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Region welcomes Obama

President says nanotech key to economic recovery

President Barack Obama visited the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering in Albany on Tuesday, May 8.

President Barack Obama visited the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering in Albany on Tuesday, May 8. Marcy Velte

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Obama spoke in NanoFab X, a computer chip manufacturing lab still under construction.

— Congressman Chris Gibson, R-Kinderhook, who represents the 20th District that includes Saratoga County, said Obama’s visit speaks to the work being done locally. He also agreed with the President’s call for bipartisan support to get things done.

“I think leaders in both parties should work together to move our country forward, grow the economy, create jobs, work toward a balanced budget,” said Gibson. “I call on leaders of both parties to take on those goals and help move our country forward.”

Bethlehem Supervisor John Clarkson said the NanoCollege and GloFo doesn’t “have the space for everything” so he’s hoping the Vista Technology Park will pick up the slack and find its own place in the nanotech world.

“We’re hoping that Vista can really benefit from that and pick up a lot of their technology business,” said Clarkson. “… It’s good to have the President’s attention to the tech industry.”

Another “task” Obama put before Congress is to “invest in a new hire tax credit for small businesses,” which would give a 10 percent income tax credit to firms that create new jobs or increase wages this year.

“We should make it easier for them to succeed,” he said.

Colonie Supervisor Paula Mahan said the town is doing its part in commercial growth.

“In our economic development plan we have been working on bringing spinoff companies from GlobalFoundries and jobs to this area and we have had some businesses that have already settled in Colonie that are technology-based and preparing for the future,” said Mahan, who met Obama when he landed at Albany International Airport just after 11 a.m.

Obama also challenged Congress to “cut red tape” in the mortgage market to help homeowners refinance, invest in affordable clean energy and create a Veterans Job Corps to help veterans from Afghanistan and Iraq get jobs.

“Of course it’s not enough just to give them the list, we’ve also got to get them started crossing things off the list,” said Obama.

Obama spent a few minutes shaking hands with lucky crowd members and VIP guests before heading back to the airport just before 2 p.m. and boarding Air Force One for his flight home.

-Marcy Velte contributed to this report.

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