Cree CEO Joins Energy Secretary Chu to Discuss Economy and Energy Efficiency

Chuck Swoboda, chairman and chief executive officer of Cree, Inc. (Nasdaq: CREE) joined U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu at the Clean Energy Economy Forum to discuss science, innovation and job creation in the new clean economy.
Swoboda was one of four CEOs invited to participate in a panel discussion and question-and-answer session on energy efficiency and the creation of new jobs in clean technology that will help drive American energy independence. Senior Advisor to the President Valerie Jarrett, Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change Carol Browner and Department of Energy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Cathy Zoi were also featured speakers at the event.

“The clean economy won’t happen by talking about it. Real, sustained job growth will only follow the creation of a viable market for clean products and technologies. We’re creating a market,” said Swoboda.

Cree was founded in 1987 by graduates from North Carolina State University, with the idea that innovation is the key to business success. Cree now boasts more than 3,200 global employees and recently announced the creation of 575 new jobs to be filled over the next few years in its home state of North Carolina.

“LED lighting is all about energy efficiency, and I believe it is the single most important thing we can do to impact the energy equation in the next 20 years,” explained Swoboda. “Yes, LED lighting costs more upfront, but the benefit is that it pays for itself in energy savings and lower maintenance costs. To those that say we can’t afford to do this, I tell you that we cannot afford not to do this. The cleanest, cheapest energy is the energy we don’t use.”

Swoboda previously met with President Obama in July of this year as part of a roundtable discussion on American innovation and clean energy technology.

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