By Peter Cleveland, vice president of Global Public Policy at Intel
This morning, Intel had the honor of hosting President Obama at our Ronler Acres site in Hillsboro, Oregon. It was a memorable and historic day for our company and a proud moment for more than 45,000 U.S. Intel employees. During the visit, we showed the President the world’s newest, most advanced manufacturing facility allowing him to see firsthand what sets Intel apart from any other silicon manufacturer – or any other U.S. technology company for that matter. The microprocessors manufactured by Intel are the enabling force behind computers, advanced consumer electronics and mobile devices, the next generation of robotics, GPS systems in cars, and thousands of other applications that have yet to be imagined.
In his introductory remarks, Intel CEO Paul Otellini announced plans to build another new major manufacturing facility in Arizona. A few moments later, the President commended Intel for placing its bets on America. This new facility represents a $5 billion vote of confidence in our nation’s economy, supporting thousands of construction and permanent manufacturing jobs. Otellini also revealed plans to hire 4,000 U.S. employees this year. We invest in our home country because, as Paul said today, “We think of ourselves as an American Enterprise.”
President Obama said that visiting Intel today made him optimistic about America’s future. We are also optimistic. We recognize, though, that a bright future requires more than investments in technology and manufacturing. It requires an investment in the U.S. educational system. To that end, in the past 10 years alone, Intel has dedicated more than $1 billion toward improving education. We need to ensure that our students are getting the science and math education necessary to be future innovators at companies like Intel. The President said today that we can’t win the future if we lose the race to educate our students. Intel wholeheartedly agrees!
A bright future also requires the investment of time, collaboration and bipartisan good faith in Washington, DC to implement policies that encourage all U.S. businesses to place their bets on America. We should be advancing new laws and regulations that enhance innovation, such as embracing a competitive statutory tax rate, opening overseas markets, expediting the roll out of broadband and internet access, and ensuring that sufficient privacy and security on the net is the rule for all of our citizens. We also ought to change immigration statutes so that Intel and other leading U.S. technology companies have the ability to hire the brightest students from U.S. universities regardless of their nationality.
Among the most impressive people President Obama met today were six seventh grade girls who formed an award winning LEGO Robotics team. Paul Otellini’s closing message was that the way forward for our country is to unleash the unmatched creative energies of the American people and transform our manufacturing base for the 21st century. These seventh graders represent the hope and future of American innovation and we trust them to lead our nation to even greater heights.
We deeply appreciated the President visiting Intel Oregon and will partner with his administration on these issues in the years ahead.