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President Obama: US Will Have the Most College Grads

President Obama: US Will Have the Most College Grads

Associated Press/AP Online

September 21, 2009

On the campus, Obama toured a classroom lab where students were working with transformers and studying power distribution.

“This looks complicated,” the president said. He chatted with students as he examined the circuitry and computers and asked instructors about the real-world applications of the students’ work. He was accompanied by Jill Biden, a college instructor and the wife of Vice President Joe Biden.

Obama made appearances on five Sunday morning talk shows at the top of a week that will take him to New York for the U.N. General Assembly and to Pittsburgh for a gathering of the world’s 20 largest economies. Both will be the focus of international attention but come as the administration is trying to spark a domestic agenda that has stalled in the Democratic-controlled Congress.

To that end, his speech at Hudson Valley Community College was repackaging his programs as part of a strategy for innovation. The White House said the remarks would reflect Obama’s belief that new ideas produce new jobs and the United States must invest in education, infrastructure and research.

Hudson Valley Community College already has received some $2 million in federal grants to promote environmentally friendly entry-level jobs and train students in energy efficiency programs..

During his remarks, Obama plans to decry a U.S. economy that relies on explosive growth in some areas that mask long-term weaknesses. Instead, he plans to say, the economy has to be a consistent string of new ideas that refresh the market at a constant pace. The president – fond of criticizing “a bubble-and-burst” cycle – also plans to describe a future built by skilled workers and sound investments.

He will point to more than $100 billion in economic stimulus dollars that Congress approved earlier this year to look for breakthroughs in areas as diverse as health, energy and information technology and to his spending priorities, which included the largest increase in basic research in history. Although deeply unpopular among conservatives, administration officials insist the spending pulled the economy back from the brink and avoided a potential economic depression.

And to prevent future crises, Obama will tell the audience the United States must continue to invest in projects so the nation isn’t left trying to catch up with global competitors and to make sure regulations don’t stifle new thinking crucial to economic stability.

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