Sanmina Kenosha Facility
Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin
2:22 P.M. CDT
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Hi. Good afternoon, everyone. Please have a seat. Good afternoon.
You did it, Renee. (Laughter.) We were talking backstage with Ashley, her daughter. And I — there — what job does she no- — what job does your mom not have? (Laughs.) She’s wearing a lot of hats. But the voice that she has provided, that your family provides about the importance of this is really critical, because it’s an American story. And the work we are doing is to meet the needs of families around the country, families just like yours.
So, it is good to be back in Wisconsin — hello, everyone; good afternoon — (applause) — and to be with so many incredible leaders, including, of course, our Secretary of Commerce, Gina Raimondo. (Applause.) She’s doing a great job and she has been a champion — a true champion of working people in our country. And, of course, it is great to be with my dear friend, the senator, Tammy Baldwin. (Applause.)
So, Senator Baldwin and I served together in the United States Senate. And it was one of my jobs to serve with her. I have seen your senator in rooms when the cameras were on and when the cameras are off, and she is the same person every time. She is always a voice of reason — a determined voice, talking about the importance of uplifting, in particular, working people in our country and the working people of Wisconsin.
She is always fighting — fighting for the needs and the dignity and the resources that folks deserve to have. So, I thank you, Senator Baldwin, for your work. (Applause.) Thank you. Thank you.
And it is, indeed, with her help, all across Wisconsin, that President Joe Biden and I have been able to create jobs, expand opportunity, and strengthen American manufacturing. And so, we are here to discuss our continuation of that work.
For years — for years — manufacturing was the foundation of the economy here in Kenosha. Manufacturing jobs created opportunity and prosperity and helped generations of working families thrive.
Then, in the 1990s, as a result of global economic trends and, frankly, short-sighted national economic policy, American manufacturing began to falter and thousands of good, steady jobs right here in Kenosha were shipped overseas.
And this is one of many stories of its kind across our country.
All across America, countless communities saw the anchor of their economy packed up and sent offshore.
In fact, between 1990 and 2010, America lost more than 6 million manufacturing jobs. And for years, politicians have promised to bring those jobs back but not delivered.
So, President Joe Biden and I decided to run for office because we believed it was time to fix this and to bring manufacturing jobs back to places like Kenosha, and to take our work, in particular, across the country and deliver for what the American family actually needs.
So, take, for example, our work on high-speed Internet. As Renee explained so well, in America in the 21st century, high-speed Internet is not a luxury. It is a basic necessity.
And yet, when President Biden and I took office, 800,000 people in Wisconsin and 30 million people across our country did not have access to high-speed Internet. And so, we decided to do something about it.
We invested $65 billion to lower the cost of high-speed Internet plans and to build thousands of miles of fiber-optic cable so that every family in America can afford to have access to high-speed Internet.
And when we made this investment, we knew that there would then be an increased demand for fiber-optic cable and for other products that connect people to the Internet. We knew that the demand would skyrocket. We knew companies would increase production and hire more workers.
And whereas in the past, many of those jobs would have been created overseas, President Biden and I required that the materials and products used in these projects, from steel
to electronics to fiber-optic cable, must be made in America by workers in America. (Applause.)
And we are determined to create jobs in America and keep jobs in America, all of which leads us to today.
So, today, I am proud to announce that Nokia, a company based in Finland, will expand this factory here in Kenosha and hire up to 200 new employees. (Applause.) Yes. They will build the parts that are needed to connect people with high-speed Internet.
And let me just tell you: So much of this project is due to the advocacy of Senator Baldwin. Truly, truly. (Applause.) These “Made in America” requirements were a priority for her. And for any of you who know her personally, when she’s got a priority in mind — (laughs) — you will hear about it until you do something about it. And she was focused on creating jobs in communities like this one.
And understand: All of this is part of a larger strategy.
President Biden and I came into office with a plan to strengthen America’s economy. We knew that, for too long, our economy has not worked for working people. Entire communities have been left out and left behind. Trickle-down economics — well, it benefitted big corporations and the wealthiest Americans but not regular folks.
So, when President Biden and I took office, we decided to invest in the working people of America; to create millions of jobs; to rebuild American manufacturing; to repair our roads and bridges; to expand clean energy production; to replace every lead pipe in our nation; to connect every home with high-speed Internet; and to make sure that every person in America, no matter where they start, has access to opportunity and the tools that they need to thrive.
All that is called Bidenomics. (Applause.)
It’s a term we’re very proud of, I must tell you, because Bidenomics is working. It’s working. (Applause.) Since we took office, we have created more than 13 million jobs. That’s more jobs created in two and a half years than any administration has created in four.
Today, unemployment remains near record lows, inflation has fallen 12 months in a row, wages are up, and small businesses
In fact, in just our four — first two years, entrepreneurs applied to start more new small businesses than in any other two-year period in history. (Applause.)
And here is an interesting connection between the growth of small businesses and manufacturing: Many of you may know, over 70 percent of the manufacturing operations, firms, companies in the United States — over 70 percent of them employ 20 or fewer people.
A lot of the manufacturing work that we do in America is done by our small businesses. And, of course, our small-business leaders are leaders in business, and they are also civic leaders and community leaders. And they hire locally, and they mentor. And they are part of not only the economic strength of our nation but part of the fabric of what makes us who we are.
And so, it is no coincidence that, in the same time, American manufacturing has grown faster than it has in decades.
And as a result, here in Wisconsin, we have created 140,000 new jobs — (applause) — including many good-paying union jobs: jobs for the workers of IBEW who will install EV chargers along I-94, jobs for the laborers who will upgrade six bridges along John Nolen Drive in Madison — (applause) — where I once lived, by the way. I did. I’ve got some Wisconsin cred. (Laughs.) Jobs for plumbers and pipefitters who will replace lead pipes all across this state. (Applause.)
So, Wisconsin, together, we are rebuilding America. Through Bidenomics, we are showing that when we invest in workers and families, when we create jobs and opportunity, when we roll up our sleeves and get to work, there is no limit to what we can achieve for Kenosha, for Wisconsin, and for our nation.
God bless you. And God bless America. Thank you. (Applause.)
END 2:33 P.M. CDT
Official news published at https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/speeches-remarks/2023/08/03/remarks-by-vice-president-harris-on-efforts-to-invest-in-high-speed-internet-boost-domestic-manufacturing-and-create-jobs/