US Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg Visits Lawson State Community College


Peter Buttigieg

US Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg Visits Lawson State Community College, Emphasizes Importance of Skilled Workforce in Driving Economic Growth

Bessemer, Alabama - [April 3, 2024] The US Secretary of Transportation, Pete Buttigieg, paid a special visit to Lawson State Community College's Bessemer campus, where he embarked on a tour to witness innovative advancements in technology and engage with students. During his visit, Secretary Buttigieg, joined by US Representative Terri Sewell and later by former US Senator Doug Jones, had the opportunity to experience firsthand the cutting-edge facilities and interact with students pursuing careers in the automotive, manufacturing, and other STEM sectors.

Secretary Buttigieg commenced the visit by exploring the Alabama Center for Automotive Excellence, which houses renowned programs by industry giants Toyota, Ford, and General Motors. He engaged in insightful conversations with students, discussing their areas of study and gaining valuable insights into their professional aspirations. Eager to immerse himself in the world of transportation, Secretary Buttigieg sat behind the wheel of a truck driving simulator, gaining a realistic feel for the challenges faced by professional truck drivers.

Continuing the exploration, Secretary Buttigieg observed a demonstration of the state-of-the-art manufacturing line in the Manufacturing Department. The Secretary showcased his enthusiasm for technological innovation by personally maneuvering a towering robotic arm, highlighting the ability of automation in the manufacturing sector.

Secretary Buttigieg is committed to promoting women in manufacturing. He discussed the importance of women in the industry with Angel Duke, an upcoming graduate, applauding her achievements and encouraging her as a role model for aspiring women in manufacturing. Secretary Buttigieg believes that a diverse workforce is essential for innovation and America's global leadership in manufacturing.

Expressing his appreciation for the work being done at Lawson State Community College, Secretary Buttigieg emphasized the crucial role of skilled workers in the nation's infrastructure and economic development. He stated, "Rebuilding our infrastructure and economy will generate a lot of good-paying jobs, but it will also create a need for skills. It's important that people have access to those jobs, and we have a responsibility to tear down barriers such as access to learning, transportation, and childcare resources. I see the work thatyou are doing here on that."

President Cynthia T. Anthony of Lawson State Community College acknowledged to hispoint that Lawson State believes in not just preparing for today but for tomorrow as many ofthe jobs in the next 10 or 20 years have not been created. "It is therefore important for ourstudents to have that sense of innovation, curiosity, and critical thinking that we infuse in allof our programs," she said.

Secretary Buttigieg concluded his visit with words of praise, commending the passion of theinstructors and highlighting the energy and optimism exuded by the students. He expressedhis appreciation for the opportunity to interact with the college's advanced technology,humorously adding, "Plus, you let me play with the robots!"

Congresswoman Sewell shared her enthusiasm for Lawson State Community College'sopportunity to showcase its educational and workforce development programs duringSecretary Buttigieg's visit. "I am happy to say that Secretary Buttigieg and Dr. Anthony areleading the way in making sure our communities not only survive but thrive."

Dr. Anthony expressed her gratitude for Secretary Buttigieg's visit, stating, "We are honoredto have Secretary Buttigieg witness the remarkable work being done at Lawson State. Hispresence and engagement with our students further validate the importance of accessibleeducation and the development of a skilled workforce. We are committed to preparing ourstudents for the emerging economy and providing them with the tools they need to succeed."