President Obama Visits Charlotte, NC Manufacturing Facility, Discusses Economy

Posted by: Audiegrl
Written by Jessie Lee

On Jobs: We Are Beginning to Turn the Corner

President Barack Obama speaks to employees about jobs and the economy during a visit to Celgard LLC facility on April 2, 2010 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Celgard received $49.2 million in Recovery Act grants to expand its capacity to produce separators for lithium-ion batteries. The Charlotte campus already employs 390 workers and the expansion will add 80 in this facility. Overall, Celgard's expansion will create between 200-300 North Carolina jobs. (Photo by Sara Davis/Getty Images North America)

The President traveled to Charlotte, North Carolina today, where he visited Celgard, Inc., a manufacturing company that is benefiting from the Recovery Act investments towards clean energy. There, the President delivered remarks about the current state of the economy and job growth, announcing that it was reported today that the economy has produced a substantial number of jobs, averaging 50,000 a month – “the best news we’ve seen on the job front in more than two years.”

He acknowledged that while the economy appears to be picking up, there is still a lot of work to be done:

Economic statistics don’t do justice to the pain and anxiety that results from unemployment. Lasting unemployment takes a toll on families, takes a toll on marriages, takes a toll on children. It saps the vitality of communities, especially in places that have seen factories and other anchoring businesses shut their doors. And being unable to find work — being able to provide for your family — that doesn’t just affect your economic security, that affects your heart and your soul. It beats you up. It’s hard.

So we have to be mindful that today’s job numbers, while welcome, leaves us with a lot more work to do. It will take time to achieve the strong and sustained job growth that we need.

The President said that the private sector is the “true engine of job growth in this country,” and that while the government “can’t reverse the toll of this recession overnight”, it can help to spur job growth by providing incentives for companies to begin hiring again. The President recently signed the HIRE Act, a jobs bill that provides tax cuts for businesses that hire new employees, and makes investments in clean energy and schools to encourage job creation. He explained that the Recovery Act also made significant investments in infrastructure, helping to create private sector jobs.

He explained that Celgard, Inc. received a $50 million grant through the Recovery Act to expand the facility and lead in the clean energy sector:

So here’s the bottom line: This investment is expected to create nearly 300 jobs for this company, more than a thousand jobs for your contractors and suppliers — and these are all jobs helping America build the batteries that will power cleaner and more efficient cars and trucks. And through investments like this one across the country, we’re already seeing an incredible transformation. Here’s an interesting statistic: Before the Recovery Act, before I took office, we had the capacity to make less than 2 percent of the world’s lithium ion batteries — less than 2 percent. In the next five years, on the trajectory that we’re now on, we’re going to be able to make 40 percent of the advanced batteries right here in the United States of America. Right here.

So the next time somebody asks you, when you’re at the grocery store, well, what did this Recovery Act do? You can tell them, one of the things it helped do is to expand and catalyze an entire new industry, where the United States of America can gain enormous market share across the globe. And that’s the kind of strategy we need — helping the private sector thrive in entirely new industries, the industries of the future. It’s a strategy that will not only create jobs in the near term, but also sustained growth and opportunity in the long run.

To learn more about the benefits of the Recovery Act, visit our Recovery Act section or visit Recovery.gov.

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