Click for Detroit, Michigan Forecast

On Detroit's eastside today, President Obama toured Chrysler's Jefferson North plant, which recently added a second shift of production, adding about 1,100 jobs. Next week, the president will visit the Chicago plant where Ford builds the Taurus sedan and plans to assemble a new Explorer sport utility vehicle. (Photo by HB Meeks/Tell Us USA)


Obama back in Detroit with  visits to Chrysler and GM auto plants

By Karen H. Samuels/Tell Us Detroit

DETROIT (Tell Us Det) - President Barack Obama was met with roaring shouts and applause as he entered the body shop of the Chrysler Jefferson North Assembly Plant filled with over 1,000 workers, excited and proud to welcome the President to the home of new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

The Chrysler Jefferson North Assembly plant was the initial stop Friday by President Obama, on a tour of the auto companies, including General Motors, which received government bailouts to stay in business.

Flanked by Chrysler Group LLC CEO Sergio Marchionne, Plant manager Pat Walsh and a small group, the President walked past the whirring motion of robotic arms, examined Jeep Grand Cherokee frames and shook hands and spoke with workers. The President stopped at about a half dozen work stations to talk with employees who showed them what they do.

Hundreds of workers gathered rally-style on stadium bleachers in a staged area to hear the president’s formal remarks, which thankfully were open press and will come via transcript because they were largely inaudible from the pool’s acoustical perch. The president did say at the start that he had a bias in that the first car he’d ever bought new was a Jeep Grand Cherokee. His remarks came as Chrysler announced it is adding a second shift to another Detroit plant and keeping it open past a planned 2012 close date. (Photo by HB Meeks/Tell Us USA)

In his speech the President recalled how the support of the auto bailouts a year ago was denounced by leaders of the “just say no” crowd in Washington. Obama said “One of them called it “the worst investment you could possibly make.”

The President said “I wish they were standing here today. I wish they could see what I’m seeing in this plant and talk to the workers who are here taking pride in building a world-class vehicle. I don’t think they’d be willing to look you in the eye and say that you were a bad investment.” The workers applauded, their President understood.

“Today, U.S. automakers have added 55,000 jobs since last June, the strongest job growth in more than 10 years in the auto industry. This plant just hired a new shift of 1,100 workers last week.”

Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne told reporters after Obama's speech that the company might add a third shift to the Jefferson Avenue plant. (Photo by HB Meeks/Tell Us USA)

One of the workers who landed a job at the Chrysler plant introduced Mr. Obama sharing her story of being out of work for two years, entering the “No Worker Left Behind” program and with unemployment about to run out, getting a call to work at the Jefferson Avenue Plant.

The President during his speech gave a shout out to a lottery club at the plant, which recently won a $96.6 million Powerball jackpot in June. He said "Now the first assumption is that people might kick back and retire ...But most of them just want to keep on working."

In his closing, President Obama had workers applauding again, when he said “Don't bet against the American worker. Don't bet against the American people. We got more work to do. It’s going to take some time to get back to where we need to be, but I have confidence in the American worker. I have confidence in you. I have confidence in this economy. We are coming back!

In this photo the presidential motorcade is seen leaving Chrysler Jefferson North plant headed to the GM Hamtramck plant, his second and final stop during the Detroit visit. (Photo by HB Meeks/Tell Us USA)

Hundreds of local workers and residents, mostly African-American waved at the President as his motorcade zoomed along Conner Ave. after leaving the Chrysler Jefferson North plant Friday in Detroit.  (Photo by HB Meeks/Tell Us USA)




Advertise with us



All Rights Reserved ©  2003-2012 Tell Us Detroit
Disclaimer  Policy Statement
Site Powered By Tell Us USA Media Group, LLC - Detroit, MI