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

Jihadist Assassin says Goal of Tunisia Murders Was Chaos

Abu Muqatil at-Tunusi’s remarks in a propaganda interview also cast light on attack on Bardo Museum More

Russia Denies License to Tatar-Language TV Station in Crimea

OSCE official says denial shows 'politically selective censorship of free and independent voices in Crimea is continuing' More

Kenyan Startups Tackle Expensive Remittances Through Bitcoin

Some think services could give Western Union a run for its money, though others say it’s still got a long way to go 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.
For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leadersi
X
Aru Pande
April 01, 2015 9:09 PM
The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leaders

The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Buhari: Nigeria Has ‘Embraced Democracy’

Nigeria woke up to a new president-elect Wednesday, Muhammadu Buhari. But people say democracy is the real winner as the country embarks on its first peaceful handover of power since the end of military rule in 1999. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Abuja.
Video

Video Tiny Camera Sees Inside Blood Vessels

Ahead of any surgical procedure, doctors try to learn as much as possible about the state of the organs they plan to operate on. A new camera developed in the Netherlands can now make that easier - giving surgeons an incredibly detailed look inside blood vessels, all the way to the patient’s heart. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Latin American Groups Seek Fans at Texas Music Festival

Latin American music groups played all over Austin, Texas, during the recent South by Southwest festival, and some made fans out of locals as well as people from around the world who had come to hear music. Such exposure can boost such groups' image back home. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Stockton Community, Police, Work to Improve Relations

Relations are tense between minority communities and police departments around the United States following police shootings that have generated widely-publicized protests. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Stockton, California, where police and community groups are working toward solutions, with backing from Washington.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

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