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Obama: Intel expansion demonstrates potential of U.S. manufacturing

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CHANDLER – President Barack Obama said Wednesday that a $5 billion semiconductor plant Intel Corp. is building here shows how manufacturing jobs can stay in the United States and boost the economy.

“I am here because the factory that is being built behind me is an example of an America within our reach,” he said, “an America that a tracks the next generation of good manufacturing jobs, an America where we build stuff and make stuff and sell stuff all over the world.”

Intel, which makes chips used in personal computers and servers, says the plant under construction at its Ocotillo Campus will by the most advanced of its kind. About 1,000 people will be needed to operate it.

Paul Otellini, Intel’s president and CEO, is a member of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.

“I want to thank Intel for leading the way because they’re investing in startups, supporting science and math education, they’re helping to train new engineers,” said Obama, who made his fifth visit to Arizona as president. “And for the young people who are out there and who are thinking about a profession, think about engineering. We can use more engineers all across America.

A day after touting the potential of American manufacturing in his State of the Union address, Obama noted that many other manufacturing companies have moved factories to other countries to limit labor costs. He said that was undercutting middle class workers.

“We’ve got to come together and restore the American promise,” he told a crowd of 6,000, most of them Intel workers. “If you work hard, you can do well enough to raise a family, own a home, get your kids to college, put away a little money for retirement and maybe come down here to Arizona.”

Obama visited Chandler as part of a three-day tour of states that are expected to be battlegrounds in November. He visited Cedar Rapids, Iowa, earlier in the day.

Obama said the government needs to stop giving tax breaks to companies that move jobs out of the country.

“As an American, I am proud of companies like Intel who keep jobs here, so let’s help them grow and hire even faster,” he said. “We have a huge opportunity to create more high-tech manufacturing jobs in the United States and bring some of these jobs back from overseas, but we’re going to have to seize the moment.”