But he said he is "absolutely optimistic" that the United States has everything it needs to succeed in the 21st century.  

You May Like

Video Positive Messaging Helps Revamp Ethiopia's Image

In country once connected with war, poverty, famine, headlines now focus on fast-growing economy, diplomatic reputation More

Russian Activist Thinks Kremlin Ordered Nemtsov's Death

Alexei Navalny says comments of Russian liberals who think government wasn't involved are 'nonsense.' More

Video Land Disputes Rise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Imagei
X
Marthe van der Wolf
March 03, 2015 9:03 PM
Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.
Video

Video Land Disputes Arise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Ugandan police say there has been a sharp increase in land disputes, with 10 new cases being reported each day. The claims come amid an oil boom as investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers. Meanwhile, the people who have been living on the land for decades are chased away, sometimes with a heavy hand. VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
Video

Video In Russia, Many Doubt Opposition Leader's Killer Will Be Found

The funeral has been held in Moscow for Boris Nemtsov, the opposition leader who was assassinated late Friday just meters from the Kremlin. Nemtsov joins a growing list of outspoken critics of Russia under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin who are believed to have been murdered for their work. VOA’s Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Simulated Astronauts Get Taste of Mars, in Hawaii

For generations, people have dreamed of traveling to Mars to explore Earth's closest planetary neighbor. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that while space agencies like NASA are planning manned missions to the planet, some volunteers in Hawaii are learning how humans will cope with months in isolation on a Mars base.
Video

Video Destruction of Iraq Artifacts Shocks Archaeologists

The city of Mosul was once one of the most culturally rich and religiously diverse cities in Iraq. That tradition is under attack by members of the Islamic State who have made Mosul their capital city. The Mosul Museum is the latest target of the group’s campaign of terror and destruction, and is of grave concern to archaeologists around the world. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Prepare to Defend Mariupol

Despite the ongoing ceasefire in Ukraine, soldiers in the city of Mariupol fear that pro-Russian separatists may be getting ready to attack. The separatists must take or encircle the city if they wish to gain land access to Crimea, which was annexed by Russia early last year. But Ukrainian forces, many of them volunteers, say they are determined to defend it. Patrick Wells reports from Mariupol.
Video

Video Moscow Restaurants Suffer in Bad Economy, Look for Opportunity

As low oil prices and Western sanctions force Russia's economy into recession, thousands of Moscow restaurants are expected to close their doors. Restaurant owners face rents tied to foreign currency, while rising food prices mean Russians are spending less when they dine out. One entrepreneur in Moscow has started a dinner kit delivery service for those who want to cook at home to save money but not skimp on quality. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Presidential Hopefuls Battle for Conservative Hearts and Minds

One after another, presumptive Republican presidential contenders auditioned for conservative support this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference held outside Washington. The rhetoric was tough as a large field of potential candidates tried to woo conservative support with red-meat attacks on President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress. VOA Political Columnist Jim Malone takes a look.
Video

Video Southern US Cities Preserve Civil Rights Heritage to Boost Tourism

There has been a surge of interest in the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s, thanks in part to the Hollywood motion picture "Selma." Five decades later, communities in the South are embracing the dark chapters of their past with hopes of luring tourism dollars. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More