Gov. Pat McCrory toured two buildings Monday in GastonCounty and then met with business leaders. He spoke with them about economic development and repurposing old buildings and told them manufacturing and innovation should be part of the county's and state's future.
"We have to continue to make things. We cannot live off the service industry alone," McCrory said.
The governor toured Pharr Yarns, in McAdenville, to see its state-of-the-art technology. He said he wants to support companies like it so more jobs are created.
"I'm having great conversations and trying to understand their business pressures and seeing how the state can help with regulations and tax reform," he said.
McCrory also toured an empty mill in Belmont. He said the possibilities for transformation of that building are endless. Rob Pressley is a local developer and agrees with McCrory.
"We see a lot of development opportunities that were similar to those we were involved in South End," Pressley said.
Pressley worked on projects in Charlotte, including some in South End. He says he sees a parallel in Gaston County. He's glad the governor saw what's happening in Gaston County and is hoping for partnerships with the county and state in the future.
"Economic development in a county like Gaston County is dependent on the private sector and the public sector working together," Pressley said.
The governor also spoke about education and making sure classes and training are offered so graduates can staff technical manufacturing jobs.