Announcing a New Council on Jobs and Competitiveness

Ed. Note: Watch a live stream of President Obama’s announcement and remarks on the economy from General Electric in Schenectady, New York on WhiteHouse.gov/live at 1:05 PM EST today.

This afternoon, in Schenectady, New York, President Obama will announce the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness – a board to get Americans back to work and strengthen our economy that will be chaired by Jeff Immelt, the CEO and Chairman of General Electric.

For the past two years under the leadership of Paul Volcker, the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board (PERAB), has provided outside advice and counsel as the administration has taken bold steps to recover from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. On February 6, 2011, the PERAB two-year mandate will expire, as scheduled.

As we enter a new phase in our economic recovery, the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness will have a new composition and new mission. The Council will focus on finding new ways to promote growth by investing in American business to encourage hiring, to educate and train our workers to compete globally, and to attract the best jobs and businesses to the United States.

Here’s what President Obama said about the new Council:

Over the past two years, my Economic Recovery Advisory Board has provided this administration with support and expertise as we worked to bring our economy back from the brink and start recovering from an economic crisis that cost millions of American jobs.  We still have a long way to go, and my number one priority is to ensure we are doing everything we can to get the American people back to work.  As we enter a new phase in our recovery, I have asked the new Council to focus its work on finding new ways to encourage the private sector to hire and invest in American competitiveness.

Adding that Jeff Immelt is the right person for the job and thanking Paul Vockler for his service:

Jeff Immelt’s experience at GE and his understanding of the vital role the private sector plays in creating jobs and making America competitive makes him up to the challenge of leading this new Council. I also want to thank my friend Paul Volcker, whose service not just during this difficult period but for decades has been invaluable to me and the American people. I will continue to call on him for his counsel and he will always be a member of my team.

Here's more on Jeff Immelt from the official White House announcement: 

Jeffrey R. Immelt, Chair of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness

Jeffrey R. Immelt is the ninth chairman of GE, a post he has held since September 7, 2001.

Mr. Immelt has held several global leadership positions since coming to GE in 1982, including roles in GE’s Plastics, Appliance, and Medical businesses. In 1989 he became an officer of GE and joined the GE Capital Board in 1997. A couple years later, in 2000, Mr. Immelt was appointed president and chief executive officer.  Mr. Immelt has been named one of the “World’s Best CEOs” three times by Barron’s, and since he began serving as chief executive officer, GE has been named “America’s Most Admired Company” in a poll conducted by Fortune magazine and one of “The World’s Most Respected Companies” in polls by Barron’s and the Financial Times.  Mr. Immelt is also a member of The Business Council, and he is on the board of the New York Federal Reserve Bank.  Mr. Immelt earned a B.A. degree in applied mathematics from Dartmouth College in 1978 and an M.B.A. from Harvard University in 1982. He and his wife have one daughter.

Related Topics: Economy, New York
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