Biden visits Durham

Vice President Joe Biden speaks in Durham Thursday

March 18, 2010 3:50:38 PM PDT
Vice President Joe Biden came to Durham Thursday to bring attention to the Obama administration's efforts to expand jobs that pay middle-class salaries.

He toured the headquarters and factory of Cree Inc. The company makes energy-efficient LED lighting products.

"I don't think I've seen a success story quite like this one here at Cree," Biden told a crowd of workers.

LEDs are light-emitting diodes that use a fraction of the power of even fluorescent tubes, don't contain mercury like fluorescent lights, and don't produce the heat that speeds spoilage in meat or produce grocery displays.

Cree has hired about 375 engineers, office staffers and production workers since last summer as demand took off.

The Obama administration says Cree is an example of expanding manufacturing jobs while adapting to a clean-energy economy.

"The world is moving in the 21st century to a more carbon free economy. We're either going to be dragged there or we're going to lead the way there," said Biden.

The Vice President said he and President Obama want to create more middle class jobs as the economy rebounds.

"We want to make sure we rebuild so the middle class once again gets its fair share," he said. "We want to make sure that everyone who aspires to the middle class can get there, and those there can stay there. And that hasn't been happening."

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