Design Foundry employees were recently paid a visit by Governor Roy Cooper, reports Hickory Daily Record.

He shadowed CEO Eric Fulcher around the plant, stopping to speak with employees about their work. Last year it was revealed that Design Foundry would receive $1.5 million in state incentives over the next 12 years which will lead to the creation of over 200 jobs in the next five years.

After his tour of the facility, Cooper said that “furniture manufacturing is alive and well in North Carolina…” but he sees the need for the state to continue investing in education and training so workers are prepared for jobs in the increasingly complex industry.

Workforce development has been a key initiative for the Governor who said he is looking to address the skills gap through using interest from the state’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund to invest in community college scholarships in fields with high demand.

“We need to attract people to the areas where employers need them,” he said.

Read more about the development of workforce training across cities in North Carolina here.