CASTLE HAYNE, NC (WECT) – Gov. Pat McCrory kicked off a daylong manufacturing tour at Cape Fear Community College's campus in Castle Hayne Friday.
The governor proclaimed it "Manufacturing Day" during a press conference in a machine shop.
Members of McCrory's administration planned to announce more than 370 manufacturing jobs and $100 million in investment during various stops across the state throughout the day, according to a press release.
Although McCrory didn't announce any new jobs for southeastern North Carolina, the governor said he has "some great recruitment contacts who are interested in the Wilmington area," and touted the port as a major asset in attracting manufactures to the region.
"Now as manufacturing turns back to the United States, they want to be close to the highways and the ports that are needed to distribute their product across the United States and across the world, and Wilmington's a perfect location," McCrory said.
The governor said his administration is working on a "master plan" and "future vision" for the state's two ports.
According to McCrory, the factors most important to manufactures are labor, favorable tax status, and logistics. He believes the state's new tax reform measures will help lure companies.
McCrory disagrees with the notion that manufacturing has diminished in its significance to the state's economy.
"It's going to be responsible for North Carolina getting out of this very, very tough recession," he said. "It's going to be responsible for hiring more people who can earn a good living and put food on the plate for their families."
The governor added that the state needs to re-emphasize the importance of high-tech training.
McCrory explained he often hears from employers who have job openings but can't find qualified candidates. The governor described the problem as a "disconnect between commerce and education" – a gap he says his administration is working to bridge.
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