As Raleigh and other cities in North Carolina grow in both size and prominence, it’s important for local governments to work together as well as with the federal government on issues that affect and depend on that growth. In the past two weeks, Mayor McFarlane has met with President Barack Obama twice — in the capital city as well as the nation’s capital.
On January 16, Mayor McFarlane was part of a delegation including Gov. Pat McCrory, U.S. Rep. Mike McIntyre, Chapel Hill Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt, Durham Mayor Bill Bell, and Morrisville Mayor Mark Stohlman who welcomed President Obama to Raleigh for the third time since 2008. The president was visiting the capital city to announce the creation of a $140 million partnership among Triangle businesses and universities to develop and manufacture high-tech components for electronic devices, power grids and electric vehicles.
U.S. manufacturers have added over the last four years more than 550,000 new jobs, including almost 80,000 manufacturing jobs in the last five months alone. “Today, I’m here to act,” President Obama told the crowd. “To help make Raleigh-Durham, and America, a magnet for the good, high-tech manufacturing jobs that a growing middle class requires and that are going to continue to keep this country on the cutting edge.”
You can see a gallery of photos from the president’s visit by clicking here, as well as video of his speech at NC State below:
President Obama mentioned Raleigh and the NC State manufacturing partnership during his State of the Union speech as an example of the public-private partnerships that are helping America’s manufacturing economy rebound:
After President Obama’s visit, Mayor McFarlane wrote an op-ed for the News & Observer about Raleigh’s unique resources and qualities which helped the federal government decide to locate the new manufacturing partnership in the Triangle.
Raleigh thrives on partnerships, which is how we have realized some of our greatest accomplishments and why Raleigh can be a model of success for other communities. The administration’s choice of NCSU as the home of the first innovation institute was likely influenced by the strength of N.C. State’s world-class faculty and programs and their proven track record of building upon their assets to develop productive partnerships that benefit the university, state and regional and local communities.
The next week, Mayor McFarlane traveled to Washington DC to take part in the U.S. Conference of Mayors, where she and other city leaders from around the country met to discuss topics such as education, health care, reducing poverty and energy efficiency. Mayor McFarlane and others spent the week at the White House, where President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden spoke to the mayors about how cities and the federal government can work together. They also heard from cabinet secretaries such as Anthony Foxx (Transportation), Kathleen Sebelius (Health and Human Services), Arne Duncan (Education), and Shaun Donovan (Housing and Urban Development).
See photos from Mayor McFarlane’s trip to Washington by clicking here.
Raleigh’s population is expected to double by 2030, so it’s important for the city to maintain a dialogue with local, state and federal leaders nationwide in order to best handle the issues that come with that growth. “Congratulations, Raleigh,” President Obama told the crowd gathered at NC State on January 16. “Now let’s get to work.” And rest assured, Raleigh has already gotten started!