President Obama visited a solar panel manufacturing facility in
Fremont Wednesday, calling the company and its workers "a testament to American ingenuity and dynamism."
Obama toured the headquarters of Solyndra Wednesday morning during a two-day visit to the Bay Area.
"I try to visit places like this about once a week," Obama said.
The president said he enjoys talking to workers who are "doing the extraordinary work of building up America."
Solyndra is the recipient of a $535 million loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy to expand its solar panel manufacturing capacity.
He said the kickoff of construction on Solyndra's new factory last fall has resulted in the employment of more than 3,000 people. Its expanded production capacity is expected to add 1,000 new long-term jobs.
"California was hit as hard as any state by the home mortgage crisis and the economic storms that followed," Obama said. "Even this high-tech corridor wasn't immune."
He noted the recent shutdown of the New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. plant in Fremont.
"I know the closure of the NUMMI plant was devastating to this community and thousands of jobs were lost ... but thanks to loans through the Department of Energy, which helped provide Tesla Motors with the financial wherewithal to expand, that shuttered plant is soon going to reopen," Obama said.
Tesla Motors announced last week that it would partner with Toyota to produce electric cars at the NUMMI facility.
"Once again it will be a symbol of promise, an example of what's possible here in America," Obama said.
Solyndra chief executive Chris Gronet said the attention the company has received from the president's visit "is absolutely great because we want to grow the solar market in the
y great because we want to grow the solar market in the U.S."