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Washington • President Barack Obama will stress the importance of investing in clean-energy technology and training workers for this growing field as part of his remarks at Hill Air Force Base in Utah on Friday, and will use the opportunity in a deep-red state to highlight that supporting such innovations isn't a partisan issue.

"[Utah] is an example of a state that has made smart investments in clean energy and has yielded great benefits for the economy," White House press secretary Josh Earnest told The Salt Lake Tribune. "This is something the president has advocated in Washington, D.C., and he has not been able to make much progress, or at least as much progress as we would like, because these are proposals that are opposed by Republicans in Washington even though Republicans in Utah had deployed them to good effect."

Obama, making his first trip to Utah as president, chose to speak at Hill because of the base's ongoing support of training active-duty personnel and veterans in skills that will help them earn good-paying jobs in the clean-energy field.

The president, who will speak in Louisville, Ky., before arriving in Utah on Thursday night, has been traveling to GOP-dominated states since his State of the Union address in January in an effort to break through the Washington gridlock that has stymied many of his initiatives.

Earnest, in previewing the president's remarks, praised Utah's work to push solar technology and noted that it has brought "significant economic benefit" to the state in job creation and in energy efficiency.

"This is less about going into enemy territory and more about going to a place like Utah, where they've obviously supported the Republican candidate in the last two presidential cycles, and even before that, but yet they are successfully implementing the same kind of policies that the president is advocating in Washington, D.C.," Earnest said. "So I think that is evidence of the president's willingness to put aside partisan labels and actually focus on policies that work. If Republicans did the same thing in Washington, we'd be able to make a lot of progress and do a lot of great things for our economy."

As part of the president's trip, he'll hold a roundtable discussion at Hill with people who are working to train Utahns in the clean-energy sector. Sen. Orrin Hatch, Rep. Rob Bishop and Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker are expected to join that discussion.

The White House specifically highlighted Salt Lake City's efforts to reduce its carbon footprint, create a clean-air challenge and develop sustainable energy provisions into zoning codes.

Obama is expected to arrive at Hill around 5:30 p.m. And stay overnight before holding events at the military base. The White House did not disclose where the president would stay while in Utah.