Biden to Visit NC to Highlight Programs Supporting Job Training and Military Families

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden serve dinner during a visit to Fort Bragg (Now called Fort Liberty) for Thanksgiving in 2021. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

By Michael McElroy

June 7, 2023

In a hint of a possible 2024 election strategy, President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden will be in Rocky Mount and Fort Liberty on Friday to promote North Carolina infrastructure projects. 

North Carolina knows how to draw out-of-state visitors, many of whom keep coming back for the food, weather and people. Over the next year, President Joe Biden plans to be among them.

Biden’s reelection campaign has its sights on flipping North Carolina in the 2024 presidential election, a state the president lost to Donald Trump in 2020 by just over one percentage point.  But while most politicians fill their campaign speeches with promises, Biden could bring receipts to North Carolina instead.

President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden are scheduled to visit Rocky Mount and Fort Liberty on Friday, not in a campaign visit, but to highlight the work that’s been done here during his administration. 

In Rocky Mount, Biden is expected to promote a new initiative to help young people find training and apprenticeship programs that ensure better access to good jobs. At Fort Liberty, formerly Fort Bragg, Jill Biden will highlight The Joining Forces program, which supports the families of military service members and veterans by helping them find child care, job training, and health services.

North Carolina is a military state, and the Joining Forces program also helps military families struggling with food insecurity. Some 24% of US military families reported not having enough to eat at some point in 2022. There are more than 94,000 active duty service members based in North Carolina, nearly 40,000 military spouses and some 70,000 children with active duty parents. 

Congress has also passed several Biden-backed bills to invest in necessary infrastructure across the country, including the CHIPS and Science Act, the American Rescue Plan and the Inflation Reduction Act. As a result, North Carolina has already received nearly $5 billion for 253 infrastructure projects, including efforts to repair bridges and roads, and to clean chemical-tainted water supplies. 

These federal investments have also prompted businesses to pledge more than $16 billion in private sector investments in the state, the Biden administration says.

“These investments are creating good-paying jobs, including union jobs and jobs that don’t require a four-year degree in industries that will boost U.S. competitiveness, rebuild infrastructure, strengthen supply chains, and help build a clean energy economy,” the White House said. 

In his last visit to the state in March, Biden highlighted a $5 billion investment from Wolfspeed to build a semiconductor plant in Chatham County that is expected to create 1,800 jobs by 2030.

Author

  • Michael McElroy

    Michael McElroy is Cardinal & Pine's political correspondent. He is an adjunct instructor at UNC-Chapel Hill's Hussman School of Journalism and Media, and a former editor at The New York Times.

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