U.S. President Barack Obama is highlighting his domestic agenda before turning his attention this week to foreign affairs at the United Nations and the G20 economic summit.
Before plunging into four days of international summitry, the president traveled to a region that has been hard hit by the economic recession.
He traveled to the northern part of New York state - an old manufacturing area that is starting to make the transition to high-technology industries.
"What we have here in this community is talented people, entrepreneurs, world-class learning institutions," said President Obama. "The ingredients are right here for growth and success and a better future. You are proving that right here in the Hudson Valley."
President Obama said the federal government is doing its part by taking steps to spur innovation on college campuses, in laboratories, and in the business sector.
"As we emerge from this current economic crisis, our great challenge will be to ensure that we don't just drift into the future, accepting less for our children, accepting less for America," said Mr. Obama. "We have to chose instead what past generations have done: shape brighter future through hard work and innovation."
The president spoke at Hudson Valley Community College - a locally based school that offers training at relatively low cost to students just out of high school as well as adults seeking new job skills.
Hudson Valley has received more than $2 million in federal government grants to train students for environmentally friendly jobs in areas such as alternative fuels and energy efficiency.
Mr. Obama said these jobs are crucial to America's future.
"I firmly believe that the nation that leads the clean energy economy will be the nation that leads the global economy," he said.
The president also used the opportunity to highlight the positive effects of the economic stimulus package he signed into law in February. And he once again made the case for health care reform, saying it is necessary for long-term U.S. economic growth.
For the rest of this week, President Obama will be dealing with economic and energy matters on an international scale. He will address a U.N. conference on climate change on Tuesday. And on Thursday and Friday, he will host the Group of 20 economic summit.