Candidate Obama talking about Chicago's Austin Polytechnical Academy in 2008.
President Obama today:
President Obama to Announce New Efforts to Support Manufacturing Innovation, Encourage Insourcing
Administration Proposes New National Network to Support Manufacturing, Takes Immediate Action to Create a Pilot Manufacturing Institute
On Friday, President Obama will continue to highlight the successful trend of insourcing – companies from around the world bringing jobs back and making new investments here in the United States – at the Rolls-Royce Crosspointe jet engine disc manufacturing facility in Prince George County, Virginia. The President’s Blueprint for An Economy Built to Last lays out a number of ways we can encourage insourcing, support investment in our manufacturing sector, and create good jobs here in the United States, and today’s announcements build on those efforts.
The President will announce a new proposal for a National Network for Manufacturing Innovation, to build a network of up to fifteen Institutes for Manufacturing Innovation around the country, serving as regional hubs of manufacturing excellence that will help to make our manufacturers more competitive and encourage investment in the United States. The President’s Budget proposes a $1 billion investment to create this new National Network for Manufacturing Innovation.
The President will also announce that the Administration will take immediate steps to launch a pilot institute for manufacturing innovation as part of its We Can’t Wait efforts. The pilot institute will be funded from $45 million of existing resources from the Departments of Defense, Energy, and Commerce and the National Science Foundation, and will be selected from a competitive application process.
Having worked long hours for many years behind the scenes to help make initiatives like these come true, I was handed my walking papers a couple of months after Candidate Obama gave this speech. I was told that my management regretted the decision -- that I was, in fact, doing a terrific job and that they were freaked out by the prospect of my many projects crashing and burning in my absence due to lack of competent oversight* -- but that I had simply found myself once again paying the steep price price for not being a member of one more exclusive club.
I learned once again that when the hammer falls, professionalism is often irrelevant and brilliance can suddenly become a terrible liability.
My last day of work was the week of Barack Obama's first inaugural address.
I have not worked full time since.
*(Which is exactly what happened...
*(Which is exactly what happened...
A couple of months after I was cut loose, I began getting panicked calls asking for my sub rosa help on some of the projects I had left behind. They were complicated undertakings with lots of moving parts and I was told that management had managed to A) lose all the manuals, charts and project notes I had carefully prepared and left behind, and B) had lost track of my hard drive.
Sigh. These were projects A) I really cared about, and B) would completely fuck up the organization if the were allowed to go down in flames.
After a few hours of free advice to my increasingly-more-hysterical former colleagues [punctuated by many long pauses while they scribbled down every golden word I was saying verbatim] I offered them the opportunity to simply hire me back temporally as a consultant. Hell, I promised I wouldn't charge them a dime more per-hour than the useless consulting con artists they currently had wandering their halls and soaking up their falling revenue.
They declined. I was told that such an arrangement would be "too complicated" to accomplish. Translation: Management would have to face me being back in their midst, reminding the entire staff every day that they had chosen to get rid of critical talent while kept useless droids on the payroll.
So I withdrew my assistance and, about a year later, the projects lay in ruins, costing the organization millions of dollars and a big chunk of their already shaky reputation. That was the price management was willing to pay to avoid admitting it had made a mistake.)