AUSTIN (KXAN) - President Barack Obama will focus on middle-class jobs in his visit to Austin on Thursday.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest confirmed that Obama would be bringing his "Middle Class Jobs & Opportunity Tour" to Austin, which suggests the country must invest in jobs, skills and opportunity in order to jump-start the middle class.
His stops will include Manor New Tech High School and Applied Materials.
"Even though some in Congress are determined to create more self-inflicted economic wounds, there are things Washington could be doing right now to help American businesses, schools and workers," Earnest was quoted to say in a White House press pool statement. "We need to build on the progress we've made over the last four years, and that means investing in things that are already creating good-paying, stable jobs that can support a middle class family."
Obama will visit Manor New Tech High School to observer students learning "real-world skills they need to fill the jobs that are available right now." That will be followed by a meeting with technology entrepreneurs who are hiring workers with cutting edge skills. He will also sit down for a discussion with workers, to discuss his vision for the economy.
The Texas Democratic Party said the president's visit will highlight "private sector job growth."
"We're excited he's coming to Austin," said William Hailer, executive director of the Texas Democratic Party. "He was in Dallas last week. It goes to show the importance of Texas even though it's an official visit."
On April 25, Obama was in Dallas for the dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Center. Later that day, he spoke at the memorial service for the first responders who died in the fertilizer plant blast in West.
"Austin is an innovation economy, a tech economy," said Drew Scheberle, senior vice president of the Austin Chamber of Commerce. "We don't have oil and gas, we don't have a big international airport, we have to stay on the cutting edge of technology and learning and innovation."
"We have a pretty solid overlap on what Austin companies are doing, what our delegation is doing and what our president is doing, that may be why he's coming here," Scheberle added.
Austin may be a liberal hotbed, but the state is generally conservative. At party headquarters, they hope an improving economy and more presidential visits turns that around.
"We're going to change the narrative on that," Hailer said. "I think folks in Texas are excited the president has focused on creating jobs, good paying jobs. Good paying jobs for working families, and that's why we're going to eventually turn this state blue."
The president is no stranger to Austin. The city was among the first places he campaigned after launching his bid for president in 2007. He also was here in July, and he visited the Texas capital in May 2011.
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