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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — North Carolina’s economy continues to try and bounce back from the great recession. Now Gov. Pat McCrory is pushing a sort of back-to-the-future approach by focusing on manufacturing jobs.

McCrory says manufacturing is key to our economic recovery. The question, though, is where are those jobs for our community?

Caterpillar.

Mitsubishi.

Continental Tire.

All big manufacturers who said thanks, but no thanks, after considering building factories in southeastern North Carolina. In the meantime, plants like Coty and DAK Americas have closed up shop.

But as the governor proclaimed Manufacturing Day in North Carolina during a visit to Cape Fear Community College Friday, he said industry does have interest in our area, especially with changes coming to the Port of Wilmington.

“We think the port and manufacturing have a great connection,” McCrory said.

Rep. Rick Catlin (R-20th District) says jobs, though, won’t arrive overnight or likely in one big chunk.

“I don’t know that you’ll see the big ones. I think you’ll see a lot of small ones, which is just as good,” Catlin said.

Some smaller firms have added jobs recently in the region, and while he would not talk specifics, McCrory hinted there are some larger firms considering the Cape Fear. The governor also pointed to plans for a wood pellet facility and needed refrigeration at the port and changing attitude among product makers.

“Now as manufacturing turns back to the United States, they want to be close to the highways and to the ports that are needed to distribute their products across the United States and across the world, and Wilmington is a perfect location,” he said.

The governor says he hopes to unveil a new, 25-year infrastructure and transportation plan early next year.

McCrory and Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker spent today making economic development announcements across the state. In all they announced the creation of about 370 jobs. None of them are in our area.

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