"For decades, manufacturing was the essential ingredient in building our middle class. It was a bargain that involved more than just building things, it reflected the values that this country stood for," Obama said on Friday in a speech in Clinton City in Tennessee.

"Over time, technology made some jobs obsolete. Globalisation and additional foreign competition meant that some jobs went overseas", Obama added.

American manufacturing lost about one-third of its jobs in the last decade, and the middle class paid the price," the president noted referring to the impact of globalisation, competition and economic recession on the manufacturing sector.

"So when I took office, I believed, that if the last decade was characterised by outsourcing, I wanted to define this decade for insourcing making sure that the United States was competitive and that businesses wanted to locate here and that we had a dynamic manufacturing sector and research and development sector to support that manufacturing so that we could reverse some of those trends," Obama said.

"So we invested in clean energy, saved the auto industry, and today, factories are opening their doors at the fastest pace in almost two decades," he said.

"Manufacturing is actually in its best stretch of job creation since the 1990s. It added about 7,86,000 jobs over the past 58 months. Manufacturing is actually growing faster than the rest of the economy," Obama said.

"Right here in Tennessee, manufacturing jobs have jumped by about 11 per cent," Obama said as he announced launching of a network of manufacturing hubs across the country.

"We are launching these hubs around the country, and the concept is simple. We bring businesses, research universities, community colleges, state, local and federal governments together, and we figure out, where are some key opportunities for manufacturing in the future, how do we get out in front of the curve, how do we make sure everybody is working together," he said.

"And as a consequence, we're potentially able to get cutting-edge research and design to market faster, and businesses are intimately involved in the process of figuring out how these things can be applied in ways that are really going to boost the economy and, in some cases, create entirely new industries," he added.

"So these hubs are working on everything from 3D printing -the idea that you can have some software and put in some materials and something pops out that actually works - to flexible computer chips that can be woven into the fabric of your shirt," the President said.

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