SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – President Barack Obama named Intel CEO Paul Otellini to lead a new advisory council on promoting economic growth and job creation.

The appointment could be an important olive branch to business given Otellini’s recent criticism of administration policies he said do not encourage companies to grow or bolster consumer confidence.

The president said the semiconductor industry is a sector of the economy where companies have invested in the U.S.

“There are few major companies that take this responsibility as seriously as Intel,” President Obama said.

He also reiterated a theme from his State of the Union address that making America more competitive in technology and science was necessary for long-term economic growth.

KCBS’ Anna Duckworth Reports:

Otellini said Intel’s hiring record contrasts sharply with the slow rebound in jobs which has taken place primarily in lower-income positions.

“I’m proud to announce that this year Intel will hire 4,000 new permanent, highly-skilled employees in the U.S.,” he said, noting that the semiconductor companies are among the country’s top exporters.

Unemployment has been lower among those with advanced degrees. Otellini said nearly half of Intel’s 83,000 employees hold Master’s degrees or Ph.D’s.

His appointment was announced Friday just hours after Obama left the Bay Area to tour an Intel semiconductor plant outside of Portland, Oregon.

President Obama signed the executive order creating the Jobs and Competitiveness Council in January. It will meet at the end of February.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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