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Posted at 04:32 AM ET, 03/09/2012

Obama to highlight manufacturing jobs during Virginia factory visit

President Obama greets people at Richmond International Airport in Richmond, Virginia, on March 9, 2012. (JEWEL SAMAD - AFP/GETTY IMAGES)
President Obama will continue to push his economic agenda in key battleground territory on Friday with an appearance in Prince George County, Va., south of Richmond, where he intends to highlight a new proposal to boost manufacturing.

Obama is scheduled to tour the Rolls-Royce Crosspointe jet engine disc manufacturing facility, which the White House said is planning to add 140 new jobs as the company aims to open a second facility in the county by 2014.

While there, the president will rally support for a $1 billion proposal — contained in his fiscal 2013 federal budget request before Congress — to create a nationwide network of 15 institutes for manufacturing innovation. The institutes would bring together industry, academic and government entities and invest in new technologies to help train workers in advanced skills.

Obama also will announce steps to use executive authority to authorize $45 million in existing resources to develop a pilot program for the institutes, the White House said.

The trip comes three days after Obama appeared in North Carolina, another key swing state, and it marks Obama’s fourth appearance in Virginia in the past six months to announce economic initiatives, emphasizing the importance his campaign places on the Commonwealth.

In 2008, Obama became the first Democrat in four decades to carry Virginia in a presidential election. Last week, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney won the state’s GOP primary. Gov. Robert McDonnell (R), who has endorsed Romney, is expected to greet Obama at the airport and accompany him to the factory.

After the Virginia stop, Obama will fly to Houston for a pair of campaign fundraisers.

By  |  04:32 AM ET, 03/09/2012

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