ELKHART, Ind. (WOWO): President Barack Obama will return to Elkhart next week seven years after he visited the town during the Great Recession.
In an e-mail titled “Why I’m going back to Elkhart”, he’s quoted as saying it’s the first city he visited as President and “The story of Elkhart’s recovery is the story of America’s recovery.”
He’ll be making at least two stops in the area on Wednesday, June 1. One will be at Concord High School. The President will highlight, “the economic progress that Elkhart and America have made, the economic challenges that remain, and the decisions that face Americans in communities like Elkhart.”
President Obama will also speak during a town hall meeting hosted by PBS at The Lerner Theatre, the South Bend Tribune reported. It’s not immediately clear if the event will be open to the public, but the press release mentioned he’ll hear directly from residents.
Obama visited Elkhart three times, twice before the 2008 elections and once after taking office in 2009, because Elkhart County had the highest unemployment rate in the nation during the Great Recession at more than 19 percent. The unemployment rate is now down to 3.5 percent.
“The hard-working citizens of Elkhart have brought the city back,“ Elkhart Mayor Tim Neese, a Republican, told the Tribune. “But it’s a significant honor any time a sitting president visits your community, regardless of his political party.”