State News

Obama to tour Charlotte manufacturer

Posted April 1, 2010 4:33 p.m. EDT

— President Barack Obama is expected to discuss the economy during a visit to Charlotte Friday.

Obama will speak to workers and tour the facilities of Celgard, a manufacturer of microporous separators used in lithium-ion batteries. The White House hasn't released his exact schedule.

Watch Obama's talk with workers LIVE on WRAL.com around noon.

In August, Celgard, which is owned by Polypore International, Inc. (NYSE: PPO), received a $49 million grant from stimulus funds to develop batteries for electric vehicles. North Carolina State University's College of Textiles is one of Celgard's three partners in that venture.

The visit comes as the U.S. Labor Department is expected to report that businesses added 190,000 jobs in March.

North Carolina's unemployment rate stood at 11.2 percent in February, its highest since states started their current calculation method in 1976.

Sen. Kay Hagan had planned to join Obama at Celgard, but her departure from Afghanistan has been delayed, according to a release.