11:03 A.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. We greatly appreciate you being here. I’m delighted to welcome Tom Rutledge, Chairman and CEO of Charter Communications — a great company — to the White House. I’m also very honored that my friend, Texas Governor Greg Abbott — my good friend and supporter — we love you — is here with us today. Very appropriate. He’s done a fantastic job in Texas, and we had a previous governor who did a very good job, right?
GOVERNOR ABBOTT: Right. (Laughter.)
THE PRESIDENT: Right. He’s around here someplace. Standing right over there.
I’m very excited about the announcement we are about to make. First, some background.
Five years ago Charter Communications was a struggling company that had slowly emerged from bankruptcy. Today, thanks to hard work and unbelievable leadership, truly great leadership, it’s the fastest-growing television, Internet, and voice company in the nation. I would say that’s a good job. Not bad.
Tom Rutledge and his team turned the company around, and they did it very quickly. They created a culture of customer service and excellence. And, most importantly, they brought back many jobs that had been shipped overseas — something that’s happening far too often, but we’re changing that. That is very good for certain businesses but not good for the United States, not good for America, not good for our people.
When American workers win, America as a country wins. We want to have companies that thrive and hire and grow right here in America. And we want them to use American workers and American citizens.
Today I am thrilled to announce that Charter Communications has just committed to investing $25 billion — with a B, $25 billion — you’re sure that’s right, right? (Laughter.) With a B, right — $25 billion here in the United States, and has committed further to hiring 20,000 American workers over the next four years.
Charter has also committed to completely end its offshore call centers — that is such a big deal — and to base 100 percent of its call centers here in the United States — all American jobs. This is great for their workers, it’s great for the customers, and it’s certainly great for the United States. And you watch, it will be one of your really fantastic decisions.
Tom will be opening a brand new beautiful call center in McAllen, Texas — you know McAllen, right, good place?
GOVERNOR Abbott: Great place.
THE PRESIDENT: I knew you would say that — (laughter) — where they will create 600 new American jobs. Charter’s announcement follows a number of American businesses — from Exxon to Intel to Lockheed to Boeing to many others — that have recently announced billions of dollars in investment and thousands of jobs coming into the United States following my election victory. And by the way, thank you for your support. The Governor was a great supporter — a great supporter. I want to thank you for — you’ve done a fantastic job.
We’re embracing a new economic model — the American Model. We’re going to massively eliminate job-killing regulations — that has started already, big league — reduce government burdens, and lower taxes that are crushing American businesses and American workers all over this country. And we are really in the process of announcements and you’re going to see thousands and thousands and thousands of jobs, of companies, and everything coming back into our country. And they’re coming in far faster than even I had projected.
So we’re honored. I’d like to have Tom Rutledge say a few words about what he’s doing and about his great company. And after that, you guys can go back to healthcare. (Laughter.)
MR. RUTLEDGE: Thank you, Mr. President. You know, it’s a great pleasure to announce these jobs. And Charter has been insourcing jobs for the last five years, and as a result of that, our company has performed tremendously. Using high-skilled, high-quality workers actually saves money. It saves money. As you know as a builder, if you do the job right the first time, it’s a lot less expensive than redoing it. And we found that in the service business, and we found that we can actually do better with high-quality, high-skilled American workers.
And so we’ve been doing that, and our company was so successful that we were able to recently do a huge transaction with Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks, and put together this tremendous company. And as part of that, we’re going to insource all the calls that Time Warner Cable outsourced — 50 percent of their calls were leaving the country. So we’re going to bring all that back, and create 20,000 new jobs. And we’re very excited about that.
And we’re also excited about the opportunity, in the right regulatory climate and right tax climate, to make major infrastructure investments. And we’re going to spend $25 billion. We’re committed to spending that predicated on the kind of regulatory consistency and efficiency that we expect as a country. And so we’re looking forward to the opportunity to create these jobs and to build this infrastructure.
And Kip Mayo, who manages our call centers, would like to tell you what we’re going to do in the McAllen specifically.
MS. MAYO: So with the opening of the McAllen center, it gives us the capacity to be able to create over 600 good-paying jobs. That allows us to insource work that is currently performed through third parties.
The McAllen center will be our first fully bilingual call center. It will allow customers who prefer to communicate with us in Spanish to do so, and we will provide them with service and technical support. We have already hired a general manager — very qualified woman who is bilingual, and is also, coincidentally, a native McAllen. We expect to open the call center next month, and we’ve hired over 100 employees already, and they will be trained and they will be ready to assist our customers in just a few short weeks.
So this is a very big step for us in our strategy and our plans over the course of the next few years to create jobs and to bring work in from overseas and back to the United States.
MR. RUTLEDGE: And they’re good jobs, too. And they’re high-paid jobs. They have pensions. They have healthcare. They’re the kind of jobs people want — they’re good, solid middle-class jobs, and we’re proud to make them available.
THE PRESIDENT: That’s great. Thank you very much, Tom. Fantastic job with the company. Unbelievable job.
I’d like to just close it out by asking my friend, Governor Greg Abbott to say a few words, and he’ll talk about the company. But he’s very proud of what they’ve been doing in Texas. So am I.
GOVERNOR ABBOTT: Sure. Well, first, I’m proud of you. We have a President who’s living up to his campaign promise, and that is to create more jobs, but also to create more jobs by returning jobs from overseas back to the United States.
I want to thank Charter Communications for the great job you’re doing, but also for expanding, in the great state of Texas. We’re happy that this first tranche of your expansion is in the Rio Grande Valley, in McAllen, Texas. You talked about the tax environment, the regulatory environment. Texas is number one in the nation for job creation because of the pro-business climate that we have because we have the right workforce to take care of the needs of companies like Charter Communications.
So this is a win-win. It’s a win for the President. It’s a win for Charter. It’s a win for the great state of Texas. The country is better today because of the jobs that will be created tomorrow in McAllen, Texas.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. Thank you. Thanks, Greg.
GOVERNOR ABBOTT: Thank you, President.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Congratulations. Congratulations. Thank you.
11:12 A.M. EDT