Cree, the LED lighting company based in Durham, will host President Barack Obama on Monday, the White House announced today.
Obama will tour the company and make remarks to workers at Cree, again. Obama made a similar stop at Cree in May 2008 when the Democratic presidential candidate was stumping for votes in North Carolina.
During his visit to the Triangle on Monday, he's also scheduled to meet with his new Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, which he appointed this winter. The council is made up of private-sector industry leaders, including General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt, Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly and Intel CEO Paul Otellini.
Part of Monday’s discussion will revolve around manufacturing, Gene Sperling, director of the National Economic Council, said earlier this week.
White House spokesman Adam Abrams said this morning that Obama and the council will discuss initiatives and policies to spur economic growth, promote job creation and accelerate hiring across the nation.
Obama’s trip comes after disappointing news on the jobs front. The nation’s unemployment rate was 8.7 percent in May. The economy added 54,000 jobs in May, the lowest number in eight months.
North Carolina's jobless rate also rose in April, to 9.0 percent. This state is considered a key battleground for the 2012 Presidential election.
Cree manufactures energy-efficient LED lighting and LEDs used in a wide range of other products. The company has become a darling of politicians, who tout it as an example of a green business expanding its U.S. workforce.
Vice President Joe Biden visited Cree in March 2010. In September, U.S. Sens. Kay Hagan and Richard Burr stopped by with Gov. Bev Perdue as Cree announced plans for a $135 million expansion that will add 244 jobs during the next two years.
Cree CEO Chuck Swoboda has also visited Obama at the White House to discuss more ways his administration can encourage energy efficiency.