"In his State of the Union address, President Obama detailed his blueprint for an economy that's built to last. The President stated that the defining issue of our time is how to keep alive the basic promise of America: "that if you worked hard, you could do well enough to raise a family, own a home, send your kids to college, and put a little away for retirement.'
"I agree. It's never been more important.
"If we're going to live up to that promise, we need to make things in America again. That's why I was encouraged with the President's focus on rebuilding the American manufacturing sector -- it's been a focus of mine for several years and one that we must continue if we are to successfully transition to a stronger, more robust economy.
"The economic security of the middle class has been eroding for decades. We've seen the impacts in Delaware as plants close and jobs disappear. It is harder than ever for Delawareans without post-secondary training to find jobs with the stability they need to provide for their families.
"The good news is that we have seen an increase in manufacturing jobs during the last two years. But unemployment is still too high and significant work remains to create jobs that can sustain the middle class over the long-term. During my first year in office, I have worked hard to create the conditions that enable employers to grow their businesses and create new jobs. I've also worked with both Democrats and Republicans to support people looking for a job and connect them with meaningful employment opportunities. I will continue those efforts in 2012 and beyond.
"As President Obama outlined, clean energy technology offers a real opportunity to build new industries right here in America. Currently, the Europeans and the Chinese are outpacing us in the development of these new technologies. Clean energy sources will move us toward energy independence while creating quality jobs for middle class Americans in Delaware and across the United States.
"My goal, which I share with President Obama, is to work across the aisle and pass smart legislation that ensures we are giving our children a quality education, keeping America competitive, and encouraging the innovation and entrepreneurship that grows the economy and creates jobs for generations to come."