Lawmakers tour business, talk about Carolinas manufacturing

by: Scott Wickersham Updated:

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. —

 The House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Congressman Robert Pittenger toured the Siemens Charlotte Energy Hub on Friday.

They spoke with local business leaders about the workforce development and how to train the Carolinas for the manufacturing jobs of the future.

Other lawmakers also toured the plant to see how legislation passed last year is now helping get people back to work.

Cantor said that they passed the skills act to streamline existing federal programs, eliminate government hurdles for job training and to strengthen the relationship between the community colleges and job training programs.

Siemens Energy Hub officials said job skills and workforce training is critical for them. They just recently hired 800 new employees.

Apprentice and workforce training can help several young employees at Siemens. Hope Johnson is one of these young employees who will be gaining a skill in advanced manufacturing.

“I tell everyone there are other opportunities than just a four-year degree, you can go into the workforce and still have a very good future,” she said.

Pittenger said that the need to retrain is great in America.

“There’s over 20 million people un- or underemployed, and a great asset we have here is a community college system,” he said.