There’s no doubt that the American economy has come a long way over the past two and a half years. A key example of this recovery is the rebirth of the American automobile manufacturing industry.
President Obama said that if GM and Chrysler were willing to take the difficult steps of restructuring and making themselves more competitive, the American people would stand by them. And we did.
As a result, GM has reinvented itself for the 21st century and is once again designing, building, and selling some of the best cars in the world.
Yesterday, I saw this transformation firsthand when I visited GM manufacturing plants in Flint and Bay City, Michigan to tour the facilities, meet with workers, and get an update on their expansion plans. And it was clear that they have made enormous accomplishments over these last two years.
Today, each of the Big Three--GM, Chrysler, and Ford--is yielding a profit for the first time since 2004, and is adding shifts and creating jobs at the fastest rate since the 1990s.
We're proud to see that GM is investing $2 billion in its U.S. plants--creating or protecting more than 4,000 jobs, at 17 facilities, in eight states. In fact, they plan to hire back every single one of their laid-off workers by the end of the year. That’s right--every single one.
And in Michigan, GM is expanding operations for the second time in six months, investing $109 million to add or keep almost 100 jobs.
As Mayor Dayne Walling of Flint and Mayor Christopher Shannon of Bay City emphasized to me during my visit, these good-paying manufacturing jobs are a crucial economic engine for their communities, helping to support additional jobs at restaurants, hardware stores, and other small businesses.
In fact, America’s manufacturing sector has spearheaded our economic recovery over the past two years, generating more than 230,000 jobs since the beginning of 2010. And that’s just one slice of the more than 2 million private sector jobs that our economy has added in total.
The Obama Administration is committed to continued job creation and growth in the manufacturing of advanced technologies. Last week, President Obama announced the launch of the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership, which will leverage $500 million from existing programs to build domestic manufacturing capabilities in the national security sector, invest in next-generation robotics, increase energy-efficiency in the manufacturing process, and develop new technologies that will dramatically reduce the time required to design, build, and test manufactured goods.
This partnership will help companies like GM turn around their communities, which in turn will help continue to turn around our country.
We'll continue helping the American automobile manufacturing industry rebuild even further and grow even stronger. And the GM employees in Flint and Bay City are showing the world what’s still possible in Michigan, and in America.