Obama addresses economy at Hudson Valley CC

President Barack Obama visited the Hudson Valley Community College on Monday to deliver a speech on the economy and stress the importance of higher education in America.

As reported in Albany's Times Union, "The President chose to come to the Capital Region because we have a lot of good things going on here," HVCC President Andrew J. Matonak said.

During his two-hour visit, Obama stressed the importance of higher education to the nation's economic recovery as well as the role of community colleges in preparing the future workforce.

"While all of America has been gripped by the current economic crisis," Obama said, "folks in Troy and upstate New York have been dealing with what amounts to an almost permanent recession for years: an economic downturn that's driven more and more young people from their hometowns."

To counteract such a phenomenon, Obama suggested expanding educational opportunities, especially in the field of technology and clean energy, as well as increasing investments in public-sector research to strengthen the economy.

Obama also lauded the Capital District for embracing technological achievement and stimulating economic growth with its new $4.2 billion computer chip factory project. The factory, GlobalFoundries, is located in nearby Malta, N.Y., where HVCC has opened a satellite campus.

Obama also took time to speak privately with Matonak to discuss the education bill and need for additional funding at community colleges across the nation.