Making good on a pledge to invest in American manufacturing made during his State of the Union address in February, President Barack Obama is scheduled today to outline two executive actions geared toward job growth and boosting the economy.
In a speech he's set to deliver at 1 p.m. CT in Austin, Texas—the first stop in several quick trips he's making to focus on jobs—the president will discuss the need to attract jobs and train workers. He hopes to put the focus back on the economy as the issue has been overshadowed by debates on gun control, sequestration and immigration.
The first action he'll announce is a competition to create three "manufacturing innovation institutes," according to a White House official. The official described it as "partnerships among businesses, universities and government to help U.S.-based manufacturers and workers create good jobs." The president will also ask Congress for $1 billion to establish a network of 15 institutes. The goal: to develop technologies and to train workers.
Obama will also issue an executive order requiring that new government data be made "freely available in open, machine-readable formats," according to the official, a measure the White House believes will help build businesses and create jobs.
During his stop in Austin, the president will also meet with local residents, technology entrepreneurs and tech company Applied Materials.
The trip is billed by the White House as the start of the president's "Middle Class Jobs & Opportunity Tour."