Mayor, Charlotte (D)
We in Charlotte have seen a proliferation of advance manufacturing jobs, and it’s partly a result of our work in the energy space, but also partly as a result of the infrastructure we put in place to grow those jobs.
I see on the ground the opportunity for advanced manufacturing to really take off in this country, and we have good examples of it in Charlotte today. I would say there are about 65,000 manufacturing jobs in the city, which is about 8.1 percent of all jobs in Charlotte.
I can’t emphasize enough the workforce-development efforts. We are doing herculean things in Charlotte to help promote workforce-development training to prepare people for these careers. The average age of a manufacturing worker in Charlotte is 53 years old. And a lot of the folks who are in manufacturing are still in some of the old-school manufacturing jobs that are highly labor intensive. And transitioning that worker to working on software and computers is a challenge.
And so I think we’re doing as well as anyone in the country at it, but I don’t think you can do enough to promote good workforce development.
On Monday, President Obama nominated Foxx to serve as Secretary of Transportation.