White House officials, Jobs Council to tour Triangle

STAFF WRITERJune 12, 2011 

White House officials and big-name CEOs will take a whirlwind tour of the Triangle on Monday morning as the region awaits the arrival of President Barack Obama.

Members of Obama's administration and Jobs Council will divide up to meet and greet at ad agency McKinney and N.C. Central in Durham, Biogen Idec's and DuPont's operations in Research Triangle Park, and N.C. State's Centennial Campus in Raleigh.

The five "listening and action" sessions are tied to hot economic topics for politicians eager to prove they're fighting to produce more jobs, including entrepreneurship, biotechnology, energy innovation, workforce training and manufacturing. They'll hear from local business leaders, such as Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers, Elster Solutions CEO Mark Munday and Geomagic CEO Ping Fu.

The group's local visit will kick off with a reception at American Tobacco Historic District in Durham on Sunday night, and will culminate with Obama's visit to Cree, the Durham-based LED lighting company.

He also will meet with his Jobs Council at Cree. That will be the second meeting of the group, which is led by GE chief executive Jeffrey Immelt.

The group is expected to present Obama with a package of recommendations for spurring job growth.

"A big part of their charge, given our fiscal challenges and budget constraints, is to see what can be done without spending, without requiring government subsidy," said Valerie Jarrett, Obama's senior advisor, during a conference call on Friday afternoon.

"The president asked the Jobs and Competitiveness Council to leave no stone unturned, and they have put together a comprehensive package of ideas, focused on accelerated growth and hiring," Jarrett said. "The president has charged the Jobs Council with a fierce sense of urgency to help try to address this issue quickly."

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