PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — During a visit to Carnegie Mellon University’s National Robotics Engineering Center in Lawrenceville today, President Barack Obama stressed the importance of strengthening the manufacturing base of the United States.
President Obama arrived in Pittsburgh shortly after midnight.
This morning, his motorcade made its way through the city before arriving in Lawrenceville. He was expected to leave around 12:45 p.m. following his speech.
During his visit to CMU’s Robotics Center, the President spoke about a new manufacturing initiative that will partner corporations, universities and the government.
Some experts say manufacturing is an area in the United States that has been neglected for quite a while. Now, President Obama is looking to reinvest and reinvigorate the manufacturing base through high-tech projects.
“The neglect of manufacturing has been going on for a long time, if we’re honest with ourselves,” Ron Bloom, who serves as Special Counsel to the President on Manufacturing, said on Thursday before Obama’s visit to Pittsburgh. “This President is committed to taking steps to reverse that decline. But I want to be straight with people, and this is tough to talk about, but this is not going to fix itself overnight.”
President Obama is calling for a $500 million investment in a program called AMP, the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership, to encourage innovation to repair the manufacturing base in America.
“Innovations led by your professors and your students have created more than 300 companies and 9,000 jobs over the past 15 years, companies like Carnegie Robotics; but more important than the ideas that you have incubated are what those ideas have become,” said President Obama. “They have become products, made right here in America, and in many cases sold all over the world. If we want a robust, growing economy, we need a robust going manufacturing sector.”
UNCUT VIDEO: Watch President Obama’s Complete Speech
The President’s visit comes as the government has announced that the United States is dealing with the lowest number of manufacturing jobs since World War II, and a national unemployment rate of 9.1 percent.
This is his fourth visit to Pittsburgh since taking the oath of office.