Of the issues facing our state, none is more important or more challenging than the difficulty too many North Carolinians face in earning enough to support themselves and their families. Even in the current economy, when the official unemployment rate is low and parts of the state are thriving, many families struggle to earn enough to put food on the table, afford a decent place to live, cover basic health care expenses, provide adequate care for their children, and otherwise enjoy the essential elements of a decent life. For too many in our state, the American social compact seems broken. They can no longer rely on the promise that if you work hard and play by the rules, you can enjoy a good life for yourself and a better life for your children.
Data & Research
We don't get into it for the money. You're in it to make a difference... to be able to make a little bit more would be amazing. I'd probably have one extra job, but I know I wouldn't be working five... I need to cut out some jobs, but it's hard to, because I know I also need to make a living and pay bills.
Textiles gave a huge help to my grandfather, some of my uncles, to my father and my mother. They created jobs and careers.Today, it’s a whole new world. I never finished college...If you can’t check the box on your college education, you are out there and you are alone.
Starting off in prison, last thing I thought I was going to be doing [when I got out] was the same thing I was doing in there. I have no money left by the end of the month. The kids constantly need something. Before I got this, I thought, ‘If was making $10 an hour, I’ll be alright, but it’s not even that simple. It is so hard.
In the construction realm, our biggest challenge is finding skilled workers in particular trades: plumbers, electricians, mechanics, specialty carpenters.I’ve been in the business since I was very young, and I think the challenge is education.
If you are allowed to grow, to create some economies of scale, you have a much better chance of employing more people. One of the most difficult things is to find qualified trades, whether electricians or welders.