White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs Update
Welcome to the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs state update. In this week's update, President Obama talks manufacturing and innovation at TechShop Pittsburgh, President Obama announces the National Disaster Resilience Competition, Massachusetts makes progress on minimum wage, and the First Lady welcomes 50 new Americans at the National Archives.
Keep an eye on your inbox, check out the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs website, and follow us on Twitter at @DavidAgnew44 for more information.
The President Talks Manufacturing and Innovation at TechShop Pittsburgh
President Barack Obama is shown a 3-D printer by Andy Leer, right, during a tour of TechShop Pittsburgh, a community-based workshop and prototyping studio in Pittsburgh, PA., June 17, 2014. Watching at left is General Manager Matt Verlinich. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy) This week, President Obama stopped by TechShop Pittsburgh to talk about manufacturing and innovation and answer some questions from those in attendance.
TechShop, which has multiple locations across the country, describes itself as "part fabrication and prototyping studio, part hackerspace and part learning center." The company provides its members access to professional tools, equipment, and software, and gives them a space to make and design almost anything - all "for the price of a gym membership," as the President said yesterday.
In his remarks, the President explained how technological advances are changing the face of manufacturing, giving more people the opportunity to be inventors and producers:
"Part of what's exciting is that, traditionally, manufacturing was viewed -- and we're in a steel town here in Pittsburgh -- that manufacturing meant big factories, all kids of smoke and fire, and a lot of heavy capital. But because of advances in technology, part of the opportunity is now to make the tools that are needed for production and prototypes are now democratized. They're in the hands of anybody who's got a good idea. And what we've been trying to do is to encourage more and more entrepreneurs, inventors to not just take root here but also have access to the kinds of equipment and technology -- whether it's 3D printers or laser cutters -- that allow them to design their own ideas, create prototypes, put them out to market, test them, tinker with them, refine them, and ultimately create brand new businesses."
The President also remarked on the progress that the U.S. has made in manufacturing over the past several years, noting that we've created 646,000 manufacturing jobs since February 2010 - the fastest pace of job growth since the 1990s.
President Obama concluded his remarks explaining that much of his agenda for economic development over the next two years revolves around spurring "more manufacturing, more homegrown ideas, more research and development."
"As long as I'm President, at least, one of my top priorities is going to be to continue to build up manufacturing," he said. "I want to make sure that if you work hard in this country, if you've got a good idea, if you're willing to put in some sweat equity, that you can make it here in America and live our your American dream."
You can read the President's full remarks here.
President Announces National Disaster Resilience Competition
President Barack Obama speaks on climate change during the University of California Irvine commencement ceremony at Angels Stadium of Anaheim in Anaheim, Calif. June 14, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Last Saturday at the University of California-Irvine, President Obama announced the National Disaster Resilience Competition. Responding to demand from state, local and tribal leaders who are working to increase the safety and security of their communities, the nearly $1 billion competition invites communities that have experienced natural disasters to compete for funds to help them rebuild and increase their resilience to future disasters.
The competition will support innovative resilience projects at the local level while encouraging communities to adopt policy changes and activities that plan for the impacts of extreme weather and climate change and rebuild affected areas to be better prepared for the future
Of the nearly $1 billion available through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds from the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013, about $820 million will be available to all states and local governments that experienced a Presidentially-declared major disaster in 2011, 2012, and 2013.
Find out more about the National Disaster Resilience Competition and read the President's full remarks.
Massachusetts Raises Its Minimum Wage
Across the country, momentum is building to raise the minimum wage for millions of workers. Just this week, Massachusetts took an important step by raising the state minimum wage to $11.00 and giving more workers the raise they deserve.
Following the vote by Massachusett's Legislature, the President released the following statement:
I commend the Massachusetts Legislature for standing up for working men and women in the Commonwealth and taking action toward raising the state's minimum wage to $11 per hour by 2017. Under the leadership of Governor Patrick, Massachusetts joins a growing coalition of states, cities and counties that are doing their part to make sure no American working full-time has to support a family in poverty.
I look forward to Governor Patrick signing this bill into law soon, and I urge Congress to follow Massachusetts' lead and lift wages for 28 million Americans by raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10.
The First Lady Welcomes 50 New Americans at the National Archives in Washington, DC
First Lady Michelle Obama hugs newly naturalized citizen Juan Cua Monroy during a naturalization ceremony at the National Archives in Washington, D.C., June 18, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)
This week, First Lady Michelle Obama welcomed 50 new Americans in a naturalization ceremony at the National Archives in Washington, DC. "This is an exciting day," the First Lady said in her remarks, "and it's just wonderful that I can be among the first to congratulate you on becoming American citizens."
Only a few feet from where she spoke was the Declaration of Independence -- as as she noted, none of the 56 Founders who signed the Declaration were born American, "they became American."
The First Lady also explained to the newly naturalized Americans the important role they will play in shaping America's history. "I know this is an exciting, hopeful time for all of you," she said, "but it's also an exciting, hopeful time for our country. Because the fact is, America needs you."
Mrs. Obama reiterated that although the debate continues in Washington over fixing our broken immigration system, the President has made it his top legislative priority and will not give up the fight.
"This fight isn't just about abstract principles," she said. "It's about real people. People like you. People like us -- our fellow Americans."
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