THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Paul, for talking about the work that you’re doing at Serious Materials. And thank you, Susan, for describing the research that’s taking place under your leadership at MIT. I have to say that Susan made sure to tell me not to touch anything on the table. (Laughter.) I was going to do some experiments for you today — (laughter) — but we decided not to.
Finally, I’d like to thank everyone who’s here for joining us this afternoon. And I want to introduce a few people on our team that are critical to this effort. As was already mentioned John Holdren, has now been confirmed our White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. (Applause.) Carol Browner is here, assistant to me for Energy and Climate Change. (Applause.) And behind her is Nancy Sutley, who is the Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. (Applause.)
So thanks to them, thanks to all of you for coming. Welcome to the White House.
We gather at a challenging time for our country. We face an economic crisis unlike any we’ve known in a generation. We’ve lost 4.4 million jobs since this recession began. Millions of families are at risk of losing their homes, and tens of millions more have lost value in their homes. Our financial system has been severely undermined by the collapse of a credit bubble that was — is as irresponsible as it was unsustainable.
Now, many of you in this room, I know, are experiencing this crisis in one way or another. Perhaps you’ve won fewer investors than you’d hoped, or you’ve earned lower revenues than you expected; perhaps your share price has fallen, or the cost of securing a loan has risen.
But you’re also helping us to overcome this crisis. Paul’s company, Serious Materials, just reopened, as he mentioned, a manufacturing plant outside of Pittsburgh. Last year, that factory was shuttered and more than one hundred jobs were lost. The town was devastated.
Today, that factory is whirring back to life, and Serious Materials is rehiring the folks who lost their jobs. And these workers will now have a new mission: producing some of the most energy-efficient windows in the world.
We’ve got other examples in this room. Deepika Singh — where is Deepika, is she here? There you are, right there. Deepika is here from Gainesville, Florida. She’s the founder and president of Sinmat — did I pronounce that correctly? — that’s developing new ways to manufacture microchips that can help power smarter energy systems, from more fuel-efficient hybrid cars to more responsive, efficient lighting for homes and businesses.
So these are the stories that are being told all across our country. I remember during the campaign I visited McKinstry Company in Seattle, which is retrofitting schools and businesses to make them more energy efficient. McKinstry is expanding and expects to hire as many as 500 new workers in the next few years.