Obama keeping manufacturing focus in Virginia

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WASHINGTON (AP) ? President Barack Obama is spelling out ways of pairing researchers with industry to bring back jobs to the U.S., keeping a focus on manufacturing jobs.

Obama travels Friday to a Virginia manufacturing plant run by aircraft engine maker Rolls-Royce. He’ll outline a new proposal for a series of regional institutes to help manufacturers develop new products.

The president makes the trip hours after the government issues its February jobs report.

Obama has been a regular at manufacturing plants, visiting factories in Wisconsin, Washington state and North Carolina in recent weeks. The president is proposing $1 billion to create a network of up to 15 regional institutes to create partnerships among private industry, universities and government.

Obama will also attend campaign fundraisers Friday in Houston.