Speaking Thursday morning in Washington about the “Future of Work,” Gov. Pat McCrory said North Carolina’s “education community” hadn’t understood what the “commerce community” needed for years. But, he said, things were getting better.
“The majority of community colleges are now getting it,” he said, explaining that they are offering more courses designed to train people in skills needed for jobs. He also said that the state government used its support for job-training as a draw when it tried to recruit businesses to North Carolina.
In the panel discussion sponsored by GE, McCrory covered familiar ground. He talked about the importance of K-12 education, saying too many college students need to take remedial math courses. “This whole issue goes back to elementary school and that’s where our emphasis has got to be,” he said.
McCrory also said he stood by his decision not to expand unemployment insurance, even though, he said, it “didn’t poll well, believe me.”
The governor was part of an event at GE’s Washington Garage – a hub to educate the public about innovation and advanced manufacturing. The company is taking the idea on a road tour internationally this year; Washington was its latest stop.
The event was the main purpose for the governor’s two-day trip to the Washington area, a spokesman said.
A day earlier, he visited the U.S. Naval Academy, where he met with the commandant of midshipmen and students from North Carolina, and met with a soldier from High Point at the Walter Reed Medical Center.
After the GE event Thursday, McCrory visited a Lockheed Martin facility to tour a fighter jet demonstration center.
Senior military adviser Cornell Wilson, a retired Marine major general, accompanied him on the trip.
McCrory is expected to return later Thursday.