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Vacon employees show their technology to Obama

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RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. -

The people at Vacon were told last Thursday that President Barack Obama was coming and they had to put up with all kinds of security visits and advance teams before the president showed up Wednesday morning.

And his visit even attracted the attention of people in nearby business here at the Research Triangle Park.

Dennis Beiting was one of a number of UNC-TV employees who came to watch the president arrive at the Vacon facility next door. It was there the president learned about how this company's work will fit into his manufacturing institute.

Vacon will be one of 18 businesses and six universities working on energy-saving concepts. Company officials say it makes sense because no one firm can do it alone.

 "The fact is we can't always have the best competency in every single thing inside our walls," said Sebastian Linko of Vacon. "That just won't happen. We have great expertise but we need to reach out.

Engineer Rod Washington explained what was going on to the president.

"I was halfway through my speil and I'm trying to be very high level and the president turns away from me and faces the press and says, "Let me translate for you - these devices allow us to gain huge increases in efficiency."

By the time the president left he was well versed on the kinds of things the consortium will need to create. And those who came to watch his appearance at RTP were happy with their decision to observe from behind barricades.

"I'm grateful I'm seeing him even from way up here," said Pam Orr, who watched his arrival and departure.

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