Good Morning Mr. President!
How does America maintain its competitive edge in the global economy, and attract new job-creating investments? That was topic #1 today as Pierre Gauthier, Alstom’s President for the U.S. and Canada, visited The White House for a daylong forum on ‘Insourcing American Jobs,’ which kicked-off with a welcome message from President Barack Obama.
President Obama opened the discussion by recognizing companies in attendance as ‘sources of optimism’ and signs of a ‘hopeful trend’ in America’s manufacturing sector. He noted that despite a 10 year record of job loss, U.S. manufacturers have added jobs consistently for the past two years. Obama pledged his support to the Insourcing of American jobs as a way to strengthen the country’s middle-class families and ensure he sees three important words on goods available overseas – MADE IN AMERICA.
Following the President’s remarks, Gauthier participated in two afternoon panel discussions hosted by U.S. Secretary of Commerce John Bryson and Karen Mills, Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration. These breakout sessions examined factors and initiatives that have catalyzed new business investments.
During conversations with public officials, media and other business leaders throughout the day, Gauthier stressed that “Markets drive investment. It’s that simple."Over the past few months, Gauthier has joined other American business leaders associated with the Council on Competitiveness in advocating the importance of 21st century infrastructure in attracting advanced manufacturing. Their collective effort has been captured in the Council’s recently-released report titled, “Make: An American Manufacturing Movement.”
“Infrastructure is more than just roads and bridges,” Gauthier continued. “The physical component obviously is important, but we also need to focus on a properly-educated, highly-skilled ‘workforce infrastructure,’ a robust domestic supply chain to support high-tech businesses, and a strong ‘legal infrastructure’ governing issues such as intellectual property protection that can be make-or-break from a competitive standpoint.”
Major Alstom investments in Amarillo, Texas, Rochester, New York and Charleroi, Pennsylvania are creating new jobs for American workers. The company currently has approximately 600 positions open nationwide.