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Obama electrifies GE

GE's Immelt to lead president's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness

Amidst snow and media storms, President Barack Obama spoke at General Electric in Schenectady on the importance of green energy technology and the United States competing in the global marketplace. General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt was also appointed by Obama to lead the new national Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.

I just had a chance to see some of the high-tech steam turbines and all kinds of fancy stuff that is being made here, said Obama. "It is unbelievably impressive and it is part of a proud tradition, because GE has been producing turbines and generators here in Schenectady for more than a century."

Obama noted a lot has changed over 100 years, with technology transforming methods of communication and increasing global competition transforming the country's economy. Upstate New York has also seen its fair share of hard times. Although, he said America is still home to the most creative businesses and productive workers in the world.

Before Obama delivered his speech, he took a quick tour of the plant seeing machines such as a nuclear monoblock and a D11 steam turbine. The Schenectady facility is also where GE Energy's Power and Water division is located, which manufactures generators, wind turbines, solar technology and steam turbines. The planned advanced battery manufacturing plant will add another element to the plant in the future. Currently, there are around 4,000 employees at the Schenectady facility.

Obama said he wants there to be facilities like GE across the country to drive innovation and strengthen the economy.

"Our challenge is to do everything we can to make it easier for folks to bring products to market and to start and expand new businesses, and to grow and hire new workers," said Obama. "I want plants like this all across America. You guys are a model of what's possible."

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