Intel in Hillsboro, Oregon today to discuss education and technology (and this ReadWriteWeb writer attended her first Presidential media event.)President Obama visited
Education has been the key theme as the President has travelled the country this week, following the release of his 2012 budget on Monday. The proposed budget calls for a $2 billion increase in education spending -- $77.4 billion total, including $90 million to create ARPA-ED, an education technology agency modeled on DARPA, the Defense Department research agency responsible for, among other things, ARPANET, the precursor to the Internet.
That intersection between technology, education, research, and jobs forms the cornerstone of the President's domestic agenda. In particular, technology and jobs creation have been the focus of the last two days of his travels, as President Obama was joined by executives from some of the country's leading technology companies - including Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Apple CEO Steve Jobs - for a private dinner in San Francisco last night.
The visit to Intel's chip manufacturing plant here in Oregon coincides with Obama's naming of Intel CEO Paul Otellini to the President's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. Otellini has long been a critic of the President's economic policies stating in the past that he doesn't think the administration understands "what it takes to create jobs." But jobs creation, particularly those in the high tech sector, is something that the President is pushing.
Intel is also a key stop as part of the President's budget and agenda because the company has long been a strong supporter of STEM education (science, technology, engineering, and math). The President's visit reiterates his support for these sorts of efforts that will help create a high-tech workforce. The President met with several student groups during the tour of the Intel facility, including seventh grade girls who are learning to program with LEGO Mindstorms.
The President praised Intel for its commitment to American manufacturing, technology and innovation and he said that the company was a model for its STEM education efforts.
"We can't win the future if we lose the race to educate our children," said the President, but he reassured the crowd of Intel employees that "America will win."