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Treasury Secretary visits Corning; pushes American Jobs Act

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY)-- Putting America back to work. That's what President Obama hopes to accomplish with his American Jobs Act. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner is a staunch supporter of that act. He was in Wilmington today to discuss the proposal and to tour a manufacturing company that could play a key role in improving our information infrastructure.

At Corning, Secretary Geithner got a first hand look at fiber optics, a key component in today's information age. He feels Corning is one of many companies that would benefit greatly from the American Jobs Act, which would invest heavily in all types of infrastructure, including broadband.

"To help create a stronger tax incentives for businesses, help get more Americans back to work, put more money in the hands of Americans and it is very,very important we see Congress act in the next week and months to help strengthen growth here at home," Geithner said.

Speaking of home, the American Jobs Act impacts North Carolina in several different ways. It would provide nearly 798-million dollars in highway and transit infrastructure, which is estimated to add more than 10,000 jobs. But that doesn't necessarily mean out-of-work North Carolinians would be the ones who get those jobs.

"What you can do at the state level is try to make it a more attractive place for businesses to come and build and that depends on lot of different factors," Geithner explained, "It depends on the quality of the workforce, they can rely on it. It depends on the quality of infrastructure, depends on the quality of the education system and access of local talent. Those are basic fundamental things and all things flow from that."

The plan would also expand the payroll tax cut passed last December.

"Every business in this state and every person with a job will have lower taxes in January if Congress acts on the president's proposals and every government in this state would have more resources to keep teachers in the classroom and first responders on the job."

Secretary Geithner didn't just talk about the American Jobs Act, he also talked about the global economy and how that could play a role in our economic recovery. He says the European crisis is one of the biggest challenges affecting growth around the world, so a lot in the US depends on Europe's ability to restore confidence.

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