Barack Obama

President Obama speaks at Cree Inc. in Durham
Brent Kitchen

President Barack Obama is searching for a real fix to the country’s jobs problem.  The White House is quick to say some two million private sector jobs have been created in the past 15 months.  But that’s hardly enough to put a dent in the country’s high unemployment rate.  So the president decided to visit a part of the country where he’s been before – a place that has steadily created jobs in the down economy. That place is Cree Incorporated in Durham.

President Obama at Cree
Brent Kitchen

Business and political leaders gathered in Durham this afternoon for a visit by Barack Obama. He spoke at CREE manufacturing, a company that specializes in L-E-D lighting. Mr Obama announced a plan to train 10 Thousand new American engineers every year. The president's Jobs and Competitiveness Council took tours and met with business leaders earlier today. According to North Carolina Senator Kay Hagan, the president's plan is a step in the right direction.

President Barack Obama has been making the rounds across the country looking for ways to help spur economic growth and job creation.  Today he is scheduled to stop in Durham.

President Obama has declared disaster areas in central and eastern North Carolina. Residents in 18 counties can apply for disaster relief funds today on the Federal Emergency Management Agency's website. 

State Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler toured several eastern counties yesterday to get a handle on the damage. He says most of the damage was to infrastructure, equipment and livestock. And that will be expensive for farmers to replace.

Writer, poet, and civil rights activist Maya Angelou has been awarded the nation’s highest civilian honor. President Obama presented the Wake Forest professor with the Presidential Medal of Freedom during a ceremony yesterday. Mr. Obama said Angelou’s work has spoken to millions:

"By holding on, even amid cruelty and loss, and then expanding to a sense of compassion and ability to love…. By holding on to her humanity, she has inspired countless others who have known injustice and misfortune in their own lives."

Pres. Barack Obama at Forsyth Tech
Jennifer Rotenizer, Winston-Salem Journal

There have been encouraging signs the economy is no longer shrinking – but growing.   President Barack Obama told a crowd in Winston-Salem yesterday he will continue to fight for investments in education and innovation – a move he says will help continue the country’s economic recovery.   The president’s words were welcomed by students and staff at Forsyth Technical Community College where they’re in the business of re-invention and re-training.

President Barack Obama will be in North Carolina today visiting students at Forsyth Technical Community College.

President Obama’s visit is the highlight of a year of celebrations at Forsyth Tech. The community college is 50-years-old.  For the first time in the school’s history – Forsyth Tech has more than 10-thousand students enrolled. Many of the students are laid off workers or those insecure about their current jobs.  Gary Green is president of Forsyth Tech. He says President Obama’s visit means a lot.