RICHMOND COUNTY, Ga. (WJBF) – The First Lady of the United States spent Wednesday morning in Augusta.

Jill Biden spoke directly to students who will soon be looking for work and applauded the city and schools, such as Augusta Tech and Aiken Tech, for training people for manufacturing careers.

“When I was last here you talked about how much fight there was in Augusta, how this city was growing and ready to take on the world. And I’m so grateful that with your leadership, this city is delivering on that promise,” she said.

It’s a promise built on partnership. The White House forging a bond around Augusta being an Investing in America Workforce Hub city. The Garden City is a beacon in Georgia and across the nation for expanding pathways to good paying, manufacturing jobs.

The First Lady said while standing before a crowd at Aurubis, “I want to bring you back to a moment a few years ago, when my husband took office, and the pandemic was still raging. When jobs here seemed to be disappearing every day. When young people were graduating school and struggling to begin their careers.”

Biden told the group of local leaders, students and city stakeholders that plants such as Aurubis and other businesses locally are pipelines for students from Richmond County Schools, Augusta and Aiken Tech. She said it’s a system President Joe Biden wanted to create.

“Joe ran for President on a mission to rebuild the middle class,” she explained.

The First Lady spoke directly to students, shaking hands and hopeful for the future.

That future can be found in AR Johnson 8th grand student A’Deren Pollard. He told NewsChannel 6, “I’m thinking about aerospace engineering or astrology because I love mechanics and planes and space.”

Copper Cobb, a 7th grade student at AR Johnson also knows exactly what he would like to do in life.

“I want to work on like aeronautics and that stuff,” he said. “I either want to work on that or paleontology.”

“If they stay in school and stay focused, they could be a part of continuing to build our community,” said Dr. Ken Bradshaw, Richmond County Schools Superintendent.

Biden toured Aurubis first. She even held the plant’s signature metal, copper.

“Copper is the main metal, but we’re also talking about nickel and about other precious metals,” said Roland Harings, Aurubis CEO. “That’s what we’re doing in Europe in our already six large plants that we operate in Europe. We are recycle there all different types of metals and bring them back into the economy as Virgin metals to be used again.”

Jill Biden came to Augusta Tech in July because the city was selected as a Workforce Hub prepping for careers in manufacturing.

RICHMOND COUNTY, Ga. (WJBF) – First Lady Jill Biden is in Augusta Wednesday to tour one of the county’s newest manufacturing facilities.

The first lady’s plane landed at Augusta Regional Airport Wednesday morning.

Air Force One at Augusta Regional Airport. Photo date: 11/8/23
Air Force One at Augusta Regional Airport. Photo date: 11/8/23

After landing, the First Lady, along with Augusta Mayor Garnett Johnson and other city and education leaders, traveled to Aurubis to tour the new recycling facility. The First Lady’s visit is in conjunction with the City of Augusta, Augusta Technical College, Aiken Technical College, the Richmond County School System, local, employers, trade unions, and other community partners.

Jill Biden will tour the Aurubis machinery room joined by Augusta Mayor Garnett Johnson, Aurubis CEO Roland Harings, Richmond County Superintendent Kenneth Bradshaw, Aiken Technical College President Dr. Forest Mahan, Augusta Technical College President Dr. Jermaine Whirl, Georgia Department of Economic Development Director of International Investment Coryn Marsik, and Aurubis COO Inge Hofkens.

After the tour, the First Lady, Mayor Johnson, and Roland Harings will make remarks.

Augusta will launch a new registered apprenticeship program and over $1 million in employer investments. Since the start of the Biden-Harris Administration, Georgia has seen over $37 billion in private investments across new battery and electric vehicle supply chain facilities, clean energy manufacturing, and semiconductors and electronics. These significant economic investments are creating over 27,000 new jobs in Georgia alone.