Obama's trip to hard-hit Elkhart County was designed to show that his stimulus plan, including $2.4 billion in taxpayer grants to create electric cars, is gaining traction. Obama announced the grants and outline his economic recovery plans at Monaco RV, a plant in a region with nearly 17% unemployment. The grants will fund production of batteries, electric motors and hybrid cars, as well as training for people who will make them.
Monaco RV has went through bankruptcy, laying off 1,400 workers and emerging after a takeover by Navistar International. The plant once employed 40% of the workforce in Wakarusa, but the grants could restore much-needed jobs, and show in a microcosm that the administration's plan for the national economy is working, said Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.
“We’re not just going to rescue the economy,” the president promised in his third visit to the region as president. “We’re going to rebuild it.”
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