Nightly News   |  January 21, 2011

Obama, GE's Immelt tout jobs at turbine plant

President Barack Obama and General Electric CEO Jeffery Immelt visited a GE factory in New York state on Friday to discuss job growth. NBC's Savannah Guthrie reports.

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>>> we're back now from tucson tonight with some of the day's other news, including the economy and the jobs front. that's what president obama was focused on today at the ge plant in schenectady, new york, where ge is the parent company of nbc universal . we mention that because the ceo of ge , jeff immelt , was by the president's side today for an announcement. our white house correspondent, savannah guthrie , has more on all of that for us tonight. savannah, good evening.

>> reporter: good evening, brian. the president has asked jeff immelt to head a new advisory panel on jobs and competitiveness. immelt was with the president today in schenectady, the birth place of ge to make this announce maenlt. it's part of the white house 's shift in focus now that the economy is in recovery to try to get businesses to actually hire.

>> the past two years were about pulling our economy back from the brink. the next two years, our job now, is putting our economy into overdrive. our job is to do everything we can to ensure that businesses can take root and folks can find good jobs.

>> reporter: well, the president has a new economic team, a new chief of staff from the business world. and some see the choice of immelt as more evidence the president is trying to mend fences with the business community . immelt has been critical of the administration in the past but has been spending a lot of time with the president lately. some labor leaders were skeptical today, saying that ge has cut jobs and sent them overseas. the president said companies like ge are key to his export strategy, which he says will create jobs in the u.s., brian.

>> savannah guthrie on the white house north lawn tonight. savannah,