Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis
Remarks as Prepared for Delivery
Recovery Act Event
Celgard LLC, Charlotte, North Carolina
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Thank you Mitch (Pulwer) for the warm welcome and for the tour of this great facility.
Celgard is an impressive example of the state and federal partnerships in new green industries.
Being here today I can see that the $49 million in Recovery Act that President Obama announced last August is already making a difference.
Celgard, along with many other U.S. companies are accelerating the development of U.S. manufacturing.
You're helping to reduce our dependence on oil, putting Americans back to work. We must and we will be international leaders in manufacture advanced, efficient vehicles of the future that are keeping good and safe jobs in this country.
Through the Recovery Act, we are leveraging private capital to launch cutting-edge projects that are not only creating private sector jobs, but helping the U.S. make rapid advances in emerging industries like clean energy and electric vehicles.
According to new analysis released just yesterday from the Council of Economic Advisers, the Recovery Act is not only having a significant job impact, but for every Recovery Act dollar invested in projects that leverage private capital, the private sector is putting in more than $2.50 or at least 2.5 times as much.
In other words, roughly $100 billion in Recovery Act funds including investments in advanced vehicles - is leveraging over $350 billion in total public-private investment.
And today, the Department of Energy has issued a new report that highlights the growth of the advanced battery and vehicle industry:
- Before the Recovery Act, the U.S. produced just 2% of the world's batteries for advanced vehicles, but as a result of the Recovery Act investments, we'll have the capacity to produce 20% of these batteries by 2012 and up to 40% by 2015.
- Prior to the Recovery Act, there were less than 500 electric vehicle charging locations in the U.S., but because of the Recovery Act investments, there will be more than 20,000 by 2012.
And while we are laying the groundwork for our long-term competitiveness, we still recognize that we still have a lot of work to do.
There are still too many Americans out of work.
Our unemployment rate sits at 9.5%, and for North Carolina it is above the national average at 10.3% which is unacceptable to the President and unacceptable to me.
We must not ignore the difficulties we face as a country or the hardships that confront millions of our fellow citizens -- some of your family members, friends and neighbors are still going through a tough time.
When this Administration first started, we were losing 700,000, jobs per month.
However, over the first half of this year we've seen the creation of 600,000 private sector jobs steady growth averaging 100,000 new private sector jobs each month.
We are beginning to turn the corner.
The first year of the Recovery Act saw an infusion of direct aid into the economy, offering support to states and individuals, bringing people and markets alike back from the brink and giving companies the confidence and incentives to invest in this country.
In addition to this support, the Recovery Act offered tax relief for many Americans, including cuts for 95% of working families.
The choice is clear, we can back the clock and return to those failed economic policies that harmed American workers and businesses or we can keep moving forward, continuing to invest in private sector job creation and making the U.S. a leader in the innovation economy.
I truly believe that if we tap our American ingenuity and let the skills of our people take hold, we will turn this recession into recovery.
The nation that harnesses the power of clean, renewable energy will be the nation that leads the 21st century.
Each of us has a part to play in our transition to a clean energy economy and companies like Celgard is unleashing the American ingenuity and innovation that will help lead us to this transition.
Congratulations on your work.