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GE CEO says economy not growing fast enough, lays out ideas to speed things up

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - The CEO of General Electric says more innovation and more job growth are needed for America to compete with the rest of the world.

Jeff Immelt told the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents this morning that our economy is not growing fast enough – and it’s the nation’s biggest problem.

He said things will never get better if we accept a two-percent annual growth in the country’s Gross Domestic Product.

Immelt said there needs to be more venture capital, more start-up companies, and less government interference.

He also told the UW Regents to consider adding more co-op programs, in which students spend two years in industry plus four years in the classroom.  He also said the UW needs to establish priorities, and be more accountable to the public.

In his words, “The best step you guys could take is to make sure this is the best-run university in the country, so you can go to the Legislature and Governor Walker and say, ‘My house is in order, give me more money.’”

Immelt had breakfast with Walker and the Regents before the meeting.

GE Health-care equipment division is one of Wisconsin’s largest employers.