President Obama touted the upstate economy in a speech at the University of Albany today, saying the work at the school’s nanocenter should to be replicated across the nation.
The visit was Obama’s third to the Capital Region since he took office. He took a tour of the expansive College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering at the University at Albany before he delivered a speech on the U.S. economy.
“This school and this community represent the future of our economy,” Obama said. “Right now, some of the most advanced manufacturing work in America is being done right here in upstate New York.”
Obama praised the work at the nanocenter and Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The state-owned facility has partnered with biggest names in the technology sector, like Intel and IBM, to research the latest in nanotechnology, the study of semiconductors that go in everything from computers to medical devices.
In September, the state announced a deal with five high-tech companies who agreed to invest $4.4 billion in computer chip research over the next five years in New York. The companies agreed to work out of facilities throughout the state, including the college in Albany and other sites in Canandaigua, Ontario County; East Fishkill, Dutchess County; and Yorktown Heights, Westchester County.
Obama said the success comes from government working with the private sector.
“We know the true engine of job creation in this country is the private sector; it’s not Washington,” Obama said. “But there are steps we can take as a nation to make it easier for companies to grow and to hire, to create platforms of success for them.”
Obama knocked Congress for not working together to build the economy, offering them a five-step, to-do list this year. He said the nation has regained 4 million jobs over the past two years.
“We’re making progress, but everybody knows we need to do more,” he said. “And in order to do that, we’re going to need more action from Congress. Democrats and Republicans have to come together.”
He said the to-do list is the size of a Post-It note, so “every member of Congress should have time to read it.”
He joked, “Hopefully we’ll just be checking off the list, just like when Michelle gives me a list, I check it off.”