As prepared for delivery
Madame Speaker, I rise today in support of the reauthorization of the America COMPETES Act. If the next generation of Americans is to be as prosperous as ours, we must regain our edge in technology, innovation, and education. This bill will do just that.
Before this recession, the industries that North Carolinians traditionally relied upon--textiles, tobacco, furniture-- suffered one loss after another. Now unemployment in North Carolina is more than 11% and in some parts of my district it is more than 14%. We lost most of those jobs before the Great Recession, and most of those jobs are not coming back.
North Carolinians know that new jobs will either come from science and research, or they won’t come at all.
New technologies create new jobs and America must lead the way in developing new technologies, and we must lead the way in bringing those technologies to the marketplace. That will require the most agile, innovative economy in the world, and it will required the most skilled workforce.