The President spoke about a new manufacturing initiative at the Rolls Royce Factory in Prince George, VA after touring the facility, which makes engines for Boeing and Skycraft airplanes.
He announced a proposal for a "National Network for Manufacturing Innovation," which would build a network of up to 15 "Institutes for Manufacturing Innovation," which would serve as "regional hubs of manufacturing excellence" across the country.
The White House said the goal of the program is to make manufacturers more competitive and encourage investment in the United States.
“I want to make stuff here and sell it over there,” he said.
The $1 billion proposal is part of the President's budget request, which is now before Congress.
This visit comes hours after the Labor Department's announcement that the economy created 227,000 jobs in February, as the unemployment rate remained steady at 8.3 percent.
According to local media reports, the manufacturing plant opened in 2011 in the town about 45 minutes south of Richmond, and it employs around 80 people, with plans to add 70 more. On Tuesday, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell (R) announced that Rolls Royce is planning a second phase of development at the plant, which would employ up to 140 additional people.
Later in the day, the President travelled to Houston, Texas, for campaign events.