Otellini named to jobs council by President ObamaWritten by Staff Reports | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Casting about for innovative job-creation ideas, President Barack Obama named one of his critics to an advisory council responsible for finding new ways to promote economic growth and bring jobs to the U.S.
Obama named Intel Corp. CEO Paul S. Otellini to the jobs and competitiveness council during a visit to the company’s semiconductor manufacturing facility in Hillsboro, Ore., on Feb. 18. Otellini appeared with Obama on the tour and spoke to Intel employees at other Intel locations, via webcast, before introducing the President.
During his speech, Obama said that the winners of science fairs deserve all the praise of the winners of the Super Bowl and since his Chicago Bears lost, he’s reserving all of his praise this year for science fair winners.
“For decades, Intel has led the world in developing new technologies. But even as global competition has intensified, this company has invested, built and hired in America,” Obama said. “Three-quarters of Intel’s products are made by American workers. And as the company expands operations in Oregon and builds a new plant in Arizona, it plans to hire another 4,000 people this year.”
As recently as September, Otellini complained that administration policies had created too much uncertainty for businesses and had failed to spark job growth or boost consumer confidence in the economy.
The president was on the West Coast promoting his agenda to make the U.S. more competitive globally.
Besides touring the semiconductor facility, Obama learned about programs the company has to encourage studies in science, technology, engineering and math, and get people the skills they need to compete for new high-tech jobs. He also was speaking about education’s role in fostering job creation and innovation.
Continuing his outreach to business leaders, Obama earlier traveled to the San Francisco Bay area Feb. 17 for dinner with a dozen top innovators, including Eric Schmidt of Google, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and Steve Jobs of Apple, who is on his third medical leave as concern about his health mounts. Also present were the chief executives of Yahoo!, Oracle, NetFlix and Twitter, and the president of Stanford University.
Obama is pushing for new spending on innovation, education, high-speed rail, faster Internet service and other programs that he says will better position the U.S. to compete against other nations.
But Republicans are pushing back, arguing that government spending without restraint is actually hindering job creation. They want to slash the budget. The Republican-controlled House was also nearing a vote on whether to do just that by cutting $61 billion from government spending this year.
“We’re broke,” says House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, about the country’s finances.
As that money fight raged in Washington, Obama left town Feb. 18 on the latest in a series of weekly trips he’s been taking to promote the competitiveness agenda he outlined in his State of the Union address.
With unemployment holding at 9 percent, a seal of approval from Silicon Valley’s leading innovators could bolster Obama’s sales pitch.
At the Woodside, Calif., home of venture capitalist John Doerr, Obama and the innovators brainstormed ideas. White House spokesman Jay Carney said afterward that Obama wants to keep exchanging ideas with the group “so we can work as partners to promote growth and create good jobs in the United States.”
Over dinner, Obama discussed his proposals to spend on research and development and to expand incentives for companies to grow and hire, Carney said. The president also talked about his goal of doubling exports within five years to help support and create new jobs, his plans for spending on education and a new initiative to assist small businesses and start-up companies, he said.
The group also discussed ways to encourage people to study science, technology, engineering and math and to pursue careers in those fields, he said.
Despite Otellini’s criticism of Obama, Intel is partnering with the administration on education.
Last year, Intel announced a 10-year, $200 million commitment to promote math and science education. It also is one of four companies that are working to help meet Obama’s goal of getting the U.S. to first place in science and math education in a decade.
“Intel understands how important these partnerships can be — Their company’s success depends on a pipeline of skilled people ready to fill high-wage, high-tech jobs,” Obama said. “Intel often pays for workers to continue their education at nearby Portland State University. As a result, one out of every 15 of Intel’s Oregon employees has a degree from Portland State.”
Associated Press contributed to this report