Gov. Cooper in Martin Co. speaking on rural economic development

WILLIAMSTON, N.C. (WNCT) — Governor Roy Cooper made a stop in the east Wednesday evening to speak at the Partner for Progress dinner in Martin County.

Cooper spoke at the Bob Martin Eastern Agricultural Center in Williamston, to speak on rural economic development.

Jason Semple is the President of Martin County Economic Development and helped organize the Partner for Progress dinner.

Semple works to further develop the county’s economy and said they are getting more-and-more requests from companies looking to relocate to the east.

Semple said, “Many of those are foreign companies, some are domestic, but one of the questions that we always receive, almost always is, proximity to an interstate.”

It’s the location of Martin County that some think makes it a hot-spot for future business.

Dean McCall is the chairman of the Martin County Committee of 100 and said, “The beauty of Martin County is that it’s a hometown family place to live but it’s connected. It’s connected to Raleigh which isn’t very far away, it’s connected to Norfolk, to the Outer Banks and there is millions of dollars that travel through this area.”

Governor Roy Cooper said he understands the importance of all forms of infrastructure.

Cooper said, “What I want to do is for us to have significant infrastructure bonds to help local schools to make sure these rural counties can build rural schools.”

Cooper said education can be the single largest factor in developing rural economies.

“A high school diploma really doesn’t cut it for a good paying job for people,” said Cooper.

That’s why Cooper wants to set community colleges up for success. He noted the power of trade certifications.

“We can get people right out of high school and certifications and get really good paying jobs,” said Cooper. “Our community colleges and high schools are working to make sure people are aware of the trades in manufacturing.”


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