President Obama Visits Schenectady

"(ABCNews)

Five days before his State of the Union address, President Obama is shifting gears in his public strategy for the economy, allowing one advisory board on financial markets to expire, and recruiting a corporate A-Lister to run a new business advisory panel on jobs.

In Schenectady, New York, where the iconic General Electric corporation was founded, the President is signing an executive order by which CEO Jeffrey Immelt will chair a new President’s Council on Jobs and Competetiveness. The President writes in a statement, ”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.”

Immelt, who has run the global company for nearly a decade, told the Washington Post, ""The president and I are committed to a candid and full dialogue among business, labor and government to help ensure that the United States has the most competitive and innovative economy in the world. My hope is that the council will be a sounding board for ideas and a catalyst for action on jobs and competitiveness.""

President Obama has made an aggressive outreach to corporate America in recent weeks and is expected to address the US Chamber of Commerce next month, the business lobby which has been no fan of the White House economic policies.

The President’s State of the Union address is to be delivered before Congress next Tuesday, January 25th, and in the days following, nearly a half dozen senior West Wing officials are due to depart government as an Obama re-election headquarters opens in Chicago. "
ABCNews