Obama talks jobs in southern Virginia
President Obama speaks after touring the Rolls-Royce Crosspointe plant in Prince George County, Virginia.
March 9th, 2012
02:57 PM ET

Obama talks jobs in southern Virginia

At the Rolls Royce jet engine facility in Prince George, VA on Friday, President Obama announced a new proposal to create a National Manufacturing Innovation Network meant to link industry stakeholders in a national conversation about best manufacturing practices. The cost of the president's new proposal is $1 billion, but the White House is committed to creating a pilot program using appropriated funds from various departments rather than waiting for Congress to approve funds requested in the president’s budget.

"Think of this as a place where companies can share access to cutting edge capabilities," Obama told a crowd of nearly 1,500 about the proposed manufacturing institute. "At the same time students and workers are picking up new skills. They're training on state of the art equipment. They're solving some of the most important challenges facing our manufacturers. You've just got all this brain power and skill and experience coming together in this hub."

According to the White House, the location of the proposed pilot program will be decided based on a competitive process and will cost $45 million. Funding will come primarily from the Departments of Defense, Energy and Commerce with some additional money provided by the National Science Foundation.

Obama's visit came on the same day the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced overall job creation for the month of February had exceeded analysts' expectations. The manufacturing sector alone added 31,000 jobs in February, a feat Obama lauded.

"We just found out that last month in February we added 233,000 private sector jobs," Obama said. "More companies are bringing jobs back and investing in America, and manufacturing is adding jobs for the first time since the 1990's. We just had another good month last month in terms of adding manufacturing jobs and this facility is part of the evidence of what's going on all across the country."

The Rolls Royce Crosspointe facility is already engaged in a program similar to the one proposed by the president. Set to open later this year, the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing combines state resources with those of eight local companies – including Rolls Royce, three area universities and funding from the Commerce Department.

While commending Virginia's commitment to manufacturing, the president also continued his call for Congress to take up corporate tax reform meant to begin rewarding companies that create jobs in the United States rather than overseas. Additionally he asked Congress to commit to training 2 million Americans "with the skills that will lead directly to a job right now.

"We need Congress to act," the president said, to much applause. "It's true."

Topics: Economy • jobs • President Obama • The News • Virginia

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soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. American Patriot

    Cronyism in action. Public private partnership IS synonymous to crony capitalism.
    Something the pseudo intellectuals in the progressive movement obviously love!

    March 9, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • Seriously?

      Like Faith-Based initiatives? You say potato...

      March 9, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
    • iliab

      Looks like Germany is doing pretty well with this cronyism though.

      March 9, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
    • bill

      2. The economy is recovering. The market crash of 2008 and the recession that followed put the country through its toughest times since the Great Depression. It's not at all clear that presidents can do much to turn our economy around, but voters blame presidents when the economy is bad and reward them when things improve. It's probably too soon to be certain that the economy won't slump back into recession but, if the stock market continues to rise and unemployment falls, President Obama will likely get the credit whether he deserves it or not.

      >>Also see: 10 Reasons Obama Will Not Be Re-Elected

      Follow TheStreet on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.

      3. The Detroit bailout worked. When President Obama took office, the U.S. automobile industry was in such a shambles that some experts thought its complete demise was inevitable. Obama took some serious criticism for agreeing to bail out U.S. automakers, but the program was a success. The president recently boasted to the United Auto Workers annual conference that the big three automakers are turning profits, opening new factories and hiring again. The industry has added more than 200,000 jobs and is building more fuel-efficient cars to boot. Detroit voters will remember that - and so will manufacturing workers from other industries.

      4. "Don't ask, don't tell" is over. President Obama kept his promise to repeal a federal law requiring homosexuals to stay closeted if they served in the Armed Forces. Now, gay men and women can serve openly. This change may not please conservative voters (who likely wouldn't have voted for Obama anyway), but gay voters will approve, as will more liberal voters who supported the repeal.

      5. Health care reform is here. The president's health care reform bill has taken a lot of criticism from the Republican nominees. But for voters who needed health insurance or who were paying for expensive prescription drugs, the new law could be a real godsend. Overall, health care reform is likely to help the president more than it hurts him.

      March 10, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
      • jean2009

        Seriously health care affordability had to be tackled first.



        Do you realize that every year the number of Americans who die from preventable disease equals the population of the city of Philadelphia $1,570,000? The key word is "preventable".


        "Health Care Reform is the Best Economic Stimulus Package" by Johnathan Fleece at bigthink

        March 11, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
    • Alex White

      To create real jobs we need to solve problems with economically viable solutions. Giving away money doesn't accomplish anything. I'm following a guy i9n Austin, TX – Andrew West, who has created solutions for 5 of our biggest problems, including clean energy and agriculture. His thinking is what will restore our economy, not politicians buying votes.

      Have a look: http://www.Solutioneur.com

      March 10, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
    • jean2009

      The UK is also doing pretty good with publicly funded start-ups too.
      Actually investing money is many times the very best bet on the future.

      As the old saying goes: "Nothing ventured, nothing gained."


      March 11, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
  2. raj

    keeps going on Mr. president. You need to encourage the American people.

    March 9, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
    • Moses I. Supposes

      Yea, we need another wasted $1.1T Stimulus Plan to nowhere.

      March 9, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
  3. Moses I. Supposes

    Oh good, another $1B boondoggle. What happened to the algae economy?

    March 9, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
  4. The-Least-Unelectable

    For the 1994 senatorial election, Mitt Rmoney ran a WELL-FUNDED campaign in which he claimed to be a Washington OUTSIDER and a successful BUSINESS MAN.

    Yet he lost to Ted Kennedy by 17 points.

    Sounds familiar?

    March 9, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • Joey

      Sure does, Ted Kennedy was booted from college for cheating then literally got away with murder. His drunkeness is legendary but Mass. likes lefties. It's a wonder Romney even got 1 vote there.

      March 9, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
  5. Jilli

    Well done Mr. President. The futures looking brighter – you've got us on the right track – regardless of all the efforts of the republican party to stall the recovery. Keep the message positive – all the republicans have is negativity and denial of reality – that's not a winning message, especially when your candidates are as poor as the current crop of gop nominees.

    March 9, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
  6. Lette75

    I'm happy that the President visited my hometown of Prince George, VA, but he kept calling it Petersburg. His PR rep could have done a better job at keeping the President advised of his location and to know he was in a different county than what he previously visited.

    March 9, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • jean2009

      Prince George is a small town where as Petersburg is the nearest large city. It would be the same if the president landed in Richmond and drove to Gambles Hill, VA...for the rest of the world listening they would understand Richmond, but would be clueless about the location of Gambles Hill.

      March 10, 2012 at 9:42 am |
  7. Keeping it Real

    If Obama really wanted support, he should have acted on jobs when he took office, not three years later when an election was around the corner.

    March 9, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
    • Joey

      He was too busy ramming through Obamacare. That took a lot of palm greasing, arm twisting and lying to finally get through. There was also the stimulus, which had to be carefully packaged to give kick backs to all his union and Dem pals. He was much too busy to worry about average citizens, paybacks were his real priority and now that it's election time he's cashing those in for votes. Just follow the money.

      March 9, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
      • jean2009

        Yes he did....good for him; since over time the Affordable Health Care legislation will provide the long term solutions to many of the reasons the economy tanked in the first place.

        Here are 12 reasons why:

        March 11, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
  8. Jerry

    What jobs is this clueless president talking about?! He's been MIA all this time. Ask the over 24M folks that are out of work, underemployed or given up looking for work. Our performer wannabe of a president has either been campaigning on the taxpayer's dime, smooching with his Hollywood butt kissers or fundraising 24/7/365. He has never cared about the middle class; he only cares about getting his idiotic agenda across.

    What a hypocrite!!!

    America, get "REALLY" ready for 2012! NO MORE SMOKE AND MIRRORS!!!

    March 10, 2012 at 6:48 am |
    • Aaron

      You must be clueless to think that one person can create jobs whether it be the president or any one person in congress. There will never be jobs for every working age citizen so just stop the nonsense. The economy is steady climbing and that's what we all wanted.

      March 11, 2012 at 6:58 am |
    • Emmy Skaddittle

      and hand it back to the republican to try the same old failed policies of "trickle down" where we end up in an even bigger hole then the last one put us in?

      March 11, 2012 at 11:38 am |
    • James Madison

      The working class people need to understand, that the so called democrats and the so called republicans, are both working for the same world bankers.

      March 16, 2012 at 7:50 am |
  9. Name*Liz Carter

    Joey, you are one lying, hateful person. You haven't the faintest idea of what you're talking about as long as the words you spew read smoothly, so that the rest of your kind, the Obama- hating biggots and the dumb-bells can easily, pick up on all of your lies, propaganda and negativity; soaking more BS into their sponge-bob brains to keep hating him, his supporters and denying his good work!!! You are one of the most devious, smooth-operators on here, and a fool can't help but to believe that sh*t, because he doesn't know any better!! You know darn well Obama started on 'jobs' long before now...your ill-repuking Rethuglicans blocked him at every gate trying their best to keep him from getting anything done on jobs! That was THE one thing they sure didn't want him getting done. Putting Americans back to work would certainly give him a boost in ratings, and they didn't want to chance that...no matter how long and how much it has hurt Americans! Their only mission since Jan 2009 has been and always been to hurt this President, ruin his agenda and 'make him A ONE TERM PRESIDENT'!! That's the PROVEN long and the short of it; and the whole WORLD knows this!! However, he managed to get the jobs going throughout the country anyway. You must have banked on everybody forgetting the jobs initiative, where he even sent money to states who wanted it to help the governors and state officials to start re-inventing jobs, revamping businesses for hiring! The 'government at work here' signs were everywhere. That's right...you said follow the money!! You may have a point there because there was quite a bit of work being done through that project, but it seemed to be short-lived. Basicly your theiving state and federal Rethuglicans recycled that money and pocketed most of it in their slimey investments!! I'll bet President Obama did learn a great lesson there...not to trust roguish politicians and most state officials when it comes down to money!! It will come up missing everytime!! Oh and nobody knows what happened to it! THIEVES! When he saved GM, and Chrysler he saved thousands of jobs! Without the help of the 'Cons', Obama has been quietly making the right calls to business owners, literally begging them to start hiring again and to bring their companies back home. 30 million jobs have been created so far!! And you have the nasty audacity to sit up here in judgement on Obama about jobs! You'd better be kicking those sabatoging, stonewalling, backstabbing, divisive, lying, undermining Republicans in the a$$!! People aren't crazy now! Some may have started out blind, but now they see. That BS isn't working anymore...you all have got to come up with something else. 'Your lies ain't working now'!! LOL!!!(Mary j Blige)

    March 10, 2012 at 7:47 am |
    • Joey

      You typed soooo much that people will probably skip past your post. It's best to be short and concise but you just rambled on in an emotional tirade. If voters think Obama has done a good job he'll get re-elected, if not he won't. It's really as simple as that.

      March 10, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • jean2009

      Thanks Liz, I read it all and agree totally. From now on I will refer to Joey as Sponge Bob.

      March 10, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
      • Sponge-Bob

        Hey, it works for me!

        March 11, 2012 at 7:37 am |
      • Sponge-Bob

        Done, now your referral will match the nick.

        March 11, 2012 at 8:48 am |
      • Name*Liz Carter

        I'm glad you do Jean...and you know WE know it's the truth! Republicans can't handle the truth, especially when they are being called out on it. Joey and the rest of them rather just turn their heads, close their ears and eyes and just skip passed it! That way they can trick themselves into believing they didn't know it! When they get caught 'actually' knowing it, they just hand us a 'fake apology' and that's suppose to be the end of it!!

        March 11, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
  10. The Concerned One

    Everybody should take a look at what is happening in North Dakota.
    There are $120,000 jobs for the taking there in the oil fields.
    That's right–OIL FIELDS.
    With this country in the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression–Obama and the Democrats want to destroy oil exploration, and oil pipelines.
    It just doesn't make any sense.
    Obama can't destroy what is happening in N.D. because those oil producing formation were already staked out and plans to drill were already in place before he showed up. I would bet everything that I own that Obama WOULD want to destroy the Bakken Formation drilling if he COULD.

    March 10, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
    • jean2009


      Maybe you have been sold a bill of goods, or, like believing in pie in the sky.... Since according to the Rand Corporation study the technology to extract parts of the Bakken Formation oil is probably 20 years in the future, and the damage to the environment is something that needs serious consideration. Currently the area is yielding less than a half million barrels a day. Even at capacity it would yield about 1 million barrels a day which would be 1/10th of our daily needs.

      March 10, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
  11. nascaryankee

    There is alot of misinformation out there. Go check wikipedia and factcheck. President Obama has saved millions of jobs in the auto industry, saved banks and bank deposits of millions, provided health care for millions and fed millions thru unemployment and food stamps. Yes, getting people on health insurance will help people and boost the healthcare industry and it is still private health insurance! The economy is improving, jobs are being added every month and by election day, things will be better. This recession was really bad and it took a long time to fix. The stimulus was successful in saving teachers, police and fireman jobs. There has been alot of construction in my state to fix the highways from the stimulus bill. This deficit was left by Bush (who spent alot of money to protect this country) thru the two unfunded wars, the 2003 bush tax cuts and the Great Recession. Once the economy gets going, the end of the unfunded wars, the cuts in government spending, less unemployment insurance, cuts in oil subsidies and raising taxes on the rich so they pay their fair share, the deficits will get better. We have had trillions of deficit under Bush and no one complained. We are in a bad recession, a national emergency, we have to feed the people. You really think we should have no deficit and cut back? It would make the recession worst! Economics 101, the government needs to spend in a recession and save industries like the banks and auto industry because there is no one else that can do it. Hey if you like to complain so much, go write your Congressman and Senator, I write all the time to complain.

    March 10, 2012 at 11:14 pm |
  12. Michelle

    May seem minor to those outside our area, but I have yet to see one news outlet report on how our President insulted the whole community during this visit. Not only did the invitations list the town incorrectly, not once did Mr. Obama acknowledge where he actually was calling it Petersburg instead of Prince George. While I understand that those outside VA do not always understand the structure of our independent cities, counties, and cities that are part of counties, I find it insulting that this error happened. In no way did the City of Petersburg have anything to do with the role or success of Prince George County in getting Rolls Royce to build in Prince George or its upcoming expansion. Not only that, Mr. Obama recognized officials from the surrounding localities who were in attendance but failed to recognize the County Administrator of Prince George. But those in this area recognize this visit for what it is really was: a press op for the President to claim the glory of a success neither he nor anyone in his administration had anything to do with.

    March 15, 2012 at 7:46 am |