Before introducing the president, Intel president and chief executive Paul Otellini announced Friday that Intel would begin construction in Arizona on a new, $5 billion manufacturing facility, called Fab 42, which will focus on building microprocessors with 14-nanometer transistors. Such chips are expected to dramatically top performance and power consumption of today's 32-nm processors, which Intel will follow with 22-nm processors before moving to 14 nm. Otellini also announced that Intel would add 4,000 more permanent U.S. employees this year.
Obama spoke for roughly 20 minutes, following a tour of Intel's Oregon facility, where the company is building a new factory called Fab D1X. Construction of the multi-billion-dollar facility, which will also make 14-nm processors, is expected to create about 3,000 construction jobs over two years. The finished factory will have a "clean room" where the chips are made that's as big as four football fields. The plant is scheduled to open 2013.
Obama praised Intel for keeping three quarters of its manufacturing in the United States, rather than taking a larger percentage overseas. The president also announced that Otellini would join the President's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, chaired by General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt.
The president used the event to remind attendees of his proposals to improve America's business climate, including lowering the corporate tax rate, eliminating unnecessary regulation, and implementing a five-year spending freeze to reduce the federal deficit by $400 billion over five years.
A large portion of Obama's speech focused on the need to spend more on education, but the president also called for more investment in U.S. infrastructure, such as roads, bridges and hi-speed rail, a faster Internet, and research and development.
"If we want to win the future, America has to out build and out-innovate and out-educate and out-hustle the rest of the world," Obama said in a Webcast of the speech on the White House Web site.
In pushing for more education spending, Obama pointed out that nearly half of all U.S. jobs require more than a high school education, yet a quarter of U.S. students fail to finish high school. "We can't win the future, if we lose the race to educate our children … It's what will determine whether the American dream survives," he said.
In listing his administration's achievements, Obama said the Race to the Top program, a $4.35 billion Department of Education Program announced in 2009, has raised teaching and education standards in 40 states. Going forward, he said the nation would need 100,000 new teachers in science, technology, engineering, and math over the next 10 years.
Among the administration's proposals to improve education is to make the tuition tax credit permanent, which Obama claims will reduce college tuition costs over four years by $10,000. The president also called on the nation to revitalize the community college system for those students who don't want to go to a four-year college.
Obama on Thursday held a private meeting with tech CEO at the Woodside, Calif., home of prominent venture capitalist John Doerr. Attendees included Steve Jobs of Apple, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Larry Ellison of Oracle, Eric Schmidt of Google, and John Chambers of Cisco.