AUSTIN (CBS 11) – President Barack Obama kicked-off his “Middle-Class Jobs and Opportunity Tour” by touting Austin as a role model for the rest of the nation.

While in Central Texas, he showcased an area high school that’s transformed its curriculum, and a business that’s helps make smart phones and TV’s work.

The President’s first stop was Manor New Technology High School in Manor, which focuses on the sciences and engineering.

Students showed him robots they made.

The President wants to spend $300 million dollars to replicate this school nationwide.

He told the audience, “We’ve got to reward schools like this one that focus on the fields of the future, schools that focus on the fields of the future, use technology effectively to help students learn, and are also developing partnerships with local colleges and businesses so that a diploma here leads directly to a good job. You’re doing things a little differently around here than other high schools and it’s working.”‬

After his visit, the President had lunch at Stubb’s BBQ in downtown Austin. He ate with a nurse, a teacher and a small business owner.

After meeting with high tech entrepreneurs just starting out, the President toured a company called Applied Materials. The Austin firm is the world’s largest maker of semi-conducting manufacturing equipment. Workers showed the President a disassembled i-Pad and i-Phone, explaining that their technology is used to make them work.

The President is showcasing the plant here to urge Congress to pass his $1 billion dollar plan to start 15 manufacturing innovation hubs nationwide.

He says that will help create jobs in economically depressed areas.

During his speech to 1,000 employees and other invited guests, the President said while the private sector drives the economy, the government has a role to play too. “We can’t afford to fall behind in basic research, so there’s some key things that we can do. That shouldn’t be idealogical. They’re not Democratic ideas or Republican ideas or Independent ideas. They’re just good ideas that allow the government to help create the foundation, the platform, the environment in which companies like Applied Materials can thrive.”

When the President first arrived in Austin shortly after noon, Governor Perry greeted him.

The Governor says the key reason behind the booming Texas economy is not money from the federal government, but the state’s low taxes and regulations.

Both Governor Perry and the President of the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank, Richard Fisher have said Texas has far outpaced the rest of the nation in creating both low and high-paying jobs.

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