images-7To kick off a nationwide initiative focused on creating middle-class jobs and spurring the technology industry, President Barack Obama is in Austin today.
First off, he visited students at Manor New Tech High School, an innovative six year old school focused on science, technology, engineering and math.
“So this is the first stop that I’m making on a tour of the Austin area today,” President Obama said. “And I chose Austin partly because I just love Austin but also because there are some terrific things going on in this area, in communities like Manor. And there are terrific things going on in communities all across the country that are good models for all of America to follow.”
Manor New Tech High School is doing things differently than other high schools and it’s working, President Obama said. The majority of students don’t come from wealthy backgrounds, he said. Yet their test scores are high and the majority of the students go on to college.
“Our economy can’t succeed unless our young people have the skills they need to succeed,” President Obama said. “Every day, this school is proving that every child has the ability to learn the real world skills they need to succeed in college and beyond.”
In Austin, people are working together because they understand that when they work together everyone succeeds, President Obama said. Austin has created 85,000 new jobs in the last three years.
Apple and Visa are getting ready to open new offices and General Motors is hiring for its new innovation center, President Obama said. The tech sector makes up one quarter of new jobs in the city, he said.
“And all of this has helped to make Austin one of the fastest-growing cities in America,” Obama said.
People in Austin are doing something right and the rest of the country can learn from them, he said. His entire speech is available on the website.
After his visit to the school, President Obama had lunch at Stubb’s BBQ downtown and then travelled to Capital Factory, a startup incubator, to meet with entrepreneurs.

Later, the President toured Applied Materials, a semiconductor manufacturer. Austin’s Mayor Lee Leffingwell attended the event as well as San Antonio’s Mayor Julian Castro.
President Obama also launched a competition to establish the first of three manufacturing innovation institutes. He is seeking to set up 15 manufacturing innovation institutions across the country and is currently seeking $1 billion investment from Congress to establish them.
“No job in America should go unfilled just because a person doesn’t have the right skills,” President Obama said.
During his talk at Applied Materials, the President recounted his trip to Capital Factory, where startups take off, President Obama said.
“And everywhere you turn, somebody has got a new idea,” he said. “They’re all thinking big. They’re taking risks. It’s exciting.”

President Obama at Capital Factory with Joshua Baer and Stacy Zoern - Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

President Obama at Capital Factory with Joshua Baer and Stacy Zoern – Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

At Capital Factory, he met the founders of Lynx Laboratories which makes a camera that can capture 3-D images. He also met Stacy Zoern, CEO of Community Cars, which makes electric cars for people in wheelchairs. He also met startups which rely on data for their businesses.
“And one of the things we’re doing to fuel more inventiveness like this, to fuel more private sector innovation and discovery, is to make the vast amounts of America’s data open and easy to access for the first time in history,” President Obama said. “So talented entrepreneurs are doing some pretty amazing things with data that’s already being collected by government.”
As an example, President Obama mentioned StormPulse, which uses government data to predict weather patterns.
And on Thursday, President Obama announced that the government is making even more data available and making it easier for people to find and use.
“And that’s going to help launch more startups,” President Obama said. “It’s going to help launch more businesses. Some of them undoubtedly will be using this data powered by chips that essentially started right here at Applied Materials.”
To read President Obama’s full remarks at Applied Materials, please visit the website.