Earlier today, President Barack Obama welcomed guests at the very first White House Maker Faire, where people from across the country got the chance to exhibit some of the most innovative ideas coming from the maker community that could potentially have a larger impact on our society. And, as earlier expected, the President’s opening remarks focused on the importance of providing the necessary skills and resources to enable people to turn their ideas into real products, and emphasized the revitalization of American manufacturing and the continued growth of our economy.
“Today’s DIY is tomorrow’s ‘Made in America,” said President Obama. “Your projects are examples of a revolution that’s taking place in American manufacturing – a revolution that can help us create new jobs and industries decades from now.”
According to President Obama, bolstering American manufacturing is one of the best ways to increase the number of jobs – that manufacturing is at the core of the American spirit:
“So we’re going to do whatever we can to bring good manufacturing jobs back to our shores, because our parents and our grandparents created the world’s largest economy and strongest middle class not by buying stuff, but by building stuff — by making stuff, by tinkering and inventing and building; by making and selling things first in a growing national market and then in an international market — stuff ‘Made in America.'”
Most notably, the President notes that the path to this new age of American manufacturing has never been easier, citing the new tools and tech that are making the building of things easier than ever. Through resources and technology offered through the likes of Local Motors and TechShop and other maker communities, we’ve reached a point at which there’s a democratization of manufacturing.
However, President Obama adds that we have to ensure that Americans everywhere have access to these skills and opportunities. He touched upon working with schools to add shop classes and redesign high schools to accommodate students with different learning styles, such as those that thrive in hands-on learning environments. The President also talked about providing new support for startups, noting his administration’s attempts at patent reform and the public-private collaborations between various government agencies and innovative startups.
“This is a country that imagined a railroad connecting a continent, imagined electricity powering our cities and towns, imagined skyscrapers reaching into the heavens, and an Internet that brings us closer together. So we imagined these things, then we did them. And that’s in our DNA. That’s who we are. We’re not done yet.”
For the President, if we all work together to provide support to those with great ideas – to give them the tools and resources to build whatever it is that they can imagine, then that’s a great model for America. Through this maker movement, we’re empowered with the ability to make something new – whether that’s creating a new product that leads to an entirely new industry, or starting a new business that will benefit the economy.