Groundbreaking for GM Powertrain Baltimore
White Marsh, MD
May 17, 2011
Well, thanks very much. It’s great to be with all of you. This is a good day. This is the day when we break ground, when we put the shovel in the ground, and the buildings start to go up. It means more jobs for the future, for the people, for the families of the Baltimore metro area and Maryland.
There are so many people who have already been recognized, so bear with me, though. I want to thank everybody with the UAW. It’s a great honor to meet your president. What a dynamic guy Bob King is, and also your regional director, Gary Casteel. Gary – always good to see you again. When you’re in town, it usually means good things, at least for the last two years that we’ve had a president making the right decisions to reinvest in jobs.
Also John Kimball, Darren Petty, Ray Curry; I also want to thank Mike Robinson and everyone with GM. GM is on the move. GM is now doing better, hiring people again, turning a profit, making electric drive and hybrid vehicles that people want to buy. This was not inevitable and I’m going to come back to this in a second.
But Kevin Kamenetz, thank you for the outstanding job you do in Baltimore County. Kevin and I were talking with Councilman Olszewski and also Councilwoman Bevins about – this is probably one of the single biggest economic development deals that we ever did with the State and the county together. And we would not have been able to do it were it not for all of the partners involved in making this happen, but Baltimore County was leading the way on this. Michael Smith, David Strickland and of course, United States Energy Secretary Chu, who happens to be a Maryland resident. In fact, I know the neighborhoods of every single one of the president’s cabinet members. And I think this the first time I have ever been here not in the company of Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, who never misses an opportunity to come to the GM plant.
But rest assured, she and Ben Cardin know how important this plant is, know how important the automotive industry is to the United States of America. And I don’t know about you, but I don’t think there’s another state in America that has two U.S. senators that fight as hard for jobs every day as Ben Cardin and Barbara Mikulski.
But there are other people to speak today,… I just wanted to touch on a couple things: jobs and I wanted to talk about choices. It is not inevitable that we are sitting here today and creating these jobs here in the state of Maryland. These jobs could’ve gone to other states, could’ve gone to another country, but they’re being built here.
And it’s happening because of the choices we make together, the choices that this outstanding workforce has made throughout time to always invest in themselves, invest in their skills. And you’re the reason why there’s a base here, you’re the reason why GM has chosen to come here, but I want to thank the other people that have made important choices here.
I mentioned Baltimore County government and the state government, your elected representatives, but also let’s be very, very honest here; we would not be creating jobs here today were it not for the courageous and, at the time, very unpopular decisions that President Obama had to make in order to invest, to bet on you, to bet on your jobs, to bet on the resilience, the innovative capacity and the creativity of the American workforce, and in particular, GM’s workforce, GM’s management, and your ability to lead the nation in terms of clean, green manufacturing. That’s the wave of the future. And the opportunities of the future don’t happen by themselves. You have to make the right choices. That’s what our president’s done.
I want to thank Attorney General Gansler for being here, as well as our secretaries – Alex Sanchez, Secretary DeJulius, and also Secretary Christian Johansson.
The most important things that we do in this world are the things that can only be accomplished when we do them together, and there’s nothing more important we can do right now for America than to create jobs. The only way we’re ever going to retire that Bush deficit over the long term is if we employ American workers over the short term, everyday and every way. We can’t retire our deficit until we employ our people. Thank you to the workers at GM for leading the way. Thanks.