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President Obama at the General Electric turbine assembly plant in Schenectady.
President Obama at the General Electric turbine assembly plant in Schenectady.

President delivers optimism at GE

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President Obama touched down in upstate New York Friday for a brief visit to General Electric's energy operations in Schenectady. As the Innovation Trail's Emma Jacobs reports, his visit left many in the region feeling optimistic.

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The president addressed guests in the turbine assembly area of GE’s downtown Schenectady plant.

“All of you represent people who each and everyday are pioneering discoveries that not only power our lives but drive our economy,” he told the crowd.

Senator Charles Schumer said the President‘s visit to the birthplace of GE represented a step forward for a region with a long history of innovation, “With a government business partnership we’ve become a center of business with future for 21st century.”

Coming in the wake of talks with China, and his trip to India in November, the president said he hopes to double American exports, “Our success in these efforts will be determined not only by what we build in Schenectady, but also what we can sell in Shanghai.”

Schenectady is home to GE’s biggest energy operation. The operation makes steam turbines, solar and wind equipment, and will soon start making next-generation batteries.~
GE and India's Reliance Power Ltd. signed a $700 million contract for gas turbines during the president’s visit to India in November.

Thomas Sweet works for GE in the capitol region.

“I think it was really upbeat and it just gives you a little hope for the future,” he said. “ If half of what he says comes true we’re in good shape.”

The president hopes Sweet and others will soon be making equipment to send to China. He said he wants to see US trade become a two-way street.

The President said agreements made during the visit of Chinese leader Hu Jintao will create more jobs in US plants like this one.

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