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Your Economy Questions Answered: Following Up President Obama’s Twitter Town Hall

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Yesterday, Twitter users from across the country asked the President questions about a wide array of issues, from clean energy to education to NASA. Today and tomorrow, we’re going to look at some of your questions and elaborate on the President’s answers – providing more information and greater detail than was possible during the event itself.

First up: jobs and the economy.

In response to a question about the administration’s focus on manufacturing instead of “tech and knowledge industries,” the President replied: “Well, it’s not an either/or question; it’s a both/and question.”

The manufacturing industry, the President explained, typically offers higher wages and has a big multiplier effect, creating additional jobs that feed into the manufacturing process. He continued:What we want to focus on is advanced manufacturing that combines new technology, so research and development to figure out how are we going to create the next Twitter, … how are we going to create the next big thing.

Over the past few months in particular, the Obama administration has launched several exciting initiatives to help invest in advanced technology, spur manufacturing, and prepare our workforce for the future. Here are a few of those initiatives:

Train 10,000 engineers. On a visit to Durham, North Carolina, President Obama announced an initiative to train 10,000 engineers, collaborating with businesses and universities to promote education in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.

Prepare 500,000 community college students for manufacturing careers. First launched in October 2010, President Obama renewed this initiative and announced efforts to help provide 500,000 community college students with credentials that will help them secure jobs in the manufacturing industry.

Create the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership. This newinitiative brings together industry, universities, and the federal government to kick-start investment in nascent technologies such as robotics and national security industries -- and improves energy efficiency in manufacturing.

Invest in clean-energy technology. The Obama administration made the single greatest investment in clean energy in American history, providing tax credits for firms to develop energy technologies and incentives to innovate new sources of renewable energy.

Establish Startup America to spur entrepreneurship and job creation. In January, the President launched Startup America designed to spur entrepreneurship and inspire job creation.

Retrofit buildings. The administration launched the Better Buildings Initiative to make office buildings 20 percent more energy efficient by 2021 – it’s an initiative that creates jobs, encourages more efficient technologies, and saves money over the long run.

Check back tomorrow for more follow up from the President’s Twitter Town Hall.