President Obama visits Raleigh, speaks at NC State
A warm welcome greeted President Barack Obama Wednesday when he stepped up to the podium at NC State. Students and community members arrived early and filled the small Eisenhower Tennis court.
“It’s good to be back in North Carolina.” said President Obama to cheers.
In his short speech he touched on the recession, healthcare and unemployment. He mentioned his desire to make 2014 a year of action and that he couldn’t wait for Congress to start making changes on his own.
“Long term, the challenge of making sure everybody who works hard can get ahead in today’s economy is so important that we can’t wait for Congress to solve it.” Obama said. “Where I can act on my own without Congress, I’m going to do so.”
His comments received good feedback from the crowd, but it was his next announcement that got the wolfpack going.
“Today, after almost a year of competition,” He said. “I’m pleased to announce America’s newest high-tech manufacturing hub — which is going to be focused on the next generation of power electronics — is going to be based right here in Raleigh, North Carolina.”
This means NC State will now take leadership over a manufacturing hub comprised of 18 companies and 6 universities across the country. They are tasked with bridging the intellectual gap between research and products. This new initiative comes with a $70 million grant from the government and the Obama administration claims it will increase jobs and productivity in the State.
The hub’s first task is to focus on development of wide bandgap semiconductors or WBG’s. The administration claims that these can successfully replace and improve upon the current silicon chips in modern electronics.
Obama admitted that returning jobs will not be an easy process, but pushed the crowd to persevere.
“Now, this is going to be a long haul.” He said. “We’re not going to turn things around overnight. A lot of jobs were lost in the textile industry and furniture-making. But the great news is, is that ultimately, because our people are good and smart and hardworking and willing to take risks, we are going to be able to start bringing those jobs back to America. And that’s what we do. When times get tough, we don’t give up. We get up. We innovate. We adapt. We keep going. We look to the future.”
Watch the video piece for more on the speech and to see how the crowd responded.