President Barack Obama visited Carnegie Mellon University on Friday to initiate a team up with companies and universities to invest $500 million in advanced technologies. The aim is for new and additional manufacturing jobs creation. Obama is pressured to create jobs to increase re-election chances hence the launch of the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership. The scheme is sans of new government spending and Obama stressed on the need to control deficit-debt issues as the future is addressed. He said for a robust growing economy, a robust growing manufacturing sector is needed. He mentioned the past’s vast technology industries that grew because of partnerships among government, universities and companies. Obama said a step up of new technologies development like robotics, advanced composite materials and bio-manufacturing could bring the same result.
Federal funds and future federal department budgets will be influenced by the program to invest $300 million to manufacturing seen as national security strength. Early public-private investments will go to batteries, composites, metal production, biotechnology and alternative energy. The unemployment rate remains at 9.1% and initial joblessness claims accelerate after being low for some months hence the program. The economy remains weak on high energy prices, a still-gloomy housing sector, stringent credit conditions and Europe’s debt issues. Manufacturing was the industry that helped the economy recover from the 2008 crisis and for 2011 has added 129,000 jobs.
However, manufacturing is no longer the economy’s key player with 11.7% of GDP and 9% of overall employment. Obama plans to reinvigorate the manufacturing sector to lead the world like it always has. The AMP will be headed by Dow Chemical Co Chairman and CEO Andrew Liveris and Massachusetts Institute of Technology President Susan Hockfield. It plans to invest over $100 million to help companies become more efficient in development and installation of advanced materials. Liveris said there is a need to work with the government to understand what’s really causing noncompetitiveness in certain sectors. He said the program will center on updating regulation, tax and energy policy, and foreign trade.
Dow will develop solar, battery and agricultural products and will also build new propylene and ethylene plants in Texas. Firms that will also be an initial part of the program are Allegheny Technologies Inc, Caterpillar Inc, Ford Motor Co, Corning Inc, Honeywell, Intel, Johnson and Johnson, Northrop Grumman, Procter and Gamble, and Stryker Corp.