Biden talks job growth in Columbus

Vice President Joe Biden spoke at the Ohio Newspaper Association Convention on Thursday, February 9, in Columbus, Ohio. America is coming back, said Biden, and America will continue to be second to no other country in the world. Photo by Philip Botta.

Vice President Joe Biden spoke at the Ohio Newspaper Association Convention on Thursday, February 9, in Columbus, Ohio. “America is coming back,” said Biden, “and America will continue to be second to no other country in the world.” Photo by Philip Botta.

Lindsy Neer

KentWired Video

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Video by TV2 Reporter Lauren Miller. Contact Lauren at [email protected].

Vice President Joe Biden focused on America’s continued economic dominance and the constant need for higher education during his appearance at Thursday’s Ohio Newspaper Association Convention in Columbus.

“America is coming back, and America will continue to be second to no other country in the world,” he said, adding the country’s economy will continue to grow as businesses bring more jobs back to the U.S.

This “great recession” has not stopped American productivity, Biden said. Instead, workers thrive off competition and have continued to lead the world in innovation.

“Change only comes through challenge,” he said.

Companies’ manufacturing jobs are changing from being outsourced overseas to being “insourced,” he said — something which is more plausible now that it’s finally more economical for American companies to manufacture their products on American soil.

“To some extent, there is more evidence that our businesses are bringing manufacturing back — for a lot of reasons,” said Lockwood Reynolds, Kent State assistant professor of economics.

One of those reasons has to due with rising wages in foreign countries, which lowers the cost-effectiveness of manufacturing outside the U.S., Reynolds said.

High fuel expenses are also making overseas manufacturing no longer viable, both Reynolds and Biden said, as the products have to travel too far to still be saving companies money.

Biden used Master Lock as an example, as it moved manufacturing for a new electronic lock from China to the U.S. to be closer to the company’s engineers. Involving Chinese engineers, Biden said, would put the patent and trademark at risk, making American engineers necessary.

“This is a company that has moved from Milwaukee to Mexico, from Mexico to China, and then now they’ve moved, no pun intended, lock, stock and barrel back to Milwaukee,” he said.

The vice president also continued the push for improved higher education.

“Sixty-two percent of all jobs during the next 10 years will require education beyond high school,” he said.

He commended American school systems for allowing children to “challenge orthodox” by pursuing the best education possible.

“That’s not unique, but it is rare in other education systems,” he said.

He praised Siemens, a global electrical-engineering-based company, not only for bringing work to the U.S. with its new energy plant in Charlotte, N.C., but for its efforts in higher education.

Siemens, he said, is working with colleges to train students with the skills the company needs, preparing them to be future employees.

“In the year 2020, in the year 2030,” Biden said, “we’re still going to be the single most vibrant economy in the world.”

Contact Lindsy Neer at [email protected].